I have to go through everything systematically. I think. It seems the most rational way. So here I will focus on my reality, what exists and what doesn’t.
I think that, no matter what, I can agree that I exist. I think therefore I am. It is breathtaking how difficult anything else can be proved to exist that way.
Firstly, does anything else exist? I can’t tell. I don’t know if my senses are continually being deceived by something. For all I know, this could be some sort of movie in a hyperdimensional world, or a final exam in a superior ethics and philosophy school. If I am really the only sentient being, how relentlessly lonely it must be! But life is unfair. And if all that is unreal, then no strategy is a priori better than any other. So the chance that it is real dominates all else.
A look at creationist ideals brings up another point. There is evidence that the light shown from certain stars has traveled 26 billion years, which, factoring in a lot of relativity and 3-manifold miscellany, means it was sent at least 13 billion years ago. Young-earth creationists argue that God created the universe 6000 years ago, but adjusted the light so that it would have the properties of being 13 billion years old. “After all that’s what it says in the Bible! God created light before the stars.”
I think that’s silly. If that’s the case God is being deceptive. Somehow the IDers don’t think that’s deceptive. But the point is, how do we know that the universe was not created last Thursday, with all our memories and notes and information put there by God? This religion is called Last Thursdayism. And we can’t disprove it.
I think my only response is, given that all the things we see here are coherent with events we remember having happened before Last Thursday, God must have more or less simulated those events. In that case should we really say that it never happened?
So what is reality? I’ve been debating, I don’t really know if this life is real, or if gravity is real. But again, I don’t have any dominant strategy for that case. So I guess I just have to assert that the universe exists. So far, it’s been showing all the symptoms of being so.
What about death? I have to admit it seems positively unreal right now. I have no idea what comes after, but that doesn’t really scare me yet. What really scares me is how I have no idea what to expect. I don’t know whether annihilation or heaven (or even hell) is more likely. To not know is okay, but to not have any idea of a sort of probability is intimidating, to say the least. It’s like the guy who was arguing about how particle accelerating gadgetry and things could destroy the world. He was like, “When it happens, either the world will be destroyed or it won’t. That’s 50-50.” Yikes. They call this mathematics? It’s ignorance.
But the point is, I don’t know. Not a thing. And I think maybe the day will come when I’ll accept being a confused agnostic. Also, Kate Jones believes in free will and indeterminism. Topic for next post? Maybe.