Is the Universe fundamentally Material, Mental or Both?

Discussion about scientific issues as they relate to God and Christianity including archaeology, origins of life, the universe, intelligent design, evolution, etc.
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Is the Universe fundamentally Material, Mental or Both?

#1

Post by Kurieuo » Sun Feb 07, 2016 4:26 pm

Quantum mechanics poses an interesting dilemma for those who hold to a strictly materialistic view of the world, in that we see the act of measuring (having an observer) influences the outcome (e.g., double-slit experiment).

This shows that rather than having a purely material world impressioned upon us, our observing actually impressions upon reality. Many see this as a nail in the coffin for a pure materialistic mechanical world, and that consciousness is more intimately tied with the fabric of nature than many care to admit.

Indeed, some even say this shows evidence for a purely mind determining reality. That is, everything that exists is reduce to the mind, rather than the often accepted typical view that all reality is built upon a material world. (watch YouTube video below)

It doesn't leave my attention that more Atheistic philosophers, practitioners of logic and reason (the ones who can quickly spot contradictions and think through ways to avoid them), are more and more turning away from a purely materialistic view of the world. For example Nagel is one who identifies more with a "natural teleology" (the fabric of nature reduced to both physical and mental properties rather than purely materialistic), and then there was Rupert Sheldrake who after many years being Atheist, saw the same as Nagel, but then found himself more comfortable slipping back to Theism.

One things seems clear to me. The writing is on the wall for a strictly materialistic view of the world. Many are still yet to catch up, because you know, education systems serve as indoctrination systems. People rarely freely think. But, I can see the fractures appearing. 100 years from now, I think "science" will have a new and more honest face rather than the extreme mentality of scientism that has become entrenched in many today with regards to knowledge and truth.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4C5pq7W5yRM
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Re: Is the Universe fundamentally Material, Mental or Both?

#2

Post by Morny » Wed Feb 10, 2016 8:32 pm

Kurieuo wrote:Quantum mechanics poses an interesting dilemma for those who hold to a strictly materialistic view of the world, in that we see the act of measuring (having an observer) influences the outcome (e.g., double-slit experiment).

This shows that rather than having a purely material world impressioned upon us, our observing actually impressions upon reality. Many see this as a nail in the coffin for a pure materialistic mechanical world, and that consciousness is more intimately tied with the fabric of nature than many care to admit.
Your premise (as well as the editor's premise in the youtube video) is incorrect. Consciousness (the observing "mind") is not relevant to the causes or influences of quantum outcomes, which have been occurring for 13.8 billion years without any human meddling.

No one knows what the universe fundamentally is. However, since the year 1543, and for the foreseeable future, the only productive tool for increasing our knowledge of the universe has been, and will almost surely continue to be, methodological science.

And if we're lucky tomorrow, a news conference will announce direct experimental evidence of gravitational waves to that knowledge.

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Re: Is the Universe fundamentally Material, Mental or Both?

#3

Post by Morny » Thu Feb 11, 2016 11:51 am

Morny wrote:[...] if we're lucky tomorrow, a news conference will announce direct experimental evidence of gravitational waves to that knowledge.
Woohoo! Better than I ever imagined! The LIGO researchers found strong evidence of not only gravitational waves, but also two black holes in the very act of merging over a billion light years away!!

And this discovery is only 100 years after Einstein predicted the existence of gravtitational waves.
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Re: Is the Universe fundamentally Material, Mental or Both?

#4

Post by Kurieuo » Thu Feb 11, 2016 10:26 pm

Morny wrote:
Morny wrote:[...] if we're lucky tomorrow, a news conference will announce direct experimental evidence of gravitational waves to that knowledge.
Woohoo! Better than I ever imagined! The LIGO researchers found strong evidence of not only gravitational waves, but also two black holes in the very act of merging over a billion light years away!!

And this discovery is only 100 years after Einstein predicted the existence of gravtitational waves.
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/02/ ... first-time

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Re: Is the Universe fundamentally Material, Mental or Both?

#5

Post by Kurieuo » Thu Feb 11, 2016 10:40 pm

Morny wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:Quantum mechanics poses an interesting dilemma for those who hold to a strictly materialistic view of the world, in that we see the act of measuring (having an observer) influences the outcome (e.g., double-slit experiment).

