K, I appreciate your post and the TED talk you shared. Very interesting indeed. I was reading about something like this a while back when it comes to perception at the quantum level, which again means that perception drives reality, forks it. Now what Hoffman is saying is different but a lot of what he said, I agree with.
For instance, it's true that the jewel beetle and humans may perceive things the same way because of our perception but we also can use reason to understand, unlike the beetle, if we are doing something wrong.
Like, he gave the example of us thinking that the earth was flat, which again made us the same as the beetle thinking the bottle was a female. But we do know now that - the earth is flat - is a relative perception. In the same way, if you stand on the earth and look up, you see the moon, but if you are on the moon, you can look up and see the earth. But if anyone could have travelled outside of earth, they would immediately see that in reality that is not so, that it is not flat. The beetle, however, is stuck with the bottle as its brain is not equipped with enough sensors to differentiate or reason.
So then the question is of not perceiving but rather testing perception. I kind of hinted it back in my post that human intelligence is largely artificial intelligence, we construct things to understand broader ideas or to break them down. And our brain certainly can't sense what it is not equipped with, such as radio or xrays, no creature on earth can, for that matter.
In one way I think I was talking about the subset of the so-called reality that Hoffman is talking about. Whereas my point was that thoughts exist in the material world. However, I take it from the talk that Hoffman is talking about a much more bigger picture. Now, we know today from physics that reality is branched, forked, we don't know how exactly, but potential alternate realities exist. But it doesn't mean that reality is fake because it is perceived one way or the other. At that point, the question about a problem with perception goes out of the equation completely as now we know that two equally opposite realities exist, or potentially can exist. Truth or reality then, really, is relative at the quantum level. There is a potential reality where a match makes ice and not fire.
To come to my point, our senses do work just fine, within the confines of what they are equipped to sense. If in the larger scope, the picture in itself is not real, the reality of it being not real, doesn't change the fact that our senses are reporting data as it experiences them, the data is accurate (the reason I avoided using wor "truthful" and used the word accurate, is because it introduces conscience as an agent earlier, I think it comes later). The perception of it can be problematic as is seen in the beetle example. Because it is what they experiencing.
To extend this analogy, it seems to me Atheists only accept the "immediacy of experience" as being true. They just accept at face value what you see is what you get, is 100% true, is objective reality. Just like many people who accept that a post is just a post, they have no understanding of the voltages being controlled by a computer, cpu, memory, layers of software and the like. It just works, it just is. In this way, one intention of my opening post is to challenge Atheists to think more deeply about reality, the underpinnings of their physical experience they just accept so implicitly without questioning, and as such their own logical foundations for accepting their often held positivist beliefs.
I get what you are saying. However, to be fair, it is equally true of theists as well who takes things for granted. Because like you said, for all of us, it just works, theists and atheists combined. This is just what I have experienced in, and to pull a Trump here - people on both sides.
But yes I agree, I think we should be looking at things more than their face value.
Sure, we all intuitively trust our senses, it seems practical for us to do so. Our physical survival so far as we know depends upon such. The question though isn't whether we ought to trust given our senses are the best we've got to interface with the world around us, but rather how we can be fully rationally grounded in believing our senses give us a true reflection of the reality we experience? I believe strong arguments can be made that they don't, but rather the world we see and sensory experiences are at least partly constructed by our brains.
I really like what you said here.
The only thing I would say is that our sensory experiences can be logically analyzed to see how close they get to reality. That is the only way to be rationally grounded in your experience of reality.
Why do you trust your senses are telling you the truth rather than simply what is beneficial for survival?
Because senses are not about truth, at all. It is about accurate data gathering to ensure survival. And the reason they are not false is that they work out e.g if I put my hand on fire then I know it is not beneficial for survival. This is not an illusion, and within the confines of our reality, it is true.
I think there are overlaps where we substitute conscience with sensory experience, which I agree is correlated but only after our brain acts on the information. And our brains react to chemicals in a very real way. It is a materialistic process, wired even. Introduce one chemical and it will have a certain effect.
Now I agree with you that yes there is more to reality than just our senses. Our brain can play tricks on us, however, I do think it's not the rule but the exception. Additionally, the tricks - the blue dots one for example from the TED talk, is a frame by frame colour changing, which is fast enough for our brain to see it in motion, however, if you slow it down, really slow it down, you can clearly see what is happening.
The regular house fly sees everything in slow-motion, 4 times slower than an average human. That is why when you want to swat a fly, the fly sees your hand coming down in 4 seconds, whereas it takes you only 1 sec to put your hand down. Where do you think the three missing seconds go? I mean both are real because we know we often can't kill the fly exactly because it sees the threat coming towards it.
That is what I think, this is by no means a proper argument, nor I am planning on it. It is just my thoughts on your post and the video and I'd like to know yours on what I wrote.
Some more thoughts to follow a little later, at work now.