It begins with the very real recognition that one’s mind and its consciousness are an inheritance and not a certainty. We have written about this before in the very first post we did this for website, as this pertains to a questioning of the fundamentals of consciousness.
To consider solipsism it is necessary to recognize that everything we think about and do in life begins with an assumption of consciousness. You first moments are ones of consciousness, and every moment after that you depend upon your consciousness to experience life. When you’re asleep, unconsciousness, or dead you have presumably have no means to the same experience.
This is a huge problem for science, or more specifically, those who consider science as a philosophy or way of life. There are certain thinkers such as Richard Dawkins, Bill Nye, Neil de Grass Tyson, and others who claim that “proof” is what matters. Science and in particular the scientific method offers us a means for ascertaining facts. And that’s the measure we need to find truth.
But can science prove that our consciousness is reliable?
The answer is no.
This is because all scientific experiments assume the consciousness of the observer. We must exist in order to ask the question. If we assume with certainty that we exist, like Descartes (“I think therefore I am”) reasoned, then we can indeed continue with the scientific method. But this is an assumption – and act of faith in consciousness – and not a proof.
C. G. Jung, in his work The Undiscovered Self recognizes this dilemma and according to him it should bring us to humility. Jung rejects the assurance of modernity based upon what he calls the “limits of cognition,” and turns to a study of the unconscious mind and spirituality for relief. Jung lectures modern thinkers, telling that the one thing they refuse to admit is that we as humans “are dependent on powers beyond our control (p. 121).”
Indeed we are, and this should be jarring for those who belief life to be self-justifying. But for the religious and especially Christians, solipsism is a helpful reminder. As Acts 17:28 claims, “Fort in Him we live and move and have our being.”
In our faith we have therefore already recognized that our consciousness is a gift; like life and existence itself our very sustainment is in God who is greater than us.
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