Originally posted by KellyJay
As I bottom line this,
I believe there is the reality we live in and what we think about it.
Now my first impulse was to ask,
"What does everyone else think reality is?"
I now think that question is amusing, thoughts?
I would say—
(1) Reality is what it is, prior to our thinking about it.
(2) Our raw experience of reality prior to thinking, or concept-making, is what we then think about.
—The scientific methodology of observation, experiment, measurement; moving from observation to hypothesis to testing to theory, etc.; is no more than an extension of this.
(3) That raw experience—how we experience/perceive—is part of reality itself.
(4) The way our minds work and think is part of reality itself.
—That is, the grammar of our consciousness is part of, and derives from, the larger syntax of reality that we try to read. We
are part of the reality we are attempting to observe.
(5) Our experience of reality (empiricism) and our ability to think about that (reason) are nevertheless all that we have, unless we simply want to make stuff up.
—Which is okay with me, aesthetically, as long as we know that’s what we’re doing and why.
(6) Our conclusions can at any time be defeated by empirical evidence or discovering that our reasoning has been faulty (e.g., that our premises are not true).
—This represents the principle of defeasibility in philosophy, and the principle of falsifiability in science.
—Any attempt to construct a model of the world that is not potentially defeasible by empiricism and reason, or in which defeasibility is not allowed, represents an attempt to escape reality.
—For example, I have some anecdotal evidence that some of my ancestors were Sephardic Jews. I choose to believe this. However, I could not honestly choose to continue to believe it if genetic testing showed that it simply wasn’t the case. I have not had such testing done (yet!), but I do not resist such testing because my belief might be proven wrong; it would have no bearing one way or the other on any aesthetic decision I might make to live as a Jew (e.g., to convert).