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What Is Real?


dB-Paradox
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What is real? If real is what you can see, hear or touch, then real is nothing more than electrical impulses transmitted by the brain...oh, wait, I said I wasn't going there!

 

But in all seriousness (and actually not that far off the Matrix idea), have any of you thought about real in terms of you? For example, when I go to the grocery store, I see hundreds of people. Do they see me? Obviously the ones I come in contact with do, right? But what if my reality is based only on me? I can talk to a stranger. They hear me and respond. But who is hearing them respond? I am! I can ask them if they see me, and of course they'll look at me like I'm a freak and say they do. But I'm the one who heard them say they can see me. If they punch me, I feel it. If I punch them, I feel it. And if a third party witnesses the whole thing and publishes it on the internet, I'm reading it.

 

How do I know that what you are reading right now is the same as what I'm reading? Well for one, you could respond and tell me what you read. And if the words match, then you must have read the same thing, right? But if you respond, I'll be reading it, and if I respond to that, you'll be reading it. I suppose I'm dabbling a bit in quantum theory. I saw a documentary on it called, "What The Bleep Do We Know?" In it, they used the picture of a hundred basketballs bouncing. But we only focus on one. That's our reality. But what if someone was focusing on a different basketball? Here's a simple version of the theory which I have thought of for years, since I was a child:

 

If I see red, and you see red, we both call the color by the same name. But are we seeing the same thing? If I could see through your eyes, would I still call it red? Or would red look more like blue to me? Or no color at all! Our experiences are subjective. Even if you can get a hundred people to confirm the same thing, each individual experience is subjective.

 

But the real mystery is trying to figure out why I posted this in the first place. I really don't know where I was going with it. Oh yeah! (I just read the title) What is real? Is real subjective or objective? How can we prove that it is objective?

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I alone exist. You are a figment of my imagination.

 

(toke, toke)

 

Dude, what if our universe is like one atom of god's fingernail. And like, that god is just one atom on the fingernail of a bigger god! Dude!

 

(toke, toke)

 

Of course, this kind of "philosophy" can go nowhere since we have to imagine a frame of reference we can't ever have, and make up rules for that world. Anything goes, and it doesn't have to make sense because that would limit the idea to our reality (the only reality we can operate in). I don't see the value in that effort.

 

People like to say we'll know the truth after we die, but I think we know it now - we just want more than there is.

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Philosophy in the Flesh : The Embodied Mind and Its Challenge to Western Thought

 

* Reason is not disembodied, as the tradition has largely held, but arises from the nature of our brains, bodies, and bodily experience. This is not just the innocuous and obvious claim that we need a body to reason; rather, it is the striking claim that the very structure of reason itself comes from the details of our embodiment. The same neural and cognitive mechanisms that allow us to perceive and move around also create our conceptual systems and modes of reason. Thus, to understand reason we must understand the details of our visual system, our motor system, and the general mechanisms of neural binding. In summary, reason is not, in any way, a transcendent feature of the universe or of disembodied mind. Instead, it is shaped crucially by the peculiarities of our human bodies, by the remarkable details of the neural structure of our brains, and by the specifics of our everyday functioning in the world.

 

* Reason is evolutionary, in that abstract reason builds on and makes use of forms of perceptual and motor inference present in "lower" animals. The result is a Darwinism of reason, a rational Darwinism: Reason, even in its most abstract form, makes use of, rather than transcends, our animal nature. The discovery that reason is evolutionary utterly changes our relation to other animals and changes our conception of human beings as uniquely rational. Reason is thus not an essence that separates us from other animals; rather, it places us on a continuum with them.

 

* Reason is not "universal" in the transcendent sense; that is, it is not part of the structure of the universe. It is universal, however, in that it is a capacity shared universally by all human beings. What allows it to be shared are the commonalities that exist in the way our minds are embodied.

 

* Reason is not completely conscious, but mostly unconscious.

 

* Reason is not purely literal, but largely metaphorical and imaginative.

 

* Reason is not dispassionate, but emotionally engaged.
http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/l/lakoff-philosophy.html

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Occam's Razor.

 

If all we are is the dream of an evil genius or if all of our reality is contrived for our benefit only (or for the amusement or some other purpose of the entity that is fucking with us) too many questions are begged.

 

You see them and they see you (assuming they are looking and/or actively aware of you).

 

What if scenarios are sometimes fun but they don't usually lead anywhere meaningful.

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They're only fun after 3 bowls of Northern Lights Number Five.

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What is real? Is real subjective or objective? How can we prove that it is objective?

