Question about existence.

RhadTheGizmo
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Question about existence.

A quick question that has always been fun for me to think about whenever I happen to be stuck in traffic. Smiling

What evidence do you have that everything you see exists as external entities?

[edit for clarification] This is the old what evidence do you have that this is not all a dream, all a hallucination, or.. like internal creation, type question.


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I don't really. But

I don't really. But solipsism isn't really verifiable. 

I have given some thought to the question "What if we're all brains in jars being fed information to make it seem like we're interacting?" and my answer is "if we'll never know and the simulation is more or less perfect, then we might as well act like we aren't brains in jars and in fact brains in bodies interacting with other humans". I consider your question about reality to be basically the same. It gets put on the shelf next to the idea "What if the universe were created last Thursday with the illusion of age?"

Just to clarify (after I've replied, of course...sigh), you are talking about solipsism, right? 

-Triften 


RhadTheGizmo
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Well-- while I suppose

Well-- while I suppose solipsism is one extension of this question.. I believe the question allows for other possibilities as well, such as, "comatose dream".

 ""What if the universe were created last Thursday with the illusion of age?""

"Created" sort of suggests something I don't wish to suggest-- how bout "came into existence."

But yah.. I'd agree with you with regards to this part:

"if we'll never know and the simulation is more or less perfect, then we might as well act like we aren't brains in jars and in fact brains in bodies interacting with other humans."

Yet.. I'm still wondering if anyone has thought of some other sort of rationale-- you'd save me a bunch of "space out" time. 


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No offense, but if

No offense, but if everything is just a dream or not real, then it really doesn't matter what the answer is.

Sounds made up...
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RhadTheGizmo wrote:Well--

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Well-- while I suppose solipsism is one extension of this question.. I believe the question allows for other possibilities as well, such as, "comatose dream".

""What if the universe were created last Thursday with the illusion of age?""

"Created" sort of suggests something I don't wish to suggest-- how bout "came into existence."

But yah.. I'd agree with you with regards to this part:

"if we'll never know and the simulation is more or less perfect, then we might as well act like we aren't brains in jars and in fact brains in bodies interacting with other humans."

Yet.. I'm still wondering if anyone has thought of some other sort of rationale-- you'd save me a bunch of "space out" time.

 

I have one stock reply that might interest you.

If there is no functional difference between being a brain in a vat, and actually existing, physically, in a real world, then the two 'hypotheses' are actually identical.

In other words, if you can't show how 'being a brain in a vat' differs from what I think my world is - a 'real place', then your 'hypothesis is non falsifiable, and while it might sound like warmed over logical positivism to you, (I see it as more pragmatic...) I simply hold that such hypotheses do not matter.

Now, do you think this is an actual response, or does something about this argument bother you too? Because I do have another answer, although it's a bit less philosophical:

If the world is merely my dream, then I am Einstein, and Darwin and Sagan and Shakespeare and Mozart.... and if this is the case, well then, I'm pretty impressive.

 

 

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RhadTheGizmo
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Quote: No offense, but if

Quote:
No offense, but if everything is just a dream or not real, then it really doesn't matter what the answer is.

Why would I take offense? I don't believe it.  Heh. I realize what sort of consequences the truth of such a thought might entail.. but, that wasn't the question.

Unless the answer is:

"To believe otherwise would retard my ability to function efficiently, for this reason I not accept the possibility."

Which.. well, I'd agree with that as well.


RhadTheGizmo
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Tod, I was hoping you'd

Tod, I was hoping you'd reply. If anyone could aid me in the particular trivial dilemma-- it would be thee. (Despite what the construction of this statement may imply, it is serious sentiment.)

Quote:
If there is no functional difference between being a brain in a vat, and actually existing, physically, in a real world, then the two 'hypotheses' are actually identical.

In other words, if you can't show how 'being a brain in a vat' differs from what I think my world is - a 'real place', then your 'hypothesis is non falsifiable, and while it might sound like warmed over logical positivism to you, (I see it as more pragmatic...) I simply hold that such hypotheses do not matter.

Now, do you think this is an actual response, or does something about this argument bother you too?

The argument? No.. completely valid argument.

The two mutually exclusive hypothesis are non falsifiable.. but does that mean one is more likely than the other?

And while they are similar in this respect, it does not mean that they do not both have serious, differing, implications:

Do you help a group of suffering people in Africa because it makes you feel better? or because they need help?

[edit] Yet, once again, these questions are tangent points.  The question remains, what is the evidence upon which you choose one of two nonfalsifiable hypothesis? (added: each of which has its own, differing, implications) 


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RhadTheGizmo wrote: Tod, I

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Tod, I was hoping you'd reply. If anyone could aid me in the particular trivial dilemma-- it would be thee. (Despite what the construction of this statement may imply, it is serious sentiment.)

 

I see-st thou as a serious persuer of truth. 

 

Quote:
If there is no functional difference between being a brain in a vat, and actually existing, physically, in a real world, then the two 'hypotheses' are actually identical.

In other words, if you can't show how 'being a brain in a vat' differs from what I think my world is - a 'real place', then your 'hypothesis is non falsifiable, and while it might sound like warmed over logical positivism to you, (I see it as more pragmatic...) I simply hold that such hypotheses do not matter.

Now, do you think this is an actual response, or does something about this argument bother you too?

 

Quote:

The argument? No.. completely valid argument.

The two mutually exclusive hypothesis are non falsifiable.. but does that mean one is more likely than the other?

Well the 'life is but a dream' hypothesis requires that I am Brahms, Beethoven, Mozart and Mick Jagger all rolled up into one. The 'the world is real" hypotheis only requires that I have some basic knowlege of these fellows..... so it would seem that 'reality is real' hypothesis is more parsimonious, at least on its face.

 

Quote:


And while they are similar in this respect, it does not mean that they do not both have serious, differing, implications:



Do you help a group of suffering people in Africa because it makes you feel better? or because they need help?

 

Ah, fortunately we have Spinoza to help us avoid a problem  here - to Spinoza, the highest morality is acheived when we learn to love an act because it is moral, in other words, we are at our most moral when we perform an act because the act itself is a reward.

If this is the case, then we need not reference any entity outside of ourselves, in order for morality to exist.

So, to answer your question: we help others because helping others is its own reward, whether or not the people we help are real.

As a side note, I must say that computer simulation games intrigue me, because they seem to have a great deal to do with morality and theism.... one 'model' for theism that may make a modicum of sense would be 'god' as a great programmer.... if you play a video game, you can win anytime you please, but you'd never enjoy winning unless you purposely 'made things difficult' by purposely working within the world you made - relying on the entities in that world.  

Why am I bringing this up? Because I think it relates to your question indirectly: whatever the actual nature of existence: real or simulation, it seems necessary to use the same rules in either place.... it seems moot that 'it's not real'... if you play a sim game, yes, you can sometimes take pleasure in some "grand theft auto" playing, but most of us prefer to socialize, to be 'good guys' and not to bring harm to others. I've played WWII sims where the object is to 'kill soldiers' but I often become annoyed when I make an error that leads to the needless 'death' of my troops... I still care, even as I know they are simulcrums....

 

 

 

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RhadTheGizmo
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Quote:

Quote:
Well the 'life is but a dream' hypothesis requires that I am Brahms, Beethoven, Mozart and Mick Jagger all rolled up into one. The 'the world is real" hypotheis only requires that I have some basic knowlege of these fellows..... so it would seem that 'reality is real' hypothesis is more parsimonious, at least on its face.

Don't the both only require the same thing?

Since in the "life is but a dream" scenario, you still only experience from your P.O.V.-- Beethoven, Mozart, and Mick Jagger would be real only so far as your "basic knowledge" dictates.

Nothing within the "life is but a dream" scenario dictates that you must have experienced life from all these P.O.V.s.

