Why the MBT does not survive close scrutiny...

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IvanD
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Why the MBT does not survive close scrutiny...

Post by IvanD »

First I want to apologize for my rather poor English – I am not a native speaker.

I also want to say that when writing this I really do not intend to appear like a “smartass”. My general critique of Tom’s work is not supposed to be some pseudo-intellectual eloquently sounding babble about abstract concepts. I simply believe that Tom’s MBT does not survive close scrutiny; I will try to be as concrete as possible.


1. Free Will

Tom talks very often about “free will”, this phrase is even part of the terminology of his theory (“Free Will Awareness Unit”). However, the problem is: There is no such thing as free will. And when saying this I am not referring to some trivial experiments that were done some decades ago and show that the brain seems to make choices before we become aware of our choosing. Unfortunately, the problem is deeper than that. “Free will” cannot be mapped anywhere within the “mechanics” of our mind – neither in the “physical” world, nor in the realm of the unphysical (if such truly exists). This is a matter of non-negotiable logic. Thoughts, feelings and emotions are mental processes. Fundamentally, a process simply means a sequence of changes of state. Changes of state can happen causally (determinism), or randomly (randomness). Each and every choice we make can only be either part of a causal chain of events (determinism) or a random event (randomness). Neither of those theoretical possibilities gives you “free will”. If you are confused (or think that I am confused, which seems likely ;)) let me put it another way. You are not the author of your own thoughts. If you were the author of your own thoughts, you would have to think them before you actually think them… Thoughts, feelings and emotions go through your mind. They “pop in”. You are not their creator, your mind is simply a space for them to arise. In other words, your mental processes simply take place without you doing anything except for “witnessing” them.

The non-existence of “free will” is not just some obscure personal viewpoint of mine. Among philosophers there is a universal consensus about it. Kant, Schopenhauer, Marx – you name it… And contrary to what you might believe the topic of “free will” is not even subject of discussion. The fact that such a concept does not even exist is considered a very trivial truth.

I am not just repeating what the great philosophers are saying, which is to say I am not trying to make an argumentum ad verecundiam (argument from authority). In fact, I found out for myself that there is no such thing like “free will” long before I read Kant or Schopenhauer. I strongly recommend Sam Harris’ talk on this topic, which you can find in youtube. He sums up very eloquently why the phrase “free will” does not make any sense.


2. Lowering Entropy

As mentioned above: A change of state can happen only randomly or causally. In the latter case, you have a chronological pattern by definition. In the former case, you do not have any patterns whatsoever – also by definition. Total “chaos” would mean total randomness. The opposite of “chaos” is determinism/causality. In the case of causality there is no “chaos” at all, because everything happens according to patterns. Indeed, the so-called LCS could theoretically develop towards having more random events happening in it or the other way around. What the underlying laws/governing principals are that would lead to either development would be a matter of observation. Here it is important to keep in mind that the system does not have “free will” either! This means that its (hypothetical) wish to reduce its entropy (which is to say its wish to minimize the degree of randomness) would also be part of a causal pattern.

Now you might say that the nature of reality is “probabilistic”. Indeed, this is one way to interpret quantum mechanics. However, a “probabilistic” reality does not give you “free will” either. A probabilistic reality simply means that the changes of state take place in accordance with statistical laws: Events will happen without deterministic certainty, however with certain probabilities ascribed to them. The LCS produces all the time statistical patterns on a micro level, which means that there is no entropy to be lowered. (“Pattern” can be seen in this case as a synonym of “information”.)

To sum it up: If we live in a deterministic reality, the system produces all the time “information” on a micro level, as it produces all the time causal patterns. If we live in a probabilistic reality the system produces all the time statistical patterns (ergo “information”) on a micro level. And if we live in a reality that is a mixture of determinism and randomness (which is to say that part of the changes of state happen without causation), the system produces information to the degree to which causal patterns take place. If the LCS wants to reduce random events, its wish to do so – ironically – is also part of a causal pattern (or it is a random event if you will). After all, the system’s motives, plans and thoughts are also governed by underlying causal patterns, if they are supposed to be coherent in a basic sense.

I heard Tom saying that an information system will die when it ceases to produce information. However, “dying” is obviously a metaphor here. If the LCS is a conscious system – as its name (Larger Consciousness System) says – it will not literally die from not producing patterns. It would simply cease to function in a causal way, which means that each of its changes of state will happen as a random event. The system might want to avoid randomness in order to reliably reach certain desired states. But the mere wish to produce just any “information” – Tom says that the system’s only aim is to reduce its entropy, which means to produce as much pattern/”information” as possible – would be either a self-purpose activity (which does not seem to make sense), or it would mean that the system finds an equal amount of value in each pattern/”information” produced. (Of course, it is also possible that it does not produce information for itself but for an outside “consumer” for whom any “information”/pattern is equally useful.) However, this would mean that there is a conflict of interests between the LCS and its subsets (us): The subsets do not want to produce just any information, but they want to reach certain desirable states of mind (joy). However, there is no logical necessity whatsoever for the LCS to want to produce as much information as possible in the first place. In other words: Based on what Tom has told us so far about the LCS it is not clear at all why its goal must be the mere avoiding of randomness.

Let us assume for a moment that Tom’s theory that the system’s sole aim is to reduce its entropy makes sense. And let us also assume that for this to happen we all must indeed “grow up” and “become love”. Why would the system not take the most developed “consciousness” and replace all the others with it by a process of copy-pasting and deleting? Imagine this: The system decides that Tom’s consciousness is most “grown up” of all human consciousnesses; it deletes all the rest of the 7 billion consciousnesses and replaces them by Tom’s consciousness through copy-pasting it 7 billion times. Thus, this planet would be populated solely by Tom Campbells in different avatars. And from then on, in certain time intervals (for instance a month or a year), the most developed Tom Campbell gets to replace all the others. And if the Tom Campbells do not present enough challenges to each other and thus start collectively to de-evolve (I assume that this is what Tom would argue), the system can make the effort to “surgically” intervene by creating some characters played by it that cause the required challenges within one or several local Tom Campbell communities. How’s that for a strategy? ;)


