• Art48
    464
    The Fine-Tuning Argument says “that the present Universe (including the laws that govern it and the initial conditions from which it has evolved) permits life only because these laws and conditions take a very special form, small changes in which would make life impossible.”

    The argument is fine as far as it goes. (No pun intended.) If certain physical constants (speed of light, mass excess of neutron over proton, etc.) were different, even slightly, even one part in ten million, then life as we know it could not exist. Material life. Living matter. What was once called protoplasm.

    So, if God exists and wanted to create living beings that are physical and material, then God would need to create a suitable universe for those beings to live in. The fine-tuning argument says, more or less, that is exactly what happened: we live in a universe fine-tuned for us.

    But suppose we really are immaterial, immortal souls. If we are immaterial, immortal souls, then the type of universe we inhabit is irrelevant. The universe could be made entirely of green goo, and it wouldn’t matter to an immortal soul. A ghost doesn’t care if it’s raining or not. It’s immaterial; it doesn’t get wet.

    In fact, souls don’t even need a material universe to exist. Souls only stay in this universe a short time and then spend eternity in one or two non-material places: heaven or hell (according to Christian dogma).

    So, why would God bother to create an intricately fine-tuned universe for the sake of souls who don’t need one? Any lesson a soul learns in a material universe could be learned in some non-material place. What’s the point of this universe? To impress us? Did God want to show us he could get all those pesky physical constants exactly right? But if we’re souls—immortal, immaterial souls—that fact alone should be enough to convince us God exists. (Why isn’t it? Because we actually experience ourselves as bodies, not souls?)

    Souls don’t need a universe, fine-tuned or otherwise. So, it’s hard to argue this universe was made for us, beings who live in an infinitesimal part of the universe, begins who would die if randomly transported to another part of the universe, or transported to another part of Earth (middle of the ocean, the Sahara Desert, etc.)
  • Gnomon
    3.6k
    So, why would God bother to create an intricately fine-tuned universe for the sake of souls who don’t need one?Art48
    I would guess that the universe was designed, not for free-floating souls, but for embodied souls. In this case, the word "soul" refers to sentient selves -- including some animals -- not to angelic beings inhabiting a non-space-time realm. Furthermore, the "design" is still being implemented after 14 billion years, and is still not completed. So, the "fine-tuning" was merely the preset limits (natural laws) within which the evolutionary process operates. Consequently, I imagine the Singularity as a program for the creation of a self-organizing world from scratch. Design criteria were programmed into the Singularity to guide the process from Big Bang beginning to Big Sigh ending.

    Who the Programmer was, and why s/he choose to create an imperfect physical world with not-yet-perfect metaphysical Minds, is beyond my ken. The most common answers to "why" have been some variation on the theme of a power relationship, that : a> a Ruler requires some rulees ; b> an all-powerful Tyrant must have some powerless slaves/serfs to push around ; c> a perfect G*D needs an ego-boost from being worshiped by lesser beings ; or c> a loving Father/Mother necessarily wants to produce children to love & nurture. None of those bottom-up perspectives makes sense from the viewpoint of a Being with the power to create worlds from scratch. So, my answer to "why" would be "huh?". :confused: :chin: :brow:


    The Anthropic Cosmological Principle :
    I had heard of the Anthropic Argument -- that the world was designed specifically for human habitation -- but didn’t really scrutinize it until recently. The core concept was implicit in the Intelligent Design theories of Christian apologists. And I understood the general reasoning --- from an array of puzzling scientific “coincidences”, such as the unique “initial conditions” and “fine-tuned constants” that seemed arbitrarily selected to produce a world with living & thinking creatures --- they concluded that there must be a logical reason for our being.
    http://bothandblog7.enformationism.info/page10.html
  • Fooloso4
    5.6k
    The fine tuning argument amounts to saying that if things were different they would not be as they are. It does not preclude the existence of a very different universe, a universe without us and our attempts to prove the existence of a god who has created a just so world for us.
  • ThinkOfOne
    158
    The Fine-Tuning Argument says “that the present Universe (including the laws that govern it and the initial conditions from which it has evolved) permits life only because these laws and conditions take a very special form, small changes in which would make life impossible.”

    The argument is fine as far as it goes. (No pun intended.) If certain physical constants (speed of light, mass excess of neutron over proton, etc.) were different, even slightly, even one part in ten million, then life as we know it could not exist. Material life. Living matter. What was once called protoplasm.

