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    (Original post by mast3486)
    I suppose it depends on what existence actually is. What is thinking aswell? When you are asleep and not dreaming you are not thinking for the eight hours or so you are out. Do you exist during that time if you're not aware of anything around you or yourself?
    You think therefore you must exist. That is not equivalent to saying if you don't think you don't exist. And anyway, dreaming is thinking...feeling pain is thinking...all these subjective things are classified as thinking (for Descartes anyway).
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    Sometimes I think about someone I just pass in street, or see working in a shop, and realise that millions of thoughts pass through there head every day in the same way they do through mine, and that this is true for all the billions of people in the world, and it completely astounds me.
    This is quite random, but I think related in the sense that it only are only existence that we are, or ever can be, fully aware of.
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    (Original post by hitchhiker_13)
    Sometimes I think about someone I just pass in street, or see working in a shop, and realise that millions of thoughts pass through there head every day in the same way they do through mine, and that this is true for all the billions of people in the world, and it completely astounds me.
    This is quite random, but I think related in the sense that it only are only existence that we are, or ever can be, fully aware of.
    I agree. It also scares me sometimes how trapped and restricted I am...everything i feel, experience, know is ultimately filtered through my own senses. What if they are wrong? What if there's something different out there but I just can't access it with what I have? I find it difficult to believe that the world that is present inside my head is equally present in every single other person.

    For me the world exists because of me...but for everyone else, I am just another human being.
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    (Original post by Adhsur)
    You think therefore you must exist. That is not equivalent to saying if you don't think you don't exist. And anyway, dreaming is thinking...feeling pain is thinking...all these subjective things are classified as thinking (for Descartes anyway).
    I know dreaming is thinking thats why i said WHEN YOU ARE NOT DREAMING you aren't thinking. Just because someone a long time ago with a weird name made a statement that made people go hmmm doesn't make it right. Try and come up with your own ways of confirming your existence. Wouldn't unique ideas really help prove it rather than using other people's ideas? (i can't come up with any at the moment, maybe i don't exist!)
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    (Original post by mast3486)
    I know dreaming is thinking thats why i said WHEN YOU ARE NOT DREAMING you aren't thinking. Just because someone a long time ago with a weird name made a statement that made people go hmmm doesn't make it right. Try and come up with your own ways of confirming your existence. Wouldn't unique ideas really help prove it rather than using other people's ideas? (i can't come up with any at the moment, maybe i don't exist!)
    Well, I personally find Descartes "proof" the most convincing we have. If you can think of something equally or more convincing, I'd be very interested to hear it but I don't think you can.
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    (Original post by Adhsur)
    The point is you can only be sure of your existance, not anyone else's. You can be sure of your existence because you are thinking, and thinking can't exist without a thinker. If there is a thinker there is something. Therefore you exist.
    You can be sure of other peoples existances by the fact they have different thought processes, can give you different perspectives on things and different knowledge.
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    what other proofs are there?
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    (Original post by kez-man)
    You can be sure of other peoples existances by the fact they have different thought processes, can give you different perspectives on things and different knowledge.
    No you can't. What if there is someone putting these thoughts into your head? A mad scientist for example, and you are simply a brain in a jar? Ok it doesn't seem very plausible, but it is possible. Hence you can't be sure.
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    (Original post by mast3486)
    what other proofs are there?
    There are none, in this day and age such metaphysical questions aren't as meaningful as they were.
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    (Original post by Adhsur)
    No you can't. What if there is someone putting these thoughts into your head? A mad scientist for example, and you are simply a brain in a jar? Ok it doesn't seem very plausible, but it is possible. Hence you can't be sure.
    Ok, what I meant to say is "You can be sure that you are not the only entity that exists".
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    (Original post by kez-man)
    Ok, what I meant to say is "You can be sure that you are not the only entity that exists".
    No you can't. What proof have you got that other entities aren't figments of your imagination/merely illusions?
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    (Original post by Adhsur)
    There are none, in this day and age such metaphysical questions aren't as meaningful as they were.
    Then why did you say that you find descartes the most convincing we have? Surely you know not to accept information from one source? If descartes is the only one with a reason (there are probably more) maybe descartes was the only person that truly existed.
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    (Original post by mast3486)
    Then why did you say that you find descartes the most convincing we have? Surely you know not to accept information from one source? If descartes is the only one with a reason (there are probably more) maybe descartes was the only person that truly existed.
    Oh don't be silly. Just because no one else has proved their existence doesn't mean that establishes their nonexistence.

