What is Real?

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kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 2 Jan, 2010 02:41 pm
@cws910,
cws910;116401 wrote:
We can speculate so! But we can never know. The universe may have been created the second that I was born with the appearence of having existed for billions of years. So can you really conclude that it exists without minds? Moving back to the subject, who is to say that dreams don't exist without minds? Yes we can prove that brain activity occurs during dreams, but does that prove they are the cause of dreams? And if you do make the conclusion that brain signals cause dreams, then can't you make the conclusion that brain signals cause our universe to exist?


Of course we know.To speculate is to guess without any evidence. But I hope you are not saying we don't have masses of evidence that there was a world before people began to exist. If there were not, where would people have come from? How about the fossils, and carbon dating? That you are willing to discard masses of evidence does no mean that the evidence does not exist.
 
Amperage
 
Reply Sat 2 Jan, 2010 03:06 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;116431 wrote:
Of course we know.To speculate is to guess without any evidence. But I hope you are not saying we don't have masses of evidence that there was a world before people began to exist. If there were not, where would people have come from? How about the fossils, and carbon dating? That you are willing to discard masses of evidence does no mean that the evidence does not exist.
Ok hypothetical just because I'm curious as to your answer, but if you found out that this world we live in was just a dream or a 'matrix' type of thing would you then conclude that your life wasn't real?

We can only exist "in the moment" or "in the now" correct? Well then it would seem reasonable to me that our reality can only be the reality of each moment. Try convincing someone who says they have seen a UFO or bigfoot or something like that that they didn't. For the most part, you can't. Because for them, in that moment, it was reality.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 2 Jan, 2010 03:14 pm
@Amperage,
Amperage;116438 wrote:
Ok hypothetical just because I'm curious as to your answer, but if you found out that this world we live in was just a dream or a 'matrix' type of thing would you then conclude that your life wasn't real?

We can only exist "in the moment" or "in the now" correct? Well then it would seem reasonable to me that our reality can only be the reality of each moment. Try convincing someone who says they have seen a UFO or bigfoot or something like that that they didn't. For the most part, you can't. Because for them, in that moment, it was reality.


I don't know about Matricies. But when I awake from a dream about being in India on the back of an elephant, and find myself in bed on a snowy morning, I conclude that my life in India was not real. Don't you think I would be right to reach that conclusion?
 
Amperage
 
Reply Sat 2 Jan, 2010 03:22 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;116442 wrote:
I don't know about Matricies. But when I awake from a dream about being in India on the back of an elephant, and find myself in bed on a snowy morning, I conclude that my life in India was not real. Don't you think I would be right to reach that conclusion?
I would and have but I've also concluded that I'm not so self assured as to presume the nature of reality....
We can only evaluate things from a given perspective...at one time people said the world was flat and from their perspective that was their reality....for all I know someone is trying to "wake me up" right now and if they somehow did and I told them of my life they would probably conclude "oh that wasn't real".
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 2 Jan, 2010 03:27 pm
@Amperage,
Amperage;116446 wrote:
I would and have but I've also concluded that I'm not so self assured as to presume the nature of reality....
We can only evaluate things from a given perspective...at one time people said the world was flat and from their perspective that was their reality....for all I know someone is trying to "wake me up" right now and if they somehow did and I told them of my life they would probably conclude "oh that wasn't real".


Does that mean that when we wake up in bed on a snowy morning we don't know that we were not really in India on the back of an elephant? It isn't true that "for all you know someone might be trying to wake me up right now". If you don't know you are not dreaming now, what would it take for you to know it?
 
Amperage
 
Reply Sat 2 Jan, 2010 03:34 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;116449 wrote:
Does that mean that when we wake up in bed on a snowy morning we don't know that we were not really in India on the back of an elephant? It isn't true that "for all you know someone might be trying to wake me up right now". If you don't know you are not dreaming now, what would it take for you to know it?
you're making the assumption that if we were 'dreaming' right now in what we consider reality that it would be exactly like our dreams now. Who says it would?


kennethamy;116449 wrote:
If you don't know you are not dreaming now, what would it take for you to know it?

Also, nothing. What I am saying is that we can't know we just have to treat each moment like it is reality
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 2 Jan, 2010 04:02 pm
@Amperage,
Amperage;116452 wrote:




Also, nothing. What I am saying is that we can't know we just have to treat each moment like it is reality


So, if you don't know you are not dreaming right now, do you know anything at all. Even that we have to treat each moment as if it is reality? Of course, if you are right, then a traveler in the desert should treat mirages as if they were real oases. And if I go to a magic show and watch the magician cutting the lady in half, I should call the police.
 
Amperage
 
Reply Sat 2 Jan, 2010 04:32 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;116460 wrote:
So, if you don't know you are not dreaming right now, do you know anything at all.
I know plenty but my knowing things has no bearing on whether something is real or not.

kennethamy;116460 wrote:
So, if you don't know you are not dreaming right now, do you know anything at all. Even that we have to treat each moment as if it is reality? Of course, if you are right, then a traveler in the desert should treat mirages as if they were real oases. And if I go to a magic show and watch the magician cutting the lady in half, I should call the police.
why would anyone treat a mirage as if it were real if they KNEW it was a mirage?

