Is anything possible?

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Drewcgs11's picture
Everything that was ever

Everything that was ever created by a human the millions of things we have created historically has started in the mind. Imagination has fueled the advancement of mankind since the beginning of our species and even other species along our evolutionary trial.

I'm arguing that the imagination can have more Impact then something physical based it's ability to transcend time and the physical form, santa clause is immortal the story has the abilities to live forever in our minds so does the boogeyman. These are stories centuries old and will be here well after me and you are gone, don't get me started on the impact religion has had on reality for thousands of years.

So when you pose a question "when has imagination counted" well just look around you and literally everything man made is a product of imagination.

LogicFTW's picture


I also think it is important, (especially in the context of an atheist debate board,) that while we talk about the virtues of imagination, that time is also taken to talk about some of the more negative aspects of imagination. Imagination can also certainly lead us astray into realms of destructive action or behavior.

The first example that springs to my mind of a flaw of imagination is: the gambler's fallacy. Wikipedia link here if anyone reading this is not familiar with it.

Many gamblers mistakenly believe through their imagination in a truly random chance scenario, that previous outcomes has a bearing on future ones. Commonly manifested as: I just lost 10 times in a row, but that means it is more likely the next attempt I will be more likely to win, or the next 10 has to be better than the previous 10!

Perhaps more rare, but still practiced a lot by gamblers, is sort of the inverse scenario: "I just won 10 times in a row, I should now stop playing! I should not push my luck further. Whatever the reasoning based on known (or unknown) odds were for playing the first 10 times has NOT changed for the 11th time. Nothing has changed about the odds unless the game odds itself are changed.

(I personally, find people's reasoning behind why they gamble to be almost as fascinating as people's reasoning why their particular god idea/religion is true.)



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Cognostic's picture
@ "I'm arguing that the

@ "I'm arguing that the imagination can have more Impact then something physical based it's ability to transcend time and the physical form."

You just don't make any sense. If I stab you with a knife it is going to have less impact than if I stab you with my imagination. It does not matter that stories, like the ones in the Bible, last for generations. (They need not have an impact on the world around us. You have a choice.) If I shove a knife in your gut (Oh for FS, I have just pissed off MB again.) You have no choice and no manner of illusion is going to save you. Imagination just does not have the impact you ascribe to it.

Drewcgs11's picture
Based on your logic if the

Based on your logic if the motive for stabbing me came from a thought then that thought was then manifested into reality right?

If a gay man in a Muslims country is stone to death the Islamic ideologically has affected the physical laws of the universe.

If someone has a thought to blow up the world or even the universe and acts it out would the orgin of the physical action not trace back to imagination?

Again everything man has created is based on imagination you are literally surrounded by it this is undeniable.

I guess where we differ is I believe things that are not tangible to be "real" such as sonically, and visually, you only credit real to something physical or that can be tested like wind I assume.

I am judging realism based on impact and if something sonically or visually can have just as much impact as something physical maybe even more depending on the particular topic how is it not real?

Cognostic's picture

YOU ARE PROVING MY POINT. Manifest a square circle. Islamic ideology has effected nothing. It is an idea. It is interpreted and manifested by men and their individual actions.

It does not matter that physical actions can be traced to imagination. NOT ALL IMAGINED THINGS CAN MANIFEST INTO REALITY. "ANYTHING IS NOT POSSIBLE"

So in my imagination I stab you with an invisible, non-corporal, knife. It splits open your stomach and you die. MAKE IT HAPPEN IN REALITY. "anything is not possible." You are just wrong.

Imagination plays a hand in helping us to create things and ideas. On this we agree. "Anything still is not possible." There are unlimited things we can imagine that simply are not possible. Jump off a 10 story building and fly. Take out your heart, feed it to a dog, and then go swimming. Never eat again and live for 900 years like Noah. I don't care what you imagine. "Anything is not possible."

Cognostic's picture
The imagination has no impact

The imagination has no impact at all. I am imagining you dead right now. Well?

What you said was ""anything is possible". I believe that statement is true in some way shape or form "ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE." Flat out. This is demonstrably wrong.. In any way shape or form some things are IMPOSSIBLE. The basic laws of logic clearly point this out and you have been given many examples. YOU ARE WRONG. LIVE WITH IT.

