Sunday, February 12, 2006

Issue / Mini Dialog on Solipsism

Q: So you think there are these objects, which exist outside of yourself? When did you first start seeing them? A: Oh, maybe around the age of 3-6 months I started noticing and paying attention to them. Especially my mother, who was producing me, she was very noticeable.

Q: And what convinced you to consider them as "real"? A: Well, there is this suite (or group) of space time translation operations that can be applied to them. Also my nervous system has a lot of redundancy, and gets the simple stuff right most of the time.

Q: And that convinced you? A: Also everyone in the society around me made a big deal out of them, so I had to go along with that. For all I know they might be an illusion, perhaps consisting of pure information, but I've never been able to break out of my conditioned responses.

Q: And so you act as if they are real and outside of you? A: Then I read some science books where they claimed to have demonstrated that the Earth was 4 billion years old. Their proof seemed overwhelming, so I decided the Earth would still be around after I was dead, and I was not producing it, it was producing me.

Q: But what is your criterion for belief in them? A: Like I said, space time translation, basic neural reliance, social pressure, impressive demonstrations, and lack of time to devise an alternative view.

Q: What about the new creationist theme parks, that show how G-d created the dinosaurs before the Flood? A: I'm aware of those models, but they don't produce fast answers to all questions raised by the evidence. Hence they do not enhance survival, but are parasitic on scientific society. They do however demonstrate the social aspect of beliefs.

Originally posted 5-22-2004.

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