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Is reality real?
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Baradakas
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 5:30 pm    Post subject: Is reality real? Reply with quote

To help keep our "What good have humans done" topic on topic, and to address an interesting line of reasoning I have continued Avatar's topic here.

Avatar said:

Quote:
Completely. Think about it:

Physics tells us that every solid in the universe is composed of billions of tiny particles, with BIG gaps in between them. Yet despite the presence of these big gaps, if nothing else, should at least render objects porous. In "reality", nothing is solid or stable. Ask any Quantum Physicist.

The only reason that we can't walk through walls, or on water, is that we are so indoctrinated into believing it impossible, that our belief makes it so

If we really believed that we could (and I'm not talking about belief in a religious sense, or in an opinion held, but in the sense of knowing it in our bones) there is nothing to prevent us from walking on water. Unfortunatley, we know in our bones that walls are solid. Thus, they are.

Wierd huh?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Then Nathan said:

Quote:
That's absurd.
We cannot walk through walls because we too are made of billions of atoms with lots of space between them. The force we feel when we touch something is the repulsive effect between electrons. Why don't the atoms of the wall fill the holes in your body? Sometimes they do, but mainly the electrons of the outer surface of the wall repel the electrons of your skin and prevent them from touching.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But then Avatar said:


Quote:
Thats not the point dude. The point is that it is theoretically possible to pass through something, because it's not solid as the definition would have us believe.

Quantum physics exists to explain why we don't fall through the floor, or get catapulted into space when we take a step (those atoms are in constant motion aren't they?).

It's a shared illusion. When I get a chance, I'll dig out something that illustrates the concept of a consensual hallucination as reality, and post it somewhere.

Half-serious -- Completely serious -- not serious. I can't always make up my mind.

Take it easy
--Avatar

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And then Nathan said:
\


Quote:
Quote:
The point is that it is theoretically possible to pass through something because it's not solid as the definition would have us believe.


Solid? What do you mean by solid?
Solid at the macroscopic level is distinctly different from solid at the microscopic level.
It doesn't matter whether it is solid microscopically because the forces in motion cause the effect of solidity at the macroscopic level, the level we see, feel and touch.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I make no secret of the fact that I'm no fan of science, so I tend to think there might be something to Avatar's ideas.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll tell you what is real. I'm a REALly not going to make another post on this thread.

sheesh!

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2004 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you find that after many attempts, including flat out runs, that you are not able to pass through the atoms of a wall even when you fully believed that you should have been able to, it is best to use a hammer on that wall & punish the atoms.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2004 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Baradakas. You can delete those posts from the other thread if you wish.

Sorry folks, Yesterday was a rough one for me, and I obviously failed to be completely clear. Unfortunately, I'm going to fail to be completely clear until after the weekend, when I hope I'll have found the piece I mentioned which sets it all out so well. Not that I promise any clarity from that either.

Also, although it's something that I've long thought, it's not a concept that I've played with much in the last eight or nine years, so my "arguments" are not fresh in my head.

Nathan-- What you're talking about there is the rationalisation that we have come up with to explain why it's impossible to walk on water, or whatever. It doesn't mean that it's the real reason. We're discovering so much about the "nature of the universe" that things we have accepted as givens are becoming shaky. -- Witness the whole teleportaion thing.

Humanity is wonderful at rationalising things, and I can never shake myself of the thought that all of our science merely refutes the incorrect ideas that mankind has had in the past. Back then, the fallacies that they accepted as science were replacing even older ideas/superstitions etc, which were believed just as firmly.

There is no way to determine what fondly held beliefs will be altered by new knowledge. If they could be wrong back then, nothing says that we can't be wrong now.

But what I was really saying the first time that I mentioned the question of how "real" reality is, I was referring to a far more subjective (i.e. not "scientific") concept. The concept that reality is something that your brain creates for you. The "reality" for the radical muslims (I know we beat this analogy to death, but what can you do?) is that they are "freedom fighters". For America (or part of it, anyway), it's that they are "terrorists".

