The Nature of Reality


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The Nature of reality: what is it? I attended a debate panel last night with some great intellectual thinkers from Michael Shermer to Leonard Mlodinow. The topic and conversation topic was: is there an ultimate reality? And if yes, can it be accounted for with science? The scientists on the panel claim that they ultimately are agonistic about an extra reality–at least the ones who were honest. Some claimed, however, that they know there is an ultimate reality because we can see hints of larger stream of information like quantum non-locality (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonlocality) or even quantum consciousness. On these measures, the claim is that it appears quantum mechanics needs another mechanism to explain its behavior outside of what we currently know. There must therefore be something we have yet to discover.

Nevertheless, the structure of the discussion had each person introduce themselves individually. One by one the speakers were introduced by the moderator in the center and then they spoke about what they perceive to be the ultimate reality and if it can be measured. Michael Shermer, the leading skeptic, claimed that he is a monist (one substance) and that the mind is a semantics issue. On his view, there is no dualism or higher reality then the physical universe. When a person speakers about the mind, in particular, they are merely referring to the function of the brain and there is nothing more to it. Deepak Chopra, on the other hand, claimed that consciousness is a grounding and basis for the ultimate reality since everything emerges from it. Consciousness is a realm of ultimate potential where no one can measure and science can not, in principle, discover its secrets. Leonard Mlodinow and a few other scientists tended to disagree with him on this point since it seemed Chopra was diminishing the scientific enterprise. But even if he was, we still have to appreciated the fact that he has a different viewpoint that we can use to tackle these bigger issues.

Overall, the discussion was great and had some good points to it. I can’t recall all of it but from what I remember it was certainly enlightening. I look forward to attending another one at Chapman if they will host it.

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About insightsofmind

Hello my name is Jerome and welcome to my blog. Here you will find various media and articles on assorted topics from around the world and some of my own personal interests. I’ve made this blog so you too can enjoy the topics and issues I examine and discuss in detail here. On occasion, I will only post bits and pieces for I am a busy guy. But when I get the time I always try to post as much material as possible. Now that you’re here take the time to look around and see if there’s anything that peaks your interest. Some material you will find will be pictures; others will be videos and articles. I’ve tried to offer a wide variety of mediums so that you the viewer can find the one that most suits you. And I hope with the time you’ve taken to at least read this you are already interested in what I have posted here. Thanks for your time.
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