This shows that rather than having a purely material world impressioned upon us, our observing actually impressions upon reality. Many see this as a nail in the coffin for a pure materialistic mechanical world, and that consciousness is more intimately tied with the fabric of nature than many care to admit.
Your premise (as well as the editor's premise in the youtube video) is incorrect. Consciousness (the observing "mind") is not relevant to the causes or influences of quantum outcomes, which have been occurring for 13.8 billion years without any human meddling.
Measurement (observation) has been shown to influence results.
Matter can act as both a wave and a particle depending on whether or not it is being observed

If you're saying such evidence is greatly extrapolated to support Idealism,
for example in that Youtube video provided in my opening post, then perhaps.
In fact, I'm not sure how I feel about Idealism, it's a possibility of reality...
Materialism/Physicalism is not a possibility. I feel it's more of a composite picture.

I referenced the YouTube as an example of some who believes such "shows evidence for a purely mind determined reality." And it is a piece of evidence, methodological science, in favour of such a reality.
Morny wrote:No one knows what the universe fundamentally is.
I think I'd agree. Glad you're not dogmatic on that front. ;)
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Re: Is the Universe fundamentally Material, Mental or Both?

#6

Post by abelcainsbrother » Fri Feb 12, 2016 12:35 am

Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,despising the shame,and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2nd Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,lest the light of this glorious gospel of Christ,who is the image of God,should shine unto them.

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Re: Is the Universe fundamentally Material, Mental or Both?

#7

Post by Audacity » Fri Feb 12, 2016 2:05 pm

Kurieuo wrote:Quantum mechanics poses an interesting dilemma for those who hold to a strictly materialistic view of the world, in that we see the act of measuring (having an observer) influences the outcome (e.g., double-slit experiment).

This shows that rather than having a purely material world impressioned upon us, our observing actually impressions upon reality. Many see this as a nail in the coffin for a pure materialistic mechanical world, and that consciousness is more intimately tied with the fabric of nature than many care to admit.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4C5pq7W5yRM
While an interesting video presentation, it makes an unwarranted claim. The claim starts with the assumption "if god is observing the physical word . . . ", and then basically ignores this "if," as if it was never part of the proposition, and concludes "Science has not buried god, it has revealed him," which is not supported by the evidence in the video at all. One can't go from a provisional position to a conclusion of universal certainty.

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Re: Is the Universe fundamentally Material, Mental or Both?

#8

Post by Kurieuo » Fri Feb 12, 2016 3:17 pm

Audacity wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:Quantum mechanics poses an interesting dilemma for those who hold to a strictly materialistic view of the world, in that we see the act of measuring (having an observer) influences the outcome (e.g., double-slit experiment).

This shows that rather than having a purely material world impressioned upon us, our observing actually impressions upon reality. Many see this as a nail in the coffin for a pure materialistic mechanical world, and that consciousness is more intimately tied with the fabric of nature than many care to admit.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4C5pq7W5yRM
While an interesting video presentation, it makes an unwarranted claim. The claim starts with the assumption "if god is observing the physical word . . . ", and then basically ignores this "if," as if it was never part of the proposition, and concludes "Science has not buried god, it has revealed him," which is not supported by the evidence in the video at all. One can't go from a provisional position to a conclusion of universal certainty.
That's not his argument. y:-/

Did you watch the whole video up until that point, because it seems you missed out on all the science and like he was presenting to support a mind-dependent reality. He mentions a lot of scientific tests, which lend support to the idea of what Michio Kaku calls "cosmic consciousness" or just a higher consciousness who is observing.

In the video (15m55s in), a main conclusion he draw is:
  • So the evidence suggests we are just lesser minds dependent on a larger mind that is actually in control of the structure of the experience. And, We are allows to operate and have some participation in the outcomes of the idealist experience.
What you present is not his argument, but rather an objection presented in The Quantum Enigma book against the conclusion of a mind-dependent reality. The counter argument goes: "If god is observing the physical world, then how can we do experiments showing that something unobserved is in a superposition?"

This is a main pushback against the idea that a consciousness exists as part of the natural fabric of our world, or, merely with God like Theists believe in. That our existence and the existence of the Universe is dependent upon a consciousness observing everything. If such a consciousness does exist, then all the tests performed like the double-slit experience, well, our observation shouldn't affect the outcome but be overwritten by this higher consciousness who is observing everything.

So in the end of the video after the part you mention (I hope you watched it all!), he is actually responding back to a main logical argument against a mind-dependent reality that is presented in The Quantum Enigma.

Video of Michio Kaku in Quantum Physics and Consciousness video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9KnrVlpqoM
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Re: Is the Universe fundamentally Material, Mental or Both?