3. Our universe – just an “entropy lowering trainer”?

Tom seems to imply that the LCS is a benign system that simply cherishes the humble wish to help us “grow up”. Thus, one might get the impression that our “virtual reality” is nothing but the stage for a large number of harmless soap operas. As though our planet was not more than a secure work place where we learn from each other through – sometimes pleasant, sometimes unpleasant – interaction. Unfortunately, life on earth is not just a soap opera. It is also a war movie, a thriller, a melodrama, and a horror movie… And the suffering in it can reach horrendous dimensions. Especially if we are talking about physical pain. Just imagine for a moment how many people have been tortured in indescribably horrible ways throughout the history of our species. Imagine how many people have been skinned, burned or roasted alive (we could go into the details of some very elaborate torturing methods, but I think the point is clear). And think of the innumerable people that have suffered (or are suffering right now) extreme physical pain for more trivial reasons such as accidents, fights or certain kind of diseases. By the way, what is your guess on the average statistical number of people all over the world who get an eye stabbed out during the time in which your nice and cozy monthly Fireside Chats takes place? Just curious to know... ;)

Purely emotional pain can be horrible as well. But there is nothing worse than extreme physical pain (as the great George Orwell pointed out in “1984”). If someone experiences great emotional pain, Tom might argue that this is a lesson. But what could be the purpose of extreme physical pain? And even if there was some sort of purpose in it, would it be worth? Hypothetically speaking: Would anyone reading this choose to be roasted alive slowly in his/her next life, if this would (for some reason) be a huge step towards becoming “love”? If you think you would, think again…

Why would the system not set reasonable constraints for the potential of experiencing physical pain? Why would it let people (and animals) suffer extreme physical anguish?

The system would make the effort to create an “imaginary friend” for a lonely child (I heard Tom talking about such cases), but it would not intervene when Saddam Hussein’s psychopathic son Udai Hussein skins a political rebel alive. Now that is a truly interesting way of prioritizing… It says something terrible about the system.


4. My motivation

Believe it or not – I really do not want to prove Tom wrong simply to please my ego. In fact, I like Tom as a person and I do not mean any harm. What drives me to write all this is basically the same thing that once drove Tom to work for Bob Monroe: I want to explore reality and improve my understanding of it. I have had personal experiences which led me to believe that reality might be indeed “bigger” than I always used to think. I find it very interesting when Tom is telling about his experiences, however, at the same time his model of reality does not make much sense to me (for the reasons you read above). And to me it is a real pity that he is stuck in his MBT as it is now, because this prevents him from trying to explore the larger reality in a more accurate way and construct an improved model of it. It would be very helpful, for instance, if he took “free will” out of the equation.

Unfortunately, I am not able to reach such states in meditation that I could do the same exploration as Tom. That is why I rely on people like him. In the Fireside Chat the questions that are asked are rarely challenging – and for the most part they repeat themselves time and again. Therefore, I decided to write my critique in this forum.

I am really not interested in winning an argument here. All I sincerely wish is to participate in a conversation that helps to achieve a better understanding of reality.
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Re: Why the MBT does not survive close scrutiny...

Post by Sainbury »

Welcome to the forum Ivan.

Your first problem is that you think you understand the theory by watching a few YouTube videos. Most people have to read the book 2 + times to start to understand the theory. That might make our answers hard to understand.

One of the biggest components you left out was that this is a digital reality. So many of your suppositions go away with just that realization.

Here is MBT in a nutshell:
1). The only thing that is fundamental is consciousness – all else is virtual.
2). Consciousness is a self modifying evolving digital information system.
3). The consciousness system is finite and imperfect.
4). Physical reality is a virtual reality.
5). There are many virtual reality frames and we exist in several of them.
6). Physical and non physical are not fundamental – it is only a matter of perspective.
7). Evolution criteria, Love, and spiritual growth are all defined in terms of entropy a measurable quantity.
8). There are three data bases: The Probable Future data base; the past data base (all that did happen); and the data base of all the probabilities that might have happened but didn’t.
9). There is no such thing as an objective reality – all reality is interpreted. Light, energy, energy bodies, guides, chakras, oversoul, higher self, Reiki symbols, acupuncture technique, Ouija boards, pendulum oracles, I Ching, etc. are all metaphors/tools – consciousness is the only active ingredient.
10). The paranormal is perfectly normal.
11). Quantum Mechanics is derivable from first principles.
12). Physics and metaphysics become one understanding.
13). Metaphysics, philosophy and theology all become transparent and one can easily see and derive the threads of Big Truth that run through them. These are just the tip of the iceberg.

However, the problem is: There is no such thing as free will.
Without free will consciousness is pointless.

I suggest that you read this post from Tom about how he uses terms in his theory.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=8713&p=78350&hilit= ... ons#p78350
I heard Tom saying that an information system will die when it ceases to produce information.
I have never heard, or read, Tom say this. Perhaps you could reference where and in what context. Tom does say, "Evolve or die." Meaning that you either evolve or de-evolve. Stasis is too unstable a state to maintain for long.
Why would the system not take the most developed “consciousness” and replace all the others with it by a process of copy-pasting and deleting?
TOM: Why doesn’t the part that's more grown up and whatever just make everything like itself?” There's no advantage in that. It's just taken itself and made itself bigger. Where's the advantage? All right now what? What has it bought with that? What's the advantage to the system of just saying, “I’m going to get rid of everything that's imperfect, (imperfect in a metaphorical way.) I’m going to get rid of all that bad stuff, and it will just be me - cut all that other stuff out. And that will be, “Well that's just where I was when I started this.” That's very limiting. That's not the point. The point is this thing isn't perfect in the sense that it’s still evolving. It's evolving too. It's becoming, “more.”

It's a matter of capacity. It’s got all of this capacity - all of this these ones and zeros, (to take your capacity down to ones and zeros.) And the executive part only fills up a certain amount of that. It just makes itself bigger to be redundant, and fills all the rest of it up with redundant copies of itself. It doesn't add anything new to the process. It just takes what you have, and fills up all the capacity with what you have by being redundant. That redundancy isn't growth. There’s no growth in redundancy.

