Does reality exist?

Half-formed posts, inchoate philosophies, and the germs of deep thought.

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Re: Does reality exist?

Postby AutSider » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:04 am

Mr Reasonable wrote:For all the people who use the foe list, you're a bunch of pussies. What a pussy thing to do.

You people are those "millenials" that I keep hearing about. A whole generation of vaginas. "I'm putting you on a list so I don't have to see what you type".

PUSSY SHIT GROW A PAIR


It's like covering up a piece of shit so I don't have to smell it. Your post is like:

"hurr durr you must smear shit all over your face or you're a pussy"

Nah.
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Re: Does reality exist?

Postby Magnus Anderson » Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:16 pm

You might as well foe entire forum.
I got a philosophy degree, I'm not upset that I can't find work as a philosopher. It was my decision, and I knew that it wasn't a money making degree, so I get money elsewhere.
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Re: Does reality exist?

Postby Magnus Anderson » Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:38 pm

http://www.importanceofphilosophy.com/M ... xists.html

Existence exists is an axiom which states that there is something, as opposed to nothing. At the core of every thought is the observation that "I am aware of something". The very fact that one is aware of something is the proof that something in some form exists -- that existence exists -- existence being all that which exists. Also, to grasp the thought, "I am aware of something," you must be conscious. Existence is axiomatic because it is necessary for all knowledge and it cannot be denied without conceding its truth. To deny existence is to say that something doesn't exist. A denial of something is only possible if existence exists.

To exist, an existent (an entity that exists) must have a particular identity. A thing cannot exist without existing as something, otherwise it would be nothing and it would not exist. In the statement "something exists", the something refers to the axiom of identity and the exists refers to the axiom of existence. They cannot be separated and are like two sides of the same coin or two ways of understanding the same axiom.


"Existence" means "all that exists". So when he says "existence exists" what he's saying is "all that exists exists" which is a tautology. What's the purpose of such a statement? Is it not redundant? I think that what is more fruitful is to make an attempt to understand what the word "exist" means. This requires that you shift your attention away from metaphysics and towards epistemology.
I got a philosophy degree, I'm not upset that I can't find work as a philosopher. It was my decision, and I knew that it wasn't a money making degree, so I get money elsewhere.
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Re: Does reality exist?

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:06 am

Magnus Anderson wrote:You might as well foe entire forum.

And then you know it is time to leave the forum. It's a nice way to keep a tally.
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Re: Does reality exist?

Postby Gloominary » Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:07 am

On the surface of things, reality appears to exist, but the more you peer into them, the emptier they become.
Mainline science tells us atoms are 99.99>% empty space, and star systems too are almost entirely empty.
They also tell us there's a fine line between particles and waves, the many individuals and the one collective are interchangeable.
Scientists once thought atoms were indestructible, but it turns out you can tear them asunder into smaller things still.
There might be no limit to how small things can be, just as there might be no limit to how big the universe is, it may be limitless.

Rocks seem solid, but there's little-nothing solid about them, every particle/wave in them is always in motion, and as a whole, they're always fluctuating, their size, shape, position and chemical composition.
They're also constantly exchanging materials/energy with their surroundings, so there's a fine line between them and everything else, if there's a line at all.

As solid as a thing is, it could always possibly be infinitely more solid or gaseous.
There are states of matter in between solid, liquid and gas, various creams, foams, gels and pastes, it's a continuum, a spectrum of possibility.
Anything you can say about a thing really, that it's a tetrahedron or a cube, that it's red or blue, it could always possibly be infinitely more of a tetrahedron or a cube, red or blue.
It could even always possibly be infinitely more of a thing than a non-thing, or a non-thing than a thing.
All ideas/ideals, words/concepts are at best approximations of things, or stuff, revealed to us empirically via the five senses, and at worse, completely relative.
even just stating it's A at all implies B, and so there'd be no consciousness or appreciation without contrast.

