I Cannot See Consciousness, Therefore does it exist or not? Or, am I simply a particle or thought in someone else's dream?
It was just over 2 decades ago when I debated with a Chinese Immigrant in the patio, outside of a restaurant in northern California. The subject? God, what else could it have been? He explained that God does not exist. He wasn't angry or being venal, he simply explained that whatever did not exist in his mind, or that he could not see simply did not exist. Well so much for Rene Descartes then!
I've told this story before, and that I explained to him that years prior, he did not know that I existed. I explained however, that I was living in another state and had been alive for 25 years, and whether he knew that I existed or not, it did not change the fact that I existed!
My Chinese opponent said, you don't get it - if something does not exist, in other words in his reality, it simply did not exist. Very limited world-view I thought, however, so be it, for if that is where you are, then that is where you are.
Does God exist? From his perspective and using his criterion to determine whether God exists or not, God does not exist. Is death of the body, the end of life?
Solipsism: the view confining reality to oneself and ones experiences.his reality.
Someone accused me of being a solipsist the other day, when I took on a secularist with regard to his conclusions about the existence of God. I countered that it was not me who was the solipsist, and that on the other hand it was he who had his own criterion that he was employing in order to conclude whether God existed or not.
For example, we cannot see consciousness, however, all of us believe that we are conscious, wherein lies our thoughts, memory, sensations and drives. On the other hand, we could all exist in a divine dream, or we could exist only within our own dream state. Who knows, perhaps our bodies, if we have one, are lying somewhere in a pod suspended somewhere in the cosmos, and we are simply dreaming our behaviors and actions. And if that is the case, everything that we believe that exists that is material, is a fabrication of our own minds. But even then the fabrication would exist!
I explained to the secularist, that I would not be able to convince him whether God existed or not. And he took umbrage at my lack of willingness, it appeared, to battle with him. I insulted him even more when I explained that his criterion was flawed and that his worldwide was too narrow.
In other words, his argument was against the God of religion. And, if God does or does not meet the religious test, then God does not exist. I asked, and what if religion is wrong, and God, the God Equivalent or Singularity exists beyond religious parameters, then where would that leave him? He was quiet, for I explained that there are many religions, and that I am not doing battle with religion, I am simply pursuing what is actual!
My Point: Too many non-believers waste too much of their energy fighting against faith. Everyone is at liberty, as far as I know, to seek what is actual for themselves. Should a person simply retire, given his lack of belief in religion or a religious test? I reminded the gentleman that he could not see consciousness, however, it apparently exists, and that there are many more things that exist, even though they do not fit into narrow parameters or limited human definitions.
He is thinking about what I said. Why don't you? Is death a final stage? Isn't there some unifying principle present or not present? Can you see the properties of some phenomenon that defies human explanations, that will likely turn out to be greater in scale and more profound than the God of religion?
Assume, as I believe we are, that we are living beings. Can we see our consciousness or our internal breath? Well, who is to say that the inner person is dead, just because his body no longer functions. And who is to say that something does not exist because we cannot see it in a body? Well, one might say, if someone were alive or conscious they would contact me. My answer would be, what if 'they' no longer have the means to contact you, no arms, legs, mouth...?
What is the source of all that we know and that which we do not know? We haven't seen IT, however, even if we are simply dreaming, something inspired the dream. I think and therefore I am! How about I cannot see, touch, define or taste it, however, it can still exist?
Peace & Grace
Rev. C. Solomon
Addenda: I explained to the Atheist who started out debating with other Muslims, that all of us ought to simply be willing to sacrifice our traditions, and search for what is actual!