Okay, you've written a story. Now you make a hundred Xerox copies of it. You haven't written a hundred stories. It’s just one story, and there's nothing new created. There's no creativity; there's no advancement. There’s no growth out of just duplicating what you already have. Where there's growth is taking something that hasn't been made up yet and writing a new story. That's where the growth is. So it's not just, “Why doesn’t this executive part just duplicate itself all over, all of its capacity, and then it’s all done. It’s all perfect. Isn’t that what it wants to be “all perfect?” No, that's not the point. The point is in the creation, in the growing, in the becoming Love. That's where the evolution comes from. That’s how it evolves. How it grows into something else, something other than what it is, becomes bigger and greater, and more than it was. That’s evolution. Evolution didn’t evolve a fish and then make duplicate copies. And now there's nothing in the world but fish – just this one kind of fish. There's just a goldfish and that's all. There’s one sterile, not a male and a female even, just one goldfish. And now there’s seven billion goldfish in the world.

Well, what a great leap forward that was! That doesn't get you anywhere. That’s not the point. Evolution doesn't work that way. Evolution is about change. Evolution is about becoming; about becoming more than what you were. So you go from single cell, to multi cell, to jellyfish, to fish, to reptiles, and so on up. You end up with people, critters, and all sorts of insects, trees, and plants. Well that's what this Larger Consciousness System is doing. It’s in a state of evolution. It’s a real thing, and it's evolving. It's becoming “more.” Just duplicating itself and saying, “it’s done” is of no value. It’s still changing, evolving, and growing. And we’re part of that evolutionary process.

All of the capacity doesn't need to be used up through duplication. It needs to be used up through creation, through growth, through becoming. And that's what we're doing. We're becoming Love. We’re growing up. And as we do, the whole system is becoming and growing up with us. As we learn to make these choices, we’re moving the energy, the value, the purpose of this thing to a higher level than it is now. So, it's not that it's perfect, but our growth is help making it more perfect, making it greater than it is. It's evolving and we’re part of that evolution.

It's not a matter of, “It’s perfect. Get rid of all the imperfect parts and we’re done. Why wouldn’t it just do that?” Well, then it’s just, “it,” by itself and it's done. What happens to systems that have no more potential for growth? They start to come apart. If you're not evolving, you’re probably de-evolving. You can’t just sit still and be stable. We know that. If you stop growing you start to come apart. If you say, “I’m done. I don’t want to learn anything else.” You don't just stay right where you were. You started to come apart. You start to dissipate. You're entropy starts drifting upward because you're no longer in a growth process. We have to continually be adding, growing, and evolving. That's what keeps us going - keeps us alive. When we stop growing we get stagnant. And when we get stagnant we don't care. And when we don’t care things start to fall apart. And then we still don't care, and pretty soon we are de-evolved. We disappear. It’s the same with the Larger Consciousness System. It has to keep evolving, growing, and becoming. It has to still be creative. It can't just say “I’m done. I'm pretty perfect right now. So, I’m just going to stay here. I’m just not going to do any more. I’m going to fill up all my ones and zeros with my own wonderful, sublime, perfection. And then I’m done. I’m going to retire and go move to the beach.” That's the beginning of de-evolution. That's when it starts to dissipate and fall apart, and entropy starts to go up. You have to continually be in a creative process of growing. Otherwise you end up in an uncreative process of dissolution.
Faith, Religion, and God in the Big Picture
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_bDgox6iqM
Tom seems to imply that the LCS is a benign system that simply cherishes the humble wish to help us “grow up”. Thus, one might get the impression that our “virtual reality” is nothing but the stage for a large number of harmless soap operas.
The LCS as a system wants its parts to continue to evolve. But the entire system is not benign. You need to read about rats vs. anti-rats in the book. There are entities that want to evolve through control and power. Negative evolution is short termed, while positive evolution is unlimited. The PMRs are training realities. Our PMR is considered a fast track virtual reality. And so is full of opportunities to make decisions. A reality filled with beings exercising their free will with a future that is probabilistic makes the VR dynamic.

To understand what Tom means by a probabilistic digital system watch. Tom Campbell: US Space and Rocket Center Pt 1/3 - about an hour into the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcxeEaO ... ibCRsMi_IM

When I hear people say that they don't believe in free will, it makes me wonder if it is just their excuse for things they don't want to acknowledge. If you are really interested in the theory you will need to read the book, and probably more than once.

How MBT is available
The My Big TOE book:
• Is available free in its entirety online: Google Books, My Big Toe
• May be purchased from the website: My Big Toe, at Barnes and Noble online, MBT, Amazon, My Big Toe Complete Trilogy and many other sites.
• As an audiobook from Audible.
• As an e-book from all major online book retailers

** There is also a comprehensive MBT Wiki that is a valuable resource and may answer many questions. **

Tom's YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYwlra ... qASowjoM0g

You could also watch the Calgary series.
Tom Campbell in Calgary: Theory of MBT (Sat) 1/3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Nlbro2MNBs&t=4637s
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Re: Why the MBT does not survive close scrutiny...

Post by IvanD »

