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Posted by Harvey on June 6, 2003 18:48:10 UTC

***Back to the main issue. As the central issue of a scientists life concerns what he can examine, it is very easy to understand the difficulty of getting his attention onto something which cannot be examined. He wants to figure out a way of examining it before he takes any issue seriously. My point, that our senses have to be part of our mental image of reality requires the existence of a step which is unexaminable, is most often pushed off into the "field" of metaphysics and ignored by anyone with any serious scientific training. In other words, he is strongly trained not to look there. Both you and Harv have shown a very strong reluctance to look. Every time we get close to the issue, both of you immediately deflect attention to some other issue close by.***

We can look at the metaphysics, but we lose scientific pragmatic justification. All we have is our best assumptions and logic, but that's not always good enough. Sometimes our assumptions are wrong or not accurately stated in the right context. This is what is wrong with your assumptions, their's no way to validate them.

***We cannot go on at all unless you will accept the fact that an "unexaminable" barrier exists. I think it very improbable that you will conceptually allow the existence of such a barrier. If that is the case, then let us take another tack. Just for the fun of it, suppose we talk about what would happen if such a barrier were real. The first issue is to define what exists on the two different sides of the barrier; to define what the barrier separates. Clearly the source of information is normally called "reality". "Reality" is the source of every piece of valid information by definition. The fact that we may not be able to determine what is valid and what is not valid has absolutely no bearing on that issue at all (I only mention that because it is Harv's most precious Cavil: i.e., a very valuable mechanism of attention deflection). The other side of the barrier is our mental image of reality directly available to our conscious awareness (that entity is indeed examinable as we are clearly aware of it in every detail: we can think about any aspect of it).***

If you want to ignore the ontological issues involved (in this instance), and just focus on the epistemological issues, then we still have other problems. For one, you are presenting a dichotomy that may be too simplistic and not accurate. For example, in your model information is presented to your 'image of reality' in a serial fashion where all the sense information is presented as if it were a multimedia file being transmitted to your 'image of reality'. This might not be how things work at all. What if the 'information' as you call it, is presented holistically and processed holistically? In that scenario your 'information' is never quantified as per your model, and you have thus introduced a quantification step where none exists.

***What is important here is that the scientific method does not apply at all. Most everything you have said has no application whatsoever to the discussion. By the way, I do not disagree with anything you have said (as I do not disagree with anything Harv says); my only statement to the entirety of it is that none of it has any bearing on what I am talking about. What I am talking about is an unexaminable barrier between reality and our mental image of reality.***

Which is all the reason we cannot trust your model. You are basically modelling an unobservable phenomena, with assumptions that we cannot verify, with logic that might be misleading, and coming to conclusions that are not testable. What is wrong with this picture?


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