My take on Cartesian Skepticism.

The path of thought followed by Renee Descartes never failed to lead me to a state of uneasiness and excitement and leave me full of new questions. The deeper I considered and explored these ideas the more I was instilled with a deep conflicting sense of fear and curiosity.

Who is Descartes?

For readers who don’t study philosophy, Renee Descartes was an enlightened despot of the French enlightenment era that took place through the early to mid 1500s Descartes was and is very well known among intelligentsia. This notoriety is granted on behalf of his advancements in philosophy as well as science and mathematics. Despite his other achievements my intellectual relationship with this player is based purely on his philosophical innovations and for the purposes of this article that’s all that need brought up.

What is Cartesian Skepticism?

Descartes originally formed his World view or interlocking set of beliefs on that which we derive from our sense perceptionsm also known as empirical observation. This would however change drastically as Descartes began his philosophical journey to the absurd and back. The ideas to be analyzing pertain to his epistemological beliefs and attitude.

Epistema-whatnow?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary the term epistemology denotes “a theory or the study of knowledge especially with reference to it’s limits of validity.”

Descartes was well known for his radically skeptic epistemological position, meaning he constantly doubted and questioned the integrity of his worldview. However his skepticism would not end at the scrutiny of his belief systems. Rather he took it a step further. He didn’t just scrap all his beliefs and stop there; he now began to doubt the very methods used to obtain knowledge and reason with it in the first place.

How could this be so, seeing is believing isn’t it?

Well that seems to be the case for the majority throughout history (with exceptions like god and aliens) , as the old saying goes ignorance is bliss. Yet for some of us the profound excitement of curiosity is and will always be far more appealing than the comfort of familiarity.

Descartes didn’t care for comfort, he plunged deep into the unknown depths of theoretical possibility and absurdity. As he ought, After all pushing the possibility of thought to its limits is what philosophers do best.

He grew so affixed upon this notion that he even began to wonder if his perceived reality was real at all, positing the theoretical idea that our reality may be an artificial illusion. An idea thought to stem from profound experiences regarding dreams.

However Descartes (like myself) was a devout believer in a higher power, that he might know as god. I on the other hand have no specific word to denote such a force I would merely describe it as the grand harmony of Kindness , Karma , Chaos , Beauty and Irony.

Due to his devout faith he did not believe god would do such a thing like trap us in a false reality, so he posited that If we were living in a simulated reality it would have to be the work of an evil genius attempting to keep us away from the land ruled by god and trapped within this illusion.

Excuse me?

At first I found it hard to swallow myself. But alas as I began to venture further along my own philosophical journey I too began too notice odd coincidences that lead me into the direction of such a belief, which continues to be something I ponder and speculate upon quite regularly.

I advise those not philosophically, religiously, or psychologically inclines to not think too deeply into this for the sake of their own sanity. This is not the kind of information one can internalize and work through without a concrete system to guide the way.

So are you saying this belief is dangerous?

yes I definitely believe it has the potential to exacerbate or even induce symptoms of serious mental illness. Such a belief could easily inspire someone to end their life another’s on behalf of believing that existence is only a game or simulation, which is obviously completely irrational regardless of your beliefs.

In general I’ve devised three mental safeguards while in pursuit of this line of thinking, which act as a fail safe in case one finds themself in a position where it becomes difficult to differentiate what is fake from reality in the layman’s eyes.

Nah your exaggerating, how could books be dangerous?

To share a personal story on the subject, I once was laying in bed unable to sleep, focusing on inducing visionary fractals within my closed eye vision field when I started to feel a little tingly. At the time I was starting new s medication, as well as consuming herbal sleep aids with mild psychoactive properties. (Article about my favorite medicinal herbs coming soon.) so I didn’t really think anything of it.

At least until I began hearing noises. They began while drifting into a state of half awake half unconscious. But not just any noises, Hospital noises: beeping of a heart monitor, water pumping through an IV bag, footsteps echoing from a desolate hallway, people talking inaudible English, and the vague image and scent of a hospital room began to vivify, after this i sprang up out of bed and did not sleep again for the rest of the night, I spent the following two months in half belief that I was stuck in a coma.

Eventually I chalked it off to my brain

attempting to recreate conceptual phenomenon to attain a better understanding or just a really strange case of sleep paralysis, but this example shows how easy it is to be caught up in Cartesian skepticism.

And those would be?

