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Old 09-16-2005, 11:31 AM   #1
Cmdr. Cracken
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What is reality? (Philosophy)

This is a kind of an experiment.

Allow me to explain.

Everytime i bring this question up on the internet, i get all sorts of varied responses, which people argue over, which turn into flame wars, which gets people banned, and people get furthur angered, which lead to server shutdowns, mass bannings, and general bad all around.

This forum seems to be apt to the climate of spirited philisophical, as well as political, debate, and since the people i associate with are not at all philisophical (according to Socrates, we shouldn't be practicing Philosophy anyway until the age of 40 years or older, but oh well.) i decide to try it here.

It is a simple question, what is reality? I am curious if we can find the trth to this quesion, if there is any truth to it.

So, I seek your answers, and from there, we can begin our investigation.

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Old 09-17-2005, 03:30 AM   #2
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Hehehe...

"I think, thus I am." - Descarte.

In the most minimalistic sense, the only absolutely certain reality is that I exist - because I must exist in order to think - but there is not nessecarily an outside reality for me to exist in, because all knowledge of the outside world comes to us through our senses - and sensory input could - hypothetically - be merely an illusion. Hypothetically.

This, however, is hardly an - ah - practical view...

"There are only two ways in which to account for the necessary agreement between concepts and experience: Either experience makes our concepts possible or our concepts make experience possible." - Kant

Reality - it could be argued - is what we percieve. Take - for instance - a ship. If you stand on the deck of another ship, the ship is a visual phenomenon. If you are in a submarine, the ship is an acoustic phenomenon. But both experience the same ship. Thus reality is both seperate from and contingent upon perception - and the more varied a range of perceptions you employ when attempting to identify something, the more accurately your concept will match the object.

It could also be argued that reality is completely independent of perception - but that's a rather moot point - after all, if a tree falls in the forest while no-one is there to listen to it, do we really care whether it makes a noise or not? (Although by simple extrapolation we would expect it to make a racket.)


Last edited by ShadowTemplar; 09-17-2005 at 04:36 AM.
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Old 09-17-2005, 04:09 AM   #3
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The truth of reality is that there is no truth. Truth is in the eye of the beholder and thus reality is in the eye of the beholder. And since we have so much difference of the world in our eyes we have conflict. Thus reality is conflict. -Me
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Old 09-17-2005, 04:45 AM   #4
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Hmmm...

I would argue that gravity is indisputably real... I've yet to see a beholder float suspended in the air just because he refused to behold gravity... Those who try that trick usually find out that it is - ah - detrimental to one's heath.

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Old 09-17-2005, 12:43 PM   #5
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I take the matrix view, this world is just a plane, and then there are higher plane(s).


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Old 09-17-2005, 01:01 PM   #6
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Reality is more or less what you believe it to be. Sure, you might feel that gravity is always around and that whatever you believe can't change it. But, you could believe that you can fly, and as soon as your mind truly trusts that it can fly, reality does not have gravity. Because then it's not really this world, anymore, it's more of their own world. And that might be just as real.



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Old 09-17-2005, 01:08 PM   #7
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I ascribe to the idea that reality is exactly what it should be. What I perceive is real. Thing I see, things I feel, things I can experience is reality.

I think it is completely pointless to even wonder about anything else, and a total waste of time to believe that nothing is real. Why bother? We live a short time and then we die, so go out and enjoy your reality.



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Old 09-17-2005, 04:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrion
Because then it's not really this world, anymore, it's more of their own world. And that might be just as real.
"Gravity isn't real, gravity isn't real, gravity isn-" - Famous last words :-)

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Old 09-17-2005, 04:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowTemplar
"Gravity isn't real, gravity isn't real, gravity isn-" - Famous last words :-)


To add to my point, take synathesia. It's the ability to percieve information from certain senses as others senses. Like, seeing green from a musical note or blue in the letter E. Within the mind of those affected, they really think that the letter E is blue. Everyone else percieves it as, oh, black for instance. Which coloring is real?

To a blind-from-birth man, there are no colors. There is no sight. How do you explain sight to someone who is blind? Their own reality is one without sight, so how would they know? How do we know that what we percieve as reality is only because of certain abilities we lack?



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Old 09-17-2005, 11:34 PM   #10
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So, the conclusion taht we have drawn, is, in a nutshell, reality is how we precieve it.

This answer is good, but leads to an interesting question by that answer alone, i would think.

If reality is what we precieve, and our perception is truth, can ones reality be warped to be something untrue?

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Old 09-18-2005, 01:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cmdr. Cracken
So, the conclusion taht we have drawn, is, in a nutshell, reality is how we precieve it.

