The definitive argument against solipsism?


#1

Hello other people!
I wrote an essay against solipsism… if anyone finds any flaws in it, please tell me. Also, please give me your opinion on whether you think it’s a solid argument. :slight_smile: Thanks!

it’s called:
Against Solipsism: I, Ignorant and Affected, Have the Power to Affect. (I Exist)

To begin: that which is not, is incapable of creating that which is. In particular, no unconscious machine could have created me: I consciously exist, therefore no being without consciousness (like a machine) could’ve created me; the “machine” wouldn’t have known how!

Next, if I remain true to myself I come to the realization that in reality–i.e. my interactions with other alive beings, my discoveries of events taking shape etc–I in my consciousness of “me” most certainly am not utterly responsible for all things etc which transpire. (Otherwise how shall I explain my heart-break over not being with the only human I ever wanted to marry?)

Additionally, and most importantly: there is knowledge of which I (in consciousness: my every being) simply am unaware. Now my mind can store information for me to recall in the future which may not consciously be in my awareness at a given moment; but as for God, his entire awareness must be of that which exists, or else he is not God, but rather a creation of God’s. In short, an aspect of God must, in order for God to be God, be the immediate state of all-knowing. To be (at once) all-knowing is to be God. And if that which I myself did know were only all that existed, well #1. reality would constantly be changing, because I do not continually, at every present moment, know what I knew or (assumably) will know some other time. #2. My knowing would be inadequate or faulty if one were to suggest that I’ve always known what I know now, because presently I know such to be untrue. #3. Indeed I continue learning; and any supposed God needn’t learn a thing, for the being of God is the being of all-knowing.

Lastly, the conscious being of myself, in the ignorant, affected state that I presently find myself in does truly exist, even outside of my own awareness (i.e. potentially in others’ awareness, and potentially in a changing reality–as proven by certain definite experiences of change), because I am capable of affecting reality myself: after all, if it weren’t for my choosing to write this essay, you wouldn’t now be reading it; and I presently wouldn’t be seeing many freshly typed words on a screen. And this explicitly means that I am not merely a product or creation of an unconscious machine (such as evolution, for example). Thus, in the acknowledgment that I’m not what qualifies one to be God, and yet I do indeed exist in the consciousness of my personal, limited being, I find it impossible for solipsism to be true: I, ignorant and affected, am able to affect. (I exist: I think therefore I exist; and when asked, “do you exist?” I know what is being asked of me!)

whew.
Only last month I heard of solipsism for the first time, and then last week I read George Orwell’s 1984–which has the idea mentioned. And it just made me so sick, and haunted me… I looked for an answer on internet search engines, but found not one. So, I gave it my best shot.

Thanks for reading! (anyone who did) :o


#2

Oh hey, I just now finally stumbled upon another’s “dissolving” of solipsism: freivald.org/~jake/deutschOnSolipsism.html

(Maybe I speak personaly, but this has indeed been satisfying!!!) :smiley:

Thanks for reading, all who have, and God-bless!


#3

Me again (do I have a fixation???). Here’s just one more argument against solipsism: utm.edu/research/iep/s/solipsis.htm

It’s quite extensive (I haven’t even read it all yet). And there are even more arguments…
Okay, I’m done. :slight_smile:

The three essential reasons I made this thread were #1. to feel comforted by the fact that others are reading my words/expressions, #2. to get logical feedback on my ideas, #3. I wanted to place this information in the Catholic.com’s forums section, because I’d earlier tried to look for what others here had said about the subject, but there wasn’t really anything. --Until now! :cool:
I have a feeling this’ll be one of those threads that gets way more looks than responses. --But that’s okay. :wink:

Thanks again for reading, and God-bless!


#4

[quote=love-bias]Me again (do I have a fixation???).
[/quote]

I suppose the irony of posting three times in your own thread refuting solipsism with no one else in sight hasn’t slipped your view… :smiley:

ken


#5

[quote=love-bias]it’s called:
Against Solipsism: I, Ignorant and Affected, Have the Power to Affect. (I Exist)

To begin: that which is not, is incapable of creating that which is. In particular, no unconscious machine could have created me: I consciously exist, therefore no being without consciousness (like a machine) could’ve created me; the “machine” wouldn’t have known how!
[/quote]

You would do better here to use “could have” in place of the contraction. Also, the final line has more impact if you allow it to stand alone. Place a period after “me.”

