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12.2. Solipsism?

Let's take it very concretely.

In the example above, there are two people, you and I, and we both claim to be conscious.

Then there are two possibilities.

Either you and all these other people who claim to experience the world are just my private, subjective notion.

This is called solipsism, i.e. the theory that your private self is the only thing that exists and everything else is an illusion.

Or there are, in fact, billions of other experiencing subjects.

We do not know, we have to make a choice, and then we choose what is most likely.

This first choice – between solipsism and «something else» – is probably the toughest of all the choices we have to make. It leads to two very different worldviews.

The majority of philosophers consider solipsism to lead nowhere. Still, it is – most people believe – impossible to disprove the possibility that everything in the whole universe takes place in a single consciousness, your own.

We choose instead «something else», i.e. to believe that there are actually other creatures out there who also experience. Most likely, the first option seems to be «impossible».

You will later see that the concept of solipsism must actually be taken seriously, but not like it is presented here. We shall come back to this many times, but there is a good deal else we need to talk about first.

Step by step, we must go from the universe's beginning to the current state.

Once we get there, we will probably also be able to say something about the universe's likely further development and how everything ends and, at the same time, does not end.

We shall also get rid of all paradoxes effectively.

Have I managed to make you a little curious?