Welcome Guest! ( Login | Register )
What is real?
ImaDummy
9/9/2012   
 
Member What is real?


Back when I was a teenager, I was questioning what I had learned about religion. I asked myself "what is real"? What around me can I point to as absolutely real? I have pursued that question, off and on, over the years.

In an effort to answer that question I looked toward physics, thinking, well, surely the physical world around me is real. Surely, those things I can touch and feel and that have solidity must be real.

In that search, I learned that what seems "solid" is in reality mostly empty space. The atoms (seem to) consist of inconceivably small "objects" of immense density that are relatively far from each other and contain (apparently) mostly empty space. Therefore, what I had originally considered "real" was really something quite different than what I had imagined. What I had considered "solid" was in fact, mostly nothing.

Then, there are those things that are considered "real" that have no physical substance. For example, the love of a mother for her child. Also, I would include all the emotions, love, hate, envy, desire, etc. Surely, to the individual, they seem "real", but they have no physical reality. (I might include self awareness and/or consciousness.)

Then, I looked to philosphy. I learned there that, in some philosphies that nothing is real. Everything is naught but an illusion. (there is a book called "the tao of physics" which talks about the similarities between quantum physics and eastern philosphies)

I have heard the theory that we create our own reality. We believe only that which we believe is possible. We reject that which we believe is impossible, thereby creating our own reality.

For example, if I saw a flying horse, I would say to myself, well, that is not possible, so it must be my imagination. Yet, centuries ago, heavier than air flight was considered impossible and surely any reasonable person that saw a plane would consider it impossible and therefore a figment of his imagination.

And, lastly, remember, our understanding of the world is completely through our five senses, and therefore, filtered through the limits of sight, sound, etc. (And, begins to go into the subject of consciousness.)
..........
So, again, I ask the question, what is real?

What is reality? How can you define it? Does it exist? How can you possibly know? How can I prove to another person beyond any doubt that it exists?

I now tend to believe that this is not possible.
Post #972225 Back to top ▲
9/9/2012
 
ImaDummy
Member
What is real?


Back when I was a teenager, I was questioning what I had learned about religion. I asked myself "what is real"? What around me can I point to as absolutely real? I have pursued that question, off and on, over the years.

In an effort to answer that question I looked toward physics, thinking, well, surely the physical world around me is real. Surely, those things I can touch and feel and that have solidity must be real.

In that search, I learned that what seems "solid" is in reality mostly empty space. The atoms (seem to) consist of inconceivably small "objects" of immense density that are relatively far from each other and contain (apparently) mostly empty space. Therefore, what I had originally considered "real" was really something quite different than what I had imagined. What I had considered "solid" was in fact, mostly nothing.

Then, there are those things that are considered "real" that have no physical substance. For example, the love of a mother for her child. Also, I would include all the emotions, love, hate, envy, desire, etc. Surely, to the individual, they seem "real", but they have no physical reality. (I might include self awareness and/or consciousness.)

Then, I looked to philosphy. I learned there that, in some philosphies that nothing is real. Everything is naught but an illusion. (there is a book called "the tao of physics" which talks about the similarities between quantum physics and eastern philosphies)

I have heard the theory that we create our own reality. We believe only that which we believe is possible. We reject that which we believe is impossible, thereby creating our own reality.

For example, if I saw a flying horse, I would say to myself, well, that is not possible, so it must be my imagination. Yet, centuries ago, heavier than air flight was considered impossible and surely any reasonable person that saw a plane would consider it impossible and therefore a figment of his imagination.

And, lastly, remember, our understanding of the world is completely through our five senses, and therefore, filtered through the limits of sight, sound, etc. (And, begins to go into the subject of consciousness.)
..........
So, again, I ask the question, what is real?

What is reality? How can you define it? Does it exist? How can you possibly know? How can I prove to another person beyond any doubt that it exists?

I now tend to believe that this is not possible.
Post #972225
MrCustomer
9/10/2012   
 
Member This is just an extension of the "if a tree falls down in a forest and noone is around to hear, does it make a sound?" when the question is wrong because it should be "What is sound?"

