Relative Understanding

@citizenschallengev3 Good questions. Good post. Thanks for the link.

 

I get what you’re saying and found the article interesting. Thanks for being such a positive participant! Our understanding of things as being relative to other things, is at the heart of some of the greatest concepts in scientific history, including special relativity. Tangentially, although it’s not possible to be entirely sure either is or is not the case, I don’t subscribe to solipsism or subjective idealism. I’m closer to being a particularly troublesome variety of physicalist, while at the same time fitting the description of a New Mysterian.
Well apparently according to my earlier quote solipsism is not an option because we are all trapped in our bubble of subjectivity. But reading through the whole thing I don't see how any of it is solipsism. Seems like people on Quora like to add what doesn't belong to it.

That’s sort of what I meant when CC tried to use matter as a rebuttal when there isn’t evidence for it.

Xain: "...we are all trapped in our bubble of subjectivity."
Being overwhelmed by an idea doesn't mean the idea is overwhelming to everyone. All people see the world through their own eyes but only some people see themselves as trapped.

Sure, we are all affected by our experiences, our history, and what the lottery of life has offered us. But no two people would go through the same life in the same way. We’re all unique and any limits are personal limits - some changeable (education, weight and attitude) and some not (parents, height and sexual orientation).

There is a real world out there that ‘is what it is’ regardless of who’s looking at it. Even the most radical philosopher who claims reality doesn’t exist still says ouch when they stub their toe.

Once again Rat, your post reflects and ignorance of the subject matter.

 

“When you tear down the labels and rationalizations behind everything you’ll find there is no longer any point of reference, and no coherency. You are left with nothing but the sensation of your own isolated perception, with no clear source or meaning in sight.”

 

"

People argue that solipsism is useless and obviously false because it would mean that you’re talking to yourself (as if that makes the experience any different). They say it “degrades” other people, that it’s an obviously illogical philosophy because it would somehow assert “you” over “them”.

In vivid dreams I’ve had, people have had strong arguments. I’ve had pity for others in the dream, argued with them, fought with them, even mourned for them, all with the pure conviction that these people were real. Yet in the morning I would wake up and realize that the arguments people made for their own existence said nothing about the truth of solipsism itself.

Solipsism is the simplest explanation not because it takes dissent out of the picture, as it does not; dissent remains the same, and people will still argue against you, as they would in a dream. The true source of solipsism springs from the fact that we never verify someone else’s consciousness or thoughts as an actual experience. In a dream, they all appear to have their own consciousness and thoughts, but actually they are just two-dimensional actors in a temporary play, and no matter how convincing they are, the emotional convictions we experience in a dream in no way make the people in the dream real.

Yet somehow, as soon as people wake up and turn off their alarm clock, they believe the experience shifts radically. Of course you’re the only person in the dream, but this is now, and we have logic and thoughts, right? But we come back to the same point we were at in a dream; we are only acting on our subjective emotional conviction, and not any actual evidence. One could theoretically create artifical intelligence that mimicked human intelligence, emotions and thoughts, even arguing aptly for its own consciousness and vehemently denying solipsism, without actually being real.

All philosophies that assume others have consciousness, emotions or experience rely on leaps of faith, assumptions and emotional convictions. This is, of course, more than good enough for most people; they try to logically justify it, always ignoring the persistent fact that they can never actually know whether anyone else has consciousness because they can never experience it, and in fact their own experience has taught them that, in a postmodern sense, there is no difference between “real consciousness” (if such a thing exists) and a mimicking character in a dream.

So before you think that just because “college freshmen joke about solipsism” that it is ridiculous and lacking evidence, perhaps you should try waking up and seeing if the college freshmen are even there. Indeed, there is no way to know, so based on our experience and Occam’s razor, what is the more logical philosophy here? Just as one shouldn’t be so quick to be defeated by illusions in a dream, one should also question this waking dream we experience everyday and try thinking about what we actually know about the actors that would be the first to silence our questions."

"

I will begin by saying that by any standard of proof, the onus is on an opponent of solipsism to prove solipsism is false. That is because solipsism is the default stance. You exist, and that is all you can be sure of. Basic Descartes which has not been shown to be false. The best argument against Cogito is that ‘maybe you only think you exist’ but this argument can never get off the ground since this already implies the Cogito. (How can you think something without existing?)

Now,

IT is important to define the different notions of solipsism.

First there is the notion that all that exists is your mind. This might encompass an experience.

If if encompasses an experience then nothing disproves solipsism. Your feeling something bump is just a sensation of yours, as is your sensation of being in control of things when you are. All that exists are the sensations, and they are what comprise your mind.

Mind might encompass experience plus action
If it encompasses action then there must be something that you have action over. Therefor either you have action over all things or else you have action over some thing, IN WHICH case there exist multiple things.

