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Are we incapable of seeing things as they really are?

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posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 10:39 PM
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A recent article by Michael Shermer in Scientific American poses the question.


a new theory by University of California, Irvine, cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman is garnering attention. Grounded in evolutionary psychology, it is called the interface theory of perception (ITP) and argues that percepts act as a species-specific user interface that directs behavior toward survival and reproduction, not truth.

Thus, argues Hoffman, the way the world looks to us has very little to do with how it really 'looks' (and sounds, and smells, etc), but is merely a perceptual illusion that enables us to interact with it, and thus to survive and reproduce. The comparison he uses is to a computer GUI: the world is the system, our perception of it is like a Blueberry or Windows GUI.

I have actually believed this for some time now. I was first led to the idea by Einstein's description of reality as a 'very persistent illusion'. The idea helps me swallow some of the paradoxes of physics, such as wave-particle duality and the strange intractability of time. It also disposes of certain philosophical conundra that arise from the incompatibility of idealism and empiricism.

Unfortunately, Hoffman's theory also suggests that, on a fundamental level, we can never know reality. I have no doubt that those who favour magic, religion, meditation and various metaphysical explanations of reality will disagree, continuing to insist that what they perceive is 'really real'. I have always begged to differ, and this is why.

The model may also explain why some folk seem to perceive things others don't, such as ghosts and aliens. It could be that they are just having problems with their interface-generating internal software.

My own feeling has always been that it does not matter whether or not our perceptions are truly accurate, so long as they are consistent -- and consensual. The appearance of reality derived from our brains and senses can safely be taken as veridical; evolution has seen to that.

Over to you, philosophers of Above Top Secret.


edit on 27/10/15 by Astyanax because: of a typo in the title.




posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 10:48 PM
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a reply to: Astyanax

some have argued that we are constantly building our own reality's through actions and choice, we as a whole have a collective reality we all take part in. maybe those things people see like ghosts, are shadows. a possibility of something that is far removed from our 'social' reality, and is something that could of been in the individuals reality. being a shadow, an abstract idea of existence, it looses all context to the observer.

or maybe the things that happen that are 'off/strange' is a very temporary gap in between our reality


could someone's reality be 'stronger' then an others causing them to influence their life?


could social change occur with the power of mass belief ?

i personally really just have no idea.
edit on 27-10-2015 by hknudzkknexnt because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 10:54 PM
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originally posted by: [post=19971057]

My own feeling has always been that it does not matter whether or not our perceptions are accurate, so long as they are consistent -- and consensual.


How could you consent to an illusion without knowing it was an illusion?



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 11:01 PM
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This beer and cheeseburger taste pretty good.
I consent to the illusion.



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 11:06 PM
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a reply to: Moresby


How could you consent to an illusion without knowing it was an illusion?

You merely accept the proffered illusion as fact. 'how things appear is how they are.' Perhaps I should have used a simpler word: shared. But I was invoking William Gibson's description of cyberspace as a 'consensual hallucination'.


edit on 27/10/15 by Astyanax because: I misquoted Gibson first time round.



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 11:14 PM
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If that is true, then there are a lot of people, including myself, who are not deluded by the illusion and instead we suffer because that illusion and its characters are exactly what the world seems to demand; and that is against what we know to be right.

I think this is just another way of saying that a lot of people lack true moral fiber - including the people who would excuse themselves - because it is a part of their programming. Who even cares about responsibility anymore?

Like I was telling my five-year old the other night: I AM NOT A FIGMENT OF YOUR IMAGINATION. Feel this arm. It's REAL. I watched you come out with my own eyes. Don't be so self-absorbed!



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 11:42 PM
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a reply to: Astyanax

You just want to deny truth, and so that is what you see: your own desire to deny truth / your own denial of truth.

What that guy should be saying is that we seek to reproduce the truth of our own percepts/concepts - that our percepts/concepts differ because our perceptions/conceptions are of our forces/wills/spirits, which differ themselves.



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 12:11 AM
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Reality is in the eye of the beholder. We see things as they really are for us.



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 12:11 AM
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I feel so passionate about what I said that I double posted. How is that for a dose of reality?
edit on 2015/10/28 by Metallicus because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 12:18 AM
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a reply to: Astyanax

The result, (reality) is always affected by the instrument (our brain), that is used in the experiment.

