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Nature of Reality


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Initial post: Dec 10, 2011 1:59:33 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 10, 2011 2:00:43 AM PST
Jesse Stuart says:
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines reality as 'something that is neither derivative nor dependent but exists necessarily'. In nature, the position and momentum of a particle cannot both simultaneously be known with infinite precision (Heisenberg uncertainty principle). For something to be real, its existence must be confirmed by some sort of interaction/measurement/observation (direct or indirect).

If no interaction/measurement/observation can be made with a "thing", from your perspective that "thing" does not exist. Because "things" in the universe are separated (spatially and temporally) they each have a unique perspective (coined term: "perspective-state"). Because things have unique perspective-states, the "reality" (interactions) they see is also unique. It is my view that there can be no global definition of reality, each "perspective-state" necessicarily has its own reality (universe). Perspective-states are quantized (plank-scale and plank-time) and so reality, because it springs from the interactions (which are quantized) between things at other "perspective-states" makes reality a quantized property of each perspective-state.

Please discuss:

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 10, 2011 4:43:46 AM PST
Ambulocetus says:
Talking about things above the quantum level in quantum-level terms is an error. I would also like to see a fuller defense of the idea that something not perceived or interacted with does not exist.

Posted on Dec 10, 2011 10:21:21 AM PST
Jesse Stuart says:
If you cannot interact in some way with a thing (directly or indirectly), for you it doesn't exist. There is no way to confirm it exists, so this is functionally equivalent to the thing not existing at all. It isn't a part of your reality. Saying something exists that can't be confirmed is pure speculation. We can attribute actions to things we speculate to exist, in this case they would exist in the abstract.

I like to think of magnetic fields as an example of an abstract thing. Magnetic fields don't really exist; they are an abstract tool humans have invented to help us understand how the electric forces between charges get altered when you are dealing with charges in non-stationary reference frames (relativity comes into play). That is why no-one will ever find a magnetic-monopole; they are an extrapolation based on an abstract concept that doesn't match physical reality. People who talk about magnetic-monopoles don't understand magnetism. Don't get me wrong, magnetism is an incredibly fruitful concept because it simplifies complex relativistic interactions between charged particles, to forces between currents, and allows us to design electric motors, understand transformers, etc. Magnetism is a abstract concept.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 10, 2011 10:32:00 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 10, 2011 1:00:24 PM PST
Jesse Stuart said:
"It is my view that there can be no global definition of reality, each "perspective-state" necessicarily has its own reality (universe). "
================================================
MFEH:

You used "Heisenberg uncertainty principle" in improper context. ∆x.∆p ≥ ħ/2 deals with subatomic particles, not gross events of reality.

Einstein's attempt to address such relative or perspective realities led him to lump mass into the energy realm by the E = mc² and hence conclude that the Hamiltonian of the universe ties all relative realities into a universal system of energy flow when the speed of light becomes the sole determinator of relative simultaneity.

If we define reality on a personal level, what one person perceives depends on his mental status, taste, and sensibility. Two people might disagree on what is real to each of them. One person might perceive a cold cloudy day as gloomy, another might see it a great chance to move around and enjoy life in such stimulating cold.

Mohamed F. El-Hewie

Atomic, Molecular, and Nuclear Physics

Posted on Dec 10, 2011 7:53:15 PM PST
Jesse Stuart says:
Of course the Heisenberg uncertainty principle applies to "gross events"; but its effect is almost immeasurable at the macroscopic scale. It is an inequality that basically sets the "resolution" of the universe. Each point in space-time has a unique light-cone. Points that are outside of a perspective-state's light-cone can not be said to be part of that perspective-state's 4-D reality. These points are out of reach.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2011 8:27:45 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 11, 2011 2:12:47 PM PST
D. Colasante says:
A risk in the requirement that something must be confirmed to exist arises with consideration of continuity in time and space. If something did exist (was confirmed), does it still or are we obligated to continual detection? If part of something exists here and there, does it exist in between?

Your reference to fields is quite apt. Newton's third law has been interpreted to mean that a force does not exist when not in a pair (a force detector always constitutes half of a pair). Yet I argue that unpaired forces persist, with their movements generating the common fields [1, 2]. In this respect, fields are not regions of potential force, but regions of unpaired force distribution, yielding the *potential* to pair.

With respect to space, infinite fields are postulated, based upon decidedly finite measurements.

P.S. While I agree with your characterization of magnetic fields, I believe I have indeed found the elusive monopoles and you can too! I invite you to play a game of Monopol-y (see my post of 12/6/11 [1]).

