Is there any real difference between reality and a dream?

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DaveC426913

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Re: Is there any real difference between "reality" and a dream???

None of this demonstrates that a dream is a conscious state as opposed to an unconscious state (which is the crux of our disagreement). You have to also demonstrate that the unconscious state does not include any of the elements found in dreaming.


I must go to bed now. Do not say anything interesting for 8 more hours.
You may resume now. :tongue:
 
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Re: Is there any real difference between "reality" and a dream???

I believe there is a difficult to exactly distinguish between what it is an alteration of a state, and what is actually a totally different phenomenon. And, well, the discussion I have seen here, I think it recurs to a set of terms that tend to antagonize to each other, or seem to inherently imply something that may not very well describe what I believe requires a more... subtlety in drawing distinctions or in attaching to certain definitions.
 
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Re: Is there any real difference between "reality" and a dream???

But no, I would never imply to give it up, maybe I was too euphoric at the moment haha
 
Re: Is there any real difference between "reality" and a dream???

You may resume now. :tongue:
Let me try a different avenue this time..:smile:

Lucid dreaming. Would you say that lucid dreams are conscious? Lucid dreamers can control and construct their dreams. They are aware that they are dreaming and play with it.

Are you people who are hallucinating conscious?
 
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Re: Is there any real difference between "reality" and a dream???

Freeman Dyson said:
Are you people who are hallucinating conscious?


We believe we are the 'normal' ones because our hallucinations are shared by more than 6 billion people. Another reason is that our 'hallucinations' appear meaningful and behave according to strict laws and constants, and there is an obvious way for us to follow towards progress and more pleasing 'hallucinations'(oooops life).
 
Re: Is there any real difference between "reality" and a dream???

We believe we are the 'normal' ones because our hallucinations are shared by more than 6 billion people. Another reason is that our 'hallucinations' appear meaningful and behave according to strict laws and constants, and there is an obvious way for us to follow towards progress and more pleasing 'hallucinations'(oooops life).
As somebody once said, reality is nothing but a collective hunch.

Who is to say the scizophrenic's reality isnt the real one? Just because it is in the minority?
 
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Re: Is there any real difference between "reality" and a dream???

As somebody once said, reality is nothing but a collective hunch.

Who is to say the scizophrenic's reality isnt the real one? Just because it is in the minority?
This is an old argument and it has been beaten silly. People still cling to it however.
Yes, reality is based on our perceptions but that doesn't mean that they are wrong or 'unfalsifiable' in the 'reality' we live in.

When a person hallucinates it is not only provable scientifically (by studying the brain) but also by cross referencing with other people/animals/instruments.

If no other person can see this hallucination, no other animal can sense it and no instruments detect it. Then it's quite safe to say that this person who is hallucinating is indeed removed from reality.

What is reality? As I said it's based on our perceptions of what we sense 'around' us.
 
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Re: Is there any real difference between "reality" and a dream???

I'm skipping the thread here, but I'll point out I think this question is very related to ethics and morality. The real world is where we and other people exist. You are not morally responsible for killing an imaginary dream ninja. You are morally responsible for killing your real neighbor.

One thing you can say about the difference between reality and a dream is that reality is where morality and ethics must live.
 

DaveC426913

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Re: Is there any real difference between "reality" and a dream???

Let me try a different avenue this time..:smile:

Lucid dreaming. Would you say that lucid dreams are conscious? Lucid dreamers can control and construct their dreams. They are aware that they are dreaming and play with it.

Are you people who are hallucinating conscious?
The issue of lucid dreaming is admittedly somewhere in the middle - even you acknowledge that (or it wouldn't be under discussion).

But how does that help us answer the original question?

Personally, I think it makes my case, since the acknowledgement of a 'middle' requires the existence of two 'ends' opposite each other.
 

DaveC426913

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Re: Is there any real difference between "reality" and a dream???

I'm skipping the thread here, but I'll point out I think this question is very related to ethics and morality. The real world is where we and other people exist. You are not morally responsible for killing an imaginary dream ninja. You are morally responsible for killing your real neighbor.

One thing you can say about the difference between reality and a dream is that reality is where morality and ethics must live.
By the same same logic, the question is related to physics, since the real world is where horses are wingless and trees grow on Earth. Imaginary pegasi and deep space trees exist in the dream world, therefore the difference between reality and a dream is that reality is where physics must live.

