The non-existence of other minds
We should all be familiar with Descartes’ famous, Cogito ergo sum. I think, therefore I am.
But one thing we shouldn’t necessarily take for granted, like we can take for granted our thinking and our existence is that “we” are a “we” at all. After all, since I don’t see life from another human’s perspective…I don’t think as an another human, how can I be sure that any other humans are actually thinking and feeling?
We simply take on faith that there are other minds. It’s a pragmatic thing.
…but after reading a few things, I’ve come to draft a Mormon understand that other minds do not exist.
The first time I heard of such an idea was from reading The Egg, a short story by Andy Weir. The situation of this story was a man, who had died in a car accident, meