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Is there an Objective Reality?

Adam_Godzilla
Posts: 2,487
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6/4/2014 4:47:48 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I made a debate called There IS no objective reality. There I argue that it is impossible to prove that reality exists objectively regardless of there being a human or an observer. Similar to the saying, 'if a tree falls in a forest and no one is there, does it make a sound?

Well of course it does. But if you had no way of accessing or observing this forest. If this forest was say, for example, in a force field that closed it from any outside environment and this field blocked light and blocked anything from coming in and out. Could you really prove what state the forest is in or even whether it still exists?

The debate has been closed after 2 rounds but it still has equal arguments from both side. It is not in voting period yet but the debate is finished.

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Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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6/4/2014 5:33:32 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
My favourite argument is this: "I am more sure that my hands really do exist , than any propositions you can say to the contrary."
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PureX
Posts: 1,522
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6/4/2014 7:24:27 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I think the problem is with the terms being use in the question.

I would rather ask, "is there an objective truth". Because in asking that question, I think the terms 'objective' and 'subjective' become a little easier to cognitively integrate as two sides of the same coin (so to speak).

There is truth. And the truth is what is.

And this truth is objective in that it is the truth regardless of what we think of it, or even that we are aware of it. And yet it is subjective in that like the tree falling in the forrest, if no one hears it, it's "sound" is irrelevant. As in this case, if there is no mind to seek 'the truth', truthfulness becomes an irrelevant virtue.

There is no objective or subjective truth. There is just the truth being perceived both objectively and subjectively. Even though in both cases these statements are somewhat paradoxical, and incomplete without each other.

And we run into the same paradox with the question of 'reality', as there are two realities. One is the reality of the truth. That is the reality of what is. And that reality exists regardless of what we think it is, which by definition determines that it is "objective reality".

And then there is the reality that exists as a concept in our human minds. Which is in fact the only reality that exists, to us. And can therefor be the only reality that we can seek to 'know'. The reality that exists apart from that which exists in our minds, is irrelevant, just as is the sound of a tree falling, that no one hears.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,243
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6/4/2014 11:05:47 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Surprising as it may seem, there is indeed a definite answer to this question: absolutely and unequivocally no. It follows from the fact that "to be real" is a kind of theory i.e. a mental construct. That which is irrelevant to mind is irrelevant to any notion of reality. Denying this leads to a contradiction: an inconceivable concept is an oxymoron.

"Cartesian dualism leads to a problem associated with the connectivity problem we have just discussed: if reality consists of two different "substances", then what connects these substances in one unified "reality"? What is the medium which sustains their respective existences and the putative difference relationship between them? One possible (wrong) answer is that their relationship is merely abstract, and therefore irrelevant to material reality and devoid of material influence; another is that like the physical epiphenomenon of mind itself, it is essentially physical. But these positions, which are seen in association with a slew of related philosophical doctrines including physicalism, materialism, naturalism, objectivism, epiphenomenalism and eliminativism, merely beg the question that Cartesian dualism was intended to answer, namely the problem of mental causation.

Conveniently, modern logic affords a new level of analytical precision with respect to the Cartesian and Kantian dichotomies. Specifically, the branch of logic called model theory distinguishes theories from their universes, and considers the intervening semantic and interpretative mappings. Calling a theory an object language and its universe of discourse an object universe, it combines them in a metaobject domain consisting of the correspondences among their respective components and systems of components, and calls the theory or language in which this metaobject domain is analyzed a metalanguage. In like manner, the relationship between the metalanguage and the metaobject domain can be analyzed in a higher- level metalanguage, and so on. Because this situation can be recursively extended, level by level and metalanguage by metalanguage, in such a way that languages and their universes are conflated to an arbitrary degree, reality can with unlimited precision be characterized as a "metalinguistic metaobject".

