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The Profound Contingency of Reality

July 10, 2013

If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? I’ve heard atheists such as Sam Harris answer this with a definitive “yes” without blinking. But actually, it doesn’t make a sound!

This video explains something we often don’t think about. It’s something that is so profound, so simple, yet we take forgranted every day. It’s the contingent nature of conscious beings and the world. Sound was created for us, and we were created for sound. Sound is only a reality if there is a brain to perceive the sound. Otherwise, there is no sound, only waves. Ultimately, sound is a perception. The same is for sight.

Think of it this way: Imagine the world being black and soundless unless you were wearing a specialized helmet. Nothing could be perceived unless the helmet was put on to transmit the data floating around. You take the helmet off and nothing. You put it on and you perceive the world with sound, sight, taste, touch, etc. That is the human brain. The sound waves and light waves were created for us to perceive, and our ears and eyes were created for the sound and light waves to give our brains that perception.

Things are profoundly contingent!

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2 comments

  1. Hello, I check your blog regularly. Your writing style is witty, keep up the good work!|


    • That’s good encouragement. Thank you. ;D



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