• What Is Real?

    2006年09月30日

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    Imagine a prisoner is locked in a cave since he was born. His head is fixed. What he only can see is the shadow on the wall of the things and people that are outside the cave. What he only can hear is the sound made by the people outside. So what is the world like in the prisoner’s mind? A world like what you and me know? I don’t think so. What we think the world is like is based on what we have seen, heard, learned etc. from the moment we were born. But the prisoner can only see shadows and hear noises (what the people are saying means nothing to him but some ordinary sound). So in his mind, maybe the world is only some shadows on the wall, and the noises made by the moving figures on the wall (I don’t think he can learn that the sound was passed from the outside).

     

    According to what we know, the prisoner’s impression of the world is of course unreal. But what is the difference between the prisoner and you and I? Are you sure you are not a “prisoner”? After thinking about this, do you think the world is still believablePlato taught us to seeing the invisible, because what is visible is not always right. But is there such a thing as truth? If so, how do we find it?

     

    I think therefore I am. The ancient French philosopher Rene Descartes said in 17th century. What he meant? The fact probably is we can only prove the existence of ourselves. When you are thinking of this problem (or any other things) YOU ARE thinking. That is why you know you exist. But only you know, no one else can prove it.

     

    That is how we discover the reality. The German Immanuel Kant in 18th century told us to use the sovereignty of reason. The only thing could be a real reason is our thoughts. He actually told us that only through thinking, we discover reality.

     

    So be a thinker. Flesh doesn’t last forever. Only spirit does.

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