On Idealism, repeated

on fundamental matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind and ethics.

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Re: On Idealism, repeated

#181  Postby Spearthrower » Feb 18, 2021 12:47 pm

As I have said, you don't grasp it or the immense dread those who do grasp it feel.


This is so confused.

Those = plural, which can't be possible if only you exist

Who doesn't grasp it if you are the only person who exists?

It's so stupidly self-refuting even you can't formulate a single sentence about it that doesn't contradict that tragic belief you supposedly possess.

Are you under the delusion that you're having a conversation with yourself here? Or do you acknowledge that I and others replying exist independently of you?

If you acknowledge that, then the idea is obviously false, and therefore can't imbue in you a romantically deep angst and shattering despair at your tragically lonely plight.
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Re: On Idealism, repeated

#182  Postby romansh » Feb 19, 2021 1:18 am

Frozenworld wrote:
But to explain the why not, if solipsism were true there would be no point.

You have not demonstrated if solipsism were false there would be a point either.
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Re: On Idealism, repeated

#183  Postby BlackBart » Feb 19, 2021 4:33 am

Why is there no point if solipsism is true? If reality is not 'real' then it's an artifice - something or someone when to all the trouble of creating a whole glitch-free artificial universe populated with AI NPCs for the sole purpose of keeping Frozenworld - the one and only intelligence in existence - amused?
Hate to break it to you, old chap, but the probability of you being that special is somewhere between none and zero.

The fact you can't connect with other people isn't because they don't exist, it's because your wetware is on the fritz. Get help. :coffee:
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Re: On Idealism, repeated

#184  Postby zoon » Feb 19, 2021 12:36 pm

Frozenworld wrote:
zoon wrote:
Frozenworld wrote:….
I understood the sentence, but you failed to grasp what solipsism is. There is no imaginary friends. It's just you. No one exist exists or is real. What are you not understanding about this concept?

https://sagebodisattva.tumblr.com/post/ ... ifiability
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=so ... M%3DHDRSC3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3FlyFVK_WE

OK, I’ll agree with you (and with the speaker in your second link) that in the end we don’t have any means of being sure of anything, even ourselves, even as a matter of probability. I would call this radical scepticism rather than solipsism, but that’s a matter of language. My line is that if we don’t know anything we may as well do what we want, what we think we will enjoy, which is probably what we were doing before. Quoting my own post #153 in this thread:
zoon wrote:
Frozenworld wrote:

Generally my stance is the "why do anything" since the "why not" aspect of it has already been answered.

If your stance is “why do anything”, does that include “why eat”? Would you plan to continue with mealtimes if you reach the conclusion that food, along with the rest of the external world, is a product of your imagination and doesn’t really exist?

It’s not just about food, we do everything because it makes us feel more comfortable or happier, including, for example, looking after children, taking a moral stance on racism (for or against), or mulling over the ontological status of minds.


I’m repeating the question which I asked you in post #153, and which you have not answered: you say that you take the stance of “why do anything?” rather than “why not?”; would you then refuse to eat when you were hungry, on the score that you have no way of knowing whether food is real or whether eating would let you feel better?


About the only response so far the understands it.

But to explain the why not, if solipsism were true there would be no point. There would be no friends or lovers because there is only you. Morality doesn't exist because there are no other minds. Life quickly becomes a lonely hell as the phantoms dance across your vision but you can't know if they truly are real or not.

In a sense behaving as though they are is lying to yourself because you don't know for sure. Don't know if all your effort is being wasted in making friends and the like, and having to second guess your interactions with people all the time.

There is no "apparent" existence of other people, that's what Spear fails to grasp. It's just you.

