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What deceives: the senses or the mind?

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posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 04:28 PM
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What deceives: the senses or the mind?



I always hear that the senses are deceiving, but for some reason I cannot quite believe this assertion. The senses seem entirely adequate at collecting sense-data. Look around. Notice the detail. Breathe through your nose. Listen. Can the mind keep up?

Imagine a mirage in the desert. Do we see an oasis, or do we see the heat rising off the sand in the distance? If we put a stick halfway in water, do we see a bent stick, or do we see a stick how it appears through water? We see the stick. We see the water. In each instance we see what there is to see, but we infer that it is something different. It isn't the eyes that doesn't notice the previously unaccounted for properties of the water. Is the mirage in the eyes or in the mind?

In these optical illusions, the lines appear to be different sizes, and we are led to believe the eyes are what deceives us:


But if we place a ruler beside each one, reinforcing the fact that the lines are the same length, we must agree that the eyes still show us the what there is to see, that they are just as sufficient enough at dealing with the sense-data as before we added the rulers, while the mind needs further reinforcement to come to a conclusion.


We are often told that the common-senses are too insufficient to peer at the world through, that they are deceiving and unreliable, offering illusions at every glance. Could it be that instead it is in the mind where the illusions lie?

Thanks,





posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 04:59 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


Our senses are diminished, and thank gawd for that! Imagine stepping outside to smell the fresh air after a rain storm. Now imagine doing the same thing, only with the sense of smell of a blood hound. We'd be walking to the end of the street to yell at a homeowner, "Hey, take a bath. You stink!"


I remember reading somewhere that a shark can taste a drop of blood from two miles away. If we could do that we'd never drink water again.

In my city of loud rap music, barking dogs, and motorcycles, if I had the hearing of a tawny owl I'd kill myself.

it takes tawny owls less than 0.01 of a second to assess the precise direction of a scurrying mouse, for example.
Best hearing


The eyesight of birds such as eagles, hawks and buzzards is 3-4 times sharper than ours. Eagles can spot rabbits from several miles away while hawks and buzzards often scan the earth from a height of 10-15,000 feet looking for tasty rodents!
Best sight

So, no, we are not aware of all there is to see, hear, or smell. Things happen all around us that we are completely oblivious to. Thank you Mother Nature for making me...?...less?



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 05:35 PM
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during my own process of scrolling through those images, it occurs to me that our mental "filters" are tuned, perhaps through evolution (hardwire) to focus on "different". the very definition of "information", particularly in terms of entropy, is "different".

therefore, I would conclude that our reactions to these images is due to physical structure or sense.

do you consider mind to be "physical structure"? based on context, it appears you do not.

where, then, is the line?



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 06:10 PM
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reply to post by jiggerj
 





So, no, we are not aware of all there is to see, hear, or smell. Things happen all around us that we are completely oblivious to.


Name one.



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 06:12 PM
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reply to post by tgidkp
 





therefore, I would conclude that our reactions to these images is due to physical structure or sense.

do you consider mind to be "physical structure"? based on context, it appears you do not.

where, then, is the line?


I'm not quite sure what you mean by "physical structure". I do not believe the mind is anything, but I am using terminology that most like to use to refer to the decision making and thought processes that happen within the body.



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 06:29 PM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
We are often told that the common-senses are too insufficient to peer at the world through[...]

When you said "common-senses" did you mean the five senses common to humans?

Anyway, referring to your main question, neither the eyes nor the mind deceive.

Do your eyes misunderstand optical illusions, or do your eyes simply provide the brain with data?



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 06:41 PM
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reply to post by 1Learner
 





When you said "common-senses" did you mean the five senses common to humans?


Yes. That is what I meant.



Anyway, referring to your main question, neither the eyes nor the mind deceive.

Do your eyes misunderstand optical illusions, or do your eyes simply provide the brain with data?


I am saying the eyes provide the brain with sufficient data, while the brain provides insufficient outcomes. In a sense, I would agree that neither the eyes nor mind deceive, as they do what they do, but it is my conclusion that saying the senses deceive, or are insufficient, is wrong.

One example is the idea that the universe revolves around the earth, as mankind widely held before Copernicus, because if we go out an look at the stars and the sun etc. it appears as if they move rather than earth. Now that we have understood differently, we can conceive that earth revolves around the sun while spinning on its axis, giving the illusion that the sun spins around the earth. What deceived us here?



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 07:12 PM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
One example is the idea that the universe revolves around the earth, as mankind widely held before Copernicus, because if we go out an look at the stars and the sun etc. it appears as if they move rather than earth. Now that we have understood differently, we can conceive that earth revolves around the sun while spinning on its axis, giving the illusion that the sun spins around the earth. What deceived us here?


