fundamental question

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fundamental question

Postby Fixed Cross » Mon Aug 24, 2020 8:57 pm

They say science is about asking questions. ("they" includes me but that doesn't make it a "we") So here's a question.

What is the most fundamental question of science?

It should not be a humanities, meaning-based question such as why we exist. I don't think thats scientifically resolvable, the question itself may be an error. It must be a technical question.

Is it: what created the universe? If the Big Bang wasn't merely two black holes colliding and all of spacetime emerged from a singular zero dimensional source, then the questions pile up indefinitely at rapid speed; this does not allow us to understand the cause of the laws that we call natural; if this all holds then the laws of nature prohibit their own source; this could be possible, it is an existential event horizon we cant scrutinize. It is unfalsifiable, like god is, that creator of the universe that did more or less the same as the big bang; create everything out of nothing.

Still I do not think this is necessarily the most fundamental question of science. I feel it should be closer to home.
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Re: fundamental question

Postby WendyDarling » Mon Aug 24, 2020 9:18 pm

Maybe, how was consciousness created?
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Re: fundamental question

Postby Meno_ » Tue Aug 25, 2020 2:39 am

Maybe consciousness is a misnomer.
Maybe consciousness is merely extra sensory imageing. MayMaybeMay it really has no merit to advocate selfhood.

Eternity is a manifestation of consciousness , within a realm , without, a before that never was or could be.

It is a bland diseffected par microsecond of wondering.

You miss it as it drifts by, then releasing it's hold.

Didn't hurt then. Won't then.
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Re: fundamental question

Postby iambiguous » Tue Aug 25, 2020 2:58 am

It seems there are two questions that might be argued as fundamental above all others:

1] why does something exist instead of nothing?
2] why this something and not something else?

also, related to this is wondering if there was in fact the possibility of something else coming into existence instead

Human consciousness is merely one manifestation of the something that does exist. Although certainly one of the most mysterious facets of all.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: fundamental question

Postby surreptitious75 » Tue Aug 25, 2020 7:10 am

Fixed Cross wrote:
What is the most fundamental question of science ?

I do not think there is one absolute question that takes precedent over all others
However the number of truly fundamental ones is still relatively few I would say
So in no particular order these would be mine :

Is time an illusion ?
What is consciousness ?
Is the Universe infinite ?
Does the Multiverse exist ?
How did life originate on Earth ?
Is there life elsewhere in the Universe ?
A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
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Re: fundamental question

Postby WendyDarling » Tue Aug 25, 2020 7:21 pm

Consciousness supersedes everything. It's nature is by far the most important question. Nothing matters without it. Without consciousness, there is no time, no matter, nothing.

Can a planet full of class m atmosphere survive with only plants and no conscious life? Is that even possible? Can anything survive without consciousness?

Is a meaningless existence an actual possibility? I say no, so consciousness it is.
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Re: fundamental question

Postby iambiguous » Tue Aug 25, 2020 7:46 pm

WendyDarling wrote:Consciousness supersedes everything. It's nature is by far the most important question. Nothing matters without it. Without consciousness, there is no time, no matter, nothing.


Solipsism? Sure that's one possible explanation.

Indeed, imagine a solipsist in the matrix finding out that her own consciousness is derived from the dreams of an entity derived from a computer simulation world.

But that still doesn't explain how this came about going back to a comprehensive understanding of existence itself.

Whatever that might possibly mean in a world where human consciousness itself is just another manifestation of materialism.

Going back to...God?

Anyway, even in regard to this, Wendy is a staunch objectivist. She says consciousness supersedes everything and if you refuse to agree than you are a "retard".

Just as she will absolutely insist that the consciousness of Donald Trump supersedes Joe Biden's.

And maybe even the consciousness of...Joker? :wink:
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: fundamental question

Postby WendyDarling » Tue Aug 25, 2020 7:57 pm

:lol: =D> SCORE for Biggie! Burst out laughing on that one. Bravo...two points for the funny and an additional point for not being a completely irritating insect as per usual.