No matter what we do all we have is provisional knowledge:

as I indicated, there is nothing wrong with relying on your senses to build a "provisional" worldview. I do it all the time. but if you are questioning the efficacy of sensory input to arrive at absolutes, at some point you have to rely on something other than the senses to avoid cirular reasoning do you not? so you asked - what then do we rely on? some traditional thinkers would say that we should rely on philosophical examination. but they also admit (whether they realize it or not) that philosophical concepts are ultimately contingent on sensory input. as you said - senses are the starting point.

so where do we go from here?
why go anywhere? some people desperately seek absolutes - a safety blanket against the cold reality that is essentially and ultimately unknowable and in flux. some people want to build a house of cards and "make it all fit". but I ask; what's wrong with a provisional worldview? I'm perfectly content in relying on my senses to build an incomplete and flexible reality, like the proverbial reed that bends in the wind and stays whole, while the oak tree snaps like a twig and lies shattered in the aftermath of the storm.

when I pointed out that human perception and human reasoning cannot arrive at absolutes, maybe you assumed that there was something else I relied on to get there, like divine revelation. no. my point was that there is no there there.

I am agreeing with you that the senses are the foundation of our reality, and as such, a provisional reality is all we have.

I’m happy to agree with you in saying that a provisional reality is all we have (and that what we think about other people is dependent on our senses, and in that way even more provisional). When you say that "I" can be sure of myself as a real centre of consciousness, I don’t think your scepticism goes far enough, it’s still provisional, I've no way of being certain of my own existence, it could all be hallucination.

Expanding on that, I think you have 2 separate issues:

One is ultimate, radical scepticism: we cannot, in the end, be sure of anything, including that. OK, I'm happy to go with your answer of provisional reality.

The other, separate, issue is that our evolved model of another person (and also of one’s self) as a future-oriented centre of consciousness is very different from the scientific model of a person as a collection of atoms following the non-teleological laws of physics and chemistry.

I also think the first issue, somewhat unexpectedly, stems from the second. As the speaker in your second link points out, my view of myself as an essentially goal-directed conscious being is a deeply unscientific creation of my brain. A scientific model of my brain could potentially predict my actions even more accurately than I can, without bringing in my goals or intentions. Our brains don’t need to “know” anything about the future in order to operate as they do.

The fact behind the confusion is that as social animals we have evolved to predict each other by guessing what the other person wants, and then working backwards to guessing what they are likely to do about it (example piece on Theory of Mind here). This is a future-oriented method of prediction, which works because our brains are very similar to each other. The upshot is that we see others, and by extension ourselves, as essentially future-oriented, and this is thoroughly ingrained in our way of thinking. So far, this evolved guesswork is very much more effective for predicting other people than the best of modern science, so we are dealing simultaneously with two very different models of what we are.

For practical, social purposes, this evolved model of ourselves, as essentially goal-directed, maps well enough to the underlying scientific model to be very useful. This is where I disagree with your solipsism; when one person sees another as conscious I don't think they are suffering from “an illusion” which is leading them away from “the truth”, I think they have a useful working model of that other person, which does the job of prediction until science catches up, which may or may not happen.

I’m agreeing with you when you say that we cannot be sure of the future in any way. A question for myself here is whether, if I were hungry, I would refuse to eat a meal in front of me on the basis that I have no way of knowing whether it would do me any good? Refusing to act in those circumstances would be actively hard work. Why not accept my brain’s flawed, future-oriented model as provisional, and eat?

By extension, I would continue with my life in other ways because it's the most comfortable option, refusing to act would not be easier, it would be harder. This involves accepting that the best of science is still provisional, and that, on top of that radical uncertainty, the “reality” of a person as a goal-driven conscious being is scientifically flawed, in spite of being, so far, the best working model we have for practical purposes. It may well be superseded when neuroscience has improved, but at the moment the physical science of brain activity is almost completely useless for predicting people in ordinary life. The best way of predicting non-living things is physical science, so the physical scientific model is "real enough" although provisional; and the best way of predicting a person in ordinary social life is via the evolved model of goal-directed consciousness, so that model is also "real enough" for the time being, although it is both provisional and also likely to be superseded by science in the long term.
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Re: On Idealism, repeated

#185  Postby Frozenworld » Feb 25, 2021 10:15 pm

BlackBart wrote:Why is there no point if solipsism is true? If reality is not 'real' then it's an artifice - something or someone when to all the trouble of creating a whole glitch-free artificial universe populated with AI NPCs for the sole purpose of keeping Frozenworld - the one and only intelligence in existence - amused?
Hate to break it to you, old chap, but the probability of you being that special is somewhere between none and zero.

