Ask a Question 2

People send me questions, this is the second time I answer them, so this entry is called “Ask a Question 2.” Let’s go!

Name: Marco den Ouden
Website: http://marcodenouden.com
Comment: What do anti-natalists think of adoption as an alternative to having children the natural way?

Antinatalists are obviously very positive towards adoption as an alternative to procreation. The fact that almost 150 million children await adoption means the decision to procreate is that much more unconscionable. Adoption is just a good idea all-around.

That being said, it must be pointed out that most parents are not qualified to raise their own children, and adoption does not change that dire fact. The conditions which make people bad parents also apply in this case.

Name: travis
Comment: Hi,

Why do you say about solipsism that “is patent pseudo-philosophical nonsense”? This look like a nice explanation on solipsism: http://www.uncoveringlife.com/refuting-the-external-world/

All the best!

The argument on these entries you linked basically reduce themselves to “all we really have are perceptions (of what?), therefore there is no reality, only perception.” But this is asinine. For one thing, all we’re doing is relabeling “reality” with other words, but whatever we call “reality” still exists. It’s just relabeled “perception” and “dream”.

I found this part particularly interesting:

“If you are still having doubts or are still under the belief that a external world exist independent of us, contemplate this:

If an external world does not exist, we would have exact the same reasons to believe that it does as we have now. The objects of our experience would still behave in accordance to the laws of physics. There would still be the regularity and predictability we are used to, because that is how the dream is designed.”

What the author is actually admitting here is that there is no way for em to distinguish between the proposition that an external world exists and the proposition that an external world does not exist; but this only proves that the entire enterprise is meaningless, because there’s no way for us, even in theory, to tell whether it’s true or not. Which is what we should expect if this was a simple relabeling of “reality.”

From the intuitionist standpoint, such intellectual gyrations are easily understood. There is no “purely logical” way of proving the validity of a given moral value (or even that moral values can have validity), that a painting is beautiful or that reality “really exists.” All those things are founded on human intuitions. Without them, we can endlessly argue in a circle that there are no values, or no such thing as beauty, or no “real reality.” But since our use of logic is also founded on intuitions, such arguments are ultimately groundless.

2 thoughts on “Ask a Question 2

  1. travis March 26, 2014 at 11:23 Reply

    Goran is saying that there can be no distinction between subject and object, and that consciousness is the only reality. He uses the word “perception” to help the reader relate to the concept he is presenting. The language itself is built around the assumption there is an external reality.

    My view is that this is not just a relabeling of reality, it’s an analysis of the nature of reality. In practice it’s similar to theistic beliefs which in turn cannot be falsified.

    • Francois Tremblay March 26, 2014 at 11:51 Reply

      “Goran is saying that there can be no distinction between subject and object, and that consciousness is the only reality.”
      “My view is that this is not just a relabeling of reality, it’s an analysis of the nature of reality.”

      But you’re just relabeling “reality” as “consciousness.” That’s not an analysis. If it is an analysis, then it is a poor one because reality does not share the features of consciousness.

      “In practice it’s similar to theistic beliefs which in turn cannot be falsified.”

      I already pointed out the non-falsifiability, yes. However in this case I have to disagree: most theistic beliefs are falsifiable, which at least gives them a little more credibility than solipsism.

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