Biggie wrote
Indeed, imagine a solipsist in the matrix finding out that her own consciousness is derived from the dreams of an entity derived from a computer simulation world.


A computer simulation built without consciousness makes no sense, Biggles. So we're back to consciousness and the retards who I must swat away in her. :wink:
I AM OFFICIALLY IN HELL!

I live my philosophy, it's personal to me and people who engage where I live establish an unspoken dynamic, a relationship of sorts, with me and my philosophy.

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Re: fundamental question

Postby iambiguous » Tue Aug 25, 2020 8:10 pm

WendyDarling wrote::lol: =D> SCORE for Biggie! Burst out laughing on that one. Bravo...two points for the funny and an additional point for not being a completely irritating insect as per usual.

Biggie wrote
Indeed, imagine a solipsist in the matrix finding out that her own consciousness is derived from the dreams of an entity derived from a computer simulation world.


A computer simulation built without consciousness makes no sense, Biggles. So we're back to consciousness and the retards who I must swat away in her. :wink:


I know: Kidstuff.

And, perhaps, what some here would like to reduce ILP down to.

Pick one:

:shock:
:o
:cry:
#-o
8-[
:oops:

Or this:

:scared-shocked:
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: fundamental question

Postby Magnus Anderson » Wed Aug 26, 2020 1:12 am

FC wrote:What is the most fundamental question of science?


How about "What are the set of laws that govern everything?"

FC wrote:It should not be a humanities, meaning-based question such as why we exist. I don't think thats scientifically resolvable


Why not?

iambiguous wrote:Pick one:


I pick this one:

:scared-shocked:
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Re: fundamental question

Postby iambiguous » Wed Aug 26, 2020 4:54 am

Magnus Anderson wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Pick one:


I pick this one:

:scared-shocked:


Actually the correct answer is "all of the above". But even I missed that one. :wink:
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: fundamental question

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:13 am

Fixed Cross wrote:They say science is about asking questions. ("they" includes me but that doesn't make it a "we") So here's a question.

What is the most fundamental question of science?

It should not be a humanities, meaning-based question such as why we exist. I don't think thats scientifically resolvable, the question itself may be an error. It must be a technical question.
What is a humanities question today might turn out to be a science question tomorrow. Or to put it another way, science my catch up with the humanities - like it did, for example, on the issue of the consciousness, motivations and emotions of animals - in the future and confirm something known to many people in the humanities long before.

Still I do not think this is necessarily the most fundamental question of science. I feel it should be closer to home.
A few thoughts and possible fundamental questions:

Right off I am with Wendy that consciousness or I would prefer the existence of experience and experiencers, is a likely fundamental question. And this in no way need mean solipsism as Iamb with his metaphysics assumes. If the universe is deterministic, why need it bother give pleasure to an epiphenomenon 'consciousness'. Organisms could be compelled to do what they do without pleasure occurring. It could be neutral or even painful to carry out what it is compelled to carry out. We don't make toasters or even the best supercomputers to enjoy playing Go or running military simulations. And we don't know what is and what is not conscious. We just know what behaves like us.

Why is the universe mathematical?
What would a more objective experiencing (not a thinking about) be like?
If there is a multiverse, the question might be why is there everything and not nothing? (though I think the question is less biting if there is everything)
What is time?
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Re: fundamental question

Postby iambiguous » Wed Aug 26, 2020 4:59 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Right off I am with Wendy that consciousness or I would prefer the existence of experience and experiencers, is a likely fundamental question. And this in no way need mean solipsism as Iamb with his metaphysics assumes.


As I read her, she is not saying that consciousness is a fundamental question, but that it supersedes all others:

Consciousness supersedes everything. It's nature is by far the most important question. Nothing matters without it. Without consciousness, there is no time, no matter, nothing.


But to my knowledge consciousness itself can only be attributed to the human species on planet Earth. And then only after billions of years of biological evolution. So something must have set that in motion going back to whatever set in motion the existence of existence itself. Unless, perhaps, even more ineffably, existence always existed.

