How Can We Prove that We exist?

~My sister, the light of my heart, and the thorn on my back. I insisted that my photographic skills enhanced her beauty. She denied it immediately!

Cogito Ergo Sum means, I think, therefore I am. This phrase was used by Descartes to prove his existence and also to form the foundation of his philosophy. According to Descartes, everything from the existence of God to his own existence is subject to doubt. And if everything is subject to doubt, then the only constant thing would be doubt itself.

However, if one do not exist, who is doing the doubting? Furthermore, the ability to doubt shows that one is thinking.

Therefore, I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am (exist).

Here is the flaw that my sister pointed out.

1. I doubt that my thinking exists that is why I think I exist.

2. But now I doubt that my thinking exists therefore I doubt my existence.

3. If I doubt that my thinking exists, how can I use something that I doubt to prove my doubtful existence?

She goes on further:

1. Descartes has not proven that doubt exists

2. Because he has failed to do so, we cannot prove the existence of the thing (doubt) that supposedly proves our existence.

3. Since we cannot prove our existence or non-existence, we cannot prove our existence exists.

4. Therefore, do we exist? And does it really matter?



8 Responses to “How Can We Prove that We exist?”
  1. pochp says:

    Wow. Your sister seems too young to be a wise philosopher.

  2. Dharma Kesuma says:

    I think, if we wanna proof anything, then we must defines the terms used.
    Here we wanna examine if “We” are “Exist”. So, we must defines what the meaning of those 2 words, precisely.
    From the definitions we gave, then we can decides which method of proofing is appropriate, a priori or a posteriori.
    Above all, we must accepts the four law of logic:
    1. (A and -A) always false.
    2. (A or -A) always true.
    3. A => A, always true
    4. Anything can be defined precisely.

    Tell me these two, and I’ll help u simply to decided are we exist. Define:
    1. “we”
    2. “exist”

    Dharma Kesuma

  3. jamesesz says:

    Ok..I am not sure of my sister’s definition..but mine is the following..

    When I said ‘we,’ this can be replace by I..Do I exist? And in saying ‘I,’ I mean a rational animal to keep things simple.

    Next, when I say ‘exist,’ I mean real in the sense that all our life experiences (memories, behavior, senses, emotions, and thoughts) are real and not like in the movie Matrix whereby our senses are clouded..


  4. whatever says:

    you are making a big misleading statement in the parenthesis … Descartes does not mention existence and I am != exist. It is easy to misread, and leads to bad consequences of teaching wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • jamesesz says:

      Dear Whatever,

      The Oxford Guide to Philosophy by Ted Honderich states under the title Cogito Ergo Sum that its meaning is, ‘I am thinking, therefore I exist. Please elaborate as to how the teaching is wrong as I am also curious if the English translation of French is wrong.

      James Ee

  5. Awesome! Its really awesome paragraph, I have got much clear idea regarding from this

  6. Mherela says:

    Sir, this is quite good. With another round of edtniig, you can easily make it for the common man and please send it to Kumudam or Ananda Vigadan (it is my suggestion, but the end decision is upto you). I dont know to view this in relation to polotical point and the emotions of common man, which you know very well than others. Thanks.

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