I Think Therefore Someone Is Or Was?
TLDR: I don’t 100% know anything. (Unless I do.)
I’ve been doing a lot of self-introspection recently. That led me to question beliefs I took for granted.
I learned that math is essentially a language. I wouldn’t say English is the objectively correct spoken language. What makes anything about math objectively right? I realized that one plus one only equals two if I assume the Peano axioms are true.
I learned that the sky might not be blue. Why are blind people or anyone who doesn’t see the sky as blue wrong? Animals perceive color differently. Maybe the majority of beings don’t see a blue sky? Multiple theories claim that humans don’t see anything close to reality.
Multiple philosophers have claimed that Descartes should’ve said thinking is occurring. But I don’t know how to 100% define “think” either. Once again, if I’m programmed to think in a simulation, does that count as thinking? If God determines my actions, am I thinking?
I don’t know what “I” means either. Am I still the same person I was when I was 2? I look different. Trillions of cells in my body have changed too. Am I still myself because my brain cells don’t change? Am I still myself if I forget everything in the past?
I feel like I’ve always been in the same body, even though my appearance has changed. But maybe my body doesn’t represent me? Some theories of dualism propose the mind can exist without a body.
I don’t think I 100% know anything. The thing I most believe, without any presuppositions, is that someone has been alive. If I’m in a simulation, someone created the simulation. If I’m in a dream, someone is dreaming. I haven’t seen anyone claim that nobody has ever existed.
It’s been humbling to realize that I’ve often been too quick to assume I knew an absolute truth. I’ll try to be more aware of my assumptions in the future.
(I wrote a follow-up to this post here.)