And of course reality itself may be a kind of mirage, or a subconscious creation or projection of our minds, or even a hoax, a conspiracy.
The mind itself may fabricate parts of itself, or may be a fabrication of something else.
Perhaps we're not really intelligent, maybe we have Ai, or maybe our reasoning, memories and so on are unreasonable, fictitious.

But really how could it otherwise be, I mean whatever can affect us, we can affect.
Reality is a two way street, give and take.
If you can frig me up, I can frig you too.
We alter the relaity we're interacting with by virtue of what we are, just as it alters us.
And the more different we are from one another, the more different the alterations of our shared reality, but who says it's shared for that matter, perhaps it's only shared in part.

What are things but affectance/the capacity to affect themselves and other things?
Things define us just as we them.
What would a cat be without a mouse and vice versa?
What would we be without our adversaries and adversity?

And so cats and mice, heroes and villains aren't really separate things actually, but they go together, they're part of a higher cat/mouse hero/villain order.
Sure, you are what you are by virtue of what you are, but also by virtue everything around you.
It's the whole cosmos making us, and the more the cosmos changes, the less you you could be.

If we were able to pluck just one atom from the cosmos, well we might wind up with a completely different cosmos, because that atom had relationships with surrounding atoms, which'n turn, had relationships with other atoms, and so on down the line, everything affects everything.
You couldn't break wind on mars, without it affecting everyone on Venus sooner-later.

Children tend to see things like that, innocently, things seem really, solid, like they, matter. everything seems wonderful, until they discover how ephemeral it all is.

A billion years from now, life itself might be extinct, or on the other hand, it might've evolved into
something unrecognizable today, it mightn't even be recognizable as life...or non-life, it might be something in betwixt, or something else altogether, something we don't have words for or can imagine.
A trillion years from now who knows what, if anything, will remain of the cosmos, the universe, now itself being a kind of mutant reverberation of whatever existed before it if anything.
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Re: Does reality exist?

Postby Magnus Anderson » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:40 pm

Gloominary wrote:On the surface of things, reality appears to exist


I think that the concept of reality is defined to mean "all that exists". So it makes no sense to say that reality does not exist. If "reality" means "all that exists" then it follows that "reality does not exist" means "all that exists does not exist" which is a violation of Aristotle's law of non-contradiction. It is a contradiciton in terms. Consequently, there is no need to say that reality exists. It is redundant to do so.

But this is not how most people think. Most people think that it is fine to say that reality is something that either exists or does not exist, so most people think that it makes sense to ask questions such as "does reality exist?" Many of them consider such questions to be of great importance.

Mainline science tells us atoms are 99.99>% empty space, and star systems too are almost entirely empty.


Negative concepts, such as empty space, are defined in terms of our expectations. We say "there is nothing" to mean "there is something but this something is not something we are expecting".

Most importantly, if something is empty that does not mean it is non-existent. A box that is empty is not non-existent. Rather, what is non-existent is what we're expecting to be there.

Scientists once thought atoms were indestructible, but it turns out you can tear them asunder into smaller things still.
There might be no limit to how small things can be, just as there might be no limit to how big the universe is, it may be limitless.


It could be but these matters are of no interest to me.
I got a philosophy degree, I'm not upset that I can't find work as a philosopher. It was my decision, and I knew that it wasn't a money making degree, so I get money elsewhere.
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Re: Does reality exist?

Postby Arcturus Descending » Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:26 pm

Magnus Anderson,


The concept "reality" is without a meaning.


I think that it is we ourselves who find or discover the meaning of things from within based on our own individual existence, experience and knowledge.

So, perhaps in a sense, you may be correct that life WAS without a meaning or at least before man in his evolving consciousness looked to discover the How, What, When, Where and Why of it all. Humanity in its search for meaning gave Life a meaning the instant that search began.
Perhaps before that time it just Was!

If the concept of reality IS without a meaning to you, answer this question.
How did Philosophy, Science, Religion, the Arts, et cetera, come to Be?

We may not understand, see, judge reality in its totality as it actually IS but it is still there for us.

