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Can we prove one another wrong?

SarcasticIndeed
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12/21/2011 5:39:26 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Let's say there is me and another guy next to me. I believe I am the only conscious being, everyone other is not. The other guy believes the same.

Now, in order to prove each other wrong, we would have to give pure evidence that we are conscious, not just a set of functions or whatever the other believe other people are.

My question is, could we possibly prove each other that we are conscious?

The argument between us could go in many ways. For instance:

Me: I believe I am conscious, and I think neither you or anyone else is not.
Random Guy: I believe the same. You can't be conscious because I believe only I am. (I know this is a silly argument, but just go on)
Me: No matter what you say, I know how I feel myself and I know I am conscious, therefore, you are wrong.
Random Guy: Same thing. I know I am conscious and believe you are just a set of functions that is created to behave as if yohave consciousness.

Etc.

Now, this seems like a pretty hopeless argument, but you get the point.
<SIGNATURE CENSORED> nac
UnStupendousMan
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12/21/2011 7:33:53 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Sarcastic... when I saw your avatar I immediately thought "Logic_on_rails." LOR a member here.

However, I find your point interesting. How do I know that you are not a really advanced chat program? : ) Or vice versa.
Double_R
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12/22/2011 2:03:06 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
No it is not possible. Establishing the presence of consciousness in another being is something that can only be done by using the 5 senses that we are limited to as human beings. None of these senses can prove this, all they are capable of is gathering enough information to form a logical basis for our beliefs. Perhaps a 6th sense, such as empathic abilities could do it, but this as far as we know is purely fictional.
Danielle
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12/22/2011 2:18:56 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
This is one of philosophy's many paradoxes. Interesting, innit? I agree with Double R. If this kinda stuff interests you, watch the movie Waking Life. Everyone should :)
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OMGJustinBieber
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12/22/2011 2:22:31 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Descartes agrees with Double_R and Danielle. I agree too. We can know our own existence: "I think, therefore I am" but I can't be 100% on the existence of my peers.
M.Torres
Posts: 3,626
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12/22/2011 2:30:04 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/22/2011 2:22:31 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Descartes agrees with Double_R and Danielle. I agree too. We can know our own existence: "I think, therefore I am" but I can't be 100% on the existence of my peers.

The thing about "Cogito ergo sum" that always baffled me is that we can be sure we exist, but can we be sure that exist the way we think we do? We can be sure that our capacity to THINK means we exist in our THOUGHTS, but that can never prove that anything PHYSICAL exists, including our physical body. That thought still makes me just stop and stare sometimes.
: At 11/28/2011 1:28:24 PM, BlackVoid wrote:
: M. Torres said it, so it must be right.

I'm an Apatheistic Ignostic. ... problem? ;D

I believe in the heart of the cards. .:DDO Duelist:.
UnStupendousMan
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12/22/2011 2:39:59 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/22/2011 2:30:04 PM, M.Torres wrote:
At 12/22/2011 2:22:31 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Descartes agrees with Double_R and Danielle. I agree too. We can know our own existence: "I think, therefore I am" but I can't be 100% on the existence of my peers.

The thing about "Cogito ergo sum" that always baffled me is that we can be sure we exist, but can we be sure that exist the way we think we do? We can be sure that our capacity to THINK means we exist in our THOUGHTS, but that can never prove that anything PHYSICAL exists, including our physical body. That thought still makes me just stop and stare sometimes.

Cogito ergo sum.

