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Why does one believe that others exist as one does?


purposelife
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depends on the person.

"normal" people see a star-shaped monkey with eyes and hair that talks and blah blah, colorful.

schizos are tripping and they see, and feel, something relative to this but...highly altered.

babies see in clouds of vague confusion,

children see everything as gigantic, intense, and psychedelic.

 

I know that everyones perspective is subject to their own observer.

Words bind the relative.

 

Another thought...

toghether we all make up one consciousness. each human, a cell in the collective brain of human Earth.

Together, we are one.

We're the same,

even though we're different.

 

teeeehehehe

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Since you exist only within your own body and mind, and never experience another as they would, why does one believe that in other bodies and minds there exist an entity similar to one's self?
Ah, the Solopistic dilemma! A worthy philosophical question.

 

My answer – as with most philosophical ones, just one of many possible – is that we believe that other entities like ourselves exist because of the following chain of perception:

  • We’re able to see our physical bodies, directly, reflected off of surfaces, or in recent history, via real time video systems.
  • We’re able to recognize these image of ourselves. This ability is known as “passing the mirror test”, and is common to the great apes (of which we humans are a species), dolphins, and, it’s recently been discovered, elephants, but not young (less than 1-2 years old) humans, or presumably the young of other mirror test-capable species.
  • We’re able to recognize the similarity between the image of our own bodies, and those of other people.
  • Cognitively, we know that things that look the same usually are the same – that is, have the same attributes. Therefore, we conclude that the images we see of other people share our own attributes, including that of having minds like our own.

Neurotypical humans are so adept at this chain that we often use it too readily, mistakenly ascribing human-like minds to animals with very un-human cognitive traits (anthropomorphizing) , or even inanimate objects such as manikins, or less frequently, trees, rocks, stains on a wall, and other odd things.

 

My answer fails, however, to explain why humans ascribe human-like minds to things we can’t see at all – demons, gods, etc.

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Since you exist only within your own body and mind, and never experience another as they would, why does one believe that in other bodies and minds there exist an entity similar to one's self?
IMV there is no actual logical refutation of solipsism, no epistemological tool for each individual proving that what he sees out there is actual reality.

 

It is perfectly natural that animals act and react according to sensory stimulae, as long as the manner in which they do is successful for surviving. Sophisticated animals having self-awareness naturally take it for granted that what they see, hear, smell etc. is reality. As philosophers came to realize how our perception comes through organs and nerves to the brain, most still considered other people's agreement as confirmation of a common, objective reality being out there. It just "makes sense" and there's no point doubting it.

 

A few people stop and think that not only these other people but any communication from them comes just as much through the same means as the rest. Surprisingly, when I was hardly grade 1 and I was told about our senses, nerves and brains, I realized this myself. I never took it too seriously.

 

IMHO the question is, would it make sense to believe that my awareness is just some entity being fed a virtual reality? How would this come about? Something would have to constitute my awareness (or "mind") and something would have to be interacting with it. Where I differ slightly from solipsism is that somebody/something would have to have set it up, I wouldn't necessarily be the only mind that exists, just that there's no way of proving what appears to be real. These other minds simply wouldn't be the minds of the people I perceive around me, for this reason I don't consider solipsism to be the perfect term for the notion. There could be a reality totally unlike that which I'm given to perceive, in which I'm only a guinea pig and the "real beings" are feeding me the whole, total illusion. I could even conjecture reasons why they would do this. Game? Experiment? Am I one of them but unable to remember the reality? Or am I a lesser being that they actually created? And then comes the Big Question: Could each of them, in their reality, have any more proof than me against solipsism? At this point the infinite regress follows trivially........

 

For most people it's simpler and more comfortable to just plain believe in what they perceive, and they call it common sense.