In anycase, this would only seem to draw the two hypothesis back together again-- I found the second part very interesting.

This:

Quote:
Ah, fortunately we have Spinoza to help us avoid a problem here - to Spinoza, the highest morality is acheived when we learn to love an act because it is moral, in other words, we are at our most moral when we perform an act because the act itself is a reward.

If this is the case, then we need not reference any entity outside of ourselves, in order for morality to exist.

I understand how morality can exist apart from God (theoretically), I am not sure however how "morality" can exist apart from a community.

"Highest morality is achieved when we learn.."

But then, what would be lower morality? In solipsism, things would be done ONLY because they make you feel good-- so, then, all actions are the "highest morality"? or.. is there some added attribute that must exist within the act for it to be considered moral in the first place-- yet, in solipsism, what else is there?

Quote:
So, to answer your question: we help others because helping others is its own reward, whether or not the people we help are real.


Quote:
As a side note, I must say that computer simulation games intrigue me, because they seem to have a great deal to do with morality and theism.... one 'model' for theism that may make a modicum of sense would be 'god' as a great programmer.... if you play a video game, you can win anytime you please, but you'd never enjoy winning unless you purposely 'made things difficult' by purposely working within the world you made - relying on the entities in that world.

You are a wise man. I will borrow this for the future. Smiling Strangely enough.. (and off subject to the thread--) this os what I believe (or, at least, very close to how I think of God).. and although I've never heard this analogy before, very profound-- your own?

Quote:
Why am I bringing this up? Because I think it relates to your question indirectly: whatever the actual nature of existence: real or simulation, it seems necessary to use the same rules in either place.... it seems moot that 'it's not real'... if you play a sim game, yes, you can sometimes take pleasure in some "grand theft auto" playing, but most of us prefer to socialize, to be 'good guys' and not to bring harm to others. I've played WWII sims where the object is to 'kill soldiers' but I often become annoyed when I make an error that leads to the needless 'death' of my troops... I still care, even as I know they are simulcrums....

Indeed.

Yet, just like the sim, within solipsism it would seem no real morality-- unless morality is defined as what you wish to do, and do, and what you don't wish to do, and don't---irregardless of the consequences or lack thereof.

Still. I think we're getting a bit off track. If one does not accept solipsism (and it's variants)-- and DOES accept the contrary (which I believe most people do), upon what evidence is this choice made?

If "it doesn't make a difference to you", then I would suggest that the original question doesn't really apply. Yet, I do believe that most people implicitly accept the hypothesis contrary to solipsism (and its variants)--furthermore, with regards to morality, I believe it does make a difference. Since most people would like to think of themselves as morality (and morality to have some basis outside of oneself).. I would think that most people accept non-solipsismistic hypothesis.

For what purpose? To find purpose in life outside of oneself. (I know theist sometimes use this reasoning to base their belief in God-- yet, I think that reasoning is one more step removed, it being: "To find purpose in life outside of humanity.&quotEye-wink

In anycase.. we might be getting off topic-- feel free to bring it back on track or explain further about these philosophical concepts (if I have misunderstood).

Smiling


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RhadTheGizmo

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Quote:
Well the 'life is but a dream' hypothesis requires that I am Brahms, Beethoven, Mozart and Mick Jagger all rolled up into one. The 'the world is real" hypotheis only requires that I have some basic knowlege of these fellows..... so it would seem that 'reality is real' hypothesis is more parsimonious, at least on its face.


Don't they both only require the same thing?

Since in the "life is but a dream" scenario, you still only experience from your P.O.V.-- Beethoven, Mozart, and Mick Jagger would be real only so far as your "basic knowledge" dictates.

Nothing within the "life is but a dream" scenario dictates that you must have experienced life from all these P.O.V.s.


In anycase, this would only seem to draw the two hypothesis back together again

I think there is one key difference. The difference is in creating  Shakespeares plays and Mozart symphonies and simply knowing Shakespeare and Mozart.  If I was Shakespeare and Mozart, it would be possible to create "Todangst's symphony" based on Todangst's recently published sonnets.... In other words, I can detect a clear difference in skill level from the music I can write, and Mozart's. 

If I created my own world, I don't think there could be such a difference - unless I was actively working, unconsciously, to block myself from being creative in order to foster the illusion of a real world.

But now we are forced to come up with a second non falsifiable hypothesis to bolster the first....

Quote:
 

 -- I found the second part very interesting.

This:

Quote:
Ah, fortunately we have Spinoza to help us avoid a problem here - to Spinoza, the highest morality is acheived when we learn to love an act because it is moral, in other words, we are at our most moral when we perform an act because the act itself is a reward.

If this is the case, then we need not reference any entity outside of ourselves, in order for morality to exist.


I understand how morality can exist apart from God (theoretically), I am not sure however how "morality" can exist apart from a community.

Well, in this case, we are talking about whether there is a necessary distinction between an actual community and a simulation of a community - and not a lack of any community at all. And my feel is that whether the 'others' in our community are 'real' or not might well be moot, as per Spinoza's formulation of morality, a moral act is its own reward.

I agree with you that if there is no community at all, there will be no morality. 

 

Quote:

"Highest morality is achieved when we learn.."

But then, what would be lower morality?

Glad you asked.

The quick answer: any moral system that is external.

Being moral because mom says so.

Being moral because it will make you like me.

Being moral because otherwise, I will go to jail.

If you want a more detailed response, try here:

http://candleinthedark.com/cognitive.html

Click on the 9th option on the left, "Lawrence Kohlberg 

On that section of my cogntive therapy page, you will see his discussion of the stages of moral development, from a cognitive behavioral paradigm. (I actually have Fowler's stages of faith somewhere on my site as well.)

Quote:
 In solipsism, things would be done ONLY because they make you feel good-- so, then, all actions are the "highest morality"?

 or.. is there some added attribute that must exist within the act for it to be considered moral in the first place-- yet, in solipsism, what else is there?

Good question. I think Spinoza would say "hold on a minute. I am not saying that one merely ought to do what one feels is good, and call that act 'moral' because it makes one feel good. I am saying that the highest level of moral maturity one can reach is the desire to perform what is actually moral, because the moral act itself is rewarding.

In other words, we would give to charity because it feels good to give to charity.  We wouldn't do it to make others like us, or be a 'good boy' we would do it because the charitable act itself made us feel good. We wouldn't need any other reward at all, other than the act itself.

Doing good is its own reward.

  

Quote:
As a side note, I must say that computer simulation games intrigue me, because they seem to have a great deal to do with morality and theism.... one 'model' for theism that may make a modicum of sense would be 'god' as a great programmer.... if you play a video game, you can win anytime you please, but you'd never enjoy winning unless you purposely 'made things difficult' by purposely working within the world you made - relying on the entities in that world.

 

Quote:

You are a wise man. I will borrow this for the future. Smiling Strangely enough.. (and off subject to the thread--) this is what I believe (or, at least, very close).. and although I've never heard this analogy before, very profound-- your own?

Yes, but I'd not call it profound - it merely is an expression of 'meliorism', I will return to this below. But first, there is a serious problem with the analogy when applied to theism. Actually, there are two serious problems:

1) The ontological dilemma for 'god' claims, that you and I have discussed, which plagues all theistic claims. I'm writing something new on this, will post it later tonight, seeing as the floods in my town preclude doing much else....

2) The model requires a being with wants and needs and desires and goals. In short, it requires an anthropomorphic entity that fears bordedom and craves excitement.  Sounds all too human to be a god. It sounds, in other words, like a projection of humanity onto a 'god' more than what a 'god' ought to be...

William James called the need for struggle 'meliorism". Humans are not really optismists or pessimists as much as they are meliorists. What this means is simply this: we want a game that is winnable, yet, we require that that there also be a real possibility of losing. We don't want to know that everything will in fact be alright in the end, no matter what we do (optismism) or, conversely, that no matter what we do, we will lose (pessimism or even fatalism) Instead, we want to struggle and overcome, and eventually reach the goal.... In a very real sense, to a meliorist, winning is the least interesting, least important part of the entire process!