So if a bug sees only ultraviolet, that does not prove that the world is only ultraviolet,

If Cern smashes particles that behave in a certain manner, that does not prove that they do so elsewhere.

All results are effected by the instrument.



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 12:22 AM
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a reply to: Astyanax

I have thought that many paradoxes might be pointing to the limits of our perception rather than an actual, existing conflict.

I'm surprised caves haven't been mentioned yet.


While full accuracy may be difficult to ascertain, I do wonder if this "interface" can be refined. Not just individually, but as a group and even through generations. Communication could be seen as more important to the latter two, but it has an immense impact on the former as well. We are inundated in it from birth, filing most (in some cases all), experience into communicable terms.



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 12:28 AM
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a reply to: Metallicus

Metallicus, you are among my favorite posters on ATS, by far.

But I do wish you would consider that the argument "Perception is reality" is false. Think on it please.

Good night to you friend.



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 01:17 AM
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a reply to: Astyanax

interesting topic I have always enjoyed. If the world is like a gui or graphical user interface then it must be running code in the command prompt that we should be able accessible which will give us the answer to your question. however if we are a virtualization on the gui of a different gui like vmware running on a mac that runs windows xp our commands would have no effect on the operating system "the mac"only ours " the xp" however their is code somewhere that links both operating systems together and once that code is found we would need to study it " funny thing is if we mess up the ISO of our own world in the process we will be blinked of of existence or the last known state where we worked and we would have to start over again.

lol the matrix was right. If this is a illusion and we are living in computer code then the only option for survival is to become a virus and infect our own program to infect the host computer without damaging it in the process or leaving any type of signature. The real question is is this answer worth knowing?
edit on 28-10-2015 by jobless1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 02:57 AM
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a reply to: Astyanax

I agree to some extent. I also agree (as did Descartes) that we cannot trust our senses therefore true reality can never be known - Or we can never be certain we are experiencing true reality.

With regards to perception of reality, I think this is greatly effected by the schemas/pre-conditioned views/ideas of things which effect our perception - our top down (think that's the right one) processing makes us fabricate 'truths' (what we believe are truths not actual truths) and effect our perception of things.

A bit like how most people who are bad at art will draw a cup incorrectly - they first of all perceive the top of the cup is an elipse but once they learn it is almost circular and it's their schema-effected perception that is wrong the drawing changes.

INfo

Schemas

(Not sure if this post makes sense - just woken up).
edit on 28-10-2015 by and14263 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 03:43 AM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
Are we incapable of seeing things as they really are?


There is One (unchanging, ALL inclusive) Universal Reality/Self!
We are all unique Conscious Perspectives (Souls) that perceive this One Reality/Truth, every unique moment of Universal existence!
There is not anything else to perceive!
Every moment is a unique Perspective!

"For every Perspective, there is an equal and opposite Perspective!" - The First Law of Soul Dynamics (Book of Fudd)

All Perspectives are of Truth, and accurately 'reflect' that bit which is before us, at the moment, as Knowledge!

"All statements are true in some sense, false in some sense, meaningless in some sense, true and false in some sense, true and meaningless in some sense, false and meaningless in some sense, and true and false and meaningless in some sense." -Robert Anton Wilson

We all know/experience Reality, but only a tiny fragment.

"The complete Universe (Reality/Truth/God/'Self!'/Tao/Brahman... or any feature herein...) can be completely defined/described as the synchronous sum-total of all Perspectives!" - Book of Fudd
ALL INCLUSIVE!!!
Many 'truths' = Truth!
Beyond the imaginary 'duality', there is only Reality/Truth!

Existence = the complete Universe = Nature = Reality = Consciousness = Truth = Love = 'Self!' = God = Brahman = Tao = ... etc....
ALL INCLUSIVE!!
'One'!
edit on 28-10-2015 by namelesss because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 03:58 AM
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a reply to: Astyanax

I really enjoyed reading this, thanks.
And i believe what we accept as common knowledge changes our perception. Nobody fears anymore to fall of the edges from the earth disk. It is a spiralling progress and we evolve with every bit we add to our common knowledge catalogue.

