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Heronumber0

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Can you prove to me that you exist?
« on: 25/07/2007 04:32:05 »
We live in a world that demands proof of phenomena.  And also proof of the existence of God.  Fine. However I am stuck when I get round to proving that I, or someone else exists. All I can refer to is sense data.

This is not a metaphysical question, just a purely scientific one.  Can you prove that you exist?


 

another_someone

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Can you prove to me that you exist?
« Reply #1 on: 25/07/2007 04:43:26 »
We live in a world that demands proof of phenomena.  And also proof of the existence of God.  Fine. However I am stuck when I get round to proving that I, or someone else exists. All I can refer to is sense data.

This is not a metaphysical question, just a purely scientific one.  Can you prove that you exist?

I can prove that I exist, what I cannot do is prove what I am.

I am answering this question - therefore I exist.  What it means in any physical sense, I cannot show.  I may only exist as a figment of your imagination, but nonetheless, at least as a figment of your imagination, I do exist.
 

Heronumber0

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Can you prove to me that you exist?
« Reply #2 on: 25/07/2007 04:45:59 »
Is that a scientific proof though a-someone?
 

another_someone

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Can you prove to me that you exist?
« Reply #3 on: 25/07/2007 05:05:16 »
Is that a scientific proof though a-someone?

If by 'scientific proof' you mean experimental proof, then I would ask how you can possibly carry out any experiment that does not rely on a presumption of the correctness of your senses (at least, of some of your senses).  All experimental proof is dependent upon observation (using the term broadly, not only relating to the visual sense), if if you start by not assuming the correctness of your observations, then you cannot have a scientific proof of anything.

That having been said, I would suggest that no experimental proof can ever be an absolute proof, which is why a supposedly proven scientific theory can still be superseded at a later date by a better scientific theory (if the original theory had been proven in any absolute sense, how could it ever be shown to be wanting at a later date?).
 

Heronumber0

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Can you prove to me that you exist?
« Reply #4 on: 25/07/2007 10:53:57 »
another-s I was thinking about the New Scientist article in March which suggested that we live in a quantum world with all the wierdness that entails.  Also, another article suggested that reality is created by the act of observation andthis was shown by experiment.  Don't ask me for details because I still have to understand what I am reading. However, I then thought about ourselves.  How real are we? Is it our thoughts that are real or is there some correlate reality which is covered up like the matrix?
 

Offline neilep

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Can you prove to me that you exist?
« Reply #5 on: 25/07/2007 13:42:32 »
Can I just step in on this fascinating subject and turn it round a little and ask what would satisfy you as proof that I exist ?

If you have no idea then it may be a futile process. Should you ever be doubting the existence of the words on the screen or the reality of my person (should you meet me) or even the honesty of your own senses...then I would say the meaning of absolute proof maybe nigh on impossible without a ' leap of faith ' so that you can trust your own abilities to accept what you hear,see and feel .
 

Heronumber0

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Can you prove to me that you exist?
« Reply #6 on: 25/07/2007 14:14:46 »
Can I just step in on this fascinating subject and turn it round a little and ask what would satisfy you as proof that I exist ?

If you have no idea then it may be a futile process. Should you ever be doubting the existence of the words on the screen or the reality of my person (should you meet me) or even the honesty of your own senses...then I would say the meaning of absolute proof maybe nigh on impossible without a ' leap of faith ' so that you can trust your own abilities to accept what you hear,see and feel .

neilep, I agree that it is fascinating and I like the quote from Kierkegaard but I must admit that I have started to doubt everything in favour of 'The Matrix' theory that reality is constructed externally and that our consciousness, in whichever form, 'clocks in' at birth and then 'clocks out' at death.  I guess that I must go along with sense data and trust it to get on in this world but I always, always wonder...
 

Offline neilep

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Can you prove to me that you exist?
« Reply #7 on: 25/07/2007 14:52:57 »
Can I just step in on this fascinating subject and turn it round a little and ask what would satisfy you as proof that I exist ?

If you have no idea then it may be a futile process. Should you ever be doubting the existence of the words on the screen or the reality of my person (should you meet me) or even the honesty of your own senses...then I would say the meaning of absolute proof maybe nigh on impossible without a ' leap of faith ' so that you can trust your own abilities to accept what you hear,see and feel .

neilep, I agree that it is fascinating and I like the quote from Kierkegaard but I must admit that I have started to doubt everything in favour of 'The Matrix' theory that reality is constructed externally and that our consciousness, in whichever form, 'clocks in' at birth and then 'clocks out' at death.  I guess that I must go along with sense data and trust it to get on in this world but I always, always wonder...