Think about it (if you don't already agree, as I bet you do) Every movie, every book that is in any way interesting focuses on struggling towards the goal, and not the goal. No story worth reading beings with 'and they lived happily ever after". This is reserved for the last page... and many books/movies don't even bother to show 'happily ever after'... some of the better ones just make it clear that the hero(es) have reached the end of the game, and that the reward comes next... fade to black, roll credits, coz after all, who really cares.... our real desire is to get on to the next struggle!

So, if you use this as an analogy for theism, you need to radically revision the sort of 'god' you are arguing for - because it speaks to a god with very human needs, and such a god ought to rouse our suspicions as being a projection of ourselves onto the universe.

 

Quote:
Why am I bringing this up? Because I think it relates to your question indirectly: whatever the actual nature of existence: real or simulation, it seems necessary to use the same rules in either place.... it seems moot that 'it's not real'... if you play a sim game, yes, you can sometimes take pleasure in some "grand theft auto" playing, but most of us prefer to socialize, to be 'good guys' and not to bring harm to others. I've played WWII sims where the object is to 'kill soldiers' but I often become annoyed when I make an error that leads to the needless 'death' of my troops... I still care, even as I know they are simulcrums....

Quote:
 


Indeed.

Yet, just like the sim, within solipsism it would seem no real morality-- unless morality is defined as what you wish to do, and do, and what you don't wish to do, and don't---irregardless of the consequences or lack thereof.

Again, I feel spinozian morality would still work, even in a simulation. But I'm not claiming to have proven this.... it's just the answer that comes to mind.

Quote:
 


Still. I think we're getting a bit off track. If one does not accept solipsism (and it's variants)-- and DOES accept the contrary, upon what evidence is this choice made?

Well, so far, I've given two reasons.

1) The form of solipsism we've discussed here is non falsifiable, ergo there is no 'cash value' to holding to it.  You might as well act as if you are real.

2) It requires that I be Mozart, rather than just  know of Mozart, which I hold are distinctive because I cannot match Mozart, creatively, by my own judgement, or the judgement of my simulcrum buddies (or real fellow humans)

I will now add a third:

There is a difference between logical possibility and physical possibility.  For example, it is not logically impossible for me to create a machine that would trick you into believing that the world is created for you, was the real world. But it might prove physically impossible to actually make the machine, if such a machine required such energy, and time to make it, that it would beggar the ability of all humanity to preform the trick.  

Imagine the energy, the computational power, required to make a simulcrum of all reality.... 

So we can add physical impossibility to the list, as a provincial reason to question solipsism. 

 I will consider the question further, however....

Quote:
 

If "it doesn't make a difference to you", then I would suggest that the original question doesn't really apply. Yet, I do believe that most people implicitly accept the hypothesis contrary to solipsism (and its variants)--furthermore, with regards to morality, I believe it does make a difference. Since most people would like to think of themselves as morality (and morality to have some basis outside of oneself).. I would think that most people accept non-solipsismistic hypothesis.

For what purpose? To find purpose in life outside of oneself. (I know theist sometimes use this reasoning to base their belief in God-- yet, I think that reasoning is one more step removed, it being: "To find purpose in life outside of humanity.&quotEye-wink

In anycase.. we might be getting off topic-- feel free to bring it back on track or explain further about these philosophical concepts (if I have misunderstood).

Smiling

 

I think you and I are beyond worrying about staying on topic... if you find something of interest, speak upon it all you like. You're a good member of our site, and you should be free to conjecture all you like, while receving respect from all members here.

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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RhadTheGizmo
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Quote:

Quote:
I think there is one key difference. The difference is in creating Shakespeares plays and Mozart symphonies and simply knowing Shakespeare and Mozart. If I was Shakespeare and Mozart, it would be possible to create "Todangst's symphony" based on Todangst's recently published sonnets.... In other words, I can detect a clear difference in skill level from the music I can write, and Mozart's.

If I created my own world, I don't think there could be such a difference - unless I was actively working, unconsciously, to block myself from being creative in order to foster the illusion of a real world.

The thing is however.. "skill", within the theory, would be completely dependent on what you choose to perceive as "skill".

So.. the disparity between you and others you consider more "skillful" would not necessarily require you from "blocking" yourself from playing well but, possibly, the mere unconscious want to "perceive yourself as less skillful".

As you state later on, and forgive me for pulling from it before hand, people seem to like the challenge. Yet, there could be many more reasons for this want of "lesser skill perception".

Quote:
But now we are forced to come up with a second non falsifiable hypothesis to bolster the first....

They are all non falsifiable hypothesis, are they not? Solipsism, "external existence", "all but a dream"?

But perhaps you are right, perhaps they are three hypothesis without a difference--

Quote:
Glad you asked.

The quick answer: any moral system that is external.

Being moral because mom says so.

Being moral because it will make you like me.

Being moral because otherwise, I will go to jail.

If you want a more detailed response, try here:

http://candleinthedark.com/cognitive.html

Click on the 9th option on the left, "Lawrence Kohlberg"

On that section of my cogntive therapy page, you will see his discussion of the stages of moral development, from a cognitive behavioral paradigm. (I actually have Fowler's stages of faith somewhere on my site as well.)

Thanks for the link.

With regards to this part:

Quote:
The quick answer: any moral system that is external.

Would this include things that are "perceived as external" as opposed to being external in reality?

Because.. from the solipsism perspective-- nothing would be external. You would be as "an subconsciously omnipotent god". Everything is defined and existent upon your subconscious will.

So, if morality is dependent upon an actual external (as opposed to a "perceived external&quotEye-wink then to believe in "morality" is to accept the non falsifiable hypothesis of non-solipsism.

Quote:
Good question. I think Spinoza would say "hold on a minute. I am not saying that one merely ought to do what one feels is good, and call that act 'moral' because it makes one feel good. I am saying that the highest level of moral maturity one can reach is the desire to perform what is actually moral, because the moral act itself is rewarding.

In other words, we would give to charity because it feels good to give to charity. We wouldn't do it to make others like us, or be a 'good boy' we would do it because the charitable act itself made us feel good. We wouldn't need any other reward at all, other than the act itself.

Doing good is its own reward.

Particular point:
Quote:
..desire to perform what is actually moral..

"Actually moral"

I believe there is an "actually moral" because there are externals, it is not just me. I believe you believe there is an "actually moral" because there are externals.

But upon what basis are we assuming there are externals upon which is based this concept of "actually moral"?

Granted.. I asked a question earlier that may change the relevance of this question (regarding whether or not an "external" is necessary for "morality" (edited for content).)

A hypothetical that might serve useful in addressing this issue might be this (feel free to contend the applicability):

If you were born in isolation and survived in complete isolation. Would there be an "actually moral" for that person?

Quote:
Yes, but I'd not call it profound - it merely is an expression of 'meliorism', I will return to this below. But first, there is a serious problem with the analogy when applied to theism. Actually, there are two serious problems:

[Looks up in dictionary for basic definition.]
Smiling

Quote:
1) The ontological dilemma for 'god' claims, that you and I have discussed, which plagues all theistic claims. I'm writing something new on this, will post it later tonight, seeing as the floods in my town preclude doing much else....

Indeed. All sunny out here in the West. Could you send some rain over here?

Quote:
2) The model requires a being with wants and needs and desires and goals. In short, it requires an anthropomorphic entity that fears bordedom and craves excitement. Sounds all too human to be a god. It sounds, in other words, like a projection of humanity onto a 'god' more than what a 'god' ought to be...

