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Thread: Questions on solipsism, omnipotence, omniscience

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    Default Questions on solipsism, omnipotence, omniscience

    The solipsist claims there's some ghost in his own machine, a sort of "observer" existing in there, somehow. This doesn't mean its mechanism can be understood thru science, as it could be immutably hidden, sort of like light that falls outside what the human can see, except there are tools equivalent to those which allows ppl to see infrared, ultraviolet, etc light. Thus the mechanism allowing the solipsist to be conscious it would remain hidden, at least until the death of the solipsist. My 1st question is what makes the solipsist unique? If there's a mechanism, why can't it proliferate, allowing for multiple observers? Sure, at one point there was only a single train engine or computer in existence, but as soon ppl knew how to make them, more were made. So 2nd question is, would an omnipotent being be able to nullify solipsism by creating more observers? My 3rd question is, would an omniscient being be able to confirm whether solipsism is true or not?

    But non of this matters if omnipotence & omniscience are incoherent, impossible, etc. As a 4th question, can a being that exists temporally/within space & time be omnipotent &/or omniscient? I've been reading a bit lately about how omniscience is supposedly incoherent due to set theory, sth about barber's paradox & set of all sets & cantor's proof. I'm still reading up on it but in short it just seems to me like the ideas of omniscience & omnipotence are rather... problematic. & if one can't be truly omniscient & omnipotent, then I don't see how solipsism can be refuted.

    The point of having those attributes would to be create an inescapable absolute, an upper ceiling which even solipsism can't get away from. After all if you aren't omniscient, there's always the chance you're just a simulation, ensuring solipsism remains coherent. So it could be turtles all the way down, an infinite regress. But could there be a way to stop the infinite regress? For example if our universe A is actually caused by universe B which is actually caused by universe C which is actually caused by our universe A then we come full circle. In a sense our universe would be self-caused, altho we wouldn't know what's going on in universe B or C. It seems to stop the infinite regress, but it raises my 5th question: so what? Does this ouroboros actually change anything or is it still all the same at the end of the day? I suppose an omniscient being would have to know the contents of universe B & C....

    The 6th question I want to ask is about the divide of conscious/subconscious mind that solipsism seems to imply... like the subconscious is creating everything. But would this imply the subconscious has its own consciousness too, in a weird way? If there's some kinda synergy, feedback process between the subconscious & the conscious, wouldn't the consciousness of the consciousness sort of "echo" back into the subconscious? Or would any consciousness in the subconscious just be a "fake", kinda like how a mirror reflects a similar image to the real deal?

    7th, final question... If solipsism is true, then it is likely the solipsist has numerous lives, possibly even a googoplex of them... Which would mean even sad, pathetic, meaningless existences would be experienced by the solipsist, such as being born into a world where he only exists to be helplessly tortured for centuries on end before he finally perishes. If every single combination is to be explored, then we have a combinatorial explosion at our hands. After all, there doesn't seem to be any "end" to time, so one could have reincarnations where the torture lasts 1 second longer, then the next lasts another second longer, ad infinitum... Is there any reason why absurd scenarioer like that are impossible, at least that we, who don't know the contents of the subconscious, can tell? I have a hunch all those absurd scenarios would be impossible, because its like we're viewing it from very high up, making it seem like a lot more is possible then it truly is. Like if we could get down to grassroots level we'd realize there are a lot of constraints. Perhaps if the subconscious is conscious, it'd prefer to create more interesting "works of art" then just simple torture.

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    Moderator Reficulris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n0ki View Post
    The solipsist claims there's some ghost in his own machine, a sort of "observer" existing in there, somehow. This doesn't mean its mechanism can be understood thru science, as it could be immutably hidden, sort of like light that falls outside what the human can see, except there are tools equivalent to those which allows ppl to see infrared, ultraviolet, etc light. Thus the mechanism allowing the solipsist to be conscious it would remain hidden, at least until the death of the solipsist. My 1st question is what makes the solipsist unique? If there's a mechanism, why can't it proliferate, allowing for multiple observers? Sure, at one point there was only a single train engine or computer in existence, but as soon ppl knew how to make them, more were made. So 2nd question is, would an omnipotent being be able to nullify solipsism by creating more observers? My 3rd question is, would an omniscient being be able to confirm whether solipsism is true or not?
    I'm not sure i agree with your definition of solopsism (first sentences about the ghostly observer).

