Does the external world exist?

There is no P in Hamster

Not anymore. That’s why we need to change the bedding.

Go a day participating in the imaginary external world while not interacting with other minds (the SDMB excepted). What do you learn?

What are the implications?

If I may reword your conclusion:

Therefore I live my life as though there are other minds that believe in the existence of an external world.
And if I may parse it:

There are other minds that believe in the existence of an external world.
And if I may refute it:

There are other minds that believe in the existence of you.

On review, I guess you could be some sort of idealist that thought there were only minds (if you construe “external world” to just mean “non-mental thing”). So far as I can tell that is the only consistent position you could hold.

You persist in delusion. There is no duality. Without duality, there is no distinction such as internal/external (imaginary or not), nor is there individual-self/others. Your own mind isn’t real, let alone others or their minds. There is only the Self.

From the same source:

Concerning the unreality of minds:

But is this guy correct? Frankly I don’t know. If I had to guess, I would say I have not realised the Self either. But he is rather insistent that you don’t have to take his word for it or rely on faith or what-have-you. Over and over again he says to ‘see for yourself’, and ostensibly explains how to do that. But with my busy schedule, who has time to destroy the ego? I have not yet got to it. But you or someone else could give it a go and then get back to us.

It isn’t intended to be a philosophy or a religion either, but rather just the way it is. To its credit, compare with a debate about Mormonism:

And so on.

One of the other minds makes my own mind real.

This is laughably wrong, at least for me. One of the most painful experiences of my life was a dream. I’d rate it an 8 or 9. It was so vivid and powerful, that I was emotionally shaken by it for quite a while afterward, and I won’t ever forget it. There was no evidence of any external stimulus that my dreaming brain could have been picking up (like sleeping on my arm wrong) and incorporating in my dream, so I’m pretty sure that I dreamed it up entirely.

I have experienced pain in more than just that one dream too. Perhaps I’m unique, but now you know that your statement isn’t true!

Also, for the record, I am no solipsist. I actually (jokingly) encourage all solipsists to commit suicide. If I go on living after they die, it proves to me that they were wrong :smiley:

Game Theory.

I encourage all solipsists to commit suicide on the same day at the same time. Now that’s a Prisoner’s Dilemma. :smiley: :smiley:

External to what?

From the same source again

That isn’t good enough- you are not the body, killing it doesn’t really change anything. Again from the same source:

The body is not important in this view. OTOH, it isn’t clear how much jnana overlaps with solipsism. I don’t know much about solipsism, but I’m pretty sure it is a distinct constellation of ideas from what I am quoting. Maybe someone will come along with a source presenting a good defense of solipsism and we can compare them.

I too have experienced physical pain in a dream.

It shouldn’t matter for the solipsist either way though: whether you can feel pain in “the matrix”, and whether you can feel pain in dreams within the matrix, are two different things.

Some video games contain simple games embedded within them, e.g. a simple pacman clone. If I were a character within the ubergame, I would obviously be wrong to conclude I am not in a game because my reality is more complex than pacman.

From Boswell’s Life of Johnson:

Gotta love the Doc!

Then why are you using words that refer to things in the external world? You would have to convince us without using these words. And what’s the point of trying to convince us anyway, if we don’t exist?

Yes.

No. There statements are not equivalent. The fact that I live my life as though a proposition is true is not proof that the proposition is true.

For example:

Stating “I live my life as though the Force from Star Wars is real.” is not equivalent to stating “The Force from Star Wars is real.”

That’s not a refutation. That not even a contradiction. You’re talking nonsense.

Because you and other minds use those words.

It’s like it’s 12:00 AM and a group of friends is at my door and they invite me to go out to a party. I say, “I can’t. I have work tomorrow.” not “I can’t. I have work today.”

I don’t want to be like Professor Frink:

:slight_smile:

There are other minds that believe in the existence of you. Let’s analyze this. There are other minds that believe in the existence of The Hamster King. (The “p” stood for proposition.) Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that The Hamster King died or that The Hamster King could die. This is why “There are other minds that believe in the existence of you” is a refutation. Because it is not the case that there are other minds that believe in the existence of you. To other minds, in the widest possible sense, you are dead. Unless…

Um… Huh? My sister believes in me. She has fairly good reason: the evidence of her senses, a long tradition, a couple of scars…

She knows I can die. She knows I damn well will die some day. She also knows that she can die, and that she might die first.

To other minds, some day, I will be dead… But you haven’t shown that, to other minds, I am dead.

And…what was going to follow that “Unless…?”

I once had a philosophy professor who argued that “mind reading” is impossible, because, if I can somehow have “your” thoughts in “my” mind…then they automatically become “my” thoughts, not yours. What’s charming about this is that is precludes the possibility of communication. If I talk to you, aren’t “my” thoughts becoming “your” thoughts in some sense?

There are other minds that believe in the existence of you. There are other minds that believe in the existence of Trinopus. No. No.

Someone in China will never see you, will never meet you, will never know you. Someone in China does not believe in the existence of you. He or she may believe in the existence of other minds. He or she may believe in the existence of the external world. However, unless he or she is enlightened, he or she does not believe in the existence of you.

What does “No. No.” mean?

Sure. And there are billions of people I’ll never meet.

There are several forms of “generalization” that lead me to believe in them. Census figures. Photographs of crowds. Testimony from people who have seen those crowds. Photographs of cities from orbit. And so on.

So, yeah, I believe in a LOT of people I’ve never seen, and will never see. It’s a kind of “distributed faith.”

Meanwhile, there are enough people who do know me, who have met me, and, in fact, who have a pretty good idea of what I’m like, to comfort me in my belief in my own existence.

(As far as all those billions of people who will never know me… Well, that’s their loss, innit?) :smiley:

A rhetorical device.

There are other minds that believe in the existence of you. There are other minds that believe in the existence of Trinopus. Not!

It’s not a question of people knowing you, meeting you, or seeing you. It’s a question of whether there are other minds that believe in the existence of you.

You believe in the existence of other minds. Do other minds believe in the existence of you?

Unless somebody has a red pill for me to swallow, I fail to see why any of this matters.