Yet, I might contend (even if I agreed with everything else) a small point that since there is no objective standard of "God", why could he not be "human" in at least one respect.. "wants"--(which, might entail) "wants to wait" or, within the analogy, "wants to create a game that will play out".

What "God" "ought" to be-- a subject that would lead to an array of concepts that would represent speculation at its finest. Perhaps it would be purposeful, yet, still, iffy.

I think.. "What "God" "could" be?" would be an equally purposeful conversation (equally iffy)--"Could he be as the analogy suggest?"

Anyways. Tangent alert. I digress. Smiling

Quote:
William James called the need for struggle 'meliorism". Humans are not really optismists or pessimists as much as they are meliorists. What this means is simply this: we want a game that is winnable, yet, we require that that there also be a real possibility of losing. We don't want to know that everything will in fact be alright in the end, no matter what we do (optismism) or, conversely, that no matter what we do, we will lose (pessimism or even fatalism) Instead, we want to struggle and overcome, and eventually reach the goal.... In a very real sense, to a meliorist, winning is the least interesting, least important part of the entire process!

Think about it (if you don't already agree, as I bet you do) Every movie, every book that is in any way interesting focuses on struggling towards the goal, and not the goal. No story worth reading beings with 'and they lived happily ever after". This is reserved for the last page... and many books/movies don't even bother to show 'happily ever after'... some of the better ones just make it clear that the hero(es) have reached the end of the game, and that the reward comes next... fade to black, roll credits, coz after all, who really cares.... our real desire is to get on to the next struggle!

Hmm.. interesting. Another fascinating point Tod.

I can see how this would be applicable to humanity. We do seem to look for the next struggle--

Quote:
So, if you use this as an analogy for theism, you need to radically revision the sort of 'god' you are arguing for - because it speaks to a god with very human needs, and such a god ought to rouse our suspicions as being a projection of ourselves onto the universe.

"To want" is a very human need, yet, it is by no means a solely human attribute. I believe "to want" is the only attribute necessarily applied to a theistic God of any type. Because, if he didn't "want" anything, then nothing would occur.

Now.. I really don't wish to get off on this tangent.. because I feel it will lead to the whole concept of "omnipresence" which I don't wish to speak of since-- it's so weird, and while some might understand it, I am by no means in a position to explain it so that someone else might understand. Furthermore, I don't believe it is necessary within the theistic concept.

Tangent.. again.

But yes.. in so far as "want" is a human attribute.. we project it onto God. I'm not sure I would agree that this "ought to" rouse our suspicion-- no more so than anything else should rouse our suspicion.

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1) The form of solipsism we've discussed here is non falsifiable, ergo there is no 'cash value' to holding to it. You might as well act as if you are real.

There would be 'cash value' in that it (could) free you up, morally speaking (edited for content). (this assertion is dependent upon some earlier concepts which may or may not have been accepted yet)

If I, 99.9%, believed solipsism to be true (as, conversely I feel about "external reality&quotEye-wink, it's reasonable to believe that I probably wouldn't feel bad about "cheating my way through life", or, doing criminal acts that I knew I could get away with, or, ignoring the needs of "others".

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2) It requires that I be Mozart, rather than just know of Mozart, which I hold are distinctive because I cannot match Mozart, creatively, by my own judgement, or the judgement of my simulcrum buddies (or real fellow humans)

This is dependent upon non-solipsism already (possibly not, once again, dependent on conclusions reached or not reached earlier)-- otherwise the whole scenario could be based upon a subconscious will to struggle with skill or, equally possible, low self esteem manifesting itself in "non-skill" and "negative judgement" from the simulcrum (hah) buddies.

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I will now add a third:

There is a difference between logical possibility and physical possibility. For example, it is not logically impossible for me to create a machine that would trick you into believing that the world is created for you, was the real world. But it might prove physically impossible to actually make the machine, if such a machine required such energy, and time to make it, that it would beggar the ability of all humanity to preform the trick.

Imagine the energy, the computational power, required to make a simulcrum of all reality....

So we can add physical impossibility to the list, as a provincial reason to question solipsism.

Once again.. I believe this "impossibility" to be based upon assumptions of "external reality". I do not believe that you can use as the basis for accepting one non-falsifiable hypothesis, assumptions, based upon the acceptance of THAT one non-falsifiable hypothesis, as reason not to accept another, contrary, non-falsifiable hypothesis. To do so would, I believe, be circular.

If X is true, then Y is impossible. If Y is impossible, then X is true. Y is impossible in X, therefore X is true.

(I believe this might be a correct representation)

(Last three statements added to, added, and/or edited for clarity)

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I think you and I are beyond worrying about staying on topic... if you find something of interest, speak upon it all you like. You're a good member of our site, and you should be free to conjecture all you like, while receving respect from all members here.

Heh. Thanks Tod. Alright. I think I might be out for the night.. I really gotta get focused on work. This forum provides a (sometimes) fun distraction to what I'm actually expected to do by "perceived externals". Smiling


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I hate to be a 'me too'

I hate to be a 'me too' poster, but I feel the need to respond to the question breifly despite the fact that most of what I have to say has already been presented by Tod (quite a bit more thoroughly than I could have) because this issue came up between me and Rhad recently. Actually, I agree with much of what both Tod and Rhad have said here, so I'll be brief.

I suspect that the universe is not purely generated by my own imagination because:

1. There are things in the universe that I do not expect. This leads me to believe that there are other agents within my ability to perceive that are independent of me.

2. There are conflicts between the agents in this universe, both involving me and observed by me, which leads me to conclude that there is no intelligent agent driving reality to a designed outcome, and therefore I cannot be the source of reality.

As for the slightly more general issue of a shared delusion or dream, brains in jars, etc, I would say that these are really outside of what I can know, so I don't assume any of these possabilities to be true or false, and they seem roughly equally possible.

When I speculate on such things, I tend to suspect that outside of universes at some level, reality looses it's apparent objectivity, and there is no way to validate that our universe or any other exists or doesn't. But this is pure speculation. Ultimately, I think the unknowable things are fun to speculate about, but there's no need to pick one model and decide on it.

It's only the fairy tales they believe.


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Quote:

Quote:
I hate to be a 'me too' poster, but I feel the need to respond to the question breifly despite the fact that most of what I have to say has already been presented by Tod (quite a bit more thoroughly than I could have) because this issue came up between me and Rhad recently. Actually, I agree with much of what both Tod and Rhad have said here, so I'll be brief.

Hey Rex--welcome to the thread of existentialist speculation-ism (I just like the way the phrasing sounds.. not sure if it's actually applicable).

Quote:
I suspect that the universe is not purely generated by my own imagination because:

1. There are things in the universe that I do not expect. This leads me to believe that there are other agents within my ability to perceive that are independent of me.

Have you ever reacted in such a way that was unexpected? Ever done something you wish you hadn't done? Ever "dreamt" of being in a story where everything is "unexpected"?

I do not believe that solipsism requires conscious will to control-- if this were so, then the hypothesis could easily be falsified by "willing" some change and seeing it fail.

If, however, existence is subconscious expression.. then "unexpected" would not be unique to an externally real universe but could also exist in a universe that is only internally perceived as external.

Quote:
2. There are conflicts between the agents in this universe, both involving me and observed by me, which leads me to conclude that there is no intelligent agent driving reality to a designed outcome, and therefore I cannot be the source of reality.

"If no intelligent agent driving reality, then you cannot be the source of reality."

This (I believe) is the logical structure. Once again.. I would only point to my previous statement with regards to "subconscious" and "conscious".

Furthermore, there is no evidence to suggest that "intelligent agents" can only drive things "intelligently", or that "intelligence" requires that something be driven "with apparent purpose" (these are inferences, of course, that I'm making from the earlier statement.)

I would consider my parents to be "intelligent agents"-- yet they are sometimes not the best of automobile drivers.

