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Perception is reality

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/6/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,104 times Debate No: 45302
Debate Rounds (3)
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Perception is reality. Reality is perception.


I accept. This is my first debate so please go easy on me...

Okay so to the main topic-
Now when you talk about "perception" I don't know in what context you mean, so here is what I think of perception:
According to the Google word meanings the meaning of perception is 'the way in which something is regarded, understood, or interpreted.'
So want to say that- what if the interpretation is wrong and the reality is different?

Also what a person regards and understands depends on the particular person, like for example:

If a person thinks that horror books are bad he/she with the mindset of thinking that books are bad would eventually regard/understand/interpret that adventure books are bad as well, but are adventure books bad according to you? Maybe or Maybe not. So I feel perception is highly dependent on a person opinion and the person himself/herself and that perception is NOT reality.

There is another meaning of "perception", taken from, which states:
"Recognition and interpretation of sensory stimuli based chiefly on memory." but there again my question follows- what if the memory is messed up? Then how is that reality? To make my point clear I would like to use the help of an example:

What if a person had seen an iron gate and thought it was a steel gate, now since he/she considered it to be a steel gate even a day later he/she would have his/her memory which says that he/she had seen a steel gate. Now just because memory says that it was a steel gate does the iron gate become a steel gate? Will that be reality? And the gate was detected by the person's eyes-his/her sensory organ. So -again- I say that perception is highly dependent on the person and what the information he or she gathers from their sensory organs and NOT on reality.

Thank you. To the pro.
Debate Round No. 1


I appreciate my opponent taking time out to entertain this debate. I also find these questions interesting because we haven't developed the method/instruments/knowledge necessary to reliably test, measure, or quantify such new thinking. And, yes, I should have elaborated on my definition (or perception) of 'perception'. This actually illustrates the point I wanted to bring up. I define perception as everything an individual experiences; literally, everything (i.e. your senses and ideas). As my opponent mentioned, what if someone sees a steel door and another person sees a metal door? Well, according to you (the individual), the door is steel. That's YOUR reality. The only reason we call a door a door is because everyone (or VIRTUALLY everyone) agrees that it's indeed, a door. If that doesn't make sense to you, consider individuals with schizophrenia. Their perception (what they see/hear (hallucinations/delusions)) is their reality. The only reason this isn't also OUR reality is because we'd disagree that there's a dragon in the microwave, for example, because we simply do not perceive (sense (via sight or sound)) that there's a dragon in the microwave.

So, my opponent is exactly right when he stated that "perception is highly dependent on a person's opinion." Not only is it dependent on a person's opinion, but also his or her mood, personality, childhood, etc. This list goes on and on because it's a list of what a given individuals reality is comprised of. In other words, what we experience (via sensory input) is the only thing we can be certain exists. But even then, we can never actually "prove" anything because things can only be so objective. If this doesn't make sense to you consider the following.

A rat gets food every time he turns left in a maze and soon becomes a left-turning rat. This is a lawful observation (conditioning). But would laws like this exist if no one were here to see them?


Thank you for expressing your opinion, pro.

Though that was a fair explanation, I would like to particularize that a "person's reality" and the "actual reality" are two disparate things all together.

So as my opponent spoke briefly of schizophrenia, according to Google the meaning of schizophrenia is:
"a long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behaviour, leading to FAULTY PERCEPTIONS, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation."

So in other words, schizophrenia is a disorder that causes hallucinations to occur to a person, because of which a person would be INDISTINCT between his/her imagination and the reality, therefore as a conclusion, it cannot prove that perception is reality.

I would like to mention that perception, opinion, reality and imagination are totally DIFFERENT TERMS and that they express DIFFERENT MEANINGS, though they are commonly mistaken to be similar.
Debate Round No. 2


002682 forfeited this round.


My opponent has forfeited the round, well then thats it, no more explanation to be given to prove that
"Reality is NOT perception and perception is NOT reality, they are two different terms all together".

Thank you, I enjoyed debating with 002682 and expect he did too, so did the voters and viewers.

To the voters.

Debate Round No. 3
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