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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception
    #4847194 - 10/24/05 07:17 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Since the objects we perceive have a nature independent of us, it must be possible to distinguish between form and object; between the aspects of the perceived world that derive from our form of perception [such as colors, sounds, smells] and the aspects that belong to metaphysical reality itself, apart from us. What then is the status of the formal aspects? If they are not "in the object," it is often asked, does it follow that they are merely "in the mind" and therefore are subjective and unreal? If so, many philosophers have concluded, the senses must be condemned as deceivers - because the world of colored, sounding, odoriferous objects they reveal is utterly unlike actual reality. This is the problem, a commonplace in introductory philosophy classes, of the so-called "two tables": the table of daily life, which is brown, rectangular, solid, and motionless; and the table of science, which, it is said, is largely empty space, inhabited by some colorless, racing particles and/or charges, rays, waves, or whatnot.

The answer is: we can distinguish form from object, but this does not imply the subjectivity of form or the invalidity of the senses.

The task of identifying the nature of physical objects as they are apart from man's form of perception does not belong to philosophy, but to physics. There is no philosophic method of discovering the fundamental attributes of matter; there is only the scientist's method of specialized observation, experimentation, and inductive reference. Whatever such attributes turn out to be, however, they have no philosophic significance, neither in regard to metaphysics nor to epistemology.
Let us see why, by supposing for a moment that physics one day reaches its culmination and attains omniscience about matter.

At that point, scientists know the ultimate ingredients of the universe, the irreducible building blocks that combine to make up physical objects part from any relationship to man's form of awareness. What these ingredients are I do not pretend to know. For the sake of the argument, let us make the extravagant assumption that they are radically different from anything men know now; let us call them "puffs of meta-energy," a deliberately undefined term. At this stage of cognition, scientists have discovered that the material world as men perceive it, the world of three-dimensional objects possessing color, texture, size, and shape is not a primary, but merely an effect, an effect of various combinations of puffs acting on men's means of perception.

What would this sort of discovery prove philosophically? It would prove nothing.

If everything is made of meta-energy puffs, then so are human beings and their parts, including their sense organs, nervous system, and brain. The process of sense perception, by this account, would involve a certain relationship among the puffs: it would consist of an interaction between those that comprise external entities and those that comprise the perceptual apparatus and brain of human beings. The result of this interaction would be the material world as we perceive it, with all of its objects and their qualities, from men to mosquitoes to stars to feathers.

Even under the present hypothesis, such objects and qualities would not be products of consciousness. Their existence would be a metaphysically given fact; it would be a consequence of certain puff-interactions that is outside of man's power to create or destroy. The things we perceive, in this theory, would not be primaries, but they would nevertheless be unimpeachably real.

A thing may not be condemned as unreal on the grounds that it is "only an effect," which can be given a deeper explanation.
One does not subvert the reality of something by explaining it.
One does not make objects or qualities subjective by identifying the causes that underlie them.
One does not detach the material world as we perceive it from reality when one shows that certain elements in reality produced it.
On the contrary: if an existent is an effect of the puffs in certain combinations, by that very fact it must be real, a real product of the ingredients that make up reality. Man's consciousness did not create the ingredients, in the present hypothesis, or the necessity of their interaction, or the result: the solid, three-dimensional objects we perceive. If the elements of reality themselves combine inevitably to produce such objects, then these objects have an impregnable metaphysical foundation: by the nature of their genesis, they are inherent in and expressive of the essence of existence.

The dominant tradition among philosophers has defined only two possibilities in regard to sensory qualities: they are "in the object" or "in the mind." The former is taken to subsume qualities independent of man's means of perception; the latter is taken to mean "subjective and/or unreal."
This alternative is defective, however. A quality that derives from an interaction between external objects and man's perceptual apparatus belongs to neither category. Such a quality - e.g., color - is not a dream or hallucination; it is not "in the mind" apart from the object; it is man's form of grasping the object. Nor is the quality "in the object" apart from man; it is man's form of grasping the object. By definition, a form of perception cannot be forced into either category. Since it is the product of an interaction [in Plato's terms, of a "marriage"] between two entities, object and apparatus, it cannot be identified exclusively with either. Such products introduce a third alternative: they are not object alone or perceiver alone, but object-as-perceived.

In a deeper sense, however, such products are "in the object." They are so, not as primaries independent of man's sense organs, but as the inexorable effects of primaries. Consciousness, to repeat, is a faculty of awareness; as such, it does not create its content or even the sensory forms in which it is aware of that content. Those forms in any instance are determined by the perceiver?s physical endowment interacting with external entities in accordance with causal law. The source of sensory form is thus not consciousness, but existential fact independent of consciousness; i.e., the source is the metaphysical nature of reality itself. In this sense, everything we perceive, including those qualities that depend on man's physical organs, is "out there".

