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Old 03-18-2016, 04:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaylenwoof View Post
I'd like to take this metaphor out for a test drive: Determinism is sometimes compared to a roll of movie film. This is not a good metaphor, since it does not capture the role of causality - each moment causally following from a previous moment in accordance with fixed rules - but the general idea is that frame #3567 is already fixed as the only potential, even back when frame #1 is passing through the projector. There are no genuine alternative possibilities for what is going to happen in the future. Indeterminism introduces the idea that, from any given frame in the movie, there are multiple possible frames that could follow. (From an engineering perspective, indeterminism would probably be impossible to build into any real-life movie projector, but let's gloss over that flaw in the metaphor for the sake of argument.) The type of indeterminism built into quantum mechanics is randomness. At frame #4, the following frame could be 5a, 5b, 5c, 5d... with higher and lower probabilities for the various options, but, ultimately, the "choice" is a matter of pure randomness. In any case, the mental image is a complex branching tree for indeterminism (compared to a single strip of film for determinism).

For the sake of this metaphor, all of the frame that are beyond the current frame do not actually exist, they are potentials. (This is another flaw of the movie-film metaphor, since, in a movie film, all of the frames actually exist all at once.) When I suggest that potentials might affect present moments, this metaphor suggests that one of the possible frames at #3567 (let's say "3567e") might in some way influence the "choice" at frame #4, increasing the probability of, say, 5e. This is not "the future" affecting the present because it might turn out that frame #3567e never becomes actualized. When that point arrives, it might turn out that 3567w is the one that gets actualized. Thus, this is not "backward causation" because it is not "the future" that affects the past, is just a potential that has the influence - and, in this case, it was a potential that never even comes to be actualized.

The movie film metaphor gets the ball rolling, but it is so deeply flawed that we should quickly abandon it in favor of something more like a dynamic network model. Each potential is a dynamic node in the network (sorta like a neuron in a brain). Some degree of linear causality (and, thus, temporality) could emerge in the network along the lines described by Lee Smolin when he explains how a cell phone network could exhibit the characteristics of 3-dimensional space. (3D space can be thought of as a limited network in which each node is, for practical purposes, connected to only 6 neighbors even though, in principle, it is still directly connected to all other nodes. This is achieved by, so to speak, blocking all phone numbers except for selected 6.)

So we end up with a dynamic network of possibilities, with each node connected, in principle, to every other node, but - for most practical purposes - most connections are blocked, so for practical purposes, most any given node is most heavily influenced by a fairly limited number of other nodes. Most of these nodes are what we, in retrospect, would say are the spatiotemporally local past. Given this arrangement, the actual world could look an awful lot like current physics, where most causal influences are found in the spatially-local, immediate past, but some quantum-level influences could be spatiotemporally distant (even billions of light years distant). But keep in mind that I'm not talking, here, about a network of actual events, but rather a network of potentials. Something that might happen a million years from now in a galaxy far, far away could have some quantum-level influence on a quantum event here and now. A possible frame in the quantum-cosmological movie film at #3567e could affect the choice to be made here and now at frame #4 between possible frames #5e and #5f.

This would be empirically consistent with current physics, but the ontology would leave open some interesting possibilities for explaining events that might otherwise be seemingly impossible to explain.
Like my glitched brain offers me another degree of freedom. To bad its insecurity that offers me it. Its a hell of a thing to live in fear. I agree with you, there is always interesting possibilities. And you may even be correct in the end but I stick with what we have even if what we have forces me to rethink myself. That's freer than most.
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Old 03-23-2016, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Kent, Ohio
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I posted this in another thread, but it is relevant here, so I'm going to past it below:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaylenwoof View Post
(Post #123 in the other thread)
I reject the idea that "physical" necessarily implies "objectively measurable." In other words, I am allowing for the idea that some physical systems have subjective experience. There is "something it is like to be" certain kinds of physical systems. These are intrinsic qualities of a system that don't reduce to the a activities of operationally-defined entities like particles or fields as we currently understand them.

