I think therefore i am.....

do you the people of the board think this is an accurate to define existance?

Do you think this is an accurate way to define existance…*wont let me edit and i have poor typing skills …sorry…

To ‘define’ existence? No

To prove existence? Yes…or at least it is the best argument for it I have heard.

Unless you can conjecture a way to think without existing…but then who would be doing the conjecturing?

It may be a way to prove existence to yourself, but how does the person you’re telling it to know that you think? To him, you may be a figment of his imagination that is telling him that it thinks. Or: How do you know that you are thinking? Maybe you are a figment of someone else’s imagination and you just believe you are thinking, but the thoughts are simply being implanted into your brain as if they are your own “thoughts”.

So if I do not think, then I am not?

Belief would still require a believer. Even if the thoughts, per se, were not your own, your awareness of them would still be contingent on your existence.

Sorry, I can’t resist. From Dark Star:

[edited for copyright reasons]

It’s obvious to the point of being a tautology, from my view, simply because of the reason Diogenes stated.

Yeah it only proves the existance of the thinker. The only proof that I can get from the statement is that I exist. I have no conclusive proof that anything else exists, though all the evidence seems to support the idea.

What is “awareness”? Suppose you have a data storage device that is reading data. Is it aware of it? If it is performing a function with the data, does that constitute “awareness”? You could have a button that sends a signal for the device to indicate that it is reading data, and it prints: “READING FILE”. It “knows”, in a simple way, that it is reading data. But is it aware?

Is a thing aware if you send it an instruction that says it is aware?

I think it is supposed to prove consciousness, not existence.

To prove that this body has a soul, an ego, an ‘I’.
Budhists believe that it is just an illusion - this me and everything else concept. There is not ‘Me and everything else’ Just Everything. This part which calls it’self ‘Me’ is more a part of existence than it realizes, and less a seperate thing than it realizes.
And whilst typing that I had a sudden jolt of understanding! The idea that I am an integral part of the world I am in, rather than an isolated consciousness.

I get those insightfull jolts sometimes. For a few moments everything makes sense, you try, and succeed a few times, to re-experience the thought. But eventually the illusion pulls you back under it’s influence.

The best way I can describe this particular (today) jolt is this - I am being aware of myself plus my surroundings from outside of myself. And in doing that am seeing myself as ‘at one with my surroundings’

I know that is a cliche, but it’s the best way I can describe it. I can look at myself and my room and see those two things as one thing.

Yeah, pretty much. If there is a receiver, the receiver exists. Cogito ergo sum doesn’t prove you’re a human necessarily.

It seems circular – using “I” to prove “I” exists.

It’s not circular it’s axiomatic. If “I” thinks, laughs, farts, whatever, then it must first exist.

I have to agree with the OP. Excellent question! Is it generally accepted as dogma written in stone by the public, but why? It is profound, but it does not prove ones existence! It’s very biased, IMHO…

Descartes should have just stuck to working with Cartesian coordinates on the Cartesian plane…obviously, Descartes did not give us the Imaginary Plane! :smiley:

Then again, I beg to differ with all the so-called “great philosophers”. Like, Plato and his (IMHO) “self-righteous” Republic. And so on, and so forth! - Jinx

P.S. Seriously, for those unaware, there really IS an Imaginary Plane…

Diogenes, I will have to think about this further. (:
Something just doesn’t seem right about it. I assume when you say axiomatic you are using the definition: “self evident”?
At this point I could start talking about being figments of a butterfly’s imagination who is plugged into the matrix but I won’t.
I think Betrand Russel had some arguments against Descartes in History of Philosophy but my copy fell apart, so I trashed it!

Johnny L.A., I have deleted much of your quotation for copyright reasons. The rest can be read here: http://odin.prohosting.com/after12/candybar/darkscript.htm

Nomadic_One’s question is more of a philosophical debate than a factual question, so I’ll move this thread to GD.

moderator GQ

Please, please no-one post the corny old joke about Descartes and his drinking habits…

I think this is a great question (probably headed for Great Debates though). I don’t see how the conclusion follows from the premise - just because I think, what does that have to do with existence? Do rocks not exist because they don’t think? Do we cease to exist when we die?

I like Lobsang’s reasoning - that this is perhaps a proof for consciousness (though a weak one IMO), if anything, not for existence.

Whoa! Did you find you suddenly knew kung fu afterwards? :wink:

Re rocks : The statement does not concern itself with those who don’t think, only with those who do.

Re death : I don’t know, does anyone else ?

Whose existence are we talking about here ? From Descartes’ statement, I infer the existence of consciousness/awareness, but not necessarily anything else.