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Since you exist only within your own body and mind, and never experience another as they would, why does one believe that in other bodies and minds there exist an entity similar to one's self?
I would say that it is a simple explanation for an aspect of reality quite significant to your experiences: i.e., it is a very good explanation of one of the most ever present interactions you have with reality. But that isn't the reason I made this post. I found orbsycli's post obscure (I don't understand it) and I found CraigD's post to be a reasonable response; however, Qfwfq's post seemed to me to be a somewhat thoughtless prohibition of thought. It seemed reasonable to respond to his comments for the sake of clearing the air of what could be greatly misinterpreted. I want it known that I do not disagree with the rationality of Qfwfq's position but that I do feel the thrust of his post is not what I would call good advice.
IMV there is no actual logical refutation of solipsism, no epistemological tool for each individual proving that what he sees out there is actual reality.
Now if I had made the statement, I would have said “To my knowledge” instead of “In my view” as IMV is a statement of opinion and TMK is the fact upon which that opinion is based. A seemingly trivial issue but one worth noting as “objective” discussions should not rely on unsupported opinion of authorities.
It is perfectly natural that animals act and react according to sensory stimulae, as long as the manner in which they do is successful for surviving.
When you say, “it is perfectly natural ... is successful for surviving”, don't you really mean that this hypothesis is simply consistent with the standard representation of reality? Essentially pointing out that there is nothing troubling about the standard representation (that is, beyond the subtle but “unimportant” issue that solipsism is not actually logically refutable). But can such a position actually be held as a reason not to look at the difficulty? Do you really intend to propose that an issue should not be considered interesting by virtue of the “we already have a working answer so let's not look too close” idea?
Sophisticated animals having self-awareness naturally take it for granted that what they see, hear, smell etc. is reality. As philosophers came to realize how our perception comes through organs and nerves to the brain, most still considered other people's agreement as confirmation of a common, objective reality being out there. It just "makes sense" and there's no point doubting it.
Again, this seems to me to be an emotional plea for ignorance; is not the comment, “there is no point in doubting the common presumption”, little more than an urging to ignore the issue of illusions? Certainly not direct censorship but nevertheless an attempt to encourage ideas to be dropped without serious consideration.
A few people stop and think that not only these other people but any communication from them comes just as much through the same means as the rest. Surprisingly, when I was hardly grade 1 and I was told about our senses, nerves and brains, I realized this myself. I never took it too seriously.
And exactly why was that? Do you have any logical reasons why careful thought should never be put into the issue?
IMHO the question is, would it make sense to believe that my awareness is just some entity being fed a virtual reality?
Again, we are confronted with “an opinion” seemingly put forth as something meant to sway others thoughts. And, second, the circumstance you bring up as an option is the assumption of the existence of “some entity” feeding you a virtual reality; as you say this is certainly not Solipsism, It is, nevertheless, an unsupported assumption that the common conception of reality is correct; only on a higher level than your personal awareness. My complaint is that this possibility is proposed from the perspective that there cannot be any other possibilities. It should be clear to you that it is the assumption that your personal concept of reality is absolutely correct and that things could not possibly be otherwise is the real cause of that infinite regression you decry.
For most people it's simpler and more comfortable to just plain believe in what they perceive, and they call it common sense.
Yes they do don't they. And they are right; it is both simpler and more comfortable than thinking. I have said many times that I know a lot of very successful people who never in their whole life gave such things the slightest thought. Being the last sentence of your post, this seems to be the path you are advising. Doesn't that advice really oppose the reason people post here? Are you advising them not to think or are you advising them to simply take the word of the authorities and go back to their jobs? Can you not imagine where we would be if no one had ever, in the history of the world, questioned the “common sense” of their predecessors?

 

I only bring this up because I recently sent a private message, to Tormod and Qfwfq jointly, requesting information on their attitude concerning censorship of discussions which question the objectivity of fundamental assumptions. I brought the issue up because I was recently “banned for life” from 'physicsforums.com” for posting “crackpottery” and would like clarification on the issue here. To date I have received no response from either of them so I bring my question here. The subject which outraged the mentors at physicsforums.com was essentially an extension of my thoughts first considered when I was a young man. The following is a quote from something I wrote in the middle 80's of the last century.

What follows was begun, back in the 1960's, with the realization that human intelligence is totally isolated from the outside world. The only contact which exists is via interactions, the real meaning of which cannot be known a-priori. Our mental image of the universe is constructed from data received through mechanisms (our senses) which are also part of that image. I think any scientist in the world would hold it as obvious that one could not possibly model the universe until after some information about that universe were obtained. The problem with this position is that we cannot possibly model our senses (the fundamental source of that information) until after we have modeled the universe.

 

This may appear to be another silly presentation of the old chicken-egg paradox but it really isn't. There is a fundamental problem here which needs to be addressed as it points out a very important aspect of our mental image: we have constructed a mental image of the universe given totally undefined information transcribed by a totally undefined process. How can we hope to comprehend the possible errors in that image if we cannot comprehend a mechanism through which such an image can be constructed.

 

The first step we must take is to admit the possibility of error. I have found that people will admit of the possibility of error in their mental image of the universe but I have not met one who will easily admit of the possibility of error in their mental image of reality itself; they do not find that issue sufficiently abstract to honestly consider. Come, try to be objective: you either have absolute faith in your perceptions of the universe or they are subject to examination. To set any part of those perceptions above examination is to scuttle rational science.

Is it quackery to examine the complete range of possibilities there? My position is that the major problem with any attack on the issue of fundamental perceptions is the fact that our view of reality is already established long before we even have the capability to speak. A normal human being has a fundamentally complete mental image of the world he finds himself in long before beginning any formal education. Is it verboten to examine other possibilites or is it something worth thinking about?

 

Have fun -- Dick

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  • 2 weeks later...
.

 

Another thought...

toghether we all make up one consciousness. each human, a cell in the collective brain of human Earth.

Together, we are one.

We're the same,

even though we're different.

 

teeeehehehe

orbsycli....

that was great.......im so down with that kind of thinking!

we all have feelings and emotions and of course our experiences blah blah make us all individuals. yet we all have the spark of life within us that binds us all together.

nice one....

 

secnarf

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We assume that others are like us because it makes sense. If they are human and we are human then we should be alike. This is without thinking about different experiences and the way each person processes this information. We struggle to find comfort, and familiarity is comfortable.

 

In fact, the idea that we all believe others exist as we do conveys that we all do in fact exist as others do.

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all humans are alike.

yes we all have different experiences and different ways of processing information and emotions but at the base level we are all the same.

we all feel love,joy,sadness,pain(be it physical or emotional).from that point however we all start to get a bit different.

the base level is what connects us all.

 

ps i thought the last bold line you wrote inter.spem. was cool and kinda funny.

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