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Do I exist?

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Do I exist?

Postby Dom » Sun Nov 06, 2005 9:40 pm

I wonder. Hmmmm... 'cogito ergo sum' but does that mean that when I'm not thinking, ie. when I'm asleep, I don't exist? I wonder. Any thoughts :roll:
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Postby Bardo de Saldo » Sun Nov 06, 2005 11:35 pm

Posteas ergo erest.

(You post, therefore you are, if I got my latins right.)
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Re: Do I exist?

Postby Deses » Mon Nov 07, 2005 1:04 am

Dom wrote:I wonder. Hmmmm... 'cogito ergo sum' but does that mean that when I'm not thinking, ie. when I'm asleep, I don't exist? I wonder. Any thoughts :roll:


More realistically, "I think occasionally, therefore I exist" :)
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Re: Do I exist?

Postby Dom » Wed Nov 09, 2005 7:15 pm

Deses wrote:
More realistically, "I think occasionally, therefore I exist" :)


But how do you know that this is reality and that when you are asleep you aren't in the true reality and that this isn't just a dream?
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Postby ThomasGR » Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:33 pm

You simple know that. Like people know they are dreaming when they are dreaming that they are awake, although in really they are dreaming. They just know that. No mystery at all.
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Postby elis » Wed Nov 09, 2005 10:05 pm

vigilance picks up (as self-representation etc) from where it last interrupted by falling asleep, sleep/dreaming doesnt. the one is a continuum the other is broken up. But that's a criterion external to the thing, so perhaps you're right, there's no way to discern "on the moment".
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Re: Do I exist?

Postby Deses » Thu Nov 10, 2005 12:29 am

Dom wrote:
Deses wrote:
More realistically, "I think occasionally, therefore I exist" :)


But how do you know that this is reality and that when you are asleep you aren't in the true reality and that this isn't just a dream?


Asleep or not, you do not cease to exist, as confirmed by periodic flashes of self-reflection. The carthesian cogito ergo sum principle was primarily meant as a first building block of a rationalist philosophy. In that particular setting it works ok.
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Postby psilord » Thu Nov 10, 2005 6:00 am

The right question to ask is "Am I relevant?"

Sadly, the answer is exactly, and always, without correlation to anyone who asks: "No."

Life gets much more fun when you realize there is exactly no purpose or meaning to your life.

Absolutely none.

The lack of destiny or higher order control is the true expression of free will.
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Postby Paul » Fri Nov 11, 2005 4:33 am

Odd. Why should someone who takes pleasure in the meaninglessness of his existence be saddened by his irrelevance?


psilord wrote:The lack of destiny or higher order control is the true expression of free will.


I'm guessing that you struggle to understand Aeschylus and Sophocles...

Cordially,

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Postby psilord » Fri Nov 11, 2005 5:03 am

Paul wrote:Odd. Why should someone who takes pleasure in the meaninglessness of his existence be saddened by his irrelevance?


Because just at the moment of realization about how free your will really is, you understand how alone you are. And loneliness is sad.

Paul wrote:I'm guessing that you struggle to understand Aeschylus and Sophocles...


I don't think I've read either of those two.... I'll look them up.
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Re: Do I exist?

Postby Democritus » Mon Nov 14, 2005 1:08 am

Dom wrote:But how do you know that this is reality and that when you are asleep you aren't in the true reality and that this isn't just a dream?


I'm no philosopher, but I think what Decartes was getting at was: How can I know that anything exists? Perhaps everything I perceive is an illusion, perhaps even I myself am an illusion. But that cannot be right, because I am thinking... so if I know nothing else, at least I can start with one certain knowledge, and that is that I myself exist. I'm thinking, therefore I must exist.

That line of thinking doesn't really help you tell whether your dreams are real. But I'll bet Decartes had something to say about dreams, too.
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Postby Geoff » Mon Nov 14, 2005 2:02 am

Nihilism is interesting. Most people sing its praises based upon its liberation from responsibility towards others, society and any restrictive responsibiilty to self. -

"I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently I assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption . . . Those who detect no meaning in the world generally do so because, for one reason or another, it suits their (purpose) that the world should be meaningless" (Ends and Means, 1946, p. 273)…."For myself, as, no doubt, for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation. The liberation we desired was simultaneously liberation from a certain political and economic system and liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with out sexual freedom . . . There was one admirably simple method of confuting these people and at the same time justifying ourselves in our political and erotic revolt: We could deny that the world had any meaning whatsoever" (ibid., p. 270).
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Postby Paul » Mon Nov 14, 2005 3:21 am

Thank you Geoff. I was unaware of this insightful Aldous Huxley quote.

Cordially,

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Postby Geoff » Mon Nov 14, 2005 3:37 am

The Correct question "Am I relevant" itself becomes irrelevant when staring at the face of Nihilism.

If the answer is no and life (self) is meaningless then why dignify the question "do I exist?" with a correction?

Its a action contradictory to the belief yet strangely compelling to human nature. Perhaps it does matter.


YW Paul: there is a scaled down version of the quote that goes around and is challenged from time to time. I think the "shorter version" is fabricated. Sometimes its attributed to Julian Huxley resulting in chasms in discussion.
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Postby Democritus » Mon Nov 14, 2005 7:18 am

I see nihilism more as an emotion than a set of ideas. In the case of most individuals, a basic sense of fairness and decency are difficult to shake: Even people who talk the talk of nihilism do not walk the walk. And that begs the question, how deeply or completely do they really believe the talk in the first place? They end up behaving more or less as morally as anyone else, despite bitter complaints about the world's meaninglessness. On the other side, there are always a few nominally religious people who behave as if ordinary morality did not apply to themselves.
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Re: Do I exist?

