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Author Topic:   Reality is not based upon our perception.
Guido Arbia
Member (Idle past 254 days)
Posts: 548
From: n/a
Joined: 01-19-2004


Message 1 of 37 (345852)
09-01-2006 9:09 PM


I often hear people state that reality is based upon our perception, as if it is a construct of our senses. What then, are our senses a construct of? Are not our senses part of reality?

In this post I would like to propose the idea that reality is absolute, that no matter how our consciousness percieves it, it is as it is.


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mick
Member (Idle past 2907 days)
Posts: 913
Joined: 02-17-2005


Message 2 of 37 (345869)
09-01-2006 10:00 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Guido Arbia
09-01-2006 9:09 PM


Our senses evolved to give us a view of the world around us that is best suited to our efforts to survive and reproduce. It seems likely that our senses would evolve to give us a realistic reflection of the world around us, because an unrealistic view of predator presence or mating opportunity would not be very sustainable in the long term.

So I would agree that our view of reality is probably pretty close to the important aspects of "what is really out there". However what constitutes these "important aspects" probably varies a lot. An echolocating bat, for example, no doubt considers rather different things to be "important aspects" and it experiences the world rather differently than do we, for that very reason.

However I don't see any evidence that the way the bat experiences the world is particularly different from the way that we humans experience the world, in terms of "what is out there". We just sense it differently, that is all.

Mick


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nwr
Member
Posts: 5583
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 3 of 37 (345923)
09-02-2006 12:41 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Guido Arbia
09-01-2006 9:09 PM


Naive realism
The position you are supporting is known as naive realism. If you google that term, you will come up with a number of interesting links.

Naive realism is obviously wrong. A color blind person will perceive the world differently from a normal person. So the color blind person and the normal person cannot both be right.

However, naive realism might well be close enough for practical purposes.


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Ben!
Member (Idle past 1542 days)
Posts: 1154
From: San Diego, CA
Joined: 10-14-2004


Message 4 of 37 (345939)
09-02-2006 1:36 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Guido Arbia
09-01-2006 9:09 PM


In this post I would like to propose the idea that reality is absolute, that no matter how our consciousness percieves it, it is as it is.

First of all, I think you're not differentiating between our perceptual systems and our consciousness. "Our perceptions" involve both things, but they are very different.

To get right to it, I don't know that your statement has any meaning. What does it mean that "reality is absolute"? If we cannot know it "as it is", then what does it mean to propose it? It's an untestable hypothesis, as far as I can tell.

I believe our conscious experience of "reality" is nothing more than a convenient representation of aspects of our world that matter to us--I think that means Mick and I agree, no? "Reality" itself has no shape, size, surface, brightness--these are all constructs of our minds, constructs that allow certain energy forms to persist in time.

We operate on very specific size and time scales; "reality" is much more than we perceive. At the same time, "reality" is much less than what we experience--it is formless, nameless. It is as formless as numbers packed into your RAM memory. Our involuntary processing and categorization of sensory input imposes form upon this formless "reality", and our involuntary conscious perception tells us it is real.

Imagine what "reality" is like without conscious perception, without categorization, without these involuntary impositions. I'd be interested to know what image you have, what feeling you get; if you try, post what you think!


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kuresu
Member (Idle past 434 days)
Posts: 2544
From: boulder, colorado
Joined: 03-24-2006


Message 5 of 37 (345942)
09-02-2006 1:46 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Ben!
09-02-2006 1:36 AM


Ben writes:

Imagine what "reality" is like without conscious perception, without categorization, without these involuntary impositions

I think the deaf, dumb, and blind prophet Tommy could give you a good picture of this. But then, he still experiences reality, seeing as how he's the pinball wizard.:D

personally, I imagine a white void. but then, that white comes from what I know white to be, and the same for void. I cannot imagine a world free from the conscious effect. reason why--if reality is formless, it is only because I know form. And since this reality will persit after I'm gone, after my concious interpretation, it must be that this does exist. I posit that an existence-less reality is impossible, formless reality is impossible. any quality that ascribes a contra feeling (formless is without form, dark is without light, light is without dark, colorless is without color, color is without non-color (yeah . . .)) to reality is wrong.

just my two krowns.

