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Solipsism
Posted: 11 March 2016 11:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Titanomachina - 11 March 2016 09:25 PM
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.

You can treat people as you like whether you think everything is imaginary or not. We already have people treatimg others despicably, and 99.9% of them are not solipsists. How much worse could it be if they were solipsists?

The point is solipsists don’t live as if everything is fake. They act as if their imaginary visions are real. If a solipsist thinks saying and doing loving things is good, they will say and do loving things. If you imagined families as good things you’d have a family. If you imagine an empathetic and ethical world you would be empathetoc and ethical. It works both ways. Plenty of people are not solipsists and they treat people badly and are not empathetic or ethical. It doesn’t make the least bit of difference. What you don’t seem to understand about solipsism is that solipsists view their imaginary lives as reality just as non-solipsists do. They may realize that everything is imaginary, but they live their imaginary lives as if they’re real. Everyone does.

Lois

[ Edited: 11 March 2016 11:14 PM by LoisL ]
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Posted: 12 March 2016 12:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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LoisL - 11 March 2016 11:06 PM
Titanomachina - 11 March 2016 09:25 PM
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.

You can treat people as you like whether you think everything is imaginary or not. We already have people treatimg others despicably, and 99.9% of them are not solipsists. How much worse could it be if they were solipsists?

The point is solipsists don’t live as if everything is fake. They act as if their imaginary visions are real. If a solipsist thinks saying and doing loving things is good, they will say and do loving things. If you imagined families as good things you’d have a family. If you imagine an empathetic and ethical world you would be empathetoc and ethical. It works both ways. Plenty of people are not solipsists and they treat people badly and are not empathetic or ethical. It doesn’t make the least bit of difference. What you don’t seem to understand about solipsism is that solipsists view their imaginary lives as reality just as non-solipsists do. They may realize that everything is imaginary, but they live their imaginary lives as if they’re real. Everyone does.

Lois

I’m afraid I don’t follow. So are you saying it doesn’t even matter which one is true? I’m a little lost.

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Posted: 12 March 2016 04:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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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.

You know it is not a dream because while awake you can do physical things, in dreams you cannot, you can try, but it won’t work.

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Posted: 12 March 2016 05:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Why don’t we try to devise a test to determine if solipsism is true?  There are many types of solipsism, but based on your opening statement I believe that we are talking about metaphysical solipsism, “All of reality is actually a dream and therefore a construct of our mind”.

So, if all of reality to just a construct of the mind, then we should be able to change reality by changing our mind.  Here is my first test.  As I am sitting here writing this I look out the window and the grass is brown and scraggly from the abuse it takes during the winter.  I would like to change that. So, in my mind I say the grass should be green and lush.  Then when I turn my head and look out it is still brown and scraggly.

It appears that metaphysical solipsism has failed this first test.  Your thoughts?

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Posted: 12 March 2016 06:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Titanomachina - 11 March 2016 09:25 PM
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.

You totally got it Tita

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Posted: 12 March 2016 06:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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LoisL - 11 March 2016 11:06 PM

You can treat people as you like whether you think everything is imaginary or not. We already have people treatimg others despicably, and 99.9% of them are not solipsists. How much worse could it be if they were solipsists?
......

Lois

Lois is wrong on several points, but I’m not bothering with her right now. Talk about something that can drive you crazy!!

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Posted: 12 March 2016 07:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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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.

Suicidal? Why?

Imagine for a moment solipsism is true. Everything you experience is nothing but a projection in your mind.

The first question you should ask if this would mean that it is fake. ‘Fake’ implies in my opinion that something intentionally is not what it looks like. If you do not believe in a ‘faking God’, then this makes no sense. So at most you can err about what reality really is.

That what we normally call ‘reality’ is the aspect of your world that is consistently there. It will not go away, even if you wish it. There is no waking up into another reality (the Matrix). In this world of yours, people are happy or they suffer, dependent on circumstances they can change or cannot. They will make you happy, or make you suffer, and you do the same with them. The question what the best way is to live with these facts should bring anybody on the track of finding the meaning of life, and a morality that fits into his own world. This just as true in your solipsist world, or in your real world. Even in a solipsist world view, there is an enduring consistency in how the world is: and it will make you happy or suffer.

You have to find your way in this world, but what your way looks like is completely independent of your metaphysical views: if you are a physicalist or solipsist, the same questions arise, and the same kind of answers are equally valid. If you think the meaning of life depends on some metaphysical system being true, then you are building your house on quicksand.

