Does Anything Really Exist?

Very little, if anything, about our experience of the world proves that the physical world really exists independently of ourselves. In fact, the notion of existence is a somewhat badly-defined notion, and many possible mathematical models of reality might fit our experience. Many of us believe that things exist independently of us and look for explanations of life and the universe in terms of physical entities interacting; whether this is ultimately a fully correct way of looking at the situation or not (rather than being simply a practical approximation to part of the real situation) is open to question.

Quantum Mindcast

In this episode:

The brain lives in a box and generates a sense of space itself – what part of reality is constructed in our brains and what part is “out there”? – what does the word “exists” mean? – do objects exist independently of us? – Why do we think objects exist? – solipsism – dreams and hallucinations – anticholinergics vs psychedelics – our brains can create a sense of a vast universe whether it exists or not – complexity of the universe does not prove its independent existence – does the existence of death prove that the universe is “real”? – we don’t really know what happens after death – the universe appears to store information – do other people exist? – Newtonian physics vs Quantum physics – the importance of emotional distance – Could it ever make sense to say that the world is 5000 years old? – the Theory of Relativity and measurement of distance

Featured music: “Cichy zapada zmrok” (The Dusk Quietly Falls) sung by Marysia Ananiewska.

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