This question has been around for a long time, and really the proposed answer is cogito ergo sum, I think, therefore I am, or more modernly known as "I think I think, therefore I think I am"

In the end this is circular logic, if everything didn't exist then you would not exist in order to falsly perceive it.

That we are able to perceive the world is proof of our own existance.. Regardless of the truth of what our 5 senses tell us, they confirm our existance. I cannot argue against my own existance, which is where "I think, therefore I am" comes into play. By extension of this there has to be a degree of truth in what we observe with our senses

I think, therefore I exist, and therefore the world that I observe must also exist within the limits of my senses.
Post #972255 Back to top ▲
9/10/2012
 
MrCustomer
Member
This is just an extension of the "if a tree falls down in a forest and noone is around to hear, does it make a sound?" when the question is wrong because it should be "What is sound?"

This question has been around for a long time, and really the proposed answer is cogito ergo sum, I think, therefore I am, or more modernly known as "I think I think, therefore I think I am"

In the end this is circular logic, if everything didn't exist then you would not exist in order to falsly perceive it.

That we are able to perceive the world is proof of our own existance.. Regardless of the truth of what our 5 senses tell us, they confirm our existance. I cannot argue against my own existance, which is where "I think, therefore I am" comes into play. By extension of this there has to be a degree of truth in what we observe with our senses

I think, therefore I exist, and therefore the world that I observe must also exist within the limits of my senses.
Post #972255
ImaDummy
9/21/2012   
 
Member I wasn’t referring to my own “existence”.

I was referring to “reality”. Not as far as myself, but the world around me.
Cogito ergo Sum is fine and dandy if I am asking if I exist, but, the question is, rather, what in the world around me can I point to as being “real”? What has real existence?

I have to assume that if I can ask the question, that I would seem to exist. (at least to myself). But, how can I prove that the world around me exists? Is reaching out and touching it enough? Does that constitute proof?

I don’t see this as a circular argument.
……………………….
I saw a quote today that I liked.

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

Philip K. Dick (1928–1982), U.S. science fiction writer. Quoted by Dick in "How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later," introduction, I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon (1986)


Post #973190 Back to top ▲
9/21/2012
 
ImaDummy
Member
I wasn’t referring to my own “existence”.

I was referring to “reality”. Not as far as myself, but the world around me.
Cogito ergo Sum is fine and dandy if I am asking if I exist, but, the question is, rather, what in the world around me can I point to as being “real”? What has real existence?

I have to assume that if I can ask the question, that I would seem to exist. (at least to myself). But, how can I prove that the world around me exists? Is reaching out and touching it enough? Does that constitute proof?

I don’t see this as a circular argument.
……………………….
I saw a quote today that I liked.

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

Philip K. Dick (1928–1982), U.S. science fiction writer. Quoted by Dick in "How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later," introduction, I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon (1986)


Post #973190
MrCustomer
9/21/2012   
 
Member It's an extension of your own existance that what you perceive also has a strong basis for existing. Review what you do know for sure.

-You Exist

-You can perceive

The logical conclusion is that what you Perceive must therefore also exist (within the limits of what you can percieve)

The other answer is the example of the giant invisible pink elephants that are dancing about the room you are in and urinating over everything (invisible, odorless urine of course) The point here is that you cannot prove that there isn't invisible dancing pink elephants urinating on you, however neither do you have proof that they exist.

In the debate on if these elephants exist the burdon of proof rests on the side auguing that the exist. You don''t need to prove that the elephants don't exist, but rather proof must be given that they do exist.

The same goes for "what is real" in the absence of evidence to the contrary, we have evidence of reality because we exist and perceive. so the ownis here is upon disproving reality, rather then proving it.

Unless one can prove that reality doesn't exist it must be accepted. Because we lack any proof to the contrary
Post #973214 Back to top ▲
9/21/2012
 
MrCustomer
Member
It's an extension of your own existance that what you perceive also has a strong basis for existing. Review what you do know for sure.

