3 of 10
3
Solipsism
Posted: 12 March 2016 02:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1003
Joined  2015-12-29
GdB - 12 March 2016 10:09 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. 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?)

I’m afraid I do not understand what is meant by those points. So solipsism and realism are essentially the same in terms of function?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 March 2016 03:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7805
Joined  2009-02-26

Solipsism notwithstanding, when you do something that gives you and perhaps someone else pleasure, then your life is meaningful. When you grieve for a lost one, it means that person was meaningful to you.
“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight”, Kahlil Gibran.

Life is full of successes and failures and they are all meaningful to the person experiencing these feelings.

I don’t understand why life would lose meaning by the knowledge that the universe is all mathematics. It is our personal experiences that gives meaning to ourselves and hopefully to others.

[ Edited: 12 March 2016 03:24 PM by Write4U ]
 Signature 

Art is the creation of that which evokes an emotional response, leading to thoughts of the noblest kind.
W4U

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 March 2016 03:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7805
Joined  2009-02-26

[quote author=“Titanomachina” date=“1457837889
I’m afraid I do not understand what is meant by those points. So solipsism and realism are essentially the same in terms of function?

Yes, because we can’t tell the difference. Tegmark says the universe is all mathematics, but our *experience* of the *results* of these mathematics (our relative Realities), is meaningful to the individual.

[ Edited: 12 March 2016 04:26 PM by Write4U ]
 Signature 

Art is the creation of that which evokes an emotional response, leading to thoughts of the noblest kind.
W4U

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 March 2016 04:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1003
Joined  2015-12-29
Write4U - 12 March 2016 03:21 PM

Solipsism notwithstanding, when you do something that gives you and perhaps someone else pleasure, then your life is meaningful. When you grieve for a lost one, it means that person was meaningful to you.
“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight”, Kahlil Gibran.

Life is full of successes and failures and they are all meaningful to the person experiencing these feelings.

I don’t understand why life would lose meaning by the knowledge that the universe is all mathematics. It is our personal experiences that gives meaning to ourselves and hopefully to others.

That quote makes no sense at all.

An there is no meaning or point to anything if it’s all an illusion. Like virtual reality. Doesn’t matter what you see or do there, it’s not real. It’s meaningless.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 March 2016 04:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7805
Joined  2009-02-26
Titanomachina - 12 March 2016 04:49 PM
Write4U - 12 March 2016 03:21 PM

Solipsism notwithstanding, when you do something that gives you and perhaps someone else pleasure, then your life is meaningful. When you grieve for a lost one, it means that person was meaningful to you.
“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight”, Kahlil Gibran.

Life is full of successes and failures and they are all meaningful to the person experiencing these feelings.

I don’t understand why life would lose meaning by the knowledge that the universe is all mathematics. It is our personal experiences that gives meaning to ourselves and hopefully to others.

That quote makes no sense at all.

An there is no meaning or point to anything if it’s all an illusion. Like virtual reality. Doesn’t matter what you see or do there, it’s not real. It’s meaningless.

On a personal level it is meaningful, on a universal scale it is meaningless. The universe experiences no emotions, people do.

 Signature 

Art is the creation of that which evokes an emotional response, leading to thoughts of the noblest kind.
W4U

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 March 2016 10:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1003
Joined  2015-12-29

That still doesn’t solve the whole reality bit. Am I really just supposed to take a leap of faith and BELIEVE things are real?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 March 2016 11:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7805
Joined  2009-02-26
Titanomachina - 12 March 2016 10:49 PM

That still doesn’t solve the whole reality bit. Am I really just supposed to take a leap of faith and BELIEVE things are real?

Well, according to Tegmark, yes. If we were ourselves simulated sentient beings inside a simulation we would never know the difference. He believes the essence of the universe is purely mathematical and that we are just forms of accumulated values. Fundamentally, everything is an expression of mathematical values and relatively simple in function.

