Objective Reality Tyler Ross 2-28-05 Computer Throughout man's existence, we see questions arise upon certain topics. These questions are based upon answers of other questions, and everything becomes based upon itself. But it was Rene' Descartes who first decided to doubt, to challenge, and to reject all that could be rejected. Suspicious of all that he was able, and skeptical of all, which might be criticized, Descartes fell upon his famous postulate, "I think therefore I am." Although this theorem accounts for the existence of a perceiver, it leaves a trail of questions towards what is being perceived. Does Reality, as we know it, Exist? Or is our universe simply a phantasm? Is the existential really being perceived? Or is it simply a ploy in the mind of the perceiver? Query upon query leads us to the fundamental question.
Does Objective Reality Exist? Objective Reality - (Lawrence D' Olivero) "Objective Reality is that which remains true whether you believe it or not" (The Perception, which exists regardless of the perceiver) Throughout man's existence, we see questions arise upon certain topics. These questions are based upon answers of other questions, and everything becomes based upon itself. But it was Rene' Descartes who first decided to doubt, to challenge, and to reject all that could be rejected. Suspicious of all that he was able, and skeptical of all, which might be criticized, Descartes fell upon his famous postulate, "I think therefore I am." Although this theorem accounts for the existence of a perceiver, it leaves a trail of questions towards what is being perceived.
Does Reality, as we know it, Exist? Or is our universe simply a phantasm? Is the existential really being perceived? Or is it simply a ploy in the mind of the perceiver? Query upon query leads us to the fundamental question. Does Objective Reality Exist? This concept is one that is generally extremely hard to grasp by those not well versed in philosophy, or even in quantum physics. One common misconception is the notion that, if an attribute or object is perceived, it must exist. This is simply, not always the case. That said, I offer this example for clarification, before going on to contrast the viewpoints of Objective Reality and Monistic Idealism. Observe a green object, or any object with a notable color for that matter, in your vicinity.
Although you perceive that object to be green, in reality, is it? Thinking objectively we come to the conclusion that colors are simply wavelengths of light, and the perception of color is simply a ploy in the mind of the perceiver. In simplest terms, the truth that remains to be true whether you believe it or not is that the object is not green, and we don't really know what "color" it is. Monistic Idealism - (Amit Goswami) "The idea that consciousness is the ground of being." (Namely, the notion that existence is a secondary vehicle to consciousness, that consciousness itself does not exist, and consciousness creates existence. ) Monistic Idealism is a belief or theory that is oft' times closely attributed to religions of the east, and even mysticism; but as science moves ahead into new frontiers, namely that of quantum physics, we see that these notions may be backed by science, and not simply science fiction. Although Amit Goswami coined the term "monistic idealism", one of the most influential advocates of this view is legendary physicist, and prodigy of Einstein, David Bohm. But before we asses Bohm's extraordinary and groundbreaking views, we must first observe the events that gave way to this provocative new paradigm.
"In 1982 a remarkable event took place. At the University of Paris a research team led by physicist Alain Aspect performed what may turn out to be one of the most important experiments of the 20 th century. You did not hear about it on the evening news. In fact, unless you are in the habit of reading scientific journals you probably have never even heard Aspect's name, though there are some who believe his discovery may change the face of science. Aspect and his team discovered that under certain circumstances subatomic particles such as electrons are able to instantaneously communicate with each other regardless of the distance separating them. It doesn't matter whether they are 10 feet or 10 billion miles apart.
Somehow each particle always seems to know what the other is doing. The problem with this feat is that it violates Einstein's long-held tenet that no communication can travel faster than the speed of light. Since traveling faster than the speed of light is tantamount to breaking the time barrier, this daunting prospect has caused some physicists to try to come up with elaborate ways to explain away Aspect's findings. But it has inspired others to offer even more radical explanations. University of London physicist David Bohm, for example, believes Aspect's findings imply that objective reality does not exist, that despite its apparent solidity the universe is at heart a phantasm, a gigantic and splendidly detailed hologram. To understand why Bohm makes this startling assertion, one must first understand a little about holograms.
