"The Real Reality"

If there are grammatical errors i apologize, im tight for time so will edit for grammar later tonight

the real reality

What’s real, what’s not? What’s true, what’s false? What’s fact, what’s fiction?

What is the Real philosophy?

What is the Real Reality?

Concerning morality and metaphysics, what is Real and True?

What is Reality?

These questions are where many people begin their philosophical endeavors. The aches of unanswered questions can drive people to anger, madness, and even suicide; with such an extreme effect, i believe it is very important for any existentialist or analytical philosopher alike to address these questions.

The first plunge into wonder that many of us take is simply thinking about the unknown; what does the universe contain that we fail to see? what is the truth behind the hidden doors?

Many of us reason that “God” is the only possible answer. We reason that everything we see and know is guided by a higher, incomprehensible purpose. With this explanations we are able to silence many of our unanswered questions.

The far reaches of space, which we will never explore no longer contain anything wondrous, for if we were created by “God” we are likely the most wondrous things in existence. If we were created by god we need not worry about what happens to the dead. We become a servant and extension of God, and through this service we shake loose our understandings of mortality.

When God exists, there is no unknown; there is no worry. Everything can be explained by God, and everything is kept and directed by God.

God is a metaphor for the unknown; the ultimate unknown.

God is what we all want to be the answer to the aching unanswered questions which often drive us into thought in the first place.

From our perspective, most of us admit that we are finite in every respect. We live comparatively short lives, our brain power is limited. The resources we have access to are seemingly limited. The information we have access to is definitely limited.

It is this comparison that we make between ourselves and the infinite and our ideas of God which can drive us into depression in the first place. Popular nihilism would have us believe we are “utterly insignificant”, and that “nothing we do matters”. A few nihilists i know like to point out their miserable state of mind quite often, ad nauseum. I ask them if life does not matter, why they bother complaining or continuing to live at all…

It is in truth another coping mechanism. When a nihilist says nothing matters, he is lying. His very action of telling you that nothing matters indicates that something made him choose to say that. If he is weighing options, then something necessarily matters.

A nihilist will complain about their own life in order to ease the discomfort of their conclusion that the answers to these aching questions do not exist. Yet, through their depression, they all know that they still exist. Even if there is no great tower of meaning to climb they still have to admit, even though they never do, that they exist, even if of infinitely small significance.

Many nihilists tend toward hedonism. They become selfish in their pursuit of relief from the loom of their own conclusions, and cope with pleasurable distractions supplemented with complaints.

It’s interesting how the focus of ones own mind, notin any focused on your physical position in life, but just the focus on abstract concepts like “the meaning of life” can cause us to be happy, sad, angry, fearful, or even suicidal.

Suicide is not a happy topic, but it’s a reality. I have heard suicide described as “an admittance that life is too much”, in essence giving up on life, but i disagree.

Life is the only thing we have, beyond that we know nothing. Fear alone is enough to have stay alive, but we also have pleasure to give us incentive.

Suicide is when the fear of the pain and loss of death is no longer greater than the pain and fear we experience in life; our Reality

Would I condone suicide? No. I would try to stop anyone i could from committing suicide, out of hope that their life could improve. Would I condone Euthanasia? perhaps.

Euthanasia is basically suicide when there is no more hope, in an ideal sense of the term. The right to take your own life is difficult to pin. If we don’t have the right or freedom to choose to live or not then what rights do we have? To be forced to endure a completely miserable existence is arguably worse than risking no existence at all.

I don’t really associate nihilism with suicide. When someone commits suicide, it’s usually the result of a loss, not a lack of gain.

Generally I oppose suicide and largely euthanasia because there is always a chance that the would be victims can become happy.

Which brings me to my coping mechanism; Attitude. With the great unknowns we get more than just cognitive dissonance, we get hope and possibility. We currently do not fully understand how the brain works, so who’s to say that we won’t be able to create happiness with a simple injection. I know that sounds a bit extreme, but against suicide such optimism doesn’t seem such a bad idea.

After all, we try to create happiness through medication and drugs, of which i myself am guilty, and this is done in common practice. If you’ve ever taken an anti-depressant you are guilty of the same optimism as I.

Cognitive dissonance is an unpleasant feeling when you realize there is an inconsistency between your attitudes, or your attitudes and your actions. In the case of the big questions, the cognitive dissonance which arises comes predominantly from realizing that life might be bad, and yet we are living life.

