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The Nature of Reality

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Posted (edited)

Bertrand Russell said:

I wish to propose for the reader’s favourable consideration a doctrine which may, I fear, appear wildly paradoxical and subversive. The doctrine in question is this: that it is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true.

- Bertrand Russell, Introduction to Sceptical Essays

To say that Sherri and some other folks agree with you does not make that agreement objective reality. Until you provide a grounds for supposing reality to be true, you are simply indulging in what Russell calls "undesirable belief". You may fool yourself into it being a self evident thing, "it just is" but no philosopher or scientist has ever been able to make such a case. Scientists take it on faith alone, which is why science is a belief system.

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PerV,

First, congrats on the original debate. You argued your case most effectively.

I would like to address a particular case of objective reality - that being the observer itself. As you stated, an object can validate itself as objectively real, and this applies to any observer.

Thus, cogito, ergo sum, and I validate my self as objectively real to myself. "I" exist.

Now, what do "I" exist in/as? Assuming a state of existential isolation, there must still be a matrix of something within which "I" must exist and which comprises "I". "I" cannot be made up of nothing, and something cannot exist within nothing. Without knowing what this matrix of something is, by the fact "I" exist, I also know this other something exists.

So, in that sense, I know an objective reality does exist, I simply do not know what it is. This does not mean this reality is abstract (i.e. not concrete) simply unknown as to what it is, and perhaps unknowable in that regard.

Edited by Leonardo

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If I follow your teaching, then I can subjectively discard any objective evidence you are able to present - this includes the quote which you use to support your position, as according to you Bertrand Russel is entirely a fruit of your imagination and never existed objectively.

Your contention that all subjective views are equal is laughable. You simply do not understand logic at all. Science is about probabilities, not cold hard facts. As such, is is indeed subjective. Think about it. Something that has odds of 10,000 to 1 against is less likely than something with odds of 10 to 1 against. Your whole approach is oversimplified. Perhaps that is why you need to believe in objectivity, because it simplifies everything. Sorry, but the universe is not simple.

.

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PerV,

First, congrats on the original debate. You argued your case most effectively.

I would like to address a particular case of objective reality - that being the observer itself. As you stated, an object can validate itself as objectively real, and this applies to any observer.

Thus, cogito, ergo sum, and I validate my self as objectively real to myself. "I" exist.

Now, what do "I" exist in/as? Assuming a state of existential isolation, there must still be a matrix of something within which "I" must exist and which comprises "I". "I" cannot be made up of nothing, and something cannot exist within nothing. Without knowing what this matrix of something is, by the fact "I" exist, I also know this other something exists.

So, in that sense, I know an objective reality does exist, I simply do not know what it is. This does not mean this reality is abstract (i.e. not concrete) simply unknown as to what it is, and perhaps unknowable in that regard.

I understand, but think you made one leap too far. By proving existence of thought we do not prove the existence of objective reality. We objectively prove the existence of thought. Objectively proving the existence of thought does not translate into objectively proving objective reality. We can be objective within the confines of subjectivity, which is all humans are capable of doing. We are never objective, however, we can synthesize objectivity. This does not make us objective. Neither does it make the synthesized objectivity truly objective. It is, however, the best we can do.

Marabod makes the fallicy of believing that this is an either/or proposition. That we either have objectivity or we have nothing. This is simply silliness. Within the range of what is subjective are millions of options. Some options are infinitely more accurate and practical than others. The idea that all subjective thought is equal is simply absurd. Of course there are varying degrees of accuracy to all subjective thought. Here is the key! The subjective thought that recognizes itself for what it truly is will be far more accurate than subjective thought that masquerades as objective when it is not. Why people find this so hard to comprehend is beyond me.

.

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Posted (edited)

I understand, but think you made one leap too far. By proving existence of thought we do not prove the existence of objective reality. We objectively prove the existence of thought. Objectively proving the existence of thought does not translate into objectively proving objective reality. We can be objective within the confines of subjectivity, which is all humans are capable of doing. We are never objective, however, we can synthesize objectivity. This does not make us objective. Neither does it make the synthesized objectivity truly objective. It is, however, the best we can do.

