Reflections only exist in our minds.
Debate Rounds (5)
Reflections shall be defined as the images we percieve, for instance, in a mirror or on water.
A distinction must be made between reflections and reflection. Reflection being the process by which light is reflected. If you can't distinguish between the two, do not accept.
I reject the resolution that reflections, images we perceive in a mirror, only exist in our minds, because reflections are made of photons, photons are light particles, and particles are made of matter, which exist outside of the mind.
reflection - An image seen in a mirror, a surface reflective of light or other radiation
photon - An elementary particle, the quantum of light and all other forms of electromagnetic radiation.
particle - A minute fragment or quantity of matter
The mind is contingent on matter, but photons are matter; photons exist outside of the construct of the brain called the mind.
I agree that photons exist outside of the mind, but an image is not made of photons. Unless you are referring to a digital image.
The way sight works is that photons strike the cones on our retina, causing them to send electrical impulses to our brain. Our brain converts these electrical impulses into a visual representation of our surroundings based on these photons. The image we see exists in our mind.
Well if everything we see is an image in our head, then what does exist objectively?
The photons striking our retina are of 3 different types. Direct, reflected and phantom light. Direct light comes from a light source such as the sun, a flame or a globe. Reflected light is direct light which strikes a physical object and some of it gets reflected by the surface of that object. The moon, an apple, a tree, are examples of such objects. The source of direct and reflected light are real objects that exist objectively. They do not require our perception of them to exist.
Phantom light however is light that seems to originate from a real object, but the object is not really where we see it. In other words, the image is illusory and does not exist if nobody sees it. The problem is that sight is a subconscious process and the part of our brain which creates the image we see, can't distinguish between real and illusory. It builds a picture based on the photons striking our retina. It's our conscious mind which tells us that there is not another person looking back at us from a mirror.
So yes, photons exist in the real world and reflection is a real process, but light is reflected from every direction, and in every direction. The image we see exists only in our heads and nothing exists where we percieve it to be. If nothing captures those photons the image doesn't exist. Unlike a real object which exists objectively, reflections are subjective.
Thank you Pro.
Thank you, Pro, for showing the way sight works; I'm ever enriched.
While I agree that our perceptions of an image require the brain's involvement, the image from a mirror, a reflection, is made of photons.
In fact, there is no such thing as a reflected image that has no photons; no photons, no reflected image.
What's "causing [cones on our retina] to send electrical impulses to our brain" are photons of the image.
If we were to look at a tree, outside on a sunny day, and then take a mirror and hold it in front of the tree, we could look in the mirror, and see an image of a tree.
The rays of light, which are made of photons, are bouncing off of the tree and hitting the mirror from a shorter distance than the rays of light from the sun and those photons bouncing off of farther away objects, and it's these rays of light that are reflected from the mirror to the observer; the longer rays are from other objects, and the shorter ones are from the tree.
In an abundance of long rays of light bouncing off of the mirror from the sun and other objects, there is a tree shaped collection of shorter rays of light that make an image of a tree; this image is observable thanks to these shorter rays of light, photons.
I feel like Pro conceded the debate in the beginning:
"I agree that photons exist outside of the mind"
So if reflections, images from a mirror, are made of photons, then we're done here?
I know Pro tried to separate the process, reflection, from the image, reflection, but they are not separable; despite the tautology, you can't have a reflection (image) without reflection (process) and you can't have reflection (process) without a reflection (image).
"an image is not made of photons"
A mirror image, which is the image in this debate, is only made of photons.
A tree is not made of photons, but the tree's reflected image is.
But, you might say, that's not good enough, because this image is virtual as its location isn't really where we perceive it.
So, let's take a concave mirror.
According to the physics of light and color, when "an object is positioned above the principal axis of a concave mirror and somewhere beyond the center of curvature...the concave mirror will produce an image...[whose] location is the intersection point of all the reflected rays."
