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How can I prove that I exist to someone else?

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posted on Dec, 16 2005 @ 06:07 PM
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Originally posted by Two Steps Forward

Originally posted by Sight2realityThis is specifically what I was referring to by making simple things difficult. When it comes to philosophy, this is a big problem. There is a line you cross when you go this route. It can be enlightening, and sometimes fun to do thought experiments such as this, but taking terms such as "subjective entity" to heart crosses that line.


Why?



If you exist, everything around you must as well, because you interact with it. Even if that interacting object is unaware, it exists to you!


Since the question is precisely whether it is aware, that it exists to you doesn't answer it.



There is no further rationalization needed.


"Need" implies a purpose. For what purpose is thought "needed" in your view, so that once the need is satisfied any further cerebration becomes a waste of time?


The question of an objects awaredness is completely irrelevant. The fact that you are letting a philosophy class blind you of that means you have crossed the line. Your question of thought is actually curious to me, considering its implication. Maybe we can get to that eventually.

Now I know people fairly well. I know that you at this point will continue to argue with meaningless points. Twisting the verbage enough each time so it doesnt sound the same, but repeating the same ideas again and again. You will then attack me, by searching for flaws in my statements, and exploiting them. So, I'll give you some fuel.

Have you ever heard the tree question?

"If a tree falls in the woods, and nobody is around to hear it, does it really make a sound?"

Wow, thats deep man.... Like I said before, these questions can be fun to ask at times. Thought experiments at best, however. If a tree falls in the woods, it doesn't matter if it makes a sound. The thing is with this question, is that in some sick way it may be possible to argue the sounds non-existence. Even though that is a ridiculous statement. Sound is not what we hear. That is only how we interpret vibrations caused by energy releasing events, such as a tree falling in the woods. In this world, if a tree falls, even a small one, it releases energy. Even if it falls onto cotton.

You may be wondering how its all relevant. It isn't. My point is that you can grab at all the straws you would like to expand upon a thought process. You may even convince yourself of some alter-existence, but life is life. If all of the people you see, do not exist in the capacity you do, do they make a sound? Even if my words, are just part of your interpretation of a world that really is not what you think, it does not mean these words do not exist, at least to you.

If you are the only thying with a consciousness, everything else inside that consciousness exists, to you. Even if they don't exist as anything else but memories, fantasies, or a false reality. Questioning others reality is only a method of introducing more interesting questions into an otherwise boring discussion. Your reality is. I don't have to finish that sentence. It is. Something that is, exists. If your everyday life IS boring, it IS. I am part of that everyday reality. Even if I am not anything. So, hey, you exist.

[edit on 16-12-2005 by Sight2reality]




posted on Dec, 16 2005 @ 09:53 PM
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Originally posted by Yarium
Yes, I am asking a really big question here. How can I prove that I exist to someone else?



By touching lives. By being a servant. By having morals. By doing things others don't want to do. By making a difference.

[edit on 16-12-2005 by dbrandt]



posted on Dec, 16 2005 @ 10:15 PM
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Originally posted by dbrandt
By touching lives. By being a servant. By having morals. By doing things others don't want to do. By making a difference.


That might be the most profound statment I've read on the ATS consortium.



posted on Dec, 17 2005 @ 01:41 PM
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Originally posted by Sight2realityThe question of an objects awaredness is completely irrelevant.


Irrelevant to what?

Everything else in your post amounts to an ad hominem and should and will be ignored.



posted on Dec, 18 2005 @ 04:05 PM
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Originally posted by Two Steps Forward

Originally posted by Sight2realityThe question of an objects awaredness is completely irrelevant.


Irrelevant to what?

Everything else in your post amounts to an ad hominem and should and will be ignored.


Wow, I was correct in my statement above. You completely ignored all the relevant and CORRECT points I made above, and found one statement you thought you could exploit when taken completely out of context.

So, you took that statement out of my post, and attacked it alone, when in reality it was not alone. It was part of a whole.

