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"Theoretically, being willing to change our perspective" Topic


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674 hits since 4 Apr 2016
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Great War Ace Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2016 5:59 a.m. PST

My last act of defiance, last night, was to slay a nickle-sized, very ugly (black widow -shaped, but brown, so possibly a male) spider in the downstairs bathtub, with my "spider swatter" (I seldom hit flies with it).

And my first thoughts as I surfaced to "consciousness" involved that act of slaying a "big" spider. I put it into perspective: what if science determined somehow that all the nebulae and swirls in the Magellanic Cloud and dust banks and all other apparent, solid, light-reflecting objects that we had previously IDed as galaxies and larger "things" in the universe of our expanding awareness, were actually surface details on a spider's body so huge that from one slithy claw tip to the diagonally opposite slithy claw tip spanned literally millions of galaxies beneath, of which our Milky Way galaxy formed up near others on the upper (or facing) surface of merely one strand of its even more enormous web; and that said-spider was simply sitting there immobile? How would that change everything about the way we think of ourselves, and the "big" spiders that I slay with my "spider swatter"?

It is a rhetorical question for you to ponder or toss at your leisure….

Belisarius05 Apr 2016 8:00 a.m. PST

Go back to sleep you are dreaming.

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2016 8:12 a.m. PST

Take your medication!

haywire Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2016 8:15 a.m. PST

Someone has been reading Werewolf the Apocalypse too much.

The Weaver has her eyes on you!

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2016 9:03 a.m. PST

The last time I posted something like that, I gave up weed.

Personal logo Great War Ace Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2016 9:05 a.m. PST

Haven't heard of "her". Or a Werewolf of the Apocalypse either.

I do need to go back to sleep.

I have never been on any medications beyond antibiotics or aspirin.

But the OP question: if science showed that the reality of our location was as I described, what would that do to your perspective? Could you handle it?

Personal logo Great War Ace Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2016 9:06 a.m. PST

Never been a tweaker or stoner or anything of the sort. I don't even drink (and to my knowledge have never imbibed alcohol not even a sip in my whole life)….

jpattern205 Apr 2016 9:08 a.m. PST

Toss.

I can handle any shift in perspective. It all comes down to evidence.

Personal logo Great War Ace Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2016 9:11 a.m. PST

Would you accept the "evidence"? Or would the theory be too much for you?…

Terrement Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2016 9:35 a.m. PST

I have never been on any medications beyond antibiotics or aspirin.

You don't know what you are missing…

kallman05 Apr 2016 9:47 a.m. PST

+1 Terrement

Well there are more than a few pretty respectable scientist and futurist that do postulate that we may well could simply be just part of a huge computer program. Those theories spawned the thinking behind the Matrix movies.

There are things still yet to be discovered and understood that will shatter many of humanity's mythologies and belief systems. My feeling is based upon history that each time science has made these discoveries there is a rapid circling of the wagons of the groups that have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. So in your example of the universe spanning spider were to be proven or at least given serious scientific consideration there would be those who simply would not accept the evidence and carry on as they always have but would also seek to have you flogged or worse. That is my two pennies for the day. Carry on and be glad the spider does not take notice of you.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2016 10:31 a.m. PST

I put it into perspective: what if science determined somehow that all the nebulae and swirls in the Magellanic Cloud and dust banks and all other apparent, solid, light-reflecting objects that we had previously IDed as galaxies and larger "things" in the universe of our expanding awareness, were actually surface details on a spider's body so huge that from one slithy claw tip to the diagonally opposite slithy claw tip spanned literally millions of galaxies beneath, of which our Milky Way galaxy formed up near others on the upper (or facing) surface of merely one strand of its even more enormous web; and that said-spider was simply sitting there immobile?

Because of your run on sentence, by the time I get to the end of the sentence, I've forgotten what you wrote about in the first part. Are you asking what if the Universe was a spider web?

My feeling is based upon history that each time science has made these discoveries there is a rapid circling of the wagons of the groups that have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.

And I'm OK with that. Skepticism and a bit of hostility to new ideas is a good thing. Let them run the gauntlet.

Belisarius05 Apr 2016 11:15 a.m. PST

This change in how we view things has been a on going thing. Science fiction writers have been doing this kind of thought experiment for years in the universes we build. A couple come to mind. Men in Black two we are in a locker. Star Trek, we are a program on a hologram deck.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Apr 2016 12:13 p.m. PST

How would that change everything about the way we think of ourselves, and the "big" spiders that I slay with my "spider swatter"?

