Jack Reacher wrote:I think the universe created in our minds eye is made out of information, but our physical body and everything else outside of us is material. Wipe out all the humans and other intelligent life, anything that is conscious and what you have left in the equation is matter.
Or is that true? Do abstract concepts still exist if there is no one there to think about them? Does the present still exist, that is all life is gone and a boulder is rolling towards a cliff edge. There must be some concept of the future where it will roll off the cliff, even if there is no one there to think it. Or does the present simply cease to exist and all states are simultaneously occuring? Even more interesting is what if life somehow sparked up again in the oceans, would time just fastforward to the next conscious moment and the present continues, or would time just carry on as usual with no observer at all in the universe until life starts again?
I think the material is a separate thing and does exist without us, but our consciousness is kind of like a projection screen or a receiver with our brain being an interface somehow. Like the data (information) in the computer is there if your monitor is turned off, but there is no one there to experience it. There is no "independant objective" reality because we can not step outside our reality and observe it from a different reference point. Nor can we really prove that it exists in the form we experience without observing it.
If you could bring a television back in time, say 300 years and turn it on (assuming you could generate electricity of course and there stations transmitting) it would probably be impossible to convince people who were watching it that what they were seeing wasn't real and that there weren't real people inside the box somehow. The television is part of their reality, but it's the radio waves that move through space invisible to our 5 senses that provide the information necessary to create the image and sound. I believe our reality is similar to this analogy.