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Solipsism
Posted: 10 March 2016 01:55 PM   [ Ignore ]
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How do you get over this? I never really gave it much thought before, but the thought that this might be a dream and all unreal is pretty hard to shake to be honest.

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Posted: 10 March 2016 05:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Titanomachina - 10 March 2016 01:55 PM

How do you get over this? I never really gave it much thought before, but the thought that this might be a dream and all unreal is pretty hard to shake to be honest.

Get over it? It’s either true or it isn’t. What’s to get over? It’s like asking how you get over a heliocemtric universe. That, too, might be a dream and all unreal and hard to shake. What do you do about that?

Lois

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[color=red“Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.”
― George Eliot, Silas Marner[/color]

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Posted: 10 March 2016 05:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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But the thing is I can’t prove its true. I can’t prove that this is a dream and the people are fake anymore than I can prove it isn’t a dream and it’s all real.

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Posted: 10 March 2016 05:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Titanomachina - 10 March 2016 05:16 PM

But the thing is I can’t prove its true. I can’t prove that this is a dream and the people are fake anymore than I can prove it isn’t a dream and it’s all real.

So? There are thousands of things like that. You just have to put it aside and wait for evidence. You can’t create knowledge by wishing for it or by becoming frustrated over not knowing. Something. Calm down. You’re in the same position as everyone else on earth. Just don’t make something up. That’s the worst thing you can do.

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[color=red“Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.”
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Posted: 10 March 2016 06:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Titanomachina - 10 March 2016 01:55 PM

How do you get over this? I never really gave it much thought before, but the thought that this might be a dream and all unreal is pretty hard to shake to be honest.

Have you tried Google? I think Matt Dillahunty might have a YouTube on this. Or look for arguments on the philosophical zombie. Truth is, there is no solution to it. It is a premise of science that things exists and are stable to enough of a degree that we can experiment against them. The best answer is to use a philosopher’s tool of asking questions. If you are imagining some world, say brains in jars, or something, ask what it would take to maintain that. Go into as much detail as you can stand. I always end up with something so elaborate it no longer makes sense.

But let’s say it doesn’t make sense, reality is so unlike your experience that you can’t conceive of it. Well, you just defined yourself out of an answer. You defined a world you can’t conceive, so by definition, you can’t conceive that world. Good thing you are not experiencing eternal torture, because it would be torture to think you were just experiencing it while actually lying on a beach in Hawaii.

Enough of that, now go the other way. You evolved from non-thinking matter, so there is going to be some error rate in your thinking. But, your ancestors survived, they must have got something right, they avoided death, even if by superstition. You are just further along in that. And, actually evolution doesn’t always mean progress, as a group or individually, sometimes we evolve to be less adapted. There are volumes on this topic (evolution) , I think you would really like reading them.

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Posted: 10 March 2016 06:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I mean to say that there is no proof that anything outside of me is real. But then again there is no proof it’s a dream. I can’t disprove it but I can’t prove it. Thing is I can’t leave things like this alone. I need a definitive answer to it. But this places doubt on certainty and reality.

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Posted: 11 March 2016 05:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Titanomachina - 10 March 2016 06:57 PM

I mean to say that there is no proof that anything outside of me is real. But then again there is no proof it’s a dream. I can’t disprove it but I can’t prove it. Thing is I can’t leave things like this alone. I need a definitive answer to it. But this places doubt on certainty and reality.

Yeah I get that. Go to church if you want an easy answer. Otherwise, there isn’t one. Your desire to “not leave it alone” is what has driven human progress and art.

Start asking, if this is a dream, where I am? What “me” is dreaming? Am I Elvis? Am I a Tibetan snow monkey? Why don’t I have any memory of my non-dreaming time? How long have I been asleep? Shouldn’t I be hungry by now?

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Posted: 11 March 2016 06:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Lausten - 11 March 2016 05:37 AM
Titanomachina - 10 March 2016 06:57 PM

I mean to say that there is no proof that anything outside of me is real. But then again there is no proof it’s a dream. I can’t disprove it but I can’t prove it. Thing is I can’t leave things like this alone. I need a definitive answer to it. But this places doubt on certainty and reality.

Yeah I get that. Go to church if you want an easy answer. Otherwise, there isn’t one. Your desire to “not leave it alone” is what has driven human progress and art.

Start asking, if this is a dream, where I am? What “me” is dreaming? Am I Elvis? Am I a Tibetan snow monkey? Why don’t I have any memory of my non-dreaming time? How long have I been asleep? Shouldn’t I be hungry by now?

But what could being in a dream possibly be advancing? It doesn’t really matter what the answer is for this one to be honest, at most I can imagine this making one suicidal.

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Posted: 11 March 2016 02:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Titanomachina - 11 March 2016 06:16 AM

But what could being in a dream possibly be advancing? It doesn’t really matter what the answer is for this one to be honest, at most I can imagine this making one suicidal.

I’m hoping we prevent that.