In this setting, the philosophical dichotomies in question take on a distinctly mathematical hue. Because theories are abstract, subjectively-formed mental constructs, the mental, subjective side of reality can now be associated with the object language and metalanguage(s), while the physical, objective side of reality can be associated with the object universe and metauniverse(s), i.e. the metaobject domain(s). It takes very little effort to see that the mental/subjective and physical/objective sides of reality are now combined in the metaobjects, and that Cartesian and Kantian "substance dualism" have now been transformed to "property dualism" or dual-aspect monism. That is, we are now talking, in mathematically precise terms, about a "universal substance" of which mind and matter, the abstract and the concrete, the cognitive-perceptual and the physical, are mere properties or aspects."
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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6/4/2014 1:38:03 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/4/2014 4:47:48 AM, Adam_Godzilla wrote:
I made a debate called There IS no objective reality. There I argue that it is impossible to prove that reality exists objectively regardless of there being a human or an observer. Similar to the saying, 'if a tree falls in a forest and no one is there, does it make a sound?
Yes, it does. Sound is the displacement of air; there is air between the tree and the ground; in order for the tree to fall, it must displace the air between it and the ground; ergo, it does make a sound.

Well of course it does. But if you had no way of accessing or observing this forest. If this forest was say, for example, in a force field that closed it from any outside environment and this field blocked light and blocked anything from coming in and out. Could you really prove what state the forest is in or even whether it still exists?
Yes, it is proved in your premise.
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
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6/4/2014 4:56:18 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/4/2014 1:38:03 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 6/4/2014 4:47:48 AM, Adam_Godzilla wrote:
I made a debate called There IS no objective reality. There I argue that it is impossible to prove that reality exists objectively regardless of there being a human or an observer. Similar to the saying, 'if a tree falls in a forest and no one is there, does it make a sound?
Yes, it does. Sound is the displacement of air; there is air between the tree and the ground; in order for the tree to fall, it must displace the air between it and the ground; ergo, it does make a sound.

I don't think it does, it makes a vibration, but the vibration is only sound when it reaches an ear.

Well of course it does. But if you had no way of accessing or observing this forest. If this forest was say, for example, in a force field that closed it from any outside environment and this field blocked light and blocked anything from coming in and out. Could you really prove what state the forest is in or even whether it still exists?
Yes, it is proved in your premise.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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6/4/2014 6:10:48 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/4/2014 4:56:18 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 6/4/2014 1:38:03 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 6/4/2014 4:47:48 AM, Adam_Godzilla wrote:
I made a debate called There IS no objective reality. There I argue that it is impossible to prove that reality exists objectively regardless of there being a human or an observer. Similar to the saying, 'if a tree falls in a forest and no one is there, does it make a sound?
Yes, it does. Sound is the displacement of air; there is air between the tree and the ground; in order for the tree to fall, it must displace the air between it and the ground; ergo, it does make a sound.
I don't think it does, it makes a vibration, but the vibration is only sound when it reaches an ear.
You changed the definition that I used. By your definition it does not make a sound.
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
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6/4/2014 8:11:29 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/4/2014 6:10:48 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 6/4/2014 4:56:18 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 6/4/2014 1:38:03 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 6/4/2014 4:47:48 AM, Adam_Godzilla wrote:
I made a debate called There IS no objective reality. There I argue that it is impossible to prove that reality exists objectively regardless of there being a human or an observer. Similar to the saying, 'if a tree falls in a forest and no one is there, does it make a sound?
Yes, it does. Sound is the displacement of air; there is air between the tree and the ground; in order for the tree to fall, it must displace the air between it and the ground; ergo, it does make a sound.
I don't think it does, it makes a vibration, but the vibration is only sound when it reaches an ear.
You changed the definition that I used. By your definition it does not make a sound.

I've never heard sound defined as displacement of air before.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Hematite12
Posts: 400
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6/4/2014 8:40:53 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/4/2014 8:11:29 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 6/4/2014 6:10:48 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 6/4/2014 4:56:18 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 6/4/2014 1:38:03 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 6/4/2014 4:47:48 AM, Adam_Godzilla wrote:
I made a debate called There IS no objective reality. There I argue that it is impossible to prove that reality exists objectively regardless of there being a human or an observer. Similar to the saying, 'if a tree falls in a forest and no one is there, does it make a sound?
Yes, it does. Sound is the displacement of air; there is air between the tree and the ground; in order for the tree to fall, it must displace the air between it and the ground; ergo, it does make a sound.
I don't think it does, it makes a vibration, but the vibration is only sound when it reaches an ear.
You changed the definition that I used. By your definition it does not make a sound.

I've never heard sound defined as displacement of air before.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

It depends, apparently.