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Exploring Ultimate Reality!

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Posted by Richard D. Stafford, Ph.D. on September 11, 2002 14:48:13 UTC

Hi again Harv,

I found it quite surprising that you agreed with my three statements. Since that agreement was contingent on a number of exceptions, I will begin by addressing those exceptions in hopes of furthering our communications.

Regarding #1:

****
Harv: I agree that it is possible that ultimate reality may have one or more properties. Those properties might be the existence of objects, processes, laws, etc.
****

I don't see any exception here as you appear to be doing nothing more than listing "things". I personally would prefer to leave "things" as quite undefined as I have no idea what makes up "Ultimate Reality" and it seems to me that the moment we begin to put names to those "things", we are in great danger of thinking we know what we are talking about. We need to keep a solid fix on the idea that these "things" are unknown.

***1. First it is possible that some specific thing (or perhaps several specific things) may exist.***

I presume I have your agreement!

Regarding #2

****
Harv: Generally, I agree. However, existence has to be defined, and causal connection with our physical universe is one of the key attributes for something to be considered to exist. As long as we accept that some causal tie-in is needed, then I don't have problems accepting (2).
****

Regarding "existence", you may define existence any way you choose so long as your definition is consistent with your usage to date. I personally feel that "existence" is one of those nebulous concepts necessary to the vague communications we are currently capable of and is not worth the effort of clarifying. I will simply define "exists" as being part of "ultimate reality".

With regard to your second cavil, "causal connection with our physical universe is one of the key attributes for something to be considered to exist". I believe you are constraining yourself to something you can not prove. I would rather amend the "causal connection" to "the possibility of causal connection". Just because something has not influenced my knowledge of the universe does not prove it does not exist! Essentially, what I am trying to assure in #2 is that our thinking specifically allows for the possibility that something we have absolutely no way of knowing at this particular moment may still in fact exist.

***2. Second, it is possible that some of those things which exist have no direct consequences in the physical universe available to my studies.***

I presume I have your agreement!

Regarding #3

****
Harv: I agree. However, referring to the our physical universe might be equivalent to referring to our spacetime continuum, and therefore what is no direct consequence to the spacetime continuum is not going to affect the future. Also, what is a direct consequence in the future is also a direct consequence throughout the age of the universe.
****

Apparently you agree. I do not see the relevance of your cavil at all! We are supposed to be discussing "Ultimate Reality": as soon as you begin to talk about things like "our space-time continuum", you are already proposing something about "Ultimate Reality" which is beyond your ability to prove: i.e., can you prove that a valid concept of "Ultimate Reality" requires your concept of a "space-time continuum"?

Essentially, what I am trying to assure in #3 is that our thinking specifically allows for the possibility that, sometime in the future, we may come to discover something which, at this particular moment, we have absolutely no way of including in our current thoughts.

***3. Third, some of those things described as having no direct consequences in the physical universe available to my studies may have consequences in the future.***

I presume I have your agreement!

On the presumption that you understand concepts 1 through 3 and agree with them, I will add #4:

***4. Fourth, at all times, from the ancient past to the far flung future, my idea of the universe will be based on things I assume exist.

I will leave it at that point until I have your agreement that my statements are reasonable.

Have fun -- Dick

PS - With regard to your other comments, I won't bother to respond as I am of the opinion that they constitute vague ideas having little to no bearing on what is under discussion.

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