Those who condemn the senses as deceptive on the grounds that sense qualities are merely effects on men are guilty of rewriting reality. Their viewpoint amounts to an ultimatum delivered to the universe: "I demand that the senses give me not effects, but irreducible primaries. That is how I would have created reality." As in all cases of this fallacy, such a demand ignores the fact that what is metaphysically given is an absolute. Perception is necessarily a process of interaction: there is no way to perceive an object that does not somehow impinge on one's body. Sense qualities, therefore, must be effects. To reject the senses for this reason is to reject them for existing - while yearning for a fantasy form of perception that in logic is not even thinkable.

As to the claim that the racing particles, puffs, or whatever that make up tables do not "look like" the peaceful brown things on which we eat in daily life, this is the literal reverse of the truth. "Looks" means "appears to our visual sense." The brown things are exactly what the puffs "look like." There are not "two tables." The brown things are a particular combination of the primary ingredients of reality: they are those ingredients as perceived by man.

In regard to the senses, the standard argument, long a staple of skeptics, has already been indicated: "A certain object looks red or sounds loud or feels solid, but that is partly because of the nature of human eyes, ears or touch. Therefore, we are cut off from the external world. We do not perceive reality as it really is, but only reality as it appears to man."
Here is the same argument presented by Kantians, in regard to the conceptual faculty: "Certain abstract conclusions are incontestable to us, but that is partly because of the nature of the human mind. If we had a different sort of mind, with a different sort of conceptual apparatus, our idea of truth and reality would be different. Human knowledge, therefore, is only human; it is subjective; it does not apply to things in themselves."
Here is the argument a third time, as applied to logic: "Even the most meticulous proof depends on our sense of what is logical, which must depend in apart on the kind of mental constitution we have. The real truth on any question is, therefore, unknowable. To know it, we would have to contact reality directly, without relying on our own logical makeup. We would have to jump outside of our own nature, which is impossible."

We cannot escape the limitations of a human consciousness, the argument observes. We cannot escape our dependence on human senses, human concepts, human logic, the human brain. We cannot shed human identity. Therefore, the argument concludes, we cannot gain a knowledge of reality. In other words: our consciousness is something; it has specific means and forms of cognition; therefore, it is disqualified as a faculty of cognition.

This argument is not confined to human consciousness. It is an attack on all consciousness, human, animal, or otherwise. No matter how keen an animal's senses, the argument indicts them equally: since the animal cannot escape its organs of perception, it, too, must be imprisoned by them and cut off from reality. The same would apply to a Martian with unearthly senses; such a creature would never encounter things as they are, only things-as-processed-by-the-Martian-mechanism.

What sort of consciousness can percieve reality, in the Kantian, anti-identity approach? The answer is: a consciousness not limited by any means of cognition; a consciousness which percieves no-how; a consciousness which is not of this kind agains that; a consciousness which is nothing in particular, i.e., which is nothing, i.e., which does not exist. This is the ideal of the Kantian argument and the standard i t uses to measure cognitive validity: the standard is not human consciousness or even an invented consciousness claimed to be superior to man's but a zero, a vacuum, a nullity - a non-anything.

In this view, identity - the essence of existence - invalidates consciousness, every kind of consciousness. Or: a means of knowledge makes knowledge impossible. As Ayn Rand observes in a critical formulation, this approach implies that "man is blind, because he has eyes - deaf, because he has ears - deluded, because he has a mind - and the things he percieves do not exist, because he percieves them."

Ayn Rand rejects all these errors, because she rejects their root: she begins not by bewailing the nature of human consciousness, but by insisting on it. The fact that man's cognitive faculties have a nature does not invalidate them; it is what makes them possible. Identity is not the disqualifier of consciousness, but its precondition. This is the base from which epistemology must proceed; it is the principle by reference to which all standards of cognition must be defined.

Authored By Peikoff.



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Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.

Edited by SkorpivoMusterion (10/25/05 12:12 AM)

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OfflinePhluck
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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #4847932 - 10/24/05 10:09 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Best post ever.


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"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us

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OfflinePhred
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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: Phluck]
    #4847955 - 10/24/05 10:17 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Yep. Ayn Rand was one brilliant human being, fo shizzle.




Phred


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Offlinedaimyo
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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #4848439 - 10/25/05 12:05 AM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Have you read The Ominous Parallels?


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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: daimyo]
    #4848618 - 10/25/05 12:55 AM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Nope, not yet. I have a good long road of Randy-reading ahead of me as of now. Looks interesting though..

By looking at the cover, I'm assuming the book can be eloquently summarized as:

:usa: = :hitlerdance:

?



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Offlinedaimyo
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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #4848675 - 10/25/05 01:10 AM (18 years, 6 months ago)

:lol:  Something like that.

Not one of the books I'd put on top of the list, but an interesting read for a look back on how such philisophical foundations were able to be laid in Germany, and could be in the US.

It was written in the early 80s if I remember correctly.  It would be nice if he would write a follow up.

Until then, I will have to continue on trying to find a DIM Hypothesis torrent.


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Invisibleraytrace
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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #4849259 - 10/25/05 05:30 AM (18 years, 6 months ago)

supposing for a moment that physics one day reaches its culmination and attains omniscience about matter.

what about supposing for a moment that physics never reaches its culmination?

what validates the existence of puffs? what makes them real?