Thank you very much for your response. I appreciate it. I want to make one thing perfectly clear: I am really not interested in winning arguments; I am here to explore and learn. If I do not agree - this is not because I enjoy debating.
One of the biggest components you left out was that this is a digital reality. So many of your suppositions go away with just that realization.
I actually did not make many suppositions. Those that I made do not go away - they are a matter of non-negotiable logic that would apply for digital reality as well.
Here is MBT in a nutshell:
1). The only thing that is fundamental is consciousness – all else is virtual.
2). Consciousness is a self modifying evolving digital information system.
3). The consciousness system is finite and imperfect.
4). Physical reality is a virtual reality.
5). There are many virtual reality frames and we exist in several of them.
6). Physical and non physical are not fundamental – it is only a matter of perspective.
7). Evolution criteria, Love, and spiritual growth are all defined in terms of entropy a measurable quantity.
8). There are three data bases: The Probable Future data base; the past data base (all that did happen); and the data base of all the probabilities that might have happened but didn’t.
9). There is no such thing as an objective reality – all reality is interpreted. Light, energy, energy bodies, guides, chakras, oversoul, higher self, Reiki symbols, acupuncture technique, Ouija boards, pendulum oracles, I Ching, etc. are all metaphors/tools – consciousness is the only active ingredient.
10). The paranormal is perfectly normal.
11). Quantum Mechanics is derivable from first principles.
12). Physics and metaphysics become one understanding.
13). Metaphysics, philosophy and theology all become transparent and one can easily see and derive the threads of Big Truth that run through them. These are just the tip of the iceberg.
I am quite familiar with those concepts. I am afraid the problem is not that I know too little about Tom's theory to understand it. It is just that some of his basic suppositions - if scrutinized carefully - do not make much sense.
Without free will consciousness is pointless.
Consciousness does not have to have a point. It is not like it owes us that...
I heard Tom saying that an information system will die when it ceases to produce information.
I have never heard, or read, Tom say this. Perhaps you could reference where and in what context.
He did say it. I believe it was in one of those Fireside Chats, but I am not quite sure. Actually I know that he did not mean it literally (at least I assume so), however, it was still supposed to be an argument for why the system would want to reduce its entropy.
The LCS as a system wants its parts to continue to evolve. But the entire system is not benign. You need to read about rats vs. anti-rats in the book. There are entities that want to evolve through control and power.
I was not talking about the entire system. What I am asking is this: When creating those "entropy lowering trainers" (not that I think this term makes much sense...), why would the LCS not regulate them in such a way that extreme and pointless pain cannot be experienced? It seems that this so-called LCS has a shockingly cynical relationship towards its subsets.
When I hear people say that they don't believe in free will, it makes me wonder if it is just their excuse for things they don't want to acknowledge.
This is not a matter of belief. "Free will" simply does not exist, this is a ridiculously trivial philosophical truth. As already mentioned: All more or less prominent names in philosophy agree with that. Philosophers and neuroscientists do not deal with the question whether there is "free will", but how this cognitive illusion of believing that one has it arises.

And not even on the territory of digital reality can "free will" find asylum. That is because it is an empty concept - there is no such thing.

As I tried to explain: A mental process is like every other process - it is a succession of changes of state. A change of state can happen either causally (determinism) or randomly (randomness). There is no third way. Neither of those theoretical possibilities gives you "free will". And here it does not even matter whether consciousness is fundamental or not. Just take a moment to think about it - and try to be unbiased...

Here you have a link of Sam Harris explaining the illusion of "free will" - it is only a few minutes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRIcbsRXQ0o

There is also a longer version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FanhvXO9Pk

However, as I assume that you are certain that nothing will ever shake your position on this topic, my guess is that if anything you will choose the short clip ;)

I sincerely hope that I have not offended anyone here. I simply hope for a constructive and unbiased conversation; after all, we all want to know and understand as accurate as possible the reality in which we live. And I think it is ok to disagree in this project.
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Re: Why the MBT does not survive close scrutiny...

Post by Ted Vollers »

The short version of that video has been taken down. The long version is too long to waste my time on. I have seen such before. I can see no evidence that you understand the nature of reality as a digital information system. Thus you have no basis for understanding why there is free will and it is impossible to eliminate from within that information system as that Reality is constituted. Free will is not possible to disprove as it exists based on some abstract and intellectual philosophical argument. It is built into the structure of the LCS as an information system. That structure has been observed for over 2,000 years, including by myself, as Indra's Net. But then of course you have no interest in learning more than you know already and make that perfectly clear from your replies.

Have you read any of the very first forum at the top of the Index page where the purpose of this board is explained. It is not here to provide a platform for you to argue from. This is not Hyde Park and free soapboxes are not provided with membership. We are here to teach and explain, not to argue with visitors.

Have you any basis as to why this thread should not be moved to the chat forum from which it will eventually and automatically be deleted as it has no long term value here?

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Re: Why the MBT does not survive close scrutiny...

Post by Wolf God »

IvanD wrote: Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:21 pm First I want to apologize for my rather poor English – I am not a native speaker.
Thank you, Ivan, but there is no need to apologize. Your English is good.

I have read your original post. Although I do not have time to give it an in-depth response, I would like to make a few remarks.

First is the observation that you're trying to understand, and argue about, a theory of immaterial structures, processes, and evolution through means of materialism. This is already a conceptual error.

Second, and related to the first point, if you assume materialism is true, then there exists no logical argument that would lead to the conclusion that materialism is false. Hence, you could never arrive, through logical discussion founded upon materialism, at MBT. Hence, I wonder how much value we could be to you at this forum. We are starting with different assumptions.

Materialism is an assumption. I invite you to ponder the strength of that assumption.

Third, theories can never be proven true. They can be disproven, however. Hence, if you are asking us to prove that MBT is true, we, in principle, can't. The best we can do is point out how well the theory fits the data and how well the theory makes predictions about reality. If we're good physicists, we could (as Tom has) also propose scientific experiments to try to test the theory.

Fourth, as far as I could tell, "free will" was never defined in your argument. We might -- or might not -- be talking about the same thing.


A few more critiques:
I heard Tom saying that an information system will die when it ceases to produce information.
I have never heard that from Tom. If you have a source for that, though, please let me know. It departs wildly from what I have understood about MBT.

The LCS produces all the time statistical patterns on a micro level, which means that there is no entropy to be lowered.
This seems untrue to me. At the very least, there are some logical steps missing here.

Let us assume for a moment that Tom’s theory that the system’s sole aim is to reduce its entropy makes sense. And let us also assume that for this to happen we all must indeed “grow up” and “become love”. Why would the system not take the most developed “consciousness” and replace all the others with it by a process of copy-pasting and deleting?
This would be an awful evolutionary strategy. Diversity is a much more profitable path forward.

Why would the system not set reasonable constraints for the potential of experiencing physical pain? Why would it let people (and animals) suffer extreme physical anguish?
I thought the system already limited pain, particularly through adrenaline and endorphins.

I think also that something extremely unpleasant -- great physical pain, e.g. -- would be required in order to develop avatars that would survive. If the survival instinct were too weak, life might have evolved quite differently in this PMR, if it evolved at all. Pain (or some other extremely adverse outcome) might be necessary for life to exist.

All I sincerely wish is to participate in a conversation that helps to achieve a better understanding of reality.
Again -- and I don't mean to be rude, for you have been quite civil -- this forum might be of very limited value to you if materialism is a non-negotiable assumption for you. That assumption isn't one we make. Because our starting assumptions are at odds, our discussions would never get very far.

If you are sincere about understanding reality, however, I would recommend challenging the assumption of materialism. To challenge that one belief may do more for you than any amount of argumentation.

