I’m going to start by asking a question that has been asked a whole lot, and that I realize I am not very clever for asking but nonetheless still needs to be asked. How do you know that the world you live in is real? How do you know that you’re not living in the Matrix, or hallucinating, or dreaming? For that matter, how do you know you’re not living in something like the Truman Show…where everyone around you are actors and you’re the only “real” person.
It’s a very old question I know. But I ask it again…because for most people this is a very hard question to answer. A lot of people, I find, have a really hard time proving that they are not dreaming. Or that they’re not living inside of some sort of video game. So now I come to my main question:
How, if so many people can’t even prove that the world they think they live in actually exists, can so many people be sure that their political beliefs are true?
I’m not saying that you can’t prove these things. I am not saying that it is impossible to prove that you aren’t living in a dream or the Matrix. Not at all! But I do think it is a strange paradox…that many today are very confident that those who disagree with them are wrong…and yet remain uncertain about basic things like “do other people on Earth exist or am I the only real person”?
I don’t have any real call to action, other than this. When we talk about “truth” and “facts” and “absolutes” in this current political climate…let’s make sure we have a solid foundation for doing so. That we have an answer to questions like “is the world I see with my eyes necessarily the world that is real” before we go making claims about what polices or ideologies are most supported by facts.
That is all.