I also remember watching a docu about mother and daughter firmly believing in ghosts and how i felt the mother was reassuring her daughters false reality by giving her reinforcing attention for her fears. That's how far we create our own reality and our mind builts it for us, it was beneficial (getting them attention) so they kept doing it.
edit on 28-10-2015 by Peeple because: Auto



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 04:24 AM
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a reply to: Astyanax

I'm sitting here feeling sort of ....wierd. I mean, just seeing that this theory is surprising or radically new to many people makes me feel suddenly like a freak.

I guess I had strange caretakers. They came into my life late, and were both philosophers, psychoanalysts... the power of individual perception was always put forth as trumping that of objective reality - it is not how the world is that matters, but how you see it.

I don't even remember the first time I was introduced to the theory that humans may not be capable of percieving the world in a truly objective way - there is always a subjective twist, no matter how subtle... which leaves the question open, or whether a truly objective reality really exists. It's seems I was always answered with "It might. It might not. We cannot know, so ultimately, what is the interest in worrying about it?"

We can percieve benefits to ourselves in choosing to focus upon collectively shared perceptions, but that is really all we can count them as. That is really okay with me.

I think this concept is what has enabled me to compartamentalize to a large extent, my own experiences. There are some that do not fit into the collective perception of reality - I don't worry too much about that. I am not overly concerned with determining the "reality" of their nature. I think that is why I don't get obsessed with them, and can go about "normal" life without hindrence.

It always seems to me that it is not the reality of that which is before you that matters, but simply how you decide to relate to it and interact with it.
edit on 28-10-2015 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 07:21 AM
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originally posted by: Bluesma
a reply to: Astyanax
It always seems to me that it is not the reality of that which is before you that matters, but simply how you decide to relate to it and interact with it.


The following is how I see that.

I believe that there was a channeled entity that attempted to explain the truth of the "law of attraction"/"we create our reality" paradigm, that teacher was Seth.

Seth taught the concept of "probable realities" which means that we can and do choose one reality out of a multitude of probable realities. The PROBABLE part is what most woo woos today seem to miss.

Seth didn't teach that we could create an entire reality based on our beliefs (creating a spectrum of possible choices and then choosing from the spectrum).

He taught that what we're doing is similar to this:

We have a spectrum of choices that we can choose from (the probable realities) and we choose one of those. He didn't teach that we could determine what was in that spectrum. He taught that we could only choose one of the choices from that spectrum.

Most woo woos today seem to believe that they can create the spectrum and make a choice from the spectrum, that's not at all what Seth taught. I've come to the conclusion that people who have that belief actually believe in some way that they are "God" creating everything (both the spectrum and then choosing from the spectrum). That's the only way their paradigm makes any sense to me.

Seth taught that the choices are limited in this world because it's like training for other levels of existence where we will (according to Seth) have increased control over creating our reality. We have to be taught control over reality creation here first before we can move on, according to Seth.

I think at some point as we evolve we will reach a point like the following scene from "What Dreams May Come."

But, many woo woos seem to think they are already at this point when everything about their lives SHOULD reveal to them that they're not. Therefore, they're in denial IMHO.


www.youtube.com...
edit on 28-10-2015 by Profusion because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 07:51 AM
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a reply to: namelesss

Each a Creator working 'their' Way back from whence they came, The One Infinite Creator...

To the group as a Whole


The most fundamental conditioning is that of "I am," the basic sense of self-centeredness. This is the sense that there is a thinker who thinks thoughts and who somehow lives in our bodies. This is the illusion that we have location.
Quantum physicists agree that in the subatomic universe objects exist in quantum nonseparability. Quantum objects are not located, they are not separate. Once having acted on another object, the objects continue to be connected. This connectedness is unaffected by distance, because the connecting force does not move through space. Close and far are the same in this regard.
...

And being Your very own "Creator" it is up to You. "Change Your thought or You'll get what You've always got..."

Learn, Teach and Have Fun.

Remember who The Creator of Thought is in Your "skin suit" unless You're strapped down Clockwork Orange style or sitting in the chair in "Marathon Man" who is doing Your thinking?

namaste



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 12:44 PM
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a reply to: JimNasium

And being Your very own "Creator" it is up to You. "Change Your thought or You'll get what You've always got..."

How can you change your thoughts?

This is the sense that there is a thinker who thinks thoughts and who somehow lives in our bodies.

Thoughts happen - everything just happens.
There is no creator - there is only what is.



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