Is it possible for the human mind to access reality?

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Is it possible for the human mind to access reality?

Post Number:#1  Postby Synthesis » July 15th, 2017, 8:10 pm

I would like to suggest that it is not possible for the human mind to access reality, and there are several reasons...here are a couple.

The first is the time-lag that exists between reality and our perception, that is, by the time perception takes place, reality has changed. Not only that, but there are infinite realities taking place at the same time. For example, let's say you and your best friend are having a discussion on a beautiful star-lit evening. While you are observing your friend going-off on some wild tangent, you happen to notice a spectacular star cluster just above his/her head. It occurs to you that you are watching your friend speak in near real-time while observing a cluster of stars whose light emanation might be hundreds of thousands of light-years away. How is that possible? Well, each object in space presents with the same time issue, that is, distance determines that particular realities lag.

As if that's not enough, consider another obstacle, the notion that if you accept that everything that occurs, does so because of all of the events leading up to such, and even the simplest of events are created by an infinite number of events preceding, exactly what is the chance of understanding anything?
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Is it possible for the human mind to access reality?



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Re: Is it possible for the human mind to access reality?

Post Number:#2  Postby Spectrum » July 15th, 2017, 10:45 pm

You started with the wrong assumption.
You had assumed Philosophical Realism.

wiki wrote:Contemporary philosophical realism is the belief that some aspects of reality are ontologically independent of our conceptual schemes, perceptions, linguistic practices, beliefs, etc.
Realism may be spoken of with respect to other minds, the past, the future, universals, mathematical entities (such as natural numbers), moral categories, the physical world, and thought.
Realism can also be promoted in an unqualified sense, in which case it asserts the mind-independent existence of the world, as opposed to skepticism and solipsism.
Philosophers who profess realism often claim that truth consists in a correspondence between cognitive representations and reality.[1]

Realists tend to believe that whatever we believe now is only an approximation of reality but that the accuracy and fullness of understanding can be improved.


The truths of contemporary [b]philosophical realism is discussed within https://en.wik1pedia.org/wiki/Correspondence_theory_of_truth.

I have discussed elsewhere, reality is Spontaneous Emergent Reality.
With such a reality there is no time lag nor space between the cognizer and the cognized or the perceiver and the perceived.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.
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Re: Is it possible for the human mind to access reality?

Post Number:#3  Postby Surreptitious57 » July 15th, 2017, 11:07 pm

If one defines reality as all there is that by definition has to include all human minds. And that which is already
part of reality does not have to access it because it is already there. What you are talking about is the inability
of the human mind to reference in real time the reality that is external to it. That is a slightly different matter
A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
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Re: Is it possible for the human mind to access reality?

Post Number:#4  Postby Synthesis » July 16th, 2017, 11:37 am

Spectrum wrote:You started with the wrong assumption.
You had assumed Philosophical Realism.

wiki wrote:Contemporary philosophical realism is the belief that some aspects of reality are ontologically independent of our conceptual schemes, perceptions, linguistic practices, beliefs, etc...

Realists tend to believe that whatever we believe now is only an approximation of reality but that the accuracy and fullness of understanding can be improved.


I have discussed elsewhere, reality is Spontaneous Emergent Reality.
With such a reality there is no time lag nor space between the cognizer and the cognized or the perceiver and the perceived.

In order for time to collapse, so must cognition.
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Re: Is it possible for the human mind to access reality?

Post Number:#5  Postby Synthesis » July 16th, 2017, 11:47 am

Surreptitious57 wrote:If one defines reality as all there is that by definition has to include all human minds. And that which is already
part of reality does not have to access it because it is already there. What you are talking about is the inability
of the human mind to reference in real time the reality that is external to it. That is a slightly different matter

Actually, what I am suggesting is that the human mind is incapable of accessing Reality [no matter how you wish to define it] due to the structure of human perception/intelligence.

Including the all human minds in Reality [although philosophically acceptable] is meaningless. Isn't a mind more like a mirror, only a reflection with comment?
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Re: Is it possible for the human mind to access reality?

Post Number:#6  Postby Spectrum » July 16th, 2017, 10:08 pm

Synthesis wrote:In order for time to collapse, so must cognition.

Not sure what you mean here.

There are various perspectives to view 'time' and 'cognition'.

If we view time as t1, t2, t3 ... etc., then we need cognition [as a faculty] to recognize such different timings.
In another perspective, time is a function/intuition. In this case time precede cognition [empirical].
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Re: Is it possible for the human mind to access reality?