What deceives, for lack of another term, is the function(s) given to an object/idea inappropriate to that object/idea. However, I believe that would define "misconceive". To deceive , the way I see it, is to willingly provide an individual with a misconception.
I believe terminology plays a role in your questioning.

What had deceived there, as in your example, was ignorance towards and on the part of those who believed they knew...about the world.
In other words, it was their own ignorance deceiving them.
Though, if using the word "deceive" as I attempted to define it above, it could not be applied correctly, probably, in your example because ... one's own ignorance also lacks the capacity to willingly deceive the same individual. A person of that time was, then, simply ignorant of the true conditions of the planets and stars because one did not accept or seek knowledge beyond or contrary to that already known, of the world.



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 07:17 PM
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reply to post by 1Learner
 


aha! I finally (think) I understand the question.

this is about how stupid people are too stupid to know that they are stupid?



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 07:23 PM
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reply to post by 1Learner
 



Very good. I couldn't agree more.



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 07:25 PM
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Originally posted by tgidkp
reply to post by 1Learner
 


aha! I finally (think) I understand the question.

this is about how stupid people are too stupid to know that they are stupid?


If by stupid you mean (loosely) not using untapped capabilities/potential of the being until a circumstance calls for it, then probably yes.
[In editing:
One could be arrogant and experience the same self-inhibition.
The burden is on the individual to use the tools given to his/her self (five senses and operations of the mind, for example), even though there could be a sort of "preference" to use them at less-than-full capacity.]
edit on 28-7-2013 by 1Learner because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 07:40 PM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
reply to post by jiggerj
 





So, no, we are not aware of all there is to see, hear, or smell. Things happen all around us that we are completely oblivious to.


Name one.


You're watching TV at night. As far as you know everything is quiet on the homefront. Then your dog starts barking at something it hears outside, but you can't hear it. Your neighbor's kid and his girlfriend were about to go skinny dipping in your pool. :-)



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 10:02 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 

I don't think the distinction is meaningful. There is a problem of definition that needs to be acknowledged; what are 'the senses' and what is 'the mind'?

To make things a little clearer, let's be bluntly reductive and define the senses as the sensory apparatus, that is, eyes, ears, skin, etc., with all their many interacting components. Similarly, let's define (only temporarily; dualists and idealists please hold your fire) the mind as, simply, the brain.

The problem at once leaps to our attention. Where does the sensory apparatus end and the mind begin? Many physiologists look on the eyes, in particular, as part of the brain. The apparatus that turns air pressure variations on our eardrums and organs of Corti into perceived sound is so incredibly complex it is impossible to say where the ears end and the brain begins. And very often, auditory hallucinations – even things like hearing voices – can be the result of malfunctions in some part of this system rather than in the brain itself.

So, from a strictly materialist viewpoint, I should say that 'deceptions' – optical illusions, false perceptions, hallucinations and all the rest – are products of the interactive system of brain and sensory apparatus, or more broadly of brain and body. There's no way to pull them apart and show where the deception originates.

The question – is it the senses that deceive, or the mind that deceives itself – becomes a lot toothier if we move away from strict materialism. If the mind is an immaterial but real entity that somehow controls the brain and body, then can this entity be deceived by the brain/body combination it causes to function? That seems implausible. We would have to say that the mind deceives itself by misinterpreting information from the brain/body. Since the senses are presumably entirely physical in their being and operation, I should say they were incapable of deception.

A very fine idea indeed for a thread, Misanthrope. Plenty of food for thought and debate here.



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 10:15 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


From my perspective i would say the mind deceives. If i look at my sensory perceptions they are more like "cogs" for interpreting the information of the mind, the active component of the "machine".
If the sensors are being mislead or deceived it could only be due to a lack of awareness in my mind.
I guess it would be like saying what makes a car "move" the wheels or the engine. Both are required but the engine turns the wheels, the wheels move the car.



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 11:44 PM
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I think it goes both ways. The senses can deceive the mind...and the mind can deceive the senses.

Yet, both are controlled by the mind....



posted on Jul, 29 2013 @ 03:16 AM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


I think the senses are illusive, and the mind is the deceiver.

None of them can be trusted actually, even when you practice Vipassana or other meditation techniques and you learn to see things they way they are, the senses are still tricky, and the mind is literally projecting its own reality, therefore it's the ultimate deceiver and never sees the world for as it is, but as the mind is.

Senses perhaps are more reliable than the mind, but the mind is definitely the origin of all of our twisted perception of reality.