A hologram is a three- dimensional photograph made with the aid of a laser. To make a hologram, the object to be photographed is first bathed in the light of a laser beam. Then a second laser beam is bounced off the reflected light of the first and the resulting interference pattern (the area where the two laser beams commingle) is captured on film. When the film is developed, it looks like a meaningless swirl of light and dark lines. But as soon as the developed film is illuminated by another laser beam, a three-dimensional image of the original object appears. The three-dimensionality of such images is not the only remarkable characteristic of holograms.
If a hologram of a rose is cut in half and then illuminated by a laser, each half will still be found to contain the entire image of the rose. Indeed, even if the halves are divided again, each snippet of film will always be found to contain a smaller but intact version of the original image. Unlike normal photographs, every part of a hologram contains all the information possessed by the whole. The "whole in every part" nature of a hologram provides us with an entirely new way of understanding organization and order.
For most of its history, Western science has labored under the bias that the best way to understand a physical phenomenon, whether a frog or an atom, is to dissect it and study its respective parts. A hologram teaches us that some things in the universe may not lend themselves to this approach. If we try to take apart something constructed holographically, we will not get the pieces of which it is made, we will only get smaller wholes. This insight suggested to Bohm another way of understanding Aspect's discovery. Bohm believes the reason subatomic particles are able to remain in contact with one another regardless of the distance separating them is not because they are sending some sort of mysterious signal back and forth, but because their separateness is an illusion. He argues that at some deeper level of reality such particles are not individual entities, but are actually extensions of the same fundamental something.
To enable people to better visualize what he means, Bohm offers the following illustration. Imagine an aquarium containing a fish. Imagine also that you are unable to see the aquarium directly and your knowledge about it and what it contains comes from two television cameras, one directed at the aquarium's front and the other directed at its side. As you stare at the two television monitors, you might assume that the fish on each of the screens are separate entities. After all, because the cameras are set at different angles, each of the images will be slightly different. But as you continue to watch the two fish, you will eventually become aware that there is a certain relationship between them.
When one turns, the other also makes a slightly different but corresponding turn; when one faces the front, the other always faces toward the side. If you remain unaware of the full scope of the situation, you might even conclude that the fish must be instantaneously communicating with one another, but this is clearly not the case. This, says Bohm, is precisely what is going on between the subatomic particles in Aspect's experiment. According to Bohm, the apparent faster-than-light connection between subatomic particles is really telling us that there is a deeper level of reality we are not privy to, a more complex dimension beyond our own that is analogous to the aquarium. And, he adds, we view objects such as subatomic particles as separate from one another because we are seeing only a portion of their reality. Such particles are not separate "parts", but facets of a deeper and more underlying unity that is ultimately as holographic and indivisible as the previously mentioned rose.
And since everything in physical reality is comprised of these "eidolon's", the universe is itself a projection, a hologram. (Michael Talbot, The holographic universe) " As startling and hard to grasp as this new world-view may seem, it is, more and more, becoming the only way to explain the phenomena which were previously considered as "super-natural." (Clarification. The aspect of Bohm's theory that is most difficult to grasp is how our universe may be a phantasm, and "it is there." The confusion arises from a general acceptance that sensory functions may determine if an entity is in existence, or has being. I. E. "If I can feel it, taste it, see it, hear it, and smell it, it must be there" Perhaps the best clarification on this matter is that of Stanford neuro psychologist, Karl Pri bram.
"For if the concreteness of the world is but a secondary reality and what is "there" is actually a holographic blur of frequencies, and if the brain is also a hologram and only selects some of the frequencies out of this blur and mathematically transforms them into sensory perceptions, what becomes of objective reality? Put quite simply, it ceases to exist. As the religions of the East have long upheld, the material world is Maya, an illusion, and although we may think we are physical beings moving through a physical world, this too is an illusion. (Michael Talbot, The holographic Universe) " Objective Reality - (Lawrence D' Olivero) "Objective Reality is that which remains true whether you believe it or not" Though the long accepted, and not generally disputed, theorem, we find that the fundamental belief that our universe exists as we know it and exists without us, wavers somewhat in the light of quantum mechanics. Seemingly obvious and "logical" beliefs, such as that of locality, (One thing may not be in two places at once, and every "thing" must have a position in space) break down as we observe our world on an infinitesimal scale. Although we believe our reality to "exist" we find it more and more a ploy or a conception derived from our own ignorance. "As my former teacher, Francois Jacob, stated, "It thus seems clear that the physicists' of description of atoms is not the exact and unchanging reflection of a revealed truth.