    Descartes' proof is probably the only convincing proof there is. If there has been any other there are significant flaws in them and so no one really knows about them. It's not about accepting information from multiple sources, it's about how good proofs are. Philosophy is not History. It's akin to Science.
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    (Original post by Adhsur)
    No you can't. What proof have you got that other entities aren't figments of your imagination/merely illusions?
    The fact that they can give you ideas that you haven't yet thought of, say you are at a crime scene and come to 4 different possibilities of how the crime happened. And then someone gives you an idea that you hadn't thought of, you know you must not be the only inteligent "entity" because someone has reached a different conclusion using different thought processes.
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    (Original post by kez-man)
    The fact that they can give you ideas that you haven't yet thought of, say you are at a crime scene and come to 4 different possibilities of how the crime happened. And then someone gives you an idea that you hadn't thought of, you know you must not be the only inteligent "entity" because someone has reached a different conclusion using different thought processes.
    what if that thought eminated via ur unconcious mind?
    u would be unaware of its origin but it would not require another entity.

    but then again if u are being experimented on - brain in a jar - there must at least be some form of mad scientist
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    (Original post by Adhsur)
    Oh don't be silly. Just because no one else has proved their existence doesn't mean that establishes their nonexistence.

    Descartes' proof is probably the only convincing proof there is. If there has been any other there are significant flaws in them and so no one really knows about them. It's not about accepting information from multiple sources, it's about how good proofs are. Philosophy is not History. It's akin to Science.
    Yes, but like everything else Scientific ideas and philosophical ones are only right if it makes people happy at the time. The quote from descartes is short and sweet and makes everyone feel happy that they exist without needing to give the words that much thought. If you think about it its not that good a proof.

    'I think therefore I am' What is thinking? everything we do is a direct result of some stimulus, no matter how unrelated to an outcome that stimulus may seem. If you just sit and do what we are calling 'think', how it can it be proved that you actually are 'thinking'? Who do you prove it to? If you are thinking in words it is only due to the result of being taught words (stimulated). If you think in pictures then how do you translate them into a justification to yourself of your existence? At the moment existence cannot be proved by any of us through words or pictures, because we do not really know what existence actually is. Any understanding we think we have is limited by our use of language and lack of any other significant communication.
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    (Original post by kez-man)
    The fact that they can give you ideas that you haven't yet thought of, say you are at a crime scene and come to 4 different possibilities of how the crime happened. And then someone gives you an idea that you hadn't thought of, you know you must not be the only inteligent "entity" because someone has reached a different conclusion using different thought processes.
    But that's not proof is it. How do you know that these new thoughts can't spring into your mind? That this illusion is as weird as your existence in the first place? Nothing is certain dear. No matter how much you try and appeal to the information you acquire through your senses, you can never be certain that they are correct. You can never be certain that other peopl eexist.

    In terms of this crime scene example, you know all the thoughts you have literally do spring out of nowhere. So what makes you think that some thoughts are from people and some are from yourself? And indeed, how do you distinguish between the two?
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    (Original post by umair)
    what if that thought eminated via ur unconcious mind?
    u would be unaware of its origin but it would not require another entity.

    but then again if u are being experimented on - brain in a jar - there must at least be some form of mad scientist
    Ok what about a scenario where you are a brain in a jar just like how the earth is here, you are here in a jar. There doesn't HAVE to be a mad scientist, it's just a convenient way of describing the situation.

    And anyway, when we talk about other entities, I doubt we include mad scientists/i.e. transcendent beings. We are talking about material objects/humans/etc.
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    (Original post by umair)
    what if that thought eminated via ur unconcious mind?
    u would be unaware of its origin but it would not require another entity.

    but then again if u are being experimented on - brain in a jar - there must at least be some form of mad scientist
    I dont know much about the sub-concious mind, If you were aware of the thought (by the other "person" saying it to you, assuming this is a dream constructed by you) surely you would be aware of it, so it wouldnt be in the realms of the sub-concious. I dunno. heh

    For example I had no idea you were going to bring the sub-concious mind into this discussion, so I know you are a seperate intelligence.
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    (Original post by mast3486)
    Yes, but like everything else Scientific ideas and philosophical ones are only right if it makes people happy at the time. The quote from descartes is short and sweet and makes everyone feel happy that they exist without needing to give the words that much thought. If you think about it its not that good a proof.

    'I think therefore I am' What is thinking? everything we do is a direct result of some stimulus, no matter how unrelated to an outcome that stimulus may seem. If you just sit and do what we are calling 'think', how it can it be proved that you actually are 'thinking'? Who do you prove it to? If you are thinking in words it is only due to the result of being taught words (stimulated). If you think in pictures then how do you translate them into a justification to yourself of your existence? At the moment existence cannot be proved by any of us through words or pictures, because we do not really know what existence actually is. Any understanding we think we have is limited by our use of language and lack of any other significant communication.
    I did not say that Descartes' proof was watertight by any means. I just said it's the best we have. And regardless of how short and sweet philosophers have made it, the theory goes much further than the mere quote "I think therefore I am"...in fact, Descartes proof never included those words and took a whole chapter to explain.

    The thing is, one has to distinguish between subjective states and physical states. There is a big difference. The former is classified as thinking and the latter isn't. This is because we cannot doubt we are thinking (for to doubt means to think) But we can doubt that we are sitting (we could be dreaming, we could be a brain in a vat, we could be anywhere...for this is a product of sensation, not of thought).

    We know what existence is. Existence is being. It's a brute fact. We are here. We are not "not here". We are not fictional but there is something, and that is ourselves.
 
 
 
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