Is our reality just a construction?

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
gheinz
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Is our reality just a construction?

Post by gheinz »

I previously wrote an abridged version in the thread Re: Can't we ever see the real world? and reported on it in an abbreviated form in viewtopic.php?t=15839. I would like to discuss this topic in more detail here. The following considerations are based on just 2 findings/observations:

1. The starting point is the realization that we are not objective observers of reality because of our egoism (selfishness, self-care, self-centeredness). Rather, we are partisan, biased observers. There is therefore a possibility that we do not see reality as it actually is. Fortunately, while it is not possible to go directly into the state of selflessness (in which we would be objective, impartial observers), there is an easy way - through a simple logical deduction - to find out what reality would be like in that state.

2. Here the starting point is the recognition that there are subjectively significant limits as a result of our egoism (selfishness, self-care, self-centeredness). Now, using a simple inversion, we can state that in the state of SELFLESSNESS (where by definition there is no egoism) there are no subjectively meaningful boundaries; i.e. that this state can be seen as a state of limitlessness and infinity and, moreover, as a state of freedom. Because in the state of unselfishness we would see things as they actually are, it follows that there really are no meaningful boundaries. Our egoism makes us believe that there are limits and it is also the one that constructs our reality, ie. it pretends it to us.

You can judge how far I have succeeded in this derivation and I would be happy to read about it in the comments. I will continue these thoughts afterwards.
Angelo Cannata
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Re: Is our reality just a construction?

Post by Angelo Cannata »

You don't need egoism to be prevented from any contact with reality. You just can't, because selflessness is impossible: it is impossible simply because it is impossible to think without using our brain. As a consequence, whatever we think is unreliable, because we don't have any way to get control of our brain without using it again to do the control.
What I have said is a direct consequence of assuming that there is some reality out there: if it exists, we cannot ignore the reality of our being inescapably imprisoned into our brain, so that the very ideas of "reality", "being", "out there" turn out to be creations of our brain: we must admit that we have no idea of what they mean.
This is the paradox: if we assume that reality exists, this very assumption forces us automatically to admit that we don't know what we are talking about.
SteveKlinko
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Re: Is our reality just a construction?

Post by SteveKlinko »

gheinz wrote: May 19th, 2022, 3:14 am I previously wrote an abridged version in the thread Re: Can't we ever see the real world? and reported on it in an abbreviated form in viewtopic.php?t=15839. I would like to discuss this topic in more detail here. The following considerations are based on just 2 findings/observations:

1. The starting point is the realization that we are not objective observers of reality because of our egoism (selfishness, self-care, self-centeredness). Rather, we are partisan, biased observers. There is therefore a possibility that we do not see reality as it actually is. Fortunately, while it is not possible to go directly into the state of selflessness (in which we would be objective, impartial observers), there is an easy way - through a simple logical deduction - to find out what reality would be like in that state.

2. Here the starting point is the recognition that there are subjectively significant limits as a result of our egoism (selfishness, self-care, self-centeredness). Now, using a simple inversion, we can state that in the state of SELFLESSNESS (where by definition there is no egoism) there are no subjectively meaningful boundaries; i.e. that this state can be seen as a state of limitlessness and infinity and, moreover, as a state of freedom. Because in the state of unselfishness we would see things as they actually are, it follows that there really are no meaningful boundaries. Our egoism makes us believe that there are limits and it is also the one that constructs our reality, ie. it pretends it to us.

You can judge how far I have succeeded in this derivation and I would be happy to read about it in the comments. I will continue these thoughts afterwards.
Click on: https://theintermind.com/#_Toc337459231 to see why We Do Not See Objects We Detect Objects. There is no Direct Seeing of Reality there is only Detection of Reality.
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Sculptor1
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Re: Is our reality just a construction?

Post by Sculptor1 »

Yes "our" reality is a construction, obviously, though I would not use the term "just" or only.
What we perceive cannot be the same as the "real world out there" (RW), but we are surely collecting matter and energy from that RW. We collect food, and water which are integrated into our systems, and receive energy in the form of light to the retina, vibrations to the eardrum, and kinesis to our touch sensors.

