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    How far can we rely on our senses to tell us the truth? Essay

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    Senses are faculties in our bodies through which we perceive everything that surrounds us. We humans are endowed with five senses namely touch, smell, hearing, sight and taste. Each of these five senses help us in a specific way to become aware of our surroundings. We feel pain through are skin, we can smell the inviting aromas of a home cooked meal, we hear repudiation and praise through the sense of hearing lent to us by our ears and finally taste delicious meals with our tongue. We see the most beautiful sceneries and the most horrifying and gruesome horrors with our eyes.

    Our life is dependent on our senses. Therefore with regard to the above, it is safe to say our senses are what define us. We all are reliant on our senses to help us differentiate good from bad, right from wrong and so on. Our senses are a yard stick that help us measure the depth of a moment, an argument or an entire instance in our life. Are our senses are only way of knowing ? How far can we rely on our senses to give us an average representation of reality ? Truly speaking relying on our senses to help us know the truth is the minimal requirement.

    If we do not rely on our senses or can’t trust them we end up in self doubt. We won’t be able to truly determine whether anything in fact is real and if our actions have their share of repercussions. Also it is a fact taken that we all must fall back on our senses to make an informed decision. I remember reading a story named “The Case for the Defence” by Graham Greene, a famous English novelist, which dealt with a strange murder trial. Four eye witnesses swore to testify against the defendant. It was therefore obvious that he stood no chance of acquittal.

    In a twist his twin brother is summoned to court and none of the witnesses can now swear the defendant guilty. Through this impeccably written short story we see how are senses can deceive us. It is often said that we see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear. Our senses are inherently determined and affected by our beliefs, desires, instincts and emotions. I’m sure most of us have at least a few times thought we have heard something when really we have not. This could be an illusion. Also this is indicative of our senses to be fallible. Nothing is perfect and neither are our senses.

    They are also deceptive and capable of making mistakes. Encarta World Encyclopedia defines perception as “the process of using the senses to acquire information about the surrounding environment or situation. “Mathematical objects are very unlike “physical objects” like trees and cars. We might believe that the value of pie is undefined, as is the square root of two. We cannot use are senses to perceive these in anyway. Even geometrical objects can’t be perceived through senses. When we study geometry the theorems we learn alongside are directly applicable. Numbers are also insensible.

    Suppose I have a bowl with twenty four cherries. I eat them all. Now I can “taste” the sweetness and sourness of the cherries not the number 24. The term “Omair” is a name not me. History is also an indicator of how different people view things differently. The Egyptians perceived the cat to be sacred. They mummified their bodies. The point is that different cultures impact the stimulation of senses in different way. While Hindus perceive the cows to be sacred other religions don’t. Emotions affect our sense of perception our five basic senses in a considerable way.

    If we love someone and we see them doing wrong we don’t immediately act upon it. This is not the case otherwise. We may hear someone say something but the binds of emotion that we have with each other restrain us from acting on it. And therefore emotions block our senses. Reasons also affect the influence of the senses. The most common way is through reason of course and logic. Human reason helps filter everything that our senses capture and perceive. We see innumerable advertisements through the sudden boom of mass media.

    Our senses perceive the advertisement and send a message to our brain. Our reason restrains the images bombarded to our mind through are senses and therefore acts as a filter, removing things we don’t want to hear or see. Our senses as already stated above are our main ways of knowing. Paired with emotion, reason and language they form us, define us and are us. We are lifeless carcasses without these. And therefore it is important to understand here that are senses maybe our most valuable assets but they also are our greatest weaknesses.

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