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    • CommentTimeFeb 14th 2008
    Can't really think of where to put this, so here will do... But I'm just curious on the thoughts you strangely wonderful peeps have on the whole metaphysical nature of Reality and our perceptions of it.

    Its all to do with this concept I have that since our conscious mind basically occurs (in a physical sense) as essentially just the passage of electrical impulses across the brain, all of our perceptions generated by our five external senses are ALSO boiled down to these electrical impulses.... which makes me wonder is it possible that they're not actually external at all? Perhaps our senses of touch, of taste, sight, audio, olfactory inputs aren't inputs at all but internally generated in this non-physical plane that inexplicably allows such a thing as conscious thought? Is there a physical plane at all?

    I'm not thinking of brains-in-jars being tended by some master-race as an experiment, nor of solipsism really... This is just what my head's like, really :P
    • CommentAuthornleavitt
    • CommentTimeFeb 14th 2008
    Well, basically, I can't prove it isn't so, but if all perception is just an illusion, than consciousness is completely pointless. So I believe it's best to believe in reality.
    • CommentAuthormunin218
    • CommentTimeFeb 14th 2008
    Thoughts like these depress me.
    • CommentTimeFeb 14th 2008
    Hooray!! I'm Depressing! =D
    • CommentTimeFeb 14th 2008 edited
    The only worthwhile thing Descartes ever did was to show that we cannot rely on our senses to be truthful.

    This is my view:

    Whatever you "think" exists (for some definition of thinking, be it a process of the mind or the physical brain, I have my own opinion, but I leave you to yours), does, and what does not, does not, and it is your perception that governs your reality. Your reality is that which you are capable of perceiving, and you become aware of different aspects of it as your life progresses. You can only ever be aware of you own reality, which is governed by your perception, so the discussion of an external world becomes unimportant. It may exist, it may not. In any case, we interact with our reality, which most of us think includes other people and other things (though we can only be sure that they are our perceptions of what we think might be external beings), so we live according to that.

    To reiterate a bit, since each time we say something it gains a different light, solipsism says that everything is a construct of your own mind. I find this to be uninteresting and unimportant. To prove that everything is only my mind or there is a "reality" external to my perception seem pointless, for I would have to be able to look outside my own mind to know if there is something there or not. Rather, I am presented by some means, be it external or internal, with this thing I call reality, which I can only view through my own perspective, i.e. my own mind, and so that is all I know. Whatever the case is external to my mind, I still will interract with my reality the same way, as it is all I have to go on.

    All we have is our perception, so run with whatever it is, as nothing outside of it can ever affect you.

    For any of you who might think that humans are capable of a completely objective viewpoint, we should go to a pub and talk for a while, because I find that discussion endlessly interesting.

    I would like to note though, that we would all be making Nietzche very sad thought now, as he would say we should stop sitting around thinking about this, and just go out and live life.

    *Edited, probably repeatedly, for typos*
    • CommentTimeFeb 14th 2008
    In relation to what bschory said (and because he told me to explain it, because I can do it better than he can...)

    A Buddhist (specifically Zen) would say being attached to our thoughts is the problem here. Thinking is all fine and dandy, but it has it's place and purpose, and it's best if it's done without attachment. By this I mean we aren't emotionally or rationally biased about our thoughts, but keep a "clear mind." Clear mind means when thinking, acknowledging thought as thought and nothing more - moving "before thinking"* and staying in the Now.
    Staying in the Now means not living in the past, or the future, but the current moment that is changing constantly. If you want that explained in more detail, ask me later, I can't explain it very well right this moment.

    And as far as "what is real" is concerned... does it matter?

    *before thinking is a very difficult concept to explain... and I can't... it's really something that one needs to study Zen for a few years to understand.
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2008

    Okay, I've though about/discussed this multiple times, but damn, there isn't much TO discuss. It just ends up being 'we have no idea whether we exist or not'

    And that's just annoying. It makes me tense even to mention it because it just keeps going 'what if' but there ain't any answer. Ugh.
    • CommentAuthorsacredchao
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2008
    I've wasted lots and lots of brainpower on the problem of metaphysics. For about five minutes, I actually became convinced that I did not exist.

    Anyway, my conclusion is that we can't know for certain that The Matrix/Descartes' demon/The Flying Spaghetti Monster aren't manipulating our perceptions, but the truth of the matter is that this lack of knowledge does not add anything to the equation that is me. It is a dead end. So, instead of smacking my head against a brick wall, I have decided that, until I have proof otherwise, I will operate under the assumption that the world is real, knowable, quantifiable, and testable. This allows me to concern myself with more important matters. Like lolcats and Team Fortress 2.
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2008
    That was basically my conclusion too. Except substitute lolcats and TF2 for Diablo II and Final Fantasy and you're about there.
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2008
    Sounds about right to me :) The necessity of being real doesn't matter in the least, it just intrigues me. I am now sated. Bring on the hookers and whiskey!
  1.  (1029.11)
    there is no way to prove reality is real, and no way to prove it isn't real, so the best thing to do is not worry about either situation.

    job done.
  2.  (1029.12)
    This is the second time I've had to use this today
  3.  (1029.13)
    I'm with offtandiscord. Reality and our perceptions of it is not only limited by the senses, but also by our consciousness.

    The reality of a higher or "other" plane of existence is so completely beyond the comprehension of our simple human mind... The way I see it, if you've come up with a theory, its most definitely wrong.

    That's not to say it's not there though...

    I hold the same opinion for that whole "higher power" concept too. Super-agnosticism ho!

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