Life might be meaningless, and yet we live it.

Life might not be worth it, and yet we live it.

Life might be a pain; a cost. A debt before a death.

And most of this cognitive dissonance is easily transformed into a satisfactory feeling with a simple change of attitude.

Life might be meaningless, but it might have great and profound meaning.

Life might not be worth it, or it could pay off infinite fold.

Life might be a pain and a debt, but what we pay for with pain and debt could be heavily outweighed by the value of life.

A debt before a death becomes a stroll along a river before death, and that doesn’t sound so bad. If you focus on the negative possibilities, the negative unknowns, you are only going to ruin the enjoyment of Reality. When I say reality, I refer to what you are experiencing at this very moment. The here and now.

Each of us have our own realities. Some people see better than others, some hear better. Some have better senses of smell, or none at all, or any combination of any number of senses with varying degrees of precision. What I’m saying is that we all have different experiences due to the different ways our bodies are built, giving us a different interpretation of “the world around us”. Our differing focuses, coping mechanisms, and conclusions can only be explained by differing interpretations resulting from different degrees of perception and differing experience.

We are given only limited and inconsistent perceptions of the world, of reality, and i hope this thread will address that problem.

What is “the world around us”? What is “The Real Reality”?

Presumably we are all experiencing the same universe. Our own existence aside, we presume that our bodies provide the reactionary mechanisms which create our individual subjective realities; our own interpretations. what we see are photons bouncing off the rods and cones in our eyes which create a sort of imperfect facsilime, or negative, of what light there is. This effect creates the image we see in our heads. Our hearing is more peculiar. Little hairs in our dear drum react to changes in air pressure which create what we hear, in our heads. Our sense of touch is less localized. When something happens to our nerves, they send a signal to our brains, which produce the sensation of feeling, which by the way is an incredible thing.

Smell and taste are even stranger. We have evolved to have certain reactions to certain things, they are so abstract and absurd that if they didn’t enhance pleasure we would probably find cause to get angry at our senses.

I’m sure no one needs me to explain this, but it is important to understand our world; the world we know, as nothing better than a reflection of the real world. Our perception is blurry, missing an unknown amount of facets, differs from person to person, and is as of yet inexplicable.

When we make “factual” statements about the world, we can easily do so if we combine both of our perceptions and come to an agreement.

Let’s say that we place a baseball on the stump of a tree. We can agree that it’s a fact that there is a baseball on the stump of a tree. It does not matter that there is more to the stump and more to the baseball, the fact that our perceptions are contextually in agreement, and our ability to communicate that agreement provides with the necessary grounds we need to establish a working “fact”.

There is of course the chance that both and all of our perceptions are wrong, but in this case the actual state of the real world does not matter if we can only experience it in a complex limited, emotionally convoluted way. Our reality is all we will ever have. We are free to make statements about the universe, the which gives us perception and experiences, and no harm will arise because it will be impossible for someone with greater perception to show us otherwise.

If Einstein said, there is no baseball, there is no rock, they are beams of light infinitely close together and infinitely far apart, would you care?

“The Real Reality” is the way things are without our warped filters. We can combine our perceptions in an effort to un-warp our perceptions, and this is the foundation for approaching things “objectively”.

And so we are left, wondering what exists in the real world… Are there Dragons? Is there a God?

No matter what you choose to hope for, is it not our own reality which inevitably matters most?

In hoping that god exists we hope to explain away the cognitive dissonance of a godless reality versus our way of life. A nihilist degrades the idea of life, making the idea of death seem equally insignificant. Suicide is the extreme behavioral change; a true commitment, though most likely chosen premature. Changing the attitude with chemicals or deep thought is a way to ease the focus and loom of an unknown world. You become free from the worry and fear of the unknown, experience pleasure more profoundly and pain less excruciatingly; in my experience the conclusion becomes to make the best of things. ( I might be just selling my own views here folks keep that in mind).

Which coping mechanism is the best? Who can say but ourselves…

We each experience things differently so naturally different options will work better.

Someone who is prone to fear might be best off finding faith in a God. Someone who is prone to discomfort might be best off complaining a lot to ease tension. Someone who is having bad luck, or no luck at all might be better off changing their attitude, and focusing on what they do have, rather on what they don’t. In extreme situations, for example if i ever became a brain dead vegetable, i would want to have the plug pulled, but that’s just my choice and my reasons are my own. I also see “the humanity” in euthanizing animals and sometimes even people.