Post Number:#7  Postby Synthesis » July 17th, 2017, 1:23 pm

Spectrum wrote:
Synthesis wrote:In order for time to collapse, so must cognition.

Not sure what you mean here.

There are various perspectives to view 'time' and 'cognition'.

If we view time as t1, t2, t3 ... etc., then we need cognition [as a faculty] to recognize such different timings.
In another perspective, time is a function/intuition. In this case time precede cognition [empirical].

Time is a human construct, nothing more. It's simply one of the many ways we try to make sense out of things we can not fathom.
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Re: Is it possible for the human mind to access reality?

Post Number:#8  Postby Spectrum » July 17th, 2017, 11:12 pm

Synthesis wrote:
Spectrum wrote:(Nested quote removed.)

Not sure what you mean here.

There are various perspectives to view 'time' and 'cognition'.

If we view time as t1, t2, t3 ... etc., then we need cognition [as a faculty] to recognize such different timings.
In another perspective, time is a function/intuition. In this case time precede cognition [empirical].

Time is a human construct, nothing more. It's simply one of the many ways we try to make sense out of things we can not fathom.

Time is obviously conditioned by human factors and is not something that is independent of humans.
'Time' is something like the 'five senses' but it is more fundamental. This is why time is a form of 'intuition' that is beyond the senses. Time [fundamental] in combination with the five senses and other mental faculty enable a sense of timing.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.
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Re: Is it possible for the human mind to access reality?

Post Number:#9  Postby Alias » July 18th, 2017, 2:24 pm

Synthesis wrote:I would like to suggest that it is not possible for the human mind to access reality,

Every living thing has access to reality. No organism can comprehend reality.
Suppose we picture all of reality as a gigantic moose, then all the collective of earth-creature knowledge: sensory receptors, neural networks, memory, operating minds, archives, mechanical sensing devices, computer data bases, libraries - the whole reality-tapping equipment throughout the lifetime of the planet, would approximate one tiny louse on the skin of that moose.

... exactly what is the chance of understanding anything?

50/50: you either settle for the degree and quality of understanding of which you are capable / or you reject it.
Democracy in Truth! Equal votes for fact and fantasy!
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Re: Is it possible for the human mind to access reality?

Post Number:#10  Postby Hennemann » July 21st, 2017, 4:32 am

First you need to figure out what reality actually is!
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Re: Is it possible for the human mind to access reality?

Post Number:#11  Postby Phenomexistentialist » July 22nd, 2017, 2:49 am

Synthesis wrote:I would like to suggest that it is not possible for the human mind to access reality, and there are several reasons...here are a couple.


I think it is, although I do keep in mind that every point of view on reality is but one possible perspective out of an infinite possible number of perspectives.

The first is the time-lag that exists between reality and our perception, that is, by the time perception takes place, reality has changed. Not only that, but there are infinite realities taking place at the same time. For example, let's say you and your best friend are having a discussion on a beautiful star-lit evening. While you are observing your friend going-off on some wild tangent, you happen to notice a spectacular star cluster just above his/her head. It occurs to you that you are watching your friend speak in near real-time while observing a cluster of stars whose light emanation might be hundreds of thousands of light-years away. How is that possible? Well, each object in space presents with the same time issue, that is, distance determines that particular realities lag.


Well, I think we need to distinguish reality, which includes all of the past plus the present moment, which is merely the momentary slice of reality that is occurring right now. Cosmology literally lets us glimpse into a past state of reality, whereas our direct experience of our immediate surroundings is access to our present reality.

As if that's not enough, consider another obstacle, the notion that if you accept that everything that occurs, does so because of all of the events leading up to such, and even the simplest of events are created by an infinite number of events preceding, exactly what is the chance of understanding anything?


I think the question of understanding and of accessing are maybe two different things?
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Re: Is it possible for the human mind to access reality?

Post Number:#12  Postby Chriswl » July 22nd, 2017, 9:18 am

I really don't see why there being a time delay in our perception would cause us the doubt the reality of what we are perceiving.

All stimulus received at our senses is used as evidence as to the nature of the world. Over time we infer an internal model (and most of this process occurs automatically and without conscious effort) of how the world (including our own bodies) is. This internal picture is fallible but that is not at all the same as saying we don't have access to reality.
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Re: Is it possible for the human mind to access reality?

Post Number:#13  Postby Synthesis » July 22nd, 2017, 12:05 pm

Phenomexistentialist wrote:
Synthesis wrote:I would like to suggest that it is not possible for the human mind to access reality, and there are several reasons...here are a couple.