What we consider "real" is far mare subjective than objective. Everyones reality is different. "Reality" is a holographic model of the world, as seen through the eyes of each and every person on earth, produced by that persons brain.

It's like the story of the six blind men and the elephant. They all percieved it differently, depending on which part of it they touched. They were all right in some sense, and wrong in another sense.

The "consensual" nature of this hallucination we call reality comes from the bits of it that have been commonly accepted by everyone. Such as "walls are solid". I'm not actually saying that walls aren't solid, I'm saying that they are solid because everyone thinks so, and has done for thousands of years.

Later
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2004 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
We're discovering so much about the "nature of the universe" that things we have accepted as givens are becoming shaky.


And how are these discoveries being achieved? Through scientific inquiry, not unquestioning superstition. The fact that science "refutes the incorrect ideas" of the past is a good sign. I prefer this way of ascertaining the world to dogmatic systems of belief that deny progress or deny the possibility of error in its ways of thinking. For example, Aristotle's Earth-centered model of the universe held sway for centuries because no one thought to question it: it simply sounded right--end of discussion.

I like what Carl Sagan said in Cosmos: intelligence is no guarantee against being dead wrong. Science questions itself constantly and vigorously. The corrections are part of the process, which makes science so dynamic and interesting. Aristotle was very intelligent, but he failed to question himself. And if superstitious models of the world can precisely describe the properties of atomic structure, then I'll take them seriously.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2004 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm still no fan of science Razz I'm a very instinctive person, I make most of my major decisions on instinct, and I'm rarely wrong. That's the not the topic in hand, but my point is I dislike science because it feels wrong, and because I don't believe everything is provable.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2004 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry if I seemed rude in my last post. I'm a strong advocate of science, and this discussion seemed to be debating the value of science, so I felt compelled to put in my 2 cents worth. (And when is inflation going to kick in? Shouldn't our thoughts be worth at least 2 dollars by now?)

Anyway, I return this thread to Avatar's diatribe. Have a good day.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Diatribe? Diatribe? Laughing

Matrixman wrote:
And how are these discoveries being achieved? Through scientific inquiry, not unquestioning superstition. The fact that science "refutes the incorrect ideas" of the past is a good sign. I prefer this way of ascertaining the world to dogmatic systems of belief that deny progress or deny the possibility of error in its ways of thinking...Science questions itself constantly and vigorously. The corrections are part of the process, which makes science so dynamic and interesting...And if superstitious models of the world can precisely describe the properties of atomic structure, then I'll take them seriously.


This is pretty much what I'm saying here. It's a great thing that science questions itself. We should all be questioning everything, including ourselves.

All I'm saying is that we should constantly be prepared for the chance that what we've believed up until now is wrong. I love science, I love the fact that we are trying so desperately to better understand the universe. It can only be a good thing.

I certainly don't question the value of science, only the assumption that what science says today is what is completley and incontrovertibly correct. I am all too aware of the fact that what we know to be true is changing constantly. The Nobel Physicist Niels Bohr once said that sufficiently advanced technology would be indistinguishable from magic.

The original intent of this thread was to question the objective nature of "reality".

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 6:12 pm    Post subject: real Reply with quote

Who is to say what is real or not.

The egyptians had food and money buried with them for the afterlife.

We are stuffed full of chemicals.
I'm glad this topic was brought up because Satan has made us so busy in our lives today that sometimes we forget to get in touch with our spiritual side.

What is real is what you believe in.

I believe I can fly and in my dreams I do.

Or sometimes on a plane. Shocked
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 6:24 pm    Post subject: Re: real Reply with quote

ENDLESS SUMMER wrote:
Satan has made us so busy in our lives today

I always knew busyness was the work of Satan.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2004 8:21 am    Post subject: Re: real Reply with quote

CovenantJr wrote:

I always knew busyness was the work of Satan.