I believe that when the brain dies, the mind dies too, which is precisely in line with supervenience. But without a theory of consciousness, we simply don't know that the "I" that dies is ontologically fully reducible to the brain that dies. A physical brain is needed, but it is not clear that it needs to be "the same" physical brain. Indeed, there are deep puzzles about identity over time. Do I have "the same" brain that I had when I was 10 years old? The material substance has mostly been recycled over the past 40 years of my life. The only continuity on which we can possibly base any plausible sense in which "I" was ever 10 years old is some continuity in the information-processing structures and functions of my brain. But structures and functions are reproducible. (They are "universals" in philosophical jargon, not "particulars.") To whatever degree the structures/functions of my current brain are ever reproduced in physical form (whether tomorrow morning when I wake up, or a trillion years from now in a different part of the multiverse) then, to that degree "I" will be there.

I might be tempted to think: "That guy a trillion years from now won't really be me; he will just be a duplicate; he will be some other guy who just happens to have memories that are like mine, etc." But I think that this is exactly where the deep illusion rests. The very same sense in which "I" will wake up tomorrow is the sense in which "I" will wake up if/when my brain structures are ever reproduced. It could be just as logical to say that "I" am not really who wakes up every morning. Indeed "I" might not ever survive from one moment to the next. But my point is that if I am satisfied that "I" wake up every morning, then I should be just as satisfied thinking that "I" could wake up with a brain made of completely different material substances a trillion years from now, or that "I" could wake up "tomorrow" in a whole different corner of the multiverse.

Bottom line: If the concept of "the I who survives" has any meaning, then the "subjective felt identity" of this "I" follows structure/function, not strict material composition.

And this
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaylenwoof View Post
(Post #125 in the other thread)
I suspect that the chances of some sort of "re-awakening" for any particular person are widely variable, depending on a host of factors that we can barely imagine at the moment. In other words, for some people the chances might be fairly good (perhaps even near 100%), whereas for other people the chances might be vanishingly small. Here are a few factors to consider:

(BTW: I'm going to use "Reality" or "Being" as short for "the Totality of Everything" - which I suspect is best characterized as one or more variations of the concept of "multiverse". There are several different conceptions of "multiverse" (you can google "Max Tegmark" for descriptions of the variations) and many of them are mutually compatible).

I think it is fairly safe to say that Reality is essentially infinite, so I will simply make that assumption for the purposes of what I'm about to say.

I do not believe that Reality is essentially random, but if it were, and if the relevant processes constituting conscious experience are finite, then "re-awaking" is statically almost 100% certain for everyone. In fact, there would be a possible infinity of re-awakenings for every person from every given moment of their lives. Any finite physical process that is randomly generated becomes almost certain to repeat an infinite number of times in an infinite spacetime. As I said, I don't think this is how Realty works, but I can't totally discount it.

I believe that Reality is not essentially random, although I do think that there are some random aspects. I am inclined to say that Reality is a self-organizing physical system (probably compose of an infinite number of self-organizing subsystems - i.e., universes within a multiverse) in which qualia are "carriers of causation." (I'm adopting something a lot like Greg Rosenberg's Theory of Natural Individuals when I say that qualia are causally relevant.) The existence of my subjective, qualitative experience at this very moment implies that the possibility of this experience is part of the fundamental fabric of Reality. When the fundamental fabric of Reality implies a possibility of X, the question then becomes: What is the mechanism by which X becomes actualized? Is this mechanism purely random? or purely deterministic? or some mixture of the two? or could it be some sort of "free will" in which Reality Itself, or some subset of Reality, serves as the Agent of choice? I frankly just don't know, but I like to speculate.

I suspect that Reality is not a conscious Being with a "Godlike" perspective. I am basically atheist, from this point of view, so I don't think there is any Godlike Agent who consciously decided that I should exist, or that I should have this experience that I'm having right now. But if qualia are carriers of causation, then there could be qualitative reasons for why some possibilities are actualize, and others are not, even if these reasons are not conscious and/or not grounded on any Godlike perspective. Although I think that most of what I experience as the "island-like" ego-centered "I" existing in an ocean containing innumerable individuated "others" is illusory, there are, nevertheless, some aspects of my conscious experience that are not illusory. Indeed, some aspects of experience might be unavoidably real because they are fundamental aspects of Realty Itself.

If I want to have the experience of waking up and experiencing variations of "afterlife" or "reincarnation" or whatever, then there is some deeply fundamental sense in which Reality wants this too. (I am, after all, not ontologically distinct from Reality; I am "Reality Itself" actualizing qualitative possibilities that are intrinsic parts of the fabric of Reality Itself.) There is no guarantee that what Reality wants, Reality gets. As I see it, our best evidence is that Reality is probably not an all-powerful God; it is a self-organizing system with fundamentally qualitative, subjective causal aspects that struggle to satisfy desire, where "struggle" implies some real possibilities of failure. Anyway, all things being equal, I suspect that if Reality wants something, there is at least some reasonably good chance that Reality will get it sometime, somewhere, somehow, within the infinity of its Being.