In short, your logic accomplishes little. It's effectively circular: "reality is where real things exist. Dreamland is where imaginary things exist".
 
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Re: Is there any real difference between "reality" and a dream???

By the same same logic, the question is related to physics, since the real world is where horses are wingless and trees grow on Earth. Imaginary pegasi and deep space trees exist in the dream world, therefore the difference between reality and a dream is that reality is where physics must live.

In short, your logic accomplishes little. It's effectively circular: "reality is where real things exist. Dreamland is where imaginary things exist".
Interesting. So is your claim that we are just as morally responsible for our actions in dreams as we are for our actions in reality?

I really don't see the point here, unless that is your claim. I was responding the OP's question with a connection to an important related topic that hasn't been discussed.

Epistemologically there is nothing interesting to talk about. You have your perceptions, and typically they are relatively continuous and vivid. You call this "reality" to distinguish it from occasional, mostly less vivid, dreams or hallucinations. You have no evidence that it is not a dream or even that anyone or anything else exists. Referencing consensus or 6 billion other people is trivially circular and invalid. Arguments about whether or not you are conscious during dreams are semantic. Pick a definition for "conscious" - it's irrelevant to anything meaningful.

The thread could end with that. We could say that we don't have any evidence for such a thing as reality, so the OP's question is meaningless and unanswerable. The OP, however, implicitly assumes that there is an objective reality. Given this assumption, the only meaningful difference between objective reality and subjective hallucination would be the applicability of morality. The only other difference is, as you said, reality is real and dreams are dreams.
 
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Re: Is there any real difference between "reality" and a dream???

We have really no ethical code during our sleep because we are in a state of altered conciousness. So you can kill that guy or slap that girl and it won't bother you in the slightest.
 
Re: Is there any real difference between "reality" and a dream???

The issue of lucid dreaming is admittedly somewhere in the middle - even you acknowledge that (or it wouldn't be under discussion).

But how does that help us answer the original question?

Personally, I think it makes my case, since the acknowledgement of a 'middle' requires the existence of two 'ends' opposite each other.
Well I wanted to establish if you thought lucid dreams were conscious before I could make my next point. Do you think there can be any conscious in sleep or dream state? If vivid dreams are conscious, then what is the exact mental state that changes from a regular dream to a vivid one? Does the conscious "light" come on? Often vivid dreams start off as regular dreams. What is the "switch" that changes? Vivid dreamers can recognize and take control of normal dreams.

Have you ever had a dream where you knew you were dreaming? If so, would you consider yourself conscious during that?

Here is that guy again talking about lucidity in dreams:

Let’s suppose I’m having a lucid dream. The first thing I think is, "Oh this is a dream, here I am." Now the "I" here is who I think Stephen is. Now what’s happening in fact is that Stephen is asleep in bed somewhere, not in this world at all, and he’s having a dream that he’s in this room talking to you. With a little bit of lucidity I’d say, "this is a dream, and you’re all in my dream." A little more lucidity and I’d know you’re a dream figure and this is a dream-table, and this must be a dream-shirt and a dream-watch and what’s this? It’s got to be a dream-hand and well, so what’s this? It’s a dream-Stephen! So a moment ago I thought this is who I am and now I know that it’s just a mental model of who I am.
 
Re: Is there any real difference between "reality" and a dream???

This is an old argument and it has been beaten silly. People still cling to it however.
Yes, reality is based on our perceptions but that doesn't mean that they are wrong or 'unfalsifiable' in the 'reality' we live in.

When a person hallucinates it is not only provable scientifically (by studying the brain) but also by cross referencing with other people/animals/instruments.

If no other person can see this hallucination, no other animal can sense it and no instruments detect it. Then it's quite safe to say that this person who is hallucinating is indeed removed from reality.

What is reality? As I said it's based on our perceptions of what we sense 'around' us.
Who says the true reality has to be scientific? Or that science would work in it? You are biased by the standards of the reality we live in.

I am not saying dreams are the real reality either btw.
 

DaveC426913

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Re: Is there any real difference between "reality" and a dream???

