1. Joined
    31 May '06
    Moves
    1795
    12 Dec '12 00:15
    Apologies for the delay divegeester, I have been rather busy in the Christmas build-up and wanted to take some time over this.

    Ok so divegeester posted this thread a few weeks back....

    Convince me I should follow your view or philosophy.

    A recent exchange with robbie carrobie provoked me to thinking about openness to new ideas and how, no matter how "informed" or
    educated a person may claim to be, if they are closed to even the slightest piece of new information or revelation then they/you/me/us
    are trapped in our own, or worse, someone else's paradigm.

    I want to be open.


    Which I think is an admirable attitude and stance to take.

    The main reason I come to places like this is to hear ideas/arguments I disagree with to constantly test my own ideas and arguments.

    Now the "Convince me" thread has become a bit crowded and with divegeester's permission I am creating a new thread in which I will
    do as he asked in his OP and present my world view and the reasons I hold it, and answer any questions/criticisms divegeester has about it.
    While it would be nice if divegeester agreed with me and adopted my view point, My goal is not that, but I hope to present my world-view
    such that divegeester (and others) can understand and possibly respect it, even if they don't agree with it.

    And for me this also represents another test of my world view, in seeing if divegeester (or anyone else) can knock any holes in it.

    As this is starting out as a discussion between me and divegeester I will only be responding to divegeester's posts until the conversation
    has run it's course. If anyone posts a response that I feel warrants/needs a response then i will try to deal with that when the conversation
    is over or in a different thread to stop this one getting too cluttered/off track.

    Ok so on to the actual meat of this thread (which I'll put in a short series of separate posts so that you can respond to any bits you disagree
    with separately and without all this gumf tacked on.)

    I am simplifying aspects of it for brevity... So anything I haven't explicitly explained/supported that is probably why.
    And much/most of it will hopefully be stuff you agree with and accept in which case I don't need to justify/explain it.

    If there is anything you do object to then post a response saying why and I will go over that bit in more detail/present the justification for it.

    Also the real basis of my worldview is fundamentally mathematical.
    The maths contains and provides the proof of it.

    However I am not going over the maths here because that way leads to madness... and repetitive strain injury from the need to type in a
    maths textbook into a web forum which doesn't allow math symbols.
  2. Joined
    31 May '06
    Moves
    1795
    12 Dec '12 00:17
    So what is my worldview?

    Part one: The Foundation.

    “I think therefore I am”... A bit clichéd but true nevertheless.

    I can know with absolute certainty, that one way or another I exist.

    And given the laws of logic (without which communication and thought/existence is impossible)
    I can know with absolute certainty anything I can demonstrate logically.
    The rules of mathematics would be an example (you can argue that logic is a part of mathematics).

    However I hit a snag when it comes to anything I experience of the world.

    It’s logically possible that anything and everything I experience might be an illusion.
    I have no way of proving with absolute certainty that anything I experience is real.

    However practically speaking I must act like the reality I experience is real; if you doubt this then I suggest
    you place your hand in a fire...
    And then when you have stopped screaming long enough to place it in some icy water and called an ambulance,
    been taken to hospital treated in a burns unit, and are now sitting in a recovery ward blissed out on painkillers
    and as yet blissfully unaware of the several hundred thousand $ bill you are about to receive because your insurance
    company has a cop out clause for “acts of stupidity”....

    You can contemplate on why it is that you have to, for practical reasons, treat your apparent reality as if it were real
    whether it is or not.

    I perceive a reality that appears internally consistent, it follows rules, I can make predictions about it.
    If it’s an illusion then it’s one so good that I can’t (yet) distinguish it from not being an illusion.

    Occam’s razor states that for any two hypotheses that explain a phenomenon, all things being equal, you should prefer
    the simpler hypothesis.
    Given a choice between:

    I am observing an internally consistent reality.
    And
    I am observing an illusion of an internally consistent reality.

    The first is simpler, and thus more probable... Much more probable it turns out when you do the maths.
    So I conclude that the reality I observe is probably real, but real or not I have to treat it as real for practical purposes.

    So my foundation is this.

    I exist.

    I can prove anything logically and mathematically provable with absolute certainty.

    The reality I observe can’t be proven absolutely, but is probably real, and I have to treat it as if it were real.
  3. Joined
    31 May '06
    Moves
    1795
    12 Dec '12 00:18
    Ok on to Part Two: Building My World View.

    Ok so there is a reality of some sort that I inhabit, and I need some means of determining what it’s like,
    and how best to operate inside it.
    I need a means of explaining reality.

    There are all kinds of ways I can imagine it could operate, and pretty basic observation of it demonstrates
    that I can imagine all kinds of ways it could work that are evidently wrong.

    Mathematically I would envision there to be some vast multidimensional possibility space that describes all the
    logically possible realities. Somewhere inside that vast/infinite space is a tiny dot that represents our actual reality.

    When considered like this it becomes obvious that randomly guessing about the nature of reality is overwhelmingly
    unlikely to get the right result.
    And a brief study of our history demonstrates how bad we are and have been at guessing how reality works.

    And so explanations must be based on our observations of reality and not blind guesses about reality is like.
    If I am to believe something about reality I MUST have evidence that justifies doing so.

    Basically I conclude that the best way to understand how reality operates and what it is, is the Scientific method and
    Bayesian reasoning.
    Now you might happily accept science as the best way of explaining how the world got here and what the world is
    made of. And then go on to say that there are questions that science can’t answer.

    To which my response is... That may very well be true... but nothing else can answer those questions either.

    I/you/we can only know those things about reality that we can observe and demonstrate.

    Everything/anything else is simply unknown.

    As this is the spirituality forum I will go on to say that a result of this worldview is atheism. As there is currently no
    evidence for any gods/souls/afterlives and thus none of them should be believed in.




    That seems like a good place to stop and see where we are.

    If you disagree with anything I have written, please respond with what you disagree with and why. Preferably starting from
    the beginning, I will assume that if you question something that you agree with everything up to that point unless you say
    otherwise.
  4. Joined
    16 Feb '08
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    86307
    13 Dec '12 22:26
    Been away this week gf; will have a look at the weekend.
  5. Joined
    31 May '06
    Moves
    1795
    13 Dec '12 23:57
    Originally posted by divegeester
    Been away this week gf; will have a look at the weekend.
    Cool. I will await your response with interest.
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