Bottom line: If Reality were purely random, there would be near 100% certainty of an infinite number of re-awakenings for every person, but if Reality is a self-organizing system composed, at least partially, of qualitative causal aspects that struggle to satisfy desires, then the chances of any particular person re-awakening probably drops to somewhere in the broad range from "vanishingly small" to "highly probable" depending on all sorts of practical limitations and qualitative factors that we can barely imagine at the moment. The one small factor over which I might conceivably have some tidbit of control is my own desire and sense of optimism. In Reality, I suspect that very little is achieved without some level of desire and optimism. But one caveat: I suspect that living with the constant desire/hope for an afterlife could be counterproductive because it works against what I suspect is truly important, which is the ability to deeply appreciate the individual moments of life. At core, I think, is the ability to deeply feel that life has meaning and is worth living. If Reality has any choice in the matter, then to the extent that is has any power to actualize choice, it will probably strive hardest to actualize whatever seems most meaningful. That's just my guess.
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Old 03-24-2016, 04:55 PM
 
Location: louisville
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Do you adhere to the conservation of information?
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Old 03-28-2016, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Kent, Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stymie13 View Post
Do you adhere to the conservation of information?
I think my answer has to be "yes", but you will probably need to explain what you have in mind in order for me to connect this to the current discussion. In the context of statistical mechanics (which is at the foundations of virtually everything in physics), the "conservation of information" is a way to talk about the reversibility of the laws of physics. I've also seen it discussed in relation to black holes, i.e., does info get destroyed in a black hole? What happens when one particles in an entangled pair of particles falls in a black hole? etc. Is this the sort of stuff you have in mind? I have ask this because, although I am not a creationist, I have read some creationist literature, and I've seen creationists asserting that the Theory of Evolution has to be false because it "violates the conservation of information." I'm no expert on this stuff, but I have impression that they have something a bit different in mind. They are trying to say that a living organism contains a great deal of information, and that somehow this information had to "already be there" in the environment in order for living systems to evolve. Their point, of course, is that this information is already there in the form of a Intelligent Designer. I disagree with the creationists about the need for the ID, but I guess you could say that I'm sorta saying something similar when I claim that the existence of some entity X logically implies the possibility of X being somehow ultimately implied in the fundamental fabric of reality. I suppose you could say that this is just my variation of a conservation of information. On the other hand, I think there could be a sense in which we could say that intelligence "creates" information. I'd have to think more about that.

Anyway, this is just my offhand reaction to your question. I will need to think about it some more in order to figure out what I really want to say about it. In the meantime, it might help if you could say a bit more about exactly what you have in mind by the term "conservation of information", and do you think I've said anything that would violate such a principle? At the moment I don't think I've said anything that would violate any notion of a conservation of information.
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Old 03-29-2016, 07:42 PM
 
Location: louisville
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaylenwoof View Post
I think my answer has to be "yes", but you will probably need to explain what you have in mind in order for me to connect this to the current discussion. In the context of statistical mechanics (which is at the foundations of virtually everything in physics), the "conservation of information" is a way to talk about the reversibility of the laws of physics. I've also seen it discussed in relation to black holes, i.e., does info get destroyed in a black hole? What happens when one particles in an entangled pair of particles falls in a black hole? etc. Is this the sort of stuff you have in mind? I have ask this because, although I am not a creationist, I have read some creationist literature, and I've seen creationists asserting that the Theory of Evolution has to be false because it "violates the conservation of information." I'm no expert on this stuff, but I have impression that they have something a bit different in mind. They are trying to say that a living organism contains a great deal of information, and that somehow this information had to "already be there" in the environment in order for living systems to evolve. Their point, of course, is that this information is already there in the form of a Intelligent Designer. I disagree with the creationists about the need for the ID, but I guess you could say that I'm sorta saying something similar when I claim that the existence of some entity X logically implies the possibility of X being somehow ultimately implied in the fundamental fabric of reality. I suppose you could say that this is just my variation of a conservation of information. On the other hand, I think there could be a sense in which we could say that intelligence "creates" information. I'd have to think more about that.

