"The Universe guides me" is their reality

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eritas's picture
"The Universe guides me" is their reality

In speaking with a believer (as in, they redefine "universe" to also be a guiding influence like Fate, whose direction they can feel), they often use the phrase "well that's your reality, not mine" or "it's a reality that you haven't realized yet" and I asked them to start using "viewpoint" instead of "reality." To me (and most, I feel), reality is something we call share and is independent of belief (ie humans cannot fly without help, no matter how deeply I believe it to be true). I think I made a misstep, though, by trying to compare it to something like Alzheimer's: what the patients experience is their reality, because it can be tracked to their brain state, even though it's not part of our reality.

While they didn't call me out on it, I'm still debating it in my mind. MW defines it as "something that is neither derivative nor dependent but exists necessarily" which kind of supports my Alzheimer's analogy, because their depreciated brain cells make their state exist necessarily. However, it's not a shared reality with others in their lives--the patient will swear they've never met someone, when that someone has known them all their life. That example could easily support the mentioned believer's (let's call them Terry) definition of reality, because it necessarily exists for them, and Terry's so convinced that we probably could track this impression of Fate to a brain state.

Thoughts? Maybe you have a different way of looking at it that'll help differentiate the two situations?

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cranky47's picture
@Eritas

@Eritas

Umm you DO realise that you are on an atheist forum?

What you are describing sounds a lot like a god or some kind of supernatural.; IE something 'above' or"other than' material existence which guides/helps you in life.

The question for you is : Can you you prove this whatever-it-is exists ?

I don't mean ato be unkind, but if the answer is 'no', then please stop wasting my time.

Grinseed's picture
The concept of reality gets

The concept of reality gets much much weirder than just brain injured Alzheimer sufferers with malfunctioning memory states.
Here's a tale from renowned US neurologist VS Ramachandrand about a strange aspect found in commissurotomy or split-brain patients and their beliefs. (less than 2.5 minutes, fascinating)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFJPtVRlI64

Amongst other things Ramachandran came up with a surprising treatment for the 'ghost pain' amuputees suffer. Look him up I haven't time to do all your homework.

I am convinced we all share a single reality, but mine has features that make mine more real than yours. ;p

David Killens's picture
@ eritas

@ eritas

"Fate"?

Please offer your definition of "fate".

doG's picture
Upon the birth of quantum

Upon the birth of quantum physics, light was defined as a particle measure of quanta of energy, which we called photons. The classic measure of youngs double slit experiment was applied. Common sense suggested that photons should go through one or the other slit and pile up behind each slit. They did not, and do not. Instead, the photons go to certain parts of the back measuring screen and avoid others, creating bands of light and dark. These bands, or so-called interference fringes, are the kind you get when two sets of waves overlap. However, when measured with one photon, going through youngs measurement device, It’s as if each photon is going through both slits at once and interfering with itself causing a collapse of said photon visible by the light/dark bands.This doesn’t make classical sense, and left a possibility of photons being in two places at once...leading to a tangent of quantum mechanics, who's theorems allow consciousness to be a possible determinant of reality...despite objective evidence showing loss of consciousness with physical loss of brain matter and function. The problem is that quantum theory is unclear about what constitutes a “measurement.” It only postulates that the measuring device must be classical, without defining where the boundary between classical and quantum measurement resides, thus leaving the door open for those who think that human consciousness needs to be invoked for collapse. Theists argue, that the double-slit experiment and its variants provide evidence that “a conscious observer must be needed for reality.” to make sense of the quantum realm and that inso exists a transcendental mind that underlies the material world. However, youngs experiment is not a determinant of reality. it just infers that we don't know why this result occurs. Other more founded theories are being tested presently, The leading one being the de Broglie-Bohm theory, which says that reality is both wave and particle. A photon heads towards youngs double slit with a definite position at all times and goes through one slit or the other; so each photon has a measurable trajectory. It’s riding of a pilot wave, which goes through both slits, interferes, and then guides the photon to a predictable measurable location. These type theories do not require observers(us) or non-material consciousness. So, theists can argue for a, at present, non-measurable consciousness assertion, but demonstrable evidence has already been measured and presented, that suggests both particle and wave interaction theories define reality. Correct me if I am wrong guys, but I think that is where we stand right now?

Mutations in the APP, PSEN1, or PSEN2 genes are evidenced in Alzheimer patients...decidedly a factor of physicality.

Nyarlathotep's picture
I'm a fan of the "shut up and

I'm a fan of the "shut up and calculate" interpretation. :P

Talyyn's picture
There is more, people usually

There is more, people usually believe that the "conscious" part is vital, but in fact, every interaction upon a quantum system will force it to settle upon a state, if I understood correctly. This can be a background noise, a particle, whatever.