None at all. The behavioural framework that allows you to kill the spider would have not application to such a huge creature. At that scale, whatever drives the celestial spider to its behaviour is unlikely in the extreme to even consider you as an input. Likewise, you are equally unable to affect or respond to any action it would take. Macht nichts.

Also, Bleeped text spiders.

Personal logo Great War Ace Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2016 2:36 p.m. PST

Space-time determines scale. So the universe as the substance of a spider and its web means that while the universe stands during our billions and billions of years, the spider does not move. And when I swat the spider in the bathtub, the blow is not perceived by those galaxies that comprise the same spider. Even after moving, being slain, the galaxies do not cease, they merely move. Imperceptibly to those living there.

And then, apart from all of this multiverse and scale stuff, "outside" of space-time, the whole ball of wax baby is simply NOW, the whole of Existence.

jpattern205 Apr 2016 3:35 p.m. PST

Would you accept the "evidence"?
Absolutely, if it were irrefutable. My "perspective" has already shifted many time in my years on the planet, I expect it to continue to change right up until I shuffle off my mortal coil.
Or would the theory be too much for you?…
Absolutely not. There's only one person on this thread okay, two people who has shown that solid evidence is "too much for them," and it ain't me.

Fritz Leiber, in his story "Trapped in the Sea of Stars," postulates that Nehwon, the world of his Lankhmar stories, is a vast bubble floating in a boundless sea:
[T]he Gray Mouser cried out, "O Fafhrd, now I can well believe that metaphysical fancy that the whole universe is water and our world but one wind-haunted bubble in it."

gladue05 Apr 2016 4:31 p.m. PST

A quark in an electron does not change its behavior whether is in a rock, in the water, or in your gall bladder. We would be that quark in the spider in this scenario. Knowing about the galactic spider might change your personal outlooks, but it needn't change your behavior.

Of course, it is impossible to actually demonstrate that the universe is part of a spider. You'd have to be outside of the universe to do that, and probably outside of the spider.

zippyfusenet Inactive Member05 Apr 2016 6:31 p.m. PST

It's turtles, all the way down.

Personal logo Great War Ace Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2016 8:18 a.m. PST

"Impossible" is such a silly word.

Science can postulate things that in the medieval world would have been heresy or worse and get the postulator killed pronto.

I suspect "turtles all the way down" was what twisted inside King's mind when he was trying to come up with another bloated novel on commission ("It"), and he arrived at "the turtle cannot save us".

I picked the spider because it was in my mind as I woke up. The concept of "location" within Existence could just as readily be a turtle or the outer edge of expanding farts.

I like jpattern's practicality.

We can always point to how literally anything we accept is capable of being refuted, from a certain point of view. So there would be no pressing need to join the rest of the earth in believing that the cosmic spider's web constitutes the basis for the "true religion", just because the spider is there "above" the web that our galaxy is part of. People will insist upon all manner of behavior to demonstrate belief or acceptance. Insistence does not compel acceptance. If the spider and web are irrefutably there, says "science", and I don't care because it doesn't impact anything "here" that has been going on for billions and billions of years, no amount of ire engendered by my non-compliance will change my mind.

And so we arrive at the point full-circle where any popular demand for compliance began: when the first civilization turned belief into dogmatic law, and you either show belief or suffer. Science "irrefutably" showing the spider and web to be our cosmos would institute a religious response so vast as to dwarf all mythologies of our shared past. That would be known as cosmic level irony.

I guess the point I am trying to make is that turning to science will not, in fact, remove religion, it will only alter the source of its inspiration. Because the cosmos will stretch on forever, forever drawing homo sapiens to seek more answers to increasing questions, the need to inject religious meaning to existence will actually be increased not diminished by science. How to interpret something as unexpected as the observable cosmos being a spider and her web, would result in all manner of metaphysical responses. Science could not go further to explain what it had uncovered or revealed to be the truth. And that truth would imply something so vast and unknown as to beggar any further attempts at hypothesis. Enter, religion….

jpattern206 Apr 2016 8:32 a.m. PST

Exit, religion.

I had a feeling you'd eventually swing this topic back to your view of "religion."

Charlie 1206 Apr 2016 8:54 a.m. PST

Yep, more woo…..

Personal logo Great War Ace Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2016 9:34 a.m. PST

You had a feeling? I had a certainty. Since all human ambition is but disease, how could one separate from the other? "You can take the boy/girl out of religion, but you can't take religion out of the girl/boy."

I don't know why you struggle so hard to deny this "evolved" response to our sapience. Just accept it along with everything else about us. By denying that it is part of you, you are in, well, denial.

You watch, live long enough, and you'll see science morphing even more into the "new" religion. It won't be any more rational to the masses than dogmatic religion is now; the masses don't get mysticism either….

GarrisonMiniatures Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member07 Apr 2016 3:10 a.m. PST

We occupy a universe based on a range of size parameters. That universe allows for living things such as ourselves. However, there is a universe or universes where the size parameters are at an atomic or subatomic scale – could a theoretical civilisation based on that scale conceive of our universe? How can we ever know whether or not there is another universe whose scale is as much bigger than ours as ours is to the subatomic?

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP07 Apr 2016 5:31 a.m. PST

I suspect "turtles all the way down" was what twisted inside King's mind when he was trying to come up with another bloated novel on commission ("It"), and he arrived at "the turtle cannot save us".

You suspect wrongly, my friend.

The world Turtle, who supports the physical world on his back is part of Hindu and Chinese religion. The "turtles all the way down" comment is from a famous, but apocryphal, conversation between a world turtle supporter and Bertrand Russel. (Some versions have William James instead). Googling it will give a bunch of different versions.

It is currently used as an expression to reject the "unmoved mover" regression. In your case, I have used it to describe conditions that contain dependencies that never seem to end. You are also quite fond of Aquinas' "Unmoved mover". By the way, did Aquinas not steal that idea from Aristotle?

Personal logo Great War Ace Supporting Member of TMP07 Apr 2016 9:01 a.m. PST

How can we ever know whether or not there is another universe whose scale is as much bigger than ours as ours is to the subatomic?

Since we know about the "subatomic", whereas before we hadn't the first clue, I am inclined toward knowing more about it until we might just perceive our situation as part of a larger "something" going on. But science within the world of humans cannot ever detect the Infinite, or in other words, the actual Cause of it all. The theory that finally develops, out of detecting our place in the infinitely scaled stratification of the cosmos and beyond ("To infinity, and beyond!") will point to what is going on, but other than apprehend that existence, nothing more will be possible to know about it.

@Bowman: I don't remember "the turtle" in "It" supporting any world on its back. There were galaxies whirling in its toenails, until it/they died, that is. It's been years. And "It" was just what I said, "bloated, commissioned" waste of my time. King has hardly ever ended a story in a meaningful way.

Aristotle probably stole the idea from his grandpappy.

Why should we reject the "unmoved mover"? Regression is only a problem to a finite mind. We can apprehend a larger concept without comprehending it. That is enough to get us started. We will never do more than "get started". No matter how long we live. If "unmoved mover" continues to arise, even when someone hasn't even heard of (studied, read) Aquinas or Aristotle, et al. "the philosophers/mystics", doesn't that say something about what is naturally in place in human thought? And if the idea keep surfacing despite all attempts to reject it, could that also say something about a larger reality influencing human thought?…

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP07 Apr 2016 10:58 a.m. PST

@Bowman: I don't remember "the turtle" in "It" supporting any world on its back. There were galaxies whirling in its toenails, until it/they died, that is. It's been years.

I agree to the above, "turtles all the way down" has nothing to do King or "IT". I explained where the phrase originated.

King has hardly ever ended a story in a meaningful way.

I agree, but we seem to be in the minority there. I heard in an interview where King stated that he has no idea how to end his stories throughout most of the writing. I could tell.

Why should we reject the "unmoved mover"?

Because it is a fatuous argument that relies on "special pleading" to work.

We can apprehend a larger concept without comprehending it.

Ok.unicorn

If "unmoved mover" continues to arise, even when someone hasn't even heard of (studied, read) Aquinas or Aristotle, et al. "the philosophers/mystics", doesn't that say something about what is naturally in place in human thought?

That's not a benchmark for a good idea. I'm not sure the concept of the "unmoved mover" has any traction outside of the Christian world, and has very little traction within it.

