Monday, May 09, 2005

My Theory of Maya

When a man ‘interacts’ with (for example) an apple –
  • he can “see” it,
  • he can “touch” it,
  • he can “smell” it,
  • he can “hear” it (when the apple touches another object)
  • he can “taste” it,
  • he can think about it.

Apart from these six ‘sensations’, man cannot be sure of anything else. In fact, that all human beings have the same sensations (?) on seeing the same object only shows that the human beings in question have similar methods and apparatus of perception (his senses and mental processes). It does not prove the existence of the apple.

Hence, existence of an entity is relative to the existence of perceptions that can form mental constructs corresponding to that entity. Different animals and plants perceive the apple with different kinds of percepts. Even non-living things perceive the apple (due to forces of gravitational attraction etc.). These percepts differ from each other, sometimes contradictorily. Again, only these percepts exist and not the apple. The same logic can be extended to every entity on earth – animate as well as inanimate.

With the advancement of scientific measurement techniques, man can perceive an object in different and more powerful ways, thereby increasing the range of his perception. Thus, the apple can be perceived through other quantifiable measurements (like the electron density of the apple,…). That only increases the number of “percepts” that man has with respect to the apple. It still does not prove that the apple exists!



Anonymous Chan said...

hi vaibhav.. weirdo raising existential questions.. what WOULD constitute a proof that the apple exists?
i found a coupla of sites after reading ur post. bet there's a lot of similar stuff out there but rite now no time 4 me to check.. anyway check these out:

Tue May 10, 10:15:00 AM 2005  
Blogger Eroteme said...

All the scientific advancement is still within the realm of our senses...

No scientific advancement has created a new means of perception! What you refer to are new means of quantifying things...

Thu Jun 02, 04:09:00 PM 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi..I get a feeling that you have read some Buddhist books or something related to Buddha. 'Cos Buddha taught the same. His first teaching is 'Dukkha', which is nothing but the senses.


Fri Jun 03, 12:43:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Vaibhav said...

Science has given us new means of perception - we can "see" more of the electromagnetic spectrum, hear more than our audible range and so on. All these have increased our perception and given us new ways of quantifying. But, all these are relative to our own measurements, techniques, methods.

When u look at the apple through a microscope, you see what the microscope is showing you. Its just an optically different way of looking at the apple; in essence it is the same as looking at the apple through the naked eyes. You are finding more and more properties of the apple through perception mechanisms that man has created. But are these properties because of the apple or because of our way of looking, our perception and our perception extensions (microscope,...) ??

I have read a little of Buddhist philosophy but I have not been convinced by those. Of course, I don't think I have understood them well enough. :) I may have been (subconsciously?) influenced by them.

Wed Jun 08, 09:33:00 AM 2005  
Blogger Eroteme said...

Vaibhav, what you mention is not a new means of perception. A man who has a weakened eyesight doesn't gain a new means of perception by merely wearing a pair of spectacles! A microscope is no better an example. :-)
Secondly, we still can't hear sound beyond the spectrum. We can only measure their existence with instruments and oscilloscopes and the like.
To the deaf, the power of hearing is a new means of perception. :-)

Fri Jun 10, 03:47:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Vaibhav said...

I am trying to say exactly what you are!
Perhaps a better way of phrasing what I want to say is that science has "expanded" our perception - not by increasing our physical capabilities (as u rightly point out) but by allowing us to know the properties/behavior of objects around us which we cannot perceive with our senses. I summarized that by saying that science has increased our perception :)
E.g. with our senses alone, we can only see a few colors of light i.e. a part of the EM spectrum. But with the help of science, we know that there is more & in that sense, we "see" (not physically) or rather know about those.

My doubt is: Are the properites/behavior of an object a sufficient proof of its existence?
If yes, then all is fine! :)
If not, then the scientific way of finding more and more about the objects is, perhaps, not going to tell us whether or not the object exists! And, if it does not exist, then whence do the properties/behaviour arise?

Fri Jun 10, 04:52:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Krish said...

Can there be anything called a behaviour without the substance in question being present...can there be behaviour of an object that is not present?...The behaviour presupposes the presence!

Thu Aug 11, 11:24:00 AM 2005  
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