1. Subscriberno1marauder
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    03 Jan '15 09:14
    Consider this thread a follow up on some ideas presented by myself in the "Design Argument" thread with some clarifications as far as my thinking. I'd like to discuss a nondualist view of reality and present some scientific evidence and theory which make it likely IMO. These views has been heavily influenced by Advaita Vedanta Hinduism and some recent theoretical physicists particularly Henry Stapp but they are ultimately my own.

    First off, what is nondualism in the context I am using it? In the Abrahamic religions, there is a God who creates physical reality but is Himself outside it. Therefore, you have the Creator and the Creation two distinct things.

    In AV (the nondualism I am discussing), there is no such distinction. Brahman is existence; it is not a "god" even a 4 O one, but the "one without a second" i.e. everything that is. The physical world is not a creation of Brahman it is a manifestation of Brahman. Further, it is not real in the sense of having some ultimate reality; only Brahman is.

    Brahman is consciousness and our seemingly individual consciousness is illusionary analogous to a drop of water deposited on a beach by a wave from the ocean. From that perspective, AV and other eastern religions encourage various forms of seeking "enlightenment" but that is not what I am primarily interested in discussing here.

    If anyone objects to my admittedly cursory review of the basic beliefs systems of AV, feel free to offer criticism and/or correction. I'll give the thread a bit of a respite for such posts before I start discussing Quantum Mechanics, Schrodinger's Cat, Bell's Theorem and Stapp's insights on the necessity of consciousness in the universe and how I think they offer scientific support for a nondualist perspective.
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    03 Jan '15 09:42
    It is a common misconception among laymen (and even some trained physicists) that quantum mechanics is (directly) connected to "consciousness." It is not, and I'm afraid any attempt to connect the "spiritual" world to that of quantum mechanics will lead to failure and disappointment.
  3. Subscriberno1marauder
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    03 Jan '15 09:48
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    It is a common misconception among laymen (and even some trained physicists) that quantum mechanics is (directly) connected to "consciousness." It is not, and I'm afraid any attempt to connect the "spiritual" world to that of quantum mechanics will lead to failure and disappointment.
    Your assertion is noted. Evidence to the contrary will be presented.

    You would concede I take it that some of the "trained physicists" who disagree(d) with your claim are among the most eminent in the 20th Century?
  4. Germany
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    03 Jan '15 10:02
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Your assertion is noted. Evidence to the contrary will be presented.

    You would concede I take it that some of the "trained physicists" who disagree(d) with your claim are among the most eminent in the 20th Century?
    I'm happy to consider your evidence and explain why it is wrong.

    I know of a few such "eminent" physicists. Perhaps Brian Josephson is the most famous one. They are a minority, but anyway, they are wrong, regardless of how many Nobel Prizes they won. Isaac Newton, surely one of the most brilliant scientists of all time, dabbled in alchemy and astrology. Unfortunately, brilliance and sound judgement do not always go hand in hand.
  5. Subscriberno1marauder
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    03 Jan '15 10:14
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    I'm happy to consider your evidence and explain why it is wrong.

    I know of a few such "eminent" physicists. Perhaps Brian Josephson is the most famous one. They are a minority, but anyway, they are wrong, regardless of how many Nobel Prizes they won. Isaac Newton, surely one of the most brilliant scientists of all time, dabbled in alchemy and astrology. Unfortunately, brilliance and sound judgement do not always go hand in hand.
    (Shrug)

    I'm waiting to see if anyone objects to my description of AV and non-dualism before presenting the evidence from Quantum Mechanics.

    I am glad that you have finally figured out all the aspects of QM though. Richard Feynman said: "I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics" but he never dealt with you on an internet forum. Kudos to you.
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    03 Jan '15 10:22
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    (Shrug)

    I'm waiting to see if anyone objects to my description of AV and non-dualism before presenting the evidence from Quantum Mechanics.