[1] Time to Turn Things Around
http://www.amazon.com/forum/science/ref=cm_cd_rvt_np?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=FxZ58KVEERYS5E&cdPage=3&cdThread=Tx2OMMVL557SAB4#CustomerDiscussionsNew
[2] N4! Did Isaac Miss One?
http://www.amazon.com/forum/science/Tx16NJ0H7UJ1026?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=FxZ58KVEERYS5E&ref_=cm_cd_tfp_ef_tft_tp&displayType=tagsDetail

Posted on Dec 11, 2011 10:40:49 AM PST
Nanciejeanne says:
I am pretty sure I DON'T belong in this forum...so I will probably be laughed at then dismissed out of here...but:

What about a memory? Are they "real"? They usually are based on an event, which may indeed have altered some neurological "road" we travel (say if we always become sad at the sight of pink roses because they were at our grandmas funeral, or become wistful because we remember happily eating pancakes with our girlfirend when we pass a certain restaurant). Even if we don't really have the understanding of the neural nature of thoughts or their (probable) physicality, does that mean that they aren't measurable? Sometimes we actually ALTER actual reality through our interpretation of our memories (or filing systems or input methods or whatever) so they aren't actual imprints or facsimiles of a real thing. Just wondering if they fall into the category of "reality"? (sorry if it is stupid question...feel free to ignore the interloper on your forum!!! :D)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2011 12:52:21 PM PST
tom kriske says:
nancie, we love interlopers, they're much more insightful and interesting than the usual trolls. i would vote that memories are most certainly real -- or, mathematically, perhaps they're complex -- in the sense that they have both real and imaginary parts...

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2011 2:51:59 PM PST
Last edited by the author on May 30, 2012 1:36:31 PM PDT
The subjects of memory, feeling, neuronal recording and retrieving have been the occupation of man since the beginning of recorded history. The ancient belief that there were angels of good and bad deeds that record those events and communicate them to God was more fascinating than our current tunnel-visioned science.

We recognize that all people have enormous memory capacity and emotions relating to very long number of years, but we have no means to localize the recording addresses of such data or even the location where such storage takes place.

No one could even claim that such emotion and memories of dead people vanished with their bodies since we never knew where were such memories or feelings.

Most probably, a discovery of wireless communication between people, dead or alive, close or remote, might parallel the discovery of wireless transmission of electromagnetic waves.

We have always been at the mercy of nature. Whenever nature wished to reveal its secrets, we have no choice but to live with it, and forget about our long stubbornness and ignorance.

Posted on Dec 11, 2011 3:01:31 PM PST
Nanciejeanne says:
thanks you guys for not giving me the business for not being smart enough to be here!! :D I guess our language systems would be like of those things too.

Posted on May 29, 2012 3:37:03 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 29, 2012 3:37:24 PM PDT
Rasheed says:
I'm another interloper with a quick question.
The OP seems to assume that "existence", or "reality" are absolute, understood, and correctly defined concepts. That is to say, it is just common sense that "existence" is an absolute "quality" (for want of a better word) in/of "things", such that a thing either exists, or not. It's either real, or not. Now this "either-or" quality that we attribute to existence, is this in fact correct, or could there be another way to view it? For example, could we say that "existence" is relative, in the sense that things have varying degrees of existence, a spectrum of existence so to speak?

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012 3:57:56 PM PDT
tom kriske says:
rasheed, you posited -> For example, could we say that "existence" is relative, in the sense that things have varying degrees of existence, a spectrum of existence so to speak?

why not? if i have an idea, say, to construct something...a picture of it in my mind, if you will. that idea has some level of existence; but not the level of existence granted to a physical object. but as i construct the object, its level of existence becomes greater, i would think...and when it's finished it has complete existence. give these a scale - 0 for absolutely no existence, 1 for complete existence. so, i see no problem with the notion of an existential spectra, especially with regard to thought. interestingly, the quantum vacuum and virtual particles could be viewed to have some existential index between 0 and 1. also, a tunneling electron, with imaginary momentum, could have an existential index between 0 and 1.

how fun!

Posted on May 29, 2012 4:43:23 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 29, 2012 4:43:41 PM PDT
Rasheed says:
Ok, Thanks Tom.
The only difference (if any) I would have with your reply is that you seem to suggest that what we call physical objects, or things in the "real world" have "complete" (or absolute) existence. That still implies, though, that things are either existent to that extent (ie. 1), or not (eg. 0 to 1, like your thought). What I'm suggesting, however, is that even the things we suppose are real (like the physical objects) are not completely and absolutely real. I'm suggesting that they are relatively real. If you thought of them in terms of a spectrum, they would not be at the poles, but also in the spectrum between the poles, just like your thought, only further along.