This answer is good, but leads to an interesting question by that answer alone, i would think.

If reality is what we precieve, and our perception is truth, can ones reality be warped to be something untrue?
Define untruth. If someone percieves something to be true, then is the untruth simply what he believes not to be true?



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Old 09-19-2005, 05:24 AM   #12
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Hmm.. Just because the mind of a blind-from-birth man "does not know" about the concept of colors, doesn't mean colors don't exist, it does mean the blind man's view on things works without this concept of colors. So in conclusion, for me reality has to be seen as "a bunch" of facts (or maybe 'informations'), without the additional waste of "truths", "views" or "interpretations" or whatever individual "harm" can be done to it. There is, however, the almost valid agument of how somebody "sees" a color, but the point is, if an object is green it is green, where "green" means "due to it's attributes it only reflects a certain range of the light hitting it's surface". And even if we "switch" the colors green and red, the green object would be still "green" in reality, although it's now called "red object".
It's the same with the falling tree. Just because "our" senses are not "good enough" to hear it falling in the err.. far far far far far .. far .. distance.. which is pretty far from uuhm.. here -- doesn't mean there is no sound.

What's reality? Reality is that why we are, reality is what would be if we wouldn't be. That's reality. Pure and simple. Real reality. Everything else is a concept. Truth is a concept.


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Old 09-19-2005, 05:37 AM   #13
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Reality is what is real. For example, the Rebellion and Galactic Empire is not real. Norway and The United States are real. This reality persists even if no one's there to observe it. There. Done.

Quote:
Truth is a concept.
Oh?

[Curses The Matrix for reviving this debate]

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Old 09-19-2005, 06:33 AM   #14
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Naja, for example, I once thought I could trust a certain person, especially in telling me the truth. This was my truth, and I 'found' tons of proofs and arguments that what I've been told was true. I Thought.
But in fact, I just convinced myself to believe in things to be true, I 'covered' the flashing red light.. That certain person lied to me many times. So worse, I couldn't have even imagined, even if I had been told to think of the worst things possible.
I had a truth-- MY truth, and yes I still have it. And it has changed dramatically. But reality didn't change. And it won't ever.

So, for me 'truth' is an index on how to deal with things in my life. And other than reality, it is not absolute. Not even the way it's "found" is absolute. It's very dependend to knowledge and especially experience. It is merely a concept of "percieveing" reality.


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Old 09-19-2005, 09:08 AM   #15
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Its certainly possible to convince yourself (or be convinced by others) to believe things that are untrue, or even impossible.

Which brings up an interesting question: If what we believe and percieve is "our reality" then if someone changes our beliefs does that change our reality?



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Old 09-20-2005, 11:11 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cmdr. Cracken
So, the conclusion that we have drawn, is, in a nutshell, reality is how we percieve it.
I dissent. Reality is a combination of external input and cognitive processes.

Whether the external reality really exists, or is simply a social phenomenon correct to ten significant figures doesn't really matter in the end, as long as it keeps on being correct to ten significant figures - well, preferably fifteen or twenty.

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Old 02-26-2006, 06:12 AM   #17
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Reality isnt what we can feel, see, taste, smell, or hear, its what is around us. for example, we say light is real, because we see it. but can we say that for example micro-waves do not exist because we cant "sense" them??
We must admit that the reality is much more than we can sense, it has infinite aspects that we will never learn about.
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Old 02-27-2006, 03:58 AM   #18
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I say that this thread should die, like the Matrix movies popularity, which probably spawned it.


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Old 02-27-2006, 07:00 PM   #19
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Reality in a nutshell. Sort of, I mean, that page isn't exactly the whole of quantum physics/mechanics.



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Old 02-28-2006, 10:22 AM   #20
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Reality is only relative (get it?) to the sentient experiencing the occurence. In other words, we only have an individual reality, and we can perceive that however we want, isn't that nice.

Perception is not reality, and I think a lot of people are not differentiating between the two.

Reality is something created by the self to explain and reason your own actions, perception is what alot of other posters have already said, not reality.


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Old 03-04-2006, 04:47 AM   #21
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reality is to exist; what exists is real and what does not exist is not real.

there are things we believed in but turned to be untrue because it does not exist thus its not real, while there are alot of thing we do not know (thus do not believe in) but it exist actually thus its real.
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Old 03-06-2006, 04:46 PM   #22
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Is that not simply a tautology?

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Old 03-07-2006, 06:21 AM   #23
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Is that not simply a tautology?
i did not read your post thus i was just saying my views...
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