Instead of “alive beings” use “living beings”. Also, this is a HUGE run-on sentence. You would do well do elimintate the ellipses and use periods instead. I have the same issue at times, and in writing fiction at that! The abbreviation “etc” needs a period and a comma.

I’m really really sorry. I had to stop reading. You really have a penchant for run on sentences so I’m going to give you a rule of thumb to follow: Read your work out loud to yourself. Your natural pauses represent punctuation such as commas or periods. In order to find your run-on sentences, read the entire sentence as you wrote it without taking a breath. This will help you edit and break them up.

I can’t really comment on the material itself or any errors within as I know nothing about the subject…but I can help you edit! Feel free to send me an e-mail version and I would be happy to go into further depth. :slight_smile:


#6

JCPhoenix,
thanks for the corrections. I know I said if anyone finds any “flaws” please tell me. And you did indeed. For that I’m very thankful and appreciative. In the future I’ll try to be more aware of my actual sentences and so forth. :slight_smile:

Thanks again, and God bless!
jason


#7

[quote=II Paradox II]I suppose the irony of posting three times in your own thread refuting solipsism with no one else in sight hasn’t slipped your view… :smiley:

ken
[/quote]

lol, yes.


#8

If any reader has made it this far: thanks for hangin’ on!!! I really shouldn’t have called my first message an “essay;” for in truth it was really just a throwing-up of ideas. :o

I did a little more work, as I should have from the start. My argument has been revised. If it is readable to anyone besides myself (there’s irony in there somewhere), I will have accomplished what I’d originally attempted to accomplish.

Now I should warn the reader: I’m really not clever enough to put all my arguments into a perfect order, so as to make it a pleasant reading experience; however somewhere, somehow I believe my ideas are present enough so that if you take them all at once, solipsism proves false. Please enjoy:

It is not possible that all other living beings besides myself are fake existences: that is, if I truly exist. The following explanation should show why:

To begin: whatever does not exist is incapable of creating that which does exist. To the point, no “machine” lacking consciousness could have created me, because I have consciousness. (A “machine” couldn’t have created me because it wouldn’t have known how to) Essentially this truth also rules out any extreme Freudian ideas: no UNCONSCIOUS mind is capable of ruling my conscious mind–maybe of helping, but not ruling. That is, unless this “other mind” happens to be CONSCIOUS too! And in that case, there would be more than ONE individual, living person.

Now if I remain honest with myself, I know that in reality–that is, in my interactions with other living (conscious) beings, and in my discoveries of events taking shape–I am not utterly responsible for all things and so forth which transpire. (Otherwise how shall I explain my heart-break over not being with the only person I ever wanted to marry?)

Additionally, and probably most importantly: there is knowledge of which I (in consciousness: in my every present being) simply am unaware. Now granted, as a human my mind can store information for me to recall in the future; but if I were God, alone in my existence: my entire awareness would need to (all at once) be of that which “exists.” Otherwise I could not be God, alone in my existence (1).

In short: if (as solipsism suggests) reality is only my imagination, then my consciousness must presently be in the state of all-knowing. Otherwise, I haven’t created reality. (And no UNCONSCIOUS or NON-LIVING “machine” could be responsible for creating reality, because from my ignorance I realize that the REAL creator of realty is the creator of my own consciousness (2))

To any accusation that I am NOW aware of everything that exists (i.e. that I’m now all-knowing), I reply:
#1. If so, then reality would constantly be changing, because I do not continually, at every present moment, know what I knew or (assumingly) will know some other time.

#2. My knowing would be inadequate or faulty if one were to suggest that I’ve always known what I know NOW, because presently I know such to be untrue: I NOW know of past changes in reality which I didn’t consciously choose to make happen.

#3. Indeed I continue learning; and if I am God, I needn’t learn a thing. For my being of God alone in my existence needs to be the being of all-knowing.

-------CONTINUED------->


#9

CONTINUED------->

LASTLY: now there exist AT LEAST two persons: a conscious God (who created me), and myself (the created). The conscious being of myself (in the ignorant, affected state that I presently find myself in) does truly exist even outside of my own awareness–that is, I exist potentially in the awareness of others; and I potentially exist in a changing reality. This is proven by certain definite experiences of change. For I am capable of affecting reality myself: after all, if it weren’t for my choosing to write this essay, the reader wouldn’t have been capable of choosing to read it; and I presently wouldn’t be seeing many freshly typed words on a screen.