How mindless matter morphed into mindful matter is a profound mystery. But that seemingly came about billions of years into what may well be only this Big Bang.

And, again, with Wendy, even in regard to questions this staggering, she has to project as the one with the only correct answer. For her consciousness becomes the fundamental question in the same way that Trump becomes the fundamental answer.

She is an objectivist even in regard to metaphysics.

And, from my point of view, as often as not, a Kid.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: fundamental question

Postby Magnus Anderson » Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:13 pm

Biguous wrote:As I read her, she is not saying that consciousness is a fundamental question, but that it supersedes all others:


It appears to me she said both.

She said consciousness is the most important question, but also, that without consciousness there is nothing.

Wendy wrote:It's nature is by far the most important question.


Without consciousness, there is no time, no matter, nothing.


And of course, I disagree with both (more so with the latter.)
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Re: fundamental question

Postby Magnus Anderson » Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:25 pm

Biguous wrote:Anyway, even in regard to this, Wendy is a staunch objectivist. She says consciousness supersedes everything and if you refuse to agree than you are a "retard".


It doesn't appear to me that she said that (i.e. that whoever disagrees with her on that particular issue, or any other issue, is a retard.)

And even if it's an opinion she does have, what's the problem?
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Re: fundamental question

Postby iambiguous » Wed Aug 26, 2020 11:54 pm

Magnus Anderson wrote:
Biguous wrote:As I read her, she is not saying that consciousness is a fundamental question, but that it supersedes all others:


It appears to me she said both.


Here then we will just have to agree to disagree.

Magnus Anderson wrote: She said consciousness is the most important question, but also, that without consciousness there is nothing.


Well, it has certainly been suggested by many that when we die, we are without consciousness. And that for "I" there is then nothing at all for, say, all the rest of eternity? But how would that actually be confirmed?

Anyway, my points about consciousness above still seem pertinent:

...to my knowledge consciousness itself can only be attributed to the human species on planet Earth. And then only after billions of years of biological evolution. So something must have set that in motion going back to whatever set in motion the existence of existence itself. Unless, perhaps, even more ineffably, existence always existed.

How mindless matter morphed into mindful matter is a profound mystery. But that seemingly came about billions of years into what may well be only this Big Bang.

And, again, with Wendy, even in regard to questions this staggering, she has to project as the one with the only correct answer. For her consciousness becomes the fundamental question in the same way that Trump becomes the fundamental answer.


Let's wait for her to comment on them.
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Re: fundamental question

Postby Fixed Cross » Thu Aug 27, 2020 12:09 am

iambiguous wrote:It seems there are two questions that might be argued as fundamental above all others:

1] why does something exist instead of nothing?
2] why this something and not something else?

also, related to this is wondering if there was in fact the possibility of something else coming into existence instead

Human consciousness is merely one manifestation of the something that does exist. Although certainly one of the most mysterious facets of all.

Yeah personally I agree that these are fundamental questions. Or foundational questions of philosophy.

If one were to answer these substantively then questions such as Magnus asks would also be resolved; the answer to "why this and not something else" would have to include some kind of justification of the natural laws we happen to live by.


Wendy - the question of the origin of consciousness is a fundamental one, yes, but why do you suggest that consciousness is a requirement for existence? I don't see how that can be reasoned for, except indeed through solipsism. As in, we cant know anything except through consciousness therefore it is impossible to reason consciousness out of the equation entirely - this looks to me alike to Experientialism as Silhouette proposes it.
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Re: fundamental question

Postby iambiguous » Thu Aug 27, 2020 12:09 am

Magnus Anderson wrote:
Biguous wrote:Anyway, even in regard to this, Wendy is a staunch objectivist. She says consciousness supersedes everything and if you refuse to agree than you are a "retard".


It doesn't appear to me that she said that (i.e. that whoever disagrees with her on that particular issue, or any other issue, is a retard.)