Interesting. So is your claim that we are just as morally responsible for our actions in dreams as we are for our actions in reality?
No, my claim is that morals and ethics do not help define conscious from unconscious. In less diplomatic langauge, I think your initial statement is irrelevant. :wink:
 

DaveC426913

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Re: Is there any real difference between "reality" and a dream???

Well I wanted to establish if you thought lucid dreams were conscious before I could make my next point. Do you think there can be any conscious in sleep or dream state? If vivid dreams are conscious, then what is the exact mental state that changes from a regular dream to a vivid one? Does the conscious "light" come on? Often vivid dreams start off as regular dreams. What is the "switch" that changes? Vivid dreamers can recognize and take control of normal dreams.

Have you ever had a dream where you knew you were dreaming? If so, would you consider yourself conscious during that?

Here is that guy again talking about lucidity in dreams:
Agreed. I definitely think there is a continuum from consciouisness to unconsciousness, yes. i.e. lucid dreaming definitely has some elements of consciousness about it.

Personally, I have all range of dreams and conscious-unconscious states. I often have vivid dreams, I've had dreams where I know I'm dreaming, I've had dreams where I have been - repeatedly - able to change the outcome, and I've had waking states that blur the line with unconscious (as I'm falling asleep I am often able to suspend myself in a state where I am conscious yet unable to focus on a thought before it slips out of ... my thoughts. I can keep this state indefinitely, and can observe myself in this state. "Well, isn't that interesting. I cannot remember what I was just thinking about. I was thinking about getting ready to go to work ... and ... Well isn't that interesting. I again cannot remember what I was just thinking about. I wonder how long I can keep this up.").


While I agree that, in lucid dreaming, there is defintely an element of consciousness, it does not follow that when you are dreaming you are in a conscious state, which is the original claim that I am refuting.
 

DaveC426913

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Re: Is there any real difference between "reality" and a dream???

Who says the true reality has to be scientific?
Or that science would work in it?
These sentences suggest a misguided underestanding of what science is.

Something "being scientific" or "science not working on it" makes no sense. "Being scientific" is a behaviour of a person, not a property of an object. It just means being rational and methodical. You apply scientific methods to understand a phenomenon in an attempt to model (explain) the phenomenon. If you can't model it accurately enough for your liking then it is simply that you don't have the right model yet and don't know enough about it.

The only way science "doesn't work" on something is when you do not have any observations to go on (such as God or pre-Big Bang).



Also: "True reality"? As opposed to what? "false reality"? C'maaaaaaan.
 
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Re: Is there any real difference between "reality" and a dream???

No, my claim is that morals and ethics do not help define conscious from unconscious. In less diplomatic langauge, I think your initial statement is irrelevant. :wink:
What does the definition of consciousness have to do with whether or not there is a meaningful distinction between the experience of true and false ontologies? The entire discussion of levels of consciousness presupposes brains are real and dreams are a function of brain states. This assumes an answer to the original question.

Philosophy has a long way to go before discussions of brain states can tell us anything about basic ontology, starting with solving the problem of induction. Until we get past that, psychology has no place in deciding whether or not we are living in a matrix induced dream or what it would mean if we were. Meaning still belongs to the realm of ethics and aesthetics.
 
Re: Is there any real difference between "reality" and a dream???

These sentences suggest a misguided underestanding of what science is.

Something "being scientific" or "science not working on it" makes no sense. "Being scientific" is a behaviour of a person, not a property of an object. It just means being rational and methodical. You apply scientific methods to understand a phenomenon in an attempt to model (explain) the phenomenon. If you can't model it accurately enough for your liking then it is simply that you don't have the right model yet and don't know enough about it.

The only way science "doesn't work" on something is when you do not have any observations to go on (such as God or pre-Big Bang).



Also: "True reality"? As opposed to what? "false reality"? C'maaaaaaan.
No doubt science works in this world. We can be rational and figure things out. My point is, who says it has to be that way? Who says that's what reality must necessarily contain? It's applying our conscious values and standards, like morality as you stated, to a different reality. The fact that the dream world is immoral doesnt make it any less real. So my argument is that the incomprehensibilty of it shouldnt make any less real in the same fashion. We agree that that the dream world is less comphrensible than the waking world. Does the fact that we can make more sense of A than B, really make A more "real"? Einstein said:

"The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible."

