Tag Archives: philosophy

The Nature of Opinion, and Why We Differ

I just love Bill Watterson.

I may be two weeks late, but Happy New Year nonetheless! We’re already halfway through January, the dual month of beginnings and endings. For some reason, new followers have trickled in since my last post to the point where there are now around 600 of you. For some reason, over a week ago, I got offered a place at the University of Cambridge to read English. And thankfully, probably due to a rest from college work and all the positive messages I’ve been receiving, I’m in a much better place mentally than I was a month ago. I don’t know how long these good omens will last, but I’m definitely endeavouring to act on them.

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Carrying the Fire, or…Why Do We Keep Going?

I must begin by apologising for my rude behaviour, that is, not posting on Friday. I have a list of excuses but I’ll only say one: I was tired. I am human. I am sorry. Now enough of the melodrama, and on to Sunday’s post which will be a ramble/reflection: Why do we keep going?

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Do We Live In The Matrix?

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I do apologise for not blogging for the past few days. Exam results and the drug known in many social circles as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim have served to distract me for the majority of the week. Anyway, on to the question above: do we live in the Matrix? While this question is about thirteen years too late, I’m returning to the idea as a result of: 1) watching the Matrix trilogy for the first time last week, and 2) my brother asking me how would I live my life if I was a solipsist. The latter is the question I really want to pose to all of you:

If you were a solipsist, what would be your reason for living? If every person and thing around you was a mental construct, what would motivate you? (If you don’t want to read my ramblings–YOU DON’T–feel free to skip straight to the comment section and answer).

My own answer: I told my brother that even if I realised that “reality” was my own mental construct, I would like to keep on living as I always had. I also told him that I thought this would be true if I were in say, Neo’s situation, and I was some brain/body in a vat somewhere. However. If I were in Neo’s exact situation, and I was offered the choice of the red or blue pill, I would probably have taken the blue pill. I’d argue that everyone, or nigh everyone, would have taken the blue pill out of sheer curiosity.

If you think about it, the laws and rules of life are just mental constructs. The most concrete thing about everyone’s life is themselves, by which I mean their physical self. How people react to it, how you react to it or the world around you is defined by thoughts and ideas. These ideas exist because they are practical to the majority, or at least impractical to a body of people who stay silent. In a crude example: when you’re little, you pee as you please. When you’re a little older, it’s ideal that you do it only in a nappy, a few years on and you’re instructed to do it in a potty or toilet. Peeing on yourself becomes impractical for others at that life stage of yours, and this idea is ingrained in you until you believe it is impractical for you. Whenever nature calls you rush to find a toilet; your mind discourages you from peeing on yourself by mentally manifesting the crossing of the rule as embarrassment. Returning to my original point, this whole thing is a mental construct. A matrix/normal person lives their life according to ideas and mental constructs, and a solipsist would technically do the same thing, if the world around them is a reflection of their ideas then they are arguably living in accordance with their own mental constructs as well. Ergo, there is little difference between a “real” life, a “virtual” life or a “mental” life. It’s nearly twelve in the morning here, and I don’t think all of those should have been in quotes. But I think I made my point. Or some sort of point. God, I’m tired.