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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: raytrace]
    #4851273 - 10/25/05 05:20 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

what about supposing for a moment that physics never reaches its culmination?

Irrelevant. The point is that whatever attributes of reality are discovered from physics, has no philisophic significance.

"The task of identifying the nature of physical objects as they are apart from man's form of perception does not belong to philosophy, but to physics. There is no philosophic method of discovering the fundamental attributes of matter; there is only the scientist's method of specialized observation, experimentation, and inductive reference. Whatever such attributes turn out to be, however, they have no philosophic significance, neither in regard to metaphysics nor to epistemology."


what validates the existence of puffs?

Look at your question. Validation of anything presupposes its existence. Existence is its own validation. Existence is axiomatic.

what makes them real?

Existence, for if they were not in existence, they wouldn't exist - i.e., they would be nothing.



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Offlinedaimyo
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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #4852823 - 10/25/05 10:59 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

For something to be anything, it must be nothing. No?


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InvisibleMushmanTheManic
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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #4853077 - 10/25/05 11:55 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

"Existence, for if they were not in existence, they wouldn't exist - i.e., they would be nothing."

Obviously, but how do we determine what exists? If we say everything we can experience exists, then do datura-hallucinations actually exist?

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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: MushmanTheManic]
    #4853199 - 10/26/05 12:22 AM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Obviously, but how do we determine what exists?


By contrast of non-existence. Vague questions will get vague answers.


If we say everything we can experience exists, then do datura-hallucinations actually exist?



Of course hallucinations exist, if they didn't exist, there would be no hallucinations.




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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: daimyo]
    #4853387 - 10/26/05 01:11 AM (18 years, 6 months ago)

By "anything", I meant any-thing, i.e. any-thing-in-existence.





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Invisibleraytrace
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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #4907656 - 11/08/05 12:27 AM (18 years, 6 months ago)

what about supposing for a moment that physics never reaches its culmination?

Irrelevant. The point is that whatever attributes of reality are discovered from physics, has no philisophic significance.

I cannot see how this can be irrelevant. The whole argument is based on the existence of puffs as building blocks that interact to form reality. What if puffs are not there at all? Lets say they go through such transformations that prevent them to be conceptualized as 'rigid' or 'independent' entities.

What is there other than a mysterious something within which the mind in its longing to understand, order and categorize, fantasizes about puffs?

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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: raytrace]
    #4908056 - 11/08/05 05:56 AM (18 years, 6 months ago)

I cannot see how this can be irrelevant. The whole argument is based on the existence of puffs as building blocks that interact to form reality. What if puffs are not there at all?

Keep in mind, it is philosophically irrelevant, and the existence-of-puffs is merely a hypothetical scenario devised for the purpose of demonstrating this. Whether it be puffs, or super-unicorns or cosmic foam, the bottom line is still:

"The task of identifying the nature of physical objects as they are apart from man's form of perception does not belong to philosophy, but to physics. There is no philosophic method of discovering the fundamental attributes of matter; there is only the scientist's method of specialized observation, experimentation, and inductive reference. Whatever such attributes turn out to be, however, they have no philosophic significance, neither in regard to metaphysics nor to epistemology."


Lets say they go through such transformations that prevent them to be conceptualized as 'rigid' or 'independent' entities.


It sounds to me like you're an advocate of the "Primacy of Consciousness" school of thought. Is this so? If not, then I'm not sure what point you may be leading to. Please clarify.


What is there other than a mysterious something within which the mind in its longing to understand, order and categorize, fantasizes about puffs?


I don't understand this question.




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InvisibleMushmanTheManic
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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #4909680 - 11/08/05 03:41 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

SkorpivoMusterion said:
Of course hallucinations exist, if they didn't exist, there would be no hallucinations.




Hallucination n.: Perception of visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, or gustatory experiences without an external stimulus and with a compelling sense of their reality, usually resulting from a mental disorder or as a response to a drug.

Hallucinations, by definition, do not exist... but because there are hallucinations they do exist?

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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: MushmanTheManic]
    #4909795 - 11/08/05 04:06 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Hallucination n.: Perception of visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, or gustatory experiences without an external stimulus and with a compelling sense of their reality, usually resulting from a mental disorder or as a response to a drug.

How does this definition show that hallucinations don't exist? All it implies is that hallucinations are subjective. Like ideas and concepts, hallucinations still exist, albeit not objectively.




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InvisibleMushmanTheManic
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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #4909859 - 11/08/05 04:20 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

"Without an external stimulus" in other words, it is a false perception.

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InvisibleMushmanTheManic
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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #4909891 - 11/08/05 04:25 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

"Since the objects we perceive have a nature independent of us"

I disagree. In the words of the Great Ravus, "We can never escape this sensory human cage." If they do have a nature independent of us, it seems completely irrelevant. There is no way to experience them outside of our perception of them.