    So, if God exists and wanted to create living beings that are physical and material, then God would need to create a suitable universe for those beings to live in. The fine-tuning argument says, more or less, that is exactly what happened: we live in a universe fine-tuned for us.
    Art48

    Isn't the fallacy with the "Fine-Tuning Argument" more fundamental than what you've proposed? The argument presupposes that there is something special about US: We are so special that God created this universe especially for US.

    For those who don't hold such a self-centered view of themselves, the argument is a non-starter.

    Taking it up a level of abstraction:
    Many Christians love to cite the following verse. Aren't WE special?

    "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16.

    An interesting fact about that verse": Despite that fact that so many attribute those words to Jesus, a really strong case can be made that it is commentary made by the narrator of John 6 about what Jesus said to Nicodemus just prior.
  • Tom Storm
    8.5k
    It really helps if you believe in god already to make the most of any fine tuning argument.

    But a big problem with the argument is that even if you accept that it leads to the idea of a designer - it doesn't prove any particular god. It could also be said to support simulation theory or a committee of designer gods, or even alien designers.

    The problem with the argument itself is summarized by physicist Sean Carroll - 'We don’t really know that the universe is tuned specifically for life, since we don’t know the conditions under which life is possible."

    So, why would God bother to create an intricately fine-tuned universe for the sake of souls who don’t need one?Art48

    I understand this ingenious argument but don't think it is especially effective since we are not in a position to know why a god would do anything, let alone would create a material world. Just because it seems wrong based on our priorities and understanding of souls does not mean it is. The best I can say for that argument is that we have a question to ask God when we see them. For all we know, God may have determined that the best way of testing the goodness of a soul is to insert it into a life world limited by time, material constraints and tested by physical desires. Or whatever...
  • jgill
    3.6k
    So, why would God bother to create an intricately fine-tuned universe for the sake of souls who don’t need one?Art48

    The real question here is whether arguments from medieval scholasticism are relevant today.
  • 180 Proof
    14.4k
    The fine tuning argument amounts to saying that if things were different they would not be as they are. It does not preclude the existence of a very different universe, a universe without us and our attempts to prove the existence of a god who has created a just so world for us.Fooloso4
    :100: :up:
  • Agent Smith
    9.5k
    The body is the prison of the soul. — Socrates

    A Malus Deus building the perfect penitentiary colony for us hapless souls.

    The Demiurge, one of those Aeons, creates the physical world. Divine elements "fall" into the material realm, and are locked within human beings. — Wikipedia

    By the way kudos to the OP - s/he forced us to make some changes to the picture of God we have in our minds.

    P. S. How do you know the universe isn't fine tuned for souls as well? Do you know something we don't? Spit it out ..
    will you?
  • baker
    5.6k
    Many Christians love to cite the following verse. Aren't WE special?

    "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16.
    ThinkOfOne

    It's interesting that some people think this is about humans being "special".

    I've always interpreted it in the sense of, "Even though humans are so bad and evil and undeserving, God still loves us! Isn't God great!!"
  • baker
    5.6k
    The Fine-Tuning Argument says “that the present Universe (including the laws that govern it and the initial conditions from which it has evolved) permits life only because these laws and conditions take a very special form, small changes in which would make life impossible.”Art48

    This is typically Western theology infused by secularism; a bottom-up approach, explaining theological matters from the perspective of humans.

    So, why would God bother to create an intricately fine-tuned universe for the sake of souls

    "Because it pleases God to do so," a more old-fashioned theologist would say.
  • Agent Smith
    9.5k
    It's interesting that some people think this is about humans being "special".baker

    Muchas gracias! The data speaks for itself I'm told but true, the universe may be fine-tuned for something else entirely. We have on our hands a case to solve, oui monsieur?
  • ThinkOfOne
    158
    It's interesting that some people think this is about humans being "special".

    I've always interpreted it in the sense of, "Even though humans are so bad and evil and undeserving, God still loves us! Isn't God great!!"
    baker

    That's interesting. The vast majority of Christians that I've known seem to interpret it as "even though humans are so bad and evil and undeserving, God still loves us because we are so special to Him". But of course that includes only those who believe that Jesus paid the penalty for their sins by dying on the cross. And of course they often append a "Isn't God great!!" as part of the false humility that seems all too common amongst Christians: "God is God and I am not. I am just a spec of dust... " or what have you.