In my opinion, MBT requires first-hand, lived experience to appreciate. Without the experience, it's only a belief, and beliefs are of little value in understanding reality.
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Re: Why the MBT does not survive close scrutiny...

Post by IvanD »

Thank you for taking time to respond to my post, Wolf God. I really appreciate it.

I cannot stress enough that this is not supposed to be some idle chess game of arguments in which I am trying checkmate Tom for its own sake. I simply think that the MBT contains some fallacies, which I am trying to expose in order that we can reach an improved understanding of reality through an intelligent and unbiased quasi-academic conversation. I actually like Tom, so this can be seen as friendly fire.
First is the observation that you're trying to understand, and argue about, a theory of immaterial structures, processes, and evolution through means of materialism. This is already a conceptual error.
This is actually not true. My critique of Tom’s theory is not based on a “materialistic” paradigm. Quite the opposite: What I am arguing is that “immaterial” structures and processes are not fundamentally different than “material” structures and processes. In both cases the changes of state that constitute our thinking, feeling and decision making can only be either causal (determinism) or random (randomness). Neither of those theoretical possibilities can be a basis for something like “free will”.
Second, and related to the first point, if you assume materialism is true, then there exists no logical argument that would lead to the conclusion that materialism is false. Hence, you could never arrive, through logical discussion founded upon materialism, at MBT. Hence, I wonder how much value we could be to you at this forum. We are starting with different assumptions.
I do not assume that materialism is true. I suppose you think that I am assuming it because I said there is no such thing as “free will”. This is actually a common confusion. People assume that while in a purely materialistic world there would be no basis for “free will”, in a NPMR reality where the laws of nature do not apply there is room for this concept. In other words: “Free will” can find asylum on the territory of “immaterialism”. Unfortunately, this is a fallacy. “Free will” is an empty concept – this is the fundamental problem here.
Fourth, as far as I could tell, "free will" was never defined in your argument. We might -- or might not -- be talking about the same thing.
Well, this is the fundamental problem I am talking about: There has never been a definition of “free will” that actually makes sense. If our thoughts, feelings and decision makings are causal processes – whether in a “material” or “immaterial” reality – then they are deterministic, hence no “free will”. If they are not (which is to say if they happen without causation) – no “free will” either, because then they would be random events.

The only definition of “free will” that would perhaps make some kind of sense is that it means random acts of will – mental events that are “free” of prior causation. But randomness is obviously not what people mean by “free will”…
The LCS produces all the time statistical patterns on a micro level, which means that there is no entropy to be lowered.
This seems untrue to me. At the very least, there are some logical steps missing here.
I will grant you that it is possible that the so-called LCS wants to achieve a higher information density by striving towards deterministic patterns. However, it is not clear at all why it would want to do so…
Let us assume for a moment that Tom’s theory that the system’s sole aim is to reduce its entropy makes sense. And let us also assume that for this to happen we all must indeed “grow up” and “become love”. Why would the system not take the most developed “consciousness” and replace all the others with it by a process of copy-pasting and deleting?
This would be an awful evolutionary strategy. Diversity is a much more profitable path forward.
I am a little confused here. Is the system’s aim solely to reduce its entropy? Or does it have other goals as well? What are the parameters here? If the sole aim is to reduce its entropy (which is to say to minimize the degree of randomness) and if it made sense to assume that this has to do with how people exercise their “free will”, then how is “diversity” helpful? Why would “diversity” be better than – say – a planet populated solely by Tom Campbells in different avatars for this purpose?
I thought the system already limited pain, particularly through adrenaline and endorphins.
Adrenaline and endorphins? Come on… Are you seriously implying that they would make a significant difference if someone is roasted slowly alive?
I think also that something extremely unpleasant -- great physical pain, e.g. -- would be required in order to develop avatars that would survive. If the survival instinct were too weak, life might have evolved quite differently in this PMR, if it evolved at all. Pain (or some other extremely adverse outcome) might be necessary for life to exist.
Ironically, this is a very “materialistic” argument, as it suggests that evolution is a blind force that cannot be regulated through a higher intelligent power (such as the LCS…). And even if extreme physical pain was once absolutely necessary for biological life to evolve – why is it still necessary? How is it helpful if someone suffers extreme physical anguish now?

This forum can be of great value to me, I do believe so. And such a conversation as we are having now could be of tremendous value to anyone. If we are truly interested in improving our understanding of reality, we should have the courage to leave our comfort zones and be prepared to confront unpleasant – or seemingly unpleasant – truths. Disagreements are a natural part of the process – even a healthy thing, because it makes us rethink our own positions. I hope you agree with me on that.
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Re: Why the MBT does not survive close scrutiny...

Post by Sainbury »

TOM: When I said that: “There is no objective reality. “I simply meant that what PMR scientists call their objective physical reality does not exist as they believe it does. In their mind, physical reality just is because it is and requires no cause, explanation, reason, or purpose — it is simply “self evident“. Obviously, that position represents non-falsifiable, unscientific circular non-logic — talk about a hole.
In MBT, we develop a reality model and a description of the source of that reality that accounts for and explains all that can be experienced (not just all that can be measured). Furthermore, we clearly lay out and understand the natural and unavoidable limitations of our knowledge — our theoretical inability to logically describe the source of the source. Consequently, because we are scientists, we logically leave an unknowable uncertainty at the origin rather than evoke certain knowledge of self-creation of something out of nothing (whether it is god or objective physical reality that creates itself out of nothing is irrelevant, both are illogical and therefore scientifically nonproductive assumptions).