Drewcgs11's picture
This is where you

This is where you misrepresent my argument because I clearly state that some things are impossible that does not negate my position. Based on that point you examples has be debunked and your train of thinking is non innovative based on the level of complexity of this matter you are on the surface of understanding and very predictable.

Sapporo's picture
The imagination is as

The imagination is as physical as any other manifestation. I don't think defining it as something transcendental makes it any more meaningful.

Drewcgs11's picture
@Sapporo defining the

@Sapporo defining the imagination as transcending is just another word for non physical which the imagination is or at least that was the way I was using it.

Cognostic's picture
NO! Imagination is not "Non

NO! Imagination is not "Non-physical." Please demonstrate an imagination without a brain. The imagination is a manifestation of a physical object. Just as your voice is a manifestation of your vocal chords, imagination is a manifestation of a brain. A physical object. If you think imagination exists without a brain you must provide evidence for the claim. All imagination that we know of emanates from a physical object.

Drewcgs11's picture
hypothetically entertain this

hypothetically entertain this question once we create a virtual reality/simulation indistinguishable from reality what would be the difference from actual reality? At that point our minds are now in control of what's physically possible anything would be possible based on our ability to experience anything and the level of impact it has in our reality.

I am proposing the same foundation maybe not in this reality but in another form possibility is limitless. Sonically,visually, physically, and in also the literature form. These are all ways that all things can be possible indistinguishable form actual reality!


Cognostic's picture
"we create a virtual reality

"we create a virtual reality/simulation indistinguishable"
Don't be dense. You have to be completely delusional for this to be the case. An imagined banana tastes nothing like a real banana unless you are insane and sucking on a pencil. YOU CAN NOT VIOLATE THE LAWS OF LOGIC.

THERE IS NO OTHER REALITY: Please demonstrate it. Your imagined reality has no bearing at all on this existence. The probability of your alternate reality existing is exactly ZERO. (You do understand probability I hope.) Sonic is actual reality. Visually is actual reality. Physical is actual reality. Literature is actual reality. The book Harry Potter is actually real but the magic in the book is not. If you can not figure that out, you are delusional. If you can not distinguish the imagined from reality, you are delusional.

DELUSION: characterized by or holding idiosyncratic beliefs or impressions that are contradicted by reality or rational argument, typically as a symptom of mental disorder.

Drewcgs11's picture

I recently watched one of the richest men on the planet Elon Musk agree with a conclusion I independently came to. Many other heads in the science and technology community agree as well such as Sam Harris, Neil Degrasse Tyson there has been multiple Ted talks and a "movies" like the matrix, ready player one, tron, depicting this. It's not solely my thinkig this theory has been thought by many.

"Sonic is actual reality. Visually is actual reality. Physical is actual reality. Literature is actual reality."

Exactly my point I believe they are all actual reality but exit in different ways than physical, based on that statement my original point of anything being possible using your definition of actual reality would be correct which would be my demonstration.

Using your example Harry Potter in book, movie, game, form the magic is real inside of those realms of reality and can be transfered into something that we can see, feel, and experience which can be indistinguishable from reality.

What Supremely proves my point is look at the mind of children and the religious, there are billions of people past, present, and future that have a "harry potter" to a certain degree indistinguishable from actual reality.

I would argue that since has an element of that as well all scientist do not agree on everything which would leave them to be the best imagination we can think of on certain topics.

Cognostic's picture
Argument from authority and

Argument from authority and adpopulum. THEY PROBABLY SAID NO SUCH THING AND IF THEY DID THEY ARE VIOLATING THE LAWS OF LOGIC AND THEY ARE WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. You have been given example after example and keep spouting the same nonsense. You can not IMAGINE a square circle and you can not produce one either.

If people can not distinguish between Harry Potter and reality, they are delusional to a degree.

Delusions are fixed, blatantly false convictions deduced from incorrect ideas about reality.
They are maintained despite obvious, incontrovertible proof to the contrary.
They are not widely believed in the person’s culture or subculture.

