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Reality

Started by Contemporary Protestant, November 21, 2014, 06:34:02 PM

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Contemporary Protestant

sorry typo. their ideas, not personhood would be criticized

Hakurei Reimu

Quote from: Contemporary Protestant on November 22, 2014, 11:37:12 AM
I don't think that specific rules can be objective but I do think moral principles can be objective; such as mercy, compassion, et cetera
Moral principles are ones guiding us to particular actions. They are categorically not statements of bare fact. The superficially descriptive statement, "this is an immoral act," is really a proscriptive statement, "this act is to be avoided according to this particular system of values we follow." There is no getting away from this. Moral principles are not in the same category as physical principles. They are not factual statements about the state of the world and how it works; they are rules for evaluating how we conduct ourselves as moral agents.

You cannot violate a true physical principle, because the world works the way it works and as a part of that world you cannot defy the laws because your very substance precludes it. You can violate moral principles, even if they are absolutely true, because it has nothing to do with the way things are arranged but rather how you evaluate them.
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stromboli

Hakurei, if you aren't a teacher you should be. You have a very clear and concise way of stating your position that makes me green with envy. You got a damn fine mind, I must say.

Mequa

#18
A naturalistic model of "reality" or "Nature" helps to ground one's views of the world in empiricism and critical thought, without uncritically buying into supernatural or false ideological claims.

Relativist theories of reality are self-refuting, since claiming "there is no such thing as reality" is itself making a dogmatic statement about the nature of reality. So it contradicts itself, as can be seen using logic.

I think it is necessary to have a model of "reality" for survival, health and human flourishing and happiness, however I am strongly inclined towards critical thought and scepticism.

Sal1981

Quote from: Contemporary Protestant on November 21, 2014, 06:34:02 PM
          Reality is independent of the observer, and continues to exist without acknowledgement or being understood. Unreality is dependent upon the observer, and only exists in the mind. When individuals cease to put cognitive effort into a subject that is unreal, the topic no longer has influence on the real world. For example, if a significant number of people have faith in a flying purple unicorn, then the purple unicorn has influence merely because people make certain actions in regards to such a thing. So when these people no longer behave as if there are purple unicorns, then the purple unicorn will not have influence. In contrast to the purple unicorn, say that a certain village in India denies the existence of a man-eating tiger. Whether or not people have faith in the tiger and if the tiger is acknowledged, the tiger retains the power to consume the flesh of man. The tiger exists independent of the village while the purple unicorn is dependent upon the general consensus of the village. 
That's a strange wording on what can be observed (the man-eating tiger) and what is wishful thinking (invisible pink unicorn), but it's spot on.

Quote from: Contemporary Protestant on November 21, 2014, 06:34:02 PMDespite most aspects of reality having evidence, reality existed before evidence and does not require evidence to exist. For example cellular life had existed for billions of years, but people only knew about them upon the invention of the microscope. Cells existed before the microscope and continue to exist today. This shows that observers can have limited perceptions, and in some cases a flawed perception or understanding. Einstein initially rejected the Big Bang theory in favor of a static universe. Considering that a significant percentage of the population disregards commonplace scientific theories, a question is raised. How does one correctly perceive reality? With the understanding that if something is real then it exists independent of the observer, and exists whether or not it can even be observed. Before the prior question can be answered, the concept of an objective reality must be proven, because without an objective reality, there cannot be a correct perception of it.
Observers not only can have limited perceptions, we are completely unaware of anything unknown until it is made known (this should be an obvious tautology). Furthermore, reality is always intertwined with an observer-observed bond which, AFAIK unbreakable. I.e. you cannot have a concept without someone making that concept; this makes the word "objective reality" an impossible paradigm because of the observer-observed connection, IMO.

Quote from: Contemporary Protestant on November 21, 2014, 06:34:02 PMFirst let it be established that concepts should be argued instead of arguing from the English language. For example the statement “it is not legal to not pay taxes” is grammatically incorrect because it’s a double negative. The statement despite being written poorly is correct. To argue from grammar is wasted breath, and it is illogical. Say there is a field with only two farmers and no livestock, one farmer says, “there are no animals in the field”, the other responds with “incorrect, there are two animals in the field.” While the latter statement is correct, and the other false based on the technicality that people are animals, it is a waste of time to argue in such a way. The initial farmer used the word animal in regards to livestock such as cows or pigs, so the concept the initial farmer was trying to convey was correct, but he was technically wrong for making the assumption that people are not classified as animals.
Well, besides this pedantic example of classification, these are just grammatical constructs with an example of where two people using two different classifications.

