• Daniel
    231


    I perfectly distinguish the mental world from the material world... I think; all I am saying is that if I am part of the material world and dreams (and the mental world) are a part of me then dreams (and the mental world) are part of the material world.
  • TheMadFool
    7.9k
    I perfectly distinguish the mental world from the material world... I think; all I am saying is that if I am part of the material world and dreams (and the mental world) are a part of me then dreams (and the mental world) are part of the material world.Daniel

    I understand what I mean but what do a close examination of the dependency between the material world and the world of dreams. Take away the material world and the world of dreams goes away to but the converse isn't true, at least to the extent that I'm aware.
  • David Mo
    955

    If you are a materialist you will say that everything that happens is part of matter and that dreams are nothing but brain activity.
    Okay. But what dreams are made is one thing and another thing is if they represent, reflect or report something real, that happens outside the brain. This is what we are discussing now. Outer or external reality.
  • Daniel
    231


    I think the difference is that reality is independent of dreams while dreams are not independent of reality.Daniel

    Take away the material world and the world of dreams goes away to but the converse isn't true, at least to the extent that I'm aware.TheMadFool

    That's exactly what I am saying. If the world of dreams is part of the material world, then the former must be as real as the latter. However, they are not the same thing, obviously. Now, if we consider real that which is not imagined then dreams are NOT real, off course. Again, all I wanted to say is that the act of considering the world of dreams as something independent of the material world is erroneous.

    another thing is if they represent, reflect or report something real, that happens outside the brain.David Mo

    Have you ever heard your alarm go off in your dreams before noticing that (in reality) it went off in the external world?

    Nevertheless, I understand what this discussion is about. I agree that the mental world and the material world are different. Again, all I wanted to say is that I think that to make the world of dreams an entity separate/independent from the material world is bad thinking. I say this because sometimes I get the impression that some people do this, but I might be miss-understanding what they mean.
  • TheMadFool
    7.9k
    That's exactly what I am saying. If the world of dreams is part of the material world, then the former must be as real as the latter. However, they are not the same thing, obviously. Now, if we consider real that which is not imagined then dreams are NOT real, off course. Again, all I wanted to say is that the act of considering the world of dreams as something independent of the material world is erroneous.Daniel

    Well, to be honest, dreams entail a conclusion, a conclusion that has the power to throw a spanner in the works of a materialistic world view. One only has to realize the fact that the only way we know we were dreaming is to wake up and until and unless we do wake up, there's no possible way to distinguish between dreams and reality. If that's the case then, how do we know that this state, the "waking state" in which we experience the material world isn't just another dream state, a state that no one, till date, has awakened from? Basically, is the world we've decided to accept the material world all there is? Or is there another level of reality we can wake up to?
  • David Mo
    955
    Again, all I wanted to say is that I think that to make the world of dreams an entity separate/independent from the material world is bad thinking.Daniel

    I think so too.

    Dreams are on the edge of consciousness. That is why they can be directly caused by an external event. A loud noise can make us dream that we are in a bombed-out city. Then we wake up and realize that it was our cousin who was driving nails in the next room. The fact is that we quickly associate hammering with reality and bombing with fiction. The question is why. And hence the reasons I had suggested.
  • David Mo
    955
    Basically, is the world we've decided to accept the material world all there is? Or is there another level of reality we can wake up to?TheMadFool

    There is no absolute reason to choose the real world instead the dream world. All the reasons I have suggested here are reasonable and common sense, but nothing more. But I would not like to see some beloved person behave in real life as if the dream they have had were more real. I am afraid -I am sure- he would be doomed to disaster.

    It seems to me that this is a subject for fantastic and romantic films. Not for the world we live in.
  • TheMadFool
    7.9k
    There is no absolute reason to choose the real world instead the dream world. All the reasons I have suggested here are reasonable and common sense, but nothing more. But I would not like to see some beloved person behave in real life as if the dream they have had were more real. I am afraid -I am sure- he would be doomed to disaster.

    It seems to me that this is a subject for fantastic and romantic films. Not for the world we live in.
    David Mo

    Indeed, if we were to confuse reality with dreams, disaster is assured but, likewise, if we assume, for whatever reason, that this world is the only reality, the same logic would apply, no?
  • David Mo
    955
    if we assume, for whatever reason, that this world is the only reality, the same logic would apply, no?TheMadFool
    Sorry, what logic?
  • TheMadFool
    7.9k
    If it's a disaster to think dreams are real and we don't know if the material world we live isn't just another dream, it would be just as disastrous to think it is.
  • David Mo
    955
    we don't know if the material world we live isn't just another dreamTheMadFool

    Sorry, you know the real world is not a dream because it doesn't have the characteristics of a dream.
    In a dream you walk on a street in a different way than on a real street; in a dream you walk on a street and this street changes in a different way than in the real world. Etc. The coherence in your behavior, the consistency of the vital background, the continuity of life in time, etc. everything is different. So you know that the real world is not like the world of dreams. You are in the real world, so live this real world.
  • TheMadFool
    7.9k
    Sorry, you know the real world is not a dream because it doesn't have the characteristics of a dream.David Mo

    Do you realize that you're dreaming when dreaming? No. The waking world is assuredly different from the dream world both in the sense that our minds are in a different state - the so-called "awake" phase in the 24 hour cycle that makes up our lives - and in the sense, to use gaming jargon - the physics is totally different.

