Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Je pense,donc je suis

Cogito ergo sum. I think, therefore I am.

I’ve been leafing through my Philosophy 1 notebook, and found what I wanted. It’s a memorable lecture from Dr. Sioco, one that brought forth my ‘conversion’ into solipsism. Don’t worry Papa, it’s not a cult. ‘Conversion’ in quotes because I have always suspected that the rest of the world exists because I think it does. Simply put. The conversion is pseudo.

Anyway, the lecture. In verbatim:

Rene Descartes
-method of Systematic Doubt (doubting everything until you find clear and distinct ideas that are immune to doubt)
3 Starting Points
1. Self/mindàdubitoàcognitoàexisto
2. God existsàhe is perfect, not to exist is an imperfection
3. Material objects exist- God as a non-deceiver, therefore objects exist

Permit me, for the time being, this babble. Let me explain this to myself, since I am bound to lose my notes and forget what they mean.

Rationalism is a knowledge claim which states that we must not use our five senses in the business of learning about the physical and metaphysical world. That, only formal sciences like logic, math, physics etc. are our only tools to acquire true knowledge. In other words, NO MATTER. This is opposed to empiricism (knowledge based on actual experience), NEVER MIND. (Yuck joke ba yun? Nasa notes ko! Makes sense though J )

Descartes (a major proponent of rationalism) believed in the system of systematic doubt. So, being the smartass that he was, he doubted his own existence. After a long discourse with himself, he proved that he exists because he thinks; because he doubts. This set the first starting point: cogito ergo sum.

Then, since man has the concept of God and that concept is beyond human comprehension, it necessarily follows that God is perfect. Not to exist is an imperfection. Therefore, God exists. (To put this all into formal logic notation is scrambling my brains. Next time na lang.)

Then, since you exist, which in turn proves the existence of God Himself, material objects (cars, toys, money, food, etc.) also exist. Since God is perfect, He could not possibly fool you. So, everything you see, hear, touch, taste, feel, smell, perceive around you is real. God makes no jokes.

The following arguments are, of course, not foolproof. I’m sure a lot of equally smartasses like Descartes can argue with him lividly. I can name one. Me. But it’s a long imaginary argument I cannot possibly share. Its dimensions preclude me.

And you’ll die of boredom. If you haven’t already.


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