    I am glad that you have finally figured out all the aspects of QM though. Richard Feynman said: "I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics" but he never dealt with you on an internet forum. Kudos to you.
    I have not "figured out all the aspects." However, there is no requirement for involving "consciousness" in the current description of QM we have.
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    03 Jan '15 11:05
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Consider this thread a follow up on some ideas presented by myself in the "Design Argument" thread with some clarifications as far as my thinking. I'd like to discuss a nondualist view of reality and present some scientific evidence and theory which make it likely IMO. These views has been heavily influenced by Advaita Vedanta Hinduism and some recent th ...[text shortened]... ness in the universe and how I think they offer scientific support for a nondualist perspective.
    I don't see how you are going to escape dualism, when even your premise is dualistic. At least that's how it appears to me. If you are going to set up two opposing concepts, one against the other, you're going have to prove that one is wrong, and the other right.

    There is no human being with enough knowledge and understanding that can prove either proposition. The is only one final authority on the nature of God and creation, and it ain't an ordinary man.

    But good luck anyway. I'll try to follow along with the discussion. Hopefully a resolution will result. Reason without truth is fallacious.
  8. Standard memberDeepThought
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    03 Jan '15 11:17
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    I have not "figured out all the aspects." However, there is no requirement for involving "consciousness" in the current description of QM we have.
    The "consciousness causes wavefunction collapse" interpretation is an interpretation of quantum theory, which Wikipedia calls the von-Neumann-Wigner interpretation [1]. The problem of wavefunction collapse isn't dealt with in the Copenhagen Interpretation (CI from now). Many Worlds (MWI) and the de Broglie-Bohm (dBB) interpretations deal with it by partitioning the wave-function. In the many worlds interpretation Professor Schrodinger goes into a linear superposition of states along with his cat.

    The consciousness causes collapse interpretation has the benefit that it trivially explains the apparent fine-tuning for life. Regard the wavefunction of the entire universe as being an ensemble of universes. The universe which can generate a viable observer first is the one which survives - the observer's consciousness collapse the ensemble to just the universe which sustains him (her). MWI also has this feature, it just doesn't dispense with the other universes.

    Other than questions about falsifiability, a problem for all interpretations of quantum theory, the problem with vNW is that it gives mind a special status. To my mind it has the same measurement problem as CI just regressed one step. In CI measurements are interactions which have a special status where in vNW that status has been moved to the experimenter. Where CI is this exercise in logical positivism vNW is an exercise in idealism - the conscious mind actually does create reality around it. I think the problem for #1 is that it is inherently dualist. There is mind and matter as separate substances.

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Von_Neumann-Wigner_interpretation
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    03 Jan '15 11:51
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    The "consciousness causes wavefunction collapse" interpretation is an interpretation of quantum theory, which Wikipedia calls the von-Neumann-Wigner interpretation [1]. The problem of wavefunction collapse isn't dealt with in the Copenhagen Interpretation (CI from now). Many Worlds (MWI) and the de Broglie-Bohm (dBB) interpretations deal with it by par ...[text shortened]... er as separate substances.

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Von_Neumann-Wigner_interpretation
    Which came first? Mind or matter?
  10. Germany
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    03 Jan '15 12:00
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    The "consciousness causes wavefunction collapse" interpretation is an interpretation of quantum theory, which Wikipedia calls the von-Neumann-Wigner interpretation [1]. The problem of wavefunction collapse isn't dealt with in the Copenhagen Interpretation (CI from now). Many Worlds (MWI) and the de Broglie-Bohm (dBB) interpretations deal with it by par ...[text shortened]... er as separate substances.

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Von_Neumann-Wigner_interpretation
    Yes, it is an interpretation, a very silly one. What I meant by "no requirement" is that the "consciousness" theory makes no additional predictions, so it seems unnecessary metaphysical baggage. Personally, I think that the most likely resolution of the wave function collapse problem will come from an ab initio description of wave function collapse invoking neither pilot waves or many worlds. There have been recent developments in this direction, although certain issues remain.
  11. Standard memberDeepThought
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    03 Jan '15 14:26
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Yes, it is an interpretation, a very silly one. What I meant by "no requirement" is that the "consciousness" theory makes no additional predictions, so it seems unnecessary metaphysical baggage. Personally, I think that the most likely resolution of the wave function collapse problem will come from an ab initio description of wave function collapse invo ...[text shortened]... y worlds. There have been recent developments in this direction, although certain issues remain.
    I don't think it can simply be dismissed as "silly". What you've just done is assert a strong form of naturalism where no theory can contain "supernatural" elements. Since some form of dualism is inherent to the interpretation, the minds involved are supernatural. However we know minds exist, so the interpretation does not involve unobserved elements. So I don't think you can construct a counter-argument based around Occam's razor.

