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Can we really experience anything objectively?

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Ana.J, Sep 30, 2016.

  1. Yes

    2 vote(s)
  2. No

    2 vote(s)
  1. Ana.J

    Ana.J Active Member

    Sep 28, 2016
    Not yet decied
    Most people have the idea that the world, the universe, is an objective reality. It exists independently of us, independently of perceivers. For example, a tree is a tree. Regardless of whether I perceive the tree or an ant perceives the tree, the tree is the same thing. It has its own objective reality which is perceived in different ways by different beings. My experience of the tree is subjective, as is the ant’s, but the tree has a true essence that exists objectively.

    I don’t believe there is such a thing as an objective reality. Reality is subjective. Of course, among humans, our perceptual experiences are similar enough in most cases that we can agree on most things and label flowers as flowers, for example. They have roots, leaves, buttons... They’re flowers. But to an bee, a flower is a vastly different thing. It can be an ant’s entire world, something that provides endless work and food. But of course we know what the flower is in reality because ants are stupid, right?

    So what is a flower, really? Is it an entire world, an unconscious living thing, an intelligent, vibrating being, or something completely beyond our comprehension? It’s all of those things, depending on the perceiver. No one of those realities is any more valid than the other. To us, of course, our perception of the flower is the most valid. But not to the bees, and not to the advanced race.

    The point is that the tree is all of those things, and all of those things are equally valid. If there is no perceiver, the flower literally doesn’t exist. I know that sounds crazy…

    What do you think?
  2. Rick O'Shez

    Rick O'Shez Irishman bouncing off walls

    Oct 12, 2013
    I broadly agree. Our physical senses are quite limited and then there is the process of perception, the way we "process" the raw data from the sense organs. Our individual experience is inherently subjective, though there is a degree of objectivity based on consensus.

    I find the notion of "reality" very tricky! A space alien would know a different "reality" to us, but it would still only be a partial view.
    #2 Rick O'Shez, Sep 30, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016
  3. Deathbydefault

    Deathbydefault Apistevist Asexual Atheist

    Mar 31, 2015
    The concept of objective reality is similar to the concept of infinity.
    We can understand what these concepts mean, but are physically unable to comprehend them, nor will we likely ever be able to.

    As far as reality in relation to humans goes, most people try to make their own map as best they can.
    However, a map is merely a map, while it may help us better understand the place, it will never be that place itself.
  4. Gyrannon

    Gyrannon Agnostic Necromancer

    Sep 30, 2016
    Its no different than a dream - there could be other realities we are inhabiting at the same time as this one.
    And we could have the same dream, but we'll all different opinions of it.

    Also the Tree and the Flower, how do we know in reality that is what they are really called? What if we are wrong?
    Another bit - Flower is for two different things (powder & plant).
  5. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

    Oct 31, 2014
    Actually, I disagree. When someone, say Jane, dies they no longer perceive a flower as a name for a, ex, four peddled plant. However, because the flower exist independent of Jane (the flower didnt disapear when Jane died) why would we think objects we see are only dependent on our perception of them?

    The term I think youre looking for is energy. Everything is made up of energy. The earth existed before humans washed from sea on its surface.

    The existence of something isnt depended on our existence. We just like to feel that way to hold on to that survival. Keeps uz grounded. We we learn nothing is dependent on our existence (we are not god), we respect things can be fine without our presence. Kind of like a mother being comfortable with her child leaving the house type of thing.
  6. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Jul 2, 2004
    Erotic Dancing Girls
    All experience is subjective, and hence, there is no such thing as "experiencing something objectively". However, there are intersubjectively verified facts. That is, facts which at the very least have the appearance of being verified by two or more people. To say intersubjectively verified facts indicate the existence of an objective reality is mere metaphysical speculation. To say they do not indicate the existence of an objective reality is also mere metaphysical speculation.
  7. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
    Premium Member

    Jul 8, 2006
    It's also all those things regardless of the perceiver.

    I think that if there's no perceiver then the flower only effectively doesn't exist, which is to say that its existing is subjective.

    The question in the subject line is easily answered if the terms "objective" and "subjective" are kept in their place. They are two ways of seeing the world: one that includes the perceiver and one that excludes her. We experience the world beyond the ways that we "see" it--from a place of being the world, where we are not separate from it. From there we can "see" the world both ways. There is no subjective without objective, no one way of seeing the world without the other way too, because knowing the one way is what we use to "see" the other way.
  8. bobhikes

    bobhikes infinitologist
    Premium Member

    Jan 25, 2009
    Reality is objective as the whole and in the moment. It is subjective when viewed partially and/or over time. Unfortunately we have no way of observing the objective reality, so we are stuck with a subjective one. Perception does indicate that reality exists as an object but constant change of reality and lag in perception make it subjective.