Friday, May 1, 2020

Does the World Exist

Assuming the question is referring to the world as an analytic truth and not some arbitrary dream that I alone am experiencing , I would have to say that it does indeed exist as I perceive it. In fact it exists' whether I perceive it or not. My experience has nothing to do with it. I could go through my entire life without ever seeing a sea turtle with my own eyes , yet I know they exist. From a rationalists' point of view , sea turtles are not contingent truths in need of my perception. They are , as the world , a necessary truth. To doubt the world one would have to doubt their own senses but that is not to say that others' have not come up with interesting theories in trying to describe the reality of the world. H.P. Lovecraft wrote about an ancient god named Cthulhu that is ” not dead but dreaming ” in the abyss and that the universe and everything in it , including us , are mere figments of his imagination. Even considering this idea , I would have to say the world still exists' for , after all , I still have the senses to perceive it. My experience of the world would be no less real to me if Lovecraft's theory were true.

Another solid argument in favor of the world existing beyond my perception would be to consider the world without me in it. What will happen to the world when I die and my senses are taken out of the equation? To answer this we need only observe whether or not the world still exists' after others pass away. One would have to be a special kind of narcissist to believe that the world will end , or cease to exist , when they die. ( However , it may cease to be relevant. )

On the three theories of perception I find myself leaning more towards Naive Realism with a few minor exceptions. For instance , when I see a fish swimming in water I realize that due to bending light the fish is not actually where I perceive it to be. This is a matter of physics and can be explained. But no matter where the fish is , there is still a fish and the fish is there independently of my perception or experience. Believing so is not audacious , on the contrary , anyone viewing the world through the lens of sound reason will undoubtedly come to the same conclusion : The world exists' just as we perceive it with our senses. To put a spin on Decartes quote “ I think therefore I am “ , one could say “ I see therefore there is light “ or “ I hear therefore there is sound “ , I am touched by the world therefore I know the world exists'.