A universe that isnt comprehensible would still be a universe ,would it not?. I'm not saying our science can't test the dream world at all. I am saying why must the true reality be able to be scientifically measured? Why must it bow to us and our methods? What law states that this must happen? I am essentially subsituting the word "scientific" for "comprehensible" here. Who says the world has to be comprehensible, and why is that the standard for being more real? Because it seems the argument is that because the waking state can be made more sense of that it is more real. The waking state is more "scientific". And by that I mean more comprehensible. When I say science doest work in dreams, I meant you cant sit down in your dream and do an experiment and some equations. So science "doesnt work" in a dream. And you are holding it against the dream world. We can do experiments and logic here, but not there. It holds no power in the dream world. One cant be scientific in their dreams. Or can they?
 
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Re: Is there any real difference between "reality" and a dream???

No doubt science works in this world. We can be rational and figure things out. My point is, who says it has to be that way? Who says that's what reality must necessarily contain? It's applying our conscious values and standards, like morality as you stated, to a different reality. The fact that the dream world is immoral doesnt make it any less real. So my argument is that the incomprehensibilty of it shouldnt make any less real in the same fashion. We agree that that the dream world is less comphrensible than the waking world. Does the fact that we can make more sense of A than B, really make A more "real"? Einstein said:

"The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible."

A universe that isnt comprehensible would still be a universe ,would it not?. I'm not saying our science can't test the dream world at all. I am saying why must the true reality be able to be scientifically measured? Why must it bow to us and our methods? What law states that this must happen? I am essentially subsituting the word "scientific" for "comprehensible" here. Who says the world has to be comprehensible, and why is that the standard for being more real? Because it seems the argument is that because the waking state can be made more sense of that it is more real. The waking state is more "scientific". And by that I mean more comprehensible. When I say science doest work in dreams, I meant you cant sit down in your dream and do an experiment and some equations. So science "doesnt work" in a dream. And you are holding it against the dream world. We can do experiments and logic here, but not there. It holds no power in the dream world. One cant be scientific in their dreams. Or can they?
I don't recall anyone saying this. Quit taking things out of context and arguing... it's like you're basically arguing with yourself.

Do I believe that we can only know 'reality' based on our perceptions of it? Yes. Do you? I don't know or care it has nothing to contribute to this conversation.
 

DaveC426913

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Re: Is there any real difference between "reality" and a dream???

No doubt science works in this world. We can be rational and figure things out. My point is, who says it has to be that way? Who says that's what reality must necessarily contain? It's applying our conscious values and standards, like morality as you stated, to a different reality.
You didn't comprehend a word I said.

Science is not a "thing that works" or doesn't work. Science is a method. If things seem irrational or incomprehensible, we can ask questions, make observations and deduce how things work, or don't work. Whether those things do or do not work does not invalidate the technique for testing anything.

The only thing required for science to work is
1] a rational mind
2] a sense attached to that rational mind

Because it seems the argument is that because the waking state can be made more sense of that it is more real. The waking state is more "scientific". And by that I mean more comprehensible. When I say science doest work in dreams, I meant you cant sit down in your dream and do an experiment and some equations. So science "doesnt work" in a dream.
The only reason science doesn't "work" in a dream because requirement 1], above, is missing. if you could get a rational mind in your dream, you could apply scientific techniques.

The fact that the only thing you have to measure the forty-mile tall unicorn is a beachball of helium-flavoured macaroni does not render science inoperative.
 
Re: Is there any real difference between "reality" and a dream???

You didn't comprehend a word I said.

Science is not a "thing that works" or doesn't work. Science is a method. If things seem irrational or incomprehensible, we can ask questions, make observations and deduce how things work, or don't work. Whether those things do or do not work does not invalidate the technique for testing anything.

The only thing required for science to work is
1] a rational mind
2] a sense attached to that rational mind

The only reason science doesn't "work" in a dream because requirement 1], above, is missing. if you could get a rational mind in your dream, you could apply scientific techniques.

The fact that the only thing you have to measure the forty-mile tall unicorn is a beachball of helium-flavoured macaroni does not render science inoperative.
But what if the dream world actually is irrational and incomprensible at its bottom?