PS: I agree with danielle and Double_R on this.
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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12/22/2011 2:45:04 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
P1. I don't know that not-h [a = some skeptical ‘hypothesis'; e.g., that I'm a bodiless brain in a vat, being stimulated to have just those experiences I would be having if I weren't a ‘BIV'].
P2. If I don't know that not-h, then I don't know that p [p = some mundane proposition which we commonly take ourselves to know; e.g., that I have hands].
C. So, I don't know that p

Teehee.
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BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Kinesis
Posts: 3,667
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12/22/2011 2:46:38 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Can we be entirely sure that we ourselves exist? The argument made famous by Descartes runs essentially: even if we were being deceived about our perceptual experiences being veridical, we know that there is something having the experiences. I am thinking, therefore there must be some subject that is thinking, that subject is me, therefore I exist. But if there is an evil demon deceiving my thoughts (as there is in Descartes thought experiment) then there could be some logical hole in the the argument 'I am thinking, therefore I exist' that the demon is keeping me from knowing. Therefore, we can't even be entirely certain that we ourselves exist and Descartes argument to that effect fails.
M.Torres
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12/22/2011 2:50:02 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/22/2011 2:46:38 PM, Kinesis wrote:
Can we be entirely sure that we ourselves exist? The argument made famous by Descartes runs essentially: even if we were being deceived about our perceptual experiences being veridical, we know that there is something having the experiences. I am thinking, therefore there must be some subject that is thinking, that subject is me, therefore I exist. But if there is an evil demon deceiving my thoughts (as there is in Descartes thought experiment) then there could be some logical hole in the the argument 'I am thinking, therefore I exist' that the demon is keeping me from knowing. Therefore, we can't even be entirely certain that we ourselves exist and Descartes argument to that effect fails.

But you have to exist in order for the Demon to deceive you. You must exist in order to hypothesize that a Demon could deceive you. So I think Descartes is correct, but only by thought, as in only our thoughts exist. That's what I was saying - we can be sure that whatever is the thinking function of ourself exists, but beyond that, you can't even be sure that your body TRULY exists (it exists in our minds, obviously).

Great, now my head hurts. XP
: At 11/28/2011 1:28:24 PM, BlackVoid wrote:
: M. Torres said it, so it must be right.

I'm an Apatheistic Ignostic. ... problem? ;D

I believe in the heart of the cards. .:DDO Duelist:.
popculturepooka
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12/22/2011 2:50:30 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/22/2011 2:46:38 PM, Kinesis wrote:
Can we be entirely sure that we ourselves exist? The argument made famous by Descartes runs essentially: even if we were being deceived about our perceptual experiences being veridical, we know that there is something having the experiences. I am thinking, therefore there must be some subject that is thinking, that subject is me, therefore I exist. But if there is an evil demon deceiving my thoughts (as there is in Descartes thought experiment) then there could be some logical hole in the the argument 'I am thinking, therefore I exist' that the demon is keeping me from knowing. Therefore, we can't even be entirely certain that we ourselves exist and Descartes argument to that effect fails.

Not necessarily. It may be epistemically possible that there's some logical hole in the argument but not logically or metaphysically possible.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Kinesis
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12/22/2011 2:51:11 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
P1. I don't know that not-h [a = some skeptical ‘hypothesis'; e.g., that I'm a bodiless brain in a vat, being stimulated to have just those experiences I would be having if I weren't a ‘BIV'].
P2. If I don't know that not-h, then I don't know that p [p = some mundane proposition which we commonly take ourselves to know; e.g., that I have hands].
C. So, I don't know that p

Any ideas about how to save ourselves from radical skepticism?
Kinesis
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12/22/2011 2:54:46 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
But you have to exist in order for the Demon to deceive you. You must exist in order to hypothesize that a Demon could deceive you.

Ah, but for all you know the only reason that argument seems so obviously true is that the demon is deceiving you into thinking that it is obviously true. For all you know, there is some blinding flaw in the argument "you have to exist in order for the Demon to deceive you" that you can't think of because every time you make the attempt the demon prevents it with his devious telepathic powers.
M.Torres
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12/22/2011 2:56:27 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/22/2011 2:54:46 PM, Kinesis wrote:
But you have to exist in order for the Demon to deceive you. You must exist in order to hypothesize that a Demon could deceive you.

Ah, but for all you know the only reason that argument seems so obviously true is that the demon is deceiving you into thinking that it is obviously true. For all you know, there is some blinding flaw in the argument "you have to exist in order for the Demon to deceive you" that you can't think of because every time you make the attempt the demon prevents it with his devious telepathic powers.

