The Problem of Solipsism

So I have been struggling with this ever since I have read it. The realization that I cannot know for sure if other people exist has me filled with crippling loneliness at times. I find myself these days believing it to be true just to protect myself from the harm that wold happen if it turns out to be true. Plus there is something that seems to prove it in a sense by refuting other “mind-streams”:

And a summary:

Even asking this is taking a leap of faith from me and requiring that I assume things I don’t know, and I’m terrified. I find myself hesitant to bond or get close to others on the off chance they aren’t real, I just don’t think I could handle that being true. I’m at my wits end each day and it’s hard to keep going on “believing” that there is an external reality. I used to KNOW that people existed and I never doubted that, but to have it pointed out that such a stance is mere belief leaves me shaken. I had this problem a few years ago and managed to suppress it but it always ends up coming back and deep down I know it still has a dark influence on me.


If I am only in your mind, then you are the source of me saying that I care about you. I haven’t said it in a while, and lately I’ve found you more annoying than usual, but it’s still true. Basically, if solipsism is true, Oprah is right, you create your reality. You don’t even have to do anything different, you’re already doing it. You have the knowledge of the entire world stored in your mind. Your actions don’t really even have consequences, except to your own feelings. Whatever you do to bring satisfaction and joy to your imaginary world is actually increasing the satisfaction and joy within you.

It’s a bummer that you would have to get on a plane, learn a different language, maybe get some kind of credentials, then get in to some special library off on a mountain somewhere, but if you did, you could then access something that is already in your own head, and know yourself better.

I read a little. Until I got to “essential fluxional nature”. I got 4 hits on that in google. They were all versions of this book. You just google stuff for fun and see if anyone will look at it, don’t you Xain?

I suppose the quantum level could be having some impact on our Macro level existence. IDK.

As far as a “many worlds” hypothesis, I have long toyed with the idea that I have, at times slipped into a parallel universe, almost identical to my previous universe, but subtly different.

And I have toyed with the idea that I have slipped between universes, a lot, each time with a subtly different universe, but all approaching this particular universe, in which I now reside. And this one’s a doozy.

Quantum physics doesn’t apply to the macro world. Another case of people who misinterpret it.

Anyway I don’t want to “create” my own reality. It would suck if it was just me and everything would be rendered pointless. It would be a miserable existence until I died

Is there a practical outcome to knowing any of this?

I find it hard to read about this stuff because it’s so mind-bending. I skim articles for basic ideas and hear things on this forum, but I don’t do deep dives into papers or books. This leaves me in the position of knowing about the topic but not knowing anything about the topic. And that’s why I don’t know if there are ways the knowledge gained from studying this can be used in other areas.

Anyway I don’t want to “create” my own reality.
But solipsism doesn't say you have some choice to create your own reality or not. It says there is just you. It doesn't really say anything about how you were created either. It's not a creation theory.

According to you, every theory, every philosophy, everything science can prove, they all render everything pointless. And you hate that. And life is miserable.

Straw, I suggest that you hang in there, and avoid threads started by Snowcity/Xain. I don’t think he is an old man.

Btw, I am an old man. And, somehow, despite that, I think I occasionally provide intelligent points that some could learn from.

"I realized this forum is full of old men pretending to have intelligent discussions but everything I’ve seen here is contradictory to that."
So, if everything you've seen is contradictory to "old men pretending to having intelligent conversations", do you see young men actually having intelligent conversations?

Regardless, I’m sure it’s a compliment.

Strawberry it’s because you aren’t reading.

But solipsism doesn’t say you have some choice to create your own reality or not. It says there is just you. It doesn’t really say anything about how you were created either. It’s not a creation theory.

According to you, every theory, every philosophy, everything science can prove, they all render everything pointless. And you hate that. And life is miserable.

Well it technically is a creation claim since it says everything is a projection of your mind.

Soft versions say you can’t verify the existence of an external reality and that’s what bothers me the most. The fact that I can’t verify the existence of my closest family and friends is crippling and any new relationships I pursue currently is at arms length because of not knowing whether they are real or not. I only knew peace from this when I forgot about it, but it still lingers

I realized this forum is full of old men pretending to have intelligent discussions

Oh wait.

Never mind.

it’s just not a good feeling that everything I love can’t be verified

everything I love can’t be verified
Isn't that part of what love is?

Not really, it’s more like the existence of what I love cannot be verified. I have to believe it to be so and that’s a hard pill to swallow.

Honestly I’m scared because if solipsism were true I would kill myself. I’d have the courage to take my own life.

Honestly I’m scared
No worry. It's not falsifiable. It can't be proven one way or another. If someone presented a proof to you, then the philosophy of solipsism would say, "but that proof you showed me exists in my mind, so my mind has this thought about this proof, but it could still be me as the source of it." If no one ever presents that proof, same deal really. You would have to change what reason is, which I don't know how you could that.

This offers a similar point in that it posits that there is a focal point of consciousness from which experience flows. In a sense all I have are my senses to ferret out the world. Just because I can sense something doesn’t mean it exists. But knowing how easy they are to fool doesn’t help either. Everything is just in reference to something else with nothing solid to stand alone on.

I didn’t bother with the link, but what you described is the human experience. It’s the basis of the scientific method. It’s not “in a sense” all we have are our senses, it’s “what else do you think we have?” Perhaps the confusion has come in with modern times, because we have extended our senses with telescopes in space, with machines to add muscle, with nano-tech to do things our hands can’t, but those are extensions. Also, we extend our brain power with computer memory and calculations, and then there is math, that allows us to theorize something without having any other evidence. So, that’s confusing, but it all comes back to senses.

The Problem of Solipsism, the view or theory that the self is all that can be known to exist.
But from biology we've learned that you cannot understand an organism without first gaining an understanding of the environment it exists within.

But here, it seems argued, that only the self exists.

Is it cruel to consider such a thing as childish?

Perhaps Xain ought to try writing a book about all the different ways to play Solitary.