    Wikipedia on metaphysical solopsism:

    Metaphysical solipsism is the "strongest" variety of solipsism. Based on a philosophy of subjective idealism, metaphysical solipsists maintain that the self is the only existing reality and that all other reality, including the external worldand other persons, are representations of that self, and have no independent existence.[citation needed] There are weaker versions of metaphysical solipsism, such as Caspar Hare's egocentric presentism (or perspectival realism), in which other people are conscious but their experiences are simply not present.


    1 What makes the solopsist unique:

    I think you take the wrong approach here. It's not about uniqueness. It's about the idea that it's impossible to prove that there's anything, or anyone outside of your perception (mind). This is because your experience of them is always filtered through the mind, so any proof could be also be from your mind. Think brains in a vat here, or matrix (for a better known example). If the Matrix would exist and be a perfect working system it would be impossible to distinguish between that and the "real" world.

    In absense of that proof it makes sense to abandon the notion of a "real" external world and approach everything as oriented around and in your mind.

    2. in solopsism there could be a omnipotent being (you could argue that the solopsist himself IS), but he would still be inside your mind. That is, In the matrix there could be a god that has omnipotent powers, but he'd still be in the matrix, that is, in your mind. He'd be omnipotent within your subjective experience. Could he create another viewpoint? No, could there be other solopsists, yes. But other solopsists would be within their own mind world, they would never meet each other. There is no "external" world to match them so to speak.

    3. sure, an omnipotent being could proof that chickens are actually foxes. Omnipotence means he can do everything... but as long as he's limited to your mind he's gonna say whatever is true in that world, and as with the non-omnipotent being his truth is as valid as any other truth in your world.

    But non of this matters if omnipotence & omniscience are incoherent, impossible, etc. As a 4th question, can a being that exists temporally/within space & time be omnipotent &/or omniscient? I've been reading a bit lately about how omniscience is supposedly incoherent due to set theory, sth about barber's paradox & set of all sets & cantor's proof. I'm still reading up on it but in short it just seems to me like the ideas of omniscience & omnipotence are rather... problematic. & if one can't be truly omniscient & omnipotent, then I don't see how solipsism can be refuted.
    Solopsism can't be refuted. You can disagree with it as a premise, but it can never be refuted. The need for refutation/proof/truth etc is limited to your mind. It doesn't require solopsism even to accept that refutation is a mental construct. In general, science, and refutation as the main predominant philosophical (epistemological) premise is used not because it yields TRUTH but because it yields RESULTS. Science nowadays (positive science) aims at getting things done, not getting things right.

    About omnipotence: in an infinite world (base on space and time) it is certain to exist. But what it means can be incoherent, incomprehensible. An omnipotent being could be you, compared to the multicells in your body. Maybe we're part of the 300430230304th cell of an omnipotent turtle somewhere on a planet full of turtle eating omnipotent hare-dogs....

    The answer to this question to solopsism would be "if it's not in your mind, that is, if you don't experience it, it doesn't matter, it doesn't matter in the sense that it doesn't exist, it has NO MATTER".

    The point of having those attributes would to be create an inescapable absolute, an upper ceiling which even solipsism can't get away from. After all if you aren't omniscient, there's always the chance you're just a simulation, ensuring solipsism remains coherent. So it could be turtles all the way down, an infinite regress. But could there be a way to stop the infinite regress? For example if our universe A is actually caused by universe B which is actually caused by universe C which is actually caused by our universe A then we come full circle. In a sense our universe would be self-caused, altho we wouldn't know what's going on in universe B or C. It seems to stop the infinite regress, but it raises my 5th question: so what? Does this ouroboros actually change anything or is it still all the same at the end of the day? I suppose an omniscient being would have to know the contents of universe B & C....
    YES, you're right about this, and NO it doesn't matter. The above is a argument for subjectivism or solopsism rather than a refutation. As before, logically solopsism can't be denied because it's self referential, every proof, every argument is gonna be mediated through the mind.

