the fallacy of perception


I didn’t get a lot of your points, and Xunzian did just fine on those ones, but I’d like to respond to a couple that are important to me.

Well, 'P' has the shape in the mind that it does because somebody's hand and pen moved in a certain way to form it. That a p appears as a stick and a loop is no more arbitary than how an equilateral triangle appears.  The reasons why we chose that particular shape to represent that particular sound may be arbitrary, sure, but that has nothing to do with our percetions of the material world. 
The question of the appearance of colors is a little more difficult. I agree that the reasons why red looks like red to the mind is not a determiniant conclusion of anything material outside our bodies. However, it is still not arbitrary- it's a consistant representation of a relationship between light and our eye, and as such can be measured. Given the relevant data on refraction and wavelength, a person blind from birth could calculate the color a beam of light would appear to an observer, even if he had no image of the color in his mind and never had. 
 I do not suggest that images appear in our minds as they exist in reality, except perhaps in instances of memory or imagination. I'm a direct realist, which means that when I see a tree, I contend that I am not seeing an image in my mind, I am seeing the tree itself. 


Well, if your conclusions are correct so far, then no, there really isn’t that possibility. What I’m saying is that a purpose for our senses solves the problems you’ve raised uniquely, and that if somebody wants to go on believing in corrospondence-type truth and not be a total skeptic, then accepting a design plan for the senses is the most logical thing to do. I have no solutions for you if you are determined to believe that the brain is only a survival tool- but of course, this position on your part would be self-defeating, as you’ve left yourself with no good reason to accept it. If we truly know nothing, why do we know that?

we are though of the material , minerals, water and biochemical molecules and there interactions all based on the material world long before your ability to question wether this world exists or not. so really it is the material Universe , developing a biological being, based on material things , and in time , this material based being developing the ability to sense the material world around them in more and more detail.

our senses , instead of saying that they are fallible , I say they are incomplete. for example the spectrum of light. but we know that our senses have limits hence the development of technology. which detects infrared, gamma rays.

to sense all the spectrum to light all the time and at once would be , to say the least , confusing.

You forgot the reason, logic and awareness portion of our mind, or Soul, the main tool for perception of reality. The senses are just inputs to this engine that does all the work with its preprogrammed BIOS as a template (so to speak).

But the only thing connecting us to reality is our senses. Therefore, if we didn’t have senses, we wouldn’t be at all connected.

If there were no inputs to the program, then the program would not be able to work. Our perception of reality requires us to perceive and conceive of reality, so our senses are the only thing that links us to the supposed “real world.”

If you accept that:

  1. That mathematics is a system.
  2. That logic is a system.
  3. That the product of systems 1 and 2 are ‘truths’.

Then inductively it follows that a system produces truths. If in addition you accept that:

  1. What defines a system is the processing of inputs to yield outputs.
  2. And that the object that provokes sense-perception is distinct from the sense-perception itself (and that some process takes the input and yields an output).
  3. Then it necessarily follows that ‘the senses’ are a system whose truths are potential of being as justified as the truths of math and logic.

This is of importance because if you accept my argument then it logically follows that the senses are just as capable of revealing truth as logic and math. This may seem only incidental until you contemplate what such a claim means for Inductive Logic of a certain nature.

So while senses may create fallacies they reveal two things:

  1. Something exists other then the perceiver.
  2. The more we understand about how the natural system of the senses work the more likely we are at being able to correct those fallacies after the first instance.

So while senses may deceive their products are ever useful.


the only thing connecting us with reality is the material reality of the biochemistry of life , which gives us existence to our senses in the first place.

don’t you see, its not just senses that give reality to reality , it is the underlying reality of the material reality , which gives us the essence of being, existence. which allows the senses to become.

north, we’ve already talked about this: we have no assurance that our bodily functions are actually as we think they are, we might just me imagining it all, including them.

I would think if our senses were mere imagination we would be able to alter them by mind alone. The fact that we can’t (mostly) hints that the rules that perception abides by is not subject to our dominion and if that is the case I think that sufficient for claiming that those rules serve as ‘reality’.

So I do not think we could merely be imagining things. We could be systematically deceived but that is an entirely different matter.

You can’t change what you imagine, it comes to you. The same way that you can’t change your dreams most of the time: they just come to you.

Then what is a day dreamer doing? Plus if you train you are capable of lucid dreaming.

What is imagined is necessarily untrue because it is possible to create logical contradictions with no explanations in imagined environments. The same is not true for actual reality. If you create a contradiction in reality you’re either mad or god.

So that seems to give us a means of refuting the idea that perception is merely a genre of imagination.

really,  so don't drink water or anything that gives what the body needs in as far as moisture for a year. 

will you survive?

I didn’t say the senses weren’t needed did I.

The senses are the peripherals, the soul is the CPU, they are both needed for perception of reality in the physical world.

Here: it’s impossible to know whether your senses actually exist because you have no assurance that they are real.

I’m not saying I don’t think the universe doesn’t exist; I’m saying that we can’t know that it exists.

Yeah, it kind of is just mental masturbation, and I’m trying to stop it, but still…


You don’t believe in free will, do you? I seem to remember you saying so in another thread.

EDIT: I retract my question, I doesn’t lead where I thought it would. :slight_smile:

like I said don’t take in any moisture for a year.

The question of the existence of perception and its connection to reality are two very different things.

We know without a doubt that we sense something, therefore perception exists.

The question is merely about the relation between what we perceive and reality.

fundamentally there is no question between what we perceive and reality.

I have yet to come across a person who does not think a wind is blowing , when it is.

What about somebody who’s entire body was burnt and so their nerves are destroyed, thus making it impossible to feel anything on the outside?

ive been away for one night and all this has happened.
would any one like to summerise where the debate is currently at?