And even if it's an opinion she does have, what's the problem?


Well, given the manner in which she appears to regard those who disagree with her about any number of political issues, she clearly strikes me as someone I construe to be an objectivist. An especially caustic one in regard to liberals.

And here in regard to what can only be purely speculative assessments of the "fundamental question".

And, from my frame of mind, "I" in regard to value judgments is rooted in dasein...in the arguments I make in my signature threads. And objectivism becomes a problem for me when particularly authoritative and rabid objectivists gain access to power and set out to divide up the world between those who are "one of us" [and get rewarded] and those who are "one of them" [and get punished].

In my view, she doesn't express opinions so much as declamations.

I am merely quick to point out that this assessment of mine is no less an existential contraption rooted in dasein. I'm not arguing that it is true, only that "here and now" I think that it is reasonable.
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Re: fundamental question

Postby Fixed Cross » Thu Aug 27, 2020 12:20 am

Surreptitious - I like these questions, because I can partially answer some them.

surreptitious75 wrote:Is time an illusion ?

It is a dimension, so it is theoretically possible to supersede it.

What is consciousness ?

What it is is pretty clear; this, here.

Is the Universe infinite ?

If it came from the Big Bang, it cant be infinite. There is no way for a non-finite volume to expand to an infinite volume.
So, if the universe is infinite, it didn't begin with the Big Bang.

Does the Multiverse exist ?

What precisely do you mean with a multiverse? (Id ask that you use your own words, as it is yet a hypiothesis and not a fact).

How did life originate on Earth ?

The best theory Ive heard is that it is a random time-structuring event occurred in the chemically rich primordial soup under a constant hammering of lightning.

Is there life elsewhere in the Universe ?

If the above is true, then most like I would say yes. I suspect that there are chemical lifeforms in the storms on the gas planets as well as perhaps int he atmosphere of Venus - the latter has been corroborated as a plausibility by Russian scientists last year.

Magnus wrote:How about "What are the set of laws that govern everything?"

Then: what is the cause to that particular set of laws?
Or is there a law which causes itself?
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Re: fundamental question

Postby Magnus Anderson » Thu Aug 27, 2020 12:57 am

The set of laws that govern everything refers to a formula that you can use to predict with 100% accuracy the state of the universe at some point in time based on the state of the universe at some other point in time.

Thus, if you knew everything about the present state of the universe and you had this formula, you'd be able to predict the state of the universe at any other point in time (past or future.)

That seems what a lot of people are after (since it's something that would give them a lot of power.)

But now, you're asking what's the cause of these laws. That means you want to predict the laws of the universe based on something else. Why would anyone want to do that?
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Re: fundamental question

Postby Fixed Cross » Thu Aug 27, 2020 12:58 pm

Magnus Anderson wrote:The set of laws that govern everything refers to a formula that you can use to predict with 100% accuracy the state of the universe at some point in time based on the state of the universe at some other point in time.

Thus, if you knew everything about the present state of the universe and you had this formula, you'd be able to predict the state of the universe at any other point in time (past or future.)

This would however only be possible in a purely Newtonean universe. What we know now from Quantum Mechanics disallows such a computation of the whole.
So we already know this is a hollow ambition.

That seems what a lot of people are after (since it's something that would give them a lot of power.)

And glory, and the like. But everyone just wants to be the one to discover, not actually know whats going on. Its all egoic Ive noticed. Very little genuine interest.

But now, you're asking what's the cause of these laws. That means you want to predict the laws of the universe based on something else. Why would anyone want to do that?

As you might know, the state right after the Big Bang violates our natural laws. Not to mention the Big Bang itself of course.
Why would anyone want to know about the Big Bang, you ask?

Knowledge of what preceded the laws of our universe would give us a good indication of the coherence of the laws of our universe. It would reconcile QM with Relativity and such things. I.e. give us a higher formula in which these two disparate paradigms are integrated.
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Re: fundamental question

Postby Magnus Anderson » Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:37 pm

Fixed Cross wrote:This would however only be possible in a purely Newtonean universe. What we know now from Quantum Mechanics disallows such a computation of the whole.
So we already know this is a hollow ambition.


