The ultimate skeptic and WL

By Douglas, May 8, 2016

I think, therefore i am. – Descartes

If we want to rebuild all knowledge, where do we begin? This is my attempt at starting from a belief in nothing and working my way from there. It is important for WL as I believe it deals with what is likely to be the lowest level arguments. Furthermore this argument is fundamental support for the statement “The world needs WL”.

I made a word map on Prezi to accompany this article:

“There are thoughts.”

I cannot make any other assumptions from here without building my way up. “I/me” is defined as “thoughts” for the purpose of readability. I concede that “I” as a singular identity, like most understand it, may not be correct but its irrelevant. This article works just as well if you replace the concept of “I” with “thoughts”.

I can now say that ideas come to me. This is using the word ‘idea’ to cover the traditional concept of thoughts as well as senses such as vision or pain. After all, we only know them as ideas.

Now to define whats is real/reality. Reality is a closed system which may or may not have something outside of it such as a god, alien master race or emptiness. Whether or not something exists outside of reality makes no difference as reality, by this definition, is everything in the closed loop. If those gods, aliens or emptiness can somehow affect my reality then the concept of reality expands to include them. If they cannot affect it, they are essentially not real to me. The fact they may actually exists is inconsequential as they are part of another system that does not interact with mine.

On a similar vein, if something can create a perfect illusion, only the illusion is real. For example, if a fairy can disguise themselves as a rock perfectly, then fairies are just rocks to me. If one argues “ah, but if its actually a fairy! One day it might change, for example it may die and the ‘rock’ disappears!” In this case its not a perfect illusion. However the whole fairy still does not exist in my mind. All that can be said to exist now is rocks that go ‘puff’ and disappear.

Its worth saying now that if we could know more, it would obviously be great. Knowing some rocks were fairies would allow us to predict disappearing rocks and any other property they might have. This article is about recognizing that, by its very definition, reality can only consist of whats in our mind.

The next question is, does our reality follow rules? If so then can we work them out and make predictions? I think it goes without saying that it does and we can. All human and even animal knowledge is based on recognizing patterns and constants and then acting on them, such as gravity always pull towards Earth.

But as we still only know the affect things have on our mind, we cannot say for certain that we know the true nature of anything. Therefore all our knowledge should be based of a system that deals with uncertainty.

The scientific method is a perfect tool for this as it allows us to keep revising and updating but how to keep up with the knowledge we acquire when a fundamental, foundational fact could change tomorrow. If it was the case that gravity reverses to push away every trillion, years, we would suddenly have to rethink a lot of the knowledge that was based on the assumption this does not happen.

Gravity as a stable force has been taken for granted so long that it would be incredibly difficult to know what other arguments were affected by it. But by having it and all of its dependencies relationships linked, we could know instantly if there were a change and things no longer added up.

Thus one more reason for WikiLogic!