I came across an article online while I was reading in bed last night. It’s not the kind of thing you want to be thinking about as you fall asleep. The headline was that “a quantum experiment suggests there’s no such thing as objective reality.”
The physics of this is far beyond me but it doesn’t mean there is no reality. Despite all the silly questions I was asked to consider i undergraduate philosophy classes, reality is right in front of your face. Just look up from this screen. See it?
Physicists have been considering the idea of objective reality since quantum mechanics became a big deal. They are not as concerned with what you see before you as they are with things at a quantum level. They have supposed that two observers can experience different, conflicting realities at the same time.
Of course, you observe a different reality from other observers all the time. Just watch the news or look at your Facebook feed. But scientists have just performed the first experiment that proves it. Or proves something.
A keyword in that headline is “suggests.” They say that the experiment produces an “unambiguous result.” There are a number of assumptions at play here: universal facts actually exist and that observers can agree on them; observers have the freedom to make whatever observations they want; choices one observer makes do not influence the choices other observers make. Those three assumptions are valid IF there is an objective reality that everyone can agree on,
This new experiment suggests that objective reality does not exist which would mean that at least one of those assumptions is not valid. Which one(s) might it be?
I don’t know that I believe that there is a reality we can all agree on, and I don’t have a lot of faith in our freedom of choice. The third assumption (which physicists call locality) is something I also question. Therefore, I don’t seem to believe in objective reality. That can keep you up at night.