Can we trust our perceptions to tell us what's real?

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
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LuckyR
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Re: Can we trust our perceptions to tell us what's real?

Post by LuckyR » June 11th, 2018, 4:53 am

Mark1955 wrote:
June 11th, 2018, 4:48 am
LuckyR wrote:
June 10th, 2018, 2:49 am
Perception is only half of the perception/intellect continuum. Everyone is familiar with optical illusions and sleight of hand and CGI, so we "know" more than we can perceive.
I'd suggest the opposite, since we are aware we cannot trust our perceptions all our knowledge may be simply false belief based on erroneous perception.

Example a hyper-intelligent species [by human standards] have the ability to construct a neural net of the minds of a lesser species such that those minds believe they are interacting in a real world. They then study the minds as part of an experiment into mental evolution. If they want to study the evolution of religious ideas they implant certain ideas into an individual's head by way of 'dreams', he writes a popular book and off we go.............
While possible, your premise is a nonstarter within the human experience. That is if all of our perceptions are manipulated and false then we have no reference point from which to calibrate our place in the universe, ie we are drifting aimlessly from the bigger perspective, yet we cannot know this.
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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Can we trust our perceptions to tell us what's real?

Post by ThomasHobbes » June 11th, 2018, 5:39 am

RJG wrote:
June 10th, 2018, 5:18 pm
ThomasHobbes wrote:Who says the "real" reality is a meaningful idea, or achievable?
Surely such an idea is a myth by those who've not really thought it through.
So then, do you deny a 'real' reality exists out there?
Whatever it is we perceive is caused by the 'out there', but we can never fully access it, only interpret it. Reality has to be what you make it. "IT" is not "OUT THERE". Reality is what we create from the 'out there'



...do we let our perceptions tell us which perceptions are real? ...do we let the suspect himself tell us if he is guilty or not (real or not)?
Knowing that there is a discrepancies between what we perceive and what is out there makes it more possible to understand what is out there. Those that take the simple 'if i can kick it - it is real' approach are missing the subtlety.

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Re: Can we trust our perceptions to tell us what's real?

Post by chewybrian » June 11th, 2018, 7:36 am

RJG wrote:
June 10th, 2018, 5:18 pm
So then, do you deny a 'real' reality exists out there? I think we can prove at least 'something' out there exists with certainty, ...right? I don't think we can deny that the perceiving (experiencing) itself exists (with absolute certainty!)? If so, then we'd have to also deny our experience of denying.

It is the 'content' of one's experience/perception that is suspect and in question, ...not the experiencing/perceiving itself.
You answered your own question, a la Descartes. Step one is that you can not deny yourself. Step two and on are up to the individual. You must assent to something, in effect, to move along, even if you are pretending to assent, or pretending not to assent. Even if your beliefs come totally from the outside, you still must agree to them, so they become subjective. You can believe as hard as you wish, but you'll never be able to prove anything else to the level of certainty of step one.

Yes, in practice, we can trust our perceptions to guide us in most cases, and we must. But, in theory, we can't prove it. Everyone's version of reality is a belief system, even if they choose science or logic as their system. My own step two is that I am conscious, self-aware and rational, and believe and experience that I have free will, and this is enough to prove to my satisfaction that I have it. Further proof is the fact that the doubters all carry on just as if they have free will even as they deny it. From this step two, ethics follow naturally as morality follows from choosing religion. So, I am actually accepting many steps all at once.

But, see how far you get with these ideas in this place. Most of us seem to have taken science as step two, and decided that what follows is that we lack free will. Why they want to even carry on beyond that point escapes my imagination, yet, they turn around and behave as if they have free will anyway. Go figure...I mean, your DNA and life experiences will probably force you to go figure.

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Re: Can we trust our perceptions to tell us what's real?

Post by Eduk » June 11th, 2018, 11:18 am

Chewy 'Science' doesn't say we don't have free will. Plus most people don't believe we don't have free will?

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Re: Can we trust our perceptions to tell us what's real?