Anyway, this is just my offhand reaction to your question. I will need to think about it some more in order to figure out what I really want to say about it. In the meantime, it might help if you could say a bit more about exactly what you have in mind by the term "conservation of information", and do you think I've said anything that would violate such a principle? At the moment I don't think I've said anything that would violate any notion of a conservation of information.
Was in relation to black holes, or more aptly, a newer thought in physics, and existence in our known universe, that, like matter and energy, information as well is never 'lost'.

I first read about it in looking at black holes, then brane theory, how the 2 may be the input/output, etc... How it relates is all possibilities are realities, depending on tge universe they are tied too and the 'entanglement' of each.
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Old 04-03-2016, 04:57 AM
 
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Fate is a mean biatch and will do whatever she wants with you,people have precognitive dreams,déjà vu,things I dreamt ten years ago have already Occured.I pretend I have some semblance of control over the whole thing,but there is only the slighest hint of free will and possibility.

truly it's a poor mind that only works backwards,if you can't remember the future there's probably something wrong with you and you need to hone your intuitive aspect.
Indeed the rational mind is a faithful servant but the intutive mind is a gift ! Unfortunately we have a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.


Sorry if that is not theoretical enough but im not left brain orientated and my thoughts are not just a recapulation of other people's findings.
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Old 04-04-2016, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Kent, Ohio
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Again I said some stuff in another thread that I want to refer to here, so here are a few clips:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaylenwoof View Post
(From post #144 in the other thread.)
The problem is mostly rooted in the odd nature of subjectivity. A colorblind neuroscientist can learn every detail of every scientific theory in physics, chemistry, and biology, and study every bit of data that has been scientifically collected relating to neural processes and the recorded statements of people saying "I see blue," etc., and despite all of this, she will still not know what it is like to see blue unless, somehow, studying all of this objective data mysteriously triggers, in her mind, her own subjective sensation of seeing blue.

In other words, we can objectively correlate neural activity with the verbal behavior of patients saying "I see blue" etc., but we can only assume that they are, in fact, having the subjective sensation of seeing blue. I would argue that it is a reasonably safe assumption, but we should not lose sight of the fact that it is also a profoundly important assumption.
And again I will reiterate that my theory is a form of physicalism. I am not suggesting that consciousness can ever happen without physical brain or functionally brain-like processes occurring. (I'm leaving room for the possibility that silicone/metal/plastic-based machines could someday be conscious.) But I will stick by my claim that some versions of panpsychism and functionalism are fully consistent with current theories of physics and empirical data. If any of these types of theories are correct, then there is nothing in principle to prevent my current brain processes from being replicated in another brain in some other realm of the multiverse. And if this happens, then (according to my arguments) "I" will be there, just as truly (or just as delusionally) as "I" will wake up at home tomorrow. Or, to put it another way, the same sense in which "I" can wake up in bed tomorrow, "I" can, in principle, also wake up in a different brain in some part of the multiverse, despite the death of this particular brain that I have now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaylenwoof View Post
(From post #155 in the other thread.)
I tend to favor the idea that the "I" is as an illusion to some extent. I suspect that the sense of "I" that we live with on a daily basis is grounded on the boundary conditions of limited physical process. I'm not convinced that it is limited to the brain - I'm more inclined toward an "extended mind" view of consciousness - but, my point is that the ontological essence of the individualistic I-ness consists in the limits of its nature.

The best metaphor I can think of is a whirlpool in a river. The whirlpool is made of the same stuff as the river and, if you were to "map" the essence of the whirlpool using real numbers to infinite degrees of precision, you would find a continuum of essence from one whirlpool to all other whirlpools, and to the river as a whole. I think this ontological picture gives us some vague intuitive feeling for why every interpretation of quantum mechanics implies some version of holism. But does the feeling of "being me" exist in the spaces between whirlpools? Or does the river, as a whole, have a holistic sense of "I-ness"? Given the continuum view, there is a loose and easily misleading sense in which I might answer "yes" to these questions, but in more practical terms I think the best answer is "no" to both. I say that the essence of the sense of I-ness consists in the local dynamics that distinguishes each whirlpool from every other whirlpool, and distinguishes each whirlpool from the water between whirlpools. I'd say that the water between whirlpools, and the river as a whole do not have the right kind of intrinsic dynamics to constitute the type of "I-ness" that we each experience when we introspect on our sense of "being me."