And if the idea keep surfacing despite all attempts to reject it, could that also say something about a larger reality influencing human thought?…

You mean like the other continuously surfacing ideas like vaccines cause autism and aluminum causes Alzheimer's? All bad ideas recur……..like a rash.

jpattern207 Apr 2016 5:58 p.m. PST

Actually, aluminum has been proven to cause memory loss in some cases. My dad fell head-first off an aluminum ladder, and he hasn't been the same since. *rimshot!*

Charlie 1207 Apr 2016 7:47 p.m. PST

jpattern2- <GROAN!!!> grin

And you're be here all week. And don't forget to try the buffet….

Martin from Canada07 Apr 2016 9:03 p.m. PST

I heard the veal isn't bad.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP08 Apr 2016 6:13 a.m. PST

Is this an audience or an oil painting?

Personal logo Great War Ace Supporting Member of TMP08 Apr 2016 7:37 a.m. PST

"Boredom, Tyler, boredom." Who said that?

@Bowman: new ideas on cause and effect can hardly be compared to thousands of years of philosophy, wherein the same idea of Causer/Mover keeps being proposed. There isn't any special pleading about it, even though you insist that there is. The reason why no special pleading is involved is because the concept, severed from all religious dogmatic trappings, stands on its own. The idea that Existence isn't caused at all, that it simply Is and that our own existence is the result, does not even require the word "God" attached to it to work. I prefer to call Existence "God"; no doubt because of my religious upbringing. But I could discuss this with a bona fide atheist, raised by atheist parents, not believing in any sort of afterlife, and we could come to a meeting of the minds over what existence most likely is. The agreement would take the form of existence being uncaused. Details, nuances, intriguing angles, are literally endless. And preferring some and rejecting others would fall into the purview of current observation. As jpattern said, his perspective is changing and will do so until he shuffles of this mortal coil: so deciding that this or that concept is true or false and never changing your mind on either one is simply being closed minded; which is, believing that you've "arrived" somehow, somewhere, and that truth for you is complete….

jpattern208 Apr 2016 9:24 a.m. PST

I know you're out there, I can hear you breathing.

jpattern208 Apr 2016 9:31 a.m. PST

I'm open-minded, but getting me to believe in your Existence-"God" would take some doing. Extraordinary claims, extraordinary evidence.

In this scenario, I'm definitely Mary, and you're Lloyd:

Lloyd: What are my chances?
Mary: Not good.
Lloyd: You mean, not good like one out of a hundred?
Mary: I'd say more like one out of a million.
Lloyd: So you're telling me there's a chance! YEAH!

(Except I think your chances are much, much worse than Lloyd's.)

bbriarcliffe Inactive Member08 Apr 2016 1:10 p.m. PST

"Boredom, Tyler, boredom." Who said that?

Rosie YouTube link


PS- Oh, and rocks exist too.

PPS- And saying that they don't think about it doesn't make it any different unless you say why…"Cuz I think it's kewl" isn't a reason.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP09 Apr 2016 4:55 a.m. PST

"Boredom, Tyler, boredom." Who said that?

If we are going to bandy about lines written by Farley Mowat, I assume you would be more enamoured by his, "Never let the facts get in the way of the truth". Seems to be more up your alley.

new ideas on cause and effect can hardly be compared to thousands of years of philosophy, wherein the same idea of Causer/Mover keeps being proposed.

Firstly, the concept of "logical fallacies", while perhaps popping up here and there in history, is a relatively modern subtlety of philosophy. It is the end result of thousands of years of thought. Kind of like the scientific method.

Secondly, no one is bringing up the argument of an "unmoved mover" since the times of Aquinas. The proposal is an example of "special pleading". Of course, I'm not up on all modern philosophy. Please let me know who is proposing this that I can read their work.

There isn't any special pleading about it, even though you insist that there is.

I'm afraid it is.

"Every object and every action has a cause. Except for the "unmoved mover". He doesn't as He is special." Special pleading. You want a seemingly infinite regression of causes and effects but then propose it all magically stops with the first one.

Seriously, for good counter arguments against the cosmological argument (as its called by philosophers) you will have to slog through Hume, Kant and others.

…..so deciding that this or that concept is true or false and never changing your mind on either one is simply being closed minded…..

I'm sorry but I can't answer that properly without going into Blue Fez territory. You'll just have to accept that the changing of my mind depends solely on the veracity, persuasiveness and logic of the evidence proposed.