Also, I think the comparison(between a mirage and a dream) doesn't really apply anyway because there is nothing to gain from a mirage(if someone followed a mirage they would acquire nothing) whereas the experiences from dreams are real from any perspective. People have invented things, painted things, wrote songs, wrote books, learned about themselves, learned out the future, learned about the world around them through dreams. By your definition of what is real, what is physically real, indeed there is no physical reality to dreams but that does not mean the experiences aren't' real. At the end of the day our experiences are all we have. If you got knocked in the head and came down with amnesia and couldn't remember anything whatsoever, you would basically have to start over in terms of what you called reality and if someone told you about yourself you might even conclude that wasn't real.
 
cws910
 
Reply Sat 2 Jan, 2010 04:42 pm
@richrf,
The problem with your point of view, kennethammy, is that you are assuming that when you're dreaming, you know it is a dream. Unless its a lucid dream, you dont know that your dreaming. But even then, we have dream like experiences during what we we think of as conciousness. I hold to my point that dreams and reality are equally valid because there is not a state we can exist in where we can view both dreams and conciousness without the bias of being in one of those states. Even if you are right and dreams in your head, who is to say that somthing in your head isnt real?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 2 Jan, 2010 06:45 pm
@Amperage,
Amperage;116466 wrote:
I know plenty but my knowing things has no bearing on whether something is real or not.

why would anyone treat a mirage as if it were real if they KNEW it was a mirage?

Also, I think the comparison(between a mirage and a dream) doesn't really apply anyway because there is nothing to gain from a mirage(if someone followed a mirage they would acquire nothing) whereas the experiences from dreams are real from any perspective. People have invented things, painted things, wrote songs, wrote books, learned about themselves, learned out the future, learned about the world around them through dreams. By your definition of what is real, what is physically real, indeed there is no physical reality to dreams but that does not mean the experiences aren't' real. At the end of the day our experiences are all we have. If you got knocked in the head and came down with amnesia and couldn't remember anything whatsoever, you would basically have to start over in terms of what you called reality and if someone told you about yourself you might even conclude that wasn't real.


How could you know anything unless it was real? Could you know that something was a mirage unless it was a mirage? Of course not.

No one would (I suppose) treat a mirage as real if they knew it wasn't one. Why do you ask?

Well, both mirages and dreams are illusions. So why should I not treat them similarly? The dream experience (having a dream) is, of course, real. But the content of the dream is not real. You should distinguish between the dream and its content. And it may be that the consequences of having a dream are important. But that does not mean that the content of the dream is real. Does it?
 
cws910
 
Reply Sat 2 Jan, 2010 07:07 pm
@richrf,
quote from kennethamy : "How could you know anything unless it was real?"

EXACTLY!!! By being able to know that you dreamed and that within the dream there were aspects of realness the dream, haven't you proved the dream real, or at least equally real/valid to non-dream?

And I continue to see you assuming that dreams and mirages are illusions (not real) and conciousness is real. Isn't it true, though, that while you are experiencing a illusion it seems real? So, you can now say that anything that seems real should either be treated as not real, or both real and not real, because until you are not experiencing it (dead) you cannot know whether it was or was not real.
 
Amperage
 
Reply Sat 2 Jan, 2010 08:51 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;116505 wrote:
How could you know anything unless it was real? Could you know that something was a mirage unless it was a mirage? Of course not.

No one would (I suppose) treat a mirage as real if they knew it wasn't one. Why do you ask?
Because you tried to equate dreaming to a mirage and all I was trying to say is there is a distinct difference

kennethamy;116505 wrote:
The dream experience (having a dream) is, of course, real. But the content of the dream is not real. You should distinguish between the dream and its content.
Here's where I think our disagreement comes in. Obviously we both agree that dreams are real but your argument is that what is occurring in the dream isn't real. I can go with you on that, however, the one thing I'd like you to see is that you can't know for certain what is real and what isn't real, you can only know what is real to you.

Like I said right now what you think of as reality seems real. Tomorrow we could all "wake up" and find out that our whole lives were a dream and that none of it was "real"(hypothetically speaking).

Just like cws910 pointed out during most dreams you don't know your dreaming until you wake up. So if you were to wake up tomorrow and find out your entire life was a dream what would you make of it?

I think all you could conclude is that it was real to you. And that cannot be taken away from you.
 
cws910
 
Reply Sat 2 Jan, 2010 09:01 pm
@richrf,
The best of all worlds, amperage.
 
