Tag Archives: consciousness and objective reality

The Lie of the Smallest Particle: Greater implications for existence and consciousness (Part Two, Conclusion)

Taking a cue from quantum physics itself—and it is important to understand this, for I am basing my arguments not upon mererly my own conjecture, but on conclusions physics itself ineluctably makes about the nature of reality—beyond a certain point the reduction of the physical literally stops being emprical. Beyond a certain point physical reality can no longer be sensed, because it has simply been reduced too far (it is too small). Beyond a certain point physical reality can no longer be said to possess mass, which means it does not, in the emprical sense, occupy space—it is volume-less; it no longer exists dimensionally, and thus it also posssesses no temporal value. In other words, empirically speaking, it exists no where and at no time. Physical reality at this point cannot be verified empirically, but is only rationally inferred.

The evidence for the rational assumption of reality’s existence beyond the place of physicality—beyond the senses—is the mathematics, which are a purely abstract cognitive contrivance…that’s the whole point of math. Math, like music notes on paper, implies the existence of physical reality, but it is not physical reality itself. For if it was, then it would no longer be math, it’s as simple as that.

The effects of these non-emprical yet existent objects, which are referred to as quanta, are said to possess rational existence because they mathematically correlate. In other words, the effects on the physical universe of the quanta are predicted by the math. When atoms are smashed and certain effects recorded, the effects occur in ways that the mathematical rendering of quanta predict, with sufficient repeatability, and this is how, not via direct empirical observation, the quanta (massless, timeless, spaceless particles of reality) are said to objectively exist.

And here we see that empiricism and objectivity are completely distinct. Quantum physics, if we accept its validity, proves that reality does not need to by physical to be be utterly objective, actual, existent, and real.

I have no reason to believe that the mathematics are spurious, (though I understand that by the nature of quantum physics there is always some endemic degree of uncertainty, and this is likely because mathematics is essentially the breaking up of infinity into units, which makes absolute claims ultimately impossible, but science nevertheless is able to get close enough). I’m sure the math is perfectly functional; I have no doubt that it works, and I have no problem assuming that quanta exist and act the way science describes and accepting the mathematical context.

That isn’t my point.

I have no problem with science when it functions as science, and not as philosophy; I do not doubt the mathematical data…believe me, I haven’t the abstract skills to know the difference between good or bad calculus—that’s well beyond my skill set. I’d no sooner argue with Stephen Hawking about the veracity of mathematics than I would a pilot about the veracity of flight. My problem here is the abject conflation of that which is rationally inferred with that which is empirically validated.  Quantum physics is simply not empirical science, even by science’s own definitions (though utterly absent science’s admission, which is hypocritical). The fact that quantum particles must be rationally inferred through the abstracton of mathematics doesn’t necessarily negate the validity of the claims that they nevertheless objectively exist.

My goal here is to show that at some point we must admit that existence—that that which can be said to objectively be—is not strictly a matter of physical, empirical proof, but also, if not ultimately, a matter of reason, and reason is cognitive, and cognition is consciousness. In other words, at some point we must admit that it is the observer, the Conscious Ones, who must declare what is real and what is not; what exists and what doesn’t; what is true and what is lie. Quantum physics is evidence that objective realty does not exist outside of man—or specifically, his consciousness; his ability to conceptualize himself, his environment, and their relative relationships, but wholly includes him, affirms him, necessitates him, relies upon him, and heeds him. This is not sollipsism, but it is, at root, an acknowledgement that reason—rational consistency—can be a plumb-line for truth and realtiy, not only empiricism. Existence and truth do not end at the limit of observation or sensory experience. Quantum physics shows us that just because you cannot observe that something is there, you can still reason that it is there, and that that reason suffices as objective evidence that it is indeed there. One does not, and cannot, sense it is there—for it is utterly beyond observation—yet one may still objectively know that it is actually there; actually true. And this is, again, because of reason. Reason, which is cognitive, which is conscious, is a means, and I would even argue is the fundamental means, of accessing objective realtiy and objective truth.

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Cause, Effect, and Movement Exist Only by the Cognition of the Observer

The human ability to conceptualize from the frame of reference of the Self is not simply an evolutionary extension of the mathematically determined machinations of an “objective reality outside” of one’s consciousness/cognition, but is integral to objective reality itself, at the most fundamental level. I submit that absent man’s ability to conceptualize the movement of what he observes (that is, man as the Observer) and to establish Self as the reference–as the constant–it is impossible that there is any movement at all, and therefore can be no evolutionary/mathematical “cause and effect” interaction of objects in the material universe.