It is a model, an abstraction, and the result of centuries of effort focused by physicists on a small number of phenomena on order to construct a coherent picture of the world. The description of the atom is as much a creation as it is a discovery. But this doesn't stop most people from imagining atoms as little balls they could pick up if they had tools that were small enough. (Matthieu Ricard, the quantum and the lotus, pg. 85) " Trinh Xuan Thuan expounded on this idea, giving us a more accurate perception of what lies before us, commenting, "Schr " o dinger warned us against such a materialistic view of atoms and there constituents: 'It is better not to view a 'particle' as a permanent entity, but rather an instantaneous event.
Sometimes these events even link together to create the illusion of permanent entities.' (Trinh Xuan Thuan, The Quantum and the Lotus, pg. 85) Where, then, does objective reality lie in this fresh tumult of understanding? (Or should we say misunderstanding? ) Returning to the foundations which built science, reasoning and logic, we discover two primary proofs for the existence of an objective reality. One appears quite obvious, and the other, though not so apparent, follows quite logically. The first and foremost objection toward any belief such as monistic idealism, which challenges the ground which objective reality has clung to for so many years, is the basic idea that, no matter what our reality "is", or what state it may be in, we must conclude that there is an objective reality. In Bohm's holographic hypothesis itself, we find that although our universe may be at heart a phantasm, or the explicate order, a deeper level of reality, the implicate order exists, and does so quite "really" and "objectively." Even holding to a purely conscious grounded belief, we give way to the idea that the objective reality which exists without being perceived is our very own consciousness. Some may argue that there does not "have" to be something real and un disputable, and perhaps what is "real" may be different for every conscious being.
Enter "Objective Reality Proof" Stage Left. "Q: Is there such a thing as objective reality? Objective realists would say that the answer A to question Q is: A 1: Yes. While the monistic idealists would say that the answer is: A 2: No. So let us ask the meta-question Q': Q': Is there an answer to question Q? To which both objective realists and cultural relativists would agree that the answer A' is definitely: A': Yes.
All parties must be united in accepting that this answer is objectively true, not a matter of someone's individual or cultural belief, for if they did not, then there would be no basis for their dispute. Therefore answer A' is itself an example of objective reality-something that remains true whether anybody believes in it or not. Therefore the answer to question Q is A 1 (yes) -there is such a thing as objective reality. (Lawrence D'Oliveiro) " All this to say, essentially, at the point that we question if there is truth at all, we lose all ability and authority to question.
Basically, the notion that nothing objectively true exists then falsifies absolutely everything. It is now not true that anything exists. It is now not true that nothing exists. It is now not true that something may be not true, and even not true that there is "something." Without giving at least a foot of ground to objective reality, then, we lose all basis for debate. In conclusion, we find that, although the universe may not exist exactly as we perceive it, we must give way to the fact that something "is real" or "has truth" or "exists." Although his theory was disproved to an extent, Einstein held to the belief that quantum physics did not "tell the whole story" as it were, and that the results were firmly grounded in the ignorance of the Observer.
"They have discovered that much of the theory is subjective: it does not describe the objective properties of a physical system but rather the state of knowledge of the observer who probes it. Einstein reached much the same conclusion when he critiques the concept of quantum entanglement-the "spooky" connection between two far-flung particles. What looks like a physical connection is actually an intertwining of the observer's knowledge about the two particles. After all, if there really were a physical connection, engineers should be able to use it to send faster-than-light signals, and they can't. Similarly, physicists had long assumed that measuring a quantum system causes it to "collapse" from a range of possibilities into a single actuality. (The Scientific American, Beyond Einstein, pg.
91) " Though Einstein's contentions were later disproved fairly thoroughly, the truth still remains. Or does it? "We return to Leibniz's famous question: Why is there something rather than nothing. For nothing is both simpler and easier than something. Moreover, assuming that things must exist, there must be a reason why they exist and not other wise (Matthieu Ricard, The quantum and the lotus pg. 31) " Bibliography Ricard, Matthieu. Trinh Xuan Thuan.
Crown publishers, New York. 2001. The Quantum and the Lotus Musser, George. Scientific American Inc, New York.
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The Holographic Universe Hamilton, Craig. web What is Enlightenment? An interview with Amit Goswami. D' Olivero, Lawrence. web 2000. Proof of objective Reality.