    Ezekiel 33
    13When I say to the righteous that he will certainly live, and he so trusts in his righteousness that he commits injustice, none of his righteous deeds will be remembered; but for that same injustice of his which he has committed he will die. 14But when I say to the wicked, ‘You will certainly die,’ and he turns from his sin and practices justice and righteousness, 15if a wicked person returns a pledge, pays back what he has taken by robbery, walks by the statutes which ensure life without committing injustice, he shall certainly live; he shall not die. 16None of his sins that he has committed will be remembered against him. He has practiced justice and righteousness; he shall certainly live.
    30“But as for you, son of man, your fellow citizens who talk with one another about you by the walls and in the doorways of the houses, speak one with another, each with his brother, saying, 'Come now and hear what the message is that comes from the LORD.’ 31And they come to you as people come, and sit before you as My people and hear your words,but they do not do them; for they do the lustful desires expressed by their mouth, and their heart follows their unlawful gain.
  • Art48
    464
    How do you know the universe isn't fine tuned for souls as well? Do you know something we don't?Agent Smith
    From the OP: But suppose we really are immaterial, immortal souls. If we are immaterial, immortal souls, then the type of universe we inhabit is irrelevant. The universe could be made entirely of green goo, and it wouldn’t matter to an immortal soul. A ghost doesn’t care if it’s raining or not. It’s immaterial; it doesn’t get wet.
  • Agent Smith
    9.5k
    From the OP: But suppose we really are immaterial, immortal souls. If we are immaterial, immortal souls, then the type of universe we inhabit is irrelevant. The universe could be made entirely of green goo, and it wouldn’t matter to an immortal soul. A ghost doesn’t care if it’s raining or not. It’s immaterial; it doesn’t get wet.Art48

    You're on the mark, but what if there are immaterial aspects of this our universe - perfected to house souls and satisfy their needs - that we're unaware of?

    Too, the physical characteristics of the universe maybe fine-tuned for ensoulment which we (the souls) wished for but is now all but forgotten.

    Please note, your argument is novel and interesting and as far as I'm concerned the only way to counter it was to replace a benevolent god with a malus deus. You should take that as a victory in my humble opinion even if scoring points is the last thing on thy mind.
  • Art48
    464
    You're on the mark, but what if there are immaterial aspects of this our universe - perfected to house souls and satisfy their needs - that we're unaware of?Agent Smith
    Then it's up to proponents of the fine-tuning argument for God to identify those aspects and, in an ideal case, to prove them.

    Please note, your argument is novel and interesting and as far as I'm concerned the only way to counter it was to replace a benevolent god with a malus deus. You should take that as a victory in my humble opinion even if scoring points is the last thing on thy mind.Agent Smith
    Thanks.
  • Gnomon
    3.6k
    Please note, your argument is novel and interesting and as far as I'm concerned the only way to counter it was to replace a benevolent god with a malus deus.Agent Smith
    My own interpretation of an evolving world --- which has produced organisms that can wonder about how & why they exist --- is somewhere in between the All-Good & All-Bad theories of Ontology (the nature of being). It's more like the abstract LOGOS of Plato, which is neither good nor bad, but merely Logical, in the sense of Mr. Spock*1. Presumably, the First Cause -- of the effect we call "our world" -- had the creative Potential for Logos-Ethos-Pathos*2, since we find expressions of all those "forces" in our contingent reality.

    Yet, since this world began in an unformed state, and is still working toward its final form, it is -- and always has been -- imperfect. Hence, we humans encounter both life-affirming and life-denying "forces". In our struggle to survive & thrive, we learn that evolution is neither all-bad nor all-good, but sometimes arduous & sometimes pleasant. So, the original cause of this heuristic experiment in gradual bottom-up construction necessarily included the possibility for ups & downs. But the net result is Neutral, some good, some bad. That's what I call BothAnd*3. Therefore, the mysterious Source of an expanding Singularity, which emerged from who-knows-where, was Creative, but not Malicious.