Quote from: Contemporary Protestant on November 21, 2014, 06:34:02 PMUnder the condition that technicalities regarding the English language are being disregarding, continue on to the original goal of proving an objective reality.
Returning to the field with two farmers, the statement “there are two farmers” is an objective statement about reality. There are exactly two farmers in the field, not three, and not one, but two. If an individual says, “in my opinion there are three farmers” that individual is wrong, because there are only two farmers. Reality is not subjective, if there are two contradicting statements, both can’t be right. Despite the objectivity of reality, the perception can be subjective or false. For example if an onlooker is blind, and at the field, his statement regarding the farmers is dependent upon whether he interacts with them or if the farmers are making noise. So if the blind man does not interact with the farmer and one of the farmers does not speak, the blind observer will state that there was one farmer. Based on his perception, the blind fellow is correct, but he is incorrect because there are two farmers.  Arithmetic is objective; it is independent of the observer. However not all observations are objective, and not all observers are effective.  Despite these things, reality is objective because it isn’t dependent on the individual; it is the individual that is dependent on reality. Noting that, there is little to be sure of, the statement “there is an objective reality” is a premise. A premise defined as an assumption in regards to understanding the world around us. 
I don't understand what you're getting at. Objective reality seems to me like a grammatical construct, that is supposed to have some sort of quality apart from "ordinary" reality as perceived by subjective onlookers.

I usually default to a position of: can you demonstrate something to be true? And that "something" can be anything that should be able to be verified from an outside source, another observer; e.g. "I have a pebble in my pocket", "fine" he says, "produce this pebble" and then he expects the other observer (me) to produce a pebble from my pocket.

It's really what it comes down to, for me at least, if something is verifiable. In the beginning paragraph about the man-eating tiger, there would be clues to the tiger, like someone missing, the actual tiger, tracks made by the tiger and so on,  there is none for the invisible pink unicorn, and that's the only meaningful distinction that can be made.
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" --- Richard P. Feynman

AST111213

You make statements which seem to suggest that you believe in absolute truth. In any case, I'm curious as to what you believe truth is? Is truth that which comports with reality? If so, how do you know what is real? How do you know you are in the true reality? How do you know that your senses and reasoning (by which you experience what you call reality) are valid? If you use your senses and reasoning to validate your senses and reasoning then your worldview is based on viscously circular reasoning. If you cannot validate your senses and reasoning, then you could be wrong about everything you think you know -- a worldview of absurdity. By the way, this is the essence of the folly of atheism.
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stromboli

Please be specific as to what you view as "absolute truth". I f you are talking about,  for example any absolute truth centering on god or any aspect thereof, you first have to provide proof your god exists. And absolute truth by itself is something rather difficult to define. If you mean it as absolutely true that if you drive your car at high speed into a large tree it will be damaged, certainly. But if your absolute truth is defined on any aspect of a belief, it still falls on you to first prove the validity of your belief.

Atheism is simply and only the non belief in deities or supernatural and not describable phenomena. That is it, period. Any other aspect that you ascribe to atheism is your opinion and yours, again, to prove. I have been on this board for over 5 years and we have had at least a dozen people who have come on here who swore they could prove their god exists and failed miserably. That by itself makes any statement of belief in a deity ring hollow. If you think it absurd that we simply don't believe in something based entirely on its absence, then by all means do come up with some concrete evidence to explain the folly of atheism. You speak of validation. By all means, validate your belief.

Jason78

Quote from: AST111213 on November 28, 2014, 10:45:41 PM
Is truth that which comports with reality?

I'd say that if there were an absolute truth, that would be it.  I also think that truth isn't a binary definition.  Statements aren't just true or false.  Some statements are true, and some are truer than others.  Likewise for falsehoods.

"It’s a little wrong to say a tomato is a vegetable, it’s very wrong to say it’s a suspension bridge."
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We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real
tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. -Plato

bhaktajan

Quote from: stromboli on November 28, 2014, 11:00:54 PM
Please be specific as to what you view as "absolute truth". . . . And absolute truth by itself is something rather difficult to define.  . . .
Atheism is simply and only the non belief in deities or supernatural and not describable phenomena. . . . . Any other aspect that you ascribe to atheism is your opinion and yours, again, to prove.

Is truth that which comports with your reality?

The Absolute Truth is the singular Persona replete with all opulences ("krsnas tu bhagavan svayam sat-chit-ananda vigraha")

I encountered a Covert Hare Krishna "book distributor". In his book I spotted the term: "The Supreme Personality Of Godhead". I exclaimed "Do you realise what you are implying here with the term "Supreme Personality Of Godhead"? Can you substantiate this?

Solitary

#24
Truth is what coincides with reality from every view point, because the world we live in is real, not imaginary.  If you think it is imaginary, walk in front of a cement truck going 40 MPH.
There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.

Solitary

Quote from: AST111213 on November 28, 2014, 10:45:41 PM
You make statements which seem to suggest that you believe in absolute truth. In any case, I'm curious as to what you believe truth is? Is truth that which comports with reality? If so, how do you know what is real? How do you know you are in the true reality? How do you know that your senses and reasoning (by which you experience what you call reality) are valid? If you use your senses and reasoning to validate your senses and reasoning then your worldview is based on viscously circular reasoning. If you cannot validate your senses and reasoning, then you could be wrong about everything you think you know -- a worldview of absurdity. By the way, this is the essence of the folly of atheism.
When someone ask what reality is, I worry about them, if they don't know. We all have senses, and have all different opinions of what we see, but the essence of what we see, hear, touch, smell, is what is real. If a person sees a car and it is red, and another sees that it is blue, it is because the car is red on one side and blue on the other, and the truth is, it is both. If you don't believe in the world we live in is real, what do you believe is real? You are using verbal gymnastics to show reality isn't real, then what is it? Why do you think it is called reality, and not imaginary? Because it is real, and reality is the truth. Solitary
There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.