To sum: when you add these three things together: that #1. I am not merely a creation of an UNCONSCIOUS “machine” (such as atheistic evolution, or–in a weird The Matrix sort of way–a hidden “subconscious” mind said to be the REAL “me”). #2. I am not what qualifies one to be God. #3. I do indeed exist in the consciousness of my personal, limited being; this is what you get: it impossible for solipsism to be true. If I exist, then so does my maker, God. Now if there can be two existing persons, why can’t there be more? Couldn’t the maker of myself make others, too?

–Besides, I ask this question: even if you are somekind of a god who can create your own reality, who’s to say there aren’t other beings who can do the same thing? :slight_smile:

(*1) Some may say that I as God should be able to create reality, and then store it away into memory for later retrieval. This idea would allow that I as God wouldn’t need to know AT ONCE everything in existence. It would allow for such things as so called “learning” and so forth. However, the problem with this is that it assumes the existence of ANOTHER cause or causes in reality; apart from the conscious self. Indeed we must remember now, that if my existence is the ONLY cause of reality, I must KNOW exactly what is happening, as it is happening–and why it is happening. For truly in solipsism’s view, everything that is happening is happening because I make it happen. As such, anything which I don’t AT ONCE know should literally fade from existence. And therefore, there are no possible “memories” for a God who is alone in existence.

(2) Now please look back to the first paragraph, if you will.

***By the way, I’ve taken up JCPhoenix’s offer to email him for further details/corrections. So perhaps, if something is pointed out to me as too difficult to understand, or just plain messed up, I’ll revise it. If anyone else has any further questions or comments about the actual presentation of my essay (i.e. its legibility), please tell me. But if your problem is with my actual philosophical outlook: then good! --More than happy to help with that! :slight_smile:

Thanks again for reading (whoever has). And thanks everyone, for the help. May God bless you!
Jason


#10

What is it with our preconceived ideas about people???

ergh, I’m so sorry “JCPhoenix” for the following sentence of mine:
“By the way, I’ve taken up JCPhoenix’s offer to email him for further details/corrections.”

For anyone who may like to know, I was so wrong to suppose she was a he… sorry. :o

reminds me of a spat I had with “Exporter.” forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=19061&highlight=Mormonism post number 44. lol he called me a she.

:rotfl: happens to the best of us.

:o jason


#11

I would think that a good start for your argument/essay would be an explanation to the reader as to what “solipsism” is and why you want to speak against it.

If they don’t know what you are writing about, they will be highly unlikely to be interested in what you have to say on the subject.

BTW, I think JCPhoenix is a “she.”


#12

[quote=Ray Marshall]I would think that a good start for your argument/essay would be an explanation to the reader as to what “solipsism” is and why you want to speak against it.

If they don’t know what you are writing about, they will be highly unlikely to be interested in what you have to say on the subject.

BTW, I think JCPhoenix is a “she.”
[/quote]

Yes you’re right, I completely agree with you.

All in all I suppose I wasn’t really thinking too much about defining things; I guess you could say I wanted to get down to the heart of the matter…

This is actually one of my dumbest threads in all honesty. lol I seriously don’t think anyone would want to debate anyone else on whether there exist any other persons, besides “the self.”

That’s what solipsism is, by the way: the idea that you are the only person in existence.

Now upon reflecting, my argument really sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is. My argument is really quite commen sense.

Thank you, my friend. :slight_smile:

Jason

P.s. I should have elaborated on my last post in this thread: indeed, I was writing to assert my discovery that she is actually a “she” instead of a “he.” I was just apologizing for having called her a “he.”

:o


#13

oh yeah: Ray, I’ve been to Duluth! Very nice place!!!

When I got there, I was surprised to see just how mountanous it is there. Very beautiful view of the Lake! :slight_smile:

Jason


#14

Hey…good thread … i like this too…
u seem to surprise me everyday on this board…
keep reading in God’s word and he will show you the way…

God Bless

[quote=love-bias]oh yeah: Ray, I’ve been to Duluth! Very nice place!!!

When I got there, I was surprised to see just how mountanous it is there. Very beautiful view of the Lake! :slight_smile:

Jason
[/quote]


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