Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by ItsReneeYo_, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. Some years ago I was struck by how many false things I had believed, and by how doubtful was the structure of beliefs that I had based on them.
    Whatever I have accepted until now as most true has come to me through my senses. But occasionally I have found that they have deceived me, and it is unwise to trust completely those who have deceived us even once.
    Yet although the senses sometimes deceive us about objects that are very small or distant, that doesn't apply to my belief that I am here, sitting by the fire, wearing a winter dressing-gown, holding this piece of paper in my hands, and so on. It seems to be quite impossible to doubt beliefs like these, which come from the senses.

    As if I were not a man who sleeps at night and often has all the same experiences while asleep as madmen do when awake – indeed sometimes even more improbable ones. Often in my dreams I am convinced of just such familiar events – that I am sitting by the fire in my dressing-gown – when in fact I am lying undressed in bed! Yet right now my eyes are certainly wide open when I look at this piece of paper; I shake my head and it isn't asleep; when I rub one hand against the other, I do it deliberately and know what I am doing. This wouldn't all happen with such clarity to someone asleep.

    As if I didn't remember other occasions when I have been tricked by exactly similar thoughts while asleep! As I think about this more carefully, I realize that there is never any reliable way of distinguishing being awake from being asleep.

    However, I have for many years been sure that there is an all-powerful God who made me to be the sort of creature that I am. How do I know that he hasn't brought it about that there is no earth, no sky, nothing that takes up space, no shape, no size, no place, while making sure that all these things appear to me to exist? Anyway, I sometimes think that others go wrong even when they think they have the most perfect knowledge; so how do I know that I myself don't go wrong every time I add two and three or count the sides of a square? Well, you might say·, God would not let me be deceived like that, because he is said to be supremely good. But, I reply, if God's goodness would stop him from letting me be deceived all the time, you would expect it to stop him from allowing me to be deceived even occasionally; yet clearly I sometimes am deceived.

    I will suppose, then, that everything I see is fictitious. I will believe that my memory tells me nothing but lies. I have no senses. Body, shape, extension, movement and place are illusions. So what remains true? Perhaps just the one fact that nothing is certain!

    Isn't there a God (call him what you will) who gives me the thoughts I am now having? But why do I think this, since I might myself be the author of these thoughts? But then doesn't it follow that I am, at least, something? This is very confusing, because I have just said that I have no senses and no body, and I am so bound up with a body and with senses that one would think that I can't exist without them. Now that I have convinced myself that there is nothing in the world – no sky, no earth, no minds, no bodies – does it follow that I don't exist either? No it does not follow; for if I convinced myself of something then I certainly existed.

    If I had derived my existence from myself, I would not now doubt or want or lack anything at all; for I would have given myself all the perfections of which I have any idea. So I would be God.

    I love this excerpt , but I dislike philosophy still. Philosophy's definition to me is asking questions to come up with more questions to ask to find a truth and then have that doubted and questions asked about it. So fuck that

    But Rene Descartes had something here. To me he is asking what is reality but of what you make it? Maybe all of us live in our own reality , but whether or not this is true , we DO exist because we acknowledge these thoughts, I acknowledge the words I'm typing whilst listening to my opinionated philosophy teacher ramble. So this makes me real , this puts me into existence. But is it my existence? Even in dreams we exist , but is our dream reality? It has to be , at that moment.when we sleep our reality is altered to another. So whose to say which reality is the intended reality we are supposed to live in or be conscious of , and whose to say we must choose a reality. Whose to say anything is anything ever when nothing is know about one simple question . What is real? I hate philosophy , but thought this was interesting and mind fucking.
  2. Descartes - a master philosopher.
  3. ... a man whose philosophy is soo misunderstood.
  4. I LOVE philosophy.

    Although some questions may spawn from questions produced by questions (and so on) it shows that the human brain is capable of a higher level of thinking.

    Philosophy to me isn't a burden, rather a method of understanding the universe and its inhabitants.

    Now to your post, I believe that dreams are merely an experience similar to reality. It is basically our understanding from our accumulation of experience on Earth. The brain can hold massive amounts of data, more than a terabyte.

    It is simply an ongoing thought pattern designed to keep the brain organ active as the physical body rests.

    Most dreams are strange and abstract while others are more on the dull side, nonetheless, it is still the brain making things up.

    Its important to remember, imagination is exercise for the brain.

    I believe dreams are hardwired in our DNA to promote brain growth, in an effort to maintain a healthy brain.

    So don't do drugs! Haha.

    ~1996 Jiggawattz~
  6. #6 xtully420, Feb 18, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 18, 2014
    The best argument that I have come up with is from G.E Moore, and it involves begging the question. 
    Proof of an External World
    1) here is a hand (*do something intentional like make the shape of the number zero, and then the peace sign repetitively)\\
    2) Here the other..(*Show the hand, and again do something intentional and simultaneous with this hand.)
    3)  Thus, at least two external objects must exist, and that is to say external objects exist. 
    but, in my own mind there is an obvious difference from what I perceive to be reality, everyday life, and a dream state That is complete awareness/recall and control at all times. Although it is impossible for me to justify, even with a reliable process/ (4th condition to the traditional view of knowledge), that I am not being deceived. 

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