General Question

fathippo's avatar

What do you think blind people mean when they say they see 'nothing', not even black?

Asked by fathippo (746points) July 2nd, 2009

I saw this near death experience documentary thing, and this blind woman had one (which she could see in for the first time and everything).
But she said that she sees nothing at all normally, not even just a black space, or in dreams either…
I was having a hard time imagining what it would be to see nothing at all (I dont really wanna find out for myself either), because i always imagined like the black screen or the inside of your eyes or something…
do you have any ideas or anything?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

10 Answers

Thammuz's avatar

That’s difficult to say, if they are born blind. It’s like asking you what you blarp. Do you blarp something? i don’t, and i don’t know what it even means so i wouldn’t be albe to tell you i’m blarping black… I’m blarping nothing.

Hope that explains it…

MsProtoge's avatar

Well, if she was blind to begin with, how would she know what nothing was?
There aren’t any middle grounds or ways to relate what she sees to people who aren’t blind.

cookieman's avatar

They probably do see “black”, they just don’t know what “black” is. That is a descriptive term intended for the sighted.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

That’s a viewpoint of a sighted person whereas a person having never known what it’s like to see perceives their world differently.

fathippo's avatar

@Thammuz i guess it does, but its confusing… but its gotta be confusing trying to compare things with people who can see, and who cant, because we dont really know things the same…

jumpo7's avatar

It is also possible they “see” inside their mind… just because the eyes or the nerves leading to the eye are not physically working does not mean the area of the brain that interprets visual stimuli does not work. Just they have no way of comparing what they know to what a sighted person knows.

Same for some one who are color blind or even those who can not smell or taste. If only the sensor is deffective, then they may still have their own idea of “taste” or “smell” and there is no way to really compare that to what a person who has a wider range of sense is able to describe. You probably could not describe accurately the actual color blue that you see to another fully sighted person.

Darwin's avatar

Or it could simply be as if you were trying to see with your hand, or your elbow, or your left foot. Try as you might, those parts of your body cannot “see” anything.

kruger_d's avatar

In color theory black is simply the absence of the visible spectrum of light. If we define sight as the perception of visible light, a sighted person in a complete blackout is really “seeing nothing.”

tallin32's avatar

A coworker of mine asked me this actually a few days ago. Having no sight myself, the best I can do is make a guess. If black is nothing, then the statement that one “sees nothing, not even black” is in error. The comparison that I gave him, as he had said that when he closes his eyes he still sees “optic nerve static”, was that, certainly in my case, the optic nerve is disconnected. Think of a USB cable that leads nowhere. Since there is no connectivity, no data gets received. Wow. Did that even make sense? My guess is that, going by what @kruger_d had to say, what is seen in that instance IS unrelieved black though, if black is the absence of light.

dpworkin's avatar

My blind friends who had once been sighted, and remember colors, report that what they “see” now is a kind of a beige pink. They all seem to agree on this. My companion, who has never seen, can’t identify a color, but she reports that she has no sensation of nothingness (what sighted people would experience, for example, in total darkness) but rather she is convinced from what she is able to understand, that she lives in a condition of some light, and she assumes that if she could conceptualize color she might be experiencing the same beige pinkness as my formerly sighted friends.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther