Thursday, 31 May 2012

Pop: Open your mind - The Disappearing Table



Question:

There are two people in a room, one sees a table and one doesn’t. Both agree that there is nothing else in the room so who is right about the existence of the table? 
  
Obvious Answer:

The obvious answer would depend on a history of each person. Eyesight, mental illnesses etc. More likely than not the table would be there and it would be the other person with the problem. 

Our Answer:

Both of them. Reality can only be defined as seen through the eyes of the person in question; it is an individual concept when considered in its purest form. So to one person the table doesn’t exist and to the other it does. Clearly we can’t all live together seeing our own reality as truth and ignoring other people, this is why pragmatism is so important. We choose to exist within a social reality where the majority decide what is actually real and so to fully decide whether the table exists or not we require the added piece of information of a third person, the addition of the ‘human hive mind’ so to speak.

Afterthought:

Reality is purely a definitional concept, there are many fingerpointers who would declare that we have some facts in the world on which we can base our knowledge but this is a very narrow minded view to hold. There is no reason to suppose that hearing the voice of God is any less a mental illness than hearing the voices of dead people but it is brought into the spectrum of reality by the number of people who believe in it. There is no reason to suppose that gravity is true other than the overwhelming number of people who perceive gravity to exist. This does not mean that either of these commonly considered facts is true or false, simply that their reality is contained within the perception of the majority view.

In this case however we do not have enough information to declare what is reality because we only have two opinions and both are different. We therefore have to consider them both as correct until a third person enters the reality and makes a decision for us. 

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