Social Question

KeithWilson's avatar

Is perception the key to reality?

Asked by KeithWilson (833 points ) September 27th, 2010

It all comes down to this question.

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31 Answers

flutherother's avatar

No, but it is all we have to go on

Cruiser's avatar

I don’t think so but perception is where the real fun begins.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Perception and reality are inseparable. We do not know what reality is for certain, because everything is coloured by our perception.

josie's avatar

No. Reality is what it is. It exists with or without our perception of it. There is no key to reality.
Perception is the beginning of our knowing reality, which is the key to our own survival and , ulitmately,happiness.

KeithWilson's avatar

What is ultimate reality?

flutherother's avatar

What we perceive is what comes to our brains from our senses. Tiny electrical signals transmitting data on shape, colour, movement, sound, taste and touch. Together these are processed by the brain to generate the very convincing illusion that we all share. Underlying all this there must be an ultimate reality but the nature of this reality cannot be comprehended. When we try to figure it out we picture reality in terms of the illusions we experience which doesn’t really get us anywhere. Mathematics comes close to describing reality but why this should be so no one knows.

Cruiser's avatar

@KeithWilson I think ultimate reality is when you take ownership of your own existence and realize your reality is simply what you observe and interact with in your own little universe. Your ultimate reality only exists as long as you allow it to.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Absolutely not.
Reality exists regardless of your ability to perceive it.
Existence exists.Anything outside of existence does not exist.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Are you having a metaphysically seminal moment? ;)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille What’s beyond metaphysical? It’s a Monday AM, I’m waiting for a wisecrack, and you come up with that. :)

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe -I haven’t had my quota of coffee which alters my perception,therefore changing your universe. XD

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille That’s an interesting answer to the question, especially when paired to your first answer. Coffee is reality? In a way. Interesting train of thought to follow. Hmm.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@KeithWilson There is no ultimate reality. Study physics to any depth, and you will see that the universe does not just appear different depending on perception, but it is different depending on your perception.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe My tongue was firmly planted in my cheek.My coffee exists -that is reality-it’s pretty good-that is subjective ;)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille Run with the idea a little further. Coffee alters perception.

GeorgeGee's avatar

Reality is a concept that arises through the filter of perception, so the answer is yes. When we are unconscious, our reality stops, and drugs and other affects will change our reality. There is also a reality of consensus, that requires agreement of a group. “Did we really see that ghost? Naw, it couldn’t be.” Science works consistently with this definition in many areas, for instance in the period before the big bang, time is undefined, merely because there is no space and no people to inhabit that space. Since a subjective observation would have been impossible, reality ceases under those conditions.

wundayatta's avatar

Existence = ex is stance. In other words, it was formerly your position.

Perception = per cept ion. Cept is an alternate spelling of sept, which either be September or seven. So perception is according to seven ions. In other words, that’s the number of ions required for reality to exist. Which brings us to reality.

Reality, when you break it down = real it y. Real its are different from unreal its. Unless we are referring to It, the character from the Adams Family. If we transpose the terms, we get “it real.” As in keeping it real. Or is it real? But sometimes it is considered a bastardized spelling of Israel. Which, when you combine it with y, turns into Israely (sic) or Israeli.

Now, have I made things perfectly clear?

thekoukoureport's avatar

Reality exists because we perceive it. We are all bound by the same physics, so what other than a shared perception, could create this reality?

Trillian's avatar

In your case, no. You preceive yourself to be the center of the universe and you perceive that this life was designed just for you.
You are in error, and you can perceive all you want, but that does not make what you perceive to be correct.

thekoukoureport's avatar

You are the center of the Universe because without you, Your universe or perception thereof ceases to exsist. Two people looking at the same electron will see that electron completly different….How? it’s all in perception. Physics says that theres a one in a billion chance that I can walk through a wall… How? So I will continue to perceive all I want because if you think this is all REAL… welcome to the rabbit hole my friend. ;}

josie's avatar

@thekoukoureport Something has to be there in first place in order to perceive it. Reality preceeds our senses, otherwise there would be no need for senses to evolve. The whole notion of perception implies that there is something to perceive. Perception that creates reality is a contradiction since perception is something within the framework of reality. It would be sort of like saying cookies create bakers.

thekoukoureport's avatar

Ok lets try it this way. Their are two realities that are going on in America today(Many more but I want to focus). The Conservatives believe that the government is leading to a marxist regime, or kenyan indepence or whatever and liberals believe the government is finally working for the people. Now which is reality…. It all comes down to perception and that perception rules your reality. Your spending habits, your community service, your investment stategy, hell even your information bends to the reality that YOU perceive.

In terms of phisical reality, like is a rock a rock? as I said we perceive it as a rock but what about that one time in a billion that physics say I will pass right through the rock?
In the land of the tiny peices there are no absolutes.

So where is reality comming from. In the early 1900’s people thought that Edisons invention was Evil. “The Devil in a jar” they said and no one would buy it. That is until they had a parade down broadway with people wearing lightbubls to show that it was safe? So didn’t perception overshadow reality?

I think this could be a zen riddle.

josie's avatar

@thekoukoureport
Reality IS the absolute.
Human beings may or may not make totally correct conclusions about its nature. If you make an incorrect investment decision, it is not because of the nature of reality. It is because of the fallible nature of your conceptual consiousness and perhaps a lack of information. But reality is what it is.
Social habits do not determine reality. They react to it.
Physics does not determine reality. It attempts to explain it, or a segment of it.
Inventions do not determine reality. They utilize principles or facts in reality.
All of these occur because of something about the nature of reality.

thekoukoureport's avatar

There are Absolutes?

thekoukoureport's avatar

In every one of your points reality changed.

Ame_Evil's avatar

Perception is the gateway to reality.

Or slightly more accurately: the foggy window with which reality is on the other side.

josie's avatar

@thekoukoureport
The presence of reality is an absolute. The absolute nature of reality is still not known to us. But we discover more and more about it as time goes by. Our knowledge certainly changes, but the fact that there is reality does not change. Otherwise we would not have anything to play sophomoric thought games with.
Anyway, I used to think I knew what you were talking about, but now I do not. Oh well.

flutherother's avatar

It is time to take the blue pill.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

Physics in general, and quantum theory in particular, began as the study of objective reality, i.e., a reality that exists whether or not it is being observed. Classical physics had no problem with this approach. When classical physics proved inadequate to the task of explaining the results of certain experiments, quantum theory arose. It was spectacularly successful in explaining these results and many more, too. Then a few physicists began to ask, is this all that quantum theory means–the explanation of experimental results? Does it have any ontological value, i.e., can it tell us what objective reality _is, not just what it does? This is what an interpretation _of quantum theory is supposed to do, to describe what objective reality is. So a few physicists worked very hard to come up with an interpretation in terms of an objective reality….and failed. But the failure was that there were too many contenders, not too few, and there was no way to determine which one, if any, was correct. Furthermore, most of them pretend that the quantum wavefunction, which is a probability wave rather than a physical wave, is an objectively real object rather than being simply the mathematical formula that it is. However, rather than this being cause for despair, it actually can liberate us from the prison of objective reality. As long as we believe that objects are real, we will find it difficult to escape the belief that we are objects, and consequently to feel separate from all other objects.

Professor Stanley Sobottka, Professor Emeritus of Physics, University of Virginia.

Here is a link to the document quoted.

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