You know why I’m really into Theory of Knowledge / Epistemology. I’ve beeng thinking stuff like this my whole life. So when I first started reading stuff like that in college, I was stunned that other people thought about the same things. In a strange way I found that encouraging.
Like one thing I thought about was, what if other people experienced colors differently than we did? Like, their experience of the world’s colors was the way we see photo negatives, for example. Kind of reversed. Or some other scheme, totally different. But since that’s all they knew, it was normal to them. And we agreed about what purple is based on conditioning, even though our *experience* of purple is totally different. Does this make any sense? Anyway, yeah, I thought about stuff like this since elementary school.
Which is why I was so happy when I read What Is It Like To Be A Bat? by Thomas Nagel. It’s the same essential idea. You can know everything (or at least, a lot) about an experience. The physical response, the neurons that fire, the chemical reactions. But you still know nothing about what the experience is like. Like, we know that bats have sonar, and how it works. But we have no clue what that experience could be like. And it’s true. And it refreshed me that other people had thought stuff like this before, that it’s legitimate.
Anyway, another thing I used to think often, from a fairly young age (like late elementary school) was, just what if this life isn’t real. What if we’re just brains in a vat (or beings in the Matrix if you want). The one who runs the vat/Matrix is God. And he’s not malevolent. Just, this “life” is a test. Nothing in it is real. But it’s a test to see if we’ll choose the right answer. Then when we die we’ll suddenly wake up and get treated according to the choices we made in our life test.
I guess that’s not so different from Christianity. But yeah, when I was younger, and probably lingering today, I was somewhat driven to find the right answer, just in case this scenario was true. So I took World Religions in high school, stuff like that. I dunno, even now, I think part of me still sees life as a test, not necessarily in the Christian sense. But anyway.
No point to this entry, just rambling.