Stubborn refusal

Why is it that whenever I set out to try and explain to someone why I thinkĀ  something is a bad idea I usually end up proving to myself why it’s a good idea?

After a rather quiet philosophical lecture that I missed most of because: a) the guy speaks too quietly and b) I’m shattered; my one abiding feeling was that the use of thought experiments was silly, and I tried to explain this.

Basically, in my understanding a thought experiment is a grandiose term for a hypothetical situation used to illustrate a philosophic point. In this case it was the idea of an ‘experience machine’. We were talking about (or being talked at about) the nature of human happiness and what is human happines and how humans obtain, quantify and yadda yadda happiness. This machine (hypothetically) could be hooked up to a person to simulate certain experiences only they would naturally not really happen.

Long story short, I thought it was ridiculous, and said as much to the person I was walking with. I probably came off as an idiot, and rightly so, as my argument mostly consisted of ridiculing these hypothetical examples as ludicrous and with no basis in reality.

I was, of course, missing the point quite spectacularly. The whole reason they’re so outlandish is to seperate them from the sort of rampant nit-pickery that dogs philosophy and would render a real-world type example meaningless (and horribly shredded) in seconds.

So yeah, I’m an idiot. A tired idiot.

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