Recently I was asked the old question of “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around does it make a sound” and I immediately answered yes it does. And then I thought about it some more. While the question is asked in a way to make us question the way we perceive reality the answer as per usual is to be found in the question.
If no one is around then does the sound exist? While you can spend time thinking your way about a tree falling and not making a noise you ultimately must realise that in your knowledge of reality then trees falling and noises occuring are strictly linked. There is no way to imagine a tree falling and no noise occurring. This is because this is what has always been seen and heard. The only way you can divorce sound from the tree falling is if you are deaf. Then observing a noise-less tree falling would be part of an every day observance.
And then if you realise that a tree falling is just what has always been observed by someone then when you remove the observant someone from the situation you cannot immediately rely on the fact ‘a tree falling’. Why? Because that is the only way you have come to have knowledge of that fact. A tree when not under observation may just as well dance around and land lightly on the ground. (In complete reference to subatomic particles in physics been said to behave differently when being observed hahaha)
So if you rely on your knowledge as memory of things that have been observed as being exactly the same as things that have not been observed: your memory of what are trees falling and making noise, then your answer to the above riddle should be yes. You know of no other reality other than trees falling and making a noise.
Truly only a deaf person can answer no and mean it.