Post by Mark1955 » June 11th, 2018, 11:46 am

LuckyR wrote:
June 11th, 2018, 4:53 am
While possible, your premise is a nonstarter within the human experience. That is if all of our perceptions are manipulated and false then we have no reference point from which to calibrate our place in the universe, i.e. we are drifting aimlessly from the bigger perspective, yet we cannot know this.
Yes that's right, scary isn't it.
If you think you know the answer you probably don't understand the question.

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Re: Can we trust our perceptions to tell us what's real?

Post by Eduk » June 11th, 2018, 11:52 am

Not really scary because if it's not the case then it's not scary and if it is the case there is nothing we can do about it, so it's also not scary.

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Re: Can we trust our perceptions to tell us what's real?

Post by Mark1955 » June 11th, 2018, 12:09 pm

Eduk wrote:
June 11th, 2018, 11:52 am
Not really scary because if it's not the case then it's not scary and if it is the case there is nothing we can do about it, so it's also not scary.
That's my view but I know lot of people who disagree, some of them quite vigorously.
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Re: Can we trust our perceptions to tell us what's real?

Post by Eduk » June 11th, 2018, 12:22 pm

I only mildly disagree. Like diving off the middle diving board isn't scary level of disagree.

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Re: Can we trust our perceptions to tell us what's real?

Post by Mark1955 » June 11th, 2018, 1:22 pm

Eduk wrote:
June 11th, 2018, 12:22 pm
I only mildly disagree. Like diving off the middle diving board isn't scary level of disagree.
There you go see, diving off the side is very very scary in my book, where as the purposeless universe is 'peas or carrots for veg' not scary.
If you think you know the answer you probably don't understand the question.

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Re: Can we trust our perceptions to tell us what's real?

Post by MidiChlorian » June 11th, 2018, 2:29 pm

To "perceive" - as defined: "to become aware of, know, or identify by means of the senses" and/or "to recognize, discern, envision, or understand".

The question of the topic title can be written as: Can the conscious/mind trust the physical input from our associated senses to be real from stored knowledge and experience as remembered?

In the opening post (OP) the example provided would not work if the so called perceiver was blind. Therefore, the trust factor would come from a third party or secondary input method.

The overall question may imply that, if the mind can be programmed to interpret any input that would otherwise be associated to the bodies physical sense, using artificial neurological circuitry or impulses, as would be remembered or stored in memory as being or coming from actual or false experience, then any of these chemical perceptions could be assumed as real, or false, depending on the scenario provided.

Then one could apply this whole scenario, as to whether or not, the same type of idea could be real as is or was implied in the movie series "Matrix".

When one examines the scientific validity of the "Matrix" idea, there are many actual flaws that can be seen in the movie, but putting these flaws or discrepancies aside, could the principles of the movie actually be considered real?

I believe that the question posed by the topic title could best be answered by examining the ideas behind the "Matrix"?
The Reality of knowing what Wisdom is, is in the Experiencing of the Philosophy of using Knowledge.

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Re: Can we trust our perceptions to tell us what's real?

Post by MidiChlorian » June 11th, 2018, 3:15 pm

Mark1955 wrote:
June 11th, 2018, 4:48 am
I'd suggest the opposite, since we are aware we cannot trust our perceptions all our knowledge may be simply false belief based on erroneous perception.

Example a hyper-intelligent species [by human standards] have the ability to construct a neural net of the minds of a lesser species such that those minds believe they are interacting in a real world. They then study the minds as part of an experiment into mental evolution. If they want to study the evolution of religious ideas they implant certain ideas into an individual's head by way of 'dreams', he writes a popular book and off we go.............
An interesting assumption "Mark1955" and based on the context of what you have written above, might imply that you may have experienced some form altered reality but it would not necessarily be instigated from implanting dreams but altering the time line, specifically from what a person may have remembered from experiencing it and now in looking back, the related data seems to have changed. I mention this because I have experienced similar changes as registered in memory, having studied or read specific text and now reading or studying it again, the current seems to have changed. This would relate to time, in that I can recall as a child having experienced a well documented Hurricane and my mother also recalls what I did, because she had experienced it with me but now in looking back to the historical data provided, the date of this said event has changed and would not have occurred at the time I remembered it because I would have been five years younger and not been in the same place as I remember.
This may be different from the topics question being present verses past reality but does seem to apply to what you have presented above?
The Reality of knowing what Wisdom is, is in the Experiencing of the Philosophy of using Knowledge.

