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What Is Reality?

Essay by   •  May 15, 2011  •  Essay  •  937 Words (4 Pages)  •  823 Views

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As humans, we think we know everything of the world around us, and yet at the same time we know nothing of it. How is this possible? We as living creatures know everything that exists in our own personal world. The things we wake up to, the things that we see, hear, feel, taste and smell every single day. This is our personal little world. As routine follows promptly, we don't seem to notice anything that lies outside our world and we accept life as it is. The world we don't know is the world we've yet to explore, or the world that we aren't willing to explore. The world that most of us deny to accept, we call it, 'Reality'.

Growing up, we tend overlook the fact that there are other things to take note of and only accept 'Reality' like a gift that we are given. We grow up to be self-centred and selfish beings where our world revolves around us and only us. We make our assumptions on reality based on our 5 senses. If we can see it, hear it, touch it, taste it and smell it, it exists, it is real and it becomes a part of our world. When it is something that humans are unable to comprehend, we deny it in our minds and ignore the fact that it is there at all.

The chief argument deployed by realists is that we should simply assume that the world is independent of us. If we were to assume everything as they are, how do we know what really is and what really isn't? How do we know whether we are dreaming or not when we only assume that we are awake or asleep? If we wanted to gain knowledge, how can we know anything when all we do is assume? To know of something is truly a complex idea. You cannot know something unless you are able to understand the piece of information as truth or fact.

Empiricists believed that to 'know' something and to validate it as truth or fact, it has to have been observed. For example, George Berkeley said that 'If a tree falls in a forest and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?" If no one was there to hear it, where does the sound travel to? Only naïve realists would say it has made a sound without thinking twice. To realists, their only thought is of the tree falling. They do not realize that you cannot have an unexperienced experience.

Everything is always changing. Even as humans, we are always changing. It is said that every 5 years, all the cells in your body have been completely replaced by new cells. If this is so, are you still the same you if all your cells are not the same? As Heraclitus once said, "You can't step into the same river twice". Quoting from a game that I once played, a girl asked a boy "if you were to cut your nails, are the nails still you?" the boy answered, "No". After this, the girl asked "if I were to cut your arm off, is it still you?" When we ask ourselves these kinds of questions, which is the true us? How do we know what true reality is

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