Is it reality that we perceive

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Is it reality that we perceive

Postby edy420 on July 15th, 2017, 10:04 am 

Actual reality" if it exists, can never be perceived, understood or experienced in its entirety. (At least not by any one individual)

We have X-rays, but what other rays have we not yet discovered, Y-rays, Z-rays that we can't perceive with our sense of reality.
Only recently have we discovered the Higgs Boson exists, a second moon, a new prime number, how to turn pesky co2 emissions into a solid, and much more.
What else do we not know about reality.

Trying to understand actual reality, is like trying to understand God, it's not possible.
We only know a fraction of reality, but how large is that fraction?
Some atheists will say we know it all, scientists like to argue we know a lot about reality, but I think we know next to nothing about actual reality.

We perceive reality with our senses, but what is it that we perceive?
If we all have different degrees of sense, then is our perception really of reality.

The concept in the movie, The Matrix, has us believe that no, our perception is not reality.

I've worked with intellectually disabled, and it seems obvious to me that they are in alternate realities, and interact with me in mine.
One has no concept of pain, yet in my world pain is very real.
For him, no one and no animal feels pain either, they simply make alarming sounds when feeling discomfort.

My personal belief is that yes, our perception is realiity, but there are multiple realities.
Each individual, has their own reality, because we interact with "actual reality" in different ways.

This would mean people are just a collection of multiverse/multi-reality travellers, all colliding and interacting in one place at a cross roads of infinite realities.
A good example is the way we witness the same event differently, but swear that our perspective is the right one.
A miracle of God for example, will be sworn as the will of God by Theists, and completely explainable by science according to atheists.
Trying to convince either that the opposite is true, is rather difficult, if not impossible.

We could all explain what our perception of reality is, but who's perception is right.
If none are right, then is it reality that we are perceiving?
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby BadgerJelly on July 15th, 2017, 10:36 am 

You are asking about relativism.
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby wolfhnd on July 15th, 2017, 10:14 pm 

I think this is just another way of asking if reality is real. Hit you thumb with a hammer then let us know if your pain is real.

The short answer is no.

Experience is limited by the senses and can only be extended so far. One thing eastern mystics got right is that the ultimate reality we can experience is conscious nothingness.
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby mitchellmckain on July 16th, 2017, 5:05 pm 

edy420 » July 15th, 2017, 9:04 am wrote:Actual reality" if it exists, can never be perceived, understood or experienced in its entirety. (At least not by any one individual)

If reality as you have defined it does not exist then the problem is with the definition. Being what exists should be part of any reasonable definition of the word. Psychologist have demonstrated that belief plays a fundamental role in perception so it is doubtful that perception and reality is the same. However, once again, if reality cannot be perceived at all then something is wrong with your definition of perception, for that too is part of the meaning of the word. We accept the fact that perception is flawed, but there is no doubt that an apprehension of reality is what the word is referring to -- so it is a good thing you don't go to that extreme.

Although there is excellent evidence that reality is at least partially objective (i.e. the same for everyone), there is no reason to presume this is fully so. Indeed, I see good pragmatic reason to believe that there is an irreducibly subjective aspect to reality as well.

edy420 » July 15th, 2017, 9:04 am wrote:We have X-rays, but what other rays have we not yet discovered, Y-rays, Z-rays that we can't perceive with our sense of reality.
Only recently have we discovered the Higgs Boson exists, a second moon, a new prime number, how to turn pesky co2 emissions into a solid, and much more.
What else do we not know about reality.

Trying to understand actual reality, is like trying to understand God, it's not possible.

If God exists then God is part of reality, so if you think God is never perceived in full then it is tautological that reality is never perceived in full. But while many believe that God is infinite and thus not fully knowable in theory, we have little reason to believe that the physical universe is the same. It is immense to be sure, and some it is very likely to be forever beyond our reach even to perceive.

edy420 » July 15th, 2017, 9:04 am wrote:We only know a fraction of reality, but how large is that fraction?

It is generally a function of education to expand our horizons. But what that means is that as we increase what we know, the boundary to what we do not know also grows. In other words, education typically asks more questions than it answers, and the more we know, the more we understand how much we do not know.

edy420 » July 15th, 2017, 9:04 am wrote:Some atheists will say we know it all, scientists like to argue we know a lot about reality, but I think we know next to nothing about actual reality.