The fact you can't connect with other people isn't because they don't exist, it's because your wetware is on the fritz. Get help. :coffee:


Missing the point entirely. It's not that you are special, that's not even close. It's that you cannot verify an external reality or others.

There would be no point in living if solipsism were true because nothing you do would matter. It would impact no one because there are no others or even other minds, there is nothing to learn, nothing to do. Everything becomes meaningless.

You have not demonstrated if solipsism were false there would be a point either.


Actually I have because then your actions and words would have an impact and affect others and other minds too. Friendship and love and all the stuff that makes life worthwhile would mean something, on top of existing.

Spearthrower on the otherhand is still stuck at the starting point and doesn't get why solipsism is a problem.
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Re: On Idealism, repeated

#186  Postby Frozenworld » Feb 26, 2021 1:50 am

https://www.quora.com/How-do-I-get-out- ... rid=uHpSfZ

We can't escape our own heads as all we have are sensations.

And to top it all off there isn't a way to reject the theory outright:

https://www.quora.com/How-can-you-theor ... -solipsism
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Re: On Idealism, repeated

#187  Postby BlackBart » Feb 26, 2021 7:39 am

Frozenworld wrote:
Missing the point entirely.


Look who's talking.


It's not that you are special, that's not even close.


Oh dear.

It's that you cannot verify an external reality or others.


Yeees, I know how solipsism works...

There would be no point in living if solipsism were true because nothing you do would matter. It would impact no one because there are no others or even other minds, there is nothing to learn, nothing to do. Everything becomes meaningless.


Does it? See, this this is where your reasoning falls apart like a clown car, because you cry 'OMFG! There's no-one else!! Nobody else exists' and you stop thinking. You don't carry on wondering... Why is there only me? Am I unique? The only intelligence in existence? And if I am, where is all this VR data coming from? Did something else generate it? Or did I? And if I generated it myself, why am I not lying on a beach instead of wringing my hands in my Mother's basement? So, if I'm not having a good time of it, is it some kind of test? Who's testing me? Is there some kind 'outside' I'm not privy to... and on it goes...
No, you don't think all that, your angst overrides your curiosity and imagination. And that is where your problem lies.
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Re: On Idealism, repeated

#188  Postby Spearthrower » Feb 26, 2021 12:33 pm

Solipsism now equals nihilism because... apparently because if you craft a declarative sentence, then the resulting meaning of that sentence magically becomes true - convincing, logically coherent supporting statements be damned!
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Re: On Idealism, repeated

#189  Postby Cito di Pense » Feb 27, 2021 5:22 am

Spearthrower wrote:Solipsism now equals nihilism because... apparently because if you craft a declarative sentence, then the resulting meaning of that sentence magically becomes true - convincing, logically coherent supporting statements be damned!


Matt Dillahunty would have hung up on this "caller" several rounds ago.
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Re: On Idealism, repeated

#190  Postby Frozenworld » Feb 28, 2021 3:30 am

Spearthrower wrote:Solipsism now equals nihilism because... apparently because if you craft a declarative sentence, then the resulting meaning of that sentence magically becomes true - convincing, logically coherent supporting statements be damned!


Already explained why it leads to nihilism.

BlackBart wrote:
Frozenworld wrote:
Missing the point entirely.


Look who's talking.


It's not that you are special, that's not even close.


Oh dear.

It's that you cannot verify an external reality or others.


Yeees, I know how solipsism works...

There would be no point in living if solipsism were true because nothing you do would matter. It would impact no one because there are no others or even other minds, there is nothing to learn, nothing to do. Everything becomes meaningless.


