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    1. #1
      Dreamah in ReHaB AirRick101's Avatar
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      Everything we know is an interpretation

      I know this sounds like an absolute, but try to absorb what I'm trying to say. I'm gonna make this really simple-minded.

      Simply put as an example, the moment you see a table and call it a table, whether out loud or in your mind, that's already an interpretation. Can you see that? Is it really a table? If yes, how come, because somebody or the dictionary said so?

      Which is exactly why I get very uncomfortable or skeptical when people profess absolute truth in words, especially religious fanatics. It's probably old news, but whatever.

      I encourage doods to check it out in many parts of their lives. Just to open minds.
      naturals are what we call people who did all the right things accidentally

    2. #2
      Yoi yume wo~! Rakkantekimusouka's Avatar
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      I agree completely. That is the key to this world: Perception. It is all about Perception.

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    3. #3
      Member Belisarius's Avatar
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      I think it's fine to name things(as this helps greatly in thinking), but you are right that everything people claim to know is just their interpretation of what they percieve, and is no more valid than anyone elses.

    4. #4
      Dreamah in ReHaB AirRick101's Avatar
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      Ya, it's not easy to disagree with the intent of this thread. Still possible, though, hehe.

      But without interpretation, do we have nothing?
      naturals are what we call people who did all the right things accidentally

    5. #5
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      If you have a table with 4 legs you cant interpret it as a table with 6 legs.

    6. #6
      Yoi yume wo~! Rakkantekimusouka's Avatar
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      I don't think that's exactly what AirRick meant, Alric...
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    7. #7
      Member Belisarius's Avatar
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      Originally posted by Alric
      If you have a table with 4 legs you cant interpret it as a table with 6 legs.
      Of course I can.

      Just because something seems completely irrational doesn't mean people can't hold that belief and attempt to justify it. Just look at Christianity.

    8. #8
      Member Placebo's Avatar
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      This sounds very close to the concept of the 'model' view of our world and environment
      Our brain relies on the body and its senses to determined an understanding of the world we (think we) know

      The body does not sense everything, and often is entirely incorrect
      Take EMF and IR as an example of 'not sensing' and optical illusions and unusual patterns as an example of 'incorrect sensing'

      In other words, nothing we know of our world was determined 'from the horses mouth'
      Even 'seeing is believing' is completely unreliable
      Our senses can be fooled, and thus our concept of the world

      This is not unlike the concepts you see coming out of Matrix 1 I guess

      For dreaming this is interesting, because our brain's input (senses) are short circuited, and are mostly internal
      (I say mostly because some part of our external environment while sleeping tends to affect our dreams)
      Tips For Newbies | What to do in an LD

      Unless otherwise stated, views expressed in this post are not necessarily representative of the official Dream Views stance. Hell, it's probably not even representative of me.

    9. #9
      Member Joseph_Stalin's Avatar
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      Originally posted by Rakkantekimusouka
      I agree completely. That is the key to this world: Perception. It is all about Perception.


      Finally, someone who understands what I too believe. Join the cause of the Pro-Preceptors, and we shall not fail...in...something...


      On topic: Also brings to the philosophical point that, if we leave a room, do the contents exist in the real sense that we are used to? Sure I can put a video camera in the room, but even the contents of the tape are percepted in colors and such. I can but a time-released device, and measure the contents from afar, with any instrument, but perhaps it's just matter, simply "there". We 'know' that there's a table inside the room, but until we walk in, it's just particles in an area. Then there's the language and interpretation itself...

      "In the end, the lord shalth return in full regulation Soviet Uniform, hailing Lenin as thy true messiah." -Siberian Revealations

    10. #10
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      I totaly agree with this one....Me and my uncle had a long talk about how everything is just based on perception. But with that in mind....You could make anything possable!
      <span style="font-family:Tahoma">It is less what one is that should matter, than what one is not.
      - Fingers Pointing Toward the Moon by Wei Wu Wei</span>

    11. #11
      Member bradybaker's Avatar
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      In a cosmic sense, humanity is a skid mark on a piece of dust in the middle of nowhere. Regardless of what we "percieve", reality is reality. There is one ultimate truth (description of how existence functions), whether or not we can percieve it is another issue.

      If humans ceased to exist, the universe would continue even without anyone to observe it.
      "This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time."



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    12. #12
      Yoi yume wo~! Rakkantekimusouka's Avatar
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      Originally posted by bradybaker
      In a cosmic sense, humanity is a skid mark on a piece of dust in the middle of nowhere. Regardless of what we \"percieve\", reality is reality. There is one ultimate truth (description of how existence functions), whether or not we can percieve it is another issue.