Furthermore, I would contend that school is something with purpose, yet it is not so apparent to 3rd graders.

Let me be clear, I do not mean to argue that solipsism is real or true. My point is merely to discover whether there is any way to argue that ONE of many equally probably hypothesis is more true than the other without reverting to "personal feelings", "personal wants", or circular reasoning.


Tod rightly points out that the hypothesis may be equal.. but I do not believe it has been argued so as of yet. Accepting one and not the other has benefits as well as drawbacks.. as I stated earlier, if you were 99.9% sure that life was indeed in your head, would you live it differently?

It's a very hard thing to comprehend because, I would contend, the majority of us have implicitly accepted non-solipsimistic concepts-- yet, for a moment, if you were to find a wallet with 1000$ and a driver's license, and you truly believed that the "person" who it belonged to was merely a figment of your imagination-- would you think twice about keeping it?

Quote:
When I speculate on such things, I tend to suspect that outside of universes at some level, reality looses it's apparent objectivity, and there is no way to validate that our universe or any other exists or doesn't. But this is pure speculation. Ultimately, I think the unknowable things are fun to speculate about, but there's no need to pick one model and decide on it.

And here's the thing-- I think that we do decide on one. If we don't, then by some other means then "non-solipsism" thinking we must rationalize our concept of "actual morality" without any externals.

Oh, and yes, I find it fun to speculate as well. Smiling Passes the time.. strengthens the nuerons, maybe. 


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RhadTheGizmo wrote: A

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

A quick question that has always been fun for me to think about whenever I happen to be stuck in traffic. Smiling

What evidence do you have that everything you see exists as external entities?

[edit for clarification] This is the old what evidence do you have that this is not all a dream, all a hallucination, or.. like internal creation, type question.

There can be no evidence to this effect, IMO. Since, theoretically, a perfect simulation is possible, we cannot be sure we aren't in one. Even if we decide that it's likely that we are, we have no way to gather information about the Real world. If we attempt to act without regard to the information our senses give us, we experience pain and other consequences that we perceive to be negative. I suppose one approach would be to take it on faith that this world is an illusion and spend your entire life in pain and discomfort in a possibly futile attempt to discover something about the Real world, but when I contemplate this lifestyle I realize that information about the Real world is not so important to me that I would take such a gamble with this, the only life I think I have.

One thing is for sure: the people who claim to have knowledge of the Real world can be no more certain that they are not being deceived. 

Lazy is a word we use when someone isn't doing what we want them to do.
- Dr. Joy Brown


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rexlunae wrote: I I

rexlunae wrote:
I I suspect that the universe is not purely generated by my own imagination because: 1. There are things in the universe that I do not expect. This leads me to believe that there are other agents within my ability to perceive that are independent of me. 2. There are conflicts between the agents in this universe, both involving me and observed by me, which leads me to conclude that there is no intelligent agent driving reality to a designed outcome, and therefore I cannot be the source of reality.

Just to play the devil's advocate, I'll note that my subconscious serves up surprises and conflicts in my dreams all the time.

 

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Quote: If we attempt to act

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If we attempt to act without regard to the information our senses give us, we experience pain and other consequences that we perceive to be negative.

Indeed.

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I suppose one approach would be to take it on faith that this world is an illusion and spend your entire life in pain and discomfort in a possibly futile attempt to discover something about the Real world, but when I contemplate this lifestyle I realize that information about the Real world is not so important to me that I would take such a gamble with this, the only life I think I have.

Or, to train yourself to become what one might consider a "sociopath"-- this would cause no "negative" effects in a solipsism reality and it would have, perhaps, many advantages.

Refer to example given before.  There are instances of "morality" in which choosing one and not the other is not based upon fear of consequences but rather acceptance of non-solipsimistic concepts of externality.

One "harms" themselves in order to help or "do right" by another.

Jumping in the river to save a child, returning the wallet to the owner, not-cheating on a test, etc etc.

I think there is a real distinction between the multiple possibilities and "drawbacks" ONLY IF you are wrong with regards to the choice between possibilities and "benefits" ONLY IF you are right with regards to the choice between possibilities.

So.. we choose one over the other-- even though benefits and costs are seemingly equal with regards to choosing one over the other.

So.. I believe the question remains.  Why pick one over the other? Is there evidence beyond "personal feelings", "personal want", or circular reasoning?

Heh.. I don't believe this question would have been around so long if it was an easy one to answer.


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Quote: Just to play the

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Just to play the devil's advocate, I'll note that my subconscious serves up surprises and conflicts in my dreams all the time.

Mine as well.  I seem to recall "Harry" from "Harry and the Hendersons" jumping through a wall while I a "Jack in the Box" was playing its creepy music...

Freaky, reoccuring, childhood nightmare.  I shutter to think of it....... why did I bring it up again? Sticking out tongue Beh. 


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RhadTheGizmo wrote: Or, to

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Or, to train yourself to become what one might consider a "sociopath"-- this would cause no "negative" effects in a solipsism reality and it would have, perhaps, many advantages.

Refer to example given before. There are instances of "morality" in which choosing one and not the other is not based upon fear of consequences but rather acceptance of non-solipsimistic concepts of externality.

One "harms" themselves in order to help or "do right" by another.

Jumping in the river to save a child, returning the wallet to the owner, not-cheating on a test, etc etc.

I think there is a real distinction between the multiple possibilities and "drawbacks" ONLY IF you are wrong with regards to the choice between possibilities and "benefits" ONLY IF you are right with regards to the choice between possibilities.

So.. we choose one over the other-- even though benefits and costs are seemingly equal with regards to choosing one over the other.

So.. I believe the question remains. Why pick one over the other? Is there evidence beyond "personal feelings", "personal want", or circular reasoning?

Heh.. I don't believe this question would have been around so long if it was an easy one to answer.

You seem to be making the assumption that moral choices can't be defended rationally, but only through reference to ingrained feelings or the dictates of a higher power. I disagree. I think that whether you're a solipsist or not, you still are governed by reason and the social rules that allow people to get along with one another. Your stance on the ultimate meaning of these actions is irrelevant, unless you also happen to be a theist, in which case you're mired in self-contradiction anyway.

Why choose to be altruistic? Several reasons. Maybe it makes you feel good. Maybe you hope your action will be noticed and rewarded somehow. Maybe you have reached the reasoned conclusion that if everyone behaved this way, the world would be thus improved. Maybe you do so without thinking about it at all, out of ingrained habit. In none of these cases is any particular reference to the ultimate nature of reality required.

I think questions about the nature of morality persist because of the muddling effect of religion on the whole discussion, which tells us at once that the source of morality lies in the otherworld beyond the senses and that we can have knowledge of that morality. 

Lazy is a word we use when someone isn't doing what we want them to do.
- Dr. Joy Brown


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Quote:

Quote:
You seem to be making the assumption that moral choices can't be defended rationally, but only through reference to ingrained feelings or the dictates of a higher power. I disagree. I think that whether you're a solipsist or not, you still are governed by reason and the social rules that allow people to get along with one another. Your stance on the ultimate meaning of these actions is irrelevant, unless you also happen to be a theist, in which case you're mired in self-contradiction anyway.

Not at all..

I am making the assumption that "morality" cannot exist apart from any perceived external (i.e. without external, real, people or God).

I'm with you with regards to the ability of morality to come out of community.. but if there is no community.. and no God.. only "you" (solipsism or variants).. then upon what basis do you rationalize your concept of morality?

As for the ability to rationalize morality within all of these hypothesis (and therefore make them equivalent) is something I'm open too.. which, I suppose would be one of the arguments here.

Quote:
Why choose to be altruistic? Several reasons. Maybe it makes you feel good. Maybe you hope your action will be noticed and rewarded somehow. Maybe you have reached the reasoned conclusion that if everyone behaved this way, the world would be thus improved. Maybe you do so without thinking about it at all, out of ingrained habit. In none of these cases is any particular reference to the ultimate nature of reality required.