This is a HUGE problem concerning quantum computers.

doG's picture
Do you know of a very very

@Ny

Do you know of a very very tall building and a Nostradamus fanboy?

:D

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Nyarlathotep's picture
@doG

@doG
LOL

I'll use the 3rd equation, because I don't care what time they hit the ground, I just care that they have "sufficient velocity" when it happens.
-----------------------
/e: Funny story: in my physics 1 midterm I was cranking those equations you posted, trying to solve a problem. And like what you posted, I used "a" for acceleration in some parts, but for some reason I started using "g" in some other parts. And then I got lost in the weeds. I noticed I had more unknowns than equations, and started adding equations and additional unknowns. Finally got up to like 5 unknowns and 4 equations. After wasting maybe 30 minutes I realized a = g and finished it in a few seconds.

doG's picture
@Ny

@Ny

LOL

Newton was messing with your mind from the grave...either that, or you hadn't yet discovered the benefits of caffeinated beverages.

Sheldon's picture
@Eritas

@Eritas

Delusion is defined as an idiosyncratic belief or impression maintained despite being contradicted by reality or rational argument, typically as a symptom of mental disorder.

I don't think theism is part of a mental disorder, but that's not necessary for it to fit the definition perfectly. If they're describing a personal feeling about reality they can't evidence, or rationally explain, and that involves aspects that are in fact contradicted by reality, then ipso fact, it's a delusion.

Whitefire13's picture
I enjoy my imagination, my

I enjoy my imagination, my creative “side”. And “playing” with ideas...I can see where this idea arises, and it’s fun in books and movies - but it’s like some don’t have a “stop” button in their heads or a “logic” side (maybe it atrophied)...

Cognostic's picture
How much does it matter how

How much does it matter how you create your image of reality? We are here and we are here now. Deviate too much from that and you die. Pretend gods are in charge, pretend it is all fate, pretend it is all a journey to reincarnation and will happen over and over until you reach Nirvana, pretend you are a mind in a vat, imagine you are a shadow on the wall of a cave, IT DOES NOT FRIGGNIG MATTER. Try to fly off a ten story building and you are going to break something. Cross enough streets without looking and you will end up dead. Ingest the wrong poison in the right amount and you will not see the morning. All the woo woo shit in the world will not change that and if you think any of the woo woo shit is real, you have a burden of proof. Good Luck!!

doG's picture
It matters to me, because any

@oldbananalover

It matters to me, because any explanation that leads to religious belief, in all its immorality, is wrong. Why would we have developed decidedly good innate genetic moral precepts, and house them in the prefrontal cortex of every brain? Because a contradictory immoral concept says so? No. All the death and suffering of humanity directed by what amounts to failure in a basic human trait, called reason... can not be excepted. An un-evidenced belief in a book saying that killing non-believers is moral...despite the genetic evidence that it is actually immoral, repugnant and opposite to our evolutionary developed innate genetic standards, is obviously wrong. I'm going to add, IMHO, because I hate being shit on by my fellow brother chimp...especially one with such an unhealthy fixation on bananas.

eritas's picture
To reiterate, especially

To reiterate, especially @Cranky47, I'm an atheist and skeptic, and these views expressed are legitimately those of a friend, and not the "it's me but I'll say it's a friend because I don't want to seem like an idiot." We have heated debates on this many times, and when we start to get somewhere, trying to pin down their actual proof and what logic they're applying, they are too frustrated or mentally exhausted. I'm trying to keep my patience, but it's INCREDIBLY difficult.

It seems like they keep their definition of this entity vague on purpose, so as not to get caught in a logic debate with me. But they're also not good with words, so it may very well be genuine. The best illustration I can get to is they're inserting what we can call X as the cause for all the incredibly coincidental stuff that seems too perfect to be coincidence. I'm conceptualizing it as what some people call Fate, in that there IS an order to what we think is chaos, the grand scheme of events that is already predetermined, but not in a meddling entity type of way. Again, there are so many holes in that description, and that's why I've abandoned it. When I've asked for specifics, they have no idea about whether or not its an entity, whether it's intelligent, or what it's plan is, or if there's a plan, but they can't not believe something's there making these amazing moments. Sometimes they use "universe" to describe it, which convoludes things even further.

I understand the delusion statement, and I don't think I agree that theists are delusional. I understand they've been led to these conclusions through indoctrination usually, whether through childhood, or a low point in their life. How we build our reality greatly influences the thoughts and events we act on. In order to make sure our future becomes our now (ie that we survive until that day), we have to build a system of trust to keep us safe in order to arrive at that later date. If I'm delusional and there is a fate out there, I want to know.

Nyarlathotep's picture
eritas - If I'm delusional

eritas - If I'm delusional and there is a fate out there, I want to know.

Well if you think there are random events (I think so); then that should be the end of any notion of fate.