I think sometimes that we try to be so intellectual and have such an open mind that we fail to see those spaces which have already been filled with reality.
We cannot see the tree for the forest - or perhaps I have it backwards - we cannot see the forest for the tree[s].
“How can a bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?”
― William Blake


“Little Fly
Thy summers play,
My thoughtless hand
Has brush'd away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink & sing:
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength & breath:
And the want
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die”
― William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience


“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”
― William Blake
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Re: Does reality exist?

Postby Gloominary » Wed Feb 28, 2018 5:59 pm

@Mag

I think that the concept of reality is defined to mean "all that exists".

That is how reality is conventionally defined, but it could be redefined and reconceived to mean all that appears to exist, or all that demi-exists, pseudo-existence.
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Re: Does reality exist?

Postby Gloominary » Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:24 pm

Negative concepts, such as empty space, are defined in terms of our expectations.

They're not just defined in terms of our expectations, they're defined objectively as wholly or aggregately being empty.
I don't have to expect a bowl to be filled, to recognize it's empty.
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Re: Does reality exist?

Postby Magnus Anderson » Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:02 am

Gloominary wrote:
Negative concepts, such as empty space, are defined in terms of our expectations.

They're not just defined in terms of our expectations, they're defined objectively as wholly or aggregately being empty.
I don't have to expect a bowl to be filled, to recognize it's empty.


Yes, you can expect the bowl to be empty. But what does it mean that the bowl is empty?
I got a philosophy degree, I'm not upset that I can't find work as a philosopher. It was my decision, and I knew that it wasn't a money making degree, so I get money elsewhere.
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Re: Does reality exist?

Postby Gloominary » Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:47 am

Magnus Anderson wrote:
Gloominary wrote:
Negative concepts, such as empty space, are defined in terms of our expectations.

They're not just defined in terms of our expectations, they're defined objectively as wholly or aggregately being empty.
I don't have to expect a bowl to be filled, to recognize it's empty.


Yes, you can expect the bowl to be empty. But what does it mean that the bowl is empty?

It means that you can fill it with something.
And what does it mean for it to be full?
It means you can empty it into somehting empty, so fullness and emptiness go together.
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Re: Does reality exist?

Postby Magnus Anderson » Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:56 am

The most important question is what does it mean to say that reality does not exist?

I know what it means to say that dragons do not exist and I know what it means to say that a bowl is empty but I do not know what it means to say that reality does not exist.

It's clearly an unconventional use of the language. The statement "reality does not exist" makes no sense within the boundaries of the normal use of English language. The word "reality" is not a reference to something that can be in a non-existent state.

Whatever portion of reality you are looking at, you will always see something. Even in the emptiest universe conceivable, i.e. the one severely lacking in variety, you will still see something. "Nothing" is merely a negation of expectation. When you're looking for something and you're not caring about anything else, and when that something is nowhere to be found, it's natural for you to say "there is nothing in the universe".
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Re: Does reality exist?

Postby Gloominary » Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:17 am

Magnus Anderson wrote:The most important question is what does it mean to say that reality does not exist?

I know what it means to say that dragons do not exist and I know what it means to say that a bowl is empty but I do not know what it means to say that reality does not exist.

It's clearly an unconventional use of the language. The statement "reality does not exist" makes no sense within the boundaries of the normal use of English language. The word "reality" is not a reference to something that can be in a non-existent state.

Whatever portion of reality you are looking at, you will always see something. Even in the emptiest universe conceivable, i.e. the one severely lacking in variety, you will still see something. "Nothing" is merely a negation of expectation. When you're looking for something and you're not caring about anything else, and when that something is nowhere to be found, it's natural for you to say "there is nothing in the universe".

I try not to let my thinking be limited by the English language, but maybe that's just me.

Perhaps what we normally mean by, 'something', is fictitious in some, or in many important respects. I tend to think so, for reasons I already mentioned. Is, something, mostly an acquired cognitive, conceptual and linguistic (over)simplification, or an innate (over)simplification?
In either case it is at least a simplification, if not downright erroneous.
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Re: Does reality exist?

