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Thread: Brain-in-a-vat argument v. Our universe is a simulation

  1. Top | #21
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    A typical question in Eastern traditions, what is this thing you call self? The ansers were unaviably generalized. Semantics and language before scicne.

    How someone can not simply accept it is a chemical process in the brain these days escapes me. The problem may be that once you accept science the metaphysic of self does become illusory as the ancients concluded after a fashion. With neuro science the debate becomes a side show.

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    Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    A typical question in Eastern traditions, what is this thing you call self? The ansers were unaviably generalized. Semantics and language before scicne.

    How someone can not simply accept it is a chemical process in the brain these days escapes me. The problem may be that once you accept science the metaphysic of self does become illusory as the ancients concluded after a fashion. With neuro science the debate becomes a side show.
    Yes, for example;

    ''How are raw sensory signals transformed into a brain representation of the world that surrounds us? The question was first posed over 100 years ago, but new experimental strategies make the challenge more exciting than ever. SISSA investigators have now uncovered the contributions to perception of a brain region called posterior parietal cortex. In two separate papers published in Neuron and Nature, they show that posterior parietal cortex contributes to the merging of signals from different sensory modalities, as well the formation of memories about the history of recent stimuli.''

    ''For decades, researchers have been investigating how the nervous system make sense of the signals brought into the brain by the sensory organs. Some basic facts are well known: sensory receptor cells convert external events -- for instance, light waves, skin vibration, or air pressure waves -- into electrical messages that enter the brain. But neuronal activity does not lead to conscious experience until it can be further elaborated in the cerebral cortex. Ongoing streams of sensory signals are transformed from representations of basic elements, in primary sensory cortical areas, into more complex combinations of features in higher-order areas; sensory events become meaningful once compared to recent and distant memories as well as to expectations. Though the scheme outlined above is backed up by countless studies, the physiological mechanisms remain unresolved.''

    "Because sensory signals originate with real objects that have multiple physical attributes, it is reasonable to expect that sensory systems have evolved to function in some intermeshed manner," observes Nikbakht. "In the mammalian nervous system, dedicated circuits integrate multiple modalities thus, boosting the quality of the percept. Perceiving an object results from fusing the individual senses, not merely summating them." Diamond adds that "posterior parietal cortex carries out one step in the transformation done by the cortex as a whole, allowing real things in the world around us to be recognized independently of the sensory system we employ. 'Supramodal' perception reflects the construction of a much more abstract representation than that based on simple object features."

  3. Top | #23
    Contributor Speakpigeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Speakpigeon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Yet we do experience the world through a brain generated simulation of the world.
    Metaphysical belief.

    If all you know is a simulated content, how could you possibly know anything about what does the simulation? How could you even possibly know it is something like a simulation? Even if it was written in the sky, in all the human languages on Earth, that "Hey, guys, LOL, it's a simulation!", we would still not know it's a simulation.
    EB
    Rather than being a metaphysical belief our brain generated experience of the world and self is a fully testable neurological reality.
    If all you know is a simulated content, how could you possibly know anything about what does the simulation? How could you even possibly know it is something like a simulation?

    Anyway, you seem pleased to merely assert your metaphysical beliefs without being motivated to scrutinise them or engage in a rational debate.

    You're doing the same as any Christian who can only mindlessly assert "God exists" again and again.
    EB

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    Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Why, given the evidence for brain generated experience, is your counter claim of metaphysical belief not an assertion?

  5. Top | #25
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    Back to the old mind body duality question. It is no longer a question. What we call metaphysics, systems of abstract thoughts, is a unction of brain biochemistry. One day in the future there will be a complete neural model of the brain. It will model thoughts.

    I would say metaphysics is obsolete regarding mind and function. That is now psychology, like cognitive psychology which is ties to physical perceptions.

    How about the head-up-your-butt question. If your head is always up your butt is it possible to develop knowledge of reality?

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    It is not a simulation. The brain builds models of how reality to work. Perceptions and models can be wrong. Humans first thought sun goes round the Earth.

    If I see a rock coming towards me I will duck. I know to do this from experience.

    Sunflowers will orient themselves as they grow towards the Sun.

  7. Top | #27
    Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    A model of something can be called a simulation of that thing, especially if it is in virtual form. If a brain models the information it acquires from the senses as a representation or model of the world, it may be said that the brain is generating a simulation of the word in conscious form. A model suggests something static whereas a simulation may be dynamic and interactive.

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    Veteran Member Treedbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    A model of something can be called a simulation of that thing, especially if it is in virtual form. If a brain models the information it acquires from the senses as a representation or model of the world, it may be said that the brain is generating a simulation of the word in conscious form. A model suggests something static whereas a simulation may be dynamic and interactive.
    I'd say that a simulation is an interaction between the various models that the brain creates. That's what brains do. Or between the model of the world and the model of the self if you like. They both respond and evolve through the interaction. Neither is static per se. They are intrinsically dynamic.

  9. Top | #29
    Veteran Member Sarpedon's Avatar
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    I've given my Occam's razor response to this before, so here it is again:

    If people in a simulation of the real universe can come to the conclusion that the universe might be a simulation, then it must be possible for people in the real universe to come the same conclusion. (or else the simulation is critically flawed) Therefore, we should conclude that since it is possible for people in a real universe to conclude that it might be a simulation, and thus through Occam's razor, conclude that our universe is real.

  10. Top | #30
    Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    A simulation is real, our mental experience of the world is a real experience.

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