|Blogs > rm_dire_wombat > Enter the Wombat|
There is an anecdote that Samuel Johnson,the British writer,was asked how he would refute Bishop Brekley's statement that the world was an illusion.
"I refute it thus" he said,and kicked a large rock.
Some people think he was right; some think he was wrong; and most of humanity doesn't think about it at all.
I've been thinking about it.
You see, what both Johnson and Berkley were concerned with is the nature of reality. Perhaps Johnson's answer showed a profound understanding of the nature of reality;on the other hand,perhaps it showed a profound ignorance. It could have shown a profound frustration,because, what we are talking about here is metaphysics, which means we are dealing with beliefs,with faith. Scientific proof is lacking.
What is the nature of reality?
What is consciousness?
Do people have spirits,souls,and if so would an artificial intelligence have a soul?
These are questions I remember asking in high school during my Christian ethics class.I'm still waiting for an answer.
Ask yourself,where am I writing from right now?Edmonton? Hate to tell you this,but no,it's not there.At this very moment it doesn't exist.Go ahead, call someone,look at the television.All that that proves is that someone or something is telling you that Edmonton is there.Nothing exists until you physically perceive it.until then, it's mearly a memory in your mind...and of course in the mind of the one who sees that it springs back into existence when needed.In fact, EVERYTHING you think is real does not exist until YOU are there to perceive it. And even then,what you see is for the most part nothing but sets,facades, put there to look real;but they are hollow shells instead,all placed there to fool you.They are totally empty unless you personally step inside.
Was there history before you were born?
Was there anything here before the moment of your birth or did it spring into existence at the moment of your birth?
It's all part of the conundrum.Radioactive decay sprang into being at the moment of your birth, with exactly the right amount of isotopes to make it appear that it had been going on for eons.The dinosaurs and fossils were put here in a similar manner merely to fool or to test you.The stars were created at the moment of your birth,most with their light beams to earth already in place;though perhaps some are yet to arrive,such as nova explosions;hence making it appear as if they had been in existence for billions of years.Don't you see, the moment YOU were created,so was everything else. You cannot readily disprove this myth I have created for you.Fronts,facades,empty shells,people you think are real,a false history,fossils and stars,whatever.For with all metaphysical question,it comes down to a matter of faith.Their are an infinite number of ways to prove and disprove any theory concerning reality.So it really boils down to whose belief is stronger.
Where are YOU right now? Sorry,wrong again. What if I told you that you were at this moment merely a brain in a vat? Suppose that while you slept an evil scientist crept into your room in the middle of the night,perfectly removed your brain and placed it in a sustaining vat of nutrients,and then proceeded to perfectly hook it up to a super computer?
Everything we feel,perceive,and remember is simply electrical pulses flowing through our nervous system towards the cerebra-cortex.
Would you be able to tell if this wasn't real?
That it all wasn't electrical pulses being sent to your brain to create a false reality?
Could you tell if I was the evil scientist or not?
These are questions that have been argued science time immemorial,and I don't think that I,or any one will be able to adequately answer them.
So until then I shall do the only thing I can to try and prove that I exist and am not some figment of "god thought".
If you'll excuse me, I'm now going to go and kick a rock.