Does it? See, this this is where your reasoning falls apart like a clown car, because you cry 'OMFG! There's no-one else!! Nobody else exists' and you stop thinking. You don't carry on wondering... Why is there only me? Am I unique? The only intelligence in existence? And if I am, where is all this VR data coming from? Did something else generate it? Or did I? And if I generated it myself, why am I not lying on a beach instead of wringing my hands in my Mother's basement? So, if I'm not having a good time of it, is it some kind of test? Who's testing me? Is there some kind 'outside' I'm not privy to... and on it goes...
No, you don't think all that, your angst overrides your curiosity and imagination. And that is where your problem lies.


None of that really matters as far as the "forever alone" part.

I mean....

I dont think that solipsism states that nothing exists besides our consciousness, it merely states that we can never know anything about what exists outside our consciousness because we will never experience anything other than our consciousness. which means there is no reason to believe other people are actually other minds, or to believe that the external world's contents will 'continue to exist' when we are not experiencing them.

but solipsism does not deny that what we are experiencing is caused by external ripples.. this is still within possibility. It can simply never be determined true or not.

solipsism is logically flawless.. but it is also uninformative in the strictest sense of the word.
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Re: On Idealism, repeated

#191  Postby Cito di Pense » Feb 28, 2021 5:46 am

F[quote]rozenworld wrote:
I mean....

I dont think that solipsism states that nothing exists besides our consciousness, it merely states that we can never know anything about what exists outside our consciousness because we will never experience anything other than our consciousness. which means there is no reason to believe other people are actually other minds, or to believe that the external world's contents will 'continue to exist' when we are not experiencing them.

but solipsism does not deny that what we are experiencing is caused by external ripples.. this is still within possibility. It can simply never be determined true or not.

solipsism is logically flawless.. but it is also uninformative in the strictest sense of the word.


This reminds me of that funny line by Steven Wright, the deadpan comedian:

I had this terrible dream last night that everything in my house was removed and replaced by an exact duplicate. I told my friend about it, and he just said, "Do I know you?"


I do take note of the statement made: "it can simply never be determined true or not." Whether or not that statement concludes any valid reasoning about our experience, one way to approach experience is that it is not a search for truth, in the sense of absolute truth. Someone might respond that any regularity in experience (and there is plenty from which to choose) suffices to make experience worthwhile. Instead of searching for necessary truth, we try to be content with what we have. The regularities in our experience are being completely ignored in the quote you offered, FW. A solipsist still may wish to say something about this.

Sure one can assert that solipsism is "logically flawless", but we can be at it a long time before we decide that a statement expresses perfection, let alone logical perfection. It's a very similar problem to that purported by anyone postulating some kind of ontological perfection. Mostly, it's theists who try to do this. Referring to "external ripples" without defining them is a bad, bad sign that the writer of the kind of nonsense FW just quoted is pulling somebody's leg. The next question is, "Whose?"

So I would ask you, if someone contends that solipsism is logically flawless, what is the initial premise that the audience is being asked to accept. I don't think we were ever provided with even the initial premise before being presented with the conclusion that solipsism is logically flawless. It's just another bald assertion of the same kind used by theists who do not understand how to construct an argument. All we ever get is that we cannot tell if our experience reflects an external reality or not. We are still very far from concluding there is no external reality. This is the same strawman offered by theists who accuse atheists of defending the proposition that "there is no deity".
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Re: On Idealism, repeated

#192  Postby Spearthrower » Feb 28, 2021 6:03 am

Frozenworld wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:Solipsism now equals nihilism because... apparently because if you craft a declarative sentence, then the resulting meaning of that sentence magically becomes true - convincing, logically coherent supporting statements be damned!


Already explained why it leads to nihilism.



Nope, you absolutely did not.

You declared it.

You declared it without offering a single supporting sentence or even a half-baked attempt at showing a logical connection between them.

This is how all your 'arguments' are presented: assertion.

You don't actually have an argument here: you have a bunch of beliefs you want to assert and have people accept uncritically.

