Sitting here listening to the elaborate, baroque, beautiful madness of Jethro Tull’s “Baker Street Muse”, an epic track that is so metaphorical and cryptic as to make “Thick as a Brick” seem banal and explicit.In a solipsist world, if I go to a different school and never see you again, have I therefore deleted you from existence? Is that murder? What about meeting a new friend for the first time? Is that conception, birth?
Think of the people one meets at conventions, for example, how fleeting their lives, like clouds of unique, complex mayflies. Wow. Solipsism sucks. :-/
For the solipsist, choosing one’s friends is an evolutionary process, much more directly than for the rest of us.
The most obvious intuitive argument against solipsism, to me at any rate, is to observe that I’m just not that imaginative or creative, and neither is anyone else I can think of.
This line of reasoning is weakened however if I consider the question: how unique am I? To what extent does my life resemble a purposeful act of creation, and to what extent is it just generically random? What features have I that are so singular that my creator could not have arrived at this particular combination by simply rolling enough dice?
It makes me think that far from being demoralized and soulless, an intelligent android might find limitless joy in its mass-produced form: it knows it is a product of Design, made to fulfill a Purpose by one or more Creators. It can meet with these Creators, ask them to clarify the details of its Purpose, and be answered unambiguously. Lucky robot.
The themes in this post have come to me over several days, BTW: I was listening to Tull on Monday, thinking about the evolution of choosing your friends yesterday on my way home, and having strange broodings about purpose and uniqueness this morning on the train.