If you chose to accept solipsism, "makes you feel good" would be the only justification for "morality".

Yet, since you have chosen to accept something else, you are allowed to justify morality with the other reasons (e.g. "everyone behaved this way"-- "world would be improved".)

Quote:
I think questions about the nature of morality persist because of the muddling effect of religion on the whole discussion, which tells us at once that the source of morality lies in the otherworld beyond the senses and that we can have knowledge of that morality.

Possibly... yet that is not what I'm doing here.

The question is why do you choose to hold onto a theory about your existence (some non-solipsism variant) without any evidence? And if you do have evidence.. what is it?

The argument from Tod seems to be a valid one.. that "they are all the same"-- and therefore to accept one is to accept the other.. or to not accept any of them is possible.

But.. if one can "not accept any of them"-- then by what means does one rationalize morality apart from a belief in real, external, people? And if one cannot.. then by accepting such a belief, would be to suggest that one HAS accepted one of them and that they ARE NOT the same with regards to implications.

Which.. leads back to the original question-- upon what evidence or rational?

Anycase.. it's a fascinating question. 


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RhadTheGizmo

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Quote:
I suspect that the universe is not purely generated by my own imagination because:

1. There are things in the universe that I do not expect. This leads me to believe that there are other agents within my ability to perceive that are independent of me.

Have you ever reacted in such a way that was unexpected? Ever done something you wish you hadn't done? Ever "dreamt" of being in a story where everything is "unexpected"?

If my subconscience is so large and complex that it can account for all of reality, so large that it has grown not just mine but many consciousnesses which are attached to it, then it seems to have become something larger than just me. I would have to suspect that it is a separate thing, and then it's back to the brains in jars discussion.

The 'unexpected' things that my subconscious produces as dreams are limited, as far as I can tell, to things that I have basically already encountered in the supposed reality, they just lack some of the coherence, so they don't seem to be the same thing.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
If, however, existence is subconscious expression.. then "unexpected" would not be unique to an externally real universe but could also exist in a universe that is only internally perceived as external.

As I said above, I think if you expand the concept of the subconscious out enough to make this tenable, it becomes more than just a part of myself, and therefore it is at best a shared dream.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
If no intelligent agent driving reality, then you cannot be the source of reality."

This (I believe) is the logical structure.

Yes. I think this is also answered by my comments above.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Furthermore, there is no evidence to suggest that "intelligent agents" can only drive things "intelligently", or that "intelligence" requires that something be driven "with apparent purpose" (these are inferences, of course, that I'm making from the earlier statement.)

True, but if the world were the result of a single intelligence, it seems hard to imagine why that intelligence would make some parts of itself suffer at the hands of...itself. Why wouldn't it create its own perfect world?

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Let me be clear, I do not mean to argue that solipsism is real or true. My point is merely to discover whether there is any way to argue that ONE of many equally probably hypothesis is more true than the other without reverting to "personal feelings", "personal wants", or circular reasoning.

I don't think that it can be ruled out entirely, but it does seem less.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Tod rightly points out that the hypothesis may be equal.. but I do not believe it has been argued so as of yet. Accepting one and not the other has benefits as well as drawbacks.. as I stated earlier, if you were 99.9% sure that life was indeed in your head, would you live it differently?

Probably not. As it is, I entertain the possability that any of several models are correct, and in most cases, that doesn't really effect how I live.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
It's a very hard thing to comprehend because, I would contend, the majority of us have implicitly accepted non-solipsimistic concepts-- yet, for a moment, if you were to find a wallet with 1000$ and a driver's license, and you truly believed that the "person" who it belonged to was merely a figment of your imagination-- would you think twice about keeping it?

I don't think that would honestly change anything. Figments or not, when people are hurt, I still empathize with them, so I would want to avoid hurting people. In fact, I don't think my morality depends on other people being objectively 'real' at all.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Quote:
When I speculate on such things, I tend to suspect that outside of universes at some level, reality looses it's apparent objectivity, and there is no way to validate that our universe or any other exists or doesn't. But this is pure speculation. Ultimately, I think the unknowable things are fun to speculate about, but there's no need to pick one model and decide on it.

And here's the thing-- I think that we do decide on one. If we don't, then by some other means then "non-solipsism" thinking we must rationalize our concept of "actual morality" without any externals.

Oh, and yes, I find it fun to speculate as well. Smiling Passes the time.. strengthens the nuerons, maybe. 

I certainly act according to an assumption of non-solipsism, but I feel that I am not doing anything that would be wrong in the case that that assumption is wrong. So, in some way, I act as if both are correct, and since non-solipsism is the only thing with real requirements on me that the other does not possess, it is the only one that constrains me.

It's only the fairy tales they believe.


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Quote:

Quote:
If my subconscience is so large and complex that it can account for all of reality, so large that it has grown not just mine but many consciousnesses which are attached to it, then it seems to have become something larger than just me. I would have to suspect that it is a separate thing, and then it's back to the brains in jars discussion.

See.. here's the thing about this one. Within solipsism,  "other people" do not have to be as conscious and "growing" as you.. you just need to perceive that they are "growing".  

No matter what (well, some people might disagree with this statement).. we only experience life from one P.O.V-- we assume others have their own, personal, P.O.V. with their own similar life experiences.

Quote:
The 'unexpected' things that my subconscious produces as dreams are limited, as far as I can tell, to things that I have basically already encountered in the supposed reality, they just lack some of the coherence, so they don't seem to be the same thing.

You're dreams aren't coherent? Mine are.. sometimes.. sometimes it's just me in the Prince of Persia game.

Nevertheless, while I agree that my dreams have some sort of relationship to supposed reality.. they are nonetheless, not direct representations of reality.. and I only "suppose" they are related to reality because of a belief I have concerning the relationship between reality and dreams.

But, if you don't accept this argumentation.. consider this.

In this "supposed reality" you breathed before your were "aware of breathing".  In our "supposed reality" the brain is hardwired to do certain things regardless of our expecting or not expecting it-- so why is it not equally likely for the brain to be hardwired for creating an unconscious reality? even as it is hardwired for you to breath unconsciously, unexpectedly?

Quote:
True, but if the world were the result of a single intelligence, it seems hard to imagine why that intelligence would make some parts of itself suffer at the hands of...itself. Why wouldn't it create its own perfect world?

In this "supposed reality"-- are you telling me that people don't harm themselves?

Quote:
I don't think that it can be ruled out entirely, but it does seem less.

I'm contending that it can't be ruled out at all but by the acceptance of circular justification or "personal feelings".

Quote:
I don't think that would honestly change anything. Figments or not, when people are hurt, I still empathize with them, so I would want to avoid hurting people. In fact, I don't think my morality depends on other people being objectively 'real' at all.

Well.. I believe thats what I'm trying to understand.. looking for this rationality behind morality apart from the objectively "real".

And.. I would contend.. that if you were 99.9% sure that the person for whose wallet you were holding was a figment of your imagination that you would not empathize much.

For instance.. at this moment.. close your eyes and create a "figment of your imagination"-- lets say.. "God".  Now.. this "God" doesn't want you to use the computer..

The fact that you are sure that this "God" is a figment of your imagination.. do you really care that he doesn't want you to use your computer?

Quote:
I certainly act according to an assumption of non-solipsism, but I feel that I am not doing anything that would be wrong in the case that that assumption is wrong. So, in some way, I act as if both are correct, and since non-solipsism is the only thing with real requirements on me that the other does not possess, it is the only one that constrains me.

This.. would be the example of circular justification.

I mean.. by all relevant means.. this is why I accept non-solipsism theories.. yet, still-- it is circular.

To state your accept one and not the other, because one has "real requirement" is to have accepted the first already.