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Re: Can we trust our perceptions to tell us what's real?

Post by chewybrian » June 12th, 2018, 7:39 am

Eduk wrote:
June 11th, 2018, 11:18 am
Chewy 'Science' doesn't say we don't have free will. Plus most people don't believe we don't have free will?
I didn't say science says it, I said people who worship science say it. They work out a trinity of Hobbes, Newton and Darwin to 'prove' that we don't have free will. They put their allegiance to science and logic over any need they could or should have to find meaning in their existence. They deny their own experience in favor of a theory that says their existence means nothing.

Most regular folks don't deny free will, but a lot of people in here do. You've seen it; I've seen you involved in some of those threads.

It would just be an oddity except that I assume this place would harbor informed opinion. So, it could predict future opinion in the wider world. This is why it disturbs me.

This is puzzling:
-1- wrote:
May 31st, 2018, 7:12 am
I just can't reconcile that notion, the notion of free will, with the notion that everything has a cause, and every cause has an effect. This is my starting point.

Can you make sense of how there could be free will if everything is caused?
This is frightening:
Curiouspaul wrote:
August 26th, 2016, 10:43 pm
...since I discovered free will may be an illusion I have not dwelled on regrets so much because if free will is an illusion then my life was always going to end up where it is now, so there is nothing I could have done to prevent the things that I regret...


And, here is one straight to the point, from a non-philosophy forum where the issue came up:
As a reductionist, the only view available to me is that every thought or action of any organism must arise from an interaction of the environment with a biological substrate that acts and reacts according to entirely determined, if stochastic/probabilistic, rules. Ultimately, I see no place for free will in this understanding and the evidence I have seen in my three decades as a working scientist and clinician indicates that consciousness provides only a keyhole view into these processes. Sooner or later any attempt to inject Free Will into this schema runs into an irreducible "little man" with his hands on the levers of action.

That said, I and all my reductionist colleagues are good, bourgeois, moralists and inhabit the same social world as everyone else, where Free Will is so deeply ingrained that we hardly think about it. This is a hard paradox to resolve...
In bold, you see the ubiquitous footnote of the practical need to pretend we have free will even as we deny it. This is a big red flag to me that the assumption is flawed. As I said before, I have no need to pretend I am a giraffe while trying to prove that I am not a giraffe.

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Re: Can we trust our perceptions to tell us what's real?

Post by Eduk » June 12th, 2018, 8:16 am

I didn't say science says it, I said people who worship science say it.
I get your point. I just think you are being a bit general and vague about the 'worshipers'. I think most science literate people don't believe that science says there is no free will so if you meet someone who says they do believe that science says there is no free will, they are wrong to do so. I'm not sure if I would term such a person a worshiper of science. For example a great many people claim to be on the side of science ranging from flat earthers to vaccine deniers, I'm not sure of a way to categorise all these people effectively.
Most regular folks don't deny free will, but a lot of people in here do.
Granted some people do. And I agree with you they act as if they don't believe their own conclusion.

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Re: Can we trust our perceptions to tell us what's real?

Post by ThomasHobbes » June 12th, 2018, 8:34 am

Eduk wrote:
June 11th, 2018, 11:18 am
Chewy 'Science' doesn't say we don't have free will. Plus most people don't believe we don't have free will?
Science says nothing whatever about free-will. But science relies on the fact that all effects have causes.
Since free will is an effect without a cause, it has nothing to offer science.
When you perform an act of will, science demands that it is caused.

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Re: Can we trust our perceptions to tell us what's real?

Post by Eduk » June 12th, 2018, 8:55 am

TH, you don't represent the consensus of scientific experts. That you think you do is problematic as I assume you aren't a neurologist?
I have a simple test for you. Remove your brain and tell me if you still feel conscious. In the scientific community there is a consensus of what will happen to your perception.

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