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65 votes

Are we all ‘atheist’ or 'agnostic in a pandemic'?

I think you have a false premise. Your premise seems to be "Devout believers/adherents of the religion Islam believe that humans need not make any effort in their survival in the natural world." I ...
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  • 566
31 votes

Are we all ‘atheist’ or 'agnostic in a pandemic'?

There's a good joke about this. The Mississippi floods, but this guy stays put and says "God will save me". A policeman comes past and says "Better be going" but our guy says "God will save me". The ...
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  • 1,162
29 votes
Accepted

Does True Randomness actually exist?

Like you, I think most uses of the terms 'probable' and 'random' are just epistemic, i.e. they relate to how much information we have. We say of a toss of a coin that it is random, and that there is a ...
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  • 15.4k
22 votes

Why is the complex number an integral part of physical reality?

The short answer: Your premise is not correct. Quantum Mechanics is not necessarily complex-valued. Here is a primer from Physics.SE if you are solid on the math. An explanation that is light on math:...
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  • 726
19 votes

Can we prove reality?

We cannot really prove that there is reality What would it mean to prove reality? Simone Weil, philosopher and younger sister to the famous mathematician Andre Weil (who solved the local Riemann ...
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19 votes

Are we all ‘atheist’ or 'agnostic in a pandemic'?

There are some religious groups --I'm thinking here of "prosperity" churches --that promote the message that nothing but good things will ever happen to the truly faithful. But these are definitely ...
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18 votes
Accepted

What are some arguments against the brain-in-a-vat thought experiment?

Your question is about metaphysical realism and skepticism. There are indeed radical sceptic arguments against realism such as Descartes's demon, brain in a vat or the idea that one is actually ...
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16 votes
Accepted

What makes things real?

tl;dr- Depends on a person's level of mental development. The truth's crazy complicated, but we go through stages of understanding. Stage 1: Realism. The simplest way to understand reality is ...
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  • 1,879
16 votes
Accepted

Can someone identify this school of thought?

The first sentence expresses relativism, and then the rest makes clear that it makes everything relative to the individual subject. That position is called solipsism. Solipsism makes the individual ...
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  • 5,398
12 votes

Why distrust our senses?

"Distrust your senses" is a very long tradition. Recall Plato's "cave" analogy from the early dawn of philosophy, ~400 BC. Plato postulated that there is a reality outside of what humans experience. ...
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11 votes

Can we prove reality?

I think one reality is certain and indisputable: our own individual reality which is intuitively perceived without the need to any empirical data or substantiation. There can be no doubt that you are ...
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  • 1,234
7 votes

Can we prove reality?

If there were no reality, then all would be unreal. If all is unreal, then you are not real, your thoughts are not real, the statements you make are not real, there is no truth or falsehood, there is ...
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  • 391
7 votes

Why distrust our senses?

The basic response to this question (whether you listen to ancient philosophy, early/late modern philosophy, or pretty much anybody who's thought much about it) is that "you could always be missing ...
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  • 71
7 votes

What are some arguments against the brain-in-a-vat thought experiment?

In my opinion, the best response to ontological uncertainty is to strive to live in a way that is meaningful regardless of the true nature of reality. While it may seem implausible, it may be less so ...
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7 votes

Why is the complex number an integral part of physical reality?

In my opinion you are mixing up different points: Physics does not use complex numbers to count entities. It is sufficient to count mangos by non-negative rational numbers, i.e. 1 mango, 1.5 mangos, ...
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  • 19.9k
7 votes

Did David Deutsch really disprove the Simulation Hypothesis?

To be honest, I couldn't exactly follow your construction. But I can say that Deutsch is definitely not using an impossible scenario. He is actually adapting the Cantor Diagonalisation Argument which ...
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7 votes

Is symmetry real?

Here is the question: So did we discover symmetry, or do we impose it? (like numbers) And why do we need it? David John Baker describes symmetries (page 2): ...symmetries of a theory are ...
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  • 19.1k
6 votes
Accepted

How does Descartes determine that the idea of God has more objective reality than finite substance?

The distinction between formal and objective reality in Descartes is elucidated on Brown's web page. Formal reality refers to the reality of an object by virtue of the kind of thing it is (infinite, ...
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  • 40.7k
6 votes
Accepted

A second indubitable axiom

You have actually anticipated Descartes himself in this question. After he established his own existence, as a mind, a thinking being, with the Cogito (I think therefore I am) he proceeded to ask ...
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  • 7,191
6 votes

Why is the complex number an integral part of physical reality?

Complex numbers are ordered pairs of numbers that have an extended definition of multiplication that is useful for representing circular motion in two-dimensions. (The definition of multiplication ...
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  • 1,692
6 votes

What makes things real?

Reality is objective, not subjective. Therefore, you can remove the subjective part of "So for him, does anything even exist?" and make it: "Does anything even exist?" The obvious answer is yes. If ...
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  • 185
6 votes
Accepted

Wanted references to the Phillip K Dick Total Recall (1990) paradox

In this piece which talks about similar questions about the nature of reality and his own quasi-mystical experiences, he mentions a number of pre-socratic philosophers (Heraclitus, Parmenides, ...
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  • 2,633
5 votes

Why distrust our senses?

They don't; that is not all do; for example the natural philosophers; most, of whom are now called scientists, and in antiquity physilogoi took their sense on trust; if you are going to physics as ...
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5 votes

If there are infinite realities, do realities exist in which there are no infinite realities?

It seems to me that your question is ill-posed. With that I mean that the question is not well defined: take for example the classic problem "If a tree falls but no one is there, does it make any ...
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  • 204
5 votes

Is there something to theory as theory is practice?

The correct answer is: practice. Praxis is to theoria as theoria is to praxis. Theory is inferred from practice, and practice confirms theory. This is the basic hypothetico-deductive model of science,...
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5 votes

Does Einstein's local realism in quantum mechanics imply superdeterminism?

You are right that Bell's inequalities do not rule out "superdeterminism" (Bell's term), as he himself acknowledged:"...if our measurements are not independently variable as we supposed...even if ...
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  • 40.7k
5 votes

Can anyone ever know for sure that other people are also conscious?

According to the argument from analogy, I infer the existence of mental states in other people, by analogy with myself. Just as I observe a correlation of my own behavior with my mental states, so I ...
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