You. You are the Demon attempting to deceive me right now. :P
: At 11/28/2011 1:28:24 PM, BlackVoid wrote:
: M. Torres said it, so it must be right.

I'm an Apatheistic Ignostic. ... problem? ;D

I believe in the heart of the cards. .:DDO Duelist:.
Kinesis
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12/22/2011 2:56:53 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Not necessarily. It may be epistemically possible that there's some logical hole in the argument but not logically or metaphysically possible.

The whole problem is one of epistemology. Obviously it is logically impossible for anything to do anything while at the same time not existing. The problem lies in how to discover that truth without the possibility of error.
Kinesis
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12/22/2011 2:58:52 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
You. You are the Demon attempting to deceive me right now. :P

If only we had L to help us figure out a solution to this conundrum. :P
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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12/22/2011 2:59:01 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/22/2011 2:51:11 PM, Kinesis wrote:
P1. I don't know that not-h [a = some skeptical ‘hypothesis'; e.g., that I'm a bodiless brain in a vat, being stimulated to have just those experiences I would be having if I weren't a ‘BIV'].
P2. If I don't know that not-h, then I don't know that p [p = some mundane proposition which we commonly take ourselves to know; e.g., that I have hands].
C. So, I don't know that p

Any ideas about how to save ourselves from radical skepticism?

Epistemic contextualism is the only even halfway plausible way I know of.

http://plato.stanford.edu...
http://www.iep.utm.edu...
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Chrysippus
Posts: 2,173
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12/22/2011 3:17:05 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
The problem with solipsism is that it is meaningless. If I am a brain in a jar, or some other abstract entity capable of thought, and all my "experiences" are being spoon-fed to me, for all intents and purposes I might as well be the walking, talking human I think myself to be.

My "reality" may be false, but it is the only reality I have access to. My virtual self still has to abide by the rules and limitations of the "reality" it is bound to. My real self, if the two are different, obviously will have it's own bounds and limitations in the real reality; but in my interactions with the fake reality I am obviously bound by gravity, time, mass, entropy, and all the other physical constants that define this existence.

Postulating that I really am the only conscious being here, that reality is completely different from what my senses tell me, and that everything I can sense is an elaborate deception is philosophically fascinating, but ultimately useless. It cannot be proven; and even if it were (somehow, magically) proven, it could not add to our knowledge. Getting rid of the fundamental basis of all knowledge and replacing it with nothing is hardly productive.

On a slightly lighter (and related) note:
http://platocave.files.wordpress.com...
Cavete mea inexorabilis legiones mimus!
Chrysippus
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12/22/2011 3:29:18 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Going back to watching "Citizen Kane" now.

Or, if you prefer: my imaginary avatar in this computer simulation has "decided" according to an elaborate algorithm to cease discussing the possibility that it isn't conscious, and instead thinks it is returning to thinking that it is watching an imaginary movie supposedly made by another imaginary being about another meta-imaginary being. Really, all that happens is that when I cease to converse with you, my program is shut down to conserve processor space; when I boot back up again, I'll "think" that I've watched the film (which doesn't exist unless you"view" it).

Don't know about you, but I prefer my terminology. Means the same thing, if solipsism is correct; is shorter to say; and I get to "enjoy" the film either way.
Cavete mea inexorabilis legiones mimus!
popculturepooka
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12/22/2011 3:43:13 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/22/2011 2:56:53 PM, Kinesis wrote:
Not necessarily. It may be epistemically possible that there's some logical hole in the argument but not logically or metaphysically possible.

The whole problem is one of epistemology. Obviously it is logically impossible for anything to do anything while at the same time not existing. The problem lies in how to discover that truth without the possibility of error.

You're talking about epistemic certainty, right?
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
SarcasticIndeed
Posts: 2,215
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12/22/2011 3:54:55 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/21/2011 7:33:53 PM, UnStupendousMan wrote:
Sarcastic... when I saw your avatar I immediately thought "Logic_on_rails." LOR a member here.