>Three tips for exploring Cartesian skepticism

1. Understand that it doesn’t matter.

• in retrospect finding out we lived in a simulation or a dream would not inherently change anything in of itself. Provided there’s no way to leave, what difference could it possibly make?

2. Remember that it’s imgpossible to prove.

Just like the concepts of an omniscient god or a spiritual afterlife there is no concrete definitive way to prove reality is or is not a dream like simulation, no matter how much coincidental or subjective empirical claims stack up on either side.

3. Interpret the idea through an analytic lens

looking at it from various applicable perspectives such as theological, political, psychological or sociological through use analysis and identification of potential allegorical/symbolic links, the ideas of Descartes can be applied to common reality. Examples:

Analytic lenses: Political

Could be looked at as the wool thrown over the eyes of the masses by corrupt leaders, exploiting their power through lies and secret affairs kept from the general public for personal and gain. (think sheep mentality/herd mentality etc)

Analytic lenses: Theological

One could argue the illusion vs reality corresponds to ones spiritual life or connected with god, this is especially true in a modern era where egotism, idol worship and material obsession come between the population and developing a spiritual life or as some would call it a connection with god.

Analytic Lenses: Psychological

The false reality could refer to how perception of the world around us is subjectively altered in correspondence based to what we believe.

For example: let’s say jack is walking down the street in a coat and he notices Jane in her dress. (And me I’m in a rock and roll band HA.) Maybe jack never thought Jane was pretty before, but since he’s running 30 minutes early he decides to have a chat with the young clerk. After getting to know each other they hit it off big time, find out they have all the same life dreams, interests and tastes. Suddenly our once homely miss Jane is the sweetest looking thing he has ever laid his eyes.

I would like to extend a warm welcoming thank you to anyone who took the time to read this or any of our articles. Do your part to help build this community by subscribing, sharing, commenting, liking, and emailing us, we absolutely love support, feedback, criticism, dialectics and all non-toxic interactions with our readers.

If you would like to learn more about the French enlightenment thinker Renee Descartes more info can be found in the links below:

 

>https://www.storyofmathematics.com/17th_descartes.html -Renee Descartes on mathematics.

>https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.biography.com/.amp/people/ren-descartes-37613 -biographical summary

>https://www.famousscientists.org/rene-descartes/ Renee Descartes on Science

 

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TGN Update 12-29-18

Not that any of you probably care but Today we began making some much needed additions and changes to our site. This will be the first of many as theirs a lot that really needs to be done here. However this progress has been hindered from very questionable web design and development skills as well as limitations in budgeting, hardware and time.

To start we switched themes. Previously we had been using the coldbox theme, which I absolutely adore due to its sleek, simplistic and SEO optimized design. The one problem I had with cold box was that it had a very limited amount of area for widgets and advertisement. Since I don’t have experience with many of the WordPress themes available yet I decided it might be worthwhile to experience something new.

After browsing for awhile and reading some reviews we finally decided on MH Magazine lite Which supports an impressive 15 widget areas and has a sleek simplistic design relatively similar to what we liked about Cold box. Satisfied we began configuring our new theme this however is still a work in progress especially the widget areas. Like I said my design skills are very questionable (even with word press and pre-made themes.. yeah it’s that bad..)

New pages! We added a simple static homepage to intimidate new visitors, do some shameless virtual pan handling, and to function as a sort of pseudo-landing page.

We also added public forums with sub-forums corresponding to each of our major categories. Feel free to come join our discussions or start your own thread!

Speaking of categories we also reorganized and cleaned out our category section; opting for 6 primary categories each consisting of 5 subcategories. Unfortunately this still leaves us with the arduous task of recategorizing our articles.

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Were you sold by this post? Let us know why or why not in the comments section below!

70 why should Is? To make you question yourself.

1. Why should I read this blog post?

2. Why should I spend my time and money on a college degree?

3. Why should I go out and devote a third of my day for a negligible amount of money?

4. Why should I be asking myself questions in the first place?

5. Why should I be thinking?

6. Why should I listen to someone who advises against a major life decision when it is against ones own intuition?

7. Why should I pick my beliefs in accordance with the beliefs of those around me?

8. Why should I hold myself back?

9. Why should I not follow my own ideal?

10. Why should I waste time doing things I don’t like to do and have no immediate need for?

11. Why should I not accept help when it is being offered when all things are willed to happen for a reason?

12. Why should I eat when I am not hungry?

13. Why should I sleep if I am not tired?

14. Why should I dwell on the words of others more than my own words?

15. Why should I tell myself I have nothing to write about when I always have something to talk about?

16. Why should I answer my phone if I do not feel like talking?

17. Why should I care about others to an extent that detracts from my own happiness (not including children and family)?

18. Why should I value a significant other’s wishes over a child’s unless that significant other is required to take care of that child?