#9

Post by Audacity » Fri Feb 12, 2016 4:53 pm

Kurieuo wrote: Did you watch the whole video up until that point, because it seems you missed out on all the science and like he was presenting to support a mind-dependent reality. He mentions a lot of scientific tests, which lend support to the idea of what Michio Kaku calls "cosmic consciousness" or just a higher consciousness who is observing.
Yup, "Some consciousness that's ethereal. That envelopes the universe that says the cat is a alive."
In the video (15m55s in), a main conclusion he draw is:
  • So the evidence suggests we are just lesser minds dependent on a larger mind that is actually in control of the structure of the experience. And, We are allows to operate and have some participation in the outcomes of the idealist experience.
I wouldn't take this as his main conclusion at all, but instead is his "Science has not buried god, it has revealed him," In any case, one has to remember that what is seen is only a suggestion: "the evidence suggests . . . ."
What you present is not his argument, but rather an objection presented in The Quantum Enigma book against the conclusion of a mind-dependent reality. The counter argument goes: "If god is observing the physical world, then how can we do experiments showing that something unobserved is in a superposition?"

Yup, which he uses as an introduction to his subsequent point: "Well, this is a misunderstanding. . . ."

In any case, there's nothing to suggest that Michio Kaku's "some consciousness" is any kind of god. That the narrator of the video from InspiringPhilosophy makes this grand leap in no way means or even suggests that science or even Kaku does.

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Re: Is the Universe fundamentally Material, Mental or Both?

#10

Post by Kurieuo » Fri Feb 12, 2016 7:31 pm

Audacity wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:In the video (15m55s in), a main conclusion he draw is:
  • So the evidence suggests we are just lesser minds dependent on a larger mind that is actually in control of the structure of the experience. And, We are allows to operate and have some participation in the outcomes of the idealist experience.
I wouldn't take this as his main conclusion at all, but instead is his "Science has not buried god, it has revealed him," In any case, one has to remember that what is seen is only a suggestion: "the evidence suggests . . . ."
Notice I said it's a main conclusion he draws (not "the").
That our world is a mind-dependent reality is a milestone argument in his reasoning.
The InspiringPhilosophy guy focus a lot of time proving this assertion via scientific evidence and theorising.

Now you're right, he adds onto the end: "Science has not buried God, it has revealed Him and with it buried materialism. Materialism remains now in the fantasy of a few."

A refutation of Materialism is the purpose of his logical science-based argument.
The title of the YouTube video he created is: Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism

Re: trading God in for some cosmic consciousness, you may have a point.
However, for many, once a higher consciousness is identified, then you're either left with Pan-theism, Theism, perhaps Deism. In either case, "God" (theo) is central to each worldview.

So to trade in a "Cosmic Consciousness" for God, while you're right, such needs to be fleshed out more if we're to talk of Theism... it isn't a terribly big leap.
Audacity wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:What you present is not his argument, but rather an objection presented in The Quantum Enigma book against the conclusion of a mind-dependent reality. The counter argument goes: "If god is observing the physical world, then how can we do experiments showing that something unobserved is in a superposition?"

Yup, which he uses as an introduction to his subsequent point: "Well, this is a misunderstanding. . . ."

In any case, there's nothing to suggest that Michio Kaku's "some consciousness" is any kind of god. That the narrator of the video from InspiringPhilosophy makes this grand leap in no way means or even suggests that science or even Kaku does.
That's right, Michio Kaku talks of a "cosmic consciousness" which he describes as: "Some consciousness that's ethereal, that envelopes the universe."

The conclusion of extract of documentary, which Kaku evidently had a hand in is this:
  • Consciousness is an inextricable reality, that nothing happens in the world unless a conscious mind observes it.
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Re: Is the Universe fundamentally Material, Mental or Both?

#11

Post by Audacity » Fri Feb 12, 2016 8:16 pm

Kurieuo wrote:Re: trading God in for some cosmic consciousness, you may have a point.
However, for many, once a higher consciousness is identified, then you're either left with Pan-theism, Theism, perhaps Deism. In either case, "God" (theo) is central to each worldview.

If you believe a cosmic consciousness alone is enough to qualify as god, fine. Personally, to be a god, it would have to be more.

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Re: Is the Universe fundamentally Material, Mental or Both?

#12

Post by Kurieuo » Fri Feb 12, 2016 8:40 pm

Audacity wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:Re: trading God in for some cosmic consciousness, you may have a point.
However, for many, once a higher consciousness is identified, then you're either left with Pan-theism, Theism, perhaps Deism. In either case, "God" (theo) is central to each worldview.

