Objective Reality

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by fess, Nov 13, 2008.

  1. fess Registered Senior Member

    Every discription of reality is a subjective one.
    Any list of the properties of the universe are discriptions of perceptions, which require a conscious preciever.
    Which existed first, consciousness or the universe?
    How can an objective universe exist, have properties,evolve, without an observer.
    It can't
    there must be a god who's objective view of the universe causes its reality and gives rise to conscousness.
    God's view of the universe is unknowable to us. The universe we precieve is simply a model formed by by our consciousness, it may or may not have anything to do with the object (God's) truth.
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  3. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

    Oooh.. what a big ass can o' worms we're opening here...


    Not sure what exactly a "preciever" might be, but yes.

    Moot point due to pragmatic impossibility of provability.

    We can't say, and certainly cannot know.

    non sequitur

    But, more to the point, contradicted by your second point.

    Unsubstantiated and unprovable.

    You're illicitly assuming that there is such an object at all (to say nothing of the notion that this object has anything to do with a deity).

    You've got some solid observations, but oddly, based upon those, you come to the exact incorrect conclusion.

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  5. Vkothii Banned Banned

    Affirming the consequent of an argument to "prove" the argument is valid, is an invalid form of argument.

    Logic 101
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  7. Mr. Hamtastic whackawhackado! Registered Senior Member

    So. First point. Spell Check is on the top right hand side of the new post box.

    Second point. I agree with you, partly. You just took your conclusion too far. An objective reality cannot exist because all perceptions are relative to the perceiver. Therefore...

    A) The Universe does not exist, but you do
    B) You do not exist, but the Universe does
    C) Neither You or the Universe exist

    What would God want with a universe in the first place?


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  8. Simon Anders Valued Senior Member

    in response to
    Wasn't fess' description objective? What are the subjective facets of it? If it is subjective, how can it be obvious? (I understand that something can be subjectivey obvious: "I am perceiving something", but......)
  9. Simon Anders Valued Senior Member

    I never realized how radical you are!? The various Natural Science departments just stood up gesticulating and spluttering over their woolen jackets at the faculty meeting.
  10. Simon Anders Valued Senior Member

    in response to
    I love this. Waves of atheists gnash their teeth and urge not to air internecine squabbles where theists may roam.

    Fess, thank you,
    you just culled a number of gems from Glaucon I had no idea were there - OK vague suspicions, but not bold enough ones - in a single post.


    (oh, and yes, Glaucon, I realize that your reponse is in no way support for the existence of God, but often atheists say there is no way to know anything about God, an assertion I always react to as needing substantiation)
  11. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

    No, his description was purely subjective.

    This is obvious because all descriptions are necessarily subjective.
    We cannot evade our own perspective, our own experiences. Each of us experience 'reality'(sic) in a unique manner.
    This is of course, the very essence of phenomenalism.

    Radical? I never thought of it that way. I'm sure most serious scientists would agree with me.

    To prove either of fess' notions here would require reverse engineering the universe (in one case) and the human brain (in the other) and being able to move back in time. Obviously, all 3 of these requirements are practically impossible.

    'Reality' is a tired notion, one that people misuse all too often, simply because they assume such a thing obtains. These people need to take a look at the failure of the whole Rationalist camp (a la Descartes..) to come to the realization that the notion of an objective reality, while perhaps sensical, is in fact an empty one.
  12. Simon Anders Valued Senior Member

    Ah, you are a phenomenalist....
    But then your 'Obvious' could be translated into 'this is my experience'. Sure it is not universally obvious?

    I am quite sure many would break it if it was viewed as a rule. In fact quite a few would venture estimates about when consciousness arose. Others, more cautious, would at least say, well there was nothing conscious then - 12 nanoseconds after the big expansion, etc.

    So I think if you approached the question on a very abstract level, one might get a very correct - picture the little smile - 'One cannot know for sure.', but in concrete discussions I have to say coffee would be spilled and otherwise articulate faculty members would be stuttering out complaints.....
    Could you explain your use of the intransitive 'obtain'.

    Again, leaping to their feet, madly searching for a secular equivalent to 'heretic.'
  13. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member


    I am indeed.

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    Technically you're correct with respect to my usage of obvious.
    However, it has also been my experience that every other I've encountered have had a similar experience, i.e.: not having ever had a non-subjective experience. And so, obvious.

    Sure thing. And in fact, investigation of such sorts would require one to break it; the essence of Scientific Method necessitates that we take such a stance that the world indeed enjoys an objective ontological reality. However (a big one..) note that this is an investigative conceit, saying nothing about the reality itself.

    This is why empiricism pays dividends. However (yet another..) it is key here to note that what we are dealing with then is probabilities and not 'truth' or 'certainty'.

    Simply that the notion can be correctly applied to the context in question, i.e.: the totality of our experiences.

    Think of applying the word "red" to the word "dancing". It's a category mistake.


    I wish there were one.

    My whole gist here is that people simply assume that there is such a thing as an objective reality. Now, it may be a useful notion, but to run around seeking it is the height of stupidity. The assumption is that somehow, we can get into the observational position such that one is no longer an individual human, there are no sentient beings, and one can see everything that there is, and at all times. This is inane.
    We can create a model of objective reality, but in the end it can be nothing more than a tool.
  14. Simon Anders Valued Senior Member

    It's funny, I meant to type 'Surely it is not universally obvious'. To which I assume your answer would be 'no.' But then one must really think and perhaps write differently as a phenomenalist. I think your 'obvious' is misleading. An 'I agree' is better, since obvious tends to give the object - his assertion - a quality which it does not really have (in your belief system). Or, perhaps better put, it reinforces notions of objects and things out there.

    see above.

    Oh, they are getting up, they are gettting up sir, and beginning to talk about the university's accredidation and who interviewed this upstart post-modernist - I know, you are not really a post-modernist. The post modernists would be yelling something else about you.

    Maybe you are buddy.....

    but seriously, how does a phenomenalist achieve the assumption that other people are also phenomenalists (really even if they won't admit it). For all you know I have access to certainty - some of the time, quite a bit of the time, and am not limited in the ways you are). Aren't you presupposing the objective qualities (abilities) of subjects or experience from your own subjective experience? It all sounds rather universal. Instead of 'this is the truth', it is 'everyone can only know the probable'. This sounds like a universal ontological claim - that would seem to undermine itself.

    So in the example of 'reality' what is red, what is dancing and what are the categories?

    I, sort of, agree. I also think this relates to the idea of transcendance which I see as not limited to the religious community. I think belief in this vantage is belief in transcendence.

    In fact, I believe that 'God' is a poor criterion to use when dividing religious belief out from others. I think the question is 'do you have a notion of transcendence'. If you do, then you are religious. Even if that notion is about your own or some community's objectivity.
  15. laladopi time for change. Registered Senior Member

    only if we knew, i love how close minded people some people are.
    keep thinking about your question and look inward, there is a start to everything, but unless you belief in a end there everything.
  16. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

    Funny, for a minute there before responding, that's what I thought you meant.
    Yes, you're right, I would say "no" to that.

    I'll still hold to my thinking it is obvious.
    When choosing between 2 options, if one is impossible, then the other must be obvious.

    Again, it's obvious to anyone who has thought on the subject.

    Any thoughtful scientist would be quite ready to grant this position. A model seeks to describe our experienced environment so as to make it predictable, not to define 'what things are really like'.

    As are all scientists; see above. All science values probability; there is no other criterion.

    Well, to be quite honest, this is an entirely different discussion, to wit: the old 'Other Minds' problem.
    For now though, I'll say this: I cannot be certain of other's experiences, but it's not certainty I'm after (that would be silly). I can however, make inductive inferences based upon observation. Observation has indicated to me that other people tend to experience similarly to me. No assumption needed.

    I don't understand what you mean here...

    I'd be happy to describe this kind of vantage as transcendent.
    I still think that actually attaining such a vantage is a near impossibility.
  17. Simon Anders Valued Senior Member

    If you don't mind, I am going to throw this into discussions with reasonists here who come more from science than philosophy. A little empiricism involving empiricists. I am betting they'll be bothered. I won't attribute and I'll let you know how my never pass a peer review study goes.

    I will assert - running past the phenomenalists into positied certainty
    that people actually cannot think in probabilities except in restricted areas of their life AND when making statements about truth or epistemology. (but we've been here before)

    I do not have this experience of other people. And I experience no one as primarily experiencing OR thinking of the world in probablities. They all got metaphysics and ontology. Sort of like the average Christian who gets wholly on Sunday, but then lapses, to me it seems the average scientist/empiricist/phenomenalist slips back into 'is' when the discussion is not so philosophical. And not simply practically. Heck their brain scans would be the same as an 'isser'.

    You said people's use of 'reality' was a category mistake - me working through your definition of obtain. So in your example of a category mistake you mixed two terms that can't really touch each other. What are the equivalents with 'reality'? What are the categories?

    I agree. That's why I often feel there is a misplaced sense of superiority in many non-religious 'objectivists' when they look at theists. To me they are as religious as anyone else.

    In fact I view you as religious also, but at a meta level. Which reminds me of Wes Morris with whom I hit an impasse right about here.
  18. CheskiChips Banned Banned

    Your entire idea hinges on...How can an objective universe exist, have properties,evolve, without an observer..

    But perhaps the objects in the world themselves are the 'observers'. When you hit a rock, it observes this and recognizes it has to crack. Maybe you're separating philosophies because they have alter semantics...hmm?
  19. swarm Registered Senior Member

    The description is not the thing itself.

    Lists, descriptions, perceptions are not their referents.

    Without the slightest doubt the universe precedes the evolution of consciousness, and will post-ceed it too.

    It existed just fine thanks. Ok next comes the non sequitur pitch for god...

    No. No need in the slightest for any god.

    And yet you go around making claims about it. Look its very simple. You ignorance is not proof for god.

    No we form a "model" based on our perceptions of the universe, but the universe is not formed by our perceptions, our model is. The model is not the object modeled.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2008
  20. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    I didn't know that was there.
  21. swarm Registered Senior Member

    Perceptions being perceived by a perceiver doesn't effect objective reality's existence. It only effects the perceiver's understanding. A perception is not the object perceived.
  22. swarm Registered Senior Member

    That would seem a defect you should correct.
  23. Mr. Hamtastic whackawhackado! Registered Senior Member

    without jumping to the conclusion that an objective reality exists, how can anyone 'know' that what they are perceiving exists? Subtract the assumption, and the object remains just a perception. Or are you implying purpose to the object in question? Blue is a perception of light, but it does not exist to a blind man. Should the blind man accept only what he has been told?

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