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An Issue of Reality

Posted Sep 22, '12 at 4:41pm

Alpha791

Alpha791

651 posts

Though it always depends on the scale we look at, for example do Newtons laws function perfectly on the scale of processes that we humans are confronted with daily, but are unusable at the astrophysical scale where they are replaced by Einsteins theorems.

This is how i feel that physics cannot sum up the rules surrounding the universe. Quantum physics do not work with the equations dealing with larger bodies, so how can either be correct? If the atoms create galaxies, shouldn't the rules for the behaviors of atoms fit into the equations for the behaviors of galaxies? If not, how can we be sure of anything at all?

However, in my opinion doubting the reality of reality simply because we are naturally not omniscient is idle talk.

Isn't that the point of the World Events forums? To idly converse over issues?

 

Posted Sep 22, '12 at 4:57pm

HahiHa

HahiHa

5,032 posts

Knight

This is how i feel that physics cannot sum up the rules surrounding the universe. Quantum physics do not work with the equations dealing with larger bodies, so how can either be correct? If the atoms create galaxies, shouldn't the rules for the behaviors of atoms fit into the equations for the behaviors of galaxies? If not, how can we be sure of anything at all?

The problem is that we're running backwards, so to say. First we describe our environment with our senses. Then we explain the physics on our scale. Then we describe the physics on a whole new scale and find out that the previous physics were simply an approximation that seemed fit at the time. If we knew the most basic units and how they interact, we could then, whether in a fully deterministic way or using a probabilistic approach, formulate equations for everything. We're not there yet but while philosophers sit around watching Matrix and entertaining them with hypothetical situations, physicists are working on getting there.

 

Posted Sep 22, '12 at 5:48pm

Moegreche

Moegreche

2,807 posts

Moderator

while philosophers sit around watching Matrix and entertaining them with hypothetical situations, physicists are working on getting there.

That's not a very accurate (or nice!) description of what philosophers do. And keep in mind that physicists might make certain discoveries, but without philosophy, there would not be limitations or justification for what can reasonably infer from these discoveries. Some may think that we philosophers just have our heads in the clouds, but in fact we are the ones who keep other disciplines grounded.

 

Posted Sep 22, '12 at 6:17pm

HahiHa

HahiHa

5,032 posts

Knight

That's not a very accurate (or nice!) description of what philosophers do. And keep in mind that physicists might make certain discoveries, but without philosophy, there would not be limitations or justification for what can reasonably infer from these discoveries. Some may think that we philosophers just have our heads in the clouds, but in fact we are the ones who keep other disciplines grounded.

I'm sorry if I have offended you by that, and I agree with you to a certain point.. but that's just how I feel when someone says "reality is not real" and "we cannot trust anything". I do acknowledge the philosophical discussions that actually yield insights and make us think about the approach to choose.

Or as I've said in another thread:

There's one part of me thinking some discussions are interesting and raise legitimate questions about several real issues. There's also a prominent part of me thinking philosophy artificially creates unnecessary problems it can't even solve and is a lot about who uses the most fancy words and thoughts ^^ almost like poetry, come to think of it.

 

Posted Sep 24, '12 at 5:08pm

Alpha791

Alpha791

651 posts

Sorry, forgot this existed for a while haha

There's one part of me thinking some discussions are interesting and raise legitimate questions about several real issues. There's also a prominent part of me thinking philosophy artificially creates unnecessary problems it can't even solve and is a lot about who uses the most fancy words and thoughts ^^ almost like poetry, come to think of it.

So this doesn't raise a legitimate question? Science just goes along, typically taking the data that the machines they use spit out as fact after it works out in equations, that may or may not be correct in every instance. If what we think is there, isn't there, then wouldn't we have to rethink a lot of things?

 

Posted Sep 24, '12 at 6:04pm

HahiHa

HahiHa

5,032 posts

Knight

So this doesn't raise a legitimate question? Science just goes along, typically taking the data that the machines they use spit out as fact after it works out in equations, that may or may not be correct in every instance.

Data is not just taken as fact. Data is not just collected, but also interpreted, analysed, critiqued by others etc. As I already said, instruments were designed to assess a specific type of informations, those who understand how the instrument works exactly know what sort of data they get and how to treat them. Besides, we don't need philosophers to know that a mere difference in callibration can affect the data. Just as much as a statistician doesn't need a philosopher to know when a result makes sense or not. Philosophy, as Moegreche said, can discuss what we do with the gained knowledge however, but can do nothing with a raw set of data.

If what we think is there, isn't there, then wouldn't we have to rethink a lot of things?

Sure. We should under all circumstances always stay critical to any kind of result. But most of our gained knowledge have proven to be correct; and besides, hypothesizing about whether everything is real or not won't advance anything as it doesn't pose any alternative.

 

Posted Sep 24, '12 at 7:39pm

Sonatavarius

Sonatavarius

1,344 posts

If the moon were made of cheese it would change a lot of things too. There's a difference in philosophical possibility and realistic probability.  Why don't you start naming some of these machines that science just accepts works?  There is no just accepting it. The tests are repeated time and time again. The data gets subjected to tests for accuracy and precision in accordance with the calibration. They're calibrated with known entities (controls) and give consistent results with different known substances or whatever the things being studied are. When there are deviations from the norm (ie color blindness) there are consistent qualifiable/quantifiable reasons that can be discoverable and known.  Even if this were the matrix the colors we know and love would be real in that they'd be emergent properties of said matrix... Just as they are emergent properties of radiation in reality.  Just because it exists doesn't mean you have to be able to perceive it... Color blindness

Also, all of these tests are coupled with other tests from other machines that once calibrated are used to check each other and then add their own brush strokes to develop the overall painting that is the science.

 

Posted Sep 24, '12 at 8:46pm

Alpha791

Alpha791

651 posts

Data is not just taken as fact. Data is not just collected, but also interpreted, analysed, critiqued by others etc. As I already said, instruments were designed to assess a specific type of informations, those who understand how the instrument works exactly know what sort of data they get and how to treat them. Besides, we don't need philosophers to know that a mere difference in callibration can affect the data. Just as much as a statistician doesn't need a philosopher to know when a result makes sense or not. Philosophy, as Moegreche said, can discuss what we do with the gained knowledge however, but can do nothing with a raw set of data.

Sure. We should under all circumstances always stay critical to any kind of result. But most of our gained knowledge have proven to be correct; and besides, hypothesizing about whether everything is real or not won't advance anything as it doesn't pose any alternative.

If the moon were made of cheese it would change a lot of things too. There's a difference in philosophical possibility and realistic probability.  Why don't you start naming some of these machines that science just accepts works?  There is no just accepting it. The tests are repeated time and time again. The data gets subjected to tests for accuracy and precision in accordance with the calibration. They're calibrated with known entities (controls) and give consistent results with different known substances or whatever the things being studied are. When there are deviations from the norm (ie color blindness) there are consistent qualifiable/quantifiable reasons that can be discoverable and known.  Even if this were the matrix the colors we know and love would be real in that they'd be emergent properties of said matrix... Just as they are emergent properties of radiation in reality.  Just because it exists doesn't mean you have to be able to perceive it... Color blindness

Also, all of these tests are coupled with other tests from other machines that once calibrated are used to check each other and then add their own brush strokes to develop the overall painting that is the science.

Yep, you guys beat me, that last post was literally just to see what kind of response I'd get, I don't feel that way about science and you guys beat that post to death with logic haha

 
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