"What is real? How do you define real?"

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Miklelottesen, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. In the movie The Matrix, Morpheus asks Neo this question after freeing him from The Matrix, a virtual computer world in which humans are plugged into by the machines. Morpheus continues to explain that "if real is what you can hear, see, smell, taste and touch, then real is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain".

    That statement really made me think, cause isn't that how we generally define what's real? Isn't that the only way we can define what's real? If someone asked me how I could be sure that this computer I'm sitting in front of is real, I could only say that I know it is because all my sences can sence it. But in fact the whole world might aswell just be one great hallucination, that I'm having, which means that nothing is certain to be real?

    It's an impossible thing to discuss, but that just makes it funnier ;)
  2. It's only real because you see it, feel it, taste it, perhaps smell the gunpowder and (though hopefully not) hear it. But it could be a dream in which all your sences are working. When you wake up, you know it was only a dream, because logic tells you so. But what if the glock-incident was the real thing, and you waking up in your bed is just a hallucination, because one of your enemies drugged you without you noticing, while you were sitting tied to a chair with a glock down your throat?

    What if none was real, but your entire life is just the result of a bad acid trip that happened when you were shooting up some of the best stuff available in the real world where the sky is green and the trees grow upside down, causing you to forget about the real world and think the fantasy world induced by the acid is real? You could wake up tomorrow, looking at the clear green sky, having a hangover while thinking "DAMN, that was a wild party last night! That trip felt like it was like 20 years long!!"....

    Victims of incest and equally bad experiences somtimes seem to block it out, never considering the possibility that such things could've ever happened to them, cause they'd certainly remember it. For all we know, we could've had similar experiences, only blocking it out, therefore being sure that we haven't? But that wouldn't make it less real, only to ourselves, because to us it never happened..
  3. or what if once we die we wake up.
  4. I've thought the same thing too. Maybe this reality is just a dream one is having while waiting to be born?
  5. its an interesting question. i do not believe this reality is all there is, and i dont believe in death. sure, this all seems pretty real, but radio waves, cell phone signals are real too, although you wouldnt know it unless you had a device to decode and manifest them into a tangible reality. if you lack that device, youd have a hard time beliveing those signals are 'real.'

    i think the matrix is essentially another propaganda piece for 'smart' people to say 'thats just a movie plot,' although i am a fan of the trilogy.
  6. So one's reality is essentially just what one is able to decode? Sounds true to me, but there's no guarantee that our decoders are decoding properly or that there's actually anything to decode. I mean if you tune your radio into a frequency that nothing is broadcast on, you'd hear something coming out of your radio (hissing and noises) even though there's nothing. In theory you shouldn't get anything, even hissing, cause there's no station out there modulation that particular frequency. Still the radio read those un-modulated frequencies as if they were modulated with white noise, which they aren't, so the radio definatly picks something up that's not there..
  7. #7 YEM, Feb 15, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2009
    Everything around us may not be real, but the energy that we live off of is real.
    Energy is the limitless, endless cycle of whats real. It has millions of forms, yet it is one.
    Without energy we would all cease to exist.

  8. How did we "sense" the reality of electronic signals? ;)

  9. Could you expand on that second paragraph of yours? What do you mean that you consider it a propaganda piece?

    One Energistic Existence. :) Your words are beautiful.

    Reality is what you believe.

    How can we deny this truism?
  10. Welcome to the Cartesian thought experiment. Doubting everything and seeing what you can prove is real. Basically, you can assume you are real, but not necessarily your body, because nobody can deceive you into existence, because there has to be a "you" before you get deceived. You can also say that perceptual and emotional experience is true. This does NOT mean that there is actually a computer in front of you, but it at least seems as if there is a computer in front of you, and you cannot be deceived in believing that there is at least the appearance of a computer, if not a real computer. The same goes with emotions. Now, Descartes goes on to try and prove that God exists, and if you believe he does, then you can start to get back physical reality, but if you do not believe in God, it gets very hard to prove that anything outside yourself exists.
  11. When I get high shit gets too real.

  12. Maybe not God, but a Creator for this Creation?
  13. "..... but if you do not believe in God, it gets very hard to prove that anything outside yourself exists." --- by Tikiman6

    That's why I think I'm God... We're all Gods.
  14. #14 Adenoseine, Feb 17, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2009
    You can define something as real if it has been directly observed.

    But of course, what does it mean to observe? Our senses information encoded into electrical and chemical signals. Our nervous system computes information. Information can be duplicated or modified before or after it enters the brain. For all we know, we could be dreaming.

  15. haha Seeing is believing, or so goes the motto of people who observe to object.
  16. maybe believing is seeing? :)
  17. Maybe there's believing in seeing and seeing in believing?

  18. I know how you figure out if this reality is real, sock someone in the face look at his reaction, guaranty that the expression on his face is real. And if they sock you back and you fell it, yup your in reality!
  19. If you are God, then you would be all-powerful, and all-knowing. And unless you can guess what number I'm thinking of, you are neither.

    Also, Adenosine: Haven't you seen things in dreams? But they weren't real? Therefore seeing is not believing.
  20. What is real in your mind is real to you. Actual reality is the truth.

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