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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: MushmanTheManic]
    #4909951 - 11/08/05 04:35 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

There is no way to experience them outside of our perception of them.




That doesn't alter the fact that they have a nature independent of us. Nor does it alter the fact that we can garner tremendous amounts of knowledge about most of them -- even ones we cannot detect at all with our unaided senses.



Phred


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InvisibleMushmanTheManic
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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: Phred]
    #4909971 - 11/08/05 04:37 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Something which we cannot experience is hardly fact.
You cannot remove the observer from the equation.

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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: MushmanTheManic]
    #4910011 - 11/08/05 04:45 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Something which we cannot experience is hardly fact.




Incorrect, if by "experience" you mean apprehend with our unaided senses. We cannot "experience" the various machinations of microbes in a drop of pond water yet their existence is nonetheless a fact. Similarly, no human has "experienced" the polar ice caps of Mars, yet their existence is also a fact.





Phred


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InvisibleMoonshoe
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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #4910017 - 11/08/05 04:46 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

great post. i wont pretend i understand everything you said perfectly. dont take this as a contradiction or a critique, just my 2 cents added...

if i understand correctly, part of your argument hinges on sciences objective study of the fundamental building blocks of nature, and how since our minds and nervous systems are composed of those physical building blocks, everything must exist independently of our minds...

the interesting thing about that is, physics has progressed beyond the atom... the atom is no longer the smallest particle... as i understand it, the most fundamental particle (aka puffs of meta energy) are now known as quarks and moreover, when studying these particles, scientists discoverd the remarkable fact that quarks, the fundamental essence of reality have no qualities independent of observation

that is, the very act of observing these particles profoundly changed their behaviour...

im not a quantum physicist, but what i have read on this subject has been mind blowing, you should check it out, assuming you havent already

anyways as i understand it, the cutting edge of physics is now discovering that the mind matter seperation is kind of illusory... matter is mind, mind is matter, the act of observing fundamentlaly alters the nature of what is observed...

anyways... maybe thats relevant maybe not. ill read your first post again and probably get something totally different out of it.

:cheers:

to thinking


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InvisibleMushmanTheManic
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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: Phred]
    #4910024 - 11/08/05 04:46 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

By experience I mean sense-data.

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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: MushmanTheManic]
    #4910032 - 11/08/05 04:47 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

You cannot remove the observer from the equation.




What do you mean by that? Is it your contention that if all life in the universe were to be extinguished tomorrow, the stars and planets and nebulae would vanish? If so, on what do you base this belief?



Phred


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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: MushmanTheManic]
    #4910046 - 11/08/05 04:49 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

"Without an external stimulus" in other words, it is a false perception.

How does this mean that it [hallucinations] doesn't have any form of existence, whatsoever?

[Overlooking the fact that the quoted statement actually means: subjective or arbitrary.]


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InvisibleMushmanTheManic
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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: Phred]
    #4910099 - 11/08/05 04:59 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Phred said:
Incorrect, if by "experience" you mean apprehend with our unaided senses.




I didn't say anything about unaided experience. I mean experience, plan and simple. Any sensory input. Aided experience is just as valid as any other experience.
Experience is something entirely different from the "true nature of reality", it being something we can only make noises about.

Quote:

Phred said:
Quote:

You cannot remove the observer from the equation.




What do you mean by that? Is it your contention that if all life in the universe were to be extinguished tomorrow, the stars and planets and nebulae would vanish? If so, on what do you base this belief?




The observer doesn't equal the equation. I'm not trying to argue solispism.
What I'm trying to say is, everything is relative to the instrument/model you use to view it. Light appears as a wave using machine-A. Light appears as a particle using machine-B. The same is true for the human nervous system.

And back to the original post,
To assume that my nervous system is completely infallible seems ridiculus.

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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: MushmanTheManic]
    #4910171 - 11/08/05 05:14 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Something which we cannot experience is hardly fact.




So, to paraphrase you in light of your clarification, something we cannot sense is hardly fact

It is only very recently in human history we could sense, (with the aid of microscopes) microbes. Were microbes not factual before the invention of the microscope?

Same with almost all celestial objects. Were globular clusters and the moons of Saturn not factual before the invention of the telescope? Or did they spring into existence the same day the first observer turned a telescope on them?





Phred


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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: MushmanTheManic]
    #4910172 - 11/08/05 05:14 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Moonshoe, in layman's terms, the use of quantum physics to support Primacy of Consciousness [if this is what you're getting at] uses a poor understanding of what quantum physics is really saying about the universe. Most of the mistaken interpretation seems to come from the use of observation or observables. People read that and think, "Oh, that means a person, i.e. consciousness, is looking at that particle." That isn't how it works. Without going into what consciousness really is, "observation" can happen when, say, a photon interacts with an electron. So it's "physical stuff" doing the "observing." This is why we can't 'will' for $100 bills to grow off trees, and that sort of thing.

