Reality is real. Reality is something which our senses can perceive and say that it is real, what we touch, hear, smell, see etc. Again reality is what we think is real like air, the colors of light, darkness etc. This question of what is reality, like what is nothing has been a topic of discussion among philosophers and scientists for long. As science is progressing we hear more and more supposedly bizarre definitions of reality. And then reality becomes what majority of the people think as real, like there was a time when earth was thought to be flat by what we see, then it was proved that earth is not flat but still be have believers of flat earth theory. But as it has been proved that earth is not flat and majority of the people believe it, so earth is not flat.
When a new born child is born whatever he sees is completely new to him. He has no idea how it smells, tastes feels to touch and see. He relies on his sense perception but he doesn’t have a name for each of the sense perception. Suppose he sees a red tomato and holds it in his hand, he will see the color but he doesn’t know it is red, he will feel it as soft but doesn’t know what soft is. Then at an appropriate age he will be told all these things and it will stay in his brain forever. Now a color blind child may see it as a blue tomato and when it is told to him as a red tomato then he will consider red color as blue color. When he will see a red car he will say it as a blue car. What is happening is the reality of the tomato is explained to the child to fit within the parameters of our senses and understanding. The reality is the red tomato without any strings attached but it is reconstructed in the mind of the child as a red tomato with its attributes. If we had a vision of infrared only then the red tomato would have looked of a different color.
Now if after growing up he meets a physicist, then he will explain that the red tomato is just a mixture of a certain number of atoms of certain quantity and composition and that most of it is empty. Now that is very difficult to digest for a person as though he knows what the physicist is saying is correct but his senses cannot perceive the atoms. For him the tomato in full is a reality but its atoms are not. Now the physicist may say that it is not only atoms but even sub particles of atoms and their sub particles which is again described by math through numbers and equations. So are we actually seeing, tasting, feeling mathematical numbers and equations. I know it sounds very bizarre.
Then again another theory is that we are living in a simulation world where nothing is real but a computer program of an alien civilization just like the Matrix movie. It could be real and we haven’t proved that to be unreal. If the red tomato is the creation of software then we are actually seeing tasting and feeling a bunch of zeroes and ones.
In all the above three cases we find that the reality of the red tomato is what is being re-constructed to us as we perceive and not the red tomato per se. The tomato can be what we understand through our senses, or as a mathematical formula, or as a software program. When our eyes which is basically just a high megapixel camera seeing a red tomato, it takes a picture of it and sends it to the brain through neurons and the information of that tomato is processed by a cocktail of chemicals and proteins which stays in our mind and consciousness.
Through the progress of technology we will reach a stage where the virtual reality will be as vivid as the real world as we see now. Though the current development is limited to the visual aspect but slowly but surely it will be able to recreate the other senses. Then we will be able to see, taste, smell and feel the virtual red tomato as good as in the real world and may be able to fill our stomach with it also. In that case when we are able to duplicate everything what would constitute a real red tomato and a virtual red tomato?