I could be misunderstanding, but this appears to be a potential false dichotomy represented by the following two different but compatible statements:Steve3007 wrote: ↑April 28th, 2021, 5:08 amI disagree that they're relative to fictional constructs. A real object's real position and orientation is meaningful when specified relative to other real objects, relative to a reference frame which is stationary with respect to real objects.Scott wrote:Instead, my point is that rightness and leftness themselves are relative to fictional constructs, such as an imaginary y-axis on a pool table.
1. Rightness and leftness (i.e directional orientation) do not really physically exist because they refer not just to relationships between physical objects that actually exist.
2. Rightness and leftness are meaningful concepts.
For instance, I think the concept of a 0D point, or by extension a triangle (i.e. three separate 0D points connected by three non-intersecting 1D lines) is meaningful and useful.
Assuming one is not positing consciousness (presumably some kind of metaphysical subjectivity) or what could be called "conscious presence" as some kind of reference-frame-like thing...
A reference frame is not a system of real objects and real clocks.
It is a fabricated conception made to model reality, so that math can be done, and thus physical predictions based on the model can be done.
It's more a like an old school group of military generals strategizing war and predicting what their enemy might do by using a 2D map with little movable action figures on top of it to play the 'if this, then that' game of imagination.
Scott wrote:Do you agree that it is meaningless to ask if Mars is on the right side or the left side of the universe; that is, without specifying or conceiving of some kind of fictional reference frame?
Let me rephrase the question, do you think it is meaningful to ask if Mars is objectively on the right side or the left side of the universe?
If so, then I ask--objectively speaking---is Mars objectively on the left side or the right side of the universe?
I agree with this.
Granted, your following comments seem to suggest that you are preconceiving of some kind of 'time' and/or 'presence' existing. So I don't necessarily agree with your reasoning, but I agree with the above sentence.
If your argument for the real objective physical existence of leftness and rightness relies on presupposing real time, time-ness, and/or presence in time exist, then I am open to conceding that insofar as real time, objective time-ness, and real presence are presupposed as premises then the existence of rightness and leftness seems to also be a corollary of that.Steve3007 wrote: ↑April 28th, 2021, 5:08 am It would be like asking "Is Mars permanently to the left of everything, including itself?". (I know Mars is red. But it's not that red). But it would be perfectly sensible to ask if real object A is to the left or right of real object B with respect to the real position and orientation of real object C. For example, this question makes sense to me:
To me, that question seems totally unanswerable as asked. However, if you are also imagining yourself standing in "this real part of this real parking lot" looking out with your nose pointed in a specific direction (even though you didn't mention any of that in the question or clarify which direction your human nose would be pointing), then I can take bets about what kind of made-up reference frame you as a human would use in that scenario, if not simply due to common sense knowledge about the way humans (myself being no exception) like to treat themselves as the center of the universe with their two human eyeballs as being special, and a habit of referring to those eyeballs in certain ways. But if I imagine multiple humans standing in that parking lot, they would all answer your question differently, because most humans are equally prone to disregarding the Copernican Principle. But if we take the questions as asked, which allows one to assume there is no life or noticeable change in the parking lot, and the parking lot never changes but exists barren of life in an unchanging state, and thus there is little way for humanity's illogical anti-Copernican intuitions to mislead one into answering a question other than the one actually asked... then it is IMO unanswerable and meaningless as asked.
It is like asking if a ball that moved 2 inches on a pool table moved two inches to the right or two inches to the left. It's unanswerable because it's dependent on where one conceptually draws the dividing axises that form the made-up reference frame. According to one made-up model of the reality the answer will be "to the right" and in another it will be "to the left".
You can use real objects as references to conceptually draw the reference frame, much like you can use a "you are here" marker on a 2D map that represents a park someone might be standing in or a mall they be shopping in.
Thus, one could say, for example, "if we imagine a perfectly straight line (i.e. a y-axis) drawn from this specific corner pocket to that other specific corner-pocket pocket with that side of line being the right side (the positive direction on the x-axis) and that opposite side of the line being the left side (the negative direction on the x-axis), then did that ball move two inches to the right or to the left?" But the line of division is a actually fiction, and the choice to make one side right or left is arbitrary in terms of the actual fundamental physics of what actually physically exists.
The question with a specified made-up reference frame allows two different humans to use that shared made-up reference frame to talk about a real physical event, by creating an imaginary absolute background with defined leftness and rightness. But the leftness and rightness themselves are made-up aspects of that conceptualization process, of the imaginary background that could be equally imagined in infinite other ways. The leftness and rightness cannot be generated without first imagining a fictional plane of 0-width on one dimension (the dimension that will become x-axis-like or in other words of being the source of the made-up left-right orientation) acting as the dividing line/plane between the left side and the right side. Which side is left and which is right depends on (1) where one imagines the line/plane of division and (2) which side one labels as the positive/right side versus the negative/left side. It's important to note that the line/plane of division must be one dimension lower than that being dividing.
In classical physics, to say two balls are moving away from each other is a relative statement about the relationship between two physical things. Thus the concept of movement in that context refers to something that is relative but physically real. To ask which balls' X values are increasing (a.k.a. which balls are moving to the right) requires creating an imaginary absolute background with divisional lines (a.k.a. axises) to use to conceptually describe the relative physics that is occurring. That's only in classical physics, though. Actual physics is even less intuitive and requires giving up even more false intuitions and false common sense beliefs.
To conceptually divide a 1D line requires a 0D dividing point. To conceptually divide a 2D plane requires a 1D line. To conceptually divide a 3D object or 3D universe requires a 2D plane. To conceptually divide a 4D universe requires a 3D plane. To get a directional orientations requires even more: each division requires arbitrarily labeling a negative side (e.g. the left side) and a positive side (e.g. the right side) which are made-up qualities that don't actually exist in what's being described but are rather made-up tools of conceptual to assist in communication.
If you use X to represent how far to the right or left something is, then the dividing plane would be where X = 0. You don't have to call it X or use the English word "left" and "right", but nonetheless in one sense or another one needs to conceptually create leftness and rightness (a.k.a. negative-x-ness and positive-x-ness) by projecting onto the reality the idea that somewhere X = 0 (i.e. that somewhere in reality there is a dividing plane between the left side and the right side), and which of the two perpendicular directions is the positive/right direction. That kind of conceptual imagining (i.e. projection onto reality) is needed to get leftness and rightness. And it's a very useful conceptualization, much like refusing to use the concept of triangles would be very dis-useful.
Leftness and rightness are qualities of the conceptual model (i.e. the fictional reference frame), not actual physical reality.