Re: virus:Other Reality

Bill Godby (
Tue, 07 May 1996 13:56:26 -0400

John A wrote:
> David McFadzean wrote:
> >
> > We can infer the existence of an objective reality from out subjective
> > reality, but we can have no direct knowledge of objective reality.
> >
> It is exactly this objective reality that I called "absolute" reality. I
> think that we are not seeing as much of the absolute reality as we think
> that we are. I'm very suprised that there seems to be an acceptance of an objective
or absolute reality being discussed. Recognizing that all information
that is taken in by human beings is subjective, since it is indeed
"filtered" through our senses, how can we even speak of something
absolute? How is this "absolute" reality determined? Absolute means
unchanging. Isn't a central premise of memetics that things are
continually changing are reforming according to circumstance?

Our senses seem so natural that we think of them as
> perceieving actual objective reality, but they do not. People tend to
> think that their subjective realtiy is objective, absolute reality. Take
> the concept of beauty; this concept is purely subjective. The adage
> "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" is completely true. Most people
> consider beauty as an intrinsic part of the natural world, with an
> absolute and unchanging state. When in discussions concerning beauty,
> conflicts arise about what is beautiful because everyone has adifferent
> idea of what is and what is not beautiful.

This applies to statements about absolute reality as well. However, we
are able to to speak of such things as beauty and absolute reality as
if they were objectively definable, this is what is misleading in
language. You could not of beautiful if everyone had a different
definition since no one would understand what you meant, but this is
not to say that the meanings don't change. I refer to Wittengenstein on
this. It is clear that abstract concepts such such as beauty, truth,
justice, and reality, are defined socially. This is necessary for any
discussion of them. They are continually redefined through time, that is
the nature of language, and thus knowledge and reality.

Bill Godby