    In that case, the current top-dogs of the sentient creature hierarchy -- half-formed homo sapiens -- are merely the beneficiaries of the evolutionary lottery, not the darlings of the deity. And we are not necessarily the ultimate inheritors of the world. Evolution seems to be only halfway to its final state. Consequently, whatever this experiment was "fine-tuned" for, is an Epistemological mystery. So, the Anthropic Argument*4 is a bit premature. But, it seems to be a good guess, based on incomplete evidence. :cool:


    *1. "Logic is the beginning of wisdom ... not the end." - Spock,

    *2. Logos-Ethos-Pathos :
    Modes of rhetoric; persuasion.
    But also modes of creation -- Reason, Intention, Emotion -- logical structure, ultimate goal, & bonding inter-relationships. The mathematical & logical structure of the world is obvious. But the end state can only be guessed from minimal evidence. Yet, what holds the evolving system together during trials & tribulations is unifying cohesion.

    *3. Both/And Principle :
    My coinage for the holistic principle of Complementarity, as illustrated in the Yin/Yang symbol.
    http://blog-glossary.enformationism.info/page10.html

    *4. Anthropic Argument :
    http://bothandblog7.enformationism.info/page10.html

    BALANCE OF GOOD & EVIL
    468712445129bb41fdbcef758cd58913.jpg
  • 180 Proof
    14.4k
    By an overwhelmingly astronomical prepondance of the evidence in the Hubble volume, this universe is apparently "fine-tuned" for lifelessness.180 Proof
  • jgill
    3.6k
    By an overwhelmingly astronomical prepondance of the evidence in the Hubble volume, this universe is apparently "fine-tuned" for lifelessness.180 Proof

    :up:

    Try existing on your own outside the boundaries of atmospheric Earth.
  • Agent Smith
    9.5k
    Your weltanschauung is impressive mon ami! It touches a chord in me - it's not just the rhetorical flourish in your posts, there's depth & breadth in it which I can sense but as of yet don't fully grasp.

    I think the expression "hunting with the hounds and running with the hares" very nearly approximates but still fails to pin down your views regarding my comment on a malus deus. :up:
  • Richard B
    369
    I find a watch upon the ground, and it so finely tuned of an object to make such precise movements, there must be a maker of such exquisite craftsmanship. And yet such a device cannot fit in my coat pocket.

    Worthless!

    Thus, God almost existed.
  • Gnomon
    3.6k
    Your weltanschauung is impressive mon ami! It touches a chord in me - it's not just the rhetorical flourish in your posts, there's depth & breadth in it which I can sense but as of yet don't fully grasp.
    I think the expression "hunting with the hounds and running with the hares" very nearly approximates but still fails to pin down your views regarding my comment on a malus deus.
    Agent Smith
    My weltanshauung is broad in application, but narrow in focus. It's based on the single simple inference*1 that everything in this world is a form of Generic Information (EnFormAction = causal energy + directional intention). It assumes that the pin-point singularity of the Big Bang contained no matter or energy, but only omni-potential Information, in the form of a computer-like program code. Everything else resulted from the "fine-tuning" and execution (running) of that program of gradual-but-progressive-evolution. Tegmark calls that cosmic code "Mathematics". But the more comprehensive term "information" includes the possibility for all of the above : Logic, Math, Mind, Mass, Matter, Energy, etc. For me it's the abstract-primordial-fundamental Substance*2.

    The First Law of Thermodynamics says that Energy is neither created nor destroyed, but is continuously recycled. Yet, that description makes more sense with shape-shifting Information as the fundamental substance. Generic Information is the creative Potential for everything in the universe. For example : EnFormAction transforms into Energy, then into Mass, then into Matter, then into Life, then into Mind, then into Entropy (death), and the cycle begins again. That's an oversimplification, but you get the idea.

    Probably the reason such a portmanteau concept (causation + information) is "hard to grasp" is that it's not yet part of the lexicon of Science or Philosophy. Like the non-classical theory of Quantum non-mechanics, it seems weird at first glance. But, when you get comfortable with the monistic notion that everything in the world is a form of Generic Information, it makes sense of some vexing physical & philosophical quandaries. One might even exclaim in relief, "mon Deiu!" :halo:


    *1. How I arrived at that inference, based on cutting-edge Quantum & Information theories, is explained in the Enformationism Thesis. I'm not a practicing scientist or philosopher, so I don't concern myself with practical applications of this emerging understanding of reality. I merely use it as the basis of my personal philosophy as a retired layman.
    http://enformationism.info/enformationism.info/

    *2 Substance : "The most distinctive aspect of Spinoza's system is his substance monism; that is, his claim that one infinite substance—God or Nature—is the only substance that exists."
    https://iep.utm.edu/spinoz-m/
    "Aristotle analyses substance in terms of form and matter. The form is what kind of thing the object is, and the matter is what it is made of."
    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/substance/
    "In Aristotle it is the tension between essence, which makes the individual intelligible, and existence, which gives individuation to the entity,. . ."
    https://ndpr.nd.edu/reviews/being-essence-and-substance-in-plato-and-aristotle/
    Note -- Plato tended to emphasize the Essence (intelligibility), and Aristotle the Existence (material being), but both are included in the modern understanding of Information as the ability to Enform (to give meaningful-material Form to something).