Postby Amadeus » Mon Nov 14, 2005 11:58 pm

Deses wrote:The carthesian cogito ergo sum principle was primarily meant as a first building block of a rationalist philosophy. In that particular setting it works ok.


And here is where Descartes was wrong. The building blocks of knowledge are the "first principles," one of which is the principle of non-contradiction: a thing cannot "be" and "not be" in the same respect at the same time, because it's a contradiction. Therefore, if I think, I must either be or not be.

If I'm not, how is it that I produce something (thoughts)? No one gives what he does not have. A non-being cannot give "entes", because it doesn't have being.

So, it must be that I do exist.
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Re: Do I exist?

Postby mohit » Wed Dec 22, 2010 6:19 pm

Salvete,
In cogito ergo sum, thinking is overemphsised. When one sleeps and does not see dreams the thinking mind merges into soul. But there also you exists. Because after sleep we say "oh! slept too deep." how did this expirience store in the brain?
Here mind is oversaid than the soul.
Please read advait vedant philosophy.
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Re: Do I exist?

Postby calvinist » Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:32 pm

We've moved on from Descartes. Read Heidegger and you'll find a more realistic view of reality. Descartes' view of reality was waaaaaaay too simplistic and unrealistic. He seemed to think that reality was an extension of mathematical principles instead of the other way around. Mathematicians usually make poor philosophers and linguists... they're too mechanical and black/white. Musicians and artists generally have a better grasp on what is 'real'. Listen to some of your favorite music for half an hour and then watch a beautiful sunset, you'll realize that in the end it doesn't matter whether you can prove if you exist or not, or what reality 'really' is... then you'll be back in 'reality'.
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Re:

Postby gfross » Sun May 29, 2011 11:08 am

ThomasGR wrote:You simple know that. Like people know they are dreaming when they are dreaming that they are awake, although in really they are dreaming. They just know that. No mystery at all.


Not always. I have had dreams within dreams within dreams. I'll be in a dream, which at the time I think is reality, and then suddenly wake up and be surprised to find that that was not reality but that I was dreaming, only to wake up again and realize that I was dreaming that I was awake, only to finally wake up to physical reality. I do not have a memory of this having happened very often. But I do remember this type of experience as having happened several times.
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Re: Do I exist?

Postby Lavrentivs » Sat Nov 12, 2011 8:49 pm

Dom wrote:I wonder. Hmmmm... 'cogito ergo sum' but does that mean that when I'm not thinking, ie. when I'm asleep, I don't exist? I wonder. Any thoughts :roll:


You cannot draw that conclusion, for si cogito sum is not æqvivalent to nisi cogito non sum. (Assuming that would be committing the fallacy of denying the antecedent.) But, according to Descartes, if you are asleep, you cannot, or rather: do not, know that you exist. Which is obvious from the facts that knowing is a mode of thinking and that the implicit præmise was that you did not think. Nor can you at a later time know with absolute certainty that you were while you were -- supposedly -- sleeping, nor that you were not.

Descartes:

Ego sum, ego existo; certum est. Quandiu autem? Nempe quandiu cogito; nam forte etiam fieri posset, si cessarem ab omni cogitatione, ut illico totus esse desinerem.
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Re: Do I exist?

Postby jamesbath » Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:19 am

Sine cogitatio sentio, sic supra mentem sum.
//Without thought I perceive things so I exist beyond thought.//
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Re: Do I exist?

Postby jaihare » Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:07 am

jamesbath wrote:Sine cogitatio sentio, sic supra mentem sum.
//Without thought I perceive things so I exist beyond thought.//


I think you have to use the ablative after sine, which is (if I'm not wrong) cōgitātiōne with this word.

I'm just beginning to learn Latin, so you might ask someone who knows Latin better than I, but that's what I would think.
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Re: Do I exist?

Postby jamesbath » Fri Dec 09, 2011 10:42 am

jaihare wrote:I think you have to use the ablative after sine, which is (if I'm not wrong) cōgitātiōne with this word.


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Re: Do I exist?

Postby Eadmund » Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:30 am

Even if what you perceive to be reality is a dream, then you must still exist in order to be fooled by your dreams. If anything happens to you, you exist.
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Re: Do I exist?

Postby Grochojad » Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:39 am

Eadmund wrote:Even if what you perceive to be reality is a dream, then you must still exist in order to be fooled by your dreams.


You don't have to

Eadmund wrote:If anything happens to you, you exist.


Non sequitur
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Re: Do I exist?

Postby davidpotter » Tue May 06, 2014 3:10 pm

Here's the problem I am interested.
I see nihilism more as an emotion than a set of ideas. In the case of most individuals, a basic sense of fairness and decency are difficult to shake: Even people who talk the talk of nihilism do not walk the walk.

And that begs the question, how deeply or completely do they really believe the talk in the first place?

They end up behaving more or less as morally as anyone else, despite bitter complaints about the world's meaninglessness.
On the other side, there are always a few nominally religious people who behave as if ordinary morality did not apply to themselves.
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Re: Do I exist?

Postby davidpotter » Mon May 12, 2014 2:29 pm

This is really interesting. I wonder?
You simple know that. Like people know they are dreaming when they are dreaming that they are awake, although in really they are dreaming. They just know that. No mystery at all.
Why should someone who takes pleasure in the meaninglessness of his existence be saddened by his irrelevance?
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