Monday, March 27, 2006

Head like a hole.

How do I know that I'm not the only person alive? Could I not have made up the entire world that I live in, all within my mind? I doubt that anyone else really even exhist. How can I be sure that it's not just myself in existence? If God created me, why did he make me imperfect?

All this and more is waiting for you in a philosophy class such as the one I'm in. An introductory if you will.

Solipsism is the name of the game when you believe that you're the only person that's really in existence, and everyone else is merely a figment of your own mind. Crap right?

There are helpless amounts of evidence hanging about this world. You just have to look for I take that back. They're all around you right now, you just have to think about what could symbolize or prove that you're not the only person in existence. Did you really dream up all of the things you're looking at right now? Why do television programs keep going if you're the only person watching? Why are there shows, that you don't want to watch? Is it to keep your imaginary friends happy? Why are there so many laws just for you to follow?

All this helps prove that solipsism, in essence, is a bunch of crap. But just take an intro to philosophy class at UK as a required part of your USP courses, and you can hear a TA or professor prove and argue all this.

I understand why they have to argue for it though. I mean, they argue for it, you argue against it to prove why it's stupid, then through your stress and sweat, you learn their point (which ironically enough, is like a belief of Socrates, which I also disagreed with).

Today though, my TA really fired me up, only to leave me hanging.

We were discussing innate ideas, which essentially are ideas you're born with. I say this about innate ideas, "stupid".

I know animals and people have innate actions. Such as Penguins knowing how to make it to the water for the first time, or how the wolf knows how to fight, without really having to be taught or how all animals know how to reproduce. Those innate characteristics I believe in. We're not talking about that though. This is different.

My TA says that we learn about God, through innate ideas. I think about this, wiggle in my seat and loathe in awkwardness, then begin to think about my own beliefs. This would mean, we know about God, before anyone tells us... This isn't any other God than the Christian God either, because Descartes (the philosopher we're reading) was a Catholic. So he's saying that we only learn about God because we knew all along. Here is when I spoke up.

My point: If we already knew about God, that defeats religion. That beats all religion stands for. As Christians are you not supposed to stand up, and witness to those who you know have not been exposed to God? Are you not supposed to learn about God through teachings? I say this to my TA, and do you know what he says? No you don't, here it is: "Well all that is just bringing out those innate ideas."

What the heck? I counter...

"No! That doesn't make sense, because you're saying that it took someone else to show you those ideas! That is experience. It takes experience to learn about God."

I mean really, what good is wisdom if you had it all along. This means much of our knowledge, it just took the right "action" to release it from us. Are these not silly ideas? Stupid thoughts? I think they are indeed stupid, but if you bring out any good points to my TA, he pulls out psychological doubt. What this means, is this: he asks why, you answer, he asks why, you answer, he asks why, you give up. The inquisitive nature of a child, yeah it has a name.

The time never came where I was able to finish my argument though.

I never understood the meaning of being a rationalist until today. I learned I’m more of an empiricist than I am rationalist. That means I do not believe in those innate ideas, or innate knowledge (separate issues). I believe you learn things through sensory experience.

My friends, hear this: knowledge comes from diverse places, different experiences and long lives of diverging occurrence. You build character this way. People gain respect and wisdom through experience. It’s not something you’re born with; it’s something you’re made into.