I am talking about the irrationality of the dream enviroment, regardless of the rationality of the dreamer. What could invalidate the techniques for testing is the lack of existence of any patterns to test. The scientific method was developed for figuring out the waking world, not for figuring out the dream world. You seem to have trouble imagining a world that humans couldnt make sense of through the scientific method.

Science is a method that may not be applicable to all things. Yes, it is a thing that works or doesnt work. The reason science may not work in a dream is because the dream is in another world that doesnt obey any laws of science! What else is required besides a rational mind and senses, is a comprenhisble environment where patterns emerge and you can deduce things with that mind and senses. The environment must be rational as well. You seem to assume this is characteristic of every environment. I say you are assuming too much. We should assume nothing. Can you imagine a world where science wouldn't work? Even if you manage to get a rational mind into a dream, if the dream world is still absurd with no patterns, your rational mind won't help you one bit. Because ration and sense don't rule here. You are in alice in wonderland. up is down. but tomorrow, up might be west. Freud thought that metaphor was the logic or language of dreams. Figuring out dreams is almost like figuring out poetry. They are subjective experiences. What if the same unicorn is measured differently by each dreamer, for example? What if only some dreamers can see the unicorn at all? What if no patterns emerge? Would that make it less real?
 
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Buckethead

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Re: Is there any real difference between "reality" and a dream???

I'm sure there's more to his claim than what you've quoted. I hope there is, because this:

is just silly logic.
I had an in depth conversation awhile back with a fellow lucid dreamer/obeer about this very topic. My initial stand was that lucid dreams/obes can and are considered to be full states of consciousness while the event was occurring, but that common dreams in my opinion may not occur consciously until after one wakes up from sleep at which time the subject is then free to put a consciouness to what was otherwise just non-conscious electrical activity in the brain. She won the debate when she reminded me that if a person is awakened in the middle of a dream, is the dream not interrupted at that very point. So I would have to vote on this one that indeed a person must be not fully conscious, but conscious nontheless. Of course it does depend on the definition of consciousness. If being in a passive state of listening and watching without any self awareness is not considered consciousness, then the common dreamer would of course not have any consciousness.
 

DaveC426913

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Re: Is there any real difference between "reality" and a dream???

But what if the dream world actually is irrational and incomprensible at its bottom?

I am talking about the irrationality of the dream enviroment, regardless of the rationality of the dreamer. What could invalidate the techniques for testing is the lack of existence of any patterns to test. The scientific method was developed for figuring out the waking world, not for figuring out the dream world. You seem to have trouble imagining a world that humans couldnt make sense of through the scientific method.

Science is a method that may not be applicable to all things. Yes, it is a thing that works or doesnt work. The reason science may not work in a dream is because the dream is in another world that doesnt obey any laws of science! What else is required besides a rational mind and senses, is a comprenhisble environment where patterns emerge and you can deduce things with that mind and senses. The environment must be rational as well. You seem to assume this is characteristic of every environment. I say you are assuming too much. We should assume nothing. Can you imagine a world where science wouldn't work? Even if you manage to get a rational mind into a dream, if the dream world is still absurd with no patterns, your rational mind won't help you one bit. Because ration and sense don't rule here. You are in alice in wonderland. up is down. but tomorrow, up might be west. Freud thought that metaphor was the logic or language of dreams. Figuring out dreams is almost like figuring out poetry. They are subjective experiences. What if the same unicorn is measured differently by each dreamer, for example? What if only some dreamers can see the unicorn at all? What if no patterns emerge? Would that make it less real?
You're missing the point of the technique. The rational mind will observe and conclude that certain cause and effect assumptions do not hold true. That is still a perfectly valid observation. Granted, the rational mind might not get very far in learning the rules about his world, but that isn't a flaw in the technique.
 

Evo

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Re: Is there any real difference between "reality" and a dream???

I find the "lucid dreaming" thing I see gathering popularity on the internet rather funny.

Since I was a child, I had the ability to stop, rewind, and change whatever I was dreaming. I called it "directed dreaming" when I described it to people, because I was like a movie director. Of course, this as after I realized other people did not have the ability to control their dreams. I can also create dreams by starting the dream before I fall asleep. If I awake from a dream, I can decide if I want to continue the dream when I go back to sleep. In other words, I'd say that I am aware and in control perpaps 98% of the time. That doesn't mean that I think that I am able to go other places *in reality* in a dream. No.
 

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