Do we exist...

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Do we exist...

Postby Bri_16 » Thu Sep 02, 2004 12:10 pm

How can we really be sure that we really exist? How can we be sure that we are not really "living" some dream. How can we be sure that anything around us exist at all?
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Postby Impenitent » Thu Sep 02, 2004 2:16 pm

"we" can't... you are a brain in a vat...

-Imp
cogito ergo cogito
sum ergo sum...

Λογοκρισία και σιωπή

What's the difference between a liberal and Al Qaeda?
Oh, you don't know either?

"False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils, except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes....Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." (Thomas Jefferson)

"Stat rosa pristina nomine, nomina nuda tenemus" -Eco
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Postby Jinnatun » Thu Sep 02, 2004 3:32 pm

If existence were a dream I'm sure we could then argue about whether the dream had a meaning and if so what it might be...
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Postby BMW-Guy » Thu Sep 02, 2004 9:05 pm

you took that dream analogy from Descartes 2nd and 3rd Meditation. ;)

But, regardless.....I never have grown tired of hearing it. ;)
Philosophy aims at the logical clarification of thoughts. Philosophy is not a body of
doctrine but an activity. A philosophical work consists essentially of elucidations.
Philosophy does not result in 'philosophical propositions', but rather in the clarification of
propositions. Without philosophy thoughts are, as it were, cloudy and indistinct: its task is
to make them clear and to give them sharp boundaries.
(Tractatus Logico Philosophicus; Wittgenstein)
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Postby GateControlTheory » Fri Sep 03, 2004 2:25 am

Impenitent wrote:"we" can't... you are a brain in a vat...

-Imp


even a brain in a vat would exist as a brain in a vat.
Kids, don't try this at home.

"You guys just sit here thinking you're so smart, but you merely take a long time to say essentially nothing."

-Ade
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Postby nevskey1 » Fri Sep 03, 2004 2:42 am

you took that dream analogy from Descartes 2nd and 3rd Meditation.


I just finished reading the Meditations, but I don't recall such a passage in it, or a passage implicit of the dream analogy. Can you paint out to me where you find this. I'm very interested becasue Descartes has just become my favorite philosopher. His meditations were one of the most interesting things I've ever read: like the bricks and mortar of a Charlie Kaufman movie.
"I'm going to my room where I can think. You come by later and wake me up." - Chico Marx
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Postby Impenitent » Fri Sep 03, 2004 2:54 am

GateControlTheory wrote:
Impenitent wrote:"we" can't... you are a brain in a vat...

-Imp


even a brain in a vat would exist as a brain in a vat.


I do not deny this... I do deny that one would be able to prove that one is not a brain in a vat...

-Imp
cogito ergo cogito
sum ergo sum...

Λογοκρισία και σιωπή

What's the difference between a liberal and Al Qaeda?
Oh, you don't know either?

"False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils, except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes....Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." (Thomas Jefferson)

"Stat rosa pristina nomine, nomina nuda tenemus" -Eco
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Postby GateControlTheory » Fri Sep 03, 2004 3:26 am

Impenitent wrote:
GateControlTheory wrote:
Impenitent wrote:"we" can't... you are a brain in a vat...

-Imp


even a brain in a vat would exist as a brain in a vat.


I do not deny this... I do deny that one would be able to prove that one is not a brain in a vat...

-Imp


I agree, thus
How do we really know we exist?
We must, on some level, exist as something (if even merely a figment of a dream) as the negation of some existence would be no existence, but then experience cannot be derived from nothingness.
Kids, don't try this at home.

"You guys just sit here thinking you're so smart, but you merely take a long time to say essentially nothing."

-Ade
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Postby hombre08107 » Fri Sep 03, 2004 5:37 am

I dont to know that I exist to know that I exist. Not many people consider Descarte's "super-knowledge" as the standard knowledge.

I for one am a Fundamentalist. There are, of course, many variations but a couple of my fundamental beliefs are of the existence of myself and of the external world.

