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This is a discussion on This world. within the News forums, part of the Diversions category; Originally Posted by ANP Why are you trying to change the way the world is? And why don't you think ...

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Old 03-01-09, 09:58 PM   #31
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Why are you trying to change the way the world is? And why don't you think you can change it? Do you understand why the world is the way it is? What do you want to change it to? In my opinion, prior to changing others, you must change yourself in accordance to what you believe is the right way to be. Then, perhaps you can work on convincing others of your way. Teaching by example is the best way to teach. Only being depressed about your inability to change others without having changed yourself is just unproductive. If anything, let the contempt for the things you've seen in the world be a motivator for you to discover a better way to live. Right? I'm not here to just scrutinize -- please don't take it the wrong way. I hope this line of questioning can help you gain new insight.

I agree that regret is a major component of depression as well, maybe greater than fear, I don't know. I haven't thought about this enough to make solid judgments. But I can say from personal experience that depression due to regret can be a self-fulfilling cycle.

_________________
Now, here's my take on "reality" and "truth". Disclaimer: My take is always subject to change.

First, let me say that I do not have formal education in philosophy and only have a layman's notion of academic philosophical concepts. But, as a human being and a thinker, I am a philosopher in my own right, as I believe everyone else is.

Reality or truth is always perceived reality or perceived truth to human beings. I believe there is an Ultimate Reality or Ultimate Truth (as you said, they are essentially the same thing), but it cannot be proved, only assumed by the fact that scientific inquisition has the potential to get closer and closer to "how things work" and discover new things. The Ultimatum of all existence is beyond human scope and understanding, and has no religious ties as I know it.
So, to start, perception comes in layers. For example, "2+2=4" is a very basic universal layer of perception, whereas "This shirt looks good on me." is a much more unique layer of perception. Very basic universal layers of perception (like "2+2=4") can be agreed on by most, if not all, human beings, and the general public might call this "objective reasoning" which follows a clearly defined set of man-made rules based on consistent results through observation. The more unique layers of perception (like "This shirt looks good on me.") are less universally agreeable, and the general public might call this "subjective reasoning" which does not follow a clearly defined set of man-made rules.

So, for the sake of practicality, when I say "reality" or "truth", I am referring to the more basic universal levels of perception, or "facts" if you will. Even "facts" can be argued and disputed, but they are called "facts" because the majority of human beings believe it is true by common logic. So, when you say "Reality can be described as the state of things as they are", the state of things as they are will never be exactly the same for you and me and anyone else (thus it is perceived reality). BUT, through observation and inherent or learned deductive reasoning abilities of all human beings (which is most likely similar than not), we can come to a general consensus about the way things are -- or what I will refer to as reality.
_________________

So, you think that depression lets you see the reality of things. You said you've now learned that good does not always prevail, that the world is not fair, and everyone is not equal. What a dose!

You are right that "good" does not always prevail and the world is not "fair" as you or I might know it. But, remember that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter, and "fairness" or "good" depends on what side you are on.

Life is not always "fun in the sun." Obviously, everyone goes through their share of hardships, but these are what I call learning experiences. Some events you can't control, and others you can, but what you can always control is your attitude. Attitude makes all the difference.

Ultimate Reality is neither depressing nor blissful, IT just IS. But, perceived reality within the human experience can be both, neither, and much more. You can't change that 2+2=4 (a basic universal layer of perceived reality), but you can change how you think a shirt looks on you (a unique layer of perceived reality). Do you see? There are many layers of perception that you can control, but you cannot control it all due to your limitations as a human. Focus on what you can control and shape it to its most effective form.

When I hear of atrocities occurring in the world, I naturally get angry and develop hateful feelings for those committing the atrocities. I develop a pessimistic attitude about the world's prospects. But, where will this pessimistic attitude get me? Nowhere. By developing a pessimistic attitude, I've cut down the possibilities of what changes can occur, thus, getting further away from seeing the true range of possibilities, or reality. If I don't believe change can occur, how can I change anything? You see? So, prior to changing anything, I must first believe that things can be changed, and develop a more flexible (and optimistic) attitude. Changing one's attitude is the starting point for empowering one's mind to create change elsewhere.


:)
My personal reason for wanting to change the world is that there is constant injustice in the world the way it is. Some people live above the law while others get targeted by it, people are murdered, raped, and abused on a daily basis, there is constant fighting, etc. I however, do not believe that the world can ever truly be changed. I say this because the nature of humans can not be changed. By nature we are hostile and immoral. While we can choose to live differently, there will always be someone who chooses to live as a thief, murder, or any number of "bad" things.

I would like to see the world changed to a place where you can leave your doors and cars unlocked and not even think that someone would steal from you or hurt you. I work in a shop so my co-workers and I all have a lot of money in tools that stay in the shop. It is great to be able to trust that when someone goes into your box, they have the integrity to put your tools back and not steal from you. Currently, we have that kind of trust in each other. However, before two people were fired, we would not even let each other use our tools and kept everything locked all the time because things kept getting stolen. It is sad how trustworthy people are so hard to come upon. We need more people with integrity whose word means something to them.

I agree that the only way to change the world is to start with yourself. I have made every effort to shape myself into the person that I believe we should all be. I fall far short on many occasions, but I have succeeded in seeing through many of the changes I wanted in myself. Everyday I go out and try to live as I believe we should.

Depression from regret is most definitely a self-fulfilling cycle. I have experienced that in full first hand and it sounds like you have some experience there also.

I do agree with "perceived truth", but I think that it would be better defined as "opinion" than truth. If I believe a shirt looks good on me, that is my opinion because it can not be proven through facts. We can believe something to be truth that can not be proven by facts (such as the existence of god), but we do not know if it is truth. It very well may be, but we as humans have no way to prove it, hence making it a matter of opinion until we can know for sure.

I have to disagree with "perceived reality". Yes, the reality that each individual lives in may seem different, but is that not just a matter of perspective? We are all looking at the same reality, we live on a planet called Earth with many other people. That is the reality that we live in, but depending on where we live, we see that reality from a different perspective. For example, I live in America, so I see cars everywhere and most people have one. Another person lives in China, they see very few cars and most people walk.

What the person that lives in China and I see are quite different, but does that change the reality that we both live on a planet called Earth. The bottom line for reality is the same, only perspectives change.

As another example, say there is a man wearing a white coat in a room that has stained glass walls. One is blue, another is red, another green, and the other clear. One person sees blue, another sees red, another green, and the other white. Does that change the fact that the coat is in reality, white? Three of the four people looking at it say it is not white, but yet it is. Our perspective does not change reality, just how we see it.

I may have misunderstood what you meant by "perceived reality". Maybe you meant what I just said, but I took it as you saying that there was only perceived reality and not a constant reality. I agree one hundred percent that attitude is the single most important thing in starting change. It is not enough to just be optimistic though, you have to act upon it. That is where most fail.
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Old 03-02-09, 08:47 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by EmptyShell View Post
My personal reason for wanting to change the world is that there is constant injustice in the world the way it is. Some people live above the law while others get targeted by it, people are murdered, raped, and abused on a daily basis, there is constant fighting, etc. I however, do not believe that the world can ever truly be changed. I say this because the nature of humans can not be changed. By nature we are hostile and immoral. While we can choose to live differently, there will always be someone who chooses to live as a thief, murder, or any number of "bad" things.

I would like to see the world changed to a place where you can leave your doors and cars unlocked and not even think that someone would steal from you or hurt you. I work in a shop so my co-workers and I all have a lot of money in tools that stay in the shop. It is great to be able to trust that when someone goes into your box, they have the integrity to put your tools back and not steal from you. Currently, we have that kind of trust in each other. However, before two people were fired, we would not even let each other use our tools and kept everything locked all the time because things kept getting stolen. It is sad how trustworthy people are so hard to come upon. We need more people with integrity whose word means something to them.

I agree that the only way to change the world is to start with yourself. I have made every effort to shape myself into the person that I believe we should all be. I fall far short on many occasions, but I have succeeded in seeing through many of the changes I wanted in myself. Everyday I go out and try to live as I believe we should.

Depression from regret is most definitely a self-fulfilling cycle. I have experienced that in full first hand and it sounds like you have some experience there also.

I do agree with "perceived truth", but I think that it would be better defined as "opinion" than truth. If I believe a shirt looks good on me, that is my opinion because it can not be proven through facts. We can believe something to be truth that can not be proven by facts (such as the existence of god), but we do not know if it is truth. It very well may be, but we as humans have no way to prove it, hence making it a matter of opinion until we can know for sure.