 

There are/may be many levels of reality but it works best to speak in a language your audience can understand, and to use metaphors your audience can identify with. Since my audiences tend to be human, I generally use the human experience as the baseline for reality. When I need to communicate across species, such as when negotiating right of way with wild geese on public property, I look for another baseline or common ground such as tone of voice and body language/movement. This was somewhat important the other week when a pair was hanging out on the sidewalk and really did not leave room for me to pass. I also know a few things about negotiating with farm dogs who are casually guarding front doors. I have not yet interviewed the ducks that nested on top of the rowhouses on the other street. (Yes, they were ducks and they were sitting on the peak of the roof, but perhaps they sat there only one evening.) Anyway, you get the picture. There really are many different kinds/levels of reality on this planet alone.

 

And what do you think is the reality for all these wild critters on a day like this when the blizzard is raging out there after three weeks of warm spring rains and sunshine? I don't guess they can turn up the thermostat and dig out the winter coats and boots and mits like I did.

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* Reason is not disembodied, as the tradition has largely held, but arises from the nature of our brains, bodies, and bodily experience. This is not just the innocuous and obvious claim that we need a body to reason; rather, it is the striking claim that the very structure of reason itself comes from the details of our embodiment. The same neural and cognitive mechanisms that allow us to perceive and move around also create our conceptual systems and modes of reason. Thus, to understand reason we must understand the details of our visual system, our motor system, and the general mechanisms of neural binding. In summary, reason is not, in any way, a transcendent feature of the universe or of disembodied mind. Instead, it is shaped crucially by the peculiarities of our human bodies, by the remarkable details of the neural structure of our brains, and by the specifics of our everyday functioning in the world.

 

Sounds like fluff to me Chef...

 
* Reason is evolutionary, in that abstract reason builds on and makes use of forms of perceptual and motor inference present in "lower" animals. The result is a Darwinism of reason, a rational Darwinism: Reason, even in its most abstract form, makes use of, rather than transcends, our animal nature. The discovery that reason is evolutionary utterly changes our relation to other animals and changes our conception of human beings as uniquely rational. Reason is thus not an essence that separates us from other animals; rather, it places us on a continuum with them.

 

* Reason is not "universal" in the transcendent sense; that is, it is not part of the structure of the universe. It is universal, however, in that it is a capacity shared universally by all human beings. What allows it to be shared are the commonalities that exist in the way our minds are embodied.

 

* Reason is not completely conscious, but mostly unconscious.

 

* Reason is not purely literal, but largely metaphorical and imaginative.

 

* Reason is not dispassionate, but emotionally engaged.

 

Man, I guess you can get someone to buy a whole book of fluff if this is as good as it gets....
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Man, I guess you can get someone to buy a whole book of fluff if this is as good as it gets....

it does seem a little fluffy, but it also seems real.

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Sounds like fluff to me Chef...

 

That's because your ears are full of cotton. As it is written, "Let he who has ears take the cotton out."

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What do you expect from reading a Woolly Book?

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I like the idea that we comprehend reality by employing models. Modeling involves measurement (or sensation), inference, and prediction. And sometimes when we sense, infer, and predict we find that our predictions correspond to what has happened causally. In these cases we can safely say that our inferences model some facet of reality.

 

The whole thrust of modeling is to mirror the objective world of reality within the subjective world of the mind.

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Reality. What a concept. --Robin Williams
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If you are a believer, always remember that God helps those that help themselves. If you live by that, when God doesn't show up you will have done the best you can.

 

Chefranden,

 

I just noticed that in your signature. Cool saying! :lmao:

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What is real?

...

If I see red, and you see red, we both call the color by the same name. But are we seeing the same thing? If I could see through your eyes, would I still call it red? Or would red look more like blue to me? Or no color at all! Our experiences are subjective. Even if you can get a hundred people to confirm the same thing, each individual experience is subjective.

...

Reality is by observation but we are all tied to this reality. Time moves on for all of us. Just because I cannot see you does not mean you are not there. And even if you called your colors by a different name, if we both chose 'red', we would both reach for the same color no matter what the name of it were. And if you only saw in black in white, your name for 'red' would not be the same experience as for someone who did see 'red' because your perception is limited by what colors you see.

 

What passes for 'reality' is different person to person but it still returns to the old saying, 'if a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does the tree make a sound?' I would say, 'yes, it does.' And then point to my previous statement, just because I cannot see you does not mean you are not there.' I've only heard of one person in my whole life that suffered from invisibility, and him I believe because I've never seen the guy!

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I like the idea that we comprehend reality by employing models. Modeling involves measurement (or sensation), inference, and prediction. And sometimes when we sense, infer, and predict we find that our predictions correspond to what has happened causally. In these cases we can safely say that our inferences model some facet of reality.

 

The whole thrust of modeling is to mirror the objective world of reality within the subjective world of the mind.

 

Can we call it an objective world since it is only full of relationships?

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Can we call it an objective world since it is only full of relationships?

I don't see why not End. They would just be objective relationships, right?

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