However, I find your point interesting. How do I know that you are not a really advanced chat program? : ) Or vice versa.

Exactly my thoughts. This idea came to my mind somehow and I could never come to a solution. I didn't realize this idea is already established as one of the paradoxes and as solipsism.

At 12/22/2011 2:03:06 PM, Double_R wrote:
No it is not possible. Establishing the presence of consciousness in another being is something that can only be done by using the 5 senses that we are limited to as human beings. None of these senses can prove this, all they are capable of is gathering enough information to form a logical basis for our beliefs. Perhaps a 6th sense, such as empathic abilities could do it, but this as far as we know is purely fictional.

Yes, I could find that out. If the two people took this assumption strongly, then, well, nothing could prove them wrong.

At 12/22/2011 2:18:56 PM, Danielle wrote:
This is one of philosophy's many paradoxes. Interesting, innit? I agree with Double R. If this kinda stuff interests you, watch the movie Waking Life. Everyone should :)

Yeah, I find it interestg. I'll try to watch the movie. Thanks :)

At 12/22/2011 2:30:04 PM, M.Torres wrote:
At 12/22/2011 2:22:31 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Descartes agrees with Double_R and Danielle. I agree too. We can know our own existence: "I think, therefore I am" but I can't be 100% on the existence of my peers.

The thing about "Cogito ergo sum" that always baffled me is that we can be sure we exist, but can we be sure that exist the way we think we do? We can be sure that our capacity to THINK means we exist in our THOUGHTS, but that can never prove that anything PHYSICAL exists, including our physical body. That thought still makes me just stop and stare sometimes.

Indeed, these things can be fascinating. Btw, awesome picture :P

At 12/22/2011 3:17:05 PM, Chrysippus wrote:
The problem with solipsism is that it is meaningless. If I am a brain in a jar, or some other abstract entity capable of thought, and all my "experiences" are being spoon-fed to me, for all intents and purposes I might as well be the walking, talking human I think myself to be.

My "reality" may be false, but it is the only reality I have access to. My virtual self still has to abide by the rules and limitations of the "reality" it is bound to. My real self, if the two are different, obviously will have it's own bounds and limitations in the real reality; but in my interactions with the fake reality I am obviously bound by gravity, time, mass, entropy, and all the other physical constants that define this existence.

Postulating that I really am the only conscious being here, that reality is completely different from what my senses tell me, and that everything I can sense is an elaborate deception is philosophically fascinating, but ultimately useless. It cannot be proven; and even if it were (somehow, magically) proven, it could not add to our knowledge. Getting rid of the fundamental basis of all knowledge and replacing it with nothing is hardly productive.

On a slightly lighter (and related) note:
http://platocave.files.wordpress.com...

(I never knew aout Solipsism, lol) Oh well, I understand what you want to say, and I have to agree. However, it is still fascinating to think abot the reality and is it false or not. It manot be highly productive, but I find joy (and I believe I'm not the only one) thinking about it, and I beleive that is the reason we think.

At 12/22/2011 3:29:18 PM, Chrysippus wrote:
Going back to watching "Citizen Kane" now.

Or, if you prefer: my imaginary avatar in this computer simulation has "decided" according to an elaborate algorithm to cease discussing the possibility that it isn't conscious, and instead thinks it is returning to thinking that it is watching an imaginary movie supposedly made by another imaginary being about another meta-imaginary being. Really, all that happens is that when I cease to converse with you, my program is shut down to conserve processor space; when I boot back up again, I'll "think" that I've watched the film (which doesn't exist unless you"view" it).

Don't know about you, but I prefer my terminology. Means the same thing, if solipsism is correct; is shorter to say; and I get to "enjoy" the film either way.

I had to laugh. Well, okay, just shut down then, AI, I'll be waiting for you.