Sheldon's picture
eritas

eritas

"It seems like they keep their definition of this entity vague on purpose,"

There is reason paranoid delusional s create scenarios that are unfalsifiable, and don't need a shred of proof. Yes its deliberate, and if an omnipotent omniscient deity existed and wanted us to know, as all modern monotheism claim, then we wouldn't need human testimony at all. If it was overly concerned with faith and free will, that sane deity wouldn't keep appearing to people, or intervening with miracles, again as monotheistic have always claimed.

Why does Moses or Saul get to witness this deity personally, or people see it in human form allegefly creating miracles, but I have to take other human beings unevidenced word for it?

What's remotely moral about that? If a deity exists why is it hiding from me so completely, that I can only experience it if I presupposes it exists and adopt a suggestive state of mind? As none of that gets me any closer to Jesus than it does to the Aztec god of gluttony, whose existence anyone could find compelling if they adopt the same subjective bias towards the idea.

David Killens's picture
@ eritas

@ eritas

Thank you for the clarification.

Please note my previous post, where I requested a definition of "fate". Not that it matters anymore concerning our interaction.

But I suggest you follow my example, to request from this person(s) a precise definition of any questionable words. And once they have offered a definition, STICK TO IT. Do not allow them to modify or change it in any way. Make them commit, and don't let them off the hook. And if they are unable to offer a definition, then you can hand wave it all away, stating that they don't even understand what they are talking about.

People can not have a constructive conversation if they do not share terms and definitions.

Cognostic's picture
@Eritas: Theists are

@Eritas: Theists are certainly delusional: an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument, typically a symptom of mental disorder. "the delusion of being watched." Who watches them? How often are they watched? What is the result of being watched? If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck.... it's probably a duck.

* I can get to is they're inserting what we can call X as the cause for all the incredibly coincidental stuff that seems too perfect to be coincidence.

THERE IS NO COINCIDENCE: You are allowing them to get away with a Black and White fallacy. "Either the world was created or it was all coincidence, it just happened magically." The person is shifting the theist argument onto you while pretending there are only two choices. 1. God is the one that uses magic and makes things appear out of nothing. NOT THINGS THAT OCCUR NATURALLY. 2. Nothing happens out of coincidence, not the bonding of atoms, not the structure of molecules, not the formation of cells. Naturally occurring is not coincidence.

Next: An ultimate cause of everything is still a God of the Gaps no matter what you call it. Call it intelligence or call it nothing and it is a nothing of the gaps argument. Call it intelligence and it is an intelligence of the gaps argument. It does not matter what it is called, it is being inserted, without warrant, into a gap of knowledge about which we know nothing at all.

Our current scientific models take us to Planck time. Anything beyond that is conjecture. Gods, Empty space, Multiverses, Holographic universe, etc.... We know that stuff exists. We have no evidence at all for non-stuff. An equivocation fallacy occurs when Theists are allowed to use Philosophical "Nothing" in place of the "Nothing" in the natural world. There is no "nothing" in reality. We have no case of "nothing" occurring anywhere. "Something from (Philosophical) nothing" is not the same as something from the nothing of space.

Sheldon's picture
@Cognostic

@Cognostic

If they're watching me I should be charging them. They must have seen some fucked up shit over the years. Especially that year I spent living and working in Holland.

Cognostic's picture
@Oh yea! Tin showed me the

@Oh yea! Tin showed me the video. I would have paid to see it!

Whitefire13's picture
@Eritas... “Anything beyond

@Eritas... “Anything beyond that is conjecture. Gods, Empty space, Multiverses, Holographic universe, etc.... We know that stuff exists. We have no evidence at all for non-stuff.” (Quoting Cog)

Stick to that non-stuff makes for good movies and books and imagination...
Get this person to start watching “cool” shows on suggestion...there was a show by a magician who put subliminals and then had the “written” answers - but then walked you through the show where the subliminals were planted. It was cool. It’s because we’re pattern seeking (it’s a huge “advantage”)
- Coincidence/fate is what she/he is “making” of it. Picking out “hits”

Also time may just need to be involved as “reality” sinks in. At least he/she isn’t talking to Ashtar Command ... uh, right?!?!?

Edited to add: another point... when talking don’t accept “I know” from your friend. Accept I think and I feel - those are opinions. Too many people equate their thoughts/feelings/experience of something to reality. This doesn’t get you to what is true.

Fievel Mousekewitz's picture
@eritas

@eritas

I doubt a god was necessary for the creation of the universe.

What ever caused it, it happened, the Big Bang, and the universe began to expand. And nothing happened in any kind of order. Everything happened so randomly if it was directed by the hand of a god, it would have to be by the hand of a drunk god. And the universe is like 9 billion years older than earth. There's zero possible way it was created in six days.

I am not first to ask this but why are you here on an atheist forum?

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