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Posted by janey, Sat Aug-26-00 08:13 AM
Let me see if I understand clearly what you're saying. Are you saying that there's an ultimate reality that exists independent of human perception, and that ultimately who I am is controlled by that ultimate reality alone?
If that's right, what IS real? This desk? But using your powerful microscope you can see that this desk is made up of a bunch of atoms and stuff that, bottom line, are made up mostly of space. So my perception is certainly whacky when I think that my desk is solid, right? So the desk as I perceive it isn't real. Right? So what IS real?
Also, if I have no control over myself, no say whatsoever in who I am or what I become, is there any point in trying to be a better person? Where does that kind of thing fit in? Does your position argue in favor of not doing anything to effect individual or social change? And, personally, isn't it a little depressing? I mean, if you take it all to its logical extreme, nothing I do makes any difference so why try?
I'm still chewing over your response, so I may come back with more questions before you have a chance to see or respond to this.
Also, take a look above at some of the stuff Phraktal & I were discussing about time and see what you make of it -- I'd like to see your responses to some of those questions, particularly the questions about how we know time exists.
By the way, I think that independent observers are good for a lot of things, but basically all they can do is give their own perceptions and opinions, which may or may not relate to truth. If I keep the apartment clean to a certain degree, and my boyfriend says, "God, you're so obsessive about cleaning -- just give it a rest!" and my landlady says, "I can't believe what a mess your place is" -- who's right? Do you just average out the answers? No, everyone is just giving their own opinion about how clean or messy the place is based on their own internal barometer.
I don't disagree that the hands on the clock move the same distance irrespective of whether you're on the hot stove or the couch -- I just mean that time is a mind construct and a convention that's very handy but that doesn't actually tell us "how long" something takes. You and I and five hundred independent observers could have 502 opinions on "how long" those five minutes took, but we don't have very useful words to describe "how long," partly because we have an over-arching tacit agreement that five minutes takes five minutes to pass. "How long" is still a matter of opinion or viewpoint, even though we can certainly agree on what time it is.