In some ways even our bodies can be thought of as part of the RW, and our consciousness becomes aware of signals made from biochemicals and nervous impulses which we interpret as hunger, temperature, direction, pressure, as well as the more obvious "senses". In fact there are dozens of such senses. Aristotle's big FIVE are a poor reflection on the amazing ability our bodies possess to know the world and the condition of the body.

So none of these electo/chemical signals are the same as the RW, and we as agents take this information and world-build with it constructing an internal reality which is constantly and thoroughly tested against the RW.
All this, of course begs the question where does the RW end and where does the human start. We are indelibly part of the RW for another person, yet we can never see another person surely as an object, as each of us comes replete with an ever growing set of assumptions and anticipations about what, and who that other person is. Even for people never before being met we have preconceptions.
gheinz
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Re: Is our reality just a construction?

Post by gheinz »

gheinz wrote: May 19th, 2022, 3:14 am I previously wrote an abridged version in the thread Re: Can't we ever see the real world? and reported on it in an abbreviated form in viewtopic.php?t=15839. I would like to discuss this topic in more detail here. The following considerations are based on just 2 findings/observations:

1. The starting point is the realization that we are not objective observers of reality because of our egoism (selfishness, self-care, self-centeredness). Rather, we are partisan, biased observers. There is therefore a possibility that we do not see reality as it actually is. Fortunately, while it is not possible to go directly into the state of selflessness (in which we would be objective, impartial observers), there is an easy way - through a simple logical deduction - to find out what reality would be like in that state.

2. Here the starting point is the recognition that there are subjectively significant limits as a result of our egoism (selfishness, self-care, self-centeredness). Now, using a simple inversion, we can state that in the state of SELFLESSNESS (where by definition there is no egoism) there are no subjectively meaningful boundaries; i.e. that this state can be seen as a state of limitlessness and infinity and, moreover, as a state of freedom. Because in the state of unselfishness we would see things as they actually are, it follows that there really are no meaningful boundaries. Our egoism makes us believe that there are limits and it is also the one that constructs our reality, ie. it pretends it to us.

You can judge how far I have succeeded in this derivation and I would be happy to read about it in the comments. I will continue these thoughts afterwards.
Thank you for the answers. I'm not surprised that I've been contradicted or other suggestions have been made. There are those who may have had a point of view for several decades and are now faced with a heap of shards that aren't easy to admit, and so stick to their point of view. Then there are those who have never dealt with this topic before and therefore do not yet have a point of view, but experience the presented point of view as strange and alienating and therefore reject it.
Please understand that I do not wish to discuss the alternative points of view presented. The decisive factor for me is that I have not yet been able to see that I was proven to have made a mistake in reasoning. I hope if I go into more detail my point of view will be even easier to understand.
Angelo Cannata:…because selflessness is impossible…:
I've only ever used "selflessness" together with "coult", "would". But ultimately this is only a practical approximation. I can say this because I experienced the state of selflessness very clearly, albeit for a short time. The moment I felt like I'd seen everything there was to see, my usual way of perceiving seamlessly returned. Perhaps I will report in more detail about this experience.
gheinz
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Re: Is our reality just a construction?

Post by gheinz »

gheinz wrote: May 21st, 2022, 4:14 am heap of shards
gheinz wrote: May 21st, 2022, 4:14 am
gheinz wrote: May 19th, 2022, 3:14 am I previously wrote an abridged version in the thread Re: Can't we ever see the real world? and reported on it in an abbreviated form in <a class="vglnk" href="viewtopic.php?t=15839" rel="nofollow"><span>https</span><span>://</span><span>onlinephilosophyclub</span><span>.</span><span>com</span><span>/</span><span>forums</span><span>/</span><span>viewtopic</span><span>.</span><span>php</span><span>?</span><span>t</span><span>=</span><span>15839</span></a>. I would like to discuss this topic in more detail here. The following considerations are based on just 2 findings/observations:

1. The starting point is the realization that we are not objective observers of reality because of our egoism (selfishness, self-care, self-centeredness). Rather, we are partisan, biased observers. There is therefore a possibility that we do not see reality as it actually is. Fortunately, while it is not possible to go directly into the state of selflessness (in which we would be objective, impartial observers), there is an easy way - through a simple logical deduction - to find out what reality would be like in that state.