If you believe a cosmic consciousness alone is enough to qualify as god, fine. Personally, to be a god, it would have to be more.
Yes, I do agree more is needed to logically justify God as I believe.
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Re: Is the Universe fundamentally Material, Mental or Both?

#13

Post by Audie » Sat Feb 13, 2016 9:45 am

Kurieuo wrote:
Audacity wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:Re: trading God in for some cosmic consciousness, you may have a point.
However, for many, once a higher consciousness is identified, then you're either left with Pan-theism, Theism, perhaps Deism. In either case, "God" (theo) is central to each worldview.

If you believe a cosmic consciousness alone is enough to qualify as god, fine. Personally, to be a god, it would have to be more.
Yes, I do agree more is needed to logically justify God as I believe.
Physically of course, a human being gives itself and others the appearance of being
quite solid when in fact, the human is a near-perfect vacuum. Some more so than others.

The unity between mass and energy, with the one phase being in quite invisible
and undetectable except in terms of the other is somehat disturbing.

I wonder if math would consider itsel material, and find confirmation
in it being able to perceive having an effect on itself.

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Re: Is the Universe fundamentally Material, Mental or Both?

#14

Post by Morny » Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:59 am

Kurieuo wrote:I referenced the YouTube as an example of some who believes such "shows evidence for a purely mind determined reality." And it is a piece of evidence, methodological science, in favour of such a reality.
Again, where specifically is the evidence on how "consciousness" is relevant to the operations of the universe? Schroedinger's Cat, the double slit experiment, and every other experiment obey quantum mechanical laws without the need for explanatory help from a "consciousness".

I implied in my previous post that quantum "observation" does not require consciousness. Your video tries to overlay a New Age bemused interpretation of "observation" on top of basic quantum mechanics.

For example, the video says, "The act of a conscious observer creates the existence of the physical objects". (Bold added.) But the video fails to point out that so can a knat or a dust particle that just happens to fly by the experimental apparatus, while the experimenter is out going for a cup of coffee.

I doubt that any more than a handful of physicists believe that quantum mechanics delays the collapse of innumerable wave functions just to keep Schrodinger's Cat in an indeterminate state until a "consciousness" opens the box. In any event, they certainly don't have any experimental evidence.

And for years Dr. Kaku has been honestly trying to describe physics to the general public. But his explanations are often easy-to-misinterpret Romper Room analogies, which is why news producers and video creators have him on their phones' speed-dial.
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Re: Is the Universe fundamentally Material, Mental or Both?

#15

Post by BGoodForGoodSake » Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:34 am

Kurieuo wrote: That's not his argument. y:-/

Did you watch the whole video up until that point, because it seems you missed out on all the science and like he was presenting to support a mind-dependent reality. He mentions a lot of scientific tests, which lend support to the idea of what Michio Kaku calls "cosmic consciousness" or just a higher consciousness who is observing.

In the video (15m55s in), a main conclusion he draw is:
  • So the evidence suggests we are just lesser minds dependent on a larger mind that is actually in control of the structure of the experience. And, We are allows to operate and have some participation in the outcomes of the idealist experience.
What you present is not his argument, but rather an objection presented in The Quantum Enigma book against the conclusion of a mind-dependent reality. The counter argument goes: "If god is observing the physical world, then how can we do experiments showing that something unobserved is in a superposition?"

This is a main pushback against the idea that a consciousness exists as part of the natural fabric of our world, or, merely with God like Theists believe in. That our existence and the existence of the Universe is dependent upon a consciousness observing everything. If such a consciousness does exist, then all the tests performed like the double-slit experience, well, our observation shouldn't affect the outcome but be overwritten by this higher consciousness who is observing everything.

So in the end of the video after the part you mention (I hope you watched it all!), he is actually responding back to a main logical argument against a mind-dependent reality that is presented in The Quantum Enigma.

Video of Michio Kaku in Quantum Physics and Consciousness video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9KnrVlpqoM
Sorry to interject, but this assumes that a perception requires a perceiver.

Maybe we can think of the basic building blocks of consciousness as exchanges of information or particle interaction.

Like plinko from the price is right. The interaction begins with the drop of the puck, and at the bottom it arrives at its destination.

If you put in enough feedback loops one of these drops will register when any of the other drops are active, thus resulting in self consciousness.
It is not length of life, but depth of life. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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