Hysterical

This whole thing is meant in a more metaphysical sense than a religious one, but on the whole, I agree with Endless Summer: What is real is what you believe in. (or what EVERYONE believes in at anyrate)

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2004 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nothing has inherent value or reality; we give things meaning. Behavior is created. Social situations are constructed. We agree on what to make real and meaningful. Nothing exists beyond that.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2004 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
I'm not actually saying that walls aren't solid, I'm saying that they are solid because everyone thinks so, and has done for thousands of years.
I say that everyone thinks walls are solid because they are. Every single person who has ever tried to walk through a wall, from the first to the last, has failed. No matter what they believed. Even if the first person to try it didn't have any preconceived notions of walls or solidity, and assumed he'd just pass through the wall, smacked into it.

However, I do know what you're talking about. Reality is not out there, separate from us. Reality is in our heads. As Morpheus said in The Matrix:
Quote:
"What is 'real'? How do you define 'real'? If you're talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste, and see, then 'real' is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain."
Nobody ever experienced any aspect of reality in any way other than by our sense organs sending bio-chemical signals to our brain, where they are interpreted. Yes, it is an extremely efficient system in certain ways, but not nearly perfect for knowing what's really outside of our minds.

And from Richard Bach's Illusions:
Quote:

"You can walk through walls, can't you, Don?"

"No."

"When you say no to something I know is yes, that means you don't like the way I said the question."

"We certainly are observant, aren't we?" he said.

"Is the problem with walk or with walls?"

"Yes, and worse. Your question presumes that I exist in one limited place-time and move to another place-time. Today I'm not in the mood to accept your presumptions about me."

I frowned. He knew what I was asking. Why didn't he just answer me straight and let me get on to finding out how he does these things?

"That's my little way of helping you be precise in your thinking," he said mildly.

"OK. You can make it appear that you can walk through walls, if you want. Is that a better question?"

"Yes. Better. But if you want to be precise..."

"Don't tell me. I know how to say what I mean. Here is my question. How is it that you can move the illusion of a limited sense of identity, expressed in this belief of a space-time continuum as your 'body', through the illusion of material restriction that is called a 'wall'?"

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Quote:
"Richard, do you want to know the answer to floating wrenches in the air and healing all sickness and turning water into wine and walking on the waves and landing Travel Airs on a hundred feet of grass? Do you want to know the answer to all these miracles? Listen! This world? And everything in it? Illusions, Richard! Every bit of it illusions! Do you understand that?"

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2004 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is the nature of the protons and electrons of the fleshly body, and the protons and electrons of the wall, that they don't mesh. Too dense, both of them.

How's that, for a physics dunce?

Ah, to control protons and electrons well enough so one could make them mesh! Razz
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2004 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good points by Fist. Nice to see someone here make an effort to back up his arguments or at least explain himself.

Fist wrote:
I say that everyone thinks walls are solid because they are. Every single person who has ever tried to walk through a wall, from the first to the last, has failed. No matter what they believed. Even if the first person to try it didn't have any preconceived notions of walls or solidity, and assumed he'd just pass through the wall, smacked into it.


THANK YOU! Makes sense to me.

And how about gravity? It's real and affects you every moment of your existence, and it doesn't care whether you believe it or not. The laws of physics are independent of anybody's belief systems. They have been operating in the universe long before humans came along.

I haven't yet given my answer to the question here: Yes, reality is real.

I realize, though, that Avatar is more interested in the metaphysics of reality. Not having taken up philosophy in school, I'm not familiar with metaphysical principles, though I suppose The Matrix does explore such territory. Morpheus's quote from the film is appropriate, in that case.

Dragonlily wrote:
Ah, to control protons and electrons well enough so one could make them mesh!


Sure, don't folks do that all the time in X-Men or whatever? Hmm, now we're onto comic book reality. Where will the madness end?
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2004 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL

The Madness never ends MatrixMan...Never. Wink

Although I'm not sure about the laws of physics always having operated as we percieve them to..

Afterall, we need a context from which to percieve them, and as far as we know at the moment, that context is the very existence of our consciousness. (Eat your heart out Schrodinger Laughing)

Fist-- That's pretty much what I was talking about. Illusions. (and one of my favourite books).

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