2. Here the starting point is the recognition that there are subjectively significant limits as a result of our egoism (selfishness, self-care, self-centeredness). Now, using a simple inversion, we can state that in the state of SELFLESSNESS (where by definition there is no egoism) there are no subjectively meaningful boundaries; i.e. that this state can be seen as a state of limitlessness and infinity and, moreover, as a state of freedom. Because in the state of unselfishness we would see things as they actually are, it follows that there really are no meaningful boundaries. Our egoism makes us believe that there are limits and it is also the one that constructs our reality, ie. it pretends it to us.

You can judge how far I have succeeded in this derivation and I would be happy to read about it in the comments. I will continue these thoughts afterwards.
Thank you for the answers. I'm not surprised that I've been contradicted or other suggestions have been made. There are those who may have had a point of view for several decades and are now faced with a heap of shards that aren't easy to admit, and so stick to their point of view. Then there are those who have never dealt with this topic before and therefore do not yet have a point of view, but experience the presented point of view as strange and alienating and therefore reject it.
Please understand that I do not wish to discuss the alternative points of view presented. The decisive factor for me is that I have not yet been able to see that I was proven to have made a mistake in reasoning. I hope if I go into more detail my point of view will be even easier to understand.
Angelo Cannata:…because selflessness is impossible…:
I've only ever used "selflessness" together with "coult", "would". But ultimately this is only a practical approximation. I can say this because I experienced the state of selflessness very clearly, albeit for a short time. The moment I felt like I'd seen everything there was to see, my usual way of perceiving seamlessly returned. Perhaps I will report in more detail about this experience.
I'm sorry for using the words "heap of shards". There is no reason to believe that what I have written has evoked a reaction in anyone's feelings.
Atla
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Re: Is our reality just a construction?

Post by Atla »

gheinz wrote: May 19th, 2022, 3:14 am I previously wrote an abridged version in the thread Re: Can't we ever see the real world? and reported on it in an abbreviated form in viewtopic.php?t=15839. I would like to discuss this topic in more detail here. The following considerations are based on just 2 findings/observations:

1. The starting point is the realization that we are not objective observers of reality because of our egoism (selfishness, self-care, self-centeredness). Rather, we are partisan, biased observers. There is therefore a possibility that we do not see reality as it actually is. Fortunately, while it is not possible to go directly into the state of selflessness (in which we would be objective, impartial observers), there is an easy way - through a simple logical deduction - to find out what reality would be like in that state.

2. Here the starting point is the recognition that there are subjectively significant limits as a result of our egoism (selfishness, self-care, self-centeredness). Now, using a simple inversion, we can state that in the state of SELFLESSNESS (where by definition there is no egoism) there are no subjectively meaningful boundaries; i.e. that this state can be seen as a state of limitlessness and infinity and, moreover, as a state of freedom. Because in the state of unselfishness we would see things as they actually are, it follows that there really are no meaningful boundaries. Our egoism makes us believe that there are limits and it is also the one that constructs our reality, ie. it pretends it to us.

You can judge how far I have succeeded in this derivation and I would be happy to read about it in the comments. I will continue these thoughts afterwards.
You seem to be ignoring that what we experience is our own mind, which is a miniature model of the world, inside our head (representationalism / indirect realism).

No amount of unselfisness can change this, our reality is always a construction. But unselfishness can usually dramatically improve the accuracy, clarity of the construction.
True philosophy points to the Moon
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GrayArea
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Re: Is our reality just a construction?

Post by GrayArea »

Angelo Cannata wrote: May 19th, 2022, 5:16 am You don't need egoism to be prevented from any contact with reality. You just can't, because selflessness is impossible: it is impossible simply because it is impossible to think without using our brain.
It can be possible because if you think about it, our brain can be classified as a mere part of the world, the world which also includes the environment that surrounds the brain (and is not the brain) as its part.
The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.
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Re: Is our reality just a construction?

