Originally posted October 17th, 2005
When Descartes said “I think, therefore I am.” he was saying that he doesn’t know if anything outside his own imagination exists but he knew he did.
How true is this? How do we know that thinking is a function of life? Animals think, therefore they must be alive right? Well what about plants? True Descartes was probably only referring to sentient beings but was he?
As another great philosopher ironically put it; “How do we know we don’t exist in a box sitting on someone’s table.” Here Picard was speaking of a “trapped” Hollographic, i.e. virtual, i.e. NOT ALIVE, Moriarty and the ironic part comes in that Picard is just that, a fictitious character being projected onto the inside of a box sitting on a table that we were watching. While many Trekkies would argue that Picard very much is alive, he is not. He thinks he’s alive but he’s not real.
Of course Descartes accounts for this ultimately saying you may think your alive but he doesn’t know that, he only knows he’s alive. Therefore, for all we know, Picard may be alive.
Are you going in circles yet?