MBT does the best that can, at this time, be done scientifically and logically: it explains (as far as I can tell) everything (all the existing experience data), and solves all the out-standing scientific, personal, philosophical, theological, and metaphysical logical paradoxes that are rooted in the nature of existence and reality -- all with one consistent overarching model of reality based on just two simple, straightforward, unremarkable assumptions.

viewtopic.php?f=14&t=2572&p=3025&hilit=scientists#p3025
“Free will” cannot be mapped anywhere within the “mechanics” of our mind – neither in the “physical” world, nor in the realm of the unphysical (if such truly exists). This is a matter of non-negotiable logic. Thoughts, feelings and emotions are mental processes. Fundamentally, a process simply means a sequence of changes of state. Changes of state can happen causally (determinism), or randomly (randomness). Each and every choice we make can only be either part of a causal chain of events (determinism) or a random event (randomness). Neither of those theoretical possibilities gives you “free will”. If you are confused (or think that I am confused, which seems likely ;)) let me put it another way. You are not the author of your own thoughts. If you were the author of your own thoughts, you would have to think them before you actually think them… Thoughts, feelings and emotions go through your mind. They “pop in”. You are not their creator, your mind is simply a space for them to arise. In other words, your mental processes simply take place without you doing anything except for “witnessing” them.
Let's start with this. Free will can not be mapped in the brain because the brain is virtual. This is why I say you do not understand the ramifications of a digital reality. You are right that "Ivan" is not making choices. Consciousness is outside the virtual reality. All decisions are made from outside the virtual reality. So the character of "Ivan" is not making choices. Perhaps this is where you are getting confused.

TOM: In MBT, I use the word “avatar” to mean a computed, dynamic, virtual object (defined by a rule-set that defines all the possibilities and probabilities, interactions and actions the virtual object could POTENTIALLY “experience”) that is used to constrain the experience of a consciousness who is allowed to ACTUALLY experience nothing other than the POTENTIAL computed experience (actions, interactions, and their consequences) of the avatar.

Consciousness uses an avatar to have experience and choices that are bound by the rule-set of a virtual reality. This makes “Consciousness” more fundamental than “avatar”. Thus consciousness exists independently of the existence of an avatar. “Consciousness” is the user and “Avatar” is a tool created by consciousness to be used by consciousness.

A consciousness exists to make free will choices. “Consciousness” and “free will choice” are logically necessary for each other to exist. If, for some reason, consciousness can no longer make free will choices, then it is only a potential consciousness, not an actual consciousness. Choice requires an experience to give context to the choice. Without experience, choice is meaningless. Without choice, experience is of little value.

A virtual reality is a rule-based construct that provides a context for both experience and choice. Experience without a rule based context is meaningless and incoherent (random). One could argue that experience without context is not actually covered under the word “experience” others could argue that it is – a useless argument that is not important.

The simplest and most basic virtual reality is no more than the rule-set needed to define communication protocols – perhaps with very basic syntax and words -- more complex syntax, words, and protocols will evolve. When the IUOC were created a VR delivering communication protocols was probably created as well (waiting for such protocols to develop out of randomness would have been unnecessarily tedious since the LCS was already communication within itself. Developing the rules and infrastructure to support communication between IUOC (the RWW) would seem an obvious thing for the LCS (as the executive function or operating system) to eventually provide. Thus the LCS creates the first VR and all the IUOC are netted. Whether this VR was produced (evolved) before, during, or after (or all of the above) the IUOC were produced is not important.

Consciousness removed from all VRs (including com protocols – i.e., taken off the RWW) becomes a potential consciousness. A potential IUOC can be actualized or re-actualized, by being connected to a VR wherein it can communicate, experience, and make choices. All VRs (like the communication protocol VR) do not define avatars. Only more complex rule-sets can define a VR simulation that evolves objects with potential choices (all such objects are NPCs played by the LCS-computer while the simulation initially evolves). When the NPC objects evolve to the point that they are making choices that are of interest and value to IUOC evolution, then IUOCs log onto the simulation-VR to play an object-avatar. That avatar-object is now being played by an IUOC and is no longer an NPC being played by the LCS-computer. Eventually, all the object-avatars are being played by IUOCs except for special cameo roles as needed.

viewtopic.php?f=25&t=9860&p=92738#p92738

And read this post from TED:
The full model is that you are not what you perceive as sitting in your comfortable chair deciding which channel to watch. You are instead an Individuated Unite of Consciousness (IUOC) which resides in the Larger Consciousness System as a digital general purpose analysis and choice making program residing on/connected to the Reality Wide Web which provides the digital data stream that provides the perception of "sitting in your comfortable chair deciding which channel to watch". It has absolute free will in deciding what it considers to be boring and what is interesting and so informs you as your local perception of who you are and makes the choice of which button to push in the representation of your selecting that interesting channel. What comes to you as an IUOC as this perception of sitting there, etc., is created by The Big Computer (TBC) out of probabilities of PMR or Physical Matter Reality and rendered into this data stream by its Virtual Reality Rendering Engine aspect. You as a digital IUOC function at the full cycling rate of the LCS which is fantastically faster than the cycles of data that represent PMR experience so exactly what you as your IUOC think as/within your PMR experience must be provided to you as part of that data stream of what to be conscious of.

You as your IUOC which is the base reality of what and whom you really are, do have absolute free will as to what decisions/choices it can make in regards to the incoming data stream. You as you perceive yourself here as sitting in your comfy chair watching telly have a more ambiguous perception of free will. You may or may not be fully aware of all aspects of the decision made by you as your IUOC base reality as to what to watch. That is why we talk about things like intuition (or boredom or interest) as our IUOC can be making calculations based upon data, all of which you here may not be aware of, at its fantastic data rate that you (we) here as the incarnated body perceived to exist here in PMR cannot possibly keep up with and be aware of and thus choices are made and we are made aware of them without being fully aware of what all went into them except we find that we "intuitively know something" (or find ourselves bored or interested in proceedings) as we perceive ourselves to exist here in PMR.

You can if you wish/choose to go into any such choice in more detail, i. e. pay more attention to the choice and why we make it, but you cannot ever fully catch up with yourself as an IUOC at the IUOC data rate. Mostly, we just go along with the flow, don't think deeply about it, and find ourselves clicking the buttons on the channel selector for reasons that we are not at all aware of. We just do what we do. But rest assured, there is full free will at the back of the choices you make at the base level where we actually reside. So when you find yourself doing something, perhaps hesitating as you start to cross a street with the result that you don't get run over by that car failing to stop at the light, for a reason that you are not at all aware of, that is you and the system looking out for your experience here as to not have it interrupted or misdirected contrary to plan. And if you think about this kind of thing, it gives you a little insight into the nature of reality here as being Virtual.