You don't seem to have detected the pattern of how well this method is working.
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Re: On Idealism, repeated

#193  Postby Cito di Pense » Feb 28, 2021 6:16 am

Spearthrower wrote:
You declared it.


I feel a parody coming on of the Bob Dylan song, "Just Like a Woman". Only the parodic lyrics revolve around "Just like a theist".
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Re: On Idealism, repeated

#194  Postby Cito di Pense » Feb 28, 2021 8:16 am

Frozenworld wrote:It's just that some people, like in the threads I reference, seem to give it some level of credence that I didn't consider before. Like in response to solipsism being an argument from ignorance:

[ snip ]

Or the quote in the previous page about how the burden of proof is on the realist and that solipsism is the default stance.


This is right about where FW took it off the rails and stopped pretending neutrality or curiosity. This was three months ago, but only two or three weeks after the OP. That's still a lot of patience with the pretense until, "Oh, i just found this on the internet." I have to say I prefer the dishonest pretense of the first couple of weeks to the stream of fuckwitted assertion that followed.
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Re: On Idealism, repeated

#195  Postby BlackBart » Feb 28, 2021 12:46 pm

Frozenworld wrote:

None of that really matters as far as the "forever alone" part.



Quod Erat Demonstrandum. You clearly haven't reasoned yourself into that position, so there's little point in anyone trying to reason you out of it. So, the only rational response to you is, as I've already pointed out more than once, get some professional help.
If you want to carry on discussing solipsism on a philosophical amuse bouche level, fine. But, as others have pointed out here, you're going to have to up your game - mere assertion doesn't cut it here. Show your working.
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Re: On Idealism, repeated

#196  Postby Spearthrower » Feb 28, 2021 2:52 pm

For me, solipsism fails at a most banal level - by whatever 'logic' one arrives at agreeing with the proposition that there is no reason to believe other people are other minds, one necessarily must then also include the possibility that one's own mind, or sense of mind, could just as well be a figment of the One True Mind's imagination.

All the supposed justifications of oneself thinking therefore am-ing amount to nothing more than special pleading because any contention you could make establishing credentials of your own mind's certain existence could easily be waved away as delusions, hallucinations, just programed into the system to induce into you the certainty that you are aware of your mind when it is nothing more than a persistent illusion.

If we are obligated to buy into all this naive bullshit about how we can't be certain of anything at all ever so everything's up for grabs - then FW is also obliged to operate under those same inept conditions. Solipsism is self-defeating precisely because it insists on ignoring that other minds apparently experience the same convictions, and never addresses how we're supposed to validate the idea that they could all be deluded while mine's automatically valid.

It's all just so obviously similar to all the other special sauce humans think of themselves; centre of creation, centre of the heavens, of the universe, of the solar system, on and on and on - always humans, and this just takes it the step further by it being 'only me'.

FW paints it a grand torturous narrative. To me it looks banal, hackneyed, and worst of all - it's motivated reasoning employed to self-aggrandize. It's wanking, basically. But it's in public... yuk.
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Re: On Idealism, repeated

#197  Postby romansh » Feb 28, 2021 6:29 pm

I find your argument FW confused.
Frozenworld wrote:
Missing the point entirely. It's not that you are special, that's not even close. It's that you cannot verify an external reality or others.

I agree with your point of view here. I suspect you will have trouble verifying personal external reality, never mind that of others. You say as much elsewhere.
But then in the very next line you go onto to say:
Frozenworld wrote:There would be no point in living if solipsism were true because nothing you do would matter. It would impact no one because there are no others or even other minds, there is nothing to learn, nothing to do. Everything becomes meaningless.

Can you verify this reality for others and if you can't then show your working that this is indeed a reality for you.

If as you claim solipsism is simply the position that we cannot be absolutely sure of a reality beyond our perception, then you can't claim at the same time it is the position that there is no reality beyond our perception.
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Re: On Idealism, repeated

#198  Postby Cito di Pense » Mar 01, 2021 11:04 am

romansh wrote:I find your argument FW confused.
Frozenworld wrote:
Missing the point entirely. It's not that you are special, that's not even close. It's that you cannot verify an external reality or others.