If your alternative was a slow painful death, a quick and easy one might just outweigh the loss of time.

Humanity is an interesting topic… Is there an objective humanity? Are moral facts objectively accurate?

What is a moral fact?

Is it that certain actions are right and certain actions are wrong?

is it right or wrong to cut down a tree?

kill an animal?

kill a human who you consider to be an animal?

kill a human who you just dislike?

kill a human to survive?

What if god is out there in the objective universe, beyond our perception, silently judging our actions according to his conclusions on these matters.

How are we to come to the same conclusions as a God we cannot perceive in a universe where most of us are heavily confused?

The implications of a devotion to God in matters of morality are interesting.

I claim to not know if God exists or not, but i claim to know that other people cannot know, or at least prove that they know god exists, or to know what his conclusions are.

We are completely left to our own devices in matters of importance. We each decide what we think is right and wrong, even if we are influenced to do so. It is our upbringing, surroundings and experiences which give us our perception and knowledge, so naturally any claims about the nature of god comes from the same type of warped inconsistent limited world which we all live in.

What if there is no intelligence beyond us? What if the universe is cold and indifferent? Does nothing matter as a nihilist would tell you?

The nihilists conclusions of insignificance are again made from warped perception, just like our own. If we do not share this perception then how could, or why should we share in a nihilists conclusions?

Is life not worth living? can we ever answer that question amidst the confusion?

When all is said and done are you better or worse off? who can say?

Changing your attitude to make life more pleasurable is a greedy pragmatic thing to do. Maybe we’re fooling ourselves, maybe we’re offending God, but who can say?

What is the real reality?

Who gives a fuck?

Ok, there are a lot of questions there.
Let me see if I can provide some help.

First, look at your hand. And say to yourself, “This is my hand.” Now this is very important; when you say hand, don’t think of flesh and bones or any of your preconsieved notions of handness. If it turns out in later investigations that its just an idea in God’s head, or a bundle of light, or your own imagination, that’s ok. We are simply trying to identify the object.

Now turn it around, still looking at your hand say, “This is not my hand.” How does that feel? It’s kind of odd. Is there any point to saying this? Imagine telling someone else, “This is not my hand.” How would they react? Imagien someone showing you their hand and saying this isn’t my hand? Would you think they were ill? Or maybe they just don’t know English very well. That could be it. It’s meaningless in Enlgish to hold up your hand and utter the sounds “This is not my hand.” At that point your not really speaking.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll have your first bit of info. You’ll be very sure that what your looking at is indeed your hand. It’s not much. As I said before we don’t know at this point in the investigation what a hand is, but it’s a start.

Now slowly but surely you can use this procedure to expand the world around you. Don’t worry about true and false yet. Try not to jump to any conclusions. Just utter a sentance and ask yourself. Does this sentance mean anything in English? Just two catagories.

I think if you practice this procedure you’ll come to certian questions like, “Is my TV real?” and see they don’t mean anything. Compare it to a question like “Is HIV real?” You’ve seen your television. You see it looks like a televison. You’ve used it as a television. To answer your quesion about HIV you have to look at it in a microscope, see it’s effects on people, and aprehend what HIVness is.

Anyway I hope that’s usefull. Look up A.J. Ayer for more info.

What exactly about Ayer’s work are you referring to?

I should have brought up determinism i suppose.

I claim to not know if a soul exists, but i do assume for all intents and purposes that a soul is just as fanciful an idea as the toothefairy.

I believe in teh principles of determinism but i do not believe perfect prediction is possible. There is a perpetual unknown.

un order to measure every molecule in space and time would require all of the matter in space and time itself. the logistics are inconcievable.

fate may exist, but we cannot know it. at least i have never seen proof.

determinism is just one of those negative aspects of life that osome people tend to focus on.

you can counter it with nihilism or with the idea of God.

To be honest building “my world” from a statement like “this is my hand” is to cartesan, i’m more of a pragmatist.

I’m pretty sure, “This is my Hand,” is an Ayer line. If I made it sound Cartesian I did him a horrible disservice. He was specifically denying Descartes his initial questions. He denies the ability to doubt everything. To Ayer it is impossible to question such a statment as “I have a hand.” The very question “Do I have a hand?” is meaningless.

