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      Useless Philosophical Questions

      Post philosophical questions where the answers are basically irrelevant (though they may reveal flaws in our own assumptions regarding semantics and stuff)

      For instance:

      What if when you're dreaming, you're really awake and when you're awake, you're really dreaming?

      What if Gravity is actually pushing us down rather than pulling us in?

      What if the color I call red is different from the color you call red?

      These questions have no answers relevant to understanding reality, but the questions themselves can be revealing as far as the nature of reality. For instance even though dreams are presumably isolated and transient experiences that doesn't mean they are definitely not the real reality. When one studies the question of which state of consciousness is actually reality, one realizes that our understanding of reality is based upon flimsy, unsettled criteria. The qualities of reality are inherently circular, we have qualified a collection of criteria within this state of consciousness and called it reality but that doesn't make it any more real than a dream... just more stable with a longer-lasting accumulation of events. When you die though, would there be a difference between the realities you dreamed and the ones you experienced wakefully?

      The second question of course reminds us that there's no difference between pulling and pushing, and that the action takes the position of one or the other based upon our illusory understanding of reality. In a purely practical sense, if I grab your arm and pull you, it appears you're being pulled, not pushed, but at the most basic level of reality movement is simply pressure, when pressure is unbalanced, something is neither pulled or pushed, it simply moves to correct the imbalance.

      And the final question reveals our tendency to regard to our subjective reality as objective reality and reminds us of the irrelevancy of objective reality compared to the ability to transmit information between subjective perceptions. In other words, it doesn't actually matter what color red really is as long as when we both see a color, we're both capable of calling it red. There are of course other considerations to take into account, such as how Russians have two completely different words for dark blue and light blue and because of this they are able to test faster in particular color association tests than non-Russians which take dark blue and light blue into account. But I'm not really thinking about language specific differences so much as perception specific differences. After all we all have different worldviews and it doesn't matter so much that one is more right than the other so long as our different worldviews don't cause us to slaughter jews or jump off cliffs in order to time travel. These are flaws which correct themselves due to their dysfunctional nature. The basic question of what color is really red gets to the heart of relativism, epistemology, logical positivism and utilitarianism. It doesn't matter what's really red, it only matter that we all know when to stop and go at the traffic light.

      Feel free to debate any of the above, or include your own questions.
      Last edited by Omnis Dei; 06-12-2012 at 06:37 AM.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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