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  #1    
Old March 11th, 2013, 08:08 AM
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In class today my teacher asked our class to define reality. The definition we came up with was "one's own perception of what could be or should be" I don't really have my own opinion yet, but I neither agree nor disagree with that definition yet. So, what are your thoughts on what reality is?
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Old March 11th, 2013, 10:33 AM
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Ah, that thing that we all understand, but can't describe.

Reality is the stuff we share, like the things that different people can agree upon based on their observations. I guess that makes reality a bit subjective and doesn't account for people who see things that no one else sees.
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Old March 11th, 2013, 11:28 AM
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Reality is just our perception of what is, and not the actual truth. Some might even argue reality is what's waiting for us in the afterlife.
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Old March 11th, 2013, 11:32 AM
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Reality is everyone's consciousness put together making our world what it is.
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Old March 11th, 2013, 12:25 PM
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Is a large part of reality based on assumptions? For example I have never been to Japan, but I have seen globes, and maps, and I have been told by people that there is a place, in Asia called Japan, and I accept Japan's existence to be a reality, but I have never actually been to Japan. I actually don't personally know a person who has been to Japan even, but if all my friends were asked if Japan existed, they would all (most likely ) say that it does indeed exist. So we all just assume that Japan exists. Just because we can only assume that it exists does not make it any less real. So does something have to actually be witnessed for it to be a reality? Thoughts?
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Old March 11th, 2013, 01:04 PM
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That anecdote kinda alludes to the classic "If a tree falls in a forest with no one around, does it make a sound?" to which I say, yes, of course the tree makes a sound when it falls. A soundless fall of a tree would require us to adjust the laws of nature, which apply universally. The "falling tree" effect sort of requires a specific set of actions and consequences, which may not be observable, but when we find the aftermath of the fallen tree, we are to accept, the tree fell, and it went through any of the list of physically possible procedures to fall. Likewise, we'd have felt the effect of a world without Japan if it didn't exist. I mean, as long as we haven't trapped Japan in a quantum box, we won't be able to say Japan both exists and doesn't exist.

Yeah, Schrödinger's Japan.
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Old March 11th, 2013, 01:09 PM
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It is what it is. Not our job to know what it exactly is.
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Old March 12th, 2013, 11:41 PM
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Honestly? Life is meant to be lived people, not squandered away by trying to understand it.
Reality is what it is, and what you see it as.
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Old March 12th, 2013, 11:47 PM
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What I see with my very own eyes(and through my ESP eyes), it is reality.
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Old March 13th, 2013, 11:37 AM
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Well I guess reality has different meaning for everyone. I agree with Rococo. We shouldn't waste time trying to understand life, we just have to live and not worry about it.
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Old March 13th, 2013, 11:53 AM
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I absolutely don't agree. Exactly how does wanting to know more amount to squandering life? I think the beauty of philosophising about questions like what is reality is that while we may never directly come to a definite answer, in our attempts to approximate a definition, we come to answer other questions that benefit us in life in ways that we couldn't have foreseen otherwise. Philosophising about what reality is is pretty much the fundament of every philosophy that exists, and ever has existed, because it is the absolute, the ground on which everything else stands, and without a reasonable approximation of the soil you're building on, it's going to be difficult to construct a world view that you can feel sincere with to follow. These questions have spawned art styles, world views, a better understanding of what quantum mechanics might encompass, approximations to explain what purpose we want to create for ourselves. I am sure that not everybody feels they should keep themselves occupied with what reality is everyday, and I won't propogate that we really ought to sit in a corner and think about reality like a bunch of passive nihilists, but to call thinking about matters like this squandering, claiming that those who think about this are ruining the beauty of it, or saying that people shouldn't ever really bother talking about this or whatever, is seriously apalling. Just think about it, without this question, we wouldn't have half the amount of art that we do now, and half the amount of keen scientists working on discovering and giving meaning to parts of the universe that had fallen out of our bubble of assigned meaning to a vast pool of untapped knowledge before. The unanswerability of this question makes it fundamental to our understanding of the universe and its mechanics, including those that directly affect us.
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"Three lives of a gamer: the first'll be your best, because you can always restart if it isn't; the second pales in comparison, and the game will cheat you out; but the third one's going to be better, because it gets do or die from then."

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Old March 13th, 2013, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EGKangaroo View Post
I absolutely don't agree. Exactly how does wanting to know more amount to squandering life? I think the beauty of philosophising about questions like what is reality is that while we may never directly come to a definite answer, in our attempts to approximate a definition, we come to answer other questions that benefit us in life in ways that we couldn't have foreseen otherwise. Philosophising about what reality is is pretty much the fundament of every philosophy that exists, and ever has existed, because it is the absolute, the ground on which everything else stands, and without a reasonable approximation of the soil you're building on, it's going to be difficult to construct a world view that you can feel sincere with to follow. These questions have spawned art styles, world views, a better understanding of what quantum mechanics might encompass, approximations to explain what purpose we want to create for ourselves. I am sure that not everybody feels they should keep themselves occupied with what reality is everyday, and I won't propogate that we really ought to sit in a corner and think about reality like a bunch of passive nihilists, but to call thinking about matters like this squandering, claiming that those who think about this are ruining the beauty of it, or saying that people shouldn't ever really bother talking about this or whatever, is seriously apalling. Just think about it, without this question, we wouldn't have half the amount of art that we do now, and half the amount of keen scientists working on discovering and giving meaning to parts of the universe that had fallen out of our bubble of assigned meaning to a vast pool of untapped knowledge before.
Can you put this in one sentence? Im getting cross-eyd reading this... Sorry if I sound rude. :'D
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Old March 13th, 2013, 12:01 PM
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Uhm, a single sentence...

Thinking about what reality is forms the fundament to all world views, artistic styles, and our method by which we conduct science and while we may never find a definite answer to the problem, by approximating it, we come to indirectly answer questions that can benefit our lives unimaginably.
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"And they tell me there are people who are normal, but I don't know what they look like because I've never met one. And neither have you, so why not compare yourself to real people instead?"
"Three lives of a gamer: the first'll be your best, because you can always restart if it isn't; the second pales in comparison, and the game will cheat you out; but the third one's going to be better, because it gets do or die from then."

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Old March 13th, 2013, 12:05 PM
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Thank you. I agree. That is the basis of our vast understanding of things.
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Old March 13th, 2013, 04:36 PM
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Ehh...
Maybe you guy are right. It is a topic that is beyond me though. I do not think there is one concrete definition of reality. It's different for everyone. As for spending time thinking about these types of topics, I'm unsure whether it is worth our time or not. I guess it's always a good thing to think and get the brain active and all, but it's not something I would want to think about too often or too deeply. There is no answer to the question, so striving for an answer would not be the best solution, but maybe just wondering about it sometimes is productive.
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Old March 15th, 2013, 12:13 PM
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Reality is whatever you believe to be true to you. I guess that is how I'd define it put simply :3
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Old March 16th, 2013, 02:50 AM
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20% indisputable fact and 80% perception. Reality is the sum of what we see and the conclusions we draw from that.
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