That’s a good question, what would being in a dream advance? What would be the purpose of that? Being awake, eating and pooping serves the purpose of being part of the eco-cycle. An earthworm wouldn’t be bothered by thoughts about dreams and dreamers and reality. It would just do it’s part.

I’m not sure why you interjected that the answer doesn’t matter. Why are you asking then?

I think you can imagine quite a bit more. Ask why you think answering this question is important? Why is anything important? Why do you care what I think? Why did you ask the question on this forum? Why do care about the well being of anyone? Why don’t you just get drunk and screw? (It’s a song, really, look it up).

I like to start with the much easier question. Why don’t I want to feel pain? Why do I duck if a rock is coming my way? The answer to that leads directly to big questions, like why do I care about starving babies in Africa? If you don’t like that question, there must be something you care about, why?

That’s your assignment. This counts toward 10% of your grade. It’s due next Friday.

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Posted: 11 March 2016 02:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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You also might want to spend some time listening to the link I supplied in the “Why be ethical” thread. It’s not just about ethics.

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Posted: 11 March 2016 05:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Lausten - 11 March 2016 02:22 PM
Titanomachina - 11 March 2016 06:16 AM

But what could being in a dream possibly be advancing? It doesn’t really matter what the answer is for this one to be honest, at most I can imagine this making one suicidal.

I’m hoping we prevent that.

That’s a good question, what would being in a dream advance? What would be the purpose of that? Being awake, eating and pooping serves the purpose of being part of the eco-cycle. An earthworm wouldn’t be bothered by thoughts about dreams and dreamers and reality. It would just do it’s part.

I’m not sure why you interjected that the answer doesn’t matter. Why are you asking then?

I think you can imagine quite a bit more. Ask why you think answering this question is important? Why is anything important? Why do you care what I think? Why did you ask the question on this forum? Why do care about the well being of anyone? Why don’t you just get drunk and screw? (It’s a song, really, look it up).

I like to start with the much easier question. Why don’t I want to feel pain? Why do I duck if a rock is coming my way? The answer to that leads directly to big questions, like why do I care about starving babies in Africa? If you don’t like that question, there must be something you care about, why?

That’s your assignment. This counts toward 10% of your grade. It’s due next Friday.

I care about things that I like. It’s that simple.

But ultimately it comes down to belief. I can’t prove I exist or that the world is real and exists any more than I can prove its a product of my mind. But I think I’ll go with the more productive belief that it’s real. It’s just more healthy and productive that way. Because when it comes down to two beliefs, I’ll avoid the stupid one.

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Posted: 11 March 2016 07:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Titanomachina - 11 March 2016 05:36 PM

... I can’t prove I exist or that the world is real and exists any more than I can prove its a product of my mind. But I think I’ll go with the more productive belief that it’s real. It’s just more healthy and productive that way. Because when it comes down to two beliefs, I’ll avoid the stupid one.

You chose wisely.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 11 March 2016 07:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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So, i could have said,  solipsism is stupid, and that would have been enough?

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Posted: 11 March 2016 07:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Titanomachina - 10 March 2016 05:16 PM

But the thing is I can’t prove its true. I can’t prove that this is a dream and the people are fake anymore than I can prove it isn’t a dream and it’s all real.

Then your best bet is to take the default position. If it can’t be proven that everything is other than a product of our imaginations, assume it is. What do you have to lose?

Use Occam’s razor. Accept as true the least complicated answer. IMO the least complicated answer is that everything is imaginary.

Lois

[ Edited: 11 March 2016 08:01 PM by LoisL ]
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Posted: 11 March 2016 09:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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LoisL - 11 March 2016 07:57 PM
Titanomachina - 10 March 2016 05:16 PM

But the thing is I can’t prove its true. I can’t prove that this is a dream and the people are fake anymore than I can prove it isn’t a dream and it’s all real.

Then your best bet is to take the default position. If it can’t be proven that everything is other than a product of our imaginations, assume it is. What do you have to lose?

Use Occam’s razor. Accept as true the least complicated answer. IMO the least complicated answer is that everything is imaginary.

Lois

That’s actually the most complicated answer. The least one is that it’s all real. Everything benign imaginary just complicates things and raises more questions than answers. Ultimately it just leaves you with a belief you can’t prove. I suppose that’s the same as everything being real but that one is actually practical and functional.

Also the default position is everything is real.

What do I have to lose? The thought of everything being imaginary is what cause this little downward spiral. If everything is fake then I can treat people however I want. If they’re not real then it doesn’t matter what I do to them. They have no feelings, no love, nothing. Them saying and doing loving things means nothing. I wouldn’t have a family, I could say whatever to them without consequences. Empathy goes out the window and ethics too.

[ Edited: 11 March 2016 09:53 PM by Titanomachina ]
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Posted: 11 March 2016 09:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Lausten - 11 March 2016 07:51 PM

So, i could have said,  solipsism is stupid, and that would have been enough?

Well putting it that way without an explanation as to how one got there wouldn’t help. But I realized it’s just a belief and no more true than believing God to be real (a belief without proof).

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