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Thread: How can i be certain i really exist...........

  1. #1 How can i be certain i really exist........... 
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    .......and that everything is not an illusion?

    How do i know i'm not plugged into some machine like on the Matrix and what i think is 'reality' is all a fake and an illusion?

    Can i be certain that everything is real?

    How?


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  3. #2  
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    Come round here and let me see if I can short you out babe....


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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    the answer to this would be to die and see if reality still exists - except, in that case you will no longer be around to find out, will you ?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Why claim any certainty about your mind existing? This is the problem with a preoccupation of truth, following 2000 years of platonic, christian indoctrination.

    Once one let's go of this notion of metaphysical truth and accepts these ideas as being human, all-too-human, one can consider such a viewpoint as you describe as being hostile to life.

    It's like being promised an infinite amount of ice cream, but then, when you get there - it's only a life's supply of ice cream. I can not help myself but think of people who want an afterlife as being childish, unable to deal with being lied to, unable to appreciate what they have.

    Of course, Christianity is much more depraved than that. There were Christians who DID appreciate what they had, and who were corrupted. Unforgivable, the offences of Paul against mankind!
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    Forum Ph.D. william's Avatar
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    Descartes claimed "I think, therefore I am."


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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    but he didn't say : "i think, therefore everything else exists"
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    but he didn't say : "i think, therefore everything else exists"
    Yes. His starting point was to demonstrate to himself that he exists.


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    "... the polhode rolls without slipping on the herpolhode lying in the invariable plane."
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    but he didn't say : "i think, therefore everything else exists"
    But you have to assume that since your existence is based on perceptions (or I think Hume calls them ideas and impressions) you must assume that that which one perceives must exist.
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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    But you have to assume that since your existence is based on perceptions (or I think Hume calls them ideas and impressions) you must assume that that which one perceives must exist.
    on whose say-so ?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    but he didn't say : "i think, therefore everything else exists"
    But you have to assume that since your existence is based on perceptions (or I think Hume calls them ideas and impressions) you must assume that that which one perceives must exist.
    We know that some things that some people perceive do not exist, at least our perceptions clash with theirs, thus perception is not sufficient.

    Minxy - you do not know that you exist. You can choose to assume that you exist and go from there, or choose to assume that you don't and go from there.

    Better to think about the question as you seem to be doing than to not think about it, in my opinion, as I believe one lives a more fully contemplated life (...if life exists) as a result.
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    But if you cannot perceive how can you exist, as I said before, I think Hume was better on this area when he established the concept of ideas and impressions or that we experience or deal with various qualia.

    We do not need other people to have similar perceptions to understand that they exist. I knew this would come up if you're referring to people with psychiatric problems etc. they still experience perceptions therefore they must exist.
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    Right you are, Homouniversalis.

    To know that your not in a "matrix", you would have to create a paradox through your mind that defies the very making and purpose of itself, therefore causing the illusion to fail, and revealing to you the truth. Sometimes you need to think of philosophy as a math equation; the rules of math are often closely related to metaphysics and can be used to your advantage.
    Of all the wonders in the universe, none is likely more fascinating and complicated than human nature.

    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."

    "Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence"

    -Einstein

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    Short answer, you can't.

    Long answer, you can't but this illusion has all the hallmarks of being consistent and external to the vehicle your mind inhabits.
    Hallmarks such as only being able to physically manipulate things outside your vehicle, other intentional beings that are independant, the ability of finding out new things, the necessity of using other people as stores of information and that your environment is delivered to your consciousness already formed into the appearance of something.
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    Yes you can....you need to believe in your abilities (NO, this is not blatant faith, I have a scientific method behind it that makes the thought very objective-keep reading to see why I cannot explain it to you) . If the web of the reality is at all connected to you (which it is...because you are in it), then you can manipulate it and use it to your advantage. This is what existentialism is- knowing that you can make/manipulate your own reality.

    And I have shaped my reality...and am slowly gaining more control over it.

    Also, this is not something you can debate once you start to get into the complexities. I mean, how could you? The very fact that you are discussing it with someone else proves that it is impossible to completely articulate. Think about it...how can you convey something to someone else, when you can barely convey it to yourself? Any advanced thought worth thinking will push you to your limits, and bend your perception of reality-only you are specialized enough to articulate your own thoughts and solve the mystery of your mind.
    Of all the wonders in the universe, none is likely more fascinating and complicated than human nature.

    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."

    "Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence"

    -Einstein

    http://boinc.berkeley.edu/download.php

    Use your computing strength for science!
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    I've always understand existentialism by the statement that existence precedes essence. That you're born into something that preexists you and that you can only make yourself by seizing the moment so to speak.
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    descartes said 'i think therefore i am' in relation to this very question. in essence, he's saying if you didn't exist how could you ask such a stupid question?

    :wink:

    iconoclast.
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    I believe that Hume and Kant both rejected "existence" as a real predicate of individuals. And if this is so, then also non-existence would not be a real predicate, so to say that something exists or not is more or less meaningless.
    And what does it mean to exist anyway?
    Can something be nonexistent? I mean, if we accept that there are non-existant objects, then what are we saying. . . . Non-existent objects exist???
    "I don't think we're here for anything, we're just products of evolution. You can say 'Gee, your life must be pretty bleak if you don't think there's a purpose' but I'm anticipating a good lunch."

    -Dr. James Watson, American biologist
    (Discoverer of DNA)
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  19. #18  
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    Good point Rationalist, but it depends on what view perspective you are using. Yes, the paradox you presented would be correct if you are considering your plain of existance as the definitive final plain; but if you see our reality which we would present your idea on as only a subjective perception, then by declaring the existance of non-existant objects, you would mainly be emphasizing our lack of percpetive ability. It would mean that you know of the existance of things outside of your reality and cognitive abilities. Knowing what EXACTLY is outside of your reality could re-insight the paradox, though there might be a way around it.
    Of all the wonders in the universe, none is likely more fascinating and complicated than human nature.

    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."

    "Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence"

    -Einstein

    http://boinc.berkeley.edu/download.php

    Use your computing strength for science!
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  20. #19  
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    What do you mean that we know of something outside of our reality and cognitive ability. . . then how do we know about it?
    "I don't think we're here for anything, we're just products of evolution. You can say 'Gee, your life must be pretty bleak if you don't think there's a purpose' but I'm anticipating a good lunch."

    -Dr. James Watson, American biologist
    (Discoverer of DNA)
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    Thats what makes us so advanced....

    Most people that I talk to about this fail to understand that....in fact even very few people on forums like this understand that, but it is true.

    The point is that you need to do a self study of perceptive ability; you need to observe others and what they can notice, and compare it to what you can see. Once you understand the point that people view reality in different ways, you can understand my point.
    Of all the wonders in the universe, none is likely more fascinating and complicated than human nature.

    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."

    "Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence"

    -Einstein

    http://boinc.berkeley.edu/download.php

    Use your computing strength for science!
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  22. #21  
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    humanhuman,

    Descartes said that in relation to the only thing he could know for sure. Demons still could be fooling all your senses to make the universe an illusion.
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