Social Question

AHC898's avatar

Do we live in the physical world or the one we create in our minds?

Asked by AHC898 (68points) May 29th, 2010

Tell me what you really think!

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

15 Answers

Merriment's avatar

Since I did not imagine that tree limb that bashed me in the forehead when I wasn’t looking where I was going…I’m going to say we live in the physical world.

CaptainHarley's avatar

A bit of both. In The Web of Life, Fritjof Capra explains how we don’t so much “create” our own world as we “specify” one. We are geneticallly endowed with certain abilities of perception, and by chosing at any given moment what data to accept from those avenues of perception ( sight, hearing, touch, smell, kinesthetics, etc ), we to a certain extent “specify” what our reality will be.

zenele's avatar

I am not really answering this question, but in reality I am typing something – oh, let’s see what it says in the virtual reality world – thought so – hey, I’ve united the two worlds and it’s cool in 3D – time for bed.

rangerr's avatar

I kind of explored that here.

Even when I’m not high, I question this all the time.
Sometimes, I’m not even sure that we really exist.

eden2eve's avatar

If it was the one I create in my mind, it would be far more exciting and fun!

CaptainHarley's avatar

Don’t count on it.

perspicacious's avatar

I’m in the real physical one; I’m not sure about you.

meagan's avatar

The Matrix is real! ;)

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Neither, but also both. There answer to the question is not an absolute. We live in a virtual space that is created by our minds, but it is a representation of reality. Our minds are imperfect in their processing of the imperfect data our senses give us, so our perception is often quite different to reality. However we have not created this space, because it is a processed version of the raw data we draw from reality.

As an example, think of your favourite beach. While you are sitting at your computer, your mind wanders back to that beach and you can be there in your mind’s eye. But you aren’t really at that beach, you are at a beach you have constructed in your mind from the raw data you have collected from beach that is in the real world. This beach is more dynamic from the real one though, since it is mainly constructed of mental extrapolations rather than the exact features of the real one. When you return to the real beach in a physical sense, you may make measurements and observations that differ from your mental image. This presents you with a choice – you can either alter your mental beach, or you can allow your beach to take on an identity independent of the real one.

prescottman2008's avatar

“I think, therefore I am.” or” I am, therefore I think.” Read Descartes and Kierkegaard.

gailcalled's avatar

You meant that new ding in my car is imaginary and I did not back into a telephone pole?

anartist's avatar

we live in the physical world filtered through our own individual mindsets.

Berserker's avatar

If I lived in my own world, I wouldn’t be paying no damn rent, that’s fo sho.

SmashTheState's avatar

We’ve known for at least 150 years that we do not live in a physical universe. The universe is certainly real, but whatever it is, it isn’t physical matter. The myth of physical matter was debunked by Bishop Berkeley on logical grounds first, and we have since discovered through both mathematical rationalism and experimental empiricism that the universe is a far, far stranger place than the clockwork atom model would have us believe.

That said, the phenomenological way to answer your question is to simply observe that whatever we experience is real, since what could the word “real” possibly refer to otherwise? There is a Buddhist parable which illustrates this, and which you may find helpful:

“What is this?” asks the Master, pointing to a stone.

“It is the image of a stone which I create in my head, Master,” replies the Student.

The Master picks up the stone and hits the Student in the head with it. “Poor fool,” says the Master, “what a heavy head you must have.”

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Symbeline Solipsism and physicalism aren’t the only two options. Your world may not be the physical world, but that does not mean you are an author with a blank slate.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther