Re: virus:Other Reality

John A (
Tue, 07 May 1996 18:26:57 -0500

Bill Godby wrote:

> 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?
> 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.

We can infer the existance of "absolute" reality. Einstein and Newton
lived in two completely different societies, seperated by time and
geographic location. Their discoveries about the natural world went
together, except for some errors made by Newton. If reality is defined
socially, then how can scientists from different locations and eras have
scientific theories that are even close to each other? We know that
there is a natural world that does not exist solely in our minds. As we
have said, reality to the individual is completely subjective; if the
natural world is solely in our minds then scientific discovery and the
advancement (or destruction) of civilization through scientific means
would be impossible. There is an objective natural world that is real.
"Absolute" reality is what the natural world exists in. To say that
there is no absolute reality is the same as saying that objects only
exist when they are percieved. If absolute reality does not exist, then
the entire natural world is illusory.

John Aten