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Solipsism Expanded?


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#1 SaxonViolence

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 05:34 PM

We all know that Solipsism states that there is only one consciousness, and he creates the whole Universe--including all "others", although automatically and quite unconsciously, to divert himself.

The opposite theory--at least to me, would be that the Universe is unreal, but all consciousnesses are real--and the Universe is their shared "Dream Production".

That is not inconsistent--at least so far as I understand it--with Hinduism, Buddhism or the Theory of Consensual Reality.

I have never heard anyone propose the Third Intermediary Theory: That only a comparatively few Consciousnesses are "real" and somehow they create the "Universe" and all the other "Non-Real" Consciousnesses between them.

"Comparatively Few"?

A few Million? Only a few Hundred? A few Dozen?

Not that I believe any of these crack-brained phantasies

But the third intermediate system--I call it "Oliogapism" as opposed to "Solipsism"--Poses a number of interesting questions.

If one has something inside himself that wonders if he's a Creator or merely a Creation, then obviously, he is a Creator.

However--One could never be sure which of one's confederates were Creators, and which were mere Illusions--elaborate marionettes.....

In such a World--or in a Society that believed in such a Philosophy.....

Well you tell me.....

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#2 sman

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 07:45 PM

We all know that Solipsism states that there is only one consciousness, and he creates the whole Universe--including all "others", although automatically and quite unconsciously, to divert himself.


I didn't know that! :doh: I'd always thought solipsism referred to that deliciously recursive cartesian epistemic axiom that any mind contemplating existance must concede that itself, if nothing else, exists. I'm having a hard time finding the word used in any other way. Have you already expanded it? Are you doing so here?


If one has something inside himself that wonders if he's a Creator or merely a Creation, then obviously, he is a Creator.


Miror ergo ...creare? I dunno, Sax. It's not obviouse to me.

#3 SaxonViolence

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 11:41 AM

Metaphysical solipsism is the variety of idealism which is based on the argument that no reality exists other than one's own mind or mental states, and that the individual mind is the whole of reality and the external world has no independent existence. It is expressed by the assertion "I myself only exist", in other words, no reality exists other than one's own mind.

From Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia....sical_solipsism

In my projected Oliogist Universe, I assumed that at some point, either Science of Metaphysics had made plain to the inhabitants the exact nature of their reality--no small assumption, because we have no such Iron-Clad reassurances in our reality, but must conjecture.

Axiom: Most of the people that I will meet are soulless , mindless Marionettes created by the unconsciousness of all the Creators working together.

Question: Am I a Marionette or a Creator?

Obviously, if I have a mind and can ask myself that question, I cannot be a mindless Automata.

Question: Is sman a Creator or a Marionette?

I will never know, short of developing Telepathy.

A Marionette, working by completely automatic and mechanical means, can look me in the eye, and assure me that it is conscious, and indeed, that there is a "Ghost in its Shell".

Conversely, Either a Mistaken and Down-Hearted ( or Duplicitous) Creator, or a differently programed Marionette can both claim with intense sincerity that they are nothing more than hollow Puppets inside.....

{Yes, cut either open, and you'll find flesh, blood and neurons---but the Physical Universe--as such--is simply a Well-Maintained Simulation created by the Collective Subconscious of the Creators.....}

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#4 sman

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 01:06 PM

Okay. Metaphysical solipsism. Fun stuff!

Lemme ask you this: Howcome marionettes can’t think? They are created with the ability to perceive & navigate the world, and respond to events in it. In fact, in controlled environments they react in exactly the same way to any given stimulus as the Creators do, suggesting the same engineering - flesh, blood and neurons. Doesn’t seem difficult to program one with introspection. Actually, it seems necessary to do so.

Edited by sman, 12 April 2012 - 01:39 PM.


#5 Eclogite

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 07:39 AM

In more than one of his later books the science fiction author Robert Heinlein mischieviously introduced the concept of pantheisitc multi-person solipsism. ~If it's good enough for Bob it's good enough for me. :)

#6 CraigD

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 12:06 PM

We all know that Solipsism states that there is only one consciousness, and he creates the whole Universe--including all "others", although automatically and quite unconsciously, to divert himself.