      If humans ceased to exist, the universe would continue even without anyone to observe it.
      OK then...you keep on believing all that adorable atheism...*pats bradybaker on the back*

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    13. #13
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      Rakkantekimusouka, So what are you trying to say? That if humans ceased to exist, reality as we know it would aslo?
      <span style="font-family:Tahoma">It is less what one is that should matter, than what one is not.
      - Fingers Pointing Toward the Moon by Wei Wu Wei</span>

    14. #14
      Member bradybaker's Avatar
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      Will do.

      "This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time."



      The Emancipator MySpace

    15. #15
      Yoi yume wo~! Rakkantekimusouka's Avatar
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      Originally posted by freemind
      Rakkantekimusouka, So what are you trying to say? That if humans ceased to exist, reality as we know it would aslo?
      Not exactly -- I was commenting more on bradybaker's staunch atheism and extreme realism; but, as someone famously said, "I disgree with what you believe, but I will fight to the death for your right to believe it". I don't hate him for being atheist and realist, although I am pretty much his complete antithesis.

      Anyway, he is right in the sense that if humans ceased to exist, the world would go on -- in this dimension. If humans just completely ceased to exist everywhere and anywhere, reality would slowly beging to disintegrate.

      Allow me to make an attempt at a fairly decent analogy: the Reform movement of Judaism is the largest movement in existence. Reform Jews do not adhere to true Judaism, but they have the potential to, i.e. by becoming bal t'shuvas. If another Holocaust were to occur, and wiped them all out, then more potential true Jews would be lost, and Judaism would be weakened even more so.

      Humans are like Reform Jews in the sense that while we currently are not in the purest forms that we have the potential to be, us being wiped out eliminates the possibility of us returning to our true forms. The Third and bottom Tier in the Three Tiers of Life would collapse, which would bring the whole structure down a whole story.

      I hope you can at least deduce most of what I'm getting at...sorry if it's a little confusing.
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    16. #16
      Member Belisarius's Avatar
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      Originally posted by bradybaker
      In a cosmic sense, humanity is a skid mark on a piece of dust in the middle of nowhere. Regardless of what we \"percieve\", reality is reality. There is one ultimate truth (description of how existence functions), whether or not we can percieve it is another issue.

      If humans ceased to exist, the universe would continue even without anyone to observe it.
      Don't try to escape this arguement bradybaker, one of us will be defeated here!

      What leads you to believe what you said?

    17. #17
      Member tyrantt23's Avatar
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      Re: Everything we know is an interpretation

      Originally posted by AirRick101
      Simply put as an example, the moment you see a table and call it a table, whether out loud or in your mind, that's already an interpretation. *Can you see that? *Is it really a table? *If yes, how come, because somebody or the dictionary said so?

      Which is exactly why I get very uncomfortable or skeptical when people profess absolute truth in words, especially religious fanatics. *It's probably old news, but whatever.
      Only to an extent I would say. For things like religion, sure, its is no more than personal interpretation. As for math however (and a few other sciences), there is no such thing as that. That's what proofs are for... the square root of 2 is an irrational number, 1 is greater than 0, etc etc. It gets a lot more complex than that, but even those (seemingly) obvious statements have formal proofs. They do not vary based on interpretation from person to person. The same concept can be applied to other (though not all) things in the world.

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    18. #18
      Used to be adroid28 Achievements:
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      Only to an extent I would say. For things like religion, sure, its is no more than personal interpretation. As for math however (and a few other sciences), there is no such thing as that. That's what proofs are for... the square root of 2 is an irrational number, 1 is greater than 0, etc etc. It gets a lot more complex than that, but even those (seemingly) obvious statements have formal proofs. They do not vary based on interpretation from person to person. The same concept can be applied to other (though not all) things in the world. *
      [/b]
      Well i think it is truth that maths are self proven but you should also see that is kind of an invention of humanity, a tool. The fact that you can measure, analyze and use maths to something doesn't really say much about its existance. The only thing you can say is that maths can aply in that particular case. But what is maths? How could have been created? Have you seen the analysis of Wittgenstein on a possible explanation for the creation of maths? I am getting towards the idea that maths are like language. That is predetermined symbols that we use as tools and therefore an 'interpetation'. A usefull one non the less.

      INTERPETATIONS

      I also think that everything we see is an interpetation. That doesn't mean that all the things we see don't exist. That is the great missunderstanding of the philosophy of Trancedental idealism. It means that we percieve what we are capable of percieving through our senses and therefore that the image we see is an interpetation. It is certainly an interpetation of something but the image is not reality itself. I will use an example:

      When we hear a note, let's say the note of midlle C from a piano we can say that what we hear is what is realy there. Well, if you study the physics of sound you will see that we hear only what we are capable through the range that our ear can percieve. In 'reality' we can prove scientifically that at the same time we hear the fundamental tone, harmonics are being created. These harmonics go up to infinity.
      It is also true that with exercise we can learn to percieve some harmonics, wich proves that our perception is subject to development and haven't reach their final condition (the principle of evolution). But that is another subject.