I have to disagree with "perceived reality". Yes, the reality that each individual lives in may seem different, but is that not just a matter of perspective? We are all looking at the same reality, we live on a planet called Earth with many other people. That is the reality that we live in, but depending on where we live, we see that reality from a different perspective. For example, I live in America, so I see cars everywhere and most people have one. Another person lives in China, they see very few cars and most people walk.

What the person that lives in China and I see are quite different, but does that change the reality that we both live on a planet called Earth. The bottom line for reality is the same, only perspectives change.

As another example, say there is a man wearing a white coat in a room that has stained glass walls. One is blue, another is red, another green, and the other clear. One person sees blue, another sees red, another green, and the other white. Does that change the fact that the coat is in reality, white? Three of the four people looking at it say it is not white, but yet it is. Our perspective does not change reality, just how we see it.

I may have misunderstood what you meant by "perceived reality". Maybe you meant what I just said, but I took it as you saying that there was only perceived reality and not a constant reality. I agree one hundred percent that attitude is the single most important thing in starting change. It is not enough to just be optimistic though, you have to act upon it. That is where most fail.

Both reality and truth are the same, and I will consider them to be synonymous for this discussion. First, let me distinguish again between reality and Ultimate Reality. Ultimate Reality cannot be understood by the human being. It is inherently unreachable by us because we are limited by human perceptions. And the human cannot do anything other than perceive. For instance, you will never know what it is like to be a snake, or a spider, or bacteria as long as you exist as a human. You will only ever know what it is like to be human. By definition, Ultimate Reality underlies all existence (including humans, mammals, reptiles, bacteria, etc.) and possibly more, but as I explained above, this is way beyond our scope and understanding. So, in absolute terms, all of any human being's perceptions can only be considered perceived reality, because we can never reach Ultimate Reality. We can only perceive Ultimate Reality through human perceptions, but never know Ultimate Reality itself.

So, I consider both what we call opinions and truth (or reality) to be forms of perceived reality. Opinions are a certain layer(s) of perceived reality while facts are another layer(s) of perceived reality. If you think facts cannot be disproven, then you are wrong. For example, before Copernicus formed the heliocentric model claiming the Sun is at the center of the solar system, most Greeks accepted as a general fact the geocentric model where the Earth was at the center of the universe. You can find many other examples in modern day where "facts" have been disproven and replaced. Thus, even facts at their core can be considered "hardened opinions" because they have the potential to be disproven.

So, let's take the example of the man in the white coat who is in a room with four stain-colored walls. Each wall is a different color and the person standing behind each wall sees a different color than the next person. And you say that although in reality, the man's coat is white, what each person sees through their respective colored wall is a matter of perspective. Yes, you are right, and that is what I have been saying also. But I'm also taking it to another level. I'm saying that in Ultimate Reality (or Ultimate Truth), the man's coat is not white. The color, in itself, is something else that we cannot know. Human beings perceive it to be the color white because of the way our eyes are built to take in light, but we cannot say that the coat in Ultimate Reality is white. When you say "the coat in reality is white", you are defining reality as that which is general human perception, not Ultimate Reality. To expand this further, my "white" could be different from your "white" by a few shades (or even a whole color...think about it), but because most human beings are built in a very similar way, we can agree on "white" and call this a part of our reality (human reality). Thus, in absolute terms, I call the "white coat" a perceived reality. EVERYTHING we call "perception" and "reality" in everyday language is, in absolute terms, part of perceived reality and they exist on different layers of it -- "reality" is on a more basic universal layer as I described in the previous post, and "perception" (or opinion) is on a more unique layer as I described previously also.

In conclusion, our reality is always perceived. I only assume that there is an Ultimate Reality that we are perceiving of, but obviously I cannot be sure that it exists because it cannot be proven.

This is not to say that there is no truth in the world. If you bring down a hammer on a finger, you will experience pain. That is true. Your human perception is as real to you as my perception is real to me by the effects they have on ourselves. The big point here is that you can change certain layers of perceptions, perhaps way more than you think. Some things that you have deemed as fact and unchangeable may be changeable after all. You probably won't change the fact that gravity will prevent you from free flying, but you may be able to change what you believed as facts about human nature.

I'm questioning some of the things I've already typed. This will require more thought obviously. My take on all this is always subject to change, as I noted previously. :) Anyways, take what you can from what I wrote. Hope it wasn't too confusing.


:)
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"When I discover who I am, I'll be free." -- Ralph Ellison
"Unless we become the change we wish to see in the world, no change will ever take place." -- Arun Gandhi
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