Reviews for Is Anything Real?
UserID chapter 1 . 8/24/2010
It's nice to see more people wonder about things like these.

Did you ever wonder, that what you see as green, that someone else might see it as blue? But since he has always been told that the grass is green, he calls the blue color of grass green. If you'd look with your eyes at his interpretation, you'd call the grass blue. But, if another calls blue green, it doesn't matter because he'd always call blue green.

Well, that's not a real answer, but unfortunately, I can't give you one either.

In the case of the two islanders, I think I'd work together first, but when things come to it, I might kill the other, or I might let the other kill me so I don't have to suffer and he still has a chance. I don't know, I can't really imagine what would go through my mind. I've never been in a situation like that.
SirScott chapter 1 . 6/18/2010
Here's some thoughts to ponder. Reality is created by imagination or reshaped by it. If you want to build a table, you the image in your head and then you recreate that image. I would say that there is only images and vibrations and that reality was the interpretation of those things.

Here is a materialist view point on morality. The two men are straving on an island together. One is stronger than the other. Strength is a gift from nature. Appetite isn't wrong because it to is a gift from nature. If the strong man overpowers and eats his friend because has an appetite to eat his friend, isn't he just using his gifts from nature? So in terms of morality is this only truth: the strong imposes its will upon the weaker. If you believe in God, you have to admit that God gets his way, because of his power. And if you believe the other way, then you have to admit that strong imposes their will upon the weak. So nothing can be relative when their is an unchangable rule that determines morality.

SirScott
William G. Thorne chapter 1 . 6/8/2010
sorry it has taken me a while to respond, things in my life have taken a weird turn and I have been void of all technology for a week... invigorating experience.

I am glad that something I said sparked you to write this, I feel honored :)

i agree on a lot of your points, and i am sure the majority of them are common sense. I agree highly that there are many types of "laws" that govern people and even animals and nature a like. I am reminded of the "law of the jungle" that they spoke of in "Jungle Book".

i personally believe that if i was stranded on an island my first course of action would be to help the other forage. if by some stroke of fate the other person becomes ill or injured however, it may be unplesant but I see no fault in taking their life for my nourishment, to me that is being proactive about survival. and its a dog eat dog world, survival of the fittest... but then again who am I to deem that person unfit? thats where it becomes absurd ... atleast in my opinion.

lovely written piece, i am always happy to have conversations pertaining to life and how people view it..

-William
moongazer7 chapter 1 . 6/7/2010
That's a hard one... Hm... sounds like the debate I had with this one gentleman... I dunno... I still think the objective theory is correct, but... I don't have an answer or a comback either...
sophiesix chapter 1 . 6/6/2010
I think it is possible to doubt any given physical reality because we can only ascertain its existence trhough our senses, which are notoriously faulty. However, there is also an ongoing error check both within ourselves (though it takes a fair bit to trip it), and in our social sphere, so that those who have a siginificantly different perception of reality from the majority are deemed abnormal, in order to safeguard what teh majority believes is reality. but there is a lot of room for manoeuvre, a lot of grey area there. physical reality, physical truths are one thing, rembered events, opinions, values are another, if you like, even more distanced from the 'real' through the lens of various people's subjectivities. that most of us do not doubt that teh physical reality exists seems to argue that there is, in fact something there.

teh metaphsical level only exists for some creatures, and to a greater extent for some than others. already, its a reality slipping from the firm grasp of definition. is it wrong for a cockroach to kill and eat another cockroach? perhaps it is to us, but it isn't for teh cockroach, becasuse that's like saying a rock destroying another rock is wrong. neither rocks nor cockroachs have any idea that there might be another way... at least, i'm pretty sure cockroachs aren't moral creatures.

Pack societies, like humans, agree that there are somethings that are 'wrong' in teh goal to surviving as an individual within their pack. That they are both individuals AND members of their pack, by definition, engenders a moral turbidity that the cockroach did not face. But that is an unavoidable consequence of living as a pack - you get teh good with the bad. Alone, your actions do not affect anyone but yourself, and the conflict does not exist. When your liberty encroaches upon the liberties of others, and that encroachment endangers your long term fitness (e.g. as a member of teh pack), there exists a tension. It is the constant play off of what is most right for me vs what is most right for my pack, and waht is most right in the long term vs short term, and so forth, that probably developped our brains into the minds that exist so deeply in the metaphysical world as we authors tend to do today ;)
Eternal Skies chapter 1 . 6/2/2010
that's a pretty good essay :P

i believe in the existance of nonphysical reality.
Robert Orville Berkshire chapter 1 . 6/2/2010
Your musings call to mind two philosophical points- solipsism and absurdism. About two years ago, I created a position of my own, stupidly called "Oneirology", the study of dreams, based on the two. The central message was that reality can never be objectively proven due to things like mental illness, projection, and dull senses; the world, if it exists at all, is an illusion, a dream, and I am the only person that exists (solipsism). Following this, there is no reason to restrict yourself beyond matters of personal morality, and a search for truth is a false goal (the latter being a piece of absurdism).

Your mind seems to have gone off in different directions, which is good- your essay got me thinking, as well.
No Trust chapter 1 . 6/2/2010
"A growing school of thought called Moral Equivalence denies that such reality exists."

Oy. What you mean here is not moral equivalence, but moral relativism. Moral equivalence is a derogatory term for a particular rhetorical/philosophical act - one that happens to presuppose that moral relativism is false: comparing the action of one individual or group to that of another in a kind of informal modus ponens or modus tollens argument, to arrive at a consistent judgment. I wrote an essay to clear up these kinds of terminological errors...
Isca chapter 1 . 6/2/2010
"Reality to me is nothing more than a self-created image." Indeed. If 'reality' is that which we perceive with our senses, then reality is nothing more than neural transmissions to our brain. But I think it's more than that; it's subjective.

I suppose I would be a relativist, where neither choice is 'right' or 'wrong,' because they are only 'choices,' nothing more. But our choices *are* filtered through the 'prisms' of society, like religion, education, politics, etc. I guess that means I'll be the 'cannibal' in that 'shipwrecked' situation. -Smirks-
nickyO chapter 1 . 6/2/2010
Interesting conversation. I would say that a relativist (one who is as extreme as presented in your essay) is failing to recognize that there is a "social" reality, one with norms and laws that allow people to co-exist and reproduce, etc. I would go as far as to say that certain "rules of society" are apart of most people's biology (these ideas of right and wrong, our ability to empathize) rather than simply a construct of learned behavior.

It seems to me your relativist is arguing over symantics. This person doesn't want to label anything. But my bet is that they will fight for their own personal ideas of what they think is "right" in a conflict situation when something important is to be gained or lost. They just won't say "I'm right." ;)

What I think is more interesting is the fact that how we experience and interpret any reality is different from how another person experiences and interprets that reality. I've often thought of people as being "worlds onto themselves", we all have our own terrain, our own atmospheres, oceans, etc. in this analogy. And it's sort of lonely and funny and lovely at times how we try to comunicate with each other as if we are really speaking the same language. Like being in the same room with different furinture? I don't know. There's that moment when something is mutually shared and created together in communication/reality and we can come to an understanding and it is comforting but that slight difference of experience will always be...