How about this?

[A] formula that you can use to predict with at least 90% accuracy the state of the universe at some point in time based on the state of the universe at some other point in time.


Does QM disallow such a computation?
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Re: fundamental question

Postby Magnus Anderson » Thu Aug 27, 2020 3:01 pm

Fixed Cross wrote:Knowledge of what preceded the laws of our universe would give us a good indication of the coherence of the laws of our universe. It would reconcile QM with Relativity and such things. I.e. give us a higher formula in which these two disparate paradigms are integrated.


Well, if you define the word "universe" as "the sum of all existence", then there is nothing that preceded the universe. (The universe is all there is.)

The laws of nature themselves merely describe the universe in simple terms -- as a relation between the state of the universe at one point in time and the state of the universe at the subsequent point in time. They are not something that exists at a single point in time such that you can ask "What preceded the laws of nature?"
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Re: fundamental question

Postby iambiguous » Thu Aug 27, 2020 6:01 pm

Fixed Cross wrote:
iambiguous wrote:It seems there are two questions that might be argued as fundamental above all others:

1] why does something exist instead of nothing?
2] why this something and not something else?

also, related to this is wondering if there was in fact the possibility of something else coming into existence instead

Human consciousness is merely one manifestation of the something that does exist. Although certainly one of the most mysterious facets of all.

Yeah personally I agree that these are fundamental questions. Or foundational questions of philosophy.

If one were to answer these substantively then questions such as Magnus asks would also be resolved; the answer to "why this and not something else" would have to include some kind of justification of the natural laws we happen to live by.


Including human consciousness. Unless, of course, as some insist, the only explanation for human consciousness is the existence of God. Their own, for example.

And, going all the way back to those fundamental questions of mine, this would also include your views on astrology and value ontology. And my views on dasein, conflicting goods and political economy...in an essentially meaningless world that ends in oblivion.

It's just that "I" seem to recognize this gap -- gaping chasm -- more then others. But then I'm not an objectivist.

And, even here, given a world where I possess some measure of free will in order to conclude something that I have absolutely no capacity at all to actually demonstrate.
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Re: fundamental question

Postby Fixed Cross » Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:52 pm

Magnus Anderson wrote:
Fixed Cross wrote:This would however only be possible in a purely Newtonean universe. What we know now from Quantum Mechanics disallows such a computation of the whole.
So we already know this is a hollow ambition.


How about this?

[A] formula that you can use to predict with at least 90% accuracy the state of the universe at some point in time based on the state of the universe at some other point in time.


Does QM disallow such a computation?

Yes. The uncertainty Principe disallows even such knowledge of a single electron, let alone a whole universe of particles/waves.

Note that the vast majority of the mass we register is not classified in terms of EM - "dark matter" makes up most of our universe. We know nothing about such stuff other than that it gravitates.
The idea that there could be a formula that predicts the state of 90 percent of the universe is thus misguided.

Well, if you define the word "universe" as "the sum of all existence", then there is nothing that preceded the universe. (The universe is all there is.)

Thats not at all granted by science though. What is meant by "the universe" is a continuum of causality, a "cosmos", an order.
(even though wiki may say differently)

The laws of nature themselves merely describe the universe in simple terms -- as a relation between the state of the universe at one point in time and the state of the universe at the subsequent point in time. They are not something that exists at a single point in time such that you can ask "What preceded the laws of nature?"

Yes, dude, they are. The events directly following the Big Bang violate these law of nature, as does the Big Bang itself.
So, the Big Bang most certainly, this is universally known in physics, preceded the laws of nature. (And what preceded the Big Bang? We are trying to find that out as we speak.)

The Big Bang is not generally considered the be part of the universe for that reason. An imperfect but useful metaphor; the event of a birth, including the mothers labour, is not considered part of the human that is being born.
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