And.. through implication.. to perceive a "real requirement" as only in one is to perceive a real difference between the two theories.  And, if this "real" requirement only refers to "morality" (external).. then the choice is really whether one wishes to be "burdened" by it or not.

Most people choose to be "burdened" by it.. but, still, to state that because non-solipsism has this "requirement" and that solipsism does not, is reason enough to accept one and not the other...  is circular justification (I believe).

And.. if you believe that non-solipsism has nothing but positive implications when compared to solipsism (and variants)... then consider this.

Next time you are faced with the decision to save one or more people at the peril of your own life, what decision will you make? If life is non-solipsism (or variants) then you are risking your life for other people.  If life is solipsism (or variants) then you are risking "everyones life" for nothing.


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I frankly have never seen a

I frankly have never seen a point to debating this concept. If reality is not as it appears to be, it doesn't matter. Because reality as it appears to be affects you as it appears to be. You cannot act against percieved reality and expect it to go with you on the trip. I can say I know I'm not dreaming right now. Every dream I can remember since leaving childhood, I figured out I was dreaming and became omnipotent within the dream.

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Quote:

Quote:
I frankly have never seen a point to debating this concept. If reality is not as it appears to be, it doesn't matter. Because reality as it appears to be affects you as it appears to be. You cannot act against percieved reality and expect it to go with you on the trip. I can say I know I'm not dreaming right now. Every dream I can remember since leaving childhood, I figured out I was dreaming and became omnipotent within the dream.

I would contend there are important implications regarding how the mind works.

Quote:
Because reality as it appears to be affects you as it appears to be.

It's this part that is the important part with regards to this question.. Does it appear to be a certain way because you have been taught that it is this way? Or does it appear to be a certain way because it is a certain way?

Quote:
I can say I know I'm not dreaming right now. Every dream I can remember since leaving childhood, I figured out I was dreaming and became omnipotent within the dream.

As for this.. I don't believe solipsism requires conscious omnipotence. Furthermore, once again, I would contend that you are using circular justification:

I can know because: If non-solipsism (and its variants) is true then the relationship I perceive between dreams and reality is true. I perceive a relationship between dreams and reality, therefore I know existence is non-solipsism (and its variants).

I realize that in accordance with certain things (e.g. physical stimuli, "interpersonal relationship) there would technically be no difference regarding how it is done (whether non-solipsism and solipsism variants)-- yet, there is a conceptual difference with regards to morality that we have been trying to discuss.

Upon what basis does one rationalize morality if not by some external (either god or community) entity? And if the concept of morality can only be accepted upon the acceptence of externals, then upon what evidence does one choose between two non-falsifiable, contrary, equally probable possibilities?

Feel free to attack the use of these words: "non-falsifiable, contrary, equally probable possibilities".


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Bump.

Bump.


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RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Quote:
I frankly have never seen a point to debating this concept. If reality is not as it appears to be, it doesn't matter. Because reality as it appears to be affects you as it appears to be. You cannot act against percieved reality and expect it to go with you on the trip. I can say I know I'm not dreaming right now. Every dream I can remember since leaving childhood, I figured out I was dreaming and became omnipotent within the dream.

I would contend there are important implications regarding how the mind works.

Like what?

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Quote:
Because reality as it appears to be affects you as it appears to be.

It's this part that is the important part with regards to this question.. Does it appear to be a certain way because you have been taught that it is this way? Or does it appear to be a certain way because it is a certain way?

This may be valid had I not spent most of my entire life figuring these things out for myself. My fist doesn't hurt after punching a wall because someone told me it would, or I think it would hurt. I don't fall because someone tells me I'll fall, or I think I'll fall. These things happened before I could even consider the intellectual implications you raise. Before I could concieve of reality and it's "laws", if you will, in the first place. There have been a number of times that I expected one thing while taking an action and ended up with something completely different, because I wasn't aware of all the factors in the action taking place. This directly contradicts the idea that I'm making it all up.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Quote:
I can say I know I'm not dreaming right now. Every dream I can remember since leaving childhood, I figured out I was dreaming and became omnipotent within the dream.

As for this.. I don't believe solipsism requires conscious omnipotence.

Why not? If reality exists only because one is imagining it, then all that is required for omnipotence would be the realization that it is an imagining. I can say this definitively because I can imagine being omnipotent. I've done so.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Furthermore, once again, I would contend that you are using circular justification: I can know because: If non-solipsism (and its variants) is true then the relationship I perceive between dreams and reality is true. I perceive a relationship between dreams and reality, therefore I know existence is non-solipsism (and its variants).

I think you are misrepresenting the basis of my position. I percieve that reality and dreams are different. What I can do in a dream is incompatible with what I can do or not do in reality. I've had times where I thought I was dreaming yet was rudely awakened to the fact that I wasn't. The opposite is also true, though isn't so rude an experience. This is the basis of my position that the question of reality has no relevance. I am literally unable to change reality or my perception of it(tested), it is therefore an exercise in futility to continuously attempt to do so or consider the implications of it's possibility.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
I realize that in accordance with certain things (e.g. physical stimuli, "interpersonal relationship) there would technically be no difference regarding how it is done (whether non-solipsism and solipsism variants)-- yet, there is a conceptual difference with regards to morality that we have been trying to discuss. Upon what basis does one rationalize morality if not by some external (either god or community) entity? And if the concept of morality can only be accepted upon the acceptence of externals, then upon what evidence does one choose between two non-falsifiable, contrary, equally probable possibilities? Feel free to attack the use of these words: "non-falsifiable, contrary, equally probable possibilities".

Well I rationalize my morality based upon myself, not a god or community. Only asking the question of my own existance would make morality defining difficult. And there's even less reason to doubt my own existance than there is everyone elses existance.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


RhadTheGizmo
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v

Quote:
I would contend there are important implications regarding how the mind works.

Quote:
Like what?

Well.. for one.. what sort of assumptions the mind is willing to hold and upon what basis.

Quote:
It's this part that is the important part with regards to this question.. Does it appear to be a certain way because you have been taught that it is this way? Or does it appear to be a certain way because it is a certain way?

Quote:
This may be valid had I not spent most of my entire life figuring these things out for myself. My fist doesn't hurt after punching a wall because someone told me it would, or I think it would hurt. I don't fall because someone tells me I'll fall, or I think I'll fall. These things happened before I could even consider the intellectual implications you raise. Before I could concieve of reality and it's "laws", if you will, in the first place.

I apologize for my non-clarity (?).  I did not mean "taught" in the sense that you were "taught" to feel pain or to fall.. I mean "taught"-- as in your were "taught" to view things as external or are they actually external, and that's why one perceives them to be so?

As for your contentions regarding "before you knew its laws".. etc.  If the brain, now, makes "sense" of thousands of process in the mind which are no more than electrical charges.. what makes you think that it can not make "sense" out of anything?

You "perceive laws" because there are laws? or because your mind created "sense" out of randomness?

I liked this to what I contested with Tod:

He stated:

Solipsism would require me to be Mozart and Bach all in one-- and since I know I do not have the skill of Bach or Mozart, I know this is probably not true.

I contested:

You do not need to be Mozart and Bach nor do you need to be "less skilled" then them.. since "skill" would be a concept created by your mind-- music, film, everything.  All that would be necessary is a "subconscious want" to "perceive oneself as less skilled".

In the same way.. there does not necessarily need to be "laws".. merely a "subconscious want for order" which presents itself as "laws".

Quote:
There have been a number of times that I expected one thing while taking an action and ended up with something completely different, because I wasn't aware of all the factors in the action taking place. This directly contradicts the idea that I'm making it all up.

I'll touch on this in a second.

Quote:
As for this.. I don't believe solipsism requires conscious omnipotence.

Quote:
Why not? If reality exists only because one is imagining it, then all that is required for omnipotence would be the realization that it is an imagining. I can say this definitively because I can imagine being omnipotent. I've done so.