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Fri Mar 02, 2018 1:43 pm

Gloominary wrote:
Magnus Anderson wrote:It's clearly an unconventional use of the language. The statement "reality does not exist" makes no sense within the boundaries of the normal use of English language.

I try not to let my thinking be limited by the English language, but maybe that's just me.

Perhaps what we normally mean by, 'something', is fictitious in some, or in many important respects. I tend to think so, for reasons I already mentioned. Is, something, mostly an acquired cognitive, conceptual and linguistic (over)simplification, or an innate (over)simplification?
In either case it is at least a simplification, if not downright erroneous.
Here are a few ways 'reality does not exist'. 1) any individual has their own meaning for the word 'reality'. It is very likely that that meaning is incorrect, distorted, or at best a shadow, a la Plato, of what ever is real given what we know already from science, let alone what mystics - say those using the term Maya - are saying. 2) We have a very 'conduit metaphor' based way of thinking of language.
https://msu.edu/~orourk51/800-Phil/Hand ... r-1979.pdf
or in a summation
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conduit_metaphor

Reddy argues that we think of language using metaphors that imply or state that communication involves someone putting ideas 'in' words, the words travel to another person, that person takes the meaning out of the conduit. A different way of looking at language is to think of it as pointing or eliciting. So what does it elicit when we say this sentence? What kinds of experiences following hearing or reading it? Or in the case of this thread, what happens when we read the question: Does reality exist? I think one answer is that a person starts to explore their own sense of 'real' and 'exist' looking for wiggle room explanations for how this adjective and verb that would seem to apply in all cases the same way might split. Can unreal things exist? Can real things not exist? Heading perhaps to the things like 'is the past real and if so does it exist?' If the past does not exist then how could it cause things, be found out about? And so on. So the question/issue can lead to exploration of what we consider real, and that is meaningful.
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Re: Does reality exist?

Postby Arcturus Descending » Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:17 pm

Magnus Anderson,.


But what does it mean that the bowl is empty?


But is it really empty?

Is there anything within that bowl which cannot be seen with the human eye and one's imagination?
Is that bowl really empty?
“How can a bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?”
― William Blake


“Little Fly
Thy summers play,
My thoughtless hand
Has brush'd away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink & sing:
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength & breath:
And the want
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die”
― William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience


“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”
― William Blake
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Re: Does reality exist?

Postby Gloominary » Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:08 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Gloominary wrote:
Magnus Anderson wrote:It's clearly an unconventional use of the language. The statement "reality does not exist" makes no sense within the boundaries of the normal use of English language.

I try not to let my thinking be limited by the English language, but maybe that's just me.

Perhaps what we normally mean by, 'something', is fictitious in some, or in many important respects. I tend to think so, for reasons I already mentioned. Is, something, mostly an acquired cognitive, conceptual and linguistic (over)simplification, or an innate (over)simplification?
In either case it is at least a simplification, if not downright erroneous.
Here are a few ways 'reality does not exist'. 1) any individual has their own meaning for the word 'reality'. It is very likely that that meaning is incorrect, distorted, or at best a shadow, a la Plato, of what ever is real given what we know already from science, let alone what mystics - say those using the term Maya - are saying. 2) We have a very 'conduit metaphor' based way of thinking of language.
https://msu.edu/~orourk51/800-Phil/Hand ... r-1979.pdf
or in a summation
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conduit_metaphor

Reddy argues that we think of language using metaphors that imply or state that communication involves someone putting ideas 'in' words, the words travel to another person, that person takes the meaning out of the conduit. A different way of looking at language is to think of it as pointing or eliciting. So what does it elicit when we say this sentence? What kinds of experiences following hearing or reading it? Or in the case of this thread, what happens when we read the question: Does reality exist? I think one answer is that a person starts to explore their own sense of 'real' and 'exist' looking for wiggle room explanations for how this adjective and verb that would seem to apply in all cases the same way might split. Can unreal things exist? Can real things not exist? Heading perhaps to the things like 'is the past real and if so does it exist?' If the past does not exist then how could it cause things, be found out about? And so on. So the question/issue can lead to exploration of what we consider real, and that is meaningful.

