Do I exist? (Real question)

Not exactly. I still believe (or part of me at any rate) more or less what I believed a year ago about the demiurge, the emergence of a single consciousness as a form of, to paraphrase Althusser’s term, demonic interpellation, in order to capture the divine spark necessary to create the ‘material’ universe, etc.

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They did but that’s alright :slightly_smiling_face:. If only I could believe that I is I, or that thinking has anything to do with existence.

I’m sure the thinking behind it is not simple, but the adage itself is as simple as “I am wearing shoes therefore I cannot cut my toenails”.

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Yes! you “exist”! We all do:)

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As it’s only right and proper a number of people have referenced Descartes’ dictum ego cogito sum as it means to prove, or rather to illustrate (to perform as opposed to merely infer) not only “our” existence (at least insofar thinking subjects) but also to establish its self evident character. I strongly believe Descartes fails on both accounts. Over the centuries critiquing good old Descartes has become something of a cottage industry which continues to yield dividends to this day.

I had hinted at some of the problems I have with the argument but didn’t initially want to go into it because I felt it would deflect from the original intention of the thread. However, seeing that the argument has become such a stumbling block, almost an article of faith, I thought it pertinent to include a perfectly harmless link to Wikipedia (containing some of the major critiques) to clarify my scepticism of an argument many consider to be both obvious and unimpeachable.

Keep searching man, your the one who is right, the rest are just lost. Keep on searching man, you are going to Find IT

Not sure if you’re being sarcastic or not.

I’m not enamored by descartes myself, it’s just that this particular quote addresses your exact issue.

Perhaps Descartes never existed, after all I never met him and nobody alive today has either. He is possibly a fictitious character created by a particular regime to represent an area of thought critical to their belief system. The cogito being a circular argument to delude the masses that because his thoughts exist he existed.

@dividedself I don’t know if Descartes really existed - although I have no reason to doubt it - but I’m practically certain that he wasn’t fictitious. You don’t create a character like that and then allow others to get the credit.

So even when he doesn’t exist any longer (dead) his thoughts still prove his existence. I have never questioned my own existence, and don’t really understand the kind of doubt you are having.

The wiki link provides a decent introduction to some of the challenges to that position although it also leaves out a lot of interesting material.

His cogito ergo sum was never meant as a proof of other people’s existence nor a proof to others of his own existence. His aim at that point of the Discourse was far more modest.

I tried reading it, it’s available online as an e-book from the library. I found it too boring. Discourse on the Method. Maybe if I get my hands on a paper copy I can skim through it more naturally.

Imagine a doctor doubting evidence based medicine. How would that doctor practice medicine? A doctor that doubts to the point where she/he can’t help his/her patients, doubting reality. Imagine a whole society doubting their existence. It would be chaos. And there is. I do think a lot of people are on the fence, doubting some parts of reality mainly cause and effect and evidence based research that they’re uneducated at, but they can partially function in society, not totally out of the workforce. Good things.

Unfortunately you do get people doubting the existence, or at least an interpretation, of society.

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