      This can aply to all our senses.

      Another interesting thing is that if we are not aware that we can develop our senses and conciousness we will not. Never.

      The solution?

      Do you think you finally arived at the final truth?

      well...

      Think again

      BYE

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    19. #19
      Member Peregrinus's Avatar
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      Everything we experience may indeed be an interpretation, but it is an interpretation of something. All interpretations are by definition based upon an original source. To say that all human knowledge is necessarily derived through an incomplete data gathering process is not an excuse to engage in some sort of soft nihilism, claiming that nothing exists in totality outside of human perception. To say that reality ceases to exist in the absence of human observers is horrifyingly anthropocentric. Humanity holds the universe together? Come on. Homo sapiens didn't develop until approximately 150,000 years ago. The universe is estimated to be between 13 and 14 billion years old based on recent data from the Hubble Space Telescope. Does anyone here seriously postulate that the universe did not exist before a Homo sapien was there to observe it, that everything we consider to be geological and archeological and astronomical science is just a sham? All of the observations and interpretations of those observations we have are just planted evidence that popped into existence in the same the instance that, for some unknown and unknowable reason, a human being popped into existence, and all of this evidence-- in fact, all of reality-- is simply done up to appear old? You can't even believe in the birth of the first human being in that case, because such an event necessitates the mating of two pre-sapiens species, which, according to this belief could not possibly have even existed because they by definition must come before humans. This same belief also creates an artificial hierarchy in which all other life (including any potential extra-terrestrial life) has less worth than humanity since it is nonessential to the continued existence of the universe. Give me a break.

      Sorry for the rant, but I find such beliefs to be the unbearably ridiculous products of a lack of a lack of reasoned thought coupled with the strong desire to have one's own self-worth confirmed by the universe itself. We as human beings need to learn to just get over ourselves. The world existed before us, and it will continue to exist after we are gone. In fact, based on our treatment of the environment, it might be better off after we're gone.

      As for mathematics: It's a very useful tool and an elegant language, but even it cannot prove its own consistency. Check out Gödel's incompleteness theorems.
      “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”
      - Voltaire (1694 - 1778)

      The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems.
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    20. #20
      Member Belisarius's Avatar
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      Everything we experience may indeed be an interpretation, but it is an interpretation of something. All interpretations are by definition based upon an original source. To say that all human knowledge is necessarily derived through an incomplete data gathering process is not an excuse to engage in some sort of soft nihilism, claiming that nothing exists in totality outside of human perception. To say that reality ceases to exist in the absence of human observers is horrifyingly anthropocentric. Humanity holds the universe together? Come on. Homo sapiens didn't develop until approximately 150,000 years ago. The universe is estimated to be between 13 and 14 billion years old based on recent data from the Hubble Space Telescope. Does anyone here seriously postulate that the universe did not exist before a Homo sapien was there to observe it, that everything we consider to be geological and archeological and astronomical science is just a sham? All of the observations and interpretations of those observations we have are just planted evidence that popped into existence in the same the instance that, for some unknown and unknowable reason, a human being popped into existence, and all of this evidence-- in fact, all of reality-- is simply done up to appear old? You can't even believe in the birth of the first human being in that case, because such an event necessitates the mating of two pre-sapiens species, which, according to this belief could not possibly have even existed because they by definition must come before humans. This same belief also creates an artificial hierarchy in which all other life (including any potential extra-terrestrial life) has less worth than humanity since it is nonessential to the continued existence of the universe. Give me a break. *

      Sorry for the rant, but I find such beliefs to be the unbearably ridiculous products of a lack of a lack of reasoned thought coupled with the strong desire to have one's own self-worth confirmed by the universe itself. We as human beings need to learn to just get over ourselves. The world existed before us, and it will continue to exist after we are gone. In fact, based on our treatment of the environment, it might be better off after we're gone. [/b]
      Of course it is an interpretation of something, and that something is the raw sense data that we recieve. Of course there is probably a cause for our perceptions, but there is no way to know it.

      Do you have a reason why the belief that the universe didn't exist before humans is ridiculous, and that all of your scientific data is accurate or will you just call upon the ambiguous institution of common sense to justify your claims?

    21. #21
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      i agree with the original statement that there are no absolute truths. Reading Descartes Mediatations, it's clear that it is possible to doubt the existence of anything physical (as we may be dreaming), or mathematical (as we may be deceived by a God or Demon)... leaving us with only one absolute, undeniable truth:

      Cogito ergo sum

      "I think therefore I Exist"

      I have an arguement against my own existence, but I'll have to post that some other time....
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    22. #22
      Rotaredom Howie's Avatar
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      AAhhh... Peregrinus! I have been waiting for your response

      Now having you said all that I can feel comfortable with a lesser statement of my own. Thus agreeing with yours.
      No matter how smart, ignorant or stupid someone is, anything can be argued. All because of belief. You cannot deny someone their belief regerdless of how factless it is.