In reality, the fact remains: The Law of Identity remains lawful and the Law of Causality remains lawful. A will always be A. No matter how hard a man "wills" for a volcano in front of him to stop spewing hot, molten lava all over his unstrategically located house, it ain't gonna happen. No matter how hard we "wish" for a tree to grow $100 bills, it ain't gonna happen. No matter what, our consciousness will not alter the metaphysically given facts of reality. Hence, the Primacy of Existence holds true - regardless of what some cult-biased, psuedo-scientific, mock-spiritual people [or movies like "What the BLEEP do we know?] say to the contrary. Even the prominent physicist David Bohm himself maintains a Primacy of Existence standpoint.

Hope that clears some things up.



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InvisibleMoonshoe
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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #4910266 - 11/08/05 05:36 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

cool...

i dont have a solid oppinion on this yet... its funny because this is exactly what weve been debating in class...

it is strange though...

when we think of an object, any given object, lets say for the purposes at hand: tree.

we believe this object exists, because it has qualities that we can percieve in a variety of ways.

but how can we say any of those qualities exist independently of us?

colour is meaningless and non existant without eyes to see it... texture is meaningless and non existant without nerves to feel it, the word tree is meaningless without a brain that defines it... in short none of the qualities have any meaning or existance without the observer, or so it would seem.

but isnt it these qualities that lead us to believe the tree exists in the first place?

im not actually taking this oppinion its just a line of thinking...

i hold no solid oppinions of beliefs on anything anymore... just entertain lines of questioning...

also worth considering: you say the human mind can never change physical reality by means of belief or will or thought...

but a human being is itself a physical entity, the realist would say entirely composed of solid matter particles...

what about the placebo effect? how can humans merely by belief in a sugar pill , cure their own warts, recover from illness, create actual physical alterations on their bodies?

im not arguing for the primacy of mind here, or that mind is all that exists... more like mind and matter are one...


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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: Moonshoe]
    #4910311 - 11/08/05 05:49 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

colour is meaningless and non existant without eyes to see it...




Meaningless to whom? Take your example of the tree. The tree's leaves appear green to human eyes for a reason -- they absorb certain wavelengths of light and reflect others. As it turns out, the wavelengths correspond to those necessary for photosynthesis. In the absence of human eyes, the leaves still reflect certain wavelenghts of light and absorb others.

Quote:

texture is meaningless and non existant without nerves to feel it...




Not meaningless to the tree. Some trees have spikey leaves in order to conserve moisture and repel animals who would otherwise consume them, for example.

Quote:

the word tree is meaningless without a brain that defines it...




The fact that there is no brain around to name a tree a tree doesn't alter the fact that the tree exists.

Quote:

in short none of the qualities have any meaning or existance without the observer, or so it would seem.




They have both meaning and existence. See above.




Phred


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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: Phred]
    #4910462 - 11/08/05 06:25 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

yeah i see what your saying... im not so much trying to say that the tree doesnt exist, more that everything we experience about the tree doesnt exist... like the tree in reality might bear no resemblance to the tree-as percieved, you know? hard to articulate quite what im saying, and i know classical philosophy has already discussed this ad nauseum but hey, beerweed entertainment

:shrug:


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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: Phred]
    #4916861 - 11/10/05 07:57 AM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Were microbes not factual before the invention of the microscope?

Microbes aren't factual whether before or after the invention of the microscope (philosophically speaking). Yet, for practical purposes they are considered as such.

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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #4916891 - 11/10/05 08:06 AM (18 years, 6 months ago)

It sounds to me like you're an advocate of the "Primacy of Consciousness" school of thought. Is this so? If not, then I'm not sure what point you may be leading to. Please clarify.

haven't forgotten. will resume when i can

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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: Phred]
    #4918552 - 11/10/05 03:27 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Phred said:
Were microbes not factual before the invention of the microscope?




No. It would not be factual to state that microbes exist prior to any evidence of them existing.

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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: Phred]
    #4918738 - 11/10/05 04:20 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Hah, he did not see them comming ! :lol:


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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: BlueCoyote]
    #4918771 - 11/10/05 04:32 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

sense reception is interesting and rich
sense perception is the post filtered bit -
from the cornucopia of sense data, objects are distilled.
matches are made from memory's vault.
this can't be avoided or denied,
but sensation should not be sacrificed for the precedence of perception or learning dies, and a depression of what is known reigns.
perception is the rule of what has already been learned in the past.
immersing in sensation is the opportunity to learn something new.


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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: Moonshoe]
    #4918816 - 11/10/05 04:49 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

heh

this is going to piss some people off

but whatever...

personally, i  operate in the belief system that reality is essentially a dream. not only that, but my reality is MY dream... i dont base this on any semantic or axioms, premises, whatever.

i also dont deny that reality is "real" or the things in it are "real"... i just think that reality is of the nature of thought, all reality is perception...

anyways, the reason i maintain this belief is that

A. it is supremely empowering
B. it gives me a huge degree of control and power over my circumstances, emotions, feelings, every aspect of my life

basically, i find it to be by far the most pragmatic philosophy. this is your dream, therefore you have no excuse for not making it hte way you want it.