I used to delve deeply into the ideas of skeptisism but I later found the idea silly and not very pragmatic.
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Postby Pax Vitae » Fri Sep 03, 2004 6:11 am

All these replys and not one person has quotedd it!

'Cogito Ergo Sum'

Two Mistakes and Scepticism wrote:While going through this process of rigorous doubt, Descartes eventually discovered something rather extraordinary. What he realised was that there was always one thing that he could never doubt – the fact that he was doubting or thinking. And thinking just can’t happen in mid-air. There has to be a consciousness or mind doing it, so Descartes can’t doubt that he exists. Hence the famous Cogito ergo Sum, I think therefore I am”. Or perhaps more accurately: There are thoughts, so there must be a mind. So while he could pretend that he had no body and that there was no world... He could not pretend that he didn’t exist. By the fact that to doubt a mind requires a mind (i.e. Conscience)


You should read the Topic called 'Two Mistakes and Scepticism'. Just click the link on the quote line
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Postby xanderman » Fri Sep 03, 2004 9:36 pm

So, do I exist when I am unconscious, or otherwise have no awareness? Or do I slip into non-existence every night?

It sure is good luck that I usually find my body the next morning where I thought I had left it.
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Postby ISorNotItIsAnyway » Fri Sep 03, 2004 10:50 pm

(So, do I exist when I am unconscious, or otherwise have no awareness? Or do I slip into non-existence every night?)

Well, for one, you can't be sure you slip into non-existence because you are not conscious. It is entirely possible for you to exist in an unconscious state.

You can, however, be sure you exist while you are awake and conscious, because nonexistent things cannot be conscious. Therefore, IF you are conscious, THEN you exist.


Of course... the real "you”, that is, your consciousness itself, COULD exist on a dimension unknown to us. Therefore, your "you" or "self" COULD actually leave your body during periods of unconsciousness and that would mean that it is entirely possible for you to actually "find your body the next morning where you thought you had left it".


BUT

Unfortunately, we can't prove just yet... or possibly at all for that matter whether or not you actually are separate from your body.

It is likely outside our intelligence... like a family of ducks trying to figure out their DNA sequences.
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Postby apparition » Fri Sep 03, 2004 11:58 pm

I have no new insight into this question other than what can easily be read or independently thought of, and thus can randomly exist in dozens of different systems of thought. Yet, I'm always tempted to send a hard jab to the jaw of someone who poses the question of, "How do I know you exist?" haha - that act is a persuasive response. (Note that I said 'poses the question', not 'asks the question' - there is a difference)
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Postby Impenitent » Sat Sep 04, 2004 4:47 am

Pax Vitae wrote:All these replys and not one person has quotedd it!

'Cogito Ergo Sum'

Two Mistakes and Scepticism wrote:While going through this process of rigorous doubt, Descartes eventually discovered something rather extraordinary. What he realised was that there was always one thing that he could never doubt – the fact that he was doubting or thinking. And thinking just can’t happen in mid-air. There has to be a consciousness or mind doing it, so Descartes can’t doubt that he exists. Hence the famous Cogito ergo Sum, I think therefore I am”. Or perhaps more accurately: There are thoughts, so there must be a mind. So while he could pretend that he had no body and that there was no world... He could not pretend that he didn’t exist. By the fact that to doubt a mind requires a mind (i.e. Conscience)


You should read the Topic called 'Two Mistakes and Scepticism'. Just click the link on the quote line


read my signature...

-Imp
cogito ergo cogito
sum ergo sum...

Λογοκρισία και σιωπή

What's the difference between a liberal and Al Qaeda?
Oh, you don't know either?

"False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils, except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes....Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." (Thomas Jefferson)

"Stat rosa pristina nomine, nomina nuda tenemus" -Eco
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Postby ISorNotItIsAnyway » Sat Sep 04, 2004 7:10 am

Kind of like... no, JUST like when I said...