Marabod makes the fallicy of believing that this is an either/or proposition. That we either have objectivity or we have nothing. This is simply silliness. Within the range of what is subjective are millions of options. Some options are infinitely more accurate and practical than others. The idea that all subjective thought is equal is simply absurd. Of course there are varying degrees of accuracy to all subjective thought. Here is the key! The subjective thought that recognizes itself for what it truly is will be far more accurate than subjective thought that masquerades as objective when it is not. Why people find this so hard to comprehend is beyond me.

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Something cannot exist in a vacuum of nothing. Thought is something, and must be supported by some medium in which it exists. My identity is also something. This identity may be the matrix within which my thoughts are generated (and is likely to be), but what is the matrix within which my identity exists?

Baically, I reason that, once we prove the identity of self exists (through self-evidence) then we know there must be an objective something which is the medium in which that identity is generated/exists. This medium may not be 'material' in the sense of matter, it may be an energetic matrix - but it is still a medium of something.

The subjective thought that recognizes itself

I am not suggesting the self is thought. In stating cogito, "I" acknowledge the recognition of thoughts and that an identity (I) exists and is experiencing them. It would be an error of composition to then conclude that "I" am my thoughts. I have given a lot of thought to Descartes proposition, and cannot reason that he was inferring we are simply the sum of our thoughts. The structure of the proposition (I think, therefore I am) does not support that view.

This identity is what is objectively validated in my proposal, not the thoughts the identity has.

Edited by Leonardo

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Something cannot exist in a vacuum of nothing. Thought is something, and must be supported by some medium in which it exists. My identity is also something. This identity may be the matrix within which my thoughts are generated (and is likely to be), but what is the matrix within which my identity exists?

Baically, I reason that, once we prove the identity of self exists (through self-evidence) then we know there must be an objective something which is the medium in which that identity is generated. This medium may not be 'material' in the sense of matter, it may be an energetic matrix - but it is still a medium of something.

I am not suggesting the self is thought. In stating cogito, "I" acknowledge the recognition of thoughts and that an identity (I) exists and is experiencing them. It would be an error of composition to then conclude that "I" am my thoughts. I have given a lot of thought to Descartes proposition, and cannot reason that he was inferring we are simply the sum of our thoughts. The structure of the proposition (I think, therefore I am) does not support that view.

This identity is what is objectively validated in my proposal, not the thoughts the identity has.

then what is self? if not thought?

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Posted (edited)

I understand, but think you made one leap too far. By proving existence of thought we do not prove the existence of objective reality. We objectively prove the existence of thought. Objectively proving the existence of thought does not translate into objectively proving objective reality. We can be objective within the confines of subjectivity, which is all humans are capable of doing. We are never objective, however, we can synthesize objectivity. This does not make us objective. Neither does it make the synthesized objectivity truly objective. It is, however, the best we can do.

Marabod makes the fallicy of believing that this is an either/or proposition. That we either have objectivity or we have nothing. This is simply silliness. Within the range of what is subjective are millions of options. Some options are infinitely more accurate and practical than others. The idea that all subjective thought is equal is simply absurd. Of course there are varying degrees of accuracy to all subjective thought. Here is the key! The subjective thought that recognizes itself for what it truly is will be far more accurate than subjective thought that masquerades as objective when it is not. Why people find this so hard to comprehend is beyond me.

.

well, how do you prove subjectivity as you are defining it? therein lies the key....

Edited by S♥ ♥ ♥

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Something cannot exist in a vacuum of nothing. Thought is something, and must be supported by some medium in which it exists. My identity is also something. This identity may be the matrix within which my thoughts are generated (and is likely to be), but what is the matrix within which my identity exists?

Baically, I reason that, once we prove the identity of self exists (through self-evidence) then we know there must be an objective something which is the medium in which that identity is generated/exists. This medium may not be 'material' in the sense of matter, it may be an energetic matrix - but it is still a medium of something.

So far, so good.

I am not suggesting the self is thought. In stating cogito, "I" acknowledge the recognition of thoughts and that an identity (I) exists and is experiencing them. It would be an error of composition to then conclude that "I" am my thoughts. I have given a lot of thought to Descartes proposition, and cannot reason that he was inferring we are simply the sum of our thoughts. The structure of the proposition (I think, therefore I am) does not support that view.