You no longer suffer from delusions of powerlessness, because nothing is beyond your power. if you concieve it you can realize it.

I also believe this because my own experiments confirm it... the same methods i use to control my lucid dreams have effect in waking life, although in different ways...

im not saying that waking life IS a dream... just that that is the closest metaphor for its nature that i can think of.

also, for me the corelation between thought/feeling and physical external reality is obvious. when i take the time to raise my own energy, have my head in a place of light and love... external reality synchs up. external events that rationality would say are completely beyond my control, match up perfectly to my internal state, weather im high or low this is true.

when my energy is low, external events go badly, when high, they go well.

anyways, look at it this way if you want

truth cannot be known absolutely. i wont verify that because i think alot of people already believe it... truth is relative and never known for sure... we all sort of "choose" a truth or paradigm to base our lives on

so seeing as imho we can never know absolute truth,we have the liberty of "choosing" what we believe... like it or not we all do this anyways, but most dont do it conciously.

Im lucky in that the belief i hold as a result of my personality and experience is also the one i would choose because it is the most empowering and pragmatic... plus i believe what we believe becomes true, for us

anyways... i realize this is out of line with most of the thread, but those are my thoughts

:psychsplit:


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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: Moonshoe]
    #4918844 - 11/10/05 04:55 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

:mrt:

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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: MushmanTheManic]
    #4918878 - 11/10/05 05:00 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

it would have been way funnier if you used :borfase:


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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: MushmanTheManic]
    #4918915 - 11/10/05 05:11 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Yes, FANTASTIC post skorpivo! Couldn't have said better myself!

Experiance is definitely real! I have trouble with the idea of the "external" because what do we know that is not of our own experiance? Whether it is second-hand experiance (word of mouth or through a micro/telescope) experiance is real. Blue is real because we experiance it. Lightwaves of the frequency 450nm is also real because we experiance it, albiet through technology.

The 450nm lightwaves are no more "idependent" of our experiance than blue is.

A datura hallucination is real in the mind of the hallucinator and has real effects on how he behaves and interacts with consensual reality.

Too often is the mistake made that the only things that are real are consensually experianced.

Quantum mechanics are fucking mindblowing! It has been proven SCIENTIFICALLY that there is no objective existance without observation! Observation (a euphamism for consciousness) directly effects what we know as physical matter and is an UNDENIABLE part of what we call existance. We cannot logically conceive of existance without consciousness thrown into the equation.

the ancients knew this long ago when they asked "When a tree falls in a forest, and no one is around to here it, does it make a sound?"

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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: dr0mni]
    #4918957 - 11/10/05 05:22 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

"a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"

a. Yes
b. no
c. if theres no one around, there is no tree


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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: Moonshoe]
    #4919969 - 11/10/05 09:28 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Moonshoe, for the most part, everything you've said in that post isn't something that I couldn't draw a down-to-Earth philisophical parallel from.
In other words, I can see what you've said, and compare it to what other people have similarly said, albeit in a different perspective. This isn't to say that this must therefore be exactly what you're really saying underneath the semantics, because honestly, I don't have the basis for that kind of certainty as of yet.
To be certain of exactly what you're saying, overall, I would have to ask you a few questions.
Do you believe that to command reality [nature], one must act according to its rules and identity? If one wants to change the world, must one act according to reality? Or: Do you believe that the metaphysically given facts of reality are subject to one's wishes, desires and whims alone? Does one's actions achieve desired results when the rules and identities of reality are evaded?



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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #4920079 - 11/10/05 09:59 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Here is my current metaphysical suspicion on Reality:

I think that an objective, immalleable, firm Reality DOES exist, but the only thing we primates can experience is our interaction with it. In other words, following the philosophy of Korzbyski, we create a 'map' or model of Reality. Some of our 'maps' are a more accurate representation of Reality than others. Our ordinary experiences interacting with Reality seem to be the best 'maps' and hallucinations seem to be the worst.
Darwinian evolution does not 'design' organisms to operate at an optimum condition, it only gives organisms the bare minimum they need to survive. It doesn't seem logical to think that evolution endowed us with a perfect nervous system which can 100% accurately model reality, all the time.

"The map should not be confused with the territory."

(I just thought of something neat. Maybe, maybe, maybe, hallucinogens do "open us up to a 'higher' reality" that isn't necessary for our survival and thus never became part of our individual 'maps.' Its like Materialistic Shamanism. I'm very skeptical about it, and I'll have to spend more time thinking about this, but it sure does sound cool.)

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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: MushmanTheManic]
    #4920194 - 11/10/05 10:31 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

I think that an objective, immalleable, firm Reality DOES exist, but the only thing we primates can experience is our interaction with it.

Basically, yes. This thread is about accepting the validity of our sensory perceptions themselves, and not rejecting them, simply because they are conditional, i.e. human.


we create a 'map' or model of Reality. Some of our 'maps' are a more accurate representation of Reality than others. Our ordinary experiences interacting with Reality seem to be the best 'maps' and hallucinations seem to be the worst.