Edited by AdminPhat, : fixed quote


All a man's knowledge comes from his experiences
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ikabod
Member (Idle past 2414 days)
Posts: 365
From: UK
Joined: 03-13-2006


Message 6 of 37 (345970)
09-02-2006 5:39 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Guido Arbia
09-01-2006 9:09 PM


i would agree reality is absolute , it is what is there , and it does not require anything to perceve it , interact with it for its existance .

the problem comes when we try to define what is there , we then encounter the problem of our perception systems , which have too many inbuilt filters and dislocators ... we are not equiped to map reality to its absolute-ness


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Guido Arbia
Member (Idle past 254 days)
Posts: 548
From: n/a
Joined: 01-19-2004


Message 7 of 37 (346015)
09-02-2006 11:21 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by nwr
09-02-2006 12:41 AM


Re: Naive realism
The position you are supporting is known as naive realism. If you google that term, you will come up with a number of interesting links.

Naive realism is obviously wrong. A color blind person will perceive the world differently from a normal person. So the color blind person and the normal person cannot both be right.

However, naive realism might well be close enough for practical purposes.

The position I am supporting has nothing to do with naive realism. I never intended to state that the way everyone percieves reality is the way reality is. I am simply saying that reality is as it is apart from our consciousness.

Does your house exist only when you arrive home? Does the park exist only when you get there? No, it exists apart from you.

Edited by Guido Arbia, : No reason given.


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nwr
Member
Posts: 5583
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 8 of 37 (346027)
09-02-2006 12:53 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Guido Arbia
09-02-2006 11:21 AM


Re: Naive realism
Then I think you are mainly arguing against Berkeley's idealism. However, idealism doesn't seem to have much credibility these days.

Or perhaps you are arguing against social constructivism. I guess I would consider myself a kind of constructivist, but I don't think you would find my version of constructivism to be particularly bothersome. If you took a geometry class, you may have learned how to construct an angle bisector. That we construct the angle bisector does not contradict that it exists independent of our construction. Construction can be a method of discovery.


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GDR
Member
Posts: 4502
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 9 of 37 (346029)
09-02-2006 1:04 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Guido Arbia
09-01-2006 9:09 PM


If a tree falls in the forest etc.... Does the uncertainity principle require some form of consciousness to cause change. How can we ever know what exists or what happens, (if anything at all) if there is nothing there to observe or measure it. Are we only talking about human consciouness or does all life have consciouness.

Lots of questions and lots of opinions but few if any absolute answers as near as I can tell.

Here is some information on two guys who have studied this question in depth.

wikipedia on Penrsoe writes:


Physics and consciousness
Penrose has written controversial books on the connection between fundamental physics and human consciousness. In The Emperor's New Mind (1989), he argues that known laws of physics are inadequate to explain the phenomenon of human consciousness. Penrose hints at the characteristics this new physics may have and specifies the requirements for a bridge between classical and quantum mechanics (what he terms correct quantum gravity, CQG). He argues against the viewpoint that the rational processes of the human mind are completely algorithmic and can thus be duplicated by a sufficiently complex computer -- this is in contrast to views, e.g., Biological Naturalism, that human behavior but not consciousness might be simulated. This is based on claims that human consciousness transcends formal logic systems because things such as the insolvability of the halting problem and Gödel's incompleteness theorem restrict an algorithmically based logic from traits such as mathematical insight. These claims were originally made by the philosopher John Lucas of Merton College, Oxford.

In 1994, Penrose followed up The Emperor's New Mind with Shadows of the Mind and in 1997 with The Large, the Small and the Human Mind, further updating and explaining his theories.

Penrose's views on the human thought process are not widely accepted in scientific circles. According to Marvin Minsky, because people can construe false ideas to be factual, the process of thinking is not limited to formal logic. Further, AI programs can also conclude that false statements are true, so error is not unique to humans. Another dissenter, Charles Seife, has said, "Penrose, the Oxford mathematician famous for his work on tiling the plane with various shapes, is one of a handful of scientists who believe that the ephemeral nature of consciousness suggests a quantum process."

