So after reading several pages of this thread it does strike me as interesting. While I agree most users, whether trained professional ears or not, could be fooled by an ABX of varied differences between bit-rates or 16/24 bit sample sizes.. But what is interesting to me is saying its pointless to achieve or use higher sample rates because we can't possibly hear anything above a certain frequency. The goal of sampling music or images in our surrounding life is to be able to recreate it the best we can; however, we haven't possibly understood how everything in this world works, the best we can do to capture it, is to sample it by recording it with our best means possible, but it still isn't the same as the moment you experienced it with your own eyes or ears. Then why wouldn't you want the highest possible bit-rate and depth to capture it?
Questions to consider:
1) Even if you can't hear a frequency by limitations of the ear, have we proved we can't feel it?
2) A 4000 pixel video looks more lifelike (almost said to be 3D, seems near real) on a 4K monitor compared to a 1920x1080 pixel blu-ray; couldn't oversampling just be that much more closer to the real life event when it happened?
3) Listening to the live music of the actual band sounds more lively/real than any recording sampled and recreated with any equipment I have ever heard... So the question begs, why haven't we been able to recreate that? Perhaps there is more work to be done on this audio capturing and recreation, in my opinion, rather than settling for 16-bit just because it sounds just like a 24-bit capture.
Maybe this is more rhetorical but I just don't think we have mastered, or completely understood anything/everything as a human species.