Just think of how a dog operates when he encounters another dog's turd, he doesn't judge whether the smell is good or bad, right or wrong, the scent might be unpleasant but it's just a scent, some neurons are getting intel and working their way towards the associative brain parts. If the dog would think "Oh, #", he will be repelled by the scent and will never want to get a good sniff of another turd again.

The senses are also not an exact "reality-reader" either, but if you consider the 'holographic universe' theory, the mind is really creating this all thing, so it has the ability to deceive even the senses.



posted on Jul, 29 2013 @ 05:08 AM
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Originally posted by jiggerj
reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


Our senses are diminished, and thank gawd for that! Imagine stepping outside to smell the fresh air after a rain storm. Now imagine doing the same thing, only with the sense of smell of a blood hound. We'd be walking to the end of the street to yell at a homeowner, "Hey, take a bath. You stink!"


The dogs brain however would probably inventarize all scents, put them in good or bad slots and doesn't pass it on to the spirit of the dog.

Where does this thought train come from I wonder, believing everything of reality must be sucked in and everything of it must be good. If not, then eliminate the outward cause, don't bother spending years reprogramming the interpretation mechanisms of the psyche which deal with processing the stimuli which comes through the senses. Which is from another chain of ideas, demanding the other changes his or her behavior once hierarchy has been established as to who is higher up or more intelligent. I think I would eventually end up at a train station in some American town when I hop on that thought train, it's that pink wagon I haven't managed to cross above or below. In my mind ofcourse, just a miniature model of the world, it can be really fun. Just don't enter the pink wagon when you see it - or do, that's your choice ofcourse. Haaah wheres my station ah.
edit on 29/7/2013 by Dragonfly79 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 29 2013 @ 05:41 AM
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The 'senses' are sufficient to a degree...but are by no means perfect recording equipment...bifocality, is enhanced by left and right omnidirectional microphones...they complement each other to a certain extent, since niether is a faithful reproduction...

Added to this are the hardwired/softwired nature of the interface to brain/mind...it is a wonder any of us are able to navigate the experience...images are projected upside down at the back of the eye, and flipped by the soft machinery...turned into impulses that are then interpreted to filter out the unnecessary, or, interpolate what is not there...

The ear is an almost primitive machine that sends pressure pulses to the cochlear, onto the brain for interpretation.

All the senses provide information, none of it complete, or, particularly accurate, to the brain which then interprets the sum total to provide a sensory map of what is seen, heard, smelt, touched and tasted.

Having said that, the brain/mind is quite capable of resorting to reperio at the drop of a hat, and continuing to fold this origami, until it does not resemble what is apparent to everyone else.

Å99



posted on Jul, 29 2013 @ 05:46 AM
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The question is complicated, as part of the brain recieves data, the other parts interpret, which part of the brain does one decide to call "mind"? The part we are consciously aware of (the interpretted experience?) or the raw data as it comes in (ever space out and see the world as unidentified shapes and colors? Is that the raw data? Or is it so subtle we cannot even experience it consciously?)


But in debates of the "intellect" versus the "senses" (or mind-body comparisons) I tend to the position of moderation- in which each is capable of being deceptive, in it's own ways, if not balanced and checked by the other. It is somewhere in between the two that we can find the closest link between subjective experience and objective reality.


The senses pick up a lot of Subliminal stimuli, that the conscious mind does not pick up, and yet our thoughts and emotions are influenced by them.
In a sense, they are the parts of reality our mind is ignorant of, therefore it can be said the senses are more in touch with reality than the mind.

But as we have seen, knowledge of this has given birth to it being used in methods such a advertising, to decieve and manipulate... so then one could claim the senses are decieving...

But then we could consider it is specific peoples conscious minds (with their own motivations) which have used the senses to deceive other minds....so now we're back to blaming "mind" as being deceptive!

We have been able to confirm that when we are focused on a goal, we only register the information aroudn us that seems to pertain to that- other facts and events go unoticed.

The mind that blames the senses because it didn't notice ... that just reminds me of my husband, who ignores me pointing out a solution to his problem fifty times, and he doesn't hear... until another male tells him the same thing and he acts like it was a friggin' revelation!
(yes, I tend to find myself attributing male characteristics to the concept of mind, and female to body...)
edit on 29-7-2013 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 29 2013 @ 09:25 AM
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reply to post by jiggerj
 





You're watching TV at night. As far as you know everything is quiet on the homefront. Then your dog starts barking at something it hears outside, but you can't hear it. Your neighbor's kid and his girlfriend were about to go skinny dipping in your pool. :-)


It sounds like this has happened to you before.

I'm not saying our senses are better than this or that animals. I'm saying that perhaps if you hadn't had your senses focused on a television, maybe you might've heard them.



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