Agreed, the word/thought reality itself is at best a simplification and approximation of whatever it's referring to, like all words/thoughts are.
There is so much more to a dog, or a tree, than the thought dog, or the thought tree, likewise there's so much more to reality than, 'reality'.
Not only is our attempt to describe/think about reality and its contents at best an approximation, and at worst, an error, but of course our sensation of it can be hallucinatory, misleading.
And also, whatever's real is often, upon closer inspection, a lot more empty and ephemeral than we think, and while reality by definition doesn't exactly have to be full and solid, I don't know, *shrugs, in a sense emptiness and ephemerality make everything less real, a kind of mirage, particularly if we have a tendency to mistake it for being more full and solid than it is.
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Re: Does reality exist?

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:41 pm

Gloominary wrote:Agreed, the word/thought reality itself is at best a simplification and approximation of whatever it's referring to, like all words/thoughts are.
Though language can elicit experience. If we sometimes think of language as causing experiences, rather than being complete summations of truth, this opens up the option of perhaps even fully effectively communicating. The listener does not keep focusing on the words, but turns to experience of things other than the language, inspired and reoriented by the language.

There is so much more to a dog, or a tree, than the thought dog, or the thought tree, likewise there's so much more to reality than, 'reality'.
Yes, though how this affects whether it exists or not is still up in the air.
Not only is our attempt to describe/think about reality and its contents at best an approximation, and at worst, an error, but of course our sensation of it can be hallucinatory, misleading.
And also, whatever's real is often, upon closer inspection, a lot more empty and ephemeral than we think, and while reality by definition doesn't exactly have to be full and solid, I don't know, *shrugs, in a sense emptiness and ephemerality make everything less real, a kind of mirage, particularly if we have a tendency to mistake it for being more full and solid than it is.
I tend to evaluate it in terms of does it work, rather than does it accurately describe reality. It being language, beliefs. Its not all I do, but I do it also. Does the belief or assertion work well for me. If it does, than it's a good one by my estimation. I don't give up on the idea of knowing the truth, but in the end the only way I can evaluate is by seeing how it works in situ. This can even include rather big ideas, like 'God exists'. I evaluate what happens if I work with that belief and language. Of course that's a vague idea, giving us little theology and ontology to work with, so really it is the more fleshed out versions including that assertion. But the idea is, what happens, what does it do when I turn to my life and do from the assertion(s). And I do not expect answers to be immediately clear. How long does it take to decide which of two really highly renowned tennis coaches is improving and will improve my game the most? That experiment would take years, probably, unless one style of teaching really fit me immediately, but to be on the safe side it might take years, since that coach might have insights and approaches that just improve in the short term. But somehow people expect proofs, right now, in short essays, with no changes in the way one interacts with reality. No learning, just deduction. Oh, you can't prove it in under an hour, less then 10 pages of arguments, then it is not the case. Not just talking about this kind of idiocy in relation to deities. It comes up all the time on all sorts of issues.
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Re: Does reality exist?

Postby Magnus Anderson » Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:40 pm

Gloominary wrote:Agreed, the word/thought reality itself is at best a simplification and approximation of whatever it's referring to, like all words/thoughts are.
There is so much more to a dog, or a tree, than the thought dog, or the thought tree, likewise there's so much more to reality than, 'reality'.


I think it's obvious that the meaning of a word is not contained within the word itself. Within any given word, there are only letters and these are just glyphs.

Symbols do not necessarily simplify or approximate reality. What they necessarily do is they symbolize some aspect of it. The relationship between a symbol and what it symbolizes need not be iconic, to use Peirce's term. The symbol, in other words, need not resemble, look like, that which it symbolizes. For example, the pronounciation of the word "dog" is nothing like what dogs are.

Image

Image

Image

Note that, unlike me, Peirce does not use the word "symbol" in the general sense. He uses the word "sign" for this purpose while reserving the word "symbol" for a specific purpose - to mean a specific kind of sign, namely, the kind that is defined by convention.
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