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012 4:47:30 PM PDT
tom kriske says:
quite so. say i'm going 50mph down a road... i'd imagine a wall off to my right much less real than a wall in front of me.

Posted on May 29, 2012 4:58:02 PM PDT
Rasheed says:
In other words my question is more about the very concept of existence, rather than about the things we describe as having existence.

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012 5:08:52 PM PDT
tom kriske says:
try quine, kant; sartre's 'being and nothingness' is one take on it....

Posted on May 29, 2012 5:34:31 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 29, 2012 5:35:41 PM PDT
basharun says:
Ok thanks Tom.
Btw, this is me signed into my other account.

Posted on May 29, 2012 6:02:38 PM PDT
OldAmazonian says:
Reality is something every one of us makes always for himself.

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012 6:21:37 PM PDT
tom kriske says:
yes, our time on this planet is our time alone. what do you think of this OldTimer...

consider there's a universal set whose elements are all the things that a cognitive being might contemplate. of this set, consider the various subsets that each of us finds uniquely meaningful. i wonder whether or not we can classify the phenomenon we know as personality, or individual consciousness, by these subsets and their relationships with one another. i wonder further whether these relationships are sufficiently continuous to define something like differentiation.

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2012 11:36:08 AM PDT
So nothing of the Universe beyond the observable boundary exists? Seems highly unlikely, given that something which is close to the observable boundary but still observable today may move beyond the observable boundary and not be observable tomorrow, but still exists, IMO.

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2012 10:34:24 PM PDT
Lj3d says:
Rasheed says: Ok, Thanks Tom. The only difference (if any) I would have with your reply is that you seem to suggest that what we call physical objects, or things in the "real world" have "complete" (or absolute) existence. That still implies, though, that things are either existent to that extent (ie. 1), or not (eg. 0 to 1, like your thought). What I'm suggesting, however, is that even the things we suppose are real (like the physical objects) are not completely and absolutely real. I'm suggesting that they are relatively real. If you thought of them in terms of a spectrum, they would not be at the poles, but also in the spectrum between the poles, just like your thought, only further along.

Lj3d: So if I step out in front of a relatively real train or jump off a relatively tall and relatively real building, I will only relatively pancake into the ground and then be relatively injured or relatively killed? Or maybe be lucky enough to be able to see my flattened...er relatively flattened relative corpse while experiencing an actual OBE? Or if one wants to do something a little less dangerous, maybe making an inappropriate pass at a relatively real and relatively revealing woman so she can relatively slap or relatively claw you with relatively red relative fingernails.

I just love these philosophical metaphysical discussions lol.

Posted on May 31, 2012 11:52:11 PM PDT
basharun says:
Lj3d if I'm honest, your remarks don't add anything relevant to what we were suggesting. Perhaps, if you do in fact have a point to make, you could just make it (minus the weak attempt at sarcasm). Alternatively, you could try jumping in front of that relative train.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012 12:10:29 AM PDT
Lj3d says:
When talk of reality is talk of whether reality is real...it seems relevant to me to point out that reality is real. How that reality is percieved is up to the individual mind but physical reality is real which is why I sarcastically pointed it out. I'm not stupid enough to jump in front of a train because I know its real...and those who talk of reality as some mystical metaphysical thing are not stupid enough to either, which tells me they don't necessarily agree with their own position on reality because at the end of the day, they know the train is very real.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012 12:27:08 AM PDT
basharun says:
So it seems that all you are really saying is that "reality is real". Is that right? That is your contribution to our discussion? You are actually saying to us "Hey fellas, forget that some of the greatest thinkers over thousands of years have puzzled over this, forget that even the greatest scientists of our time, Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg, Bohm etc, have contemplated, discussed, argued, this very question. I am telling you, fellas, reality is real". I should also point out, as it seems you grossly misunderstood, nothing in what I said suggested that reality is NOT real.

Posted on Jun 1, 2012 12:38:52 AM PDT
Lj3d says:
Just as you seem to have grossly misunderstood that I too, think reality is real. Sure we all puzzle over it, including the great thinkers. I wish I could have been a great thinker but I'm not. That shouldn't preclude me reaching my own conclusions should it? The fact that great thinkers are still puzzling over the question ought to tell you something. There is one thing I am having some difficulty with. My original post was to someone named Rasheed, not you. And it wasn't directed at anyone in particular anyway. It was just me expressing my thought that reality is real. Nothing to get worked up over.
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Discussion in:  Science forum
Participants:  13
Total posts:  37
Initial post:  Dec 10, 2011
Latest post:  Jun 1, 2012

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