-You Exist

-You can perceive

The logical conclusion is that what you Perceive must therefore also exist (within the limits of what you can percieve)

The other answer is the example of the giant invisible pink elephants that are dancing about the room you are in and urinating over everything (invisible, odorless urine of course) The point here is that you cannot prove that there isn't invisible dancing pink elephants urinating on you, however neither do you have proof that they exist.

In the debate on if these elephants exist the burdon of proof rests on the side auguing that the exist. You don''t need to prove that the elephants don't exist, but rather proof must be given that they do exist.

The same goes for "what is real" in the absence of evidence to the contrary, we have evidence of reality because we exist and perceive. so the ownis here is upon disproving reality, rather then proving it.

Unless one can prove that reality doesn't exist it must be accepted. Because we lack any proof to the contrary
Post #973214
~pw~
9/21/2012   
 
Member me
Post #973215 Back to top ▲
9/21/2012
 
~pw~
Member
me
Post #973215
MrCustomer
9/21/2012   
 
Member pw, "you" are perhaps the most concise, insightful explanation there is.
Post #973236 Back to top ▲
9/21/2012
 
MrCustomer
Member
pw, "you" are perhaps the most concise, insightful explanation there is.
Post #973236
ImaDummy
9/30/2012   
 
Member Well, according to current physics, Dark Matter and Dark Energy (which we cannot sense with our five senses) make up 95% of the known universe.
So, yeah, it is entirely possible that a lot goes on in our space that we are entirely unaware of.
…..
“The logical conclusion is that what you Perceive must therefore also exist (within the limits of what you can percieve)”

I’m not sure I buy this one. Just because I perceive something does not necessarily mean that it exists. I would point out that there are lots of people who imagine voices and to those people, those voices are very real, but not to those around them.
.....
“Unless one can prove that reality doesn't exist it must be accepted. Because we lack any proof to the contrary”

Ah! There’s the rub! I keep coming to that conclusion myself, and it doesn’t satisfy my curiosity, so I keep looking….

Post #974158 Back to top ▲
9/30/2012
 
ImaDummy
Member
Well, according to current physics, Dark Matter and Dark Energy (which we cannot sense with our five senses) make up 95% of the known universe.
So, yeah, it is entirely possible that a lot goes on in our space that we are entirely unaware of.
…..
“The logical conclusion is that what you Perceive must therefore also exist (within the limits of what you can percieve)”

I’m not sure I buy this one. Just because I perceive something does not necessarily mean that it exists. I would point out that there are lots of people who imagine voices and to those people, those voices are very real, but not to those around them.
.....
“Unless one can prove that reality doesn't exist it must be accepted. Because we lack any proof to the contrary”

Ah! There’s the rub! I keep coming to that conclusion myself, and it doesn’t satisfy my curiosity, so I keep looking….

Post #974158
MrCustomer
10/22/2012   
 
Member It is always good to question the world around us. as to Dark matter and Dark energy, one must realize that these are theoretical possibilities, science asks much the same question, "what exists" and then seeks to define and prove it.

It is very difficult to prove dark matter, however being more focused on what we can prove with our own senses, what we see, what we can touch.

I know that I exist, my awareness is self evident of that. But what about what I can see, hear and touch? How can I tell if that is real?

Well, for that I use myself as a base. I am real.

What do I know about the world around me? Only what I perceive, but what is perception and how do I perceive? Well my senses absorb data, sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste, the 5 senses.

Perception is Data. So now I know two things for sure. I exist and I am absorbing a steady stream of Data.

That Data has to come from somewhere and that is my confirmation of existance, because that Data comes from somewhere, an external source, it must be real.

So the burden of proof becomes on disproving the source of the data, rather then the data itself. The burden here is to disprove existance.
Post #976153 Back to top ▲
10/22/2012
 
MrCustomer
Member
It is always good to question the world around us. as to Dark matter and Dark energy, one must realize that these are theoretical possibilities, science asks much the same question, "what exists" and then seeks to define and prove it.

It is very difficult to prove dark matter, however being more focused on what we can prove with our own senses, what we see, what we can touch.

I know that I exist, my awareness is self evident of that. But what about what I can see, hear and touch? How can I tell if that is real?

Well, for that I use myself as a base. I am real.

What do I know about the world around me? Only what I perceive, but what is perception and how do I perceive? Well my senses absorb data, sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste, the 5 senses.

Perception is Data. So now I know two things for sure. I exist and I am absorbing a steady stream of Data.

That Data has to come from somewhere and that is my confirmation of existance, because that Data comes from somewhere, an external source, it must be real.

So the burden of proof becomes on disproving the source of the data, rather then the data itself. The burden here is to disprove existance.
Post #976153
ImaDummy
2/8/2013   
 
Member you know, of course,

you cannot prove a negative.
Post #983427 Back to top ▲
2/8/2013
 
ImaDummy
Member
you know, of course,

you cannot prove a negative.
Post #983427
ImaDummy
6/9/2013   
 
Member If we all have diffeent perceptions…

Then no two people experience the world the same,
And therefore no two people have the same world-view

So, there is no common reality, common to all.
Post #988541 Back to top ▲
6/9/2013
 
ImaDummy
Member
If we all have diffeent perceptions…

Then no two people experience the world the same,
And therefore no two people have the same world-view

So, there is no common reality, common to all.
Post #988541
ImaDummy
6/9/2013   
 
Member I read about something called “quantum bayesianism” or QBism for short. It gives a new interpretation for the “reality” of quantum mechanics (or QM for short).

Mind you, QM predicts the interactions between particles to a high degree of accuracy. The problem occurs when you ascribe its qualities as a true description of reality. QM is vague and makes predictions that make no sense from our point of view.

QBism says that the wave function has already collapsed and that any uncertainty exists in the observers mind and not in the particles being described. In other words, the mathematical descriptions of wave functions are fine for making predictions, but fail when you try to say that they describe “reality”

I hope that makes sense to whoever reads this.
Post #988560 Back to top ▲
6/9/2013
 
ImaDummy
Member
I read about something called “quantum bayesianism” or QBism for short. It gives a new interpretation for the “reality” of quantum mechanics (or QM for short).

Mind you, QM predicts the interactions between particles to a high degree of accuracy. The problem occurs when you ascribe its qualities as a true description of reality. QM is vague and makes predictions that make no sense from our point of view.

QBism says that the wave function has already collapsed and that any uncertainty exists in the observers mind and not in the particles being described. In other words, the mathematical descriptions of wave functions are fine for making predictions, but fail when you try to say that they describe “reality”

I hope that makes sense to whoever reads this.
Post #988560
ImaDummy
8/6/2013   
 
Member I have read about the "zero point field" for many years, and I come now to think of Dark Energy as another name for this field.

It is an energy field that permeates all of space, whether it has particles in it or not.

The subject of nothing (i.e. a volume of space that contains no particles or mass) is fascinating to me. I had always imagined that such a volume of space could exist, but I now come to realize that it is not possible to have space that contains "nothing". There are always particles (and their antiparticles) come into existence out of "nothing" and then annihilate each other and disappear. But, what if they don't annihilate each other? then mass will have been spontaneously created out of nothing.

This idea of reality seems to contradict what I had always thought of as "common sense"
Post #991069 Back to top ▲
8/6/2013
 
ImaDummy
Member
I have read about the "zero point field" for many years, and I come now to think of Dark Energy as another name for this field.

It is an energy field that permeates all of space, whether it has particles in it or not.

The subject of nothing (i.e. a volume of space that contains no particles or mass) is fascinating to me. I had always imagined that such a volume of space could exist, but I now come to realize that it is not possible to have space that contains "nothing". There are always particles (and their antiparticles) come into existence out of "nothing" and then annihilate each other and disappear. But, what if they don't annihilate each other? then mass will have been spontaneously created out of nothing.

This idea of reality seems to contradict what I had always thought of as "common sense"
Post #991069
Topic Info
Forum Moderators: Cradz, MistressTrinna