I think it is, although I do keep in mind that every point of view on reality is but one possible perspective out of an infinite possible number of perspectives.

When many speak of "reality," a common differentiation is made, the relative v. The Absolute. The relative being that which is knowable and in constant flux, The Absolute being unknowable and unchanging. So there can be said to exist two realities, the first is [r]eality, that is, each individual's reality, and [R]eality, that which "exists" outside of our ability to understand. This is the actual reality to which we have no intellectual access to what-so-ever.

So each individual's reality is constantly changing, every moment, but even this reality is not accessible in any real way for all kinds of reasons, the time lag being the most obvious. Fortunately, this really doesn't matter, but it does serve as wonderful teaching in demonstrating the limits of the human intellect. Once you are able to step back a see things for what they are, then life begins to make a great deal more sense, and not because you can "understand" things better, just the opposite, it's because you begin to understand what you can never understand. This is great liberation in and of itself.

-- Updated July 22nd, 2017, 12:14 pm to add the following --

Chriswl wrote:I really don't see why there being a time delay in our perception would cause us the doubt the reality of what we are perceiving.

All stimulus received at our senses is used as evidence as to the nature of the world. Over time we infer an internal model (and most of this process occurs automatically and without conscious effort) of how the world (including our own bodies) is. This internal picture is fallible but that is not at all the same as saying we don't have access to reality.

The interpretation of what we are perceiving is the cause of all human suffering, so I might disagree with you here. One of my favorite quotes of all-time is from, Mark Twain, who said, "Some of the worst things in my life never happened." This simple remark encompasses an enormous commentary regarding perception, interpretation, and action.

If you view life as a series of discrete moments as opposed to this continuous "moving picture," then you can begin to see where the lag is problematic. Even so, actual Reality existing outside of time takes care of such a concern quite nicely.
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Re: Is it possible for the human mind to access reality?

Post Number:#14  Postby Prothero » July 23rd, 2017, 10:14 am

Synthesis wrote:I would like to suggest that it is not possible for the human mind to access reality, and there are several reasons...here are a couple.

The first is the time-lag that exists between reality and our perception, that is, by the time perception takes place, reality has changed. Not only that, but there are infinite realities taking place at the same time. For example, let's say you and your best friend are having a discussion on a beautiful star-lit evening. While you are observing your friend going-off on some wild tangent, you happen to notice a spectacular star cluster just above his/her head. It occurs to you that you are watching your friend speak in near real-time while observing a cluster of stars whose light emanation might be hundreds of thousands of light-years away. How is that possible? Well, each object in space presents with the same time issue, that is, distance determines that particular realities lag.

As if that's not enough, consider another obstacle, the notion that if you accept that everything that occurs, does so because of all of the events leading up to such, and even the simplest of events are created by an infinite number of events preceding, exactly what is the chance of understanding anything?

Do we perceive "reality" completely or accurately "as it is outside the process of perception", I think the answer is clearly no. Perception filters, organizes and presents data "information" about the world and in the process some data is highlighted "colored" and other data is "left out or lost".
I think it is easy to be an epistomologic "idealist", all of our knowledge of the world comes to us through the senses and the mind.
At the same time one can be a ontologic "realist" there is an external world independent of us, our minds and our perceptions of it.
What is the nature of the external independent world? amongst philosophers the answer varies from "we cannot know" to: we have through sense and extension of the senses by instrumentation built a fairly accurate view of it.
Personally, I do not think we have a view of the inner nature of things: just as we do not have a good view of the inner nature of our fellow human beings as we have no direct access to their consciousness or qualia.
I think nature is a process, a continuous becoming, and that there are no independent fundamental particles and no inherent properties, it is all about relationships and interactions and events in space-time.
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Re: Is it possible for the human mind to access reality?

Post Number:#15  Postby Hereandnow » July 23rd, 2017, 5:24 pm

Alias:
Every living thing has access to reality. No organism can comprehend reality.


Unless you take reality to be an interpretative entity. Then knowing what is real is no more than know what language and culture and prevailing scientific paradigms say about reality. And if you are trying use the word 'reality' to refer to something outside these, then your reference refers to nothing at all. Odd way to look at it, but when you think that it is not just a matter of words finding their mark, but one of the construction of meaning as such, then it becomes clearer that language cannot refer to anything but itself, for the "outside" of language is outside even the propositional possibility. The moment meaningful ideas come to mind, you are in language, like a quarts crystal is in granite: the quartz IS the granite.
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