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The Reality You Imagine, Is Not Reality

BradK
Posts: 475
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7/6/2014 4:54:13 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Forget all the silly nonsense and big words people use when talking about "reality". Is it all a dream or is it truly real? I think that's a stupid question and here's why:

So think of it like this: a blind fisherman is on a boat on a lake, and he's trying to get to an island somewhere in the lake. How hard would it be for him to get to the island, if he had to figure out its location by only the waves that rocked the boat? It seems like it would be impossible, because the waves would also be affected by the shore and any other rocks sticking up along the shallow parts of the lake. I think you'd readily agree with me if I said it would seem impossible to look at the waves of the water on a lake in just a tiny pocket somewhere out in the middle, and figure out the exact shape of the lake and where all the objects are in the lake and their shapes as well. Would you be shocked if I told you that you do the same kind of thing every day to figure out where you are in the world? Light is a wave, and there are all sorts of different wavelengths with different amplitudes bouncing around. The lake is really only 2 dimensional waves because the fisherman only has to deal with the surface. Your eye has to deal with light waves bouncing off all the objects in the room in 3 dimensions! Yet your eye can do this perfectly. Look around. The colours that you see are created from the frequencies of the light that enters your eye. The positions of the colours come from the angle that the light enters your eye. The brightness of the colour comes from the amplitude of the waves. The reflections you see on your window and computer screen come from light that bounced off of other objects.

So you can do exactly what you thought was impossible. Your eye is the fisherman in his boat, and you are picking apart the waves of light that hit your eye to figure out in incredible detail exactly where the "shore" and the "island" are, or the horizon in the distance and the objects in front of it in other words. But the light that you see is only a fraction of the waves that are in the room. Some of the waves miss your eye. And many of them are outside the visible spectrum. In fact most of them are. You are ignoring the x-rays and radio waves outside the spectrum. Right now, although you can't see it, there are a dozen radio stations playing songs and the waves are right there in the room in front of you, but you can't see them because the waves are too big, just like a fisherman wouldn't notice the tide coming in and out because the wave takes too long to go up and down.

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What can you take away from the fisherman example? That there are many aspects of reality that you just can't imagine or perceive. You perceive and imagine a fraction of it, and that fraction is obviously accurate, but you can't see the entire spectrum or smell every molecule in the air, or hear every frequency.

A question that I can't help but wonder - "why is all this here? What purpose does it all serve?" And I think science has helped us with that question but we spit in the face of science despite the truths it's helped us unlock. Every answer it gives us we need some higher purpose behind, and creationists have gone so far as to deny science in favour of their simpler, lacking, understanding. Science asks: Why is there gravity? Because masses attract each other. Why do masses attract each other? We suppose that the graviton is the force carrier between the masses, like the photon is for electric charges. And even if we did discover gravitons, we still would not be happy because we would want to know why they existed. This is like the classic barrage of "why?'s" from a child asking "why is the sky blue?... why does the sun shine?... why is there a sun?..." It seems to never end, the barrage of "why". We need answers, and if you say you aren't you are either lying or dead. We all have questions about the unknown. Many people would be satisfied to say "this ALL is the hand of a divine god, who has created everything for us". But that's too simple. One might ask "why did god create everything for us, why did he create us?", and with no way to ask god because well, scientifically speaking, god doesn't exist, we'd be stuck forever with an unanswerable question.

Our ancestors could not imagine things like photons, but we can now. We can all see the trend... we are imagining more and more of reality as science lets us discover more and more of it. But we are tempted to imagine that reality is some sort of whole, of which we are able to imagine maybe 5% today and 10% tomorrow, and then eventually we will imagine 100% of it. Some people think god can imagine 100% of reality, and that they will meet god when they die. They fail to realize they will have 0% of their imagination capability when they are dead, so it doesn't matter how complete god is, for they will not be able to ask him a single thing.

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So to draw it all together, the reality that you imagine is the tiny insignificant fraction of the observable universe that you choose not to ignore, be it because your eyes and ears are too weak to see and hear the supernovae in distant galaxies or simply that most natural phenomena are outside your visible spectrum, or that you simply choose to ignore the lights and sounds you can perceive.

Some people wish to imagine angels, gods and demons, while some of us are content to imagine squares, trapezoids and circles and call them buildings or cities or planets or particles. The task of the fisherman is daunting but he has found his way. He has figured out which sequence of which waves is the shore, and which sequence of which waves is the island, and which waves are the rocks and so on. And onward he goes, to figure out which rocks are the supports for a wharf that was built, and so on and so on up a hierarchy of perception. Should the fisherman choose to perceive everything he sees, collectively, as "god", he will be stuck, blind in a boat in the middle of the lake, forever confused by the intricate ripples and motions of the waves that shake the boat.

So do not fret that you can't imagine reality, and do not assume there is a god that you can go ask when you die.
BradK
Posts: 475
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7/6/2014 5:07:18 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/6/2014 5:01:50 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 7/6/2014 4:54:13 PM, BradK wrote

Feel better now?

*pats back sympathetically*

... I don't understand the context of what you are saying?
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,244
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7/6/2014 5:08:45 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/6/2014 5:07:18 PM, BradK wrote:
At 7/6/2014 5:01:50 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 7/6/2014 4:54:13 PM, BradK wrote

Feel better now?

*pats back sympathetically*

... I don't understand the context of what you are saying?

He's referring to the above rant.
BradK
Posts: 475
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7/6/2014 5:09:47 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/6/2014 5:08:45 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/6/2014 5:07:18 PM, BradK wrote:
At 7/6/2014 5:01:50 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 7/6/2014 4:54:13 PM, BradK wrote

Feel better now?

*pats back sympathetically*

... I don't understand the context of what you are saying?

He's referring to the above rant.

it's not really a rant it's more of a way to think about thinking scientifically
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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7/6/2014 5:29:21 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/6/2014 5:09:47 PM, BradK wrote:
At 7/6/2014 5:08:45 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/6/2014 5:07:18 PM, BradK wrote:
At 7/6/2014 5:01:50 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 7/6/2014 4:54:13 PM, BradK wrote

Feel better now?

*pats back sympathetically*

... I don't understand the context of what you are saying?

He's referring to the above rant.

it's not really a rant it's more of a way to think about thinking scientifically

It's a rant :-p