Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Quantum Quack, Dec 21, 2008.
Solipsism Sarkus ?
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Fine. I'm a brain-in-a-jar. That is the Objective Reality and my understanding of being a brain-in-a-skull is my Subjective Reality.
Can you give me a scenario in which there is NO Objective Reality?
See? That's my point. There must be one, and all I have ever claimed is that we can approximate it to who-knows-what degree of precision and accuracy.
All of your arguments are against positions I have never taken. You seem to agree with me on every point. Are you aware of this?
Merely an example to demonstrate the futility of trying to prove existence of an Objective Reality without making implicit assumptions etc.
We can rationally / reasonably say that we aren't - but we can not prove it. It would be irrational to believe we are a brain in a jar... but that is a separate matter to proof.
Three choices here:
1. We can prove that there is an Objective Reality
2. We can not prove that there is an Objective Reality
3. We can do neither one.
One of these is the foundation for an Objective Reality, based on this initial observation. Since one of these three MUST be true, then (1) is necessarily true.
Even if we can say NOTHING else about it, we can say that IT exists. The rest is a question of how nearly our Subjective understanding maps onto this Objective Reality.
Solipsism BEGINS with a claim about the Objective Reality: We can't know it FOR SURE, which is just as much a claim of SURETY as anything else. The entire philosophy falls on its face before it takes its first step, and anyone who gives it honest discourse can be dismissed as a loon (apologies, Descartes, you did some great shit in mathematics). It is a stoned-hippies school of philosophy where people get to pretend they are intelligent by feigning ignorance, and then wallowing in how "genius" they feel. I've never met a solipsist who wasn't a raving hypocrite.
No. But I don't claim impossibility of such.
I am aware we agree on most points, yes. But I don't lay claim to the impossibility of there not being an objective reality, and I also think some of your comments are making implicit assumptions that either you need to explain further (so as to show why those assumptions aren't there - and thus the error is mine) or you need to accept as not necessarily providing a valid argument.
Unfortunately I have a (bad?) habit of picking up on what I see as a "dodgy" argument, regardless of side of the debate.
So subjective reality, is in our minds then? How is the (objective) reality known to be "outside" the mind..?
(answer: we cannot possibly know there is an external reality, because we subjectively construct the objective reality - in the same place where that reality exists, in our mind).
You miss the obvious option: "4. Objective Reality does not exist."
If we can not prove it does, how can we prove it doesn't?
Solipsism as a claim, sure, but as a mere POSSIBILITY it is an adequate example to demonstrate flaws in other claims.
Give a can of red paint and a rock to someone wearing a blindfold.
Tell him to paint the rock.
Remove the paint, then ask him to tell you what color the rock is.
Have him remove the blindfold and have him tell you again what color the rock is.
Repeat 100.000 times with a different person each time. You can switch color whenever you feel like it (for statistics sake choose from 10 predetermined colors).
Why not give a can of water to them?
What's a "color"??
What if he's blind?
Who is determining that there is a person to give the paint to?
Who is determining that there is a rock to paint?
Who is determining the colour?
In each case it is "you".
And you think this disproves Solipsism??
Why not. It doesn't change the outcome of the experiment one bit.
I think the experiment makes that clear.
Don't be childish.
And.. ? You can see the difference in accuracy between blindfolded (not able to perceive a spectrum of wavelengths of light) and not blindfolded (able to perceive a spectrum of wavelengths of light).
Ok, you pick the color blindfolded, or let someone else pick it.
If I told you to get a crowd of people to make sure that there is a person and a rock, you'd say that I could have made them all up right ?
This is stupid.
Who can? You mean you can get someone to do all this, and demonstrate that you know what a color is? And what a rock is. and what "painting a rock" is?
What does "pick" mean?? You mean you will need to pick people who have working arms, and eyesight, who know how to wear a blindfold (and a big list of other requirements, like they can understand the spoken or written instructions that YOU give them, etc, etc)
To start, would you need to explain what you want them to do? Would you assume they all see the same color as you, when you see "a can of red paint"? Can you explain "red"? (Assume I have no idea what it means), go on, try...
So.. what. Are you saying you made up your own eyes without even knowing how they function ?
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I'm off, I've got work to do.
Are you saying I know what you mean, when you say "your own eyes"?
Or "how they function"?
What does that mean. though? Can you explain it a bit more, I'm not sure what you mean?
You miss the point: how do you know these things even exist as you see them? Why could they not be merely generated by some electrodes stuck in your brain as you float around in some jar, for example.
Your subjective observation of these things (people, paint, rock etc) are merely impulses on your skin / eyes / ears that travel to your brain where they are interpreted. It is feasible to implant those signals directly into the brain... bypassing the need for any object to actually exist for you to actually have the subjective experience of them existing.
Rationally, and practically, we live by the assumption that what we see actually exists and is very close (if not identical) to an objective reality... when in reality it could be far from this.
And taking this to the extreme, it becomes clear that it might be that observing objective reality is an impossibility - and thus objective reality becomes logically consistent with something that does not exist.
But don't get me wrong... I think Objective Reality exists... but I can't prove it. All I can do is make implicit assumptions as to its existence and thus far everything else has been consistent with the assumptions. In practical life this is sufficient. But it speaks nothing of the existence of objective reality.
Bullshit. I just proved that it DOES exist. That it MUST exist. That your strongest objection can be that we can't know what the hell it is.
Your logic for proving that it doesn't exist? You just state it. C'mon... you are smarter than that. Try giving us a reason!
Do you have to act stupid ? It doesn't make this easier.
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