I as well as any other sound minded person should take that as your concession. You cannot argue this, because your arguments consist of meaningless questions with no basis or backround. There is no point to ask a meaningless or rhetorical question. However, I would wager that you do so in your every day life.

Just in case anyone is just reading this last point, and not the rest of the thread. I made it clear why an object's awaredness is irrelevant. However, two steps forward was unable to accept that he was conducting a meaningless argument. So, in his own self defense, tried to skew the "reality" of this thread. Kind of like propoganda. Well, I hope he enjoys it.



posted on Dec, 18 2005 @ 04:45 PM
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Originally posted by Sight2realityI as well as any other sound minded person should take that as your concession. You cannot argue this


Oh, please. You really think I can't argue against the "points" you think you made in your last post? Give me a break.

Here, if it will make you happy:



The fact that you are letting a philosophy class blind you of that means you have crossed the line.


Argumentum ad hominem. Logical fallacy.



Now I know people fairly well. I know that you at this point will continue to argue with meaningless points. Twisting the verbage enough each time so it doesnt sound the same, but repeating the same ideas again and again. You will then attack me, by searching for flaws in my statements, and exploiting them. So, I'll give you some fuel.

Have you ever heard the tree question?

"If a tree falls in the woods, and nobody is around to hear it, does it really make a sound?"

Wow, thats deep man....


Straw man. Logical fallacy. The above has absolutely nothing to do with the subject under discussion. You're merely using it to support the ad hom argument you presented earlier, which makes it one fallacy supporting another.

And you can't even get your counterargument to the straw man straight:



If a tree falls in the woods, it doesn't matter if it makes a sound. The thing is with this question, is that in some sick way it may be possible to argue the sounds non-existence. Even though that is a ridiculous statement. Sound is not what we hear. That is only how we interpret vibrations caused by energy releasing events, such as a tree falling in the woods. In this world, if a tree falls, even a small one, it releases energy. Even if it falls onto cotton.


"Sound" does not mean the same thing as "vibration." If we make this purely a scientific question (which Berkeley did not, of course), we still must recognize that "sound" implies not only vibration but also an ear and a brain. Without those things, i.e. with no one to hear, then there might still be vibration, but no "sound" properly so called. However, that's not what Berkeley was saying.

I believe Berkeley was actually arguing that vibration itself doesn't exist unless someone perceives it. If you really want to use this as your straw man, then you might approach things that way, maybe talk about the persistence of observed objective reality from person to person, and how much easier and more graceful it is to assume the independent existence of what's observed, given that fact. Except, as you say:



You may be wondering how its all relevant. It isn't.


Right. Why bother then?



My point is that you can grab at all the straws you would like to expand upon a thought process. You may even convince yourself of some alter-existence, but life is life.


In other words, you're saying essentially that "philosophy is bunk." We don't need any of that highfalutin' deep-thinkin' garbage.

Why in the world are you participating in a thread like this one if that's what you believe?



If all of the people you see, do not exist in the capacity you do, do they make a sound? Even if my words, are just part of your interpretation of a world that really is not what you think, it does not mean these words do not exist, at least to you.


Nor does that have anything whatever to do with what's being discussed here. I'm not suggesting that anybody doesn't objectively exist. I'm not suggesting that any other person doesn't make sound. I'm not suggesting that the world isn't what we perceive it to be.



If you are the only thying with a consciousness, everything else inside that consciousness exists, to you. Even if they don't exist as anything else but memories, fantasies, or a false reality.


Right.

So what?

We're discussing whether we can prove the existence of subjective experience. What does the above have to do with that?



Something that is, exists.


And "is" your subjective awareness? Does that exist? Can you prove it?



Just in case anyone is just reading this last point, and not the rest of the thread. I made it clear why an object's awaredness is irrelevant.


