1. Brain on a Wire
I am reading a book about 50 basics of philosophy. I wouldn’t be me if I wouldn’t try and think further on the things I’m learning, and I intend to use this platform to do so. These posts will be easily recognisable as they are numbered and categorized under ‘Abstract Thought’, so you can ignore them accordingly.
The brain-on-a-wire is a thought experiment based on the philosophical ideas of Descartes and others, dubbed skepticism. It questions reality as we perceive it and suggests the theory that we are misguided.
Our brains could be hooked up to a supercomputer simulating a reality that has little or no correlation to "real life" outside the fake program we are living in. The chapter concludes that, since there is no way to check if this even could be true, it remains something that bothers philosophers to this day. We can only be sure of our own existence, if that, and everything else we just have to assume is reasonably correct.
This happens to be a subject I touched recently, expressing my annoyance with these self-proclaimed "skeptics" and their refusal to accept obvious things as true, thus blocking themselves from reasoning further.
Descartes actually tried to reason his way out, starting from his own ego and trying to build a reality based on that fundament.
Frankly, I call bullshit.
Skepticism, like the skeptics, continuously ignore the obvious. Not only does it annoy me that the theory is a dead end and undermines everything else with its lack of outcome, but I honestly believe the whole thought process is fundamentally flawed.
When a theory is suggested, a “null theory” is compared to it and until a theory can be proven, it is generally assumed untrue, with the null theory taking its place. For example, I can offer a theory that all crows are black. The null theory then, is ‘not all crows are black’. So until I can prove that every single crow is black, this theory is assumed untrue, and it is accepted that not all crows are black, which happens to be the case: There are albino crows alive.
Skeptics say that in our lives and observations of reality, we should also still be accepting the ‘null theory’ until proven otherwise. I suppose we could say the theory is that ‘Those observations are correct enough to base theories about reality on’, and the null theory would be… um, ‘Our observations cannot be trusted and any theories on reality can not be assumed true’. I guess.
My point is, they go as far as to say that reality, and our observations and reasoning, are theories. But I think they are wrong.
Skepticism is the actual theory, and they’re the ones with the burden of proof. They’re the ones coming up with ‘life is a simulation’, and the real null theory is ‘reality takes place as we perceive it’. It’s easy to come up with an idea along the lines of, "what if this was an elaborate hoax and there is no way to tell?" Then there would be no way to tell, because that’s part of this idea.
In other words, this is a case of "theory x is true because theory x is true". If it is “impossible to disprove that life is a perfect simulation” because “the simulation is perfect”, then it is both extremely unlikely and completely irrelevant. You can’t refute it because it is, by definition, irrefutable.
Coming up with a theory that is impossible to negate is laughably easy- it is what every religion in the world is based on. Then demanding others to disprove your ludicrous theory and claiming victory because they can’t do it, is absurd.
There you have it, Skepticism is untrue because it is absurd.
Ignoring this obvious fact and saying the simulation exists although you can’t prove your claim, changes nothing. It’s a stupid typical "teapot in the rings of Saturn" theory and in my opinion, after giving it some reasonable thought, we’re better off saving our energy and moving on.