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7733&p=65929#p65929

A selected list of peer-reviewed journal articles about psi (psychic) phenomena - which is not possible other than in a digital probabilistic reality.
http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/evidence.htm

Do We Live in the Matrix?
http://discovermagazine.com/2013/dec/09 ... ogJ4Cd35yL

I am not just repeating what the great philosophers are saying, which is to say I am not trying to make an argumentum ad verecundiam (argument from authority). In fact, I found out for myself that there is no such thing like “free will” long before I read Kant or Schopenhauer. I strongly recommend Sam Harris’ talk on this topic, which you can find in youtube. He sums up very eloquently why the phrase “free will” does not make any sense.
The reason we don't discuss physics more than philosophy is that philosophy does no experiments and offers no data. Many modern physicists are coming to the conclusion that we are living in a digital reality because it answers many questions that have previously been unanswerable - such as the Double Slit Experiment.
I was not talking about the entire system. What I am asking is this: When creating those "entropy lowering trainers" (not that I think this term makes much sense...), why would the LCS not regulate them in such a way that extreme and pointless pain cannot be experienced? It seems that this so-called LCS has a shockingly cynical relationship towards its subsets.
PMRs are mostly left to evolve on their own. It was found the most successful way to keep a trainer relevant. What you call needless suffering are in fact opportunities to evolve. A lot of suffering is self induced. The fear of death rules most peoples' lives. How good would an airplane pilot trainer be if it only had an uneventful trip from NY to Boston? They purposefully program engine failures, and other problems, in a realistic way, to give pilots experiences without the consequences. And since no one experiencing this PMR actually dies, but rather only switches reality frames, the experiences of a probabilistic reality with free will is much the same. As you start to evolve you do enjoy your life much more. It isn't that your life gets easier. It is that you deal with the problems much differently.

In the end, you have some very strong beliefs which do not leave room for open-minded skepticism. If you are not interested in really digging deep into the material I have previously recommended for you, and if you are not able to be open minded, then this theory isn't for you. Find something else that helps you evolve the quality of your consciousness. Otherwise you are just spinning your wheels and wasting your time in this incarnation.
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Re: Why the MBT does not survive close scrutiny...

Post by Sainbury »

I am a little confused here. Is the system’s aim solely to reduce its entropy? Or does it have other goals as well? What are the parameters here? If the sole aim is to reduce its entropy (which is to say to minimize the degree of randomness) and if it made sense to assume that this has to do with how people exercise their “free will”, then how is “diversity” helpful? Why would “diversity” be better than – say – a planet populated solely by Tom Campbells in different avatars for this purpose?
This shows me you did not carefully read what I posted before, as Tom answered this already.
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Re: Why the MBT does not survive close scrutiny...

Post by Sainbury »

I remember Thomas mentioning that both positive and negative experiences are needed in order for our IUOC to become balanced.
It is really more like, "Life happens and then you get to deal with it." Negative experiences are just opportunities for you to grow your consciousness. There is no plan for good and bad experiences. You just get what you get. Some people get a lot of breaks, and some don't. And a lot of bad experiences may come as feedback for bad decisions.
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Re: Why the MBT does not survive close scrutiny...

Post by Sainbury »

ch79 wrote: Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:04 pm Sainbury: He did say that though. I think it was in one of the recent Fireside Chats.

I get this perspective. Many people do. We see poor beings experiencing unfortunate events, and say "Why would God let this happen?".

We feel that way because it is hard for us to comprehend that the LCS is us and we are it. One system. One overarching consciousness interacting with itself through its individualized parts.

Do you feel immense respect towards the LCS for the risks that it is willing to take?
Do you feel immense respect for yourself for going to Earth and facing your fears?

The LCS has to accept and expect the worst of the worst experiences. The same goes for you (you are it).
But the best of the best experiences appears to make it worth it.
Perhaps you could find the exact quote. It just doesn't seem like what Tom would say.

And just for a little clarification. The LCS doesn't risk, accept, or expect anything. It is a digital information system. Don't anthropomorphize the LCS. It doesn't fit. We don't go to earth. We are a part of the LCS that is rendered a data stream. There is no traveling involved.
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Re: Why the MBT does not survive close scrutiny...

Post by Sainbury »

It's not about individual successes or failures. It's about increasing or decreasing entropy. And that is a long term project with Googolplexes + of possibilities.
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Re: Why the MBT does not survive close scrutiny...

Post by Ted Vollers »

I am getting the impression that yet another Troll has thrown a rock into the middle of our pool and is enjoying watching the ripples interact.

Are you ready to move this thread to chat and watch it die or are you having too much fun arguing? Our visitor is not responding or paying any attention to any information provided. He seems to have no clue to the nature and origin of free will within MBT as being the ability of every IUOC to respond to every message freely and independently over the RWW. He sticks with old philosophically based arguments from the past and which have been discussed here before, including by Tom. Every other aspect of free will as related to avatars in VRs springs from this origin with our core being as IUOCs.

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Re: Why the MBT does not survive close scrutiny...

Post by IvanD »

Ted,

why this hostility?
I am getting the impression that yet another Troll has thrown a rock into the middle of our pool and is enjoying watching the ripples interact.
You seriously think that I am just a troll? As you might have noticed I put quite a lot of effort articulating my position on Tom's MBT, and you are considering it nothing but "trolling"?

What the other participants of the conversation in this thread are arguing about has pretty much nothing to do with the points I made.
Are you ready to move this thread to chat and watch it die or are you having too much fun arguing?
Why remove the thread? It seems to me that you consider the rubric "Rants - Negative Opinion" a cemetary for bad ideas anyway, so why not let mine "die" here?
Have you read any of the very first forum at the top of the Index page where the purpose of this board is explained. It is not here to provide a platform for you to argue from. This is not Hyde Park and free soapboxes are not provided with membership. We are here to teach and explain, not to argue with visitors.


Seriously? Well, I actually thought that a forum is place for conversation and discussion. A virtual "soapbox". Silly me...

What is the purpose of the rubric "Rants - Negative Opinion" then? If criticism is viewed as heresy here, why invite people to write negative opinions, if they have such?

So you are here to "teach and explain, not to argue with visitors", you say? Well, this resembles awfully the attitude of a culltic leader. It basically says: I am supposed to download your (and Tom's) explanations onto my mind without any critical scrutiny and questioning. Otherwise I am not welcome here...