So, reflections from concave mirrors are real, not virtual, images that have an actual location, which exists outside of the mind, in the form of photons intersecting.
Photons are particles; particles are matter; matter exists outside of the construct of the brain called the mind.
While I appreciate Pro's explanation of direct, reflected, and phantom light, concave mirrors produce real images in real locations, thus negating Pro's allusion to "phantom light...seems to originate from a real object, but the object is not really where we see it."
Light from concave mirrors produce real images in real locations, which exist outside of the mind.
If the image existed outside our mind, where would it exist? On the mirror? That is impossible and I'll explain why. If you look at yourself in a mirror its easy to believe the image remains there when you close your eyes, but it doesn't. Two people looking at the same mirror from different angles would see two different reflections. They might even see each others reflection. So which image remains in the mirror if both close their eyes?
The fact is that from any possible angle a different image is possible. Photons reflect off the mirror in every direction, but only photons which strike a retina cause a image to be created. This proves that a image is subjective.
There is a big difference between an object and an image. An apple is a object. It exists without the involvement of any conscious being. But photons can bounce off that apple in every direction and it will not become an image. It needs an eye to capture the photons and to send electrical impulses to a conscious mind. The mind has to convert this information and only then will an image exist. Everything we see is a creation of the mind. Yes it's based off physical data received from our eyes and without photons this wouldn't be possible, but images exist only in our minds.
Pro points out:
"Photons from an object, reflect off a mirror and strike our retina."
Yeah, with a regular plane mirror.
With a concave mirror however, photons from and object reflect off a mirror and strike an intersection of photons that then reflect to our retina; this intersection is a real location, in real space, and itself is a real reflection, IRRESPECTIVE of any observers.
In a plane mirror, the observer has to be positioned properly to see certain images in the mirror.
For example, if you have a shower located off to the side of the plane mirror in your bathroom, like not directly in front of the mirror, when you look into the mirror, you have to position yourself to see the inside of the shower.
The shower's reflection is only observable to you from certain positions.
In a concave mirror, like the one below, the reflection can be objectively viewed from anywhere, because this particular reflection is in fact an intersection, in real space, of photons that have all traveled from the mirror.
Since Pro has already agreed "that photons exist outside of the mind," the reflection from a concave mirror is outside of the mind; reflections don't only exist in our minds, which negates the resolution.
Note: the "Eye" markings are observers; their position is irrelevant.
Click on the link if the animation's not working.
"If the image existed outside our mind, where would it exist?"
At the intersection of reflected photons like the provided animation exemplifies.
Pro avoids concave mirrors again and states:
"Two people looking at the same mirror from different angles would see two different reflections."
Not with a concave mirror.
With a concave mirror's reflection, the intersection of photons is the same reflection from all observable angles.
Pro keeps on a dodgin' concavity:
"The fact is that from any possible angle a different image is possible"
With a concave mirror's reflection, the only possible reflected image is the same from every observable angle.
"There is a big difference between an object and an image."
Ok, follow me here.
The reflection from a concave mirror is an object that objectively exists in a location in space. It objectively exists there, even though it has no rest mass, because light never "rests;" intersected photons are objects in actual space.
Pro, what say you about a concave mirror's reflection?
I'm afraid you are mistaken. When we look in a mirror its impossible to see an object in front of the mirror. Unfortunately I can't load images when posing an argument, but if you view the image in my album it explains how a mirror allows us to see an object in one location when it is actually in another location. In Cons picture it clearly shows that depending on the persons location they would see the reflection in a different location. The spot marked image location is the direction the image would be in from the persons perspective. If you stood on the spot marked image location, the image would fill the entire mirror. This is why concave surfaces are used to amplify waves. They focus the waves striking the surface in one location. That do not create an image in that location. If you study Con's animation from each eyes perspective, image location is the direction they see the object. They all see the object in a different part of the mirror. This of course only applies if you are standing behind the spot marked image location. If you were standing between that spot and the mirror you would still see the reflection in the mirror.