If you propose to convince us of something extraordinary then, as jpattern2 suggests, come up with the extraordinary evidence. What a simple and elegant concept!

Charlie 1209 Apr 2016 10:18 a.m. PST

If you propose to convince us of something extraordinary then, as jpattern2 suggests, come up with the extraordinary evidence. What a simple and elegant concept!

Gee, sounds like "doing science". What an amusing concept! grin

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP09 Apr 2016 12:11 p.m. PST

Doug, you might be interested in this:

link

Personal logo Great War Ace Supporting Member of TMP09 Apr 2016 4:16 p.m. PST

You want a seemingly infinite regression of causes and effects but then propose it all magically stops with the first one.

There is not a first anything. Only existence itself. We know that existence is inarguable. To imagine a series of causes that go back to a "first cause" is the fallacious reasoning of a mind trapped in spacetime and incapable of apprehending the concept of existence transcendent of spacetime, in fact, causing it.

There isn't anything extraordinary about it. And no special pleading either, since you point out the objection to theorizing on an endless string of causes, "except the first one, which is special". Existence isn't caused.

Yes, I am more a panentheist. All of existence that is evident in the world of humans is only a fragmentary aspect of what "God" does, or how s/he manifests, i.e. the world of humans is inclusive of "God" as a whole. Words will necessarily create inaccuracies, because no amount of text which, no matter how much is spent, remains finite can accurately define the Infinite.

"I do not believe God can exist beyond or separate from the universe in any way. And I view the universe as a fixed thing, when viewed as a whole. In essence, this "whole" reflects a yin-yang quality, which forever remains balanced and conserved."

This is what I am talking about: a deliberately finite concept means that the believer is restricting "God" to their own construct. A finite mind is seeking to impose limits on the Infinite. A pantheist is not going remotely far enough.

I don't grok the need to stop at pantheism, since panentheism includes pantheism, being "larger" as a concept, and therefore inclusive of any lesser beliefs or less complete truths.

Panentheism does not prevent "God" in any way, at any level….

Personal logo Great War Ace Supporting Member of TMP09 Apr 2016 5:03 p.m. PST

PS- Oh, and rocks exist too.

PPS- And saying that they don't think about it doesn't make it any different unless you say why…


Everything that we sense exists. Why did you say that?

Infinitely more than we sense exists.

Rocks, especially pet rocks, think as much about existence as anything else. Just because we don't communicate with our senses does not mean that rocks don't think and respond and obey. But as far as we know, only we think the way that we do, sapiently. However, the multiverse that includes the subatomic contains sapience on an infinite scale of larger and smaller, including the passage of time within the space occupied by those universes inside of all those rocks. So the sapient thoughts going on inside of those rocks mean that from a certain point of view, the rocks are "thinking"….

jpattern210 Apr 2016 8:51 a.m. PST

tinfoilhat

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP10 Apr 2016 1:48 p.m. PST

So the sapient thoughts going on inside of those rocks mean that from a certain point of view, the rocks are "thinking"….

"A certain point of view" is certainly the operative phrase here.

Anyway, I'd love to discuss the virtues of pantheism vs panentheism but that would require that we wander off to that intellectual cesspool known as the Fez. Being DH'd is almost preferable.

Personal logo Great War Ace Supporting Member of TMP10 Apr 2016 8:15 p.m. PST

The Bluey Fezzy is where I hang out. It could use more denizens, that's for sure….

jpattern211 Apr 2016 4:14 a.m. PST

The Bluey Fezzy is where I hang out. It could use more denizens, that's for sure….
Or fewer. From the hints that others have posted, it sounds like a pretty toxic place. No thanks.

Personal logo Great War Ace Supporting Member of TMP11 Apr 2016 6:44 a.m. PST

Not toxic. I wouldn't assert, "at all". But compared to other places that dig into politics and each other, not bad. The main protagonists of dissent and mutual denigration are the Repiqued One and the M&M Show (you'd have to be there)….

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP11 Apr 2016 7:14 a.m. PST

Been there. Done that. No thanks. All the heat with no illumination.

jpattern211 Apr 2016 10:26 a.m. PST

you'd have to be there
Narp.

Charlie 1211 Apr 2016 6:59 p.m. PST

I'm with jpattern2 and Bowman; nothing good can out of going onto the Blue Fez.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.