    23. #23
      Member Peregrinus's Avatar
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      Originally posted by Belisarius
      Of course it is an interpretation of something, and that something is the raw sense data that we recieve. Of course there is probably a cause for our perceptions, but there is no way to know it.
      There is a cause. Even in dreams when we are almost completely isolated from the external world, our perceptions have causes. All of our experiences, memories, and interpretations of those experiences serve as the basis for our dreams. Even if you dream that you're being taught advanced Buddhist philosophy by a flaming hamster wearing scuba gear under a frozen lake, it has a cause-- maybe a really twisted cause, but one based on your own life experiences nonetheless.

      Do you have a reason why the belief that the universe didn't exist before humans is ridiculous, and that all of your scientific data is accurate or will you just call upon the ambiguous institution of common sense to justify your claims?[/b]
      My scientific data? Such disdain. So are you being serious here, actually wanting a reason for my contention that such a belief is a silly and egotistical excursion into the realms of relativism that lacks evidence of the level of contemplation that I would expect from a 10 year old child, or are you just playing devil's advocate? I'd like to know before I answer so that I might save myself the hassle of washing the condescension and contempt from my thoughts when I'm done.

      And yes, you should read Descartes. He actually pealed away all levels of perception until he got down to the one thing he could be sure of, namely his own existance. He then proceded with painstaking care (and occasionally painfully slow writing) to rebuild his system of knowledge.
      “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”
      - Voltaire (1694 - 1778)

      The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems.
      - Mohandas Gandhi

    24. #24
      Member Belisarius's Avatar
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      I don't really espouse that belief, but I am being serious, I want you to tell me what is so irrational about that proposition. Of course it isn't justified, but neither is the belief you espouse about the history of the universe.

      And yes, I really should read descartes.

    25. #25
      Member Peregrinus's Avatar
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      Originally posted by Belisarius
      I don't really espouse that belief, but I am being serious, I want you to tell me what is so irrational about that proposition. *Of course it isn't justified, but neither is the belief you espouse about the history of the universe.
      I can call upon Occam's Razor if you like, although I had thought that "the universe exists solely for humanity" is such a blatantly egotistical and naive ideology that no one would take it seriously.

      However, here goes. Occam's Razor: "Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate" ("plurality should not be posited without necessity"). To postulate that the universe did not exist before humanity existed to occupy it requires that one explain away all of the data that indicates an age of the universe beyond 150,000 years. This almost certainly requires the existence of a supreme being with a sadistic sense of humor. Adopting such a belief would also leave many questions such as why humanity is so important that this giant stage illusion full of meticulously crafted and fully believable props, supported by an intricate false back-story and perpetuated by "flawed" human senses designed to make it all believable was created in the first place. It is essentially on a large scale what many Creationists believe about evolution-- that it's an elaborate sham designed to test humanity's faith. The dinosaur bones and hominid skeletons were planted by God 4000 years ago in just such a way as to make them appear to all human technology as if they were millions of years old. What you are proposing is 100 times as preposterous-- that the entire universe is planted.

      OR

      You can examine and accept the amazingly consistent physical data that indicates the birth of the universe 13-14 billion years ago. Everything falls out from there. No need for a sadistic puppet master (a huge plurality). Everything you perceive around you can be explained by the interplay of universal forces that came into being with the birth of the universe. An elaborate hoax is not necessary to explain the existence of scientific data that indicate an age of the universe beyond that of the human species.

      However, what I have above is simply an exercise in logic and medieval philosophy. The fact remains that such a belief as postulated in previous posts requires that one reject the validity of any and all sensory data. Since that is all we have by which to judge our reality, it relegates one to a position of impotent relativism. If you reject all axioms, you can prove nothing and disprove nothing. Anything could be real and nothing could be real. The "true reality" could be elephants stacked atop a turtle's back as it slowly swims through space to its mating ground (thank you, Terry Pratchett). If nothing from astronomy, astrophysics, or geology is admissible evidence, such a proposition is unchallengeable. The same is true of this "the universe did not exist before humanity" belief. By asking me to prove that the universe has existed for 13 - 14 billion years and then denying me the use of all scientific data, you are asking me to do the impossible. It is also a pointless exercise to try. Any system without axioms is worthless philosophically. It cannot be argued, cannot be examined, cannot be studied. It is ridiculous-- a fluffy cage in which the believer entraps and isolates him or herself from the world while shouting, "I can believe whatever I want and you can't disprove otherwise. Nana nana boo boo!"
      “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”
      - Voltaire (1694 - 1778)

      The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems.
      - Mohandas Gandhi

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