Is the Universe Objective?
Started by parsonstreet, 18th May 2019 14:34 in Religion & Philosophy

  1. #1 | 2116517
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    Default Is the Universe Objective?

    This is a question I raised in another thread.

    It seems to me that the notion of the relative does not make sense in an objective universe with absolute coordinates.

    There are some physicists who have supported the mental universe hypothesis. But I do think a mind based universe is very weird. It does resolve some puzzles though.
    Do not let the oppressed retreat in disgrace; may the poor and needy praise your name..

  2. #2 | 2116523
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    Default Re: Is the Universe Objective?

    There are no absolute co-ordinates.

    Problem solved.
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  3. #3 | 2116530
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    Default Re: Is the Universe Objective?

    Where is something located and in relation to what? It seems there must be some real fixed location somewhere.

    Recently they have been saying humans maybe able to instinctively sense magnetic north. And Birds do a good job of migrating long distances.

    To me too many subjective locations suggest a mental universe. I don't know much about quantum mechanics but it does say the observer may effect a measurement.
    Do not let the oppressed retreat in disgrace; may the poor and needy praise your name..

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    Default Re: Is the Universe Objective?

    parsonstreet
    Where is something located and in relation to what? It seems there must be some real fixed location somewhere.
    And yet no one has devised an experiment - not even a thought experiment, let alone a real one - that would establish a preferred frame of reference. Galileo pointed this out a long time ago and he is yet to be contradicted.

    Recently they have been saying humans maybe able to instinctively sense magnetic north. And Birds do a good job of migrating long distances.
    No doubt, but that's not an absolute frame. It exists only in relation to the Earth, and every other body in the universe that has a magnetic field is moving relative to Earth, so if the e-m field is a frame of reference (and why wouldn't it be?) theirs, the other planets and so on, are just as valid as ours.

    To me too many subjective locations suggest a mental universe.
    Suggest all you like, if you can't point to a fixed reference that the whole universe can calibrate to, there's no reason to assume it exists. Mainly because it has no observable consequences so it's of no use.

    There was (past tense) one candidate for an absolute frame of reference: Maxwell's equations for the relationships between electric and magnetic fields predicted that those influences should propagate as a wave with a constant speed. But he didn't say relative to what, just the fixed speed known as c. It was therefore inferred that e-m waves must rely on a hitherto undetected medium, which was called the 'luminiferous ether'. The physical properties of the ether would have to be extreme: It would have to be almost infinitely stiff yet allow all known forms of matter to move through it unaffected. Experiments to detect it were performed, most famous the Michelson-Morley test in which the difference in the observed speed of light through the ether at various times of year due to the changing direction of Earth's motion through its orbit would establish the absolute standard of rest relative to which the light was moving. No difference was detected, and still hasn't been detected using instruments many orders of magnitude more accurate than would be required given the known variances in Earth's speed and direction. Therefore the ether doesn't exist and Maxwell's equations are true for all observers no matter how they are moving. This and other contributions eventually led to Einstein's special relativity, but the upshot for this discussion is Galileo was right... there is no preferred frame of reference.

    I don't know much about quantum mechanics but it does say the observer may effect a measurement.
    Which he wouldn't be able to do if he were subject to a universal standard of rest etc.
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    Default Re: Is the Universe Objective?

    PS - if you thought this wasn't serious...
    Memnoch
    There are no absolute co-ordinates.

    Problem solved.
    I meant it literally. If you're going to put a science topic in a philosophy forum, don't expect to be humoured with pseudointellectual nonsense that flatters your unfounded assumptions.
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    Default Re: Is the Universe Objective?

    PPS - to answer the question in the thread title - yes. If there is just one fact on which everyone must agree - and there is: the universal invariance of c - then it's objective in that it is what it is regardless of what anyone thinks.
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    Default Re: Is the Universe Objective?

    Memnoch
    If there is just one fact on which everyone must agree .
    Agreement about X does not prove X. Anything can be an illusion of the mind.

    Also we could all agree that the universe was mind dependent and subjective.
    Do not let the oppressed retreat in disgrace; may the poor and needy praise your name..

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    Default Re: Is the Universe Objective?

    parsonstreet
    Agreement about X does not prove X. Anything can be an illusion of the mind.
    In this context (do you really not know this?) agreement does not mean a shared opinion, it means everyone arrives at the same answer subject to the accuracy of their instruments. That is why I say everyone "must" agree on what c is because if we all measure it we will all get the same answer. Everyone must agree that two plus two is four because if we all consult a calculator we will all get the same answer if our calculators are any good. The value of c is not a matter of opinion, it is an invariant law of the universe, the same everywhere in all circumstances.

    Also we could all agree that the universe was mind dependent and subjective.
    We could all share that opinion of course, but as I've explained above, that's not what agreement means in this context.
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    Default Re: Is the Universe Objective?

    Something I am struggling with now is the difference between wavelength/frequency and speed for Light/Electromagnetic radiation.

    The Ether was considered redundant but now they have had to invoke Dark matter and Dark energy.
    Do not let the oppressed retreat in disgrace; may the poor and needy praise your name..

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    Default Re: Is the Universe Objective?

    parsonstreet
    Something I am struggling with now is the difference between wavelength/frequency and speed for Light/Electromagnetic radiation
    Well that has to be a windup. I mean, I know you're only a filosofer but that's year 7, tops.
    Anyway, I've humoured you enough, giving you a sufficiently detailed yet brilliantly concise and lay-friendly digest of the objectivity you inquired about, even though you asked it in the Philosophy forum most inappropriately IMV, and which you've ignored anyway presumably because you don't like it as it doesn't fit your preconceptions but you can't counter it, so tuff, I'm not going to answer this one even if I thought it was serious, which it obviously isn't.

    The Ether was considered redundant but now they have had to invoke Dark matter and Dark energy.
    As far as I can tell, there's no connection between those topics. Are you trying to build a man of straw?
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