To claim that there is any such thing as as object movement, or cause and effect interaction, once the observer is removed from the equation is impossible. Because once he who provides the reference by which any such cause and effect interaction and/or object movement has any meaning (including relevancy,  purpose, direction, velocity, distance, etc.) there is no rational argument for asserting or believing that it is happening at all in some “objective reality” that can somehow excludes the very thing that gives that reality any value.

In other words, once movement is no longer observed (and by “observed”, again, I mean not only perception, but the cognitive power of conceptualization), movement has no specific context; no reference by which it can be gauged as “movement” qua movement. This means that without a reference, all movement–and therefore all cause and effect interactions and their “mathematical” deterministic mechanisms–is relative not to a specific but to an absolute degree. And absolute relativity of movement–that is, relative interaction with no set reference provided by the conceptualizing observer–means that all movement of all objects “mathematically” sums to zero. Meaning that absolute relativity, by nature, instantaneously nullifies any movement by any object at any given moment. And if all movement in all moments sums to zero because of un-referenced relativity, then there is, in fact, no movement at all; because movement with zero value is the absence of movement, by definition.

For a simple example, let’s take object A and object B in co-existing in a vacuum (where all must exist if we concede a plurality of existence–that things which exist are utterly distinct from one another). Because of the relative nature of movement, existence in a vacuum demands that any movement by A is automatically and instantaneously transferred to B, and vice versa. There is no way in this vacuum, absent an observer, to claim that only A moves, and not B. In other words, because their existence is again necessarily relative, any movement of A is also the movement of B. And by this I mean that B’s movement is not a reciprocal movement; it’s not a corollary movement; it is the same movement; the movement of A is the movement of B. There is one, un-shared movement. B moves equally as A moves as though B were in fact acting categorically as A.

How can this be?

A scenario where two objects with a single movement by both but no reference to measure which object has moved contradicts the plurality of existence between A and B. There can be no interaction between such objects; no distinction. Any action of one is the action of the other…and because existence is an action, even rank co-existence is impossible.

In a vacuum with no observer, object A moving relative to B while B is not moving, demands the corollary that B is moving relative to A while A is not moving; which means it is axiomatic that objects A and B in the instance of any movement must have both moved and also must have both not moved at the same time. And what this means is that movement in such an absolute relative relationship is a context where the movement of objects and the absence of movement by objects are one and the same.

Which is impossible. The integration of mutually mutually exclusive properties (e.g. movement and non-movement) nullifies them both, rendering to them an existential, moral, and rational value of zero; of NOT; of VOID. That is, of a purely abstract, imagined, placeholder status.

The relative context then, and again, necessitates at a fundamental, axiomatic level the conscious perspective of the observer, who is able to conceptualize relative distinctions between objects using himSELF as the reference.

Now, Objectivists and other “empirical” philosophers will almost certainly accuse me of promulgating a Primacy of Consciousness metaphysic, but this is in large part because they suppose that one can separately categorize evidence and reason, which is not actually possible. There can be no objective, empirical evidence which is also a conceptual contradiction. Of course the light wave/particle paradox is often trotted out as a rebuttal to this assertion, but this is easily rebuffed using reason (which I won’t explain here).

I wish to be clear that I am not proposing a purely subjective, “ethereal” metaphysic…and frankly, this is an amateurish criticism. On the contrary, because rational consistency is necessary to the apprehension and definition of Truth, as the above discussion on relativity and movement indicates, it is impossible that one can claim any efficacious philosophical (metaphysics through aesthetics) positions based purely upon subjective standards. This is because subjectivism necessarily equals contradiction. And contradiction is NOT an idea, it is the absence of one.

Further, to argue that the individual conscious observer’s self-evidentiary and necessary inclusion in anything objectively true (self/evident because truth is only known by conscious individuals) is somehow a bias and a liability to reality is the very definition of absurdity. But further discussion of this is better suited to a separate article…the topic is too complex and involved to serve as a side note for this one.

The point of this article is that man’s consciousness–his conceptualizing ability–is much more than a perfunctory extension of some ethereal, evolutionary, determinative force in the “objective” universe–a force which must necessarily contradict itself by spawning such a consciousness in the first place. Rather, it is a fundamental component of rational consistency, and thus is indespensible in any definition or discussion of objective reality. Human cognition; consciousness; conceptualization; awareness of Self is inexorably tied to the metaphysical axiom–the irreducible Truth from which ALL things spring.