Then I guess you won't mind cutting and pasting your "clear" explanation of that point. I sure can't see it, looking back over your posts. You keep saying it's "irrelevant," when you're not calling it "ridiculous" or something similarly empty of meaning other than as a regurgitation of the contants of your guts, and you won't explain what exactly it's irrelevant to. It's sure not irrelevant to the thread topic! But you must have had something in mind.



posted on Dec, 18 2005 @ 04:56 PM
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Originally posted by Yarium
Yes, I am asking a really big question here. How can I prove that I exist to someone else?

I guess Socrates would ask me how I could first prove that I exist to myself. To that, I would have to state that I am here to debate it. If I were not here to debate it, then I would not be debating it. It's an "I think, therefore I am" scenario. Now, whether or not what I see is what's real, is another question - but I do know that, in one form or another, I do exist and have consciousness.

So, how do I show somebody else that I have consciousness? Saying "You think, therefore I am" or "I think, therefore you are" does not apply here. I cannot perfectly follow their thoughts, and while they may lay out their memories for me, speak to me, and try to send me what they're thinking, my own existance will not prove theirs.

So what will prove my existance to someone else? For this, I must make the assumption that the other person actually exist - but that I may not, and disqualify "I think therefore I am" from the arguement.

Perhaps I'm actually being to exclusive. Perhaps the fact that I recieve a reply denotes some form of thought somewhere on behalf of someone. Though the idea that perhaps this isn't actually reality, but an evil genius' virtual reality, may seem to counter this - it still implies there is another out there who has programmed this simulated version of a person to talk to. One could then argue that God is proof that another consciousness is at work.

However, what if I am God, and this is my dream. What if I am all that exists, and I have created this illusion but for my own purpose and will? Yes, I do believe that being responded to is not proof that someone else exists.

So where does that leave us? If we say that this person, since them speaking to me does not prove their consciousness, cannot speak - would it not be the same thing as a computer - perhaps a very well programmed one? How could a computer prove to me that it has consciousness?

It would have to be a signal that I knew to be true; that I could relate to; that could be expressed without words. Perhaps this is where the computer analogy fails. A person can easily show me happiness, and love, and hatred. These can be unspoken - and they are things that I can have a direct association with. If they did something for me, and I felt better, and then I did something for them, and they felt better too - would that prove their existance to me?

Perhaps that's what's needed to see if a person exists, to feel emotions with them. Only then will I connect with a person.


I don't know, what are your views on this?


Make 2 websites like I did, for AJ and the whole BSB fanbase:www.geocities.com/ajbsb2005/ and www.geocities.com/ajbsb2006/. I think I made my point, I dreamed of being "The CT" of the fanbase, and I making 3 websites, I've done 3/4 of that so far. You make your dreams happen, therefore you exsist.



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 08:53 AM
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Wow, I have to say that the most persistent sometimes seem to be the most uneducated. Go back to your philosophy class. Those people there will dig your kicken logic.

Now, my answer to your first question; "You really think I can't argue against the "points" you think you made in your last post?". I suppose you can argue. Much like you could argue that 4+4=11. Your arguments are literally based in nothing. There is no need to reach for straws to defend something so meaningless.

Nothing I have pointed out is based in faulty logic. Nothing I stated above was irrelevant. You are more than welcome to keep saying that it is, but it is only proving my point that you are across the line of reason.

I have a few thoughts however. One, you are uneducated in the sciences. I came to this conclusions when I read your above argument in regards to sound and vibration. I made it pretty clear that sound and vibration are not the same thing. I also explained why. Yet, you somehow ignored all that, took my statement out of context, and attacked it with nothing. You even made an argument that vibration does not exist unless someone is there to percieve it. Again supporting my theory that you are uneducated in science.

Now skipping almost all the rest of your post, I will get to the meat. You asked if my subjective awareness is proveable. I guess that question could be compared to asking whether or not a pebble will hit the floor every time you drop it. Can you really say with 100% certainty that it will? Even though it is a truth? Asking questions like these is meaningless. There is nothing left to be said.