Post by Angelo Cannata »

GrayArea wrote: May 21st, 2022, 6:12 am
Angelo Cannata wrote: May 19th, 2022, 5:16 am You don't need egoism to be prevented from any contact with reality. You just can't, because selflessness is impossible: it is impossible simply because it is impossible to think without using our brain.
It can be possible because if you think about it, our brain can be classified as a mere part of the world, the world which also includes the environment that surrounds the brain (and is not the brain) as its part.
So? How does this make possible selflessness or contact with reality?
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GrayArea
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Re: Is our reality just a construction?

Post by GrayArea »

Angelo Cannata wrote: May 21st, 2022, 6:20 am
GrayArea wrote: May 21st, 2022, 6:12 am
Angelo Cannata wrote: May 19th, 2022, 5:16 am You don't need egoism to be prevented from any contact with reality. You just can't, because selflessness is impossible: it is impossible simply because it is impossible to think without using our brain.
It can be possible because if you think about it, our brain can be classified as a mere part of the world, the world which also includes the environment that surrounds the brain (and is not the brain) as its part.
So? How does this make possible selflessness or contact with reality?
I suppose I have to explain myself more. I am saying that once you see the brain, which is the self, as something that is one with its environment(non-self), the boundary between the self and non-self may or may not also disappear (I personally believe it does and doesn't), therefore the act of selfishness as well if it ever does.

If we, the brain, were truly so separate from our environment, we would not be aware of it as ourselves.
The way I see it, the primary function of the brain is to translate the outside world (Reality) to ours. The "translation" itself being where awareness springs from. I believe the outside world and the self are connected.
The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.
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Re: Is our reality just a construction?

Post by Angelo Cannata »

GrayArea wrote: May 21st, 2022, 6:32 am I believe the outside world and the self are connected.
How can you say that there is an outside world, since the only way we have to check this is our brain asking our brain? We cannot make questions without using our brain and we cannot make answers without using our brain. So, it is always our brain talking to himself and telling himself that there is an external world out there. How can we trust our brain saying this to himself? We should also consider that the belief in the existence of an external world is a powerful instrument to impose one’s own opinions, so we need to be suspicious about anybody saying that there is a world out there: this is a powerful instrument for them to avert the suspicion that it is just their opinion, that as such is highly questionable.
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GrayArea
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Re: Is our reality just a construction?

Post by GrayArea »

Angelo Cannata wrote: May 21st, 2022, 6:50 am
GrayArea wrote: May 21st, 2022, 6:32 am I believe the outside world and the self are connected.
How can you say that there is an outside world, since the only way we have to check this is our brain asking our brain?
I personally have a pretty straightforward opinion on this matter and it can be summed up as: "Don't overthink."

The non-construct Reality inevitably becomes a construct the moment we human beings think of it, like you just have right now, while reading the words "non-construct reality", and like I just have right now, typing those words.

To think of Reality not as a construction is to think—therefore to subconsciously form it as a construct. To manually think of Reality as a construct—then that's a construct OF a construct and therefore is an inaccurate depiction of Reality at the end of the day.

Therefore, I say that reality is not a construct.
The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.
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Pattern-chaser
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Re: Is our reality just a construction?

Post by Pattern-chaser »

Angelo Cannata wrote: May 19th, 2022, 5:16 am This is the paradox: if we assume that reality exists, this very assumption forces us automatically to admit that we don't know what we are talking about.
I don't see a paradox here. We don't need to assume that reality exists; we can prove it. But that is the one and only thing we can prove; all else is assumption. A paradox describes, among other things, some sort of contradiction, and I see none here. But I agree with your conclusion: all of our ideas, assumptions and suppositions are unproven and unprovable. All of our mental lives are built on sand. That's just how it is.
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Re: Is our reality just a construction?

Post by Pattern-chaser »

I think this idea of 'selflessness' is slightly weird. It adds some odd, er, notions to something that is, I think (?), quite simple. What you mean by selflessness seems to be objectivity, in the sense you seem to be using it here, which is to mean 'unbiased' and 'impartial'.

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Re: Is our reality just a construction?

Post by Angelo Cannata »

GrayArea wrote: May 21st, 2022, 7:53 am Therefore, I say that reality is not a construct.
I can't see how you jump to that conclusion: all the premises you wrote say that everything is a construct, but at the end you conclude the opposite.
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