He also seemed to have a good answer to Nihilism. He said ‘Good’ is an atomic, irreducible term. ‘Red’ is also an atomic term. If I say “My car is red,” I can’t break it down or explain any furthure. All I can say is “Look it’s red.” Similiarly, when I say ‘Generosity is good,’ my only expliantion or proof is to show you a generous person.

To me the Nihilist denial of morality is just as flawed as the Cartesian doubt of the physical world. They are just philosophical non-starters.

From a Pragmatist perspective, belifes can be corilated with behavior. So it’s not far from Ayer’s position. Even when Descartes says, I’m not sure if I have a physical hand, he still acts as if he has a hand. So to the Pragmatist is doubt is not genuine.

I agree that one of the most important aspects of philosophy is an attitude of hope and optimism at the unknown. While others scoff and laugh the philosopher tries tirelessly to answer deep questions like “What is Art?” and “What should Art be?” and “How should be decide between competing scientific paradigms?” Philosophy is at the endo of the day an attitude. It’s the love of the questions, and the love of the answers.

But, we should always check carefully if the question we are asking is really a question. Or else we end up like Descartes.

(Your post are very broad. I’m not sure what to comment about. If I miss something point it out, I’m just trying to hit upon the major points.

I think you’re underestimating pragmatism.

Is the baseball on the stump?

What if somehow things are completely different, and let’s say we discover that.

Is the baseball still on the stump?

The baeball and stump is “our” reality. It’s the reality that affects us the most and matters the most. That reality will always be “more real” than some hidden reality.

This is a very good point. I think it has to be kept in mind before one makes any distinction between the ‘real’ world and that made up by our perceptions, for that distinction is a sort of theory itself, a sort of preconception that we load our words with.

I think what LostGuy is saying about the ball on the stump is that it will always be a ball on the stump because that’s what we’ve identified it as. If it turns out that we’re all plugged into the Matrix, then a ball on a stump turns out to be a bunch of 1s and 0s in a computer program. If it turns out that we’re all ideas in the mind of God, then a ball on a stump turns out to be ideas in the mind of God as well. If it turns out that the world is composed of tiny invisible particles that are seperated by vast amounts of space compared to their size, the a ball on a stump is just that as well.

It’s true that you could take your definitions of things like balls and stumps beyond what you can identify in the here-and-now, take them into an ontologically seperate domain (call it ‘Reality’ with a capital R), and in that domain, your ideas of what’s real might change as you encounter new perspectives and discoveries, but this is a domain that logical positivism (of which Ayer was a proponent) says we have no right to reach into. The only things we can meaningfully apply words to are the things in the here-and-now, for that’s just the way our minds apply words generally (I don’t know if I agree with that, but that’s where I think Ayer, and LostGuy, are coming from).

The capitol letters i used were meant to signify common conception, or rather, our own conceptions.

“The Real Reality” has tautological definition we each decide for ourselves.

I’m not exactly sure how my views conflict with Ayers’. I made my point clear on how i choose to define things, and i’m still wondering where the conflict is.

I iterated numerous view points in this thread, perhaps one or both of you are confused about which one was my own?

Your explanation was more or less a rehashing of several things i have already said.
Why do you both bring this up?

perhaps that last reply was badly worded.

My personal conclusions are that the world around us, or the “objective reality”, “the Real Reality” is what we experience, yet is forever out of reach.

What we experience are warped limited and delayed stimulus from mechanical sensory mechanisms which exist in the physical universe.

The Real Reality has a dual meaning, in this thread. Our realities are based on the physical universe, the “Real” world, and yet the only reality which we have access to is the secondary incomplete one. The Real Reality is the thing we half experience, making our descriptions of it forever subjective.

From a completely abstract perspective, the definition of reality becomes abstract.

p.s i usually dont like using those finiky words like Real, God, Reality, Objective, especially with capitols, it tends to cerate differing interpretations.

How can the only reality we have access to be secondary and incomplete?
How can there be another more complete reality without it requiring you to create it yourself i.e. a fantasy world?

Also could you explain what you mean by “out of reach”, what is out of reach? what is the difference between out of reach and grasped?

I think I agree that our reality is incomplete in the sense that we can always find out more. We can always dig deeper and find a smaller particle or a bigger structure.

Although the baseball on the stump, in my opionion, is absolutly real, there are and endless stream of questions we can try to answer about these. It’s kinda what makes science so exciting. You could call the state when all the questions are answered “Utimate Reality,” but it is an abstract concept.