Because of the continuum underling the river as a whole, there is an important sense in which each and every individual moment of I-ness of each and every whirlpool is a moment in which the River-as-a-whole is conscious in that moment, through the local dynamics constituting the whirlpool. Whirlpools are the River's way of being conscious. "Whirlpooling" is what "being conscious" is, and each moment of consciousness - since its essence is in its local dynamics - is limited, which leads consciousness to be experienced in terms of perspective. Boundaries imply a "center" this center is the sense of "I-ness" that goes hand-in-hand with being conscious. Without boundaries there is no "center" of perspective, and thus no "I" in any sense that we can associate with what we think of as "I". I'm inclined to see the "I" more like a "center of gravity" than as a "thing" in any ontologically substantial sense. The "feeling of substantiality" is one of the key illusory aspects.
[...]
Ultimately, the "I" is rooted in the "River-as-a-whole," but I see these roots as potential-for-I-ness (water has potential for whirlpooling), whereas I suspect that some people want to say that I-ness is actualized in the River-as-a-whole. I'm agnostic on this point, but I'm inclined to think that even if Reality-as-a-whole is "conscious" in some sense, it is so radically different than our local-dynamics-based feeling of "I-ness" that I am inclined to think that projecting our sense of "I" or "consciousness" onto Reality-as-a-whole is more misleading than helpful.

Returning to the "life after death" business, I can use my whirlpool metaphor to restate what I said in earlier posts. The sense in which a whirlpool is "the same whirlpool" from one minute to the next is rooted in dynamics - not in material composition, as such. If the "sense of being me" is in the dynamics, which include memories of "being me" over time, then "I" will fully and truly "be there" to whatever extent the critical aspects of these dynamics are resurrected. The whirlpool is not an isolated individual essence - it is continuous with the River-as-a-whole - it is a dynamic pattern in the River-as-a-whole. Each moment of consciousness is a moment in which the River-as-a-whole is conscious through the local dynamics of the individual whirlpools. The "I" is illusory insofar as it feels like an isolated individual essence, but it is ultimately not illusory insofar as the Beingness of the River-as-a-whole is the ubiquitous root of each and every moment of conscious experience. Thus there is a sense in which we can say that consciousness is a "field" of sorts, insofar as one can think of the Being-ness of Reality-as-a-whole as a "field" that defines potentials-for consciousness to be actualized via local dynamics in accordance with, presumably, some deep cosmic rules.
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Old 04-04-2016, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Kent, Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiethegreat View Post
truly it's a poor mind that only works backwards,if you can't remember the future there's probably something wrong with you and you need to hone your intuitive aspect.
Indeed the rational mind is a faithful servant but the intutive mind is a gift ! Unfortunately we have a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.
I suspect that past-life memories and "memories of the future" are essentially the same type of process. I don't think that past-life memories are necessarily memories of "the" past, and I don't think that "the" future exists, so we can't have precognitive visions of it. I propose this:

The ontological roots of reality can be described as a "library" of potential experiences, and every moment of consciousness is a bit like "reading a sentence" from a book in the library. To the extent that our lives seem like coherent narratives, we are, in effect, reading more or less sequentially from a single book - or from very similar books. Ordinary memories are somewhat like "flipping back" to earlier pages, and precognitive experiences are a bit like flipping ahead to pages later in the book. This may seem to conflict with what I just said in the previous paragraph, but that only because I have not yet fully develop the metaphor.

The next step is to realize that we are not forced by any laws of nature to only read sequentially, and we are not forced to stick with just one book. There are probably an infinite number of books in the Ontological Library, and every book has a great many (let's just say an infinite number of) variations. So, for example, let's suppose that right now I'm on page 57 of a book. This is essentially the narrative of my life up to this point. There are an infinite number of books that are identical to this book up to page 57, but there are infinite books with infinite variations starting on page 58. This general situation is true no matter what page I happen to be on at any given moment. What book I choose to read for the next sentence is a matter of probabilities (and/or "free will", if we can make sense of that concept). I will most likely continue to read from the same book, but any book within easy reach has a fairly good probability of getting into my hands for reading the next sentence. All of the books within easy reach will be mostly identical up until the present page, and they will generally be very similar with regards to what the next sentence will say. Thus, for the most part. most of us feel as though we are living through a roughly coherent narrative. To get hold of a book that is radically different than the one we've got in our hands at any given moment, we would need to journey to fairly distant shelves, and the likelihood of this happening is inversely proportional to the distance we would need to travel. Wildly improbably things can happen in principle, but they are just not very likely to happen at any given moment.