Now solipsism can still hold true if you think the self has action over some of its ‘body’. IF you think that the self is comprised of a body and a mind, then solipsism is still defualt, because quite simply, the things you experience, the ‘people’ you have relationships with are just part of your body, part that you do not have control over.

To deny solipsism in this sense is to say that other people have consicous minds, but this is not proven and in fact we have no way of proving this. We take it by faith.

If the self is considered to have control over all of itself, then solipsism is clearly FALSE because we do not have control of everything.

 

So the senses that solipsism is not disproven are:

All that exists is your experience, including your experience of control and of being affected by things that you percieve as ‘other’.

Or

All that exists is your mind and your body. You have control over some aspects of the body, and not others. The body supplies your mind with sensations. The crucial point is that no other minds exist.

A sense that solipsism IS disproven is:

All that exists is you (either body+mind or just mind), and you have control over every aspect of yourself.
This is not true because we simply dont have control over everything.

Solipsism is a most potent idea in the context of philosophy of MIND. Does your consciousness exist in a world with other consciousnesses or is it just your consciousness?

Since each consciousness only has access to its own consciousness, it has no way of proving that any other consciousness exists. Therefor the default stance is SOLIPSISM. Nevertheless this is hard to accept because we see other ‘peope’ who seem to behave just like us, therefor we infer INDUCTIVELY that other consciousness probably exists, unproven."

This thread provides interesting counterpoints to the common objections:

 

https://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/4846074/fpart/1/vc/1

“Regardless of what arguments are pitted against solipsism, nothing can change the fact that all that we perceive is the only reality which we can and ever will experience. No book, no essay, no experiment can change this. We are locked within our individual ocean of consciousness, whether or not others have a similar experience is irrelevant because their experience can never be our own. What a liberating sense of isolation!”

It’s possible to have fun talking about silly philosophical ideas. But some people suck that fun right out of it.

sol·ip·sism noun

the view or theory that the self is all that can be known to exist.


I think it might come down to ego, with a capital E.

It’s the difference between,

Being the center of your individual world.

Having the conceit to imagine you’re special enough to be the center of the entire universe.

whether or not others have a similar experience is irrelevant
Now that's EGO with a capital E.

Heck even Donald Hoffman who's stepped off the edge of the world goes to pains to reject solipsism and insists that his head trip is in no way related.    solipsism
<blockquote>(I have to learn a whole new way of pronouncing it, if I'm going to spell it correctly.).    : - \                  ;-)</blockquote>

 

 

(ps. π, you talk about having fun with this stuff, I’ve got my first drafts of chapters 1 thru 4, but will stretch out posting them.)

October 2, 2020
Prof Donald Hoffman Playing Basketball In Zero-Gravity - the prelude.

October 5, 2020
Prof Donald Hoffman Playing Basketball In Zero-Gravity - #1, Mystery

#2 is going up sometime today and I think I’ll have time to start in on 5 and stay ahead of the game.

It’s going to be interesting to see how I’m holding up by the time I get to #10. :wink:

Chapter 1, Mystery: The Scalpel That Split Consciousness

Chapter 2, Beauty: Siren of the Gene

Chapter 3, Reality: Capers of the Unseen Sun

Chapter 4, Sensory: Fitness beats Truth

Chapter 5, Illusory: The Bluff of the Desktop

Chapter 6, Gravity: Spacetime is Doomed

Chapter 7, Virtuality: Inflating a Holoworld

Chapter 8, Polychromy: Mutations of an Interface

Chapter 9, Scrutiny: You Get What You Need, in Both Life and Business

Chapter 10, Community: The Network of Conscious Agents

Appendix, Precisely: The Right to Be Wrong


His Right to be Wrong is a curious bit of double play, where he basically acknowledges it could all be just a pile of bs he’s promoting.

I love the way these people are capable of summarizing the rational, dare I say consensus view, then in the next sentence with weak to no justification, simply reject it and go on with their mystical mystery, oh excuse me Mathematical Logic.

 

But it’s a learning process - for instance I never focused on the fact that there is gulf between Rigorous Mathematic Science and Rigorous Natural Science.

I’d suggest Hoffman’s kind of Mathematical Logic has no reality touchstone, the way Natural Sciences do - it’s only limits are the rules of “logic” too-smart minds decide on. That’s why they can spend so much time “proving” our reality away. Am I exaggerating, well for me, right now Hoffman is in the middle of explaining why space and time is an illusion that we must explode to find the real truth of . . . (well that’s the question, of what …)

#4

Hoffman’s final paragraph to this chapter starts out,

. . . . . . . DH: “When the universal acid of Darwin’s dangerous idea is poured onto our perceptions, it dissolves the objectivity of physical objects, which we assumed exist and interact even when no one looks. Then this acid dissolves the objectivity of spacetime itself, the very framework within which Darwinian evolution has been assumed to take place. This requires us to devise a more fundamental framework - without space, time, and physical objects - for understanding reality. …” (¶85)


As I’ve mentioned before Hoffman is an excellent storyteller.