    Matter-Energy and Information :
    Statistical entropy is a probabilistic measure of uncertainty or ignorance; information is a measure
    of a reduction in that uncertainty

    http://www.esalq.usp.br/lepse/imgs/conteudo_thumb/Matter-Energy-and-Information.pdf

    SHAPE-SHIFTING INFORMATION
    21e9feaf7f26f82d25ec6d11a42214b9.jpg
  • Agent Smith
    9.5k


    Your theory, I realize, is reminiscent of how Thales thought of water as the arche & how Heraclitus declared fire was the arche. A monistic stance alright but what I don't get is why? Is it just our natural instinct to simplify despite the cost which is internal contradiction (how can light & dark be one?). Even you, an information monist, had to posit a yin-yang duality.
  • Gnomon
    3.6k
    Your theory, I realize, is reminiscent of how Thales thought of water as the arche & how Heraclitus declared fire was the arche. A monistic stance alright but what I don't get is why? Is it just our natural instinct to simplify despite the cost which is internal contradiction (how can light & dark be one?). Even you, an information monist, had to posit a yin-yang duality.Agent Smith
    Thales may have been motivated by confusion, to simplify the profusion of things down to a single amorphous substance : Water, which conforms to its container. But also by the philosophical urge to generalize : to trace the plethora of specific instances back to some ultimate Source. Likewise, Plato reasoned that the manifold & various instances of reasoning beings evolved from a monistic Potential : LOGOS. In any case, there is no "internal contradiction" between the pluralistic parts, and the monistic Whole. So, I am both a Monist and a Holist, who doesn't deny the Duality of Reality. Monism is inclusive, not exclusive.

    The Yin/Yang worldview acknowledges contrasting Black & White, or Good & Evil, but the enclosing circle represents the Whole, containing & organizing disparate parts into a single functioning system. Even modern Physical scientists assume that our current complex world of manifold things is the emergent offspring of an original "Singularity". And most admit that they have no idea where that Cosmic Seed came from. Plato proposed that our complex-but-orderly real world originated from primordial ideal Chaos. Which was not chaotic in the modern sense, but merely amorphous (formless), yet pregnant with the potential for all the profusion of forms in the world today.

    Therefore, even I, "an information monist", was forced by innate logic to "posit a yin-yang duality" within a Holistic Monism. You can call it The One, or the Monad, or The Singularity, or G*D, or The Enformer. Whatever makes sense to you. But it all comes down to a unique concept : the Potential to Enform -- to create novel Actual forms from amorphous Omni-Potency. In the beginning there was One, and One became two, and two became four, and so-on until the world was populated by countless things, but all bearing the genetic code of the original One. :nerd:


    Arche = first, beginning, origin, source, primary, primordial

    Thales was the founder of the philosophy that all of Nature had developed from one source. According to Heraclitus Homericus (540–480 BCE), Thales drew this conclusion from the observation that most things turn into air, slime, and earth. Thales thus proposed that things change from one form to another.
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/thales-of-miletus

    Potential of Chaos :
    "The modern idea of chaos—something totally without order and seemingly disruptive by nature—was formed during Roman times.
    Before that, the Greek Chaos (Khaos) was understood as a gap filled with fertile potential from which everything and anything could come.
    "
    https://wciw.org/creativity-general/chaos-and-potential/

    Potential & Actual :
    "Actuality and Potentiality are constrasting terms for that which has form, in Aristotle‘s sense, and that which has merely the possibility of having form.
    Actuality (energeia in Greek) is that mode of being in which a thing can bring other things about or be brought about by them, the realm of events and facts.
    By contrast, potentiality (dynamis in Greek) is not a mode in which a thing exists, but rather the power to effect change, the capacity of a thing to make transitions into different states."

    https://www.the-philosophy.com/actuality-potentiality-aristotle

    EnFormAction = the natural power to effect change of form ; causation : energy


    "The circled dot was used by the Pythagoreans and later Greeks to represent the first metaphysical being, the Monad or The Absolute"
    238px-Monad.svg.png