I think solipsism makes an additional, critical assertion: that I/you are the one conscious entity creating all of reality. The philosophical position is rooted in intuitive belief in the semantic and practical reality of the concept of consciousness, and that I/you have it, so it’s impossible to conceive of solipsism without also believing that I/you are the one.

The opposite theory--at least to me, would be that the Universe is unreal, but all consciousnesses are real--and the Universe is their shared "Dream Production".

I’d say that, since the above characteristics are absolute and tautological – that is, assuming the logical, conceptual framework the predicate, must be true – to find an opposite of solipsism, we have to find a characteristic of it that’s on a continuum. That characteristic is, I think, subjectivism – to shamelessly quote wikipedia “the philosophical tenet that ‘our own mental activity is the only unquestionable fact of our experience’”. The opposite of subjectivism is “objectivism”, though that catchy moniker is so claimed by specialized philosophical positions that the opposite-of-subjectivism concept we’re looking to express is most often called realism – again shamlessly wiki-quoting, “the belief that reality exists independently of observers”.

That is not inconsistent--at least so far as I understand it--with Hinduism, Buddhism or the Theory of Consensual Reality.

I have never heard anyone propose the Third Intermediary Theory: That only a comparatively few Consciousnesses are "real" and somehow they create the "Universe" and all the other "Non-Real" Consciousnesses between them.

I’ve heard of lots of such ontologies (“nature of reality” philosophical theories). A subset of the family of polytheistic religions are such.

Whether such philosophies/theologies are to be taken seriously or not is arguable. As Bill Maher says in Religulous (paraphrasing, and apologies for promulgating his dastardly weak appreciation of Norse mythology) “you don’t find to many people who believe in Odin anymore”. While the idea that a powerful-to-omnipotent, ancient-to-eternal, conscious entity created and/or sustains the universe is believed by from a significant minority to a large minority of people alive today, the concept of monotheism has thoroughly infected the presumably old religious concept of more-or-less equal gods battling over the ultimate nature/fate of the world, so if a significant number believe we are all, “being dreamed by God”, they believe we’re being dreamed by God in the singular, not god the one of many.

I’d not much worry about the popularity or being taken seriously of ideas in this thread, however, as I think solipsism is taken equally or even less seriously than polytheism. They’re still all philosophies qualifying for the title “ontology”.

Back to SV’s proposed system, "Oliogapism", that only a few “true” consciousnesses create the universe containing many more “false” ones.

The big self-consistence problem I see with this system is the same as with the plethora of “radical empiricist” ontologies I know from New Age and ca. 1900 Magik philosophies, in which it’s asserted that a sufficiently enlightened person can command reality through creative visualizations, magik spells, or what have you. When claim comes to test, even the most “qualified” practitioner can’t actually do it. I find this mostly more comforting than troubling, if less thrilling, as if one could, the problem of what happens when two “battling visionaries/wizards” assert their wills upon reality in incompatible ways poses more vexing problems than the ontology’s “how reality works” explanation answers.

One resolution is that the many “true consciousnesses” are somehow incapable of fundamental disagreement, but in this case, they’re not really separate consciounesses – the term “consciousness” might be better replace with “intentionalities” here, though both vex my spellchecker equally :) – but parts of a single “overmind”, a feature of more Hinduisms and fringier religions than I can count.

I’ve only encountered one oliogapism (applause is due SV for the term, as according to google, its coining in the first post of this tread is a first!) that took up indefinite residence in my mind, rather than getting classified and tossed into a mental bin with a host of religious ideas: the ontology described in the super-bright Greg Egan’s short stories Luminous and Dark Integers.
Spoiler


I recommend them highly. :thumbs_up

#7 SaxonViolence

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 01:14 PM

Just as an aside:

At first glance, Solipsism seems to be pretty much a dead end. Once you've proposed it--what further Questions or Considerations arise?

But these questions occur to me.....

Talking about the One creates certain semantic Snafus, so lets suppose that we're discussing some alternate Reality, with but one Consciousness.....

Is it the One's Unchangeable and Irrevocable Nature to keep himself permanently deceived about His own True Nature, and the Universe he creates?