Penrose and Stuart Hameroff have constructed a theory in which human consciousness is the result of quantum gravity effects in microtubules. But Max Tegmark, in a paper in Physical Review E, calculated that the time scale of neuron firing and excitations in microtubules is slower than the decoherence time by a factor of at least 10,000,000,000. The reception of the paper is summed up by this statement in his support: "Physicists outside the fray, such as IBM's John Smolin, say the calculations confirm what they had suspected all along. 'We're not working with a brain that's near absolute zero. It's reasonably unlikely that the brain evolved quantum behavior', he says." The Tegmark paper has been widely cited by critics of the Penrose-Hameroff proposal. It has been claimed by Hameroff to be based on a number of incorrect assumptions (see linked paper below from Hameroff, Hagan and Tuszynski), but Tegmark in turn has argued that the critique is invalid (see rejoinder link below).

Here is the wiki link

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Penrose

Here is Hameroff's web site

http://www.quantumconsciousness.org/


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19567
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 10 of 37 (346054)
09-02-2006 2:10 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by nwr
09-02-2006 12:41 AM


Re: Naive realism
Naive realism is obviously wrong. ... However, naive realism might well be close enough for practical purposes.

But all perceptions of reality are naive -- they only vary on the level of naivete. No one thing is really perceived the same by two different people, if for no other reason than they are in different locations or different times.

Where we can start to say there is some {greater reality} is where you have a vast concensus on perceptions ... assuming a reality outside the illusion of perception ... and thus coherance in what is perceived beyond what a single person perceives/


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ReverendDG
Member (Idle past 2031 days)
Posts: 1119
From: Topeka,kansas
Joined: 06-06-2005


Message 11 of 37 (346150)
09-02-2006 11:50 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Guido Arbia
09-01-2006 9:09 PM


I often hear people state that reality is based upon our perception, as if it is a construct of our senses. What then, are our senses a construct of? Are not our senses part of reality?

its an interesting question, my question for you though is what do you mean by reality? reality isn't the physical universe in how we use the word, reality is what we percepive as the physical world and define it as according to our senses. our senses are our filters of what we define as reality, so no they arn't really part of reality in the same way as what we sense

In this post I would like to propose the idea that reality is absolute, that no matter how our consciousness percieves it, it is as it is.

i have to disagree with you, reality can't be absolute because then every psycotic person with some sort of mental disorder is right and shouldn't be on drugs and are normal, but we know they arn't or they wouldn't think zombies wern't out to eat thier brains

what you mean isn't reality, but the physical nature of the universe, which isn't really the samething. we call the physical world reality since it is reality to us, but blind people might consider the dark reality or the guy that thinks his dilusions are real


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ikabod
Member (Idle past 2414 days)
Posts: 365
From: UK
Joined: 03-13-2006


Message 12 of 37 (346174)
09-03-2006 4:32 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by ReverendDG
09-02-2006 11:50 PM


what you mean isn't reality, but the physical nature of the universe, which isn't really the samething. we call the physical world reality since it is reality to us, but blind people might consider the dark reality or the guy that thinks his dilusions are real

your words could be taken to imply that reality has to be percived in some manner ... this would imply no perception = no reality .... does this mean you would accept no life , thus no perception , thus no reality .. ie the universe did not exsits as part of reality until some life form first perceved it .. which begs the question how basic can this perception be , bacterial ?? a tree , a sheep , a chimp , a human ....

is this the case ??


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Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 2953 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 13 of 37 (346309)
09-03-2006 10:36 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by ReverendDG
09-02-2006 11:50 PM


real perception of sense
I am going to have to disagree a little bit with this.

I will start in this thread with your post rather than some of the "upstream" contributions and if I have to become a salmon, well so be it.

So I take it("and define it") just now,

quote:
define it as according to our senses. O(corrected cap)ur senses are our filters of what we define as reality, so no they are not really part of reality in the same way as what we sense.

Now I step back...