In practice, a belief is usually considered delusional if it is either patently bizarre, causes significant distress, or excessively preoccupies the person, affects their functioning, and the person cannot be convinced by evidence to the contrary. . In delusional disorder there may be no distress and functioning may not be impaired.

Delusions are erroneous beliefs that usually involve a misinterpretation of perceptions or experiences.
Delusions involve distortions in thought content.
Not a distortion in perception (hallucinations)
Not a distortion in language or thought process
Not a distortion in behavior

Dr. Sandra Murray’s Research: Delusions are so common in humans that they are practically universal.
Some delusions serve a positive function.
Eg. My spouse/partner is exceptionally smart, attractive, caring, supportive, etc.
Happily married people view their spouses much more positively than others who know them well.
Being delusional about our spouse makes us happier and helps the relationship work.

DSM-IV-TR Glossary Definition
A delusion is a false belief based on an incorrect inference about external reality that is firmly sustained despite what almost everyone else believes and despite obvious proof or evidence to the contrary.


Drewcgs11's picture
I would say that majority if

I would say that majority if not all people past, and present have a element of delusion to a degree. What proves this is religion.

You are in the minority on your way of thinking on this specific topic.

I haven't even added drugs into the equation which absolutely puts your mind into a place indistinguishable from reality.

Some people have the ability to get to that place without drugs, I would say religion has alot of negative effects on reality. So I would say in all of the history of mankind majority of people have been delusional, would you agree?

David Killens's picture


"I am proposing the same foundation maybe not in this reality but in another form possibility is limitless. Sonically,visually, physically, and in also the literature form. These are all ways that all things can be possible indistinguishable form actual reality!"

Can you identify at least one method?

I can dream anything, but eventually I wake up, and realize it was all in my head. I can use virtual reality and a computer to replicate myself flying like Superman. But once it is turned off, I am a person hanging from wires, with fans blowing over me.

So can you offer just one concrete example?

Drewcgs11's picture
What I am saying is in that

What I am saying is in that dream, simulation, poem, or painting is it indistinguishable from reality?

I would argue it is not and we have real world evidence to proved that based on our interactions with these things.

TheBlindWatchmaker's picture
Only to humans on this

Only to humans on this particular planet, do you think this makes an impact on the cosmos?

LogicFTW's picture

The human brain does more than just receive sensory input. There are other functions it does. Controlling all sensory input, would not be enough by itself to create a new "reality" in our heads. Other functions in our head also contribute to making the realities in our heads, things like memory, pattern recognition, and so on.

Our brains are actually quite good at reacting to the proper brain created reality that we need to react to. Only powerful drugs changing and disrupting that process does the brain get frequently fooled about realities in our heads versus the reality we create in our heads based on proper sensory input the brain should actually be concerned with when it comes to survival.

At least, that is my: late at night going theory.

David Killens's picture


"What I am saying is in that dream, simulation, poem, or painting is it indistinguishable from reality?"

Damn right I can tell the difference between any one them and reality. So can you unless you are completely delusional.

By the way, I have a picture of a brand new Ferrari 488 for sale, just for you, a hundred bucks. They sell for 300 grand, a bargain you just can't refuse. If you truly believe your position, you must buy this picture of a car. When can we arrange the money transfer?

arakish's picture
Is Anything Possible?

Is Anything Possible?

Only as long as you also have Nothing, Something, and Everything.


Drewcgs11's picture
Can you elaborate?

Can you elaborate?

arakish's picture
None needed. rmfr

None needed.


xenoview's picture


You can prove anything as long as you don't have to give evidence.

David Killens's picture
"You can prove anything as

"You can prove anything as long as you don't have to give evidence."

You can not prove anything unless you can provide empirical evidence and/or a method to test the claim.

turning_left's picture
"In some way shape or form

"In some way shape or form anything is possible" at first sounds like a beautiful and poetic, possibly grandiose thing to say-- but it doesn't actually mean much. You're romanticizing an idea that's not actually that impressive.

You could instead say, "One can use their mind to imagine things that are impossible in our physical world." or "One can create art and representations of ideas, actions, objects and beings that are impossible in our physical world." That doesn't sound quite so impressive.


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