I agree with your point of view here. I suspect you will have trouble verifying personal external reality, never mind that of others. You say as much elsewhere.
But then in the very next line you go onto to say:
Frozenworld wrote:There would be no point in living if solipsism were true because nothing you do would matter. It would impact no one because there are no others or even other minds, there is nothing to learn, nothing to do. Everything becomes meaningless.

Can you verify this reality for others and if you can't then show your working that this is indeed a reality for you.

If as you claim solipsism is simply the position that we cannot be absolutely sure of a reality beyond our perception, then you can't claim at the same time it is the position that there is no reality beyond our perception.


Such are the production values of mental masturbation. I'm not asking you to verify an external reality, because you seem not to understand what verification would entail in these circumstances. You can make verification impossible just by defining verification so that is impossible. If you can't verify it because external reality is not a syllogism, congratulations for nothing except more monumental mental masturbation, my man. What you need to do is construct a syllogism. You can get a gism just by masturbating.
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Re: On Idealism, repeated

#199  Postby romansh » Mar 01, 2021 4:37 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:Such are the production values of mental masturbation. I'm not asking you to verify an external reality, because you seem not to understand what verification would entail in these circumstances. You can make verification impossible just by defining verification so that is impossible. If you can't verify it because external reality is not a syllogism, congratulations for nothing except more monumental mental masturbation, my man. What you need to do is construct a syllogism. You can get a gism just by masturbating.

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Re: On Idealism, repeated

#200  Postby Frozenworld » Mar 05, 2021 6:56 am

Spearthrower wrote:For me, solipsism fails at a most banal level - by whatever 'logic' one arrives at agreeing with the proposition that there is no reason to believe other people are other minds, one necessarily must then also include the possibility that one's own mind, or sense of mind, could just as well be a figment of the One True Mind's imagination.

All the supposed justifications of oneself thinking therefore am-ing amount to nothing more than special pleading because any contention you could make establishing credentials of your own mind's certain existence could easily be waved away as delusions, hallucinations, just programed into the system to induce into you the certainty that you are aware of your mind when it is nothing more than a persistent illusion.

If we are obligated to buy into all this naive bullshit about how we can't be certain of anything at all ever so everything's up for grabs - then FW is also obliged to operate under those same inept conditions. Solipsism is self-defeating precisely because it insists on ignoring that other minds apparently experience the same convictions, and never addresses how we're supposed to validate the idea that they could all be deluded while mine's automatically valid.

It's all just so obviously similar to all the other special sauce humans think of themselves; centre of creation, centre of the heavens, of the universe, of the solar system, on and on and on - always humans, and this just takes it the step further by it being 'only me'.

FW paints it a grand torturous narrative. To me it looks banal, hackneyed, and worst of all - it's motivated reasoning employed to self-aggrandize. It's wanking, basically. But it's in public... yuk.


When you tear down the labels and rationalizations behind everything you'll find there is no longer any point of reference, and no coherency. You are left with nothing but the sensation of your own isolated perception, with no clear source or meaning in sight.


Solipsism states that nothing exists beyond one's own perception.


I suppose sensation is being as opposed to not being. Without sensation, there is nothing, which is inconceivable to the conscious mind. Stop moving completely for a moment, stop thinking, do not attempt to rationalize anything and just be still. Your state of being at that time will be the only thing in existence from your perspective, to assume that anything else is existing will require faith. I guess I can't give you a concrete answer because you are still presupposing that you are experiencing a "thing." Why does this have to be so? When you tear down the labels and rationalizations behind everything you'll find there is no longer any point of reference, and no coherency. You are left with nothing but the sensation of your own isolated perception, with no clear source or meaning in sight.


All you have is sensation. How can you be sure anything exists outside it? Why do we assume we experience a thing?
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