How odd! I have met far more theists who act in such a manner. They tend to act like only their religion is worth knowing. God is their answer to everything and so what need to they have of knowing anything else. Atheists on the other hand, take no such shortcuts and accept the fact that very little is known feeling no need to use something like God as a pretend answer to everything.

And I say that as a theist myself. So of course, a belief in God doesn't mean you HAVE to use God in such a manner, only that so very many of them do just that.

edy420 » July 15th, 2017, 9:04 am wrote:We perceive reality with our senses, but what is it that we perceive?

Reality. That was easy!

Yes, we know. To perceive reality does not mean knowing reality accurately or completely. At least I know that, but your words are giving me mixed signals regarding whether you know this.

edy420 » July 15th, 2017, 9:04 am wrote:I've worked with intellectually disabled, and it seems obvious to me that they are in alternate realities, and interact with me in mine.

Mmmm... yes... another good reason to believe in an irreducibly subjective aspect to reality itself.

edy420 » July 15th, 2017, 9:04 am wrote:My personal belief is that yes, our perception is realiity, but there are multiple realities.
Each individual, has their own reality, because we interact with "actual reality" in different ways.

No, perception is not reality. That is made clear by our observation that perception does not mean that we know reality accurately or completely. Since there is a subjective aspect to reality not all of it is the same for everyone, but there is excellent evidence that there is an objective aspect to reality also. In fact, logic dictates this for it is by this objective aspect to reality that we have contact with each other and affect each other. With no objective aspect of reality, i.e. nothing in common at all, we would would have no knowledge of each other.

You might try to claim that perception is the only reality which matters. But the logical implications of such a claim which dismisses all the imperfections and limitations of perception are ultimately debilitating. Say rather that we should not be too quick to dismiss the perceptions of others when they do not fit into the reality of our own comprehension. Indeed, I have found the arrogance of such behavior to be quite astounding. It is only reasonable to accept that the limits of your own experience do not define the limits of reality itself for everyone.

edy420 » July 15th, 2017, 9:04 am wrote:This would mean people are just a collection of multiverse/multi-reality travellers, all colliding and interacting in one place at a cross roads of infinite realities.

Uh... no it would not mean any such thing. This may be a useful image to you but the evidence does not support an falsifiable version of this conclusion. It is perhaps within the realm of possibility that there are such travelers on occasion but the majority of evidence tells us that if such exist then they are rare. Of course as an un-falsifiable assertion where "people" are not confined to what is observed about them over time, then this and many other fantasies could very well be true.

edy420 » July 15th, 2017, 9:04 am wrote:A good example is the way we witness the same event differently, but swear that our perspective is the right one.
A miracle of God for example, will be sworn as the will of God by Theists, and completely explainable by science according to atheists.

Or.... the atheists and scientists of both persuasions are willing to look for an explanation according to natural law while many theists prefer to jump to supernatural answers with their Sears-Roebucks one size fits all explanation of "Goddidit."
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby Sivad on July 17th, 2017, 4:31 am 

edy420 » July 15th, 2017, 7:04 am wrote:Trying to understand actual reality, is like trying to understand God, it's not possible.


I don't know, reality seems much less esoteric to me. I take reality as that which appears to be the case and nothing more. Metaphysics is unfounded .... pure speculation. I don't think the appearances really justify any sort of grand metaphysics, it's all beyond us. Our ignorance doesn't entitle us to believe whatever suits our fancy, it chastens us to doxic moderation. In my estimate belief isn't rationally prohibited but it isn't rationally warranted either, our most profound beliefs are basically a-rational attitudes of faith.
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby Graeme M on July 19th, 2017, 4:57 pm 

I think that we cannot "know" reality being that all we can ever do is represent reality through perception. Each of us may perceive aspects of the external world slightly differently, but as mitchellmckain says above there must be a certain amount of objectivity to our perception in that evolution has equipped us to all represent the world in much the same way (for example by perceiving some frequencies of radiation as light). Of course, this is still just a common biologically derived representation, so I would say it's no more an accurate representation than is that of any other creature. Still, ours is more detailed than most I suspect.

I do not believe that the fact that we may share different inner perceptually based models of the world means anything at all about external reality, so I would completely disagree that we are "just a collection of multiverse/multi-reality travellers, all colliding and interacting in one place at a cross roads of infinite realities." That's such an egocentric and I suggest arrogant way of thinking about our experiences.
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