Monday, January 08, 2007

What IS reality?

In the November/December 2006 issue of New Moon, girl-writer Geneva wrote about whether we can ever really know what is reality in "Voice Box." Our deadline for accepting responses to this "Voice Box" will be January 17th, so I wanted to make sure that girls had the chance to respond. Below is a copy of her article. Please send your responses to ! Love, Luna

“Time is relative.” “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” “Put yourself in their shoes.” All of these phrases refer to the same idea: perspective. Perspective comes from our minds—the control rooms of our bodies that determine what we see.

What we see and how we perceive it could be different from how anyone else sees the same thing. When we look up at the sky on a clear day, we see blue. But is it the same color to everyone? Everyone calls it the same name. But we can’t prove it’s the same without trading bodies with another person to literally “see through their eyes.” To you, the sky could be what I call “orange,” but since we both call it “blue,” we think we’re seeing the same thing.

On the other hand, we all have senses—we see, touch, smell, hear, or taste—and some people think the information from those senses is proof enough of reality. We have satellite images of Earth to “prove” that it’s mostly covered with water. And scientists use the scientific method, which requires going through certain steps to test something again and again before claiming it’s “true.” Scientists have discovered many things that they believe to be solid proof of our reality. But we can’t clearly prove some things, such as how the world began.

How do you define reality? Can it change from person to person?
Do we have control over what we see and how we see it?
Does what we see limit what we consider “true”?
Is scientific proof really “proof”? Why or why not?
Do you think words and names create reality? Why or why not?

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