Note: I do not believe solopsism is true, I'm kinda neutral towards it.
<SIGNATURE CENSORED> nac
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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12/22/2011 4:25:03 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
@OP

First of all, you presume that the others and the people around you are separate from you. It's also possible that our mind isn't the end all be all and what we think to be our mind could merely be one lense of a much larger overall consciousness.

From that perspective, there is no paradox and there is no problem to workout with regards to epistmology and knowledge of other human beings.

Of course, there must be reason to believe no one is separate and that our consciousness is just one lense of a much larger consciousness.

I propose that if you examine reality and understand that everything is transient and illusory such that there are no separate objects (see Hume's bundle theory and Buddha's Non-Self doctrine), you can begin to see the fabric of reality.

It's one consciousness expressing itself differently.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
SarcasticIndeed
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12/23/2011 8:55:16 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/22/2011 4:54:23 PM, UnStupendousMan wrote:
To everybody who has spouted philosophical jibberjabber: It's the matrix. None of us exist.

So that means... there is no spoon?
<SIGNATURE CENSORED> nac
CosmicAlfonzo
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12/23/2011 9:17:40 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Existence itself is the only thing that can be known with 100% certainty. Most of how we perceive the world is tainted by our inability to comprehend something without comparing it to something else.

Even existence must be compared with non-existence to be comprehended. The truth is, all of these things exist, but they do not exist. I'm speaking of the plane beyond human capacity to fully comprehend or communicate with language, but is there. It is the meta-existence, or whatever you may call it.. the name isn't important, because a name itself is a symbol representing human understanding. What I am speaking of needs to be found, it can't be taught. It is the only thing that can be known with 100% certainty to be real.

This philosophy is the natural result of questioning every assumption and belief one has. It is my philosophy, and it isn't new, it has been around for as long as man has been able to be trapped in hiz thoughts.

Of course, that said, no one only believes what they know with 100% certainty.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
caveat
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12/23/2011 9:21:16 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/22/2011 4:54:23 PM, UnStupendousMan wrote:
To everybody who has spouted philosophical jibberjabber: It's the matrix. None of us exist.

"The Matrix" (the movie in its entirety, not the program in said movie) is nothing but a recursion of the problem. Even in the Matrix it is presupposed that one has a physical entity capable of thought. How do you know that specific physical entity exists?

Perhaps it doesn't, and its corresponding mind is in another Matrix...
There is an art, it says, or rather, a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. " Clearly, it is this second part, the missing, which presents the difficulties.
UnStupendousMan
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12/23/2011 10:13:00 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/23/2011 9:21:16 AM, caveat wrote:
At 12/22/2011 4:54:23 PM, UnStupendousMan wrote:
To everybody who has spouted philosophical jibberjabber: It's the matrix. None of us exist.

"The Matrix" (the movie in its entirety, not the program in said movie) is nothing but a recursion of the problem. Even in the Matrix it is presupposed that one has a physical entity capable of thought. How do you know that specific physical entity exists?

Perhaps it doesn't, and its corresponding mind is in another Matrix...

You took that post seriously? I was joking!
caveat
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12/23/2011 11:45:35 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/23/2011 10:13:00 AM, UnStupendousMan wrote:
At 12/23/2011 9:21:16 AM, caveat wrote:
At 12/22/2011 4:54:23 PM, UnStupendousMan wrote:
To everybody who has spouted philosophical jibberjabber: It's the matrix. None of us exist.

"The Matrix" (the movie in its entirety, not the program in said movie) is nothing but a recursion of the problem. Even in the Matrix it is presupposed that one has a physical entity capable of thought. How do you know that specific physical entity exists?

Perhaps it doesn't, and its corresponding mind is in another Matrix...

You took that post seriously? I was joking!

I was actually intending that to be a joke as well, but I've discussed that topic to death against people who are relatively serious about it so I suppose I subconsciously drifted from my original intention :P
There is an art, it says, or rather, a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. " Clearly, it is this second part, the missing, which presents the difficulties.