Right, we can create concepts that reflect what is objectively the case. For instance, there is an objective existant in the form of a furry, purring, pointy-eared creature which we've formed a subjective concept/idea/map that is called a "Cat" in the English language.


Darwinian evolution does not 'design' organisms to operate at an optimum condition, it only gives organisms the bare minimum they need to survive. It doesn't seem logical to think that evolution endowed us with a perfect nervous system which can 100% accurately model reality, all the time.

You may have missed somethings the original post was saying. What is a "100% perfect, infallible, accurate model of reality"? Our nervous systems do not violate the Law of Identity. Just because our sensory perceptions are conditional [human], does not invalidate the sensory input we recieve. It is because we have an identity, that it is conditional, and if we had no identity, no nature, we would be nothing at all.

Imagine a species of thinking atoms; they have some kind of sensory apparatus but, given their size, no eyes or tactile organs and therefore no color or touch perception. Such creatures, let us say, percieve atoms directly, as we do people; they percieve in some form we cannot imagine. For them, the fact that matter is atomic is not a theory reached by inference, but a self-evidency.

Such "atomic" perception, however, is in no way more valid than our own. Since these atoms function on a submicroscopic scale of awareness, they do not discover through their senses the kind of evidence that we take for granted. We have to infer atoms, but they have to infer macroscopic objects, such as a table or the Empire State Building, which are far too large for their receptive capacity to register. It requires a process of sophisticated theory-formation for them to find out that, in reality, the whirling atoms they percieve are bound into various combinations, making up objects too vast to be directly grasped. Although the starting points are very different, the cognitive upshot in both cases is the same, even though a genius among them is required to reach the conclusion obvious to the morons among us, and vice versa.

No type of sense perception can register everything. A is A - and any perceptual apparatus is limited. By virtue of being able to discriminate one aspect of reality, a consciousness cannot discriminate some other aspect that would require a different kind of sense organs. Whatever facts the senses do register, however, are facts. And these facts are what lead a mind eventually to the rest of its knowledge.




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OfflineAmber_Glow
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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #4922826 - 11/11/05 03:51 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

The first post seems to say that sense perception is valid because, even though we know its illusory and not a true picture of what is, it is still valid because it is a result of the true system.

So we know that what we perceive is an illusion, but because this illusion is REALLY happening, it is legit!

I do not like this form of philosophy. How can they say that what we know in physics is not philosophically relevant, the two are very much related. We must take into account all knowledge that we have available to us when trying to answer questions either of science or philosophy.

Yes our sense perceptions are in a sense valid. Are you denying that our experiences are subjective? I believe the above post tries to say that our experiences are not subjective, because it is a result of the objective system of reality? In any case that does not mean our experiences are not subjective.

When we know what we are experiencing is illusory and that there is a more primary, baser reality underlying those experiences, I think it is important to take into account those underlying realities, not just to accept the illusory experiences as completely valid. When in the midst of a full blown psychedelic experience, we perceive and experience many revelations and thoughts etc. that at the time might seem completely valid and to make sense, but to immediately grab onto these things as reality would be absurd. It is only after coming back to baseline and reflecting on those thoughts induced, that we can pick out which have value and which were mere illusion. This type of philosophy would, it seems, accept everything we experience in the psychedelic experience, simply because it really happened. Come on... :/

Also take into account that yes our subjective experiences 'in us' are reflective of the objective reality 'out there' but realize that there are an infinite amount of ways we could subjectively experience 'in us' what is 'out there'. This article seems to claim that all beings are all experiencing the same thing 'in us', but this is completely not true, there is a range of subjectivity between each human. Also realize how much an alien entity's experience 'in them' differs from the reality 'out there'. There an infinite number of ways it seems that what is 'out there' can be perceived, and to latch onto one version of this as somehow more valid than the others, is making an extreme mistake.

It is important that philosophy always aims at objectivity and not subjectivity, or else it seems to rip out the base from underneath itself.

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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: Amber_Glow]
    #4923173 - 11/11/05 05:35 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

The first post seems to say that sense perception is valid because, even though we know its illusory and not a true picture of what is, it is still valid because it is a result of the true system.

Not quite. The article is saying that our sense perceptions are not illusory. Some people like to think that simply because we know one aspect of reality [and therefore, not all and every aspects of reality], we must be "illusioned" or "deluded" or whatever.

You used the phrase "true picture of what is", as if there's only one possible picture that can ever be "true". If I show a picture of an apple at the microscopic level, next to a picture of an apple in the macroscopic range, is either picture any more "real" than the other one? Both perspectives do not contradict the apples identity, nor the Law of Identity itself. Both are equally real. Just because our sense perception is conditional, or has various limits, does not mean that it is therefore erroneous, illusional, or invalid.


Are you denying that our experiences are subjective? I believe the above post tries to say that our experiences are not subjective, because it is a result of the objective system of reality? In any case that does not mean our experiences are not subjective.

No, I am certainly not saying our experiences aren't subjective.