Look what Faith or I call "reality" you or Crashfrog may not. Look at it this way, by pursing my own "reality" (or version thereof) I came around to an understanding of my TOTAL REALITY (of anything I have or may have in the future to post on EVC) that organic "senses" (eyes, ears, touch, taste etc.) EVEN as "filters" and being anatomically located (in two places on my body at the same time)no matter the aspect under projection lead(past tense) and lead(present tense) me INTo>was and is the same reality and senses I have had before I had to try to communicate what sense and reality I have or had or will so to.

I will explain. Our sense Are filters, yes, of course. I even will suppose in this particular post that our "reality" is *defined* accordingly ("to our senses").

But in my case and in case you have the same eyes, ears, nose etc, there has been IN (my) REALITY some difference of opinion (NOT ABOUT ASPECTS OF REALITY) but about what it meant to be called "filters",i.e. what the "senses" really are.

Being interested in reptiles and amphibians, I have always been keen to try to figure out how these creatures "sense" and how these "senses" are different than mine (human). One day I dug a large snapping turtle out of a pond on the golf course at Cornell. All (reality)was balls and grass that day. This specimen had unusually long turburcles protruding BELOW its chin. I took this creature to the local Cornell Herpetologist expecting to find out what kind of "sense" could be made out of these fleshy appendages that were odd (even)by my own experience of collecting a couple dozen of the same species prior. Not only did the herpetologist have no idea if the blobs were "sense organs" or possible sense organs he had NO INTEREST AS A HERPETOLOGIST in the anatomical part, no matter what it was.

This is a small example how my "sense" of "sense" and the reality that surrounded it was being confounded or misconstructed. He was a "herpetologist" after all. That is what he was supposed to be interested in. He responded worse than the Romance Studies proffessors did to Hawkings' book about time.

I say this in the past tense because I have now resolved that biologists have not been wholistically in touch with the relation of sense itself, to even ^simple^ horizons of reality. I just posted a case where Sharks may have gel that is responsive thermoelectically and sensically
www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=14&t=1541&m=14#14 -->www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=14&t=1541&m=14#14">http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=14&t=1541&m=14#14
and this CLEARS all of my own speculations on sense physiology from non-scientific angles showing that where some ichythologist has a phd saying that electric fish have "AND" gates in their brains and senses is out of this mind physically because (regardless of the real truth (it is relative to confounding or confusing me only in this case)) the computer science "and" could simply and more easily be "sensed" (in the human way) as concurrent fluctuations of temperature and electricity, thus "spoofing" an IT concept. Instead, before this resolution, it was my mind, that cared more for the snapper than the birdie being golfed, that was SENSED as off real. It was not. It was actual and the scientists' have been only aspects of the same. Not the whole kit and Kaboo000000dle.

So even if our reality is defined as our senses and AS filters this does not seperate them just because they are not smooth muscle nor glial cells. Just the possibility that turtle barbels use thermoelectric gels removes all possibility that I was not ipso facto thinking correctly physically/sensically. By the way a mud turtle I have from S. Carolina has FOUR projections from its lower jaw and these might be used specifically as seperated in space to actually sense the SAME reality that I have defined with my human ability.


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1.61803
Member
Posts: 2783
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 14 of 37 (346668)
09-05-2006 12:31 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by GDR
09-02-2006 1:04 PM


The event takes place irregardless and independant of a observer. Or does the event exist in a state of superpositon? If a measurement is taken or a observation made; does looking in Schrodingers box affect the outcome? I believe there is a intimate relationship between conciousness / observation and causality. I also believe perception of reality is causal as well.
Thats why I always try to whistle a happy tune and think positive thoughts. :D Ya never know if the metaphysical is going to flop in your favor regardless if you believe in it or not. Then again I am a dyed in the wool NON-determinist.


"One is punished most for ones virtues" Fredrick Neitzche
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GDR
Member
Posts: 4502
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 15 of 37 (346697)
09-05-2006 2:06 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by 1.61803
09-05-2006 12:31 PM


I agree. Particularly when it comes to whistling a happy tune. :)

1.61803 writes:

I believe there is a intimate relationship between conciousness / observation and causality. I also believe perception of reality is causal as well.

I agree but is that a philosophical or a scientific position? (Maybe something of each.) Can that position ever be proven using the scientific method?


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