Merry Prankster
 
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2010 08:04 pm
@richrf,
reality is simply the words we have each been given to describe what we experience. the only thing that is real is the moment and it is impossible to ever bring the billions of perspectives into a relation to each other. so then we have the external reality - the moment and then the infinite numbers of internal realities - each individual. Because it is obviously to complex to understand i think the next step philosophy must take is to accept that nothing is true and to stop trying to create a false sense of order because in the end none of this matters, and just kinda makes us depressed to think about it. yes, i am antiphilosophy.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2010 09:32 pm
@Amperage,
Amperage;116528 wrote:
Because you tried to equate dreaming to a mirage and all I was trying to say is there is a distinct difference

Here's where I think our disagreement comes in. Obviously we both agree that dreams are real but your argument is that what is occurring in the dream isn't real. I can go with you on that, however, the one thing I'd like you to see is that you can't know for certain what is real and what isn't real, you can only know what is real to you.

Like I said right now what you think of as reality seems real. Tomorrow we could all "wake up" and find out that our whole lives were a dream and that none of it was "real"(hypothetically speaking).

Just like cws910 pointed out during most dreams you don't know your dreaming until you wake up. So if you were to wake up tomorrow and find out your entire life was a dream what would you make of it?

I think all you could conclude is that it was real to you. And that cannot be taken away from you.


But a mirage is not real: Not to me, not to anyone. Whether we can know for certain that something is a mirage or an oasis is a different matter. What we know for certain, and what is true, are different things. We know very little for certain, although we know a great deal. (That is another important distinction between knowing for certain and knowing).
To say that something is "real to me" just means that I believe it is real. But whether or not it is real is something different, and whether or not I know it is real is something different again. And, of course, if I believe something is real, but I find out I am mistaken, then I should no longer believe it is real. Of course we can always discover that we were mistaken. But all that means is that we might be mistaken, and that we cannot know for certain that we are right. But, it does not mean that we are not, in fact, right. Nor does it not mean that we do not know that we are right.
 
Amperage
 
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2010 09:49 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;116768 wrote:
But a mirage is not real: Not to me, not to anyone. Whether we can know for certain that something is a mirage or an oasis is a different matter. What we know for certain, and what is true, are different things. We know very little for certain, although we know a great deal. (That is another important distinction between knowing for certain and knowing).
To say that something is "real to me" just means that I believe it is real. But whether or not it is real is something different, and whether or not I know it is real is something different again. And, of course, if I believe something is real, but I find out I am mistaken, then I should no longer believe it is real. Of course we can always discover that we were mistaken. But all that means is that we might be mistaken, and that we cannot know for certain that we are right. But, it does not mean that we are not, in fact, right. Nor does it not mean that we do not know that we are right.
I suppose I agree with this assessment but I will emphasis that in a way we can never know if something is real, we can only know when something is not real. That doesn't mean that what we think is real isn't real, it may very well be.
I was just hoping you would relax your stance that dreams are unequivocally not real. I agree that if you dream you are in Africa and then you wake up in your bed clearly you weren't in Africa. However, I guess the point I'm trying to make is that if you never woke up and the dream remained continuous, you would basically be living a reality.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2010 10:01 pm
@Amperage,
Amperage;116772 wrote:
I suppose I agree with this assessment but I will emphasis that in a way we can never know if something is real, we can only know when something is not real. That doesn't mean that what we think is real isn't real, it may very well be.
I was just hoping you would relax your stance that dreams are unequivocally not real. I agree that if you dream you are in Africa and then you wake up in your bed clearly you weren't in Africa. However, I guess the point I'm trying to make is that you would be basically living a reality.


I guess the point I'm trying to make is that you would be basically living a reality

But what does that mean? That I would be dreaming I was in Africa? Yes, I know that. (What does the term, "basically" add?) Indeed, if I were having a delusion, and my delusion was that I was living in Africa, I would believe I was living in Africa. But I would not be living in Africa. Not even "basically".
 
Amperage
 
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2010 10:11 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;116773 wrote:
I guess the point I'm trying to make is that you would be basically living a reality

But what does that mean?That I would be dreaming I was in Africa? Yes, I know that. (What does the term, "basically" add?) Indeed, if I were having a delusion, and my delusion was that I was living in Africa, I would believe I was living in Africa. But I would not be living in Africa. Not even "basically".
not from the perspective of what you could observe at the time. Only after you were through having the delusion or you woke up from the dream would you know otherwise.
I get what your saying that just because I may not realize that what I'm doing isn't "real" doesn't mean that it becomes real. I'm simply pointing out that that is true but at the same time we would have no choice but to treat it as reality while it's occurring. Just like I was saying we may be "dreaming" right now for all we know, but we have to treat our life like its real
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2010 10:21 pm
@Amperage,
Amperage;116775 wrote:
not from the perspective of what you could observe at the time. Only after you were through having the delusion or you woke up from the dream would you know otherwise.
I get what your saying that just because I may not realize that what I'm doing isn't "real" doesn't mean that it becomes real. I'm simply pointing out that that is true but at the same time we would have no choice but to treat it as reality while it's occurring. Just like I was saying we may be "dreaming" right now for all we know, but we have to treat our life like its real


Not if we have good reason to believe that we are suffering from delusions, or if we are suffering from a drug overdose.
 
cws910
 
Reply Mon 4 Jan, 2010 01:30 pm
@richrf,
But during it you wouldnt know so! After all, you are delusional or drugged up!
 
 

 
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