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Posted: 12 March 2016 07:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Titanomachina - 11 March 2016 09:27 PM
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).

Solipsism does not say everything is imaginary, it says it is a *personal* experience, and that is different.

This is why I believe our *mirror neural network* is an important if not necessesary brain function in order to relate to other humans and empathize with their emotions.

[ Edited: 12 March 2016 07:56 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 12 March 2016 09:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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GdB - 12 March 2016 07:47 AM
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.

Suicidal? Why?

Imagine for a moment solipsism is true. Everything you experience is nothing but a projection in your mind.

The first question you should ask if this would mean that it is fake. ‘Fake’ implies in my opinion that something intentionally is not what it looks like. If you do not believe in a ‘faking God’, then this makes no sense. So at most you can err about what reality really is.

That what we normally call ‘reality’ is the aspect of your world that is consistently there. It will not go away, even if you wish it. There is no waking up into another reality (the Matrix). In this world of yours, people are happy or they suffer, dependent on circumstances they can change or cannot. They will make you happy, or make you suffer, and you do the same with them. The question what the best way is to live with these facts should bring anybody on the track of finding the meaning of life, and a morality that fits into his own world. This just as true in your solipsist world, or in your real world. Even in a solipsist world view, there is an enduring consistency in how the world is: and it will make you happy or suffer.

You have to find your way in this world, but what your way looks like is completely independent of your metaphysical views: if you are a physicalist or solipsist, the same questions arise, and the same kind of answers are equally valid. If you think the meaning of life depends on some metaphysical system being true, then you are building your house on quicksand.

Except you don’t seem to understand that if this life is fantasy then there is no meaning. If none of it is real then none of it matters. There’s no meaning to what I do, no purpose, no nothing. It’s just fantasy. Morality doesn’t matter because you can do whatever you want to the people, they’re just figments of your imagination. The questions and answers are not the same.

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Posted: 12 March 2016 10:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Titanomachina - 12 March 2016 09:07 AM

Except you don’t seem to understand that if this life is fantasy then there is no meaning. If none of it is real then none of it matters. There’s no meaning to what I do, no purpose, no nothing. It’s just fantasy. Morality doesn’t matter because you can do whatever you want to the people, they’re just figments of your imagination. The questions and answers are not the same.

Fantasy is not as consistent a reality is. Solipsism is not ‘reality is fantasy’. Solipsism is saying that everything exists ‘in your mind only’. But where you are free in fantasizing, this is not the case for everything. If you do ‘whatever you want to people’ they possibly will let you suffer in retribution, and you can not ‘phantasise this away’. So even if everything exists in your mind only, most of it will behave in ways you have no influence on at all.

Let’s put it another way: there is no way to empirically distinguish between you living in a solipsist world or you living in a realist world. If two worlds cannot be empirically distinguished at all, then for al practical purposes, they are the same. So the metaphysical status of the ‘real word’, if it exists completely separate of you, or in your mind only, does not change anything for the world you actually live in. This also means that the big questions of life are the same, and the same possible answers are equally valid.

Even if the following sentences from Wittgenstein’s Tractatus are very obscure, they once freed me completely from any search for metaphysical comfort. (And its logical corollary is of course that there also exists no metaphysical thread.)

5.63 I am my world. (The microcosm.)

5.631 The thinking, presenting subject; there is no such thing. If I wrote a book “The world as I found it”, I should also have therein to report on my body and say which members obey my will and which do not, etc.  This then would be a method of isolating the subject or rather of showing that in an important sense there is no subject: that is to say, of it alone in this book mention could not be made.

5.632 The subject does not belong to the world but it is a limit of the world.

5.633 Where in the world is a metaphysical subject to be noted?Y ou say that this case is altogether like that of the eye and the field of sight. But you do not really see the eye. And from nothing in the field of sight can it be concluded that it is seen from an eye.

5.634 This is connected with the fact that no part of our experience is also a priori.Everything we see could also be otherwise.Everything we can describe at all could also be otherwise. There is no order of things a priori.

5.64 Here we see that solipsism strictly carried out coincides with pure realism. The I in solipsism shrinks to an extensionless point and there remains the reality coordinated with it.

