Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Waxing Philosophical Against A Solipsist

Is John C. Wright. Outstanding.


Come now: your comments have passed the absurd and verged into the insane. You have decided to make the attempt to make certain statements to convince me that you (your consciousness) do not exist. But things that do not exist cannot make statements, do not make decisions, do not write words, do not put together arguments.

Here is the reason why you can believe in God with absolute, apodictic certainty: the absence of a belief in God has led you to being unable to believe in anything else. You mind is now a void. You are a machine. You have no soul. You are not alive nor dead, merely a cloud of atoms vibrating and moving with no purpose and no sense.

Those are your two options: being and nothingness. Since you cannot logically choose nothingness, you must chose being.

Machines are irrational. They do not think. They are clockworks, moved by a spring. The gears turn and cogwheels wheel. That is all. There is no thought involved. A machine can be oiled or rusted, broken or fixed, but it cannot be rational or irrational, honest or dishonest. A clock that runs slow is not "lying" about the time. Pocketwatches do not giggle and try to fool their owners out of malice. A sundial is not being honest when it tells the time on a sunny day, and is not dishonest on a cloudy day.

If your axioms lead you to the conclusion that you are a machine rather than a moral agent capable of reading this sentence, thinking about it honestly and rationally, and answering it honestly and rationally, then your axioms are false.

You cannot think you are not thinking when you think you are not thinking. In order to think the thought "I don't think" you must think.

Dorothy asks the Scarecrow, "How can you talk, if you haven't got a brain?" The Scarecrow ponders that a moment, and answers, "I don't know. But it seems to me that people without brains do an awful lot of talking!"

Now, this is a joke in a musical comedy, and we are right to laugh. But now, in real life, you are telling me that you are really a Scarecrow, a Chinese Room, a Machine. When I ask you, "How can you talk, if you haven't got a brain?" you do not and cannot answer the question.

You are asking me what physical evidence can prove to you that God exists, and yet your standard of evidence is so deranged that you cannot even prove to yourself that you exist.

You are being as totally irrational as it is possible to me: you write direct and manifest self-contradictions, statements which, merely by writing them down and meaning what they say, prove that they themselves are false. "I am a machine" is not a sentence that a machine can deliberately mean to write, because machines do not deliberate meanings and attempt to convey them by writing.

You might say it is irrational to believe in the existence of God without evidence. From anyone but you, I can answer that question without laughter. You, I cannot answer because I must laugh like Jove himself. Believe in the existence of for God without evidence? You cannot believe in the existence of yourself with evidence, overwhelming evidence.

Without God, you are a machine, and your life is meaningless. I do not mean you are unhappy, I mean literally, your thoughts and actions and words have no meaning. They are gibberish. Sounds signifying nothing.

There may be atheists who can erect a theory of the world that is both rational and godless. You are not one of them. Your world-system is irrational and godless. Believing in God is the only thing that can save you from believing you are a machine. Those atheists who are rational face a different choice. For you, your choice is between sanity and nonbeing.

Fear not. It is less difficult to believe in God, the necessary being, than it is to believe in one's own self-nonexistence. If you actually believe in your own self-nonexistence, you already have faith muscular enough to make a mountain jump into the sea.

Believing in the mysteries of our faith is as nothing compared to believing in the mysteries of your faith. Trust me. You have already swallowed a camel. Swallowing bread and wine is nothing compared to that.

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