19. Why should I box in my thinking by clinging to the cultural norm?

20. Why should I ignore or overlook factual, statistical, or empirical evidence just because it challenged something I already believed?

21. Why should I write off a source of information because of some unrelated negative quality or action conducted by the source?

22. Why should I romanticize something negative instead of moving on to a more positive topic?

23. Why should I repeat an action determined to have a negative outcome?

24. Why should I lower my standards of living instead of pushing my own resourcefulness?

25. Why should I ever not believe in myself?

26. Why should I let guilt or fear hold me back from further positive decision making?

27. Why should I feel guilt in situations where I’ve done nothing to hurt anyone?

28. Why should I feel guilty rather than just take responsibility for my actions?

29. Why should I waste time worrying when I can do something to make my situation better?

30. Why should I waste my thoughts when I could be recording them for a future project or actively using them as a part of one?

31. Why should I pick up hobbies I don’t find genuine enjoyment in and which aren’t relevant to my goals?

32. Why should I own things I never use, that I did not create and bears no novel, sentimental, or spiritual significance?

33. Why should I let someone else’s perception of me supersede my own unless it is raising an ethical or moral concern?

34. Why should I take a failure as an entire defeat?

35. Why should I buy a product I don’t want or need just because it is on sale?

36. Why should I fear death when I have no control over it?

37. Why should I worry or feel guilty for things I have no control of?

38. Why should I consume alcohol when I know it to be addicting and troublesome for myself in particular, just because the social situation permits it?

39. Why should I consult someone for help without first thoroughly trying to work through the problem on my own?

40. Why should I turn down a potentially useful new connection based on a poor reference from someone else?

41. Why should I take a secondhand source over a first?

42. Why should I think in terms of yes or no without considering a middle point or a duality?

43. Why should I feel bad for someone who is rightfully paying for their actions?

44. Why should I tell the truth to someone I have no loyalty to within a context where honor and ethics are not applicable, when it is directly against my advantage and or intuition?

45. Why should I listen to other people’s advice on appearance when it’s in opposition towards what I like when I look in the mirror?

46. Why should I choose the pursuit of active income over the pursuit of passive income, when I cannot yet make an active wage doing things I enjoy?

47. Why should I spend more money when I’m not being guaranteed a higher quality or quantity of product?

48. Why should I own a vehicle if I don’t need one?

49. Why should I value acquiring more material possession over acquiring new skills and practical knowledge?

50. Why should I look for excuses too avoid growth?

51. Why should I fear criticism of my work instead of welcome it?

52. Why should I second guess my intuition?

53. Why should I waste time on social media when I’m not interested in talking to someone?

54. Why should I watch whatever’s on TV instead of looking for something to watch or read online (or from my bookshelf) that actually interests me?

55. Why should I continue to listen to music I’m bored of instead of looking for a new artist who’s similar too, was influenced by or was an inspiration of an artist I listen too?

56. Why should I still be writing/reading this article when I have a bunch of other seemingly more urgent things to do?

57. Why should I settle for comfort when more enjoyment can be found in the strive for self improvement?

58. Why should I waste time dwelling on that which I’ve no control over?

59. Why should I attempt to convince myself I want things which I do not actually want?

60. Why should I drive places I know I could easily walk too?

61. Why should I go out of my way to look for reasons to mentally persecute myself?

62. Why should I consistently waste resources on people who bring nothing of interest to my life?

63. Why should I outsource my happiness when I can be the source?

64. Why should I should I take offense rather than amusement when I’m the butt of someone’s joke?

65. Why should I value what others think is right other than what I know empirically or logically to be right?

66. Why should I choose oversynthesized pharmaceuticals over safer and often times more effective natural, herbal, and holistic solutions?

67. Why should I spend time helping people I know are ultimately working against me?

68. Why should I dwell on loneliness when I can utilize my alone time to be more productive?

69. Why should I worry about what I don’t know instead of exploring what I can do with what I do know?

70. Why should I write my next article? Feel free to answer this one in the comments section!