    Other than local hidden variable theories, which are all but ruled out, there is no way of experimentally distinguishing between different interpretations of quantum theory. For example MWI does not behave differently from the Copenhagen interpretation from the point of view of wavefunction collapse. I don't think falsifiability is a viable complaint about interpretations of quantum mechanics.

    I think there's a problem of definition. No one seriously disputes the mathematical framework of quantum theory, however some of the interpretations either encroach on it or use equivocation - especially the dualist ones. So, to use the language of mathematical logic, the syntactic content of the theory has not been adequately separated from the semantic content.

    In the squabble about dBB over in Science I'm having problems trying to demonstrate my objection to dBB because all expressions of dBB equivocate regarding the word particle. A particle is a pilot wave which guides a particle - so there is one word for two concepts. The dBB particle should be renamed a Bohmion at which point the problem becomes clear - "during particle detection the detector interacts with the pilot wave and not the particle" is gibberish, but it isn't when phrased as "during particle detection the detector interacts with the pilot wave and not the Bohmion" it becomes clear what I'm trying to say.

    Incidentally, due to the extreme logical positivism of C.I. I think it's difficult for a contending interpretation not to add metaphysical entities - C.I. denies the reality of the universe between observations - so an assertion of the reality of a particle between measurements takes on a metaphysical flavour.
  12. Germany
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    03 Jan '15 14:46
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    I don't think it can simply be dismissed as "silly". What you've just done is assert a strong form of naturalism where no theory can contain "supernatural" elements. Since some form of dualism is inherent to the interpretation, the minds involved are supernatural. However we know minds exist, so the interpretation does not involve unobserved elements. ...[text shortened]... an assertion of the reality of a particle between measurements takes on a metaphysical flavour.
    We know that minds exist - we don't know that minds are "special" kinds of collections of matter.

    What the CI does is build a bridge between the micro and the macro-world by saying there is a process "observation," but it does not attempt to actually describe the process itself, just the emergent result of it. I believe such a description can be made from first principles (without invoking the rather ad-hoc pilot waves or many worlds, or the metaphysical gibberish of consciousness), and it will probably be done successfully in the coming decades.
  13. Standard memberDeepThought
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    03 Jan '15 15:08
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    We know that minds exist - we don't know that minds are "special" kinds of collections of matter.

    What the CI does is build a bridge between the micro and the macro-world by saying there is a process "observation," but it does not attempt to actually describe the process itself, just the emergent result of it. I believe such a description can be made ...[text shortened]... al gibberish of consciousness), and it will probably be done successfully in the coming decades.
    Mind's are definitely unusual forms of matter. As far as we know most material things don't worry about their nature.

    I'd wondered what you meant by ab initio in your first post. If you mean from the syntactic content of quantum mechanics formalism I really doubt that that is possible. I think that the incompleteness of the theory requires an extra ingredient.
  14. Germany
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    03 Jan '15 15:16
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    Mind's are definitely unusual forms of matter. As far as we know most material things don't worry about their nature.

    I'd wondered what you meant by ab initio in your first post. If you mean from the syntactic content of quantum mechanics formalism I really doubt that that is possible. I think that the incompleteness of the theory requires an extra ingredient.
    If we consider the description of, say, two particles with some arbitrary interaction between them, no wave function collapse ever comes out of the theory. It is only used in open*, many-body quantum systems, for which we simply do not have the computational tools to describe them in terms of the particles interacting with each other. However, these computational tools are becoming ever more useful, providing hope that such an ab initio calculation of wave function collapse is within our reach.

    *) I'm not sure if closed quantum systems have an analog of wave function collapse, or that they could have one, in principle.
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    03 Jan '15 16:20
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Consider this thread a follow up on some ideas presented by myself in the "Design Argument" thread with some clarifications as far as my thinking. I'd like to discuss a nondualist view of reality and present some scientific evidence and theory which make it likely IMO. These views has been heavily influenced by Advaita Vedanta Hinduism and some recent th ...[text shortened]... ness in the universe and how I think they offer scientific support for a nondualist perspective.
    Will this discussion touch on/deal with the concept of consciousness as emergent behavior?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergence
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