But, as previously explained, there are common experiences of reality which reinforces our experience of reality, such as physically sitting behind a physical computer and typing stuff. The proof lies in the fact that I can read what you wrote.
My belief of your existence is reinforced by my own relative experience.

We *experience* things relatively differently and it’s not a matter of *either or*.  This was addressed by Hazen,  life as a reality is not a matter of inevitability or from pure chance, it’s within a range of probability. The formation of living things itself had a high probability and here we are.

But most of our relative experiences can be explained by our MNN (mirror neural network) which allows us to experience your emotions.from our own experiences. We wince when we see someone stub their toe. Why do WE wince? We did not stub our toe. So why did we *experience* the same physical response as the guy who stubbed his toe. We know his pain is real, we all have stubbed our toes once.

I find comfort in my ability to experience someone else’s joy also, for me those are the things that keep it real.

[ Edited: 13 March 2016 12:19 AM by Write4U ]
 Signature 

Art is the creation of that which evokes an emotional response, leading to thoughts of the noblest kind.
W4U

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 March 2016 11:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5251
Joined  2007-08-31
Titanomachina - 12 March 2016 02:58 PM

I’m afraid I do not understand what is meant by those points. So solipsism and realism are essentially the same in terms of function?

Yes. They are the same in sofar that it is impossible to distinguish the two on empirical grounds. Say you commit a crime, and you are put in prison. Is there a difference in your suffering of loneliness if your are put in prison by fictions of your imagination or by real people? The important thing is, that people react on what you do, and you cannot change that just by fantasising they will do something differently.

So your ‘reality’ is not something metaphysically: it is the part in your world that behaves the way it does on which you have no direct influence on with your thoughts, feelings and fantasies. Imagine that the official governmental metaphysical office declares that solipsism is true: would suddenly physical things and other people comply with your fantasies? No, of course not. So there is no practical difference between solipsism and realism. The only thing what you must do is redefine what reality is: it is not what we always thought, namely that what exists independent of us; it is what behaves independent of us.

It might seem some kind of trick: just redefine what reality is, and the problem is solved. But it is no trick. As said above, it is impossible to distinguish between an independent existing reality, and a reality that functions independently.

It is the same with free will: knowing that we are all determined, you might think that we have no free will anymore. But if you really think about it, you will see that nothing changes, because functionally nothing changes. You still must choose your dish from the menu card, and you will still be made responsible for your choice. One must just redefine free will in ways that make a functional difference between having free will or not. Free will is just not what we always thought, but that does not mean it does not exist.

Sorry, this was a side blow to Lois, who always comes back to her idea that free will does not exist, but always refuses to answer crucial questions. It is our beloved feud.

 Signature 

GdB

The light is on, but there is nobody at home.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 March 2016 04:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7805
Joined  2009-02-26

I believe there is an underlying natural tendency of *movement in the direction of greatest satisfaction* (as an abstract of *the path of least resistance*) involved in our choice making, which makes it more or less predictable .

You want some ice-cream and you know there are usually several flavors in the freezer. You could and would have chosen any of them, but you really like chocolate ice-cream and one of the flavors in the freezer is chocolate.  What’s you gonna do?

[ Edited: 13 March 2016 04:24 AM by Write4U ]
 Signature 

Art is the creation of that which evokes an emotional response, leading to thoughts of the noblest kind.
W4U

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 March 2016 04:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6851
Joined  2006-12-20
GdB - 12 March 2016 11:22 PM

It is the same with free will: knowing that we are all determined, you might think that we have no free will anymore. But if you really think about it, you will see that nothing changes, because functionally nothing changes. You still must choose your dish from the menu card, and you will still be made responsible for your choice. One must just redefine free will in ways that make a functional difference between having free will or not. Free will is just not what we always thought, but that does not mean it does not exist.

Sorry, this was a side blow to Lois, who always comes back to her idea that free will does not exist, but always refuses to answer crucial questions. It is our beloved feud.

