Does the world exist?

world-questionSince I’m in the process of moving to a new place and hoping to rent out the old one, I’ve been (far too slowly) going through the contents of my house and uncovering some definite gems. This particular piece I found is dated April 1, 1998. In fact, it’s even time stamped at 9:15 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. – clearly had planned to find it again. It was hand written, so to save us all the challenge of reading my scribble, I’ll transpose it here…complete with spelling and grammar errors.

How can I prove this world I “live” in exists? Many theories, and not one even correct. I know that the world must exist, for I am here, I think. If this were all a dream, then I would eventually wake up, perhaps when I die. This must still mean that there is a world, a physical mass, to “wake-up” to. I am not sure of anything, not even my most basics of senses. The loud music being played by the band in-front of me is giving me a head-ache, or is it? It is country music, which I am not really a fan of, but I am being paid to be here. Why must I then contemplate the existance of the external world. It could really be summed up by saying this world exists, and then so must you. Why? Obviously if you’re reading this, you must exist. Some sort of a world may myst exist. The external world, and whether or not it exists as it appears to you and or myself is the real problem. Existance is the only thing I feel I know for sure. In my world there are things that are right and wrong, and things I do, so it seems, everyday.

The question of the mere existance of the external world has plagued the minds of philosophers for years. Why? I think, therefor I am. I know I exist! Whatever it is you think about, you know then that you exist. This all makes no sense, but then again neither does the debate of the external world. To think an ever powerful, super being could be poisoning your mind is absurred, but it is possible; it is also possible that this world as it is experienced and seen by you and me is the world then is it not? For everything we think we know, or may think we know, there is obviously the possibility that we may not know it. If I think that you are a middle aged man reading this, you could be a gorgeous 20 year old woman for all I know. This holds true, even if I am seeing you read this. You could be a transvestite or crossdresser, or who knows, maybe even an alien from ‘outer space’ (which I use losely).

I don’t care! Maybe you’re practising for Hallowe’en, lots of people wear costumes. If I wanted to know your existance, I would try to find out, but I don’t care. The world as it appears to me, and how I assume it appears to you are what I know the world to be.

If I am not correct, the disprove me, with solid fact. Why must I prove the world does exist?

Just do it!

So what does it all mean? That I was clearly taking a philosophy course at university. Maybe this was an assignment, but I don’t quite remember. I found it interesting though that it was something I would save and more interesting to note that as I now read this, I am in fact an early-middle aged man. My views on the world have changed, but it definitely does at some fodder to think about.

What do you think?
Does the world exist? (page 2)Does the world exist? (page 1)


About the Author

Marshall Stevenson is a Director at SPRY. He’s been designing websites since 1995 with a focus on usability. Since 1999 he’s focused heavily on ensuring sites are designed for people and are SEO friendly. Lately he's been spending time on one of the best Winnipeg Jets blogs as an editor and co-founder while also co-hosting the Drunk Hockey Show – a show where friends & guests sit around, drink beer and talk hockey.

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