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Old 10 January 2013, 05:08 AM
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JoeBentley JoeBentley is offline
Join Date: 23 June 2002
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 21,796

On another message board I frequent there's a few people that counter any request for reasonable skepticism with appeals to solipsism. You won't take their claim of Bigfoot seriously due to lack of evidence or invoke the burden of proof, BAM they immediately go to the old "Well how do you know you're not a brain in a jar?" style arguments.

I don't have faith, I don't like faith as a concept. But yes I do have to make certain core assumptions. I have to assume a level of base reality that yes I suppose due to basic metaphysical mindscrews I do have to simply just more or less assume. I have to assume that what my sense are showing me, within what we know about neurology and sensory input, is more or less accurate. I have to assume a certain side in the Plato's Cave, Brain in a Jar, Butterfly Dreaming I'm A Man, What If We're All Plugged Into the Matrix navel gazing malarkey simply to function intellectually.

Firstly because, although I'm not sure if I can verbalize it exactly, there is simply a core base difference between reality denial and reasonable skepticism. "I think therefore I am" is not equivalent to "Everything I think must be true." (And personally I detest solipsism because I generally tend to dismiss arguments that can be countered by punching the person making them in the nose. Reality isn't nearly as easy to ignore as some coffee shop intellectuals like to pretend.)

But more importantly I don't see these assumptions as a good thing. Yes I've had to back burner some intellectual question because they at the moment simply cannot be answered but I don't revere this gaps in my knowledge as good things. These... unknowns don't occupy the same overwhelmingly positive place in my brain as faith does for people.
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