Does happiness exist? I mean I know it exists but I cannot see it. By that same kind of argument, I also cannot see DNA so maybe that doesn’t exist - I know scientists can see DNA but I can’t as I don’t have access to powerful enough equipment. I could prove that something like DNA exists by breeding frogs over say 20 generation by picking out the ones with the longer legs to breed, then measure the average length of legs - which will prove that there is something in frogs that determines the next generation.
This is what Richard Dawkins says on one of his books. I’ve checked copyright rules and it seems like anyone can copy 5% of any book and there is far less than 5% in this snippet :
We come to know what is real, then, in one of three ways. We can detect it directly, using our five senses; or indirectly, using our senses aided by special instruments such as telescopes and microscopes; or even more indirectly, by creating models of what might be real and then testing those models to see whether they successfully predict things that we can see (or hear, etc.), with or without the aid of instruments. Ultimately, it always comes back to our senses, one way or another.
Does this mean that reality only contains things that can be detected, directly or indirectly, by our senses and by the methods of science? What about things like jealousy and joy, happiness and love? Are these not also real?
Yes, they are real. But they depend for their existence on brains: human brains, certainly, and probably the brains of other advanced animal species, such as chimpanzees, dogs and whales, too. Rocks don’t feel joy or jealousy, and mountains do not love. These emotions are intensely real to those who experience them, but they didn’t exist before brains did. It is possible that emotions like these – and perhaps other emotions that we can’t begin to dream of – could exist on other planets, but only if those planets also contain brains – or something equivalent to brains: for who knows what weird
Dawkins, Richard. The Magic of Reality (pp. 18-19). Transworld. Kindle Edition.