Simultaneous viewpoints

Reader Mike answers my picture riddle in the comments section below,

Both have simultaneous viewpoints. In the first, the reflection is a real part of the scene, and in the second, we see all three directions at once. The birdlike figure in the center seems to be looking at us. Perhaps you're suggesting that all viewpoints are equally valid?

Close, but not quite. Mike is correct that both pictures contain simultaneous viewpoints. The first one, titled "Three Worlds," is made up of three parts: the leaves floating on the water, the water's reflection of the trees, and the fish swimming below the surface. The second, titled "Another World," is essentially one image viewed from three different perspectives: bird's-eye view, worm's-eye view, and straight ahead.

I am not a relativist, so I don't believe that all viewpoints are equally valid. However, I do think it is important, especially when discussing such contentious subjects as politics, ethics, and religion, to step back occasionally and try to look at these issues from multiple viewpoints. Too often, I find myself attributing insincere or otherwise evil motives to those with whom I disagree. What underlying assumptions about the nature of the world and our interactions with it are my intellectual opponents using? Are they completely wrong and I completely right, or is there an element of truth to both positions? What kinds of evidence or arguments could be used to resolve this debate? Or is there a policy or position that could satisfy the values of seemingly irreconcilable parties?

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Yes, the two images have the

Yes, the two images have the number three in common, but very little else. The fishpond is almost entirely a naturalistic depiction. There's only one distortion of perspective apparent to me: the fish does not seem to inhabit the same plane as the water's surface, which is defined by the tree-reflections and the leaves. The other image is much more complex, even baroque. Crater features are identical but rotated in the two surface views. Note also how the astronomical objects also change perspective in impossible ways. The ringed planet is seen in polar look-down at the center, diagonally at the lower right. When one's viewpoint within the structure changes, extremely distant objects change too. Of course these views may include different objects in different bits of sky, but one cannot be sure. While more can be said about the righthand image, I like the lefthand one better.