This identity is what is objectively validated in my proposal, not the thoughts the identity has.

Agreed. It is the action of thinking which proves an entity exists. No problem with that. How that proves that there is a singular reality that is the same for all observers is what I question. There is no evidence that the universe is so. There is plenty of evidence that people with the same basic genetic makeup will agree about how things appear. Confusing that with how things actually are is being arrogant and conceited. Why should we ever believe that the way we perceive things is the way they are? All we can objectively say is that is how they appear. That is hardly the same.

.

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well, how do you prove subjectivity as you are defining it? therein lies the key....

So, you are able to accept the existence of objectivity based on the fabulous logic "It just is" but you find subjectivity difficult to prove? I think you have lost the plot.

.

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Posted (edited)

So far, so good.

Agreed. It is the action of thinking which proves an entity exists. No problem with that. How that proves that there is a singular reality that is the same for all observers is what I question. There is no evidence that the universe is so. There is plenty of evidence that people with the same basic genetic makeup will agree about how things appear. Confusing that with how things actually are is being arrogant and conceited. Why should we ever believe that the way we perceive things is the way they are? All we can objectively say is that is how they appear. That is hardly the same.

There are, I reason, 3 possibilities.

1) One entity existing in, and comprising, a singular, objective and subjective, reality (itself).

2) Multiple entities existing within a single, objective, reality.

3) Multiple entities existing within multiple, subjective, realities.

I rule out the possibility of multiple, objective realities on the basis of the impossibility of any of these independent realities being able to interact. Such a scenario might exist, but the consequence would be identical to possibilty 1) above for each observer.

In scenario 1) it is true that this singular objective reality exists for all observers, likewise scenario 2).

Scenario 3) can only exist if we cannot conclude an objective reality exists. We can conclude this - even if it can only be shown for each observer, not all observers. I exist so there is something within which I exist. This something cannot be subjective, because it is not defined by my existence but is a necessary requirement of my existence. I know that it exists as I know I exist.

Hence a singular, objective, reality exists for all observers. I consider 2) to be the more likely, but we cannot say 1) is not the reality that exists.

Edited by Leonardo

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Posted (edited)

So far, so good.

Agreed. It is the action of thinking which proves an entity exists. No problem with that. How that proves that there is a singular reality that is the same for all observers is what I question. There is no evidence that the universe is so. There is plenty of evidence that people with the same basic genetic makeup will agree about how things appear. Confusing that with how things actually are is being arrogant and conceited. Why should we ever believe that the way we perceive things is the way they are? All we can objectively say is that is how they appear. That is hardly the same.

objectivity doesn't require subjective description..in other words objectivity is not perspective dependent, perhaps that's what you are not connecting to..

Edited by S♥ ♥ ♥

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So, you are able to accept the existence of objectivity based on the fabulous logic "It just is" but you find subjectivity difficult to prove? I think you have lost the plot.

.

in other words a ball 'can just be' it can exist whether I observe it or not...this distinguishes it as objective...

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one of my favourites.....

:tu:

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Thanks PerVertious, as far as I am concerned there was no contest. Very well argued.

The fact that it agrees with every great philopher of modern times, will put our niave need for objectivity into perspective. Marbod you have simply expressed a subjective belief.

Even if we accept our own existance it doesn't take us outside of our own heads and into the objective reality which everyone wants to believe in. Everything is physically filtered through our sense organs, and since each brain is wired uniquely it cannot experience anything other than its own synapse net. It is a filtering mechanism, and a shape capturing mechanism and since each of these abilities is learned uniquely then the products are also unique. Add on top of this a language filter which imposses its own limitations on what can be concieved and we can start to see that our internal subjective models can never approach a true understanding of reality and can never approach objectivity.

All this demonstrates that just because we want and need objective reality to exist that it can never be demonstrated beyond our own self.

I think it is reasonable to allow for the possability of objectivity as it seems to map to my own subjectivity and it seems to be functionally useful to some degree. However we must always be aware that our brains will deceive us about its nature, and therefore we need to be extremely skeptical about what we believe it might be.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius

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