    "Yin and yang is a Chinese philosophical concept that describes interconnected opposite forces. In Chinese cosmology, the universe creates itself out of a primary chaos of material energy, organized into the cycles of yin and yang and formed into objects and lives"
    1200px-Yin_and_Yang_symbol.svg.png
  • Agent Smith
    9.5k


    I'm still not clear about the rationale for monism. If eventually one has to resort to some form of dualism/pluralism, monism feels more like wishful thinking/optional than fact/necessity. Do you have anti-information (noise) as the opposite of information (signal) in your theory? :chin:
  • javi2541997
    5.1k
    Potential of Chaos :
    "The modern idea of chaos—something totally without order and seemingly disruptive by nature—was formed during Roman times.
    Before that, the Greek Chaos (Khaos) was understood as a gap filled with fertile potential from which everything and anything could come."
    Gnomon

    So interesting, indeed. :up: :100:
  • Art48
    464
    I'm still not clear about the rationale for monism.Agent Smith
    If I'm a realist about a cat and a tree, then I see both as substances, as independent entities with their own essential properties that make them what they are. A cat is not a tree, and vice versa. Therefore, there are multiple things in the world.

    But if cat and tree are appearances, if they have some inner essence (wavefunction, nomeuna) which is inaccessible to us, then it's conceivable their inner essences are identical.It's conceivable that monism is true.

    Wikipedia has the entry "Universe wavefunction" where "The universal wave function is the wavefunction or quantum state of the totality of existence, regarded as the "basic physical entity"[8] or "the fundamental entity, obeying at all times a deterministic wave equation."

    If, in fact, there is a single, universal wavefunction which accounts for the entire universe, that would be monism, agree?

    I don't claim these thoughts prove monism. I merely claim the thoughts don't rule it out; they allow that monism may be true.
  • Gnomon
    3.6k
    I'm still not clear about the rationale for monism. If eventually one has to resort to some form of dualism/pluralism, monism feels more like wishful thinking/optional than fact/necessity. Do you have anti-information (noise) as the opposite of information (signal) in your theory? :chin:Agent Smith
    You seem to be thinking in terms of scientific Reductionism, as opposed to philosophical Holism. Apparently, you are not familiar with the philosophical concept of Integrated Systems (Wholes)*1, which is essentially the same as Monism (unified parts). Part & Whole coexist simultaneously. But the Parts may be real & physical (Quanta), while the Whole is entirely ideal & metaphysical (Qualia)*2. The parts may be in opposition to each other, like electrons (negative) and protons (positive), that working together, form the neutral Whole we call an "atom". The modern atom is not the singular (uncuttable) thing imagined by Democritus. It is an identifiable system of smaller components that are bonded & inter-related in order to serve a physical function in a larger material system. If you are interested in where the modern (pre-New Age) scientific notion of Holism came from, I suggest you get a copy of the book : Holism and Evolution*3.

    Regarding "anti-information", I suppose that would be what we call "False" or "Negative", while "information" is presumed to be "Truth" or "Positive". Or, in a computer analogy, Information would be a "1" (something) and anti-information would be "0" (nothing). Those ones & zeros are like matter & antimatter : when they merge, they annihilate each other into a neutral value. But, when they are linked together by logic -- analogous to the weak & strong forces in an atom -- they can work together to absorb & transmit holistic meaning from one place to another, even though they retain their original separate values. The Whole is more than the sum of the parts (Quanta); and the "more-than" is Meaning (Qualia). That immaterial Meaning may be what you are calling "wishful thinking", because it literally doesn't matter. :cool:


    *1, Holism ; Holon :
    Philosophically, a whole system is a collection of parts (holons) that possesses properties not found in the parts. That something extra is an Emergent quality that was latent (unmanifest) in the parts. For example, when atoms of hydrogen & oxygen gases combine in a specific ratio, the molecule has properties of water, such as wetness, that are not found in the gases. A Holon is something that is simultaneously a whole and a part — A system of entangled things that has a function in a hierarchy of systems. . . .
    http://blog-glossary.enformationism.info/page11.html

    *2. Part/Whole : I am a physical citizen of the United States (quanta - countable in a census). But the US is a complex system, composed of over 300 million parts, bound together -- in principle -- by loyalty to the ideas engraved in the Constitution. Yet, the "United States" is merely an immaterial idea (qualia) in human minds. It's not even a single place on a map, but could be a ship on the ocean flying the US flag.