For anyone who still cares, I would like to point out how the question that this thread started with has now somehow been changed. It has been distorted, and manipulated in strange and meaningless (note the amount of times I have been forced to use that term) ways to support flawed logic. Flawed logic with distorted basis.

To the thread author. Don't confuse yourself. If your friend exists, then his reality exists. He experiences his reality and therefore exists. Everything in his reality therefore exists to him. Even if it doesnt know it.

Just so you kow, I never said philosophy was bunk. I stated that it is fun, and a good mind excercise, but should be taken no further. Taking it further by applying it to your reality is crossing the line.



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 10:40 AM
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Don't worry Sight2Reality, I'm not trying to establish a "once and for all!" answer, nor is this a "oh my god! If my friend's don't exist, then what's the purpose in life!?!". I believe that questioning something so fundamental as existance (or trying to prove your existance to someone other than yourself) is an excellent excersize for the mind. However, it's because it's an excersize that I'll have to agree with Two Steps Forward on this one.

While vibrations may indeed exist, the sound is our interpretation of them. I think a great example here is red-green colour blindness, where a colour like orage is seen to be green. For us with normal eye-sight, our interpretation of the wave-length of light reflected off of an orange tide-bottle is the colour orange. However, for someone with red-green colour blindness, their brain's interpretation of the colour is green.

For a deaf person, sound doesn't exist. Vibrations in the air exist, but sound does not. How could I prove to a deaf person that sound exists? I could them them about it, but if they've never heard anything, and will never hear anything, then everything I tell them will sound wierd and strange.

So we're kind of doing the same experiment with existance. I know I exist, but how could I convince someone else that I exist?

Going back to the deaf example - let's say that a cell-phone is set on "buzz", so when it rings, it vibrates. If you listen, you can hear the cell-phone vibrating, it makes a certain noise. We are able to feel the vibrations at a distance by means of sound. A deaf person could not "hear" these sounds, but they could still feel the vibrations, but only so long as they were touching it.

So it's kind of the same situation for existance. I can "feel" my own existance - but I cannot feel someone else's existance. However, perhaps by trying, we can "hear" someone else's existance.




posted on Dec, 24 2005 @ 02:03 AM
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I'm going to stick with my original post here, Saying that Conscious Choice is the answer, As i stated earlier, Many live life on auto pilot. Occasionally we break the chains that is the Redundancy that is our lives and go for something different.

As i've stated before , Most people don't really make choices, They run off instict or depend on their subconscious to make the choses for them.

To Proove to someone else that you exist you must first proove it to yourself. And showing/believing/prooving that you actually make conscious choices in your life isn't the end all, Be all of existance.

Its just the beginning..............

Something as big as existance has got to be alot more complicated than a couple pages worth of words, and at the same time be as simple as two or three words (Hell maybe even a grunt
).

Dbrant summed up alot of things that would probably be on list of prerequisites for existence, And even though it was short, to me was one of more impressive post that i've seen on this site.

To proove to someone that you exist , You must first see if they truly exist at all,To proove to them that they exist.

Also changing someone's opnion is simply just that, Changing their opnion, its not written in stone, Its no more impressive than convincing someone that Diet Dr Pepper taste just as good as the real thing(which it doesnt' damn you).

And also if you can't Splain things in regular O' English to an average sap like me (I'm normal I swear
) then your explaination means squat , cuz we aint gonna get it!


I just want to say that i've seen some really impressive post, One of the reasons i stick around here is to see really Intelligent people discussing (not debating , I get too much of that at home
) things that cause me to think and hopefully learn something. and for that I thank you all for your very informative as well as enlightining post.

Also I just Voted Yarium for "Way Above" my first in a while. To post something that has caused me to debate my own existance
BTW you owe 5bucks for all the aspirin i've had to buy just trying to think about all this



posted on Dec, 24 2005 @ 09:44 AM
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Originally posted by Yarium
Yes, I am asking a really big question here. How can I prove that I exist to someone else?


Tell them you owe them money.

All the best,

Roger Pearse



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