Report "How do I know I'm not in the matrix?" in Questions about Objectivism Posted December 29, 2020 · Edited December 29, 2020 by ReasonFirst @Doug Morris Quote What if my reason is I saw it, then I looked away, then I looked back again soon enough that I should still have seen it, but I didn't see it. I think, under certain circumstances, that reason would qualify as evidence that something potentially dangerous is going on. I mean as long as you weren't on any drugs or hallucinating and you have every reason to believe that you should have seen it because you looked for it again very quickly and you didn't see it, then yes I would think that would count as evidence. @MisterSwig Quote Epistemology is the study or theory of knowledge. It's not knowledge itself. So "faith" or "revelation" can still support a theory of knowledge. It's how you think you got the knowledge you have. As a deist in the simulation, I might posit a hands-off Programmer who doesn't create supernatural beings--to explain why we don't observe miracles or violations of the laws of nature. That is very interesting. I guess I was not distinguishing between knowledge itself and the study or theory of knowledge in my arguments. I agree with your statement about what epistemology is. But I was working off the assumption that epistemology ONLY involves using your five senses and rational inference therefrom. I was not including any element of "faith" or "revelation" in my argument. I guess I might have presumed that everyone else on this forum thought that way as well about epistemology. @Easy Truth Thanks for that link, I'll definitely check it out. I know I keep hammering at this but I was hoping you would help me understand specifically what you meant when you presented those two matrix claims and you placed the first one in a "permanently arbitrary" subcategory and the second one (which you mentioned was a variation of the first) in a "tentatively arbitrary" subcategory? I'm hoping to understand what your thought process was when you presented that second claim and what you meant by that second claim: "Everything we know COULD SIMPLY BE a simulation." What would you say is the difference between your second matrix claim and your first matrix claim? I know you placed that second claim together with other claims for which there is no evidence like the one about 9/11 being caused by the US. So in trying to understand what your thought process was, I was thinking about that 9/11 claim and I came up with this: Right now we have NO EVIDENCE that 9/11 was caused by the US but IF one day evidence for that emerges, we can rightfully entertain that possibility. And so, returning attention to your second matrix claim, following the same thought format, "Right now we have NO EVIDENCE that everything we know could simply be a simulation but IF one day evidence for that emerges, we can rightfully entertain that possibility." It seems like that second matrix claim leaves open the scenario of us one day obtaining evidence that we could be living in a simulation and then we would have to accept something like this: "we can no longer be certain that we live in the real world because NOW we have evidence that we could be in a simulation." But accepting that would put us in the same epistemological position as the first matrix claim you mentioned, which is a position that in your words is "unverifiable" and "to be permanently ignored" instead of in your words "Imaginable with no indication but verifiable (to be true or false) (given time)." In the 9/11 scenario, you could follow whatever evidence emerged and look for more evidence to verify it to be true or false. But how would the second matrix claim that you presented be verified to be true or false?