You said a lot in your OP and I can only get the main points. Here’s what I got:

We experience the world yet it comes as an incomplete package, for there is an enormous gulf in it we call the ‘unknown’. We have traditionally tried to fill that gulf with things that are meaningful to us (like God, and afterlife, metaphysics, etc.). But then there are the nihilists who want to say that there is no meaning and an empty gulf is all there is. Yet he is still depressed, and therefore can’t truly accept his nihilist conclusion (here I’m not sure if you mean to say this proves the nihilist wrong or simply that the nihilist himself seeks meaning however much he denies it).

So we are confronted with reality, yet there is a void. What is the ‘real’ reality? Now, this question is a bit ambiguous: are you questioning which of the two - the reality we are confronted with or the void behind it - are real, or are you questioning which of the myriad of contents we fill into the void are real?

we all experience stimulus from the same physical universe. this is what i call the external world.

it exists independant of perception, we assume.

a full view of reality is forever out of reach.

The baseball and the stump are abstract concepts.

But remember my pragmatic consclusion, From an abstract perspective, reality is abstract.

The conclusions of the nihilist and the theist are sort of byproducts.

Conclusions about the unknown like “there is no meaning” or “God is all meaning” are coping mechanisms we use to deal with the unknown.

In questioning our own reality, we begin to wonder about the physical universe.

After realizing that the physical universe is ineffable and forever out of reach, our own reality becomes more real. The Real Reality is the only one we have access to.

i set out to question both realities…

A sensuous reality is the only concrete reality.

Then it seems like Ayer is right up your alley. I don’t think there’s any conflict; it’s a view that fits well with yours.

Ayer might press you to take your ponderings to their logical conclusions and dismiss any questioning of either reality - the reality which you sense vividly before you, as you rightly point out, is the ‘real’ reality (for you), and that which is beyond what you can sense is absolutely beyond you and ineffible, and therefore no reality at all. It’s like LostGuy’s hand example: it doesn’t make sense to doubt you have a hand, so why question it?

Personally, I would not press you in this direction, for I think a great deal of what makes up reality for us is what we think - that is, how we interpret our experiences and what conclusions we draw from them - and therefore reality always has a cognitive component to it. It’s still ‘our’ reality, but since we allocate these cognitive constructs in a sort of ‘beyond’ (that is, beyond raw sensory images), we can claim the right to posit things for both realities (which I would just call ‘one’ reality).

The thing about Ayers is that he would press me to make conclusions, but as per my own beliefs i would produce nothing better than a sentimental scrap book.

To build realities such as Descartes attemtpted or to justify determinims compatibility with free will like Ayers did just seems to made up.

Proving or disproving the existence of free will won’t change a thing in our reality, and people using different coping mechanisms would be right there to disagree.

Of course it’s made up - that’s what we do in philosophy (and in a certain sense, science too) - but you want the ‘real’ thing, right? I’m afraid there’s no way to get it unless you make it up (or someone else does and you accept it). Of course, this doesn’t mean you do it willy-nilly. Science is all about making shit up according to a set of very rigid rules (i.e. so long as what you make up passes a battery of experimental testing, you can keep it). So I think what you need is a method - some kind of guideline by which you can be relatively sure that what you make up holds together and survives inundations of criticism.

Does that strike a cord relevant to your issue?

Again with my word problems…

I didn’t mean made up, i meant “put on”, or “forced” or “biased”. not contrived out of need or desperation, but for an agenda.

Different measuring tools are needed to accomplish different things.

you might as well construct the epistomolical tome of conclusions, and name it “the big book of jokes you may or may not find funny”.

Sure we have our own paradigms, and sure we can market them to others, but we would be fools to think one book is the best.

Strangely, I think I understand exactly what you mean. A lot of the time, some people’s philosophy sounds more like a political tool rather than an honest expression on their reflections of reality and truth. Wittgenstein comes across to me as employing his philosophy as a tool. So it’s true - philosophy is a double edged sword: it can be used as an expression of truth as the philosopher sees it, or as a political tool whose only use is in manipulating people’s opinions or shutting your opposition up.

Well, of course! There’s got to be a name for that sort of attitude - the attitude that certainty on truth is attainable, and worse that you’ve attained it. I much prefer the view that no one can attain absolute certainty on anything, and therefore there’s always the chance that another book than that which is most popular at the time will turn out to be the better view.

So where does that leave us vis-a-vis deciphering the ‘real’ reality?