Kenneth Chan wrote:
You state that a participant may cause a wave function collapse.
Simply assuming that the participant causes the collapse is prejudicial and unscientific.
KarmaOcean, no one is “simply assuming” that the participant causes the collapse of the wave function. This is what the formulation of quantum mechanics directly indicates.
Kenneth Chan wrote:"The observer is empty of inherent existence because his very existence is dependent upon causes and conditions, is dependent upon his parts, and is dependent upon the mind that imputes the label upon him."
I don't believe you are making a distinction between participant and observer.
I am making that distinction, in my argument, but at this stage it's irrelevant!
So using your own language, where the participant and observer are not different, i.e where there is "the universe which is operated upon" and "the participant who operates", I would like you to tell me when a participant gains autonomy over the universe
Do you believe it's at the participant's conception ?
Or, could it be prior to that, in the Bardo ?
Or could it be when the participant first breathes oxygen ?
Do you know?
KarmaOcean, it is beginning to appear like you have not even read my paper "A Direct Experiential Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics
." No one is forcing you to read it, but if you choose to persistently attempt to criticise it, I think you should at least read it first.
The problem here is that you are insisting that there is already an inherently existing universe "out there," independent of all observers, waiting to be "operated upon." In other words, your statement
KarmaOcean wrote:there is "the universe which is operated upon" and "the participant who operates"
is actually incompatible with the formulation of quantum mechanics.
Please read the section in my paper entitled "Interpreting Quantum Mechanics" and you will see why this assumption of yours is not
valid. This is, in fact, the very nature of the mystery in quantum physics. To illustrate the nature of this mystery, here is a passage from that section of my paper (but please do read the entire paper before making any further unwarranted criticisms):
From Section 3. Interpreting Quantum Mechanics
In the words of Niels Bohr:
There is no quantum world. There is only an abstract quantum physical description. It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how Nature is. Physics concerns what we can say about Nature.
We can see that, right from the beginning, Niels Bohr already had the idea that quantum mechanics merely represents our knowledge or information about the external world. “What we can say about Nature,” of course, acknowledges the role of the observer, and basically supports the fact that our science is a science of our experience, and not a science of a universe “out there” independent of us observers.
However, Bohr also emphasizes that there is no actual quantum world. This may appear odd, but the reason why he does that can be found, here, in what Werner Heisenberg writes, concerning the quantum wave function
(which he calls the probability function):
… the theoretical interpretation of an experiment requires three distinct steps: (i) the translation of the initial experimental situation into a probability function; (2) the following up of this function in the course of time; (3) the statement of a new measurement to be made of the system, the result of which can then be calculated from the probability function. … The second step cannot be described in terms of the classical concepts; there is no description of what happens to the system between the initial observation and the next measurement. It is only in the third step that we change over again from the ‘possible’ to the ‘actual’.
This is essentially the problem. There appears to be no way of describing what a particle is doing in between the initial measurement and the next measurement. If we measure, say, the position of an electron, we can obtain both its position and the initial quantum wave function
(i.e. the probability function) of the electron, and we can obtain the electron’s subsequent position by a further measurement. The problem is that, in between these two measurements, we only have the quantum wave function
, which provides us with the probability of where we would find the electron if and only if
we make a measurement. But since we are not making a measurement during this interim period, it means that the electron does not even “decide” where it is at this time. Only upon the second measurement does this, in Heisenberg’s words, “change over again from the ‘possible’ to the ‘actual’.” Heisenberg goes on to say:
… there is no way of describing what happens between two consecutive observations. It is of course tempting to say that the electron must have been somewhere between the two observations and that therefore the electron must have described some kind of path or orbit even if it may be impossible to know which path. This would be a reasonable argument in classical physics. But in quantum theory it would be a misuse of the language which … cannot be justified.
(end of quote)
This is essentially why a particle like the electron does not
inherently exist on its own right, or from its own side, but is only dependently arisen upon the measurement of a conscious observer. Physicists have had great difficulty in trying to fit this scenario into the philosophical framework of a mind-matter duality, where there is already "the universe which is operated upon" and "the participant who operates."
It is also incompatible with the framework of materialism which insists that consciousness must be derived from matter. Physicists have tried unsuccessfully to force the formulation of quantum mechanics into this framework of materialism for over a century now. Even with all sorts of hypothetical ad hoc
additions (including bizarre ones like "infinite alternate universes") to the basic formulation, it just does not
That is why the solution to the mystery of quantum mechanics is to be found in Madhyamika philosophy. Madhyamika philosophy allows us to directly interpret the formulation of quantum mechanics, in a way that is free of conceptual problems, and free of the need for any further ad hoc
additions or modifications to the basic formulation.
I should add, here, that Madhyamika philosophy does not
require quantum mechanics for its justification. Madhyamika philosophy is already established on the basis of extremely rigorous philosophical and logical analyses. The reverse, however, is more appropriate. It is the formulation of quantum mechanics that requires Madhyamika philosophy in order for it to make sense!