You can, however, be sure you exist while you are awake and conscious, because nonexistent things cannot be conscious. Therefore,
IF you are conscious, THEN you exist.
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Postby paganinio » Sat Sep 04, 2004 4:22 pm

I GAME THEREFORE I AM.
A very good signature of a guy on MFO video game/philosophy forum.
I play video games, if I don't exist, I can't play video games, so it's no doubt that I exist.
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Postby Wen » Thu Sep 09, 2004 7:30 pm

Does it matter?
Would you stop doing the things you do in life if you knew you don't exist?
And by the way: Is living in a dream non-existence?
Well... most of it has been said in this topic. Just felt the urge to write something down here... first post! Yay!
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Postby phrygianslave the wise » Thu Sep 09, 2004 7:49 pm

What is this, "I," that we all have; what is it exactly that we're in possession of?

Is it anything to do with that name your parents gave you, or your social security card number, or your marriage certificate, or the "country," you inhabit?

I think not! Take away all the names and what are you left with? A thing, stuff, without identity. A nameless being. . .
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Postby Impenitent » Thu Sep 09, 2004 8:52 pm

phrygianslave the wise wrote:What is this, "I," that we all have; what is it exactly that we're in possession of?

Is it anything to do with that name your parents gave you, or your social security card number, or your marriage certificate, or the "country," you inhabit?

I think not! Take away all the names and what are you left with? A thing, stuff, without identity. A nameless being. . .


not even that... there is change and flux... the next moment is not guaranteed...

-Imp
cogito ergo cogito
sum ergo sum...

Λογοκρισία και σιωπή

What's the difference between a liberal and Al Qaeda?
Oh, you don't know either?

"False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils, except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes....Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." (Thomas Jefferson)

"Stat rosa pristina nomine, nomina nuda tenemus" -Eco
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Postby BeenaJain » Thu Sep 09, 2004 10:33 pm

By the dictionary, to exist means, to continue to live, live, or "continuance in living. That is how we define existence.

Now, let's say a person faints and so he loses consciousness. Even though this person does not know that he exists but we know that he does. Similarly, plants exist but I believe they have no consciousness and so they don't know that they exist similar to the person who lost consciousness and so does not know that he exists.

As for those who consider existence to be an illusion or a mystery, it doesn't have to be. We define existence as living and not dead, so, that means we exist if we are alive. That's our perspective. If some alien or God perceives our existence as something else it's their prerogative, our definition of existence still remains the same, and that is - that we exist!
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Postby SeanBob » Fri Sep 10, 2004 12:44 am

If so, the dream is existance,

Go ahead try and wake up Neo
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Postby Antonio » Fri Sep 10, 2004 2:46 am

Hi everybody,
I think that there is such a thing as doubting too much... Would you actually feel that you do not exist?
Also, certain words like "dream" have a tendency of having a mind of their own. As I recall it is used to describe what happens when we sleep...
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Postby Pinnacle of Reason » Fri Sep 10, 2004 2:59 am

no you do not exist.
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Postby Pinnacle of Reason » Fri Sep 10, 2004 4:52 am

All we humans have is memory. If memory exists, then you exist.

You are just information really, like data on a data disk.

reckon i made a satisfactory explination?
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Postby BeenaJain » Fri Sep 10, 2004 6:58 am

No I don't reckon that you, "made a satisfactory explination."

We don't exist just because we have a "memory" or we would be just like computers. We have a heart too that just does not perform to stimuli or info, it chooses to take its own course too. Remember, "The heart has reasons which reason does not understand?" Perhaps you've never been in love before, perhaps you've never made an irrational decision, perhaps you've never been a deviant when no harm was to come to another? Perhaps you've never been out in the rain on purpose? Eh? Perhaps YOU are some "info" or "data on a disk" but we are not so. So please don't generalize it that we are just some, "data on a disk" or "info."
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