Within non-solipsmistic existence.. you cannot control all the processes of your mind-- why would it need be different in solipsism (or variants)?

Unless you can consciously stop your heart from beating.. I see no reason to accept the premise that a solipsmistic existence would necessarily be under your complete, conscious control.

This applies to the quote before as well regarding the "unexpected".

Quote:
Furthermore, once again, I would contend that you are using circular justification: I can know because: If non-solipsism (and its variants) is true then the relationship I perceive between dreams and reality is true. I perceive a relationship between dreams and reality, therefore I know existence is non-solipsism (and its variants).

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I think you are misrepresenting the basis of my position.

It's possible.

Quote:
I percieve that reality and dreams are different. What I can do in a dream is incompatible with what I can do or not do in reality. I've had times where I thought I was dreaming yet was rudely awakened to the fact that I wasn't. The opposite is also true, though isn't so rude an experience. This is the basis of my position that the question of reality has no relevance. I am literally unable to change reality or my perception of it(tested), it is therefore an exercise in futility to continuously attempt to do so or consider the implications of it's possibility.

Then.. would this be accurate summary of your logic?:

Because dreams are a process of my mind and since I can exert some control over my dreams, then it can be assumed that if "reality" was a process of my mind that I could exert some control over "reality"?

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Well I rationalize my morality based upon myself, not a god or community.

How do you rationalize morality based upon yourself?

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Only asking the question of my own existance would make morality defining difficult. And there's even less reason to doubt my own existance than there is everyone elses existance.

N/A.. I would agree. To doubt ones own existence is an odd venture.. IMO.


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RhadTheGizmo

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Quote:
I would contend there are important implications regarding how the mind works.
Quote:
Like what?

Well.. for one.. what sort of assumptions the mind is willing to hold and upon what basis.

I don't see how this question can be answered if the question it asks is accurate.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Quote:
It's this part that is the important part with regards to this question.. Does it appear to be a certain way because you have been taught that it is this way? Or does it appear to be a certain way because it is a certain way?

Quote:
This may be valid had I not spent most of my entire life figuring these things out for myself. My fist doesn't hurt after punching a wall because someone told me it would, or I think it would hurt. I don't fall because someone tells me I'll fall, or I think I'll fall. These things happened before I could even consider the intellectual implications you raise. Before I could concieve of reality and it's "laws", if you will, in the first place.

I apologize for my non-clarity (?).  I did not mean "taught" in the sense that you were "taught" to feel pain or to fall.. I mean "taught"-- as in your were "taught" to view things as external or are they actually external, and that's why one perceives them to be so?

It's the very fact that these things are external that taught me they were external. Percieving them in any other way doesn't work.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

As for your contentions regarding "before you knew its laws".. etc.  If the brain, now, makes "sense" of thousands of process in the mind which are no more than electrical charges.. what makes you think that it can not make "sense" out of anything?

The fact that it exists and the sense it's made works in accord with it's perception.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
You "perceive laws" because there are laws? or because your mind created "sense" out of randomness?

I believe this is begging the question. There's no reason to doubt that our mind percieves laws because laws exist.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
I liked this to what I contested with Tod: He stated:
Solipsism would require me to be Mozart and Bach all in one-- and since I know I do not have the skill of Bach or Mozart, I know this is probably not true.
I contested: You do not need to be Mozart and Bach nor do you need to be "less skilled" then them.. since "skill" would be a concept created by your mind-- music, film, everything.  All that would be necessary is a "subconscious want" to "perceive oneself as less skilled". In the same way.. there does not necessarily need to be "laws".. merely a "subconscious want for order" which presents itself as "laws".

I would contend this is also begging the question. That the subconscious mind can control reality when the concious mind can only percieve the creation of the subconcious, when there is no practical reason to consider such is accurate. Furthermore, it would assume I was omnipotent and omniscient within the reality that I could create reality to percieve reality. It would effectively be assuming that I am god, though a delusional god.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Quote:
There have been a number of times that I expected one thing while taking an action and ended up with something completely different, because I wasn't aware of all the factors in the action taking place. This directly contradicts the idea that I'm making it all up.

I'll touch on this in a second.
Quote:
As for this.. I don't believe solipsism requires conscious omnipotence.

Quote:
Why not? If reality exists only because one is imagining it, then all that is required for omnipotence would be the realization that it is an imagining. I can say this definitively because I can imagine being omnipotent. I've done so.

Within non-solipsmistic existence.. you cannot control all the processes of your mind-- why would it need be different in solipsism (or variants)?

This would again be begging the question. The premise is that reality is controlled by you, yet you cannot control reality. I find it inherrantly contradictory.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Unless you can consciously stop your heart from beating.. I see no reason to accept the premise that a solipsmistic existence would necessarily be under your complete, conscious control.

An interesting example, as I can conciously stop my heart from beating. I just wouldn't be able to start it up again.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

This applies to the quote before as well regarding the "unexpected".

I think you need to restructure.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Quote:
I percieve that reality and dreams are different. What I can do in a dream is incompatible with what I can do or not do in reality. I've had times where I thought I was dreaming yet was rudely awakened to the fact that I wasn't. The opposite is also true, though isn't so rude an experience. This is the basis of my position that the question of reality has no relevance. I am literally unable to change reality or my perception of it(tested), it is therefore an exercise in futility to continuously attempt to do so or consider the implications of it's possibility.

Then.. would this be accurate summary of your logic?: Because dreams are a process of my mind and since I can exert some control over my dreams, then it can be assumed that if "reality" was a process of my mind that I could exert some control over "reality"?

Not quite. Instead of actually saying that "it can be assumed that if reality was a process of my mind that I could exert some/all control over reality" it would be saying "it can be assumed that since reality appears to not be a process of my mind asking the question of if it is a process of my mind appears to have no value or answer".

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Quote:
Well I rationalize my morality based upon myself, not a god or community.

How do you rationalize morality based upon yourself?

I don't know how else you could rationalize morality without giving your capacity for descision making to another entity or entities. I'm not enclined to believe that others are better than me, or that I am better than others. I therefore don't believe that others have the ability to dictate to me what is right and wrong morally(the reverse generally applies as well, though if my morals are being violated then I have little difficulty violating them myself in an attempt to defend my morals). I must decide and experience it for myself. The community has the ability to judge me as immoral to their standards, and I have the ability to judge the community as immoral to my standards, but I am moral to myself.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


James Cizuz
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Well, here is the thing.

Well, here is the thing. This is all in quantum mechanics and physics. Which, when looking on planck scale everything is interconnected(two objects created through one object are connected, no matter how far apart they are do something to one, the other instantly responds. Since everything was connected at the big bang, that would suggest if we could manipulate planck scale we could travel anywhere, at any speed or instantly.). Quantum physics also deals with this question, which deals with how our reality exists, how our brain controls our reality, and how our brain can alter time in a sense.

Simple example: A docter wanted to see how reaction time differed, so he set up a test. He would touch a patients finger and see how long it took the brain to respond, then touch the part of brain responded and see how long it took to respond. Now you would think touching the finger would yeild a delay, it did not. However when he stimulated the area of the brain, it did cause a delay. This suggested your brain when knows when it's being touched in an area, and sends the data backwords in time so it feels it instantanous, however if you touch the area of the brain, it responds as if it is sending the data forward, giving a delay as it would if you touched the finger.

 

As for us being external entities, we can never prove we are not, quantum physics is trying though. We just have to deal with proving how our normal reality we live in day to day works, if we die and say just wake up, thats fine. When or if that happens, I guess we can then see why it happens, and then see how our new reality works. 

"When I die I shall be content to vanish into nothingness.... No show, however good, could conceivably be good forever.... I do not believe in immortality, and have no desire for it." ~H.L. Mencken

Thank god i'm a atheist!