    *3. Holism (from Ancient Greek ὅλος (hólos) 'all, whole, entire', and -ism) is the idea that various systems (e.g. physical, biological, social) should be viewed as wholes, not merely as a collection of parts. The term "holism" was coined by Jan Smuts in his 1926 book Holism and Evolution.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holism
  • Agent Smith
    9.5k
    Pardon my obtuseness, but I still don't get monism. Lemme try and explain my bewilderment. Light means not dark and vice versa. So, my brain tells me, that light and dark can't be unified as one. My intuition is probably flawed but, in my defense, I offer an example: Both good & evil can't originate - they're contradictory i.e. if one is the other isn't and if the other is, the one isn't - from the same source and hence God & Satan. Contradictions/opposites are destructive to monist philosophies in my humble opinion.

    However, I don't rule out the possibility of a point of view that reconciles monism with opposites. Perhaps yours is one, but frankly speaking such is as of yet incompatible with my current worldview.
  • Gnomon
    3.6k
    Pardon my obtuseness, but I still don't get monism. Lemme try and explain my bewilderment. Light means not dark and vice versa. So, my brain tells me, that light and dark can't be unified as one. My intuition is probably flawed but, in my defense, I offer an example: Both good & evil can't originate - they're contradictory i.e. if one is the other isn't and if the other is, the one isn't - from the same source and hence God & Satan. Contradictions/opposites are destructive to monist philosophies in my humble opinion.Agent Smith
    I can pardon obtuseness of ignorance, but not the bias of Materialism. :joke:

    You don't "get" Monism, because you don't "grok" Holism. It's a general statistical concept, not a specific sensory physical observation ; probabilities, not actualities. For example, upon close examination, your computer screen is composed of black & white pixels. But, when you zoom-out, you no longer see individual pixels, but an average of blacks & whites, that you perceive as gray. The black & white pixels are still there, and they are still opposites in degree of light reflection (100% vs 0%). But, your brain merges & interprets those zillions of points of light & dark, as a shade of gray. The key piece of information here is "interpretation". Your senses perceive (actual) physical values, but your mind conceives (probable) metaphysical meanings.

    Most of us naively assume that what we perceive is what's real. But our physical perceptions only detect abstract patterns of energy inputs of various values, light & dark. Which our brains interpret into a few common patterns we recognize as forms. Then, our rational minds interpret those forms into significance for Self. So, patterns are physical (material), but meanings are meta-physical (mental). That's why Kant concluded that we never directly see the ding an sich (ultimate Reality), but only the images of reality constructed by our sense-making minds (personal Ideality).

    In terms of my personal Enformationism thesis, the basic substance of reality is the same everywhere (Potential). But it changes form in different contexts (Actual). For example, the individual pixels on your screen are physical phosphors or doped silicon, that convert electric inputs into photons of light. When those massless photons impact the retina of your eye, they transform into chemical energy, which then transforms into electrical energy, and so forth, until finally those individual inputs are merged into patterns, which the mind mysteriously transforms into non-physical meaning relative to the observer. It's all Information, all the way down. But the original isolated pixels are ignored, and only their statistical average is converted into merged holistic images that remind us of something we are already generally familiar with (meaning). So, your things are statistics and your Reality is Imaginary. :nerd:


    Philosophy of Statistics :
    A statistical hypothesis is a general statement that can be expressed by a probability distribution over sample space, i.e., it determines a probability for each of the possible samples.
    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/statistics/

    Why Our Brains Do Not Intuitively Grasp Probabilities :
    We are not equipped to perceive atoms and germs, on one end of the scale, or galaxies and expanding universes, on the other end.
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-our-brains-do-not-intuitively-grasp-probabilities/

    Note : Our language is based on physical Percepts not metaphysical Concepts. Which is why such words as "observation", "pattern", & "substance" can be confusing, unless we are careful to define what we mean in each case. In this context, "substance" does not mean material stuff, but mental ideas about stuff.

    HOLISM IS STATISTICAL UNITY OF ACTUAL PLURALITY
    fposter,small,wall_texture,product,750x1000.u1.jpg
  • Agent Smith
    9.5k
    So you're asking me to "zoom out" to get an idea of what Holism is all about. That maketh sense!, I wonder though whether this conforms to the standard interpretation of monism (don't you havta zoom in?)
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