5.641 There is therefore really a sense in which in philosophy we can talk of a non-psychological I. The I occurs in philosophy through the fact that the “world is my world”. The philosophical I is not the man, not the human body or the human soul of which psychology treats, but the metaphysical subject, the limit—not a part of the world.

And much further:

6.52 We feel that even if all possible scientific questions be answered, the problems of life have still not been touched at all. Of course there is then no question left, and just this is the answer.

6.521 The solution of the problem of life is seen in the vanishing of this problem.
(Is not this the reason why men to whom after long doubting the sense of life became clear, could not then say wherein this sense consisted?)

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Posted: 12 March 2016 11:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Titanomachina - 12 March 2016 09:07 AM

Except you don’t seem to understand that if this life is fantasy then there is no meaning.

Life has only what meaning you put into it. Doesn’t matter if the external world exists or not, nothing changes.

[ Edited: 12 March 2016 11:42 AM by DarronS ]
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Posted: 12 March 2016 11:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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DarronS - 12 March 2016 11:33 AM
Titanomachina - 12 March 2016 09:07 AM

Except you don’t seem to understand that if this life is fantasy then there is no meaning.

Life has only who meaning you put into it. Doesn’t matter if the external world exists or not, nothing changes.

Actually it does. If nothing is real, then none of it matters.

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Posted: 12 March 2016 11:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Titanomachina - 12 March 2016 11:34 AM
DarronS - 12 March 2016 11:33 AM
Titanomachina - 12 March 2016 09:07 AM

Except you don’t seem to understand that if this life is fantasy then there is no meaning.

Life has only what meaning you put into it. Doesn’t matter if the external world exists or not, nothing changes.

Actually it does. If nothing is real, then none of it matters.

Humans are just a tiny, ephemeral bit of an unimaginably large whole. We are a fluke of the universe. Nothing we do or think matters in the long run.

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Posted: 12 March 2016 12:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Titanomachina - 12 March 2016 12:15 AM
LoisL - 11 March 2016 11:06 PM
Titanomachina - 11 March 2016 09:25 PM
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.

You can treat people as you like whether you think everything is imaginary or not. We already have people treatimg others despicably, and 99.9% of them are not solipsists. How much worse could it be if they were solipsists?

The point is solipsists don’t live as if everything is fake. They act as if their imaginary visions are real. If a solipsist thinks saying and doing loving things is good, they will say and do loving things. If you imagined families as good things you’d have a family. If you imagine an empathetic and ethical world you would be empathetoc and ethical. It works both ways. Plenty of people are not solipsists and they treat people badly and are not empathetic or ethical. It doesn’t make the least bit of difference. What you don’t seem to understand about solipsism is that solipsists view their imaginary lives as reality just as non-solipsists do. They may realize that everything is imaginary, but they live their imaginary lives as if they’re real. Everyone does.

Lois

I’m afraid I don’t follow. So are you saying it doesn’t even matter which one is true? I’m a little lost.

Maybe this will help. We know the earth revolves around the sun, yet most of us refer to the sun rising and setting. There are many similar situations. They are psychological fictions. Many people who know quite well that our decisions and behavior are determined by factors beyond our conscious control, but they still speak as if they have free will. It’s a societal expectation and a human habit. We can know that what we experience is a matter of our imagination, yet we speak as if our imaginary factors are reality. when you watch a movie you get caught up in the action as if it weren’t fake and arranged in a movie studio. Yet we know very well it was. If you are a true determinist, you would understand that what you think consciously has no bearing on your decisions. So you can feel, speak and act as if you have free will while all along knowing you don’t. In fact, our habit of speaking as if we didn’t know that everything is determined and that the sun revolves around the earth is also determined by genetic and environmental factors beyond our control. Of course, many people will deny this because they are determined to deny it.

LL

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Posted: 12 March 2016 02:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Titanomachina - 12 March 2016 11:34 AM
DarronS - 12 March 2016 11:33 AM
Titanomachina - 12 March 2016 09:07 AM

Except you don’t seem to understand that if this life is fantasy then there is no meaning.

Life has only who meaning you put into it. Doesn’t matter if the external world exists or not, nothing changes.

Actually it does. If nothing is real, then none of it matters.

This isn’t solipsism anymore. What do you mean “nothing is real?” You are experiencing something. The problem is getting what you interpreting that experience to be to match up with reality. We know that we don’t completely understand the entire universe and how everything works, so no one can make the claim that they know what’s real. It’s only a matter of degree. But it matters.

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