Just to be clear: I am not declaring the MBT community a cult - this would be very far fetched. However, it must sound alarming to the reasonable people around here, if differing views are seen as heresy and "trolling" in this place...
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Re: Why the MBT does not survive close scrutiny...

Post by Wolf God »

What I am arguing is that “immaterial” structures and processes are not fundamentally different than “material” structures and processes. In both cases the changes of state that constitute our thinking, feeling and decision making can only be either causal (determinism) or random (randomness). Neither of those theoretical possibilities can be a basis for something like “free will”.
It is not at all obvious to me that the LCS is limited to either determinism or randomness. I don't understand why the LCS could not have both, or neither, and/or something we don't understand as yet.

Second, and related to the first point, if you assume materialism is true, then there exists no logical argument that would lead to the conclusion that materialism is false. Hence, you could never arrive, through logical discussion founded upon materialism, at MBT. Hence, I wonder how much value we could be to you at this forum. We are starting with different assumptions.
I do not assume that materialism is true.
I disagree. Much of your original argument was steeped in materialism, e.g., wanting "free will" to have some mapping to a PMR brain, and taking the materialist mechanics of a PMR brain as a basis for making conclusions about what is inherently non-physical, while the non-physical itself is viewed as dubious.

Here's the relevant quote: "'Free will' cannot be mapped anywhere within the 'mechanics' of our mind – neither in the 'physical' world, nor in the realm of the unphysical (if such truly exists)."

Moreover, if Sam Harris is one of your guiding philosophers, then I am nearly certain that you have materialism as part of the foundation of your thinking.

The preponderance of evidence is that you are a materialist, or, bare minimum, you have some strong beliefs based in materialism. This is why I hesitate to continue the dialogue. Until the materialism is overcome, there's not much we're going to be able to agree upon, in which case I would be wasting my time and attention.

Fourth, as far as I could tell, "free will" was never defined in your argument. We might -- or might not -- be talking about the same thing.
Well, this is the fundamental problem I am talking about: There has never been a definition of “free will” that actually makes sense.
Until you define "free will," no intelligent discussion of it is possible. If you can't define it, then you can't logically conclude it doesn't exist. If you can define it, then please do so, as a show of good faith, if nothing else. If you would be charitable to us, please use the terminology of MBT in your definition so that we can establish some common ground more easily.

If you can't give us a definition of "free will" that makes sense to you, please give us the nonsensical definition of it that you're using.

If you have no definition of it whatsoever, whether it makes sense or not, then please understand if we don't engage in dialogue about it with you. Again, I don't mean to be rude, but a definition is necessary for fruitful discussion.

This would be an awful evolutionary strategy. Diversity is a much more profitable path forward.
I am a little confused here. Is the system’s aim solely to reduce its entropy? Or does it have other goals as well? What are the parameters here? If the sole aim is to reduce its entropy (which is to say to minimize the degree of randomness) and if it made sense to assume that this has to do with how people exercise their “free will”, then how is “diversity” helpful? Why would “diversity” be better than – say – a planet populated solely by Tom Campbells in different avatars for this purpose?
If this is how you think about MBT, then there is a lot about it you don't understand. Although I can't hope, through a single post, to fill in all the gaps in your understanding, I can hint at why the LCS might not want to create a reality of all Toms (the "Trillion Tom Universe," or TTU, let me call it).

Evolution of consciousness is greatly facilitated by having more choices available (a larger decision-space) to IUOCs. If Tom (or a copy of Tom) is the only other IUOC you have to interact with, your decision space is going to be very small relative to the size of your decision-space if you had the potential to interact with trillions of unique IUOCs. We're talking many orders of magnitude better, not just nominally better.

Further, it would be very risky to create the TTU. To understand why, I refer you to the Fundamental Process discussed in Tom's trilogy. Too much to go into here, but if you're interested in learning more about this topic, start there, at the topic of the Fundamental Process.

As a final note, it would be an enormous waste of resources to create the TTU. How many copies of Tom would you need until one more Tom becomes redundant? The LCS is many things, but wasteful of its resources isn't one of them.

I thought the system already limited pain, particularly through adrenaline and endorphins.
Adrenaline and endorphins? Come on… Are you seriously implying that they would make a significant difference if someone is roasted slowly alive?
No. I never said that they would. I cited adrenaline and endorphins as one way in which the LCS mitigates pain. I did not mean to imply that adrenaline and endorphins could entirely shield a human being from the intense pain of being burned alive.

Consciousness is able to "check out" from an avatar when the pain gets too high. How high, I don't know. I would guess that that threshold varies by avatar.

And even if extreme physical pain was once absolutely necessary for biological life to evolve – why is it still necessary? How is it helpful if someone suffers extreme physical anguish now?
From the rule-set, life evolved as it has. Pain was a part of that evolution. In order to eradicate all pain, the rule-set would have to be changed, probably dramatically. The LCS can't make huge changes to the rule-set without destabilizing this PMR. Hence, the choice seems to be between these two:

1) Have this PMR, which necessitates some pain, but through which great gains in evolution may be made.

2) Eradicate pain, in which case this PMR goes away, in which case a tremendous opportunity-cost is paid: All evolution that would have occurred through this PMR is lost.

Evidently, the LCS chose option 1.

If we are truly interested in improving our understanding of reality, we should have the courage to leave our comfort zones and be prepared to confront unpleasant – or seemingly unpleasant – truths.
I agree with this. Getting into NPMR, and running your own experiments there, might be very eye-opening. I suggest lucid dreaming as a way in. Learn to lucid dream, and confront as many unpleasant truths as you can. Your experiences in NPMR will teach you things that we cannot.

[Note: Edited for typos, 6/15/17]
Last edited by Wolf God on Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why the MBT does not survive close scrutiny...

Post by Sainbury »

You seriously think that I am just a troll?
Here's the problem - you ask questions, and make statements, but you don't carefully read the answers. You have a lot of beliefs, and the MBT theory requires open-minded skepticism. You seem more interested in arguing the same points, which have been answered, than learning anything new.

You don't understand the theory, yet are criticizing ideas piecemeal. The theory has to be understood in total, or you cannot grasp the ideas.

In the end, if these ideas don't resonate with you, then it isn't the theory for you. You may be able to find something else that is a better fit.
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