Subjective Realism


I recently stumbled across a joke, not really a ‘haha’ joke, definitely not a sarcastic joke, and all told it is rather dry. I just want to see how many people will get it and maybe spark up some fruitful discussion as an aside.

Subjective Realism is real.


It’s as real as you think it is. (I think)


I wouldn’t really call that a joke. The world you perceive is obviously real to you, we exist in the confines of the universes we ourselves create through observation, learning and experience. Take the Matrix for instance, which certainly made people think about the possibillities of a constructed reality superimposed and forced upon us. There was also some research done on cats, and supposedly cats perceive us as cats. Now imagine if that’s true for all animals. And I’m not just talking about that they ‘think’ we’re cats, they actually SEE us as cats, supposedly anyways.

Oh and then there’s the thing where descriptive words define the world, like how in certain parts of Asia, they didn’t for a long time separate between blue and green, and so they couldn’t tell those two colors apart. Or how some cultures use masculine or feminine pronouns to describe inanimate objects, which of course has its own effects on how they perceive those objects. And you can of course die of fright, no matter what it is you’re afraid of, something real or imagined.


head explodes


There isn’t really much to discuss based on this alone. I mean, it’s true—it’s real—to the individual, hence the subjective part.

It would’ve been an amusing joke to me a couple of years ago.


I reject your version of reality, and substitute my own.


It was only a matter of time, huh?


You guys don’t know anything, we are obviously in the Matrix, nothing is real.


Is the Matrix real?
And for some fruitful discussion based on morals, fruit is a plants baby, waiting to be ‘planted’ and continue on the cycle. So technically, we eat babies, but because it’s plant babies apparently it’s okay.

And on topic, I did get the joke.


To clarify your statement, you think that the world is defined based in part on how people create languages. For instance, people thought that blue and green were one and the same, and they were therefore treated as such by some cultures, thus language defined how people saw the world.

But language only affects how individuals may think of the world, it does not change the world itself. Language may be malleable, but the world itself does not change to the user. Throughout the ages, color still exists. Whether we humans can see color or not is our own fault. Whether we have a word to describe it is also an issue, but does not effect whether or not color is real. I say color, because if someone is color blind, then they may see blue different from how it is, but it is still a color and still maintains the same base qualities no matter how a person sees it. The object remains the same, but the viewer may not be able to see it. At the end of the day, a blind man will never know color, but it exists anyway.

The question is really if someone is willing to trust their senses or not, if you don’t trust your senses, then you cannot trust that your brain exists (because we only know that our brain exists through science). If you cannot trust that your brain exists, then you have unfortunately proven yourself incapable of thought, which I can see is definitely not the case. And if you wish to argue that someone else is superimposing images into our eyes, and the real world is like the matrix, then there is an objective reality out there, we just can’t detect it with our senses right now.


yep that’s nature, besides if we don’t eat that trees babies, then some other animal probably will, and if it doesnt it might starve, its the ecosystem in a nutshell. although looking at fruits and vegetables the way you just described probably just terrified all the vegetarians reading it.


I was joking, but I realise that if we didn’t (well animals, we don’t do this any more) eat the fruit (made sweet for us to eat) the plants offspring would have to compete with the mother for Food and Sunlight and Water.


Solipsism. That is all.


Also known as a seriously bad case of egocentrism!


Whether something exists or not, I feel is more of a philosophical matter than a scientific one. Science after all, is based on observation and a mutual agreement by the majority. Granted you can measure things like the refraction of light. But what if math only makes sense because we think it does? How can it be that something like a flower, or a honey comb, is arranged according to such order. It seems very contradictive, not to mention boring, that life would be so…tidy. It would after all suggest that with enough math, we could predict the future, and free will is just an illusion. And I for one would rather feel better not believing that.

And what of the things we can’t measure? Is it because we havent yet discovered how to measure them or because they simply do not exist? How can we tell the difference? Where do we draw the line?

Some research points towards the universe being a hologram, where does that leave us? Can we still define something as real if the universe itself and the things being observed within it may only be a reflection or a representation/portrayal of who knows what?

There are people who claim they can see the color of sound, and of words. Granted, as far as I know, they don’t always agree on what color is the most suitable to describe what fits what sound/word or what have you, but even so. They’re not neccesarily insane, but they’re still experiencing something we don’t. Is there anything to suggest that the majority is right? Sure it’s more likely perhaps (or is it really), but likely doesn’t mean it’s neccesarily so. A majority could still believe in something errant, what passes for science today is far removed from what used to pass for science, yet what they believed then was held equally true to what we believe today.

Trusting my senses or not. Well, at least it seems like I’m typing something to you right now. And I might as well believe I am, otherwise things would get really complicated. But believing and knowing ain’t the same thing, unless one happens to be a zealot and would be prone to confuse those two things, and that I am not. =) I agree that something somewhere ought to exist, but to prove it does… It just seems like every assumption is reliant on other assumptions. The ‘whys’ never end, until someone says because I say so. Ok, I’m feeling a little tired, so I think I’ll stop here, but I hope I made some sense.