Yet, when I try following his trains of thought I’m left dizzy with cognitive dissonance.  I mean think about what he’s saying there.  It’s like trying to convince me that if I truly want to appreciate a piece of art, I must first disappear the paint and the canvas, before I can get down to the true essences of the painting.

To think all this started with a misperception about how our eyes help our minds perceive the things around us.</blockquote>

The strangest thing about solipsism is that whether it’s true or not, nothing changes. It’s a question with an irrelevant answer.

CC you clearly haven’t read any of the quotes listed. It is the problem that lies at the root of science which bases knowledge claims on experience, when all you have is sense data.

 

“I believe it (or at least respect it) because there is no hard evidence to suggest an alternative viewpoint (other than personal comfort and social convenience), it is seemingly impossible to disprove, and it is the final product of Occam’s razor.”

“The fact that we are trapped completely within our own perception, regardless of whether others’ exists or not, cannot self destruct, with the exception of death, in which case you would cease to exist, and cease to perceive.”

“In solipsism, only the mind exists. It is important to note that the mind refers not to the brain, or one’s ego perception, but the totality of all that you perceive, this includes all of the senses. What are the people around me other than images, sounds, and feelings?”

Xain, so you think we exist only in your mind, eh?

You’d think we’d agree with you more often or at least have read what you’ve read.

You’d think we’d agree with you more often or at least have read what you’ve read. -- 3pt
And complaining about what other people think is one of his favorite hobbies, so this doesn't seem like a good fit for him.

I didn’t say I think that, but I can’t find an argument against it since apparently solipsism is the default position.

You say it doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not but it does, because it affects how one treats others (or what they believe to be others).

https://www.quora.com/What-if-solipsism-is-true/answer/Sonia-Elkes

Xain, so you think we exist only in your mind, eh?
There is no "we". There is only solitary you. You - alone - exist in your own mind.
You’d think we’d agree with you more often or at least have read what you’ve read.
I repeat, there is no"we". Group courage is the mob mentality of the hyena.
because it affects how one treats others -- Xain
The Good Place season 4 covers this in a humorous way. IF you looked for philosophical answers, you could find it on the web. But you only find things that confirm your preconceived notions. Basically, the answer to this is, if you really believe nothing is real outside of you, you become a total jerk.
There is only solitary you. You – alone – exist in your own mind. -- Xain
So, either you are right, and my mind created this image of you, which is trying to explain reality to me, OR, reality is somewhat similar to what my brain has figured out. My brain says, if there is just me, there is no need for a second person perspective, no "you", so I don't think I would confuse myself like that, and have a created you tell me there is only me. I don't remember anyone ever explaining solipsism like that either. As always, you don't appear to understand the thing you are trying to explain to us.
Basically, the answer to this is, if you really believe nothing is real outside of you, you become a total jerk. - Lausten
Why is that? How does this perception of reality make someone a jerk?
So, either you are right, and my mind created this image of you, which is trying to explain reality to me, OR, reality is somewhat similar to what my brain has figured out. My brain says, if there is just me, there is no need for a second person perspective, no “you”, so I don’t think I would confuse myself like that, and have a created you tell me there is only me. I don’t remember anyone ever explaining solipsism like that either. As always, you don’t appear to understand the thing you are trying to explain to us. - Lausten
You are treating Xain like a jerk who believes Xain exists only in your own mind. The second person perspective does exist otherwise there is no point in having a conversation. You need to keep an"open mind" and not dismiss other people's perspectives even though a shared reality is questionable.

 

“Why is that? How does this perception of reality make someone a jerk?”

It’s quite easy to see why. If nothing has any feeling or emotion then it doesn’t matter how you treat them.

But I have already shown how solipsism is the default and included a thread where a user dismantles the common objections against it.

https://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/4846074/fpart/1/vc/1

Xain: "

I didn’t say I think that, but I can’t find an argument against it since apparently solipsism is the default position.


You can’t prove or disprove an infinite number of other equally irrelevant ideas. Whether solipsism is true or not doesn’t matter if you go out and live the life you have. Why would it make sense to only live a full and awesome life if solipsism is false? If solipsism is true you can still experience a great life, so why not do it?

You say it doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not but it does, because it affects how one treats others (or what they believe to be others)."
Not to me.

Why would I choose to treat people differently if I think they only exist in my mind? If I see a person struggling for some reason, I’ll help them in real life and in a mental simulation.

It comes down to what makes me feel good about myself. I would feel terrible if I imagined that I would ignore or cause someone to suffer.


If there’s no way to know if solipsism is true or not, acting as though it is true is the only good and rational option.

“If there’s no way to know if solipsism is true or not, acting as though it is true is the only good and rational option.”

Oops. I meant to say “…as though it is false…”.

You should live in a world where things and people and minds other than your own exist.