Hi Heronumber0,

I have to say I sometimes think along the 'the Matrix ' route and wonder what it would be like to wake up from all of this.

I agree that sense data is all we have for now, in fact, it's all we do have .......and that if doubts lay in our ability to trust our own senses then this is why the philosophical approach is available to us...except that....we may be using false reality and data to study and theorize about our existence in the first place.....one thing  (I think ) is something that we can be certain of is that....we'll either one day know or not know !!..at least that is a certainty.....I think !!  :).........we can be certain of our uncertainty !  ;)
 

Heronumber0

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Can you prove to me that you exist?
« Reply #8 on: 25/07/2007 15:23:25 »
Quote
Hi Heronumber0,

I have to say I sometimes think along the 'the Matrix ' route and wonder what it would be like to wake up from all of this.

I agree that sense data is all we have for now, in fact, it's all we do have .......and that if doubts lay in our ability to trust our own senses then this is why the philosophical approach is available to us...except that....we may be using false reality and data to study and theorize about our existence in the first place.....one thing  (I think ) is something that we can be certain of is that....we'll either one day know or not know !!..at least that is a certainty.....I think !!  :).........we can be certain of our uncertainty !  ;)

Agreed, but life was so easy when gravity and the speed of light and the motion of planets have their place in our world.  It is just quantum physics creating the same sort of doubt that Greek sceptics and others put into the minds of people.  I just wonder if quantum uncertainty is a tap on the shoulder to say...there's more to this reality than you think...
 

Offline neilep

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Can you prove to me that you exist?
« Reply #9 on: 25/07/2007 16:49:15 »
Quantum mechanics/physics certainly do demonstrate that there are things beyond our current understanding of reality that is way beyond us. I wonder if we'll ever understand it.....it may be impossible for us to ever find the reasons living in the reality that we do...in that...our own existence may deny us the possibility of discovering the comprehension of something ' outside '.......who knows ?...there may be something else beyond quantum...and then beyond that !

Perhaps the answer is in the understanding of the nature of the universe and it's birth...after all...it's this universe that we live in and so we are constrained by the very universe  and it's boundaries that we live in.......does that make any sense ?

 

Heronumber0

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Can you prove to me that you exist?
« Reply #10 on: 26/07/2007 00:05:04 »
neilep - you make sense.  We have to understand the rules and nature of this Universe.  But there may be Laws that we don't understand because we cannot see or measure them objectively.  The article I was talking about involved the entanglement of photons passing through polarisation filters.
I still find it difficult to understand but the broad conclusions are that there is no objective reality until a measurement brings it into being - supporting Bohr and Heisenberg.  This is a bit spooky.
 

another_someone

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Can you prove to me that you exist?
« Reply #11 on: 26/07/2007 02:59:51 »
neilep - you make sense.  We have to understand the rules and nature of this Universe.  But there may be Laws that we don't understand because we cannot see or measure them objectively.  The article I was talking about involved the entanglement of photons passing through polarisation filters.
I still find it difficult to understand but the broad conclusions are that there is no objective reality until a measurement brings it into being - supporting Bohr and Heisenberg.  This is a bit spooky.

What you have to ask, in broad terms, what does science tell you?

Science does not tell you what reality is - your own senses tell you that, and you either believe them or you do not.

What science excels at is telling you what will happen.

When Newton formulated the theory of gravity, he could not really say whether something called gravity really existed.  What Newton did was he created a set of mathematical models that predicted what would happen to a massive object in the vicinity of another massive object.  He said that if he had an observable apple, and dropped it, it would fall, and it would repeatedly fall, and the rate of fall could be consistently calculated using a mathematical model of the behaviour of massive objects.  Who can say whether gravity exists or not, but we know the maths works (apart from the adjustments made to the mathematical model by Einstein).

The same is true of quantum physics.  Who can say if quantum physics describes a real world or not, but we know that the mathematical model it contains makes accurate predictions of observable events - we know no more than that.

 

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Can you prove to me that you exist?
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