None of you are real this is all just the last of the Synapse’s firing off generating this illusion wile i here out cold
or maby your all just the creation of my imagination im my nice little padded room


I suppose a good question at this point would be this: how do we know anything? It seems like we cannot know anything about ourselves or the world around us except that we, ourselves, exist. And if we know that we exist, it would be a matter of trusting ourselves to know if the world around us exists. This can be arbitrary. Many people do not give themselves enough credibility and who am I to say different? But keep this in mind, that is, that the only thing that I can know for sure is that I, myself, exist.

The fact originally stated (that subjective realism is true) would, in this case, be a very objective fact. One may say that we are saying an objective fact using subjective words (which may vary to the user) but that doesn’t matter, what matters is that the idea is getting across, regardless of how it is being relayed. You know that you exist, and you know that you can think and internalize concepts, and while it may be impossible to speak the concept, you can internalize the idea, and once you can internalize the idea, then you can internalize the fact that the idea is true, and because it’s true, it therefore must be false. Regardless of how I’m saying it, or how you are figuring out the idea, the only thing that you know for sure is that you exist, and because you know that you exist, you can know that your thoughts - if no one else’s - are real.

To use a few of your euphemisms (mainly so that no one will say I avoided your argument): those people who can see the color of sounds may be insane, and the world may look entirely different to them, but that doesn’t mean that the world itself changed. If one were to use this as an excuse to doubt the credibility of their own thoughts, or to say that everyone has ‘gone funny’ in a different way, then the response would be that it doesn’t matter, because if you could get an insane person to internalize a concept, then their being insane would not matter in the truth of the concept. If he were to internalize and understand the concept of subjective realism, and then internalize and understand how saying it is true is a contradiction, then he, only knowing that he, himself is real, would be able to realize that things are subjective. Regardless of whether or not he seems radically different from us.

The mere fact that we are able to reason on subjective realism should be enough to make people realize that, well, if reason exists, then things (in this case reason) must be real. The mere fact that I am arguing that reason exists (because if nothing is objectively real, then that includes reason) is giving my arguments credibility, whereas, technically, you have already discredited yourself.


What? Because it’s true it must be false? Okay you lost me there. First of all I wouldn’t say that we can know if we ourselves exist, it certainly seems that way, but how do we prove it? To whom do we prove it? If we’re the only ones who are real, then what’s the point in proving something to someone who isn’t real, but obviously we ourselves would be biased, seeing as what we experience seems to suggest that we do exist.

There is of course the old saying; “cogito, ergo sum”, but what are thoughts? We can’t exactly point to them. Synapses fire in our brains, but are those truly the internal monologues that we ourselves imagine, and for that matter, are the words we imagine truly of our own making. And what of souls, are they real, are they essential, is there more to us than mere flesh. If one never learned any words, does one have thoughts or reason. One can have opinions, but it’s not yet reached the point of something measurable, and even if it had, how can you believe anything is true if you doubt everything? That, I would say, is the very basis of philosophy, to question everything. I wouldn’t say it has much of a practical application naturally, unless one happens to enjoy padded cells, but I feel it can be good sometimes to question most things and not be so sure about yourself and what you think you know.

So you’re saying that because I admit to ignorance whether everything, and by extension, reason exists, my argument is void? I would sooner doubt someone who claims certainty in the matter than I would one who admits to ignorance, but that’s just my preference. =P


The phrase ‘Subjective Realism is True’ contradicts itself. By saying that it is true, you are admitting to an objective truth. That is why, once you internalize the idea of subjective realism, and you think it is true, you therefore must realize that it is false, for you have just admitted to an objective statement.

We cannot prove that we exist except by the very fact that we are self aware. Cogito, ergo sum, “I think, therefore I am” sums this up perfectly, because by virtue of thought we can know without a doubt that we exist. We need no proof because the thought itself is proof. Even if we have no proof that our bodies or souls exist, something does exist because we can know that we, at least our core being, exists. And as for someone else feeding us thoughts, if we are truly thinking beings, (not necessarily physical ones, but thoughtful ones) then we are the originators of thoughts by definition (again, let us not label the word thought, and rather the idea. Whether or not our expression in words is accurate, the idea of the definition of the word is what we must concentrate on here). We would not be able to think about ourselves if we were fed these thoughts, even if the thoughts we were fed told us to do it, simply because thought, by its very being, requires the originator to willingly create these things that we call thoughts. Assuming that robots exist (which I know is up for debate - but for the sake of a metaphor), we can program a robot to ask questions on why it exists, but the robot will never ask one of those questions on its own accord, and never actually would think about the questions he’s asking. He would never even be under the illusion that he thinks so, because by being fooled, he would have to have independent thought. This is, of course, assuming that humans cannot give the power of independent thought to someone and is asserting that we cannot give the power of independent thought along with orders that cannot be disobeyed.

That is not to say that we did not get our thought from somewhere else, but once it was given to us, we had to have taken it as our own, and the point we are at now, by mere virtue that we are arguing this, is after that fact.

And I do say that if you believe reason does not exist, then you have rendered any argument of yours null, because by saying that reason does not exist, you undermine your well-reasoned argument. My argument, simply because I argue that reason does exist, lends itself credibility.

As for your self- admitted ignorance, humility is a very appealing and good trait for any true philosopher to have, but I would say that the goal of a philosopher is not to question if everything exists, but to search for all knowledge. In order to do this, though, you must first prove existence at all, which the Greeks did using their term “Cogito, ergo sum.”


Yes! I was waiting for you to use his quote.