This is a rather Grim Picture. The One will never waken. When One Avatar meets its demise, he creates another without even turning over in his sleep.

Occasionally He or one of his illusionary others may propose the Theory of Solipsism--which the Avatar may accept wholly or in part, or reject. Either way, Merely believing that he is the
One, neither grants him any extra insight into His Universes Inner Workings, nor even lets him stack the cards in his favor--Not even a Little.

He's doomed to live one life after the other--many of them quite unhappy and unsatisfying.....

With no hope of ever awakening, or Consciously changing either his Simulated Universes, or himself, for the better.

OR,

Maybe, after the demise of each Avatar, the One Awakens, compares notes on his past efforts, and strives to create an ever more engaging, amusing and longer running Dream. Maybe Card-Stacking would detract from the Realism or Challenge.

OR,

You can Imagine a One who has been thoroughly caught up in the web of his Avatar existences, from time immemorial.....

But He does have the Potential to truly Awaken, and take control of the Game settings at some Point.

One more thing--If the One has always existed, and will Always exist as the sole Inhabitant of his Universe.....

Why does he get bored, and resort to Simulating Multi-Conciousnesses and Simulated Material Universes?

What on Earth could have possibly made him unsatisfied with being Alone and Immaterial?

I mean thats all there is for you Dude--All there has Ever Been. Why the trouble coping?

Just Brain Teasers.

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#8 sman

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 08:59 PM

In more than one of his later books the science fiction author Robert Heinlein mischieviously introduced the concept of pantheisitc multi-person solipsism. ~If it's good enough for Bob it's good enough for me. :)


The non-fiction of the matter is that humans are only able to grok their own minds. B)

To me the cognito is not so much a declaration of knowledge as an admission of ignorance: The only thing I can be 100% certain exists is my own mind. Because thinking these thoughts presupposes the thinker.

Uncertainty of the existence of external realities is not the same as certainty of the non-existence of external realities.

#9 SaxonViolence

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 11:17 AM

Yeah.....

Way back in High School I came haltingly to the conclusion that no data gets into the brain without first being coded into Neural Impulses.....

In the Brain, for all intents and purposes, these are "Chemicals".

One has never "Seen" light--only the third and fourth hand Chemical Reactions one senses, that light creates in the Brain.

Ditto for Hearing, Feel, Smell, etc.

Everything that we think is "Out There" is really just a Mock-Up created within the very small confines of One's Brain.

Well, this can be use as a Boot-Strapping Maneuver to work in all sorts of Woo--"How do we know what Quaint and Marvelous aspects of Reality our Senses may be filtering out--may even be Hard-Wired to ignore?"

I prefer to leave that to.....well, to whoever finds that it gives them something to grind their Axe with.

It is just a Wonderment to me, to stop and think that the whole Universe is contained within my head.....

And the inside edge of my Skull lies impossibly distant from the furthest edge of the Multiverse.....And somewhere beyond that, the Real Universe begins.

Note: Someone said that this is similar to Plato's "Shadows on a Cave Wall" Concept. Similar? Yes.....but not identical.

Note: While the Brain Stores certain key features that let it recognize something when it encounters it again, it probably doesn't capture the thing in Full-Fidelity.

Thus one reason that you can Vaguely remember what eating a Pork Chop is like--especially when Hungry--you cannot recreate the experience in your mind with enough fidelity to find it truly satisfying. Basically, all you're walking around with in your head, is a "Reader's Digest" version of the experience.

Extreme Visualization? Meditation? Hypnosis? etc.?

Opinions vary (and I readily concede that there are details in our memories that we rarely tap) but on the whole, I'd say these Activities Horns-Waggle the mind into feeling that Half-Bass Simulations are whole, complete and satisfying.....

Note: If our Inner Worlds weren't fairly good representations of the "Real World"--I know that some of you vehemently deny that there is any "Real World" or "Reality"--Humans, and Animal life in General, would long since have perished. Ignore that Cliff Precipice if you will---Ker-Plunk!!! Splatt!!!

Yeah Well...

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#10 Rade

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 01:26 PM

This topic does not exist, I think.