BUFFALO wrote:This is is one of my biggest bitches about philosophy. Think about something for long enough and you can convince yourself (reasonable and logically) of anything. But you'll still have to get up later tonight and have a shit; that's the real world (very Zen). It's ridiculous because it is ridiculous - you and I both know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is an external world and other minds, and even if you deny it, you still live as if there is, don't you? You have to (unless you are in an asylum right now). No matter what else your imagination might conjure up (God or gods or a sentient universe) you can't escape the reality of every-day existence.
Do you pay attention to what was just said? Descartes pointed out exactly what your position is. I will post it again and break it down some for you, because you already imply that you live in a virtual world or whatever.
Descartes:Just as a prisoner, who was perhaps enjoying an imaginary freedom in his dreams, when he then begins to suspect that he is asleep is afraid of being woken up, and lets himself sink back into his soothing illusions; so I of my own accord slip back into my former opinions, and am scared to awake, for fear that tranquil sleep will give way to laborious hours of waking, which from now on I shall have to spend not in any kind of light, but in the unrelenting darkness of the difficulties just stirred up.”
And I do not know about you, but I am not as trusting as person, especially when it has been found to be false. Once found to be false, you already have shown that it is possible and it can happen again once you know it already happened once. I do not know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is an external world or other minds. All my experiences are perfectly consistent with either position, so you still "live and act" in both of them. You are just living and acting in different worlds. No difference in actions, just differences in the world. And your talk of as if shows a fictional account. All you have done is brought forth that you believe in a fiction because it works in the "live and act". You have already provided an account of your belief in something false, which is that you have no rational grounds for it either based on logic or experience. Your arguments just come down to hand waving, and every-day experience exists whether others exist or not. Go through your life and act as if other people had thoughts and emotions, and there would be no difference in action but a big difference in the way the world actually is.