Concerning "memories of the future": If I'm on page 57, then generally the next sentence I read will be on the same page, or the next page, but there is always some probability that I could read a sentence from, say, page 83. But, unless I've suffered from some substantial brain disease or injury, this "flipping ahead" will only last for sentence or two, and then I will be back on page 57, or thereabouts. The book that I go back to may or may not be the identical book that I just left but, in any case, by the time I sequentially work my way up to page 83, I will probably not be reading the exact same book that I got a "sneak peek" of when I was back on page 57. This is why I use scare quotes when I refer to precognitive visions of "the" future.

Notice that when I am on page 57 and I flip back to page 7, I will probably be accessing the same book, or a book that has essentially the same general narrative as the book I was just reading, but technically it could be a radically different book. It could, for example, be the same book that Cleopatra was reading back when she was on page 3 of her narrative. In this case, I would not have an "ordinary" memory, but rather a "past life" memory. Similarly, when I temporarily "flip ahead" to page 83, the page that I flip ahead to could be the page that Cleopatra was reading when she got to page 83 in her narrative. This, again would be a "past life" memory, even though I "flipped ahead" in some sense. Also, when I "flip back" or "flip ahead", I could end up on some random page of some narrative of some random person who perceives themselves to be living in, say, Cleveland in the year 2125. Thus precognitive visions could be related to my own life, or to the lives of completely different people.

Personally, I do not believe that every logical possibility becomes actualized, which is to say, I do not believe that every sentence of every book in the Ontological Library eventually gets read by someone. There are probably an infinite number of books, or portions of books that, as a matter of brute fact, no one ever reads. These are simply unactualized possibilities. On the other hand, there are probably also an infinite number of possibilities that are ultimately actualized. The dynamics by which some possibilities become actualize and others never do, is another interesting topic of speculation, and it relates directly to the topic of this thread. Is there a mechanism by which possibilities could, in some sense, "draw us toward them?" Or, more likely: We "sense" possible futures and try to pick books with narratives that leads us toward them. In any case, this is another way to think of the "reality of possibilities" (i.e., they are sentences in the Ontological Library), but they are not actualized (until someone experiences a bit of narrative in which the possibilities are actualized).

Last edited by Gaylenwoof; 04-04-2016 at 09:18 AM..
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
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There's a possibility of

-a hurricane washing away a seashore home
-an earthquake fault line shaking a house to rubble
-a flood inundating a house on a flood plain

Yep. Those affect whether I'm likely to have a residential property in any of those places.
So it's safe to say that "possibilities" not only can, but actually do affect the actual world, namely affect how I decide where to have a residence.
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Old 04-06-2016, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Kent, Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil75230 View Post
There's a possibility of

-a hurricane washing away a seashore home
-an earthquake fault line shaking a house to rubble
-a flood inundating a house on a flood plain

Yep. Those affect whether I'm likely to have a residential property in any of those places.
So it's safe to say that "possibilities" not only can, but actually do affect the actual world, namely affect how I decide where to have a residence.
Yes, and this is a very profound way in which possibilities can affect the actual world, and it could provide an important clue about the nature of consciousness and qualia. Notice that, in these cases, consciousness serves as an intermediary - a "mechanism" - by which these possibilities can affect the actual world. However, in Heisenberg's interpretation of quantum mechanics, electrons are not conscious. The possible paths of an electron interfere with each other and must be taken into account in order to correctly assign probabilities for the actual outcome. How do mere "possibilities" interact with each other without consciousness to serve as the mechanism? And, given that quantum-level possibilities can interact with each other, is it plausible to suggest that macro-scale possibilities might also interact with each other in some way? (and perhaps interact with the actual world as well?)

For a more specific example: Presumably, our own qualitative experiences provide subjective proof that qualia exist, and therefore proof that the possibility of qualia is part of the fabric of Reality. (For any entity, X, if X exists, then Reality must be such that it was in some sense possible for X to exist prior to the existence of X. I.e., X couldn't exist if it is not possible for X to exist). So before qualia existed, there was a possibility for qualia to exist. In light of this, could there be some way in which the possibility of qualia had any effect on physical systems prior to the evolution of life? In other words, can inanimate matter be affected by possibilities, or are conscious minds the only things that can be affected by possibilities?
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