    However, the waking world could itself be a dream and the only way we could know that is by waking up but since no one has ever experienced such a state, at least to the extent I'm aware, we can't say that this world is, well, not just another dream.
  • unenlightened
    5.3k
    if I am part of the material world and dreams (and the mental world) are a part of me then dreams (and the mental world) are part of the material world.Daniel

    Impeccable logic. And so we arrive at the solution, that the real contains the illusory, and we gain the idea of the unreal from reality. A stick insect gives the illusion of being a stick, while actually being an insect; it is both real in one sense, and unreal in another. And in the same way, a painting of a wooden chair has the semblance of a wooden chair, but is really made of paint and cannot be sat on. A mirage fails to quench thirst, the end of the rainbow fails to be there when you arrive at the place you saw it.

    Real light, real insect, real paint, real dreams, all in the guise of something else. The 'something else' is the unreal, because it is only a guise.
  • David Mo
    955
    However, the waking world could itself be a dreamTheMadFool

    How do you know that the screen of a TV is not the screen of a photo camera?

    Answer: because they work differently.

    The question: How do we know that when we are awake we do not dream?
    Answer: Because we function differently than when we dream.

    What you may want to ask is:
    How do we know that when we're awake we capture something out of the mind? Couldn't it be that there is nothing real as a reference of our perceptions as it happens in dreams?

    It's less literary, but it's more accurate.
  • TheMadFool
    7.9k
    How do you know that the screen of a TV is not the screen of a photo camera?

    Answer: because they work differently.

    The question: How do we know that when we are awake we do not dream?
    Answer: Because we function differently than when we dream.

    What you may want to ask is:
    How do we know that when we're awake we capture something out of the mind? Couldn't it be that there is nothing real as a reference of our perceptions as it happens in dreams?

    It's less literary, but it's more accurate.
    David Mo

    I want to ask you a simple question: Do you know, for certain, that this world, your waking world, is real and not a simulation?
  • Daniel
    231
    I don't think it is possible to know to certainty if this is a simulation or not (if it is, respects to whatever is responsible for it; if it isn't, the same); however, even if this was a simulation, it would be contained in some reality which would make such reality the simulation's reality. I'd say the matrix is real because it is contained within the real world (i.e., there is only one existence/one the whole).
  • David Mo
    955
    I want to ask you a simple question: Do you know, for certain, that this world, your waking world, is real and not a simulation?TheMadFool

    Absolute certainty, no.

    I believe that all people have the powerful natural intuition that the things we perceive correspond to something real. Science and common sense tell us that they are not always as we see them, but that does not mean that they do not exist. I see no reason to suspect that this intuition is false. Do you have any proof that the world we live in is a simulation? As long as you don't, it seems to me an expendable hypothesis.

    If you don't mind, we can move on to something else.
  • TheMadFool
    7.9k
    Do you have any proof that the world we live in is a simulation?David Mo

    My position on the matter is irrelevant because I'm not claiming that the world is or is not a simulation. Frankly, I don't know and, in fact, nobody does.

    You, on the other hand, are saying the world isn't a simulation. Basically, the burden of proof falls on you.
  • JerseyFlight
    782
    I'm not claiming that the world is or is not a simulation. Frankly, I don't know and, in fact, nobody does.TheMadFool

    Right, which makes the question a waste of life. There are things within this Matrix that intelligence must come to terms with and will only suffer from if it remains ignorant. Ideological and class structures are examples of vital consciousness.
  • TheMadFool
    7.9k
    Right, which makes the question a waste of lifeJerseyFlight

    Au contraire, it makes life all the more mysterious ergo, vastly more interesting than otherwise. I believe, not from personal experience though, that realizing this world could be an illusion is itself a higher state of conscisousness - an awakening, if you will.
  • David Mo
    955
    Frankly, I don't know and, in fact, nobody does.TheMadFool

    This is only true if you are talking about absolute knowledge. If you low the bar, you should consider the reasons I have already given in the previous comment.