    The 6th question I want to ask is about the divide of conscious/subconscious mind that solipsism seems to imply... like the subconscious is creating everything. But would this imply the subconscious has its own consciousness too, in a weird way? If there's some kinda synergy, feedback process between the subconscious & the conscious, wouldn't the consciousness of the consciousness sort of "echo" back into the subconscious? Or would any consciousness in the subconscious just be a "fake", kinda like how a mirror reflects a similar image to the real deal?
    No, it just implies that our talking about conscious/subconsciousness/nonconsciousness is arbitrary and within the mind itself. The only real program is the now and here, the absolute real time experience. You don't know if you'll wake tomorrow, you don't know if you'll exist in 5 seconds. You just ARe. Solopsism DOESNT imply anything, it just runs your experience. It's a box that simulates everything else perfectly. It's a precondition, a premise which allows an description of the world. Is it a good one? That's, you know, subjective, in your solopsist mind it might be better to assume that truth exists and that there's an external world and a consciousness and subconsciousness. In the end it's still run within your box though....

    7th, final question... If solipsism is true, then it is likely the solipsist has numerous lives, possibly even a googoplex of them... Which would mean even sad, pathetic, meaningless existences would be experienced by the solipsist, such as being born into a world where he only exists to be helplessly tortured for centuries on end before he finally perishes. If every single combination is to be explored, then we have a combinatorial explosion at our hands. After all, there doesn't seem to be any "end" to time, so one could have reincarnations where the torture lasts 1 second longer, then the next lasts another second longer, ad infinitum... Is there any reason why absurd scenarioer like that are impossible, at least that we, who don't know the contents of the subconscious, can tell? I have a hunch all those absurd scenarios would be impossible, because its like we're viewing it from very high up, making it seem like a lot more is possible then it truly is. Like if we could get down to grassroots level we'd realize there are a lot of constraints. Perhaps if the subconscious is conscious, it'd prefer to create more interesting "works of art" then just simple torture.[
    It doesn't matter... you run a box that is about multiple lives, or about one live and heaven, or about no live... If solopsism is true (which it can and can't be at the same time since "truth" is only a statement in your mind) it doesn't matter if you have multiple or only one infinite live or only this moment. You cannot think outside of the now, only predict, that is, simulate the future and past. That is, your memories are in the now, your fears and hopes are in the now, the future LITERALLY doesn't exist.

    I see my own consciousness as a screen, I zoom around through a multiverse that's always given validation through itself. It self validates through memories and future predictions. One way to see this is that your memories usually make up a story that makes sense, even though it widely differs from what you predict. We experience live as a coherent story, but the story changes every second.

    Is it possible to die? I don't know, I might or might not find out. Other people do, but bats see in echolocation (or so the story goes).... If I don't experience it it's literally meaningless, impossible and senseless to think about it.
    Your concept of death is a fear of something you see in others. it's like seeing pain but not knowing how to experience it. How is death different from sleeping? Children at a certain age are literally mortally afraid of sleeping since they don't know they'll wake up.. Do they wake up or do they start anew? We all have intimate experience with non-existance (or so we think), it's lapses between the now and the not now. But they are also mediated through the now, you literally never experience not being, always the memory or the thought of it.....

    Go sleep, it's one of the most fun things to do, much better then dying, much better than arguing about solopsism. Try to experience your non-experience. Take drugs, see how valid your experience is on shrooms. It will not proof solopsism, but you will add a better understanding of it to your box.

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    Undecided QuickTwist's Avatar
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    I don't believe in solipsism. Reason being is my perception has to be drawing from something. Whether I am a figment of the past or not is yet to be seen. Solipsism fails in explaining why I have different experiences, period.
    I struggle with motivation, apathy and sticking to goals.

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    It's a trap.

    "When I ought to be thinking of heaven he will nail me to earth"

     







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