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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

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Question What is real? - December 26th 2014, 01:09 AM

I put triggering because It can bend the mind to contemplate O.O This is some proper M. Night Shammylammy stuff here.

The question we need to ask before we propose the question "What is real?" is "Do we exist?". What is our existence? Do we have a conscience? Think of it this way. In The Sims 3, you could make the 'Sim' sit down at a computer and play The Sims, ironically. The sim would be in this case controlling it's own universe, unaware that you are controlling it's entire universe. To the sim, everything you've told it do was it's own choice and it's all 'real' but we can see "Well it's not real because it's on my computer screen, it's fiction." What if something is controlling us right now and we aren't making our own decisions. We'd all be unaware of this because we can't prove we are but we can't prove we're not.

What if every single memory you can ever recall and ever will have is a massive long dream? Think of this, you're living your life, reading this post. Then what? You might think about it then go off and listen to music, remember some lyrics etc, go do some work, sleep, wake up, keep going on and on forging new memories. Then you might be old, on your death bed and close your eyes for one final time and when you do, you wake up, at a random stage in your life. All those memories are suddenly gone! They would have never existed! You've dreamed this entire universe and it's gone! "WOAH MAN STOP" You might be saying and I said there's some Shammylammy stuff here soo yeah!

So what exactly is real? How do you define something as real? Is how real something is defined by your perspective or is it relative to something? I'll be studying philosophy in spring 2015 so this was an interesting topic for me to discuss and I hope you think about this. And if you're still reading then Congratulations! Have an official High Five from me! You've earned it.

If you feel you need to calm your mind, Search 'kitten' on imgur. It'll help.

Last edited by Hypothesis.; December 26th 2014 at 03:07 AM. Reason: You don't really need the prefix, sorry. :(
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Re: What is real? - December 26th 2014, 03:03 AM

I actually learned about something similar in my philosophy class this semester. He was basically saying how we would never know if we were actually in a computer simulation or not. He said that basically, it is assumed that one day there will be a universe that is so technologically advanced that it CAN make computer simulations to map out societies, universes, etc. As long as the universe doesn't manage to destroy itself first, there will likely become a point where it gets curious enough to run simulations, and it will. Eventually the simulation may become advanced enough to run simulations and so on, so how do we know if we're in a simulation or the real world?

He told us about other theories as well. I forgot how a lot of them went but I remember one of them basically said that, what if we're not really existing, and all our experiences are being fed into us by a demonlike creature?

I dunno, I'd define something as real if I can grasp it with my mind and grasp it in the physical world as well, something that is comprehendable, I dunno! But philosophers would hate that definition.

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Re: What is real? - December 26th 2014, 02:28 PM

If we are dreaming, then one day we will wake up to reality. If we aren't dreaming, we won't wake up to reality - because our perception of reality is reality. It's that simple.

"Real" is what we perceive to exist. It could cease existing at any moment, and then it would become unreal.

Until the moment that the guise of reality falls away from the dream, if it ever does, I'll assume that what's around me is my reality. When evidence is shown to the contrary, I'll alter my perception.

Philosophy is a field of study with many theories that cannot be proven. You just have to lean toward the most likely scenario, and leave it at that. The ground beneath my feet and the stars above my head feel real - and thus far, that's the only evidence that has been provided to me. If I question reality, I question all the discoveries made in that reality and all the laws governing it, which is to say that anything could possibly exist outside this land of dreaming. I.e., nearly perfect scientific theories such as evolution could be complete fallacies dreamed up by someone within this strange non-reality, and outside of this dream, none of those laws would apply. If none of those laws applied, it would make it more likely that some omnipotent being(s) connived this world into Being, which would make any number of the religions on Earth potentially true.

On the other hand, most dreams are experienced by individuals. If we're in a dreamworld, then there's either a mass of us experiencing the same dream all at once, or no one on Earth exists but me... And this is all in my head. If this is all in my head - the world, my family, my friends, the Internet - then evidently there's something special about my brain which allows it to do as it does. In fact, there's something special about my brain for being chosen as the omnipotent being's main character in this world - because of all things, I feel the most real.

If I feel real as real as I do, which would mean no one else truly exists inside my dreamworld, what's the point of compassion, anger, hatred, love, and all other emotions which connect the spirits of multiple human beings? If you and I both feel real, then at least the other people which inhabit this Earth/plane of existence must be real, and it's a dream woven for an entire race (highly improbable, unless some omnipotent being(s) are warring against us).

Can you disprove that we are real? No. Can you prove that we are real? No, but I believe it's more likely that we are real, because if we weren't, how could we be thinking and feeling - and, more importantly, creating?

Well, if you managed to follow that train of thought, I believe you deserve a cookie. Or maybe a whole box of them.

"The most notorious ill-fortune must, in the end, yield to the untiring courage of philosophy - as the most stubborn city to the ceaseless vigilance of the enemy." - Edgar Allan Poe

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