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Thread: The value in believing you aren't the only one who exists

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    Faster. Than. Ever. Sloth's Avatar
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    The value in believing you aren't the only one who exists

    This is something I think about from time to time. Recently I had a discussion with an ENTJ friend of mine about the practical value of believing that you aren't the only person who exists.

    We all know Descartes' super famous quote "I think therefore I am" and all that.

    So the existence of anyone or anything can't be proven.

    To keep this post as concise as possible, I'm just going to post a small paraphrased portion of the conversation that inspired this post (for the record, I'm (for lack of a better term) agnostic about my belief that anything other than myself exists):

    ENTJ: "If I don't believe anything other than myself exists, what would motivate me to do anything at all?"
    Me: "Boredom? You can do whatever you want. You have nothing else to do. I'm not sure if I believe anything else exists, but I still feel like doing things."
    ENTJ: "It's a lonely thought to think that I'm the only thing that actually exists."
    Me: "Not to me, other people *seem* like they exist enough to satisfy my need for interaction."
    ENTJ: "But my life would be meaningless. Nothing I do has any real impact." (such an ENTJ complaint hah)
    Me: "Actually I feel like it would be the most meaningful of all, you're the only person that actually exists. Everything that you do are the only things that actually happen."

    I'm interested in hearing thoughts from other members about this. I'm sure many of you wonder about this too. I don't think you need to believe that other people exist to keep yourself motivated to do things, but many people seem to think it's necessary.

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    凸(ಠ_ರೃ )凸 stuck's Avatar
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    Spoiler: my work here is done
    Last edited by stuck; 10-24-2015 at 06:43 PM.

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    Faster. Than. Ever. Sloth's Avatar
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    @stuck

    I know you in real life and you troll my thread!

    Why I oughtta!!

    ...well do nothing, since there's a chance none of this is really happening anyway.

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    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    I never doubted people other than me exist, but I heard a lot of people in film entertain these thoughts...

    If you're the only one that exists, I think that makes you immortal and divine, since not even your parents made you; you have simply always been.

    Hey what if God believes it? What if God believes he's the only one that exists?
    Everything under heaven is in utter chaos; the situation is excellent. - Mao

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    Faster. Than. Ever. Sloth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madrigal View Post
    Hey what if God believes it? What if God believes he's the only one that exists?
    There's an interesting argument that if God is in fact everywhere, all the time, and apart of all things, then therefore you are God.

    I find it funny how christians believe all those facts about God but then conceive of God as this singular being. I think of God as more of a concept, just another synonym for the glue holding reality together.

    What if our definition of immortality is really limited? None of us have ever died, at least that we can remember (NDEs don't count to me because you didn't actually die). What if our entire lifetime is just one night's dream (sort of thing)?

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    Persona Oblongata OrionzRevenge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madrigal View Post
    ... What if God believes he's the only one that exists?
    Then the Universe will Un-Bang if he ever gets back on his Meds.
    Creativity is the residue of time wasted. ~ Albert Einstein

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    凸(ಠ_ರೃ )凸 stuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sloth View Post
    I know you in real life and you troll my thread!
    Hey you tell me man, I'm not acting of my own volition.

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    Faster. Than. Ever. Sloth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuck View Post
    Hey you tell me man, I'm not acting of my own volition.
    Well the point of this thread is to discuss whether you exist at all, never mind being able to act or have volition.

    Suddenly the narcissism of not believing other exist is beginning to hit me. To reach out to others at all (when you believe no one else exists) is really narcissistic in a lot of ways.

    Though this gets into meaning of life stuff.

    I'm reminded of one of the infinite principles of filmmaking: you can only decipher what a character is when you see them react to other characters.

    Hence Wilson in Castaway.

    You are all my Wilsons.

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    Dr.Awkward Robcore's Avatar
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    I don't think it changes things, motivation-wise, to be the only thing that exists, or to have lots of others that exist, per the conventional outlook...existential meaninglessness applies whether we are me, or whether we are a bunch of different people.

    Given existential meaninglessness, it makes no difference whether I'm deluded and I care about imaginary others, or if I'm deluded and I don't care about them. Likewise, it doesn't matter if I believe those things and I'm not deluded about them. The existence of others doesn't necessitate any sort of belief or value or meaning whatsoever.

    Things like values and even just being practical...these are conditional states that require some arbitrary decision, like "living longer"...so, if you think that living longer is good(that's the arbitrary assertion), then certain actions can be considered valuable or practical. However, absent of the arbitrary conditional context, the terms 'value, meaning, practical' and others similar cease to retain any traits that can tie them to the objective world.
    ...the origin of emotional sickness lay in people’s belief that they were their personalities...
    "The pendulum of the mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong." ~Carl Jung

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    Your Huckleberry lethe's Avatar
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    I think of such things often, and can give a better answer later...

    Short answer is that essentially, I have an entire universe. I, and my experience, IS the universe. If others exist, they are also universes, unique yet just as valid and real as mine. which makes it really hard to order a taco.
    Don't remember changing this.

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