Can we ever know truth?

From: Norman Samish <>
Date: Wed, 9 Aug 2006 09:53:33 -0700

In a discussion about philosophy, Nick Prince said, "If we are living in a simulation. . ."

To which John Mikes replied, "I think this is the usual pretension. . . I think 'we simulate what we are living in' according to the little we know. Such 'simulation' - 'simplification' - 'modeling' - 'metaphorizing' - or even 'Harry Potterizing' things we think does not change the 'unknown/unknowable' we live in. We just think and therefore we think we are."

This interchange reminded me of thoughts I had as a child - I used to wonder if if everything I experienced was real or a dream. How could I know which it was? I asked my parents and was discouraged, in no uncertain terms, from asking them nonsensical questions. I asked my playmates and friends, but they didn't know the answer any more than I did. I had no other resources so I concluded that the question was unanswerable and that the best I could do was proceed as if what I experienced was reality.

Now, many years later, I have this list - and Wikipedia - as resources. But, as John Mikes (and others) say, I still cannot know that what I experience is reality. I can only assume that reality is how things appear to me - and I might be wrong.

Norman Samish

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Received on Wed Aug 09 2006 - 12:57:15 PDT

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