Saying free will does not exist and saying it does because you’ve changed the definition is the same thing.

Believing we can deserve what happens to us as a result of our choices because we could have done otherwise but chose not to makes us disfunctional. So things change a lot when you change the definition of free will.

Oh and hi GdB, hope all is well.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 March 2016 06:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5506
Joined  2008-08-14
Titanomachina - 12 March 2016 10:49 PM

That still doesn’t solve the whole reality bit. Am I really just supposed to take a leap of faith and BELIEVE things are real?

You are taking a leap of faith just by asking people if things are real.
What if this is an illusion? What if the illusion convinces you that things are real?
That’s the risk you take by asking anyone or anything-including yourself.
Why would you pose such a question when you should know that you could never get a definite answer?
An answer you could trust.

The paradox is that you are able to use constructs that wholly come from an actual reality(because-yes this is all real) and use those constructs
to question reality itself.
With the arrogance of the human mind’s adventurism, you’re forgetting that you’re building one idea from another idea.
And trying to call them separate.

 Signature 

Now with 20% more surfactants!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 March 2016 12:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4314
Joined  2014-06-20
Mike47 - 12 March 2016 05:06 AM

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?

No one can “change his mind.” What we think is determined by factors beyond our control. To “change one’s mind” consciously means overriding genetic and environmental determining factors by force of will, which would be impossible.

[ Edited: 13 March 2016 12:12 PM by LoisL ]
 Signature 

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

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 March 2016 12:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4314
Joined  2014-06-20

What many people don’t understand by solipsism is not that everything is imaginary, but that anything and everything could be imaginary. We have no way of knowing what is imaginaty and what is real, if anything is real. The solipsist simply states that we may not be able to distinguish between reality and imagination and that taken to its logical conclusion—everything may or may not be imaginary. That’s all it means.

 Signature 

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

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 March 2016 12:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4314
Joined  2014-06-20
Write4U - 12 March 2016 03:21 PM

Solipsism notwithstanding, when you do something that gives you and perhaps someone else pleasure, then your life is meaningful. When you grieve for a lost one, it means that person was meaningful to you.
“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight”, Kahlil Gibran.

Life is full of successes and failures and they are all meaningful to the person experiencing these feelings.

I don’t understand why life would lose meaning by the knowledge that the universe is all mathematics. It is our personal experiences that gives meaning to ourselves and hopefully to others.

Are there any others?

 Signature 

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

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 March 2016 12:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4314
Joined  2014-06-20
Write4U - 12 March 2016 11:19 PM
Titanomachina - 12 March 2016 10:49 PM

That still doesn’t solve the whole reality bit. Am I really just supposed to take a leap of faith and BELIEVE things are real?

Well, according to Tegmark, yes. If we were ourselves simulated sentient beings inside a simulation we would never know the difference. He believes the essence of the universe is purely mathematical and that we are just forms of accumulated values. Fundamentally, everything is an expression of mathematical values and relatively simple in function.

But, as previously explained, there are common experiences of reality which reinforces our experience of reality, such as physically sitting behind a physical computer and typing stuff. The proof lies in the fact that I can read what you wrote.
My belief of your existence is reinforced by my own relative experience.

We *experience* things relatively differently and it’s not a matter of *either or*.  This was addressed by Hazen,  life as a reality is not a matter of inevitability or from pure chance, it’s within a range of probability. The formation of living things itself had a high probability and here we are.

But most of our relative experiences can be explained by our MNN (mirror neural network) which allows us to experience your emotions.from our own experiences. We wince when we see someone stub their toe. Why do WE wince? We did not stub our toe. So why did we *experience* the same physical response as the guy who stubbed his toe. We know his pain is real, we all have stubbed our toes once.

I find comfort in my ability to experience someone else’s joy also, for me those are the things that keep it real.

In your mind, anyway.

 Signature 

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

Profile
 
 
   
3 of 10
3