Henry Major Tomlinson, a British writer and journalist once said, "We see things not as they are, but as we are. Did he mean that we had no objective understanding of facts or de he try to make a point through this statement that through logic and reason two different individuals have two very different conclusions of a question. Both the ways one thing seems certain that emotion, language and reason, all depend on the individual. There are two things that surface through that statement. One thing that it is perhaps nearly impossible for us to see things 'as they are' because we understand and interpret the external world merely through our senses, or through our upbringing and religious background. The second thing is that we shall probably never be able to see things 'as they are' because history of our knowledge shows that we are not generally equipped to understand the true nature of things.
Physicists have changed and refined their idea of what objects are made of may times over the ages. The idea of atom was accepted by very few at first, and even though the word mean is Greek 'indivisible', we keep the word, knowing fully well that every atom consists of many, many particles. We also 'know' that there are many more particles than those we have so far identified. Modern physics suggests that there is no such thing as matter anyway - that the external world that presents itself to our senses actually consists solely of 'strings' that vibrate. These strings are thought to be woven together to form membranes. There is even very serious scientific talk of there being anti-matter. How much of all this is 'true' perhaps we shall never know. Our senses tell us that the table on which we put our coffee cup is solid matter. The Table supports the cup so the most logical conclusion is that the table is solid. However, our 'intellect' tells us that the table is 99.999% space. The surface is simply billions of very tiny particles whizzing around at exceptional speeds. Rather like a propeller on a plane, the space is so quickly filled by the next rotation of the blade that it gives a very convincing impression that there is no empty space. Also, we cannot truly 'know' that this theory is true unless we truly understand the physics behind it. Most of us, like me do now, so we have to accept the scientists word for it. But, most physicists if not all have been wrong in the past. Also, the particle theory is not in our experience. It is surely not very rational to accept the theories that totally and completely contradict the evidence of our eyes and other senses.
Questions of ethical decisions, artistic merit amongst others is very relative to this statement. State of mind and other physiological circumstances also affect the way we reason out certain situations or problems. Perhaps on some occasions the problem is that we do not reason. The main issue is brought out as that we all see the same things, but we perceive them in a dissimilar and own inimitable way, due to some aspect in our lives. We all are having the ability observe an entity, a circumstance or an instance; but we all might have very different consideration of it and a different point of view. We all act according to our upbringing and personality.
Concerning other areas such as religion, history, morality, aesthetics, one can never say that this or that is the truth. Religious values can affect the way one perceives the world. Hindus worship cows and eating beef is restricted. While in other religions and cultures there is no such restriction. historical differences. moral differences, definition of beauty in several dictionaries. If one could, it would be relatively easy to persuade everybody to follow on religion, on version of historical events, one set of moral values and one idea of beauty. As we know - from clear experience - disagreements on all these issues are serious, widespread and very deeply rooted. In fact, different interpretations of these matters are the root cause of so much hostility, social unrest and outright war in our world. We see these issues as what we are. Even personal beliefs expand (about debatable topics), gender expand (sexist/feminist), culture expand (wrongdoings licensed by faith and religion/ secret societies), experiences expand Past experiences good or bad and values affect the way all of us construe our environment and our perspicacity of things. We take one side rather than the other in matter of religion and history based on how we were brought up and what we are accustomed to believe. One man's terrorist is and man's freedom fighter. In conclusion, we are all conditioned to see everything through what we are. It is it seems impossible for us to understand the unbiased truth about any issue.