    I am not going to start a discussion about who bears the burden of proof. They are usually endless. I simply hope you will consider the reasons I have given for not taking into account the hypothesis that the world we live in is a simulation.

    I will be waiting.
  • TheMadFool
    7.9k
    This is only true if you are talking about absolute knowledge. If you low the bar, you should consider the reasons I have already given in the previous comment.David Mo

    Well, it's not impossible to relax the rules every now and then to make an idea or a theory more digestible but where are you going to draw the line between what is knowledge and what is not knowledge then? If you can lower the bar, can I not ask that it not be lowered or that it be raised higher instead? It's arbitrary, without rationale - it's basically a whim. Is knowledge based on whims and fancies?

    I am not going to start a discussion about who bears the burden of proofDavid Mo

    Whoever makes a claim has to prove his claim. That's all I'm saying.
  • David Mo
    955
    Well, it's not impossible to relax the rules every now and then to make an idea or a theory more digestible but where are you going to draw the line between what is knowledge and what is not knowledge then?TheMadFool

    There is not a single branch of knowledge, except the formal sciences, that seeks absolute knowledge. Each of these branches has its criteria to distinguish between knowledge and other things, such as faith, opinion, etc. Natural sciences have strong criteria. Other branches of knowledge are more ductile. This does not mean that there is no separation between science and opinion, or between rational knowledge and faith, reality and dream. It simply means that the claim of absolute knowledge leads to absolute skepticism, a position that is impossible to maintain in practice.

    Look, "life is a dream" is fine for Calderón de la Barca's theological comedies, but if you intend to take your dreams for reality, I recommend an urgent visit to an analyst. Really, what do you intend with that? I understand that Descartes posed an Evil Genius that made you doubt everything. He was looking for an indubitable method inspired by mathematics. Do you think that his failure to find an absolutely certain knowledge implies that there is no truth or lie?
  • TheMadFool
    7.9k
    There is not a single branch of knowledge, except the formal sciences, that seeks absolute knowledge. Each of these branches has its criteria to distinguish between knowledge and other things, such as faith, opinion, etc. Natural sciences have strong criteria. Other branches of knowledge are more ductile. This does not mean that there is no separation between science and opinion, or between rational knowledge and faith, reality and dream. It simply means that the claim of absolute knowledge leads to absolute skepticism, a position that is impossible to maintain in practice.David Mo

    Why is it impossible to maintain what you refer to as "absolute skepticism"?

    Look, "life is a dream" is fine for Calderón de la Barca's theological comedies, but if you intend to take your dreams for reality, I recommend an urgent visit to an analystDavid Mo

    If anything I'm trying not to confuse dreams with the real deal.

    Look, you can't prove that the world we're experiencing is not a simulation, right? What does that mean to you? Shouldn't take anything for granted, shouldn't make any assumptions about this world, shouldn't rule out the possibility that there could be another level of reality, right?
  • David Mo
    955
    Why is it impossible to maintain what you refer to as "absolute skepticism"?TheMadFool
    An absolute skeptic would think this conversation be absurd. I'm not talking. I have no absolute proof that you, my computer, the chair, etc. exist.
    The immediate consequence of doubting everything is to do nothing. Which is a way like any other to die of starvation.

    For my part, I prefer more moderate and less dangerous solutions. I have already mentioned them. One : trust the natural intuition that tells me the world exists. Until someone presents proof that the world does not exist. Two : accept as evidence what has a high degree of probability.

    If you do not accept the same criteria you should stop responding to my comments. That would be the only coherent thing to do.
  • Banno
    9.9k
    There's something quite mad going on here.

    Are there folk who genuinely do not know the difference between a dream and being awake? Of course not.

    Do you genuinely not believe in the device on which you are reading this? Of course not.

    These are just word games played on a philosophy forum.
  • jorndoe
    1.1k
    Incidentally, some time ago, I was trying to do an analysis of some common mind-verbiage, like

    subjective - objective
    fictional - real
    voluntary - involuntary
    invented - discovered

    Too lazy to transform the original html to forum markup, so I'll just attach an image instead.
    Not done though, quickly became a bit wishy-washy, isn't argumentative, more summarizing.
    Anyone have suggestions, see errors, clarifications, ...?

    mwovyfwjfl5p9pon.png
  • magritte
    145
    These are just word gamesBanno

    That's philosophy in a nutshell
  • Roy Davies
    79
    If I can create an reality In a computer and someone can experience it as if it is real using a VR headset, then how is that experience different from ‘reality’? I can only know reality as I perceive it.
  • Umonsarmon
    53
    Well I go for an extremist position of saying that everything is real i.e has some form of existence :) I prefer it to saying that nothing is real because then you can go down the road as to doubting your own existence.
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