Pro stubbornly ignores concave mirror reflections:
"When we look in a mirror its impossible to see an object in front of the mirror."
Check the animation, the image location is an intersection of photons IN FRONT OF THE MIRROR; Pro keeps referring to plane mirrors, which are not concave mirrors.
Pro misinterprets the provided animation:
"depending on the persons location they would see the reflection in a different location."
Nope. Look at the animation, REGARDLESS of the observer (Eye), the image location stays the same; all light from the original object to the concave mirror is reflected off the mirror meeting at an intersection, at a specific location, irrespective of the observer.
"They all see the object in a different part of the mirror."
They all see the object in front of the mirror at the intersection of all of the reflected light. Notice the image location does not change for each observer...this speaks to an observer's irrelevance to the existing intersection of photons, which is an image of the original object.
Pro, you have falsely interpreted the animation, and this animation shows that the intersection of photons does not require an observer, rather a focused point for all light reflecting off of the concave mirror.
If you were to stand in between the image location and the mirror, you would be blocking the light from intersecting, thus distorting the reflection across your body.
Otherwise, from any observable angle, the object's reflection location does not change with a different observer.
Pro, does the intersection of light, a reflection from a concave mirror, exist outside of the mind, yes or no?
If yes, we're done here.
If no, I really don't know what else you need to see; light reflected from a concave mirror, a reflection, exists at a specific location, and this location is outside of our mind and the mirror.
"Unfortunately I can't load images when posing an argument, but if you view the image in my album it explains how a mirror allows us to see an object in one location when it is actually in another location."
I looked at Pro's images, from his album, and again Pro is confusing a flat, or plane mirror, with a concave mirror, which is the mirror in my provided animation.
Pro's image below, you'll notice, is a reflection from a flat mirror...this is not a concave mirror Pro, so the image would not be in front of the mirror.
Here's the link if it doesn't work.
If you read the link you posted it clearly says that the location of the image will vary depending on where the object is and where the viewer is. The spot marked image location is where all the light rays come together. I know the term image location is very deceptive, but nowhere in the article does it say an image is created on that spot. The only image we see in a reflection is a virtual image and that appears behind the mirror.
From the site that provided the animation:
"All of the lines of sight, regardless of their direction, will pass through the image location...different people are sighting in different directions; yet each person is sighting at the same image location."
Unlike in a plane mirror, where different observers see images in different locations that appear to be behind the mirror, with a concave mirror, the reflected image is sighted at the same location in front of the mirror.
Pro tries one more time:
"The only image we see in a reflection is a virtual image and that appears behind the mirror."
How is the reflected image location, in the animation provided, behind the mirror?
The intersection of light is clearly in front of the mirror; this is called a real, not virtual image.
The resolution has definitively been rejected, because reflections from concave mirrors are simply the intersection of photons, which pro agrees "exist outside of the mind."
P1 - Reflections are photons.
P2 - Photons exist outside of the mind (Pro agrees).
C1 - Reflections exist outside of the mind.
C2 - The resolution is rejected.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by famousdebater 11 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I'll keep this short because this debate is relatively simple to judge. Pro makes the claim that they agree that photons exist outside the mind. Con correctly points out that reflections are made of photons and therefore this is technically a concession. Due to Con's reliable sources that are clearly labelled under their corresponding arguments con's argument credibility is significantly increased. Pro makes assertions that Con disagrees with. Without sources to back up these assertions I cannot trust Pro. Con refutes these assertions with sources and therefore I believe that Con's arguments are more reliable than Pro's. It's Pro's concession that removes any doubt in my mind that Pro has won. The fact that Con manages to show that reflections are made from photons and that Pro concedes that photons exist outside of the mind all contradict the resolution, shifting it Con's favor. The concession of these points makes Pro refute himself. Con only needed point these out - which he did.
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