This type of philosophy would, it seems, accept everything we experience in the psychedelic experience, simply because it really happened. Come on... :/

I see nothing wrong with simply accepting a psychedelic experience as real - in certain respects, of course. I accept that my dreams are real, they are actual, occuring phenomena during my sleep. I accept that my hallucinations are real when I consume hallucinogenics, just as I do with my dreams, and so forth.



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Edited by SkorpivoMusterion (11/11/05 05:56 PM)

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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #4923418 - 11/11/05 06:36 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

By true picture of what is I didn't mean picture as in regards to a visionary quality. I meant objective reality. Certainly you are not denying the existence of an objective reality?

In my opinion philosophy's aim should be towards discovering the truths about an objective reality.

If we are looking for truth in our subjective reality, I suppose that is OK too, but you must keep in mind that because it is subjective, and because of the nature of the subjectivity, there are probably infinite ways of looking at that objective reality, infinite subjective realities. It reminds me of that quote that I have seen all over, including on here, I don't remember the exact words but it goes something like "When you realize why you have dismissed every other religion, you will realize why I have dismissed yours" or something like that, in defense of athiesm. As a parallel to that, there is no reason to put your subjective reality above the infinitude of other subjective realities. But there is reason to aim towards that objective reality!

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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: Amber_Glow]
    #4923570 - 11/11/05 07:30 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

doesn't that turn into industrial engineering as proof of physics
then with a twist of credibility,
politics and war can then be applied to prove who owns the best truth

objective truth sometimes has to take a rest, to let nature heal the wounds our overreaching efforts make to encapsulate immensity.


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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: redgreenvines]
    #4923667 - 11/11/05 08:03 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

well, since reality is subjective, the objective reality cannot exist, even if there is a set standard for experiences, there is no actual experience, but a collaboration of alternating experiences

a dream whose dream characters play a part in determing the subjective reality, good times


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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: TheGus]
    #4923734 - 11/11/05 08:16 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

well, since reality is subjective...




There's your error. Reality is not subjective.





Phred


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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: Phred]
    #4923886 - 11/11/05 08:44 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

the impression of objective reality is real enough to work with, does it need to be more heavily emphasized than that?

(that is why i brought engineering into this, and to go with convincing others, politics becomes involved, and then, in time naturally nature heals all the wounds of the whole idea based life struggle)


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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: Amber_Glow]
    #4924184 - 11/11/05 09:57 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Certainly you are not denying the existence of an objective reality?

Of course not.

In my opinion philosophy's aim should be towards discovering the truths about an objective reality.

Agreed.




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InvisibleMushmanTheManic
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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #4925987 - 11/12/05 02:27 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

SkorpivoMusterion said:
I see nothing wrong with simply accepting a psychedelic experience as real - in certain respects, of course. I accept that my dreams are real, they are actual, occuring phenomena during my sleep. I accept that my hallucinations are real when I consume hallucinogenics, just as I do with my dreams, and so forth.




I'm just wondering what you mean by "real"? Is any sensory stimulation real? Do schizophrenics have just a good, although different, grasp on reality as the rest of us?

I define "real" as an experience which accurately represents Reality.

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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: MushmanTheManic]
    #4926015 - 11/12/05 02:39 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

I define "real" as an experience which accurately represents Reality.




Woo Hoo!  :rofl2:


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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: Icelander]
    #4926059 - 11/12/05 02:53 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

im not sure if reality can be defined, maybe reality is so mystical that defining it would disgrace it? perhaps its just mans obsession to get sumkinda order in things.. interesting thoughtsplay however.. :smile:

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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: MushmanTheManic]
    #4926092 - 11/12/05 03:01 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

In that context, I am defining real as: Existence. If it exists, be it an experience of a Schizo or otherwise, it is real, in the respect that it exists.

Do schizophrenics have just a good, although different, grasp on reality as the rest of us?

Schizophrenic's experiences are no less real than our own experiences, for the simple fact that both of our experiences exist. Whether their experiences accurately grasp reality or not, is another story, and does not negate the existence of their experiences.



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Invisibleraytrace
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Registered: 01/15/02
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Re: Acknowledging and accepting the validity of our sense perception [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #5097312 - 12/23/05 09:53 AM (18 years, 4 months ago)

just because I promised to reply to Scorpivo:

It sounds to me like you're an advocate of the "Primacy of Consciousness" school of thought. Is this so? If not, then I'm not sure what point you may be leading to. Please clarify.

No, I don?t advocate primacies. Where this leads to is: Arguments are provided based on a hypothetical scenario, namely that at some point scientists will ?know the ultimate ingredients of the universe?. I?m just saying that there is a flip side to this. Simply, what if I hypothesize the opposite? Am I not allowed?

If arguments would have started from a fact rather than from a hypothesis then there would not be space for dispute. Just pointing this out really, I don?t necessarily disagree with the conclusions.


What is there other than a mysterious something within which the mind in its longing to understand, order and categorize, fantasizes about puffs?
I don't understand this question.

This was a rhetorical question and I don?t think I can or wish to explain this further for now; you can just ignore it.

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