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kdilliplan's picture

Some Questions About Observations

The idea that everything we observe and think about is merely a construct of our brains is an interesting one, but I don’t think it is actually the case. It is one thing to say that the brain is bigger than the sky because we are capable of holding our feelings and observations of the sky in our brains along with a seemingly limitless amount of other information, but going so far as to say there is nothing bigger than the brain and that other things are only constructs of the brain seems fanciful and romanticized to me.  It is true that the sky can trigger any number of powerful emotions in us, but if we can put those feelings aside and think about the sky objectively, we can observe, describe and even quantify it with reliable consistency.  That is, so many people think and feel similarly about the sky.  It seems unlikely that such standardized observations could be made if people are as unique and different from one another as we want to believe.  

I think one of two things are going on in this case: 1) we are all making similar observations of something that exists outside of our brains or 2) we are all similar enough to one another that if our observations are constructs of our brains, we are not as unique as we claim.  I think the first scenario is more likely. However, if it is not true (i.e. if everything we observe is a construct of our brains), does that mean that the universe as we know it came into being the minute we evolved the brain capacity to observe it? Does it mean the universe as we know it will cease to be if humans go extinct or evolve some new mental capacity? Since animals (supposedly) do not think the same way humans do, do they exist in separate universes?  What about inanimate objects or organisms that don’t think at all?  Does the universe even exist for them? 


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