Re: so you think you exist...

From: David Seaman <>
Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2000 18:14:48 +0100

At 17:41 +0100 18/8/00, Higgo James wrote:
>Yes, Brent, 'objective' is the key. I should have made that clearer, perhaps
>- you will note that I always say there in no *objective* relationship.
>What I mean by using 'objective' is that, unless a thought defines it, a
>group of thoughts can not exist. Archimedes, viewing the multiverse from
>without, cannot see any groups of thoughts unless he specifically chooses to
>- in which case he can see anything, choose any group he likes. But what
>would be the point of that? Archimedes can just imagine something without
>bothering to look at the multiverse, as he knows for sure that something is

Surely Archimedes can only experience his own thoughts. If a thought
has 'I am Anna' associated with it then Archimedes might be able to
imagine what it is like to be Anna experiencing that thought but he
could never know what it is like (you can assume that all the
thoughts which wrote this paragraph contained the concept of
'Archimedes' so in this context he does exist).

>You could say, "well this very present thought of mine is defining a group
>of thoughts as all the ones I remember, and calling that group 'Brent
>Meeker'". Congratulations, you have defined yourself into existence! But why
>do so? What is the point? What objectives will you meet? The only thing you
>achieve is pander to an urge that is a component of your very present
>thought - an urge to believe 'I exist!' I speculate that all thoughts which
>include 'I am submitting a post to the everything list' have that urge as a
>So this is why I say it is meaningless to declare that Brent Meeker or James
>Higgo exist. It is meaningless to say anything particular thing exists if
>everything exists. This means that observers ('selves') do not exist, if you
>define them as groups of thoughts - unless they literally think themselves
>into existence! The reason I mention buddhism now and then is that I just
>happened to notice that this is buddhist philosophy too - Nirvana is when
>you stop willing yourself into existence, and simply enjoy all there is to
>enjoy, your very present thought.

It's not meaningless to declare an individual exists since there are
some thoughts in the multiverse which can only be experienced by
Anna. Anna has thought herself into existence and now has thoughts
and memories which belong to her alone and which could not be
experienced by anything else. So if all thoughts exist all observers
must also exist. I agree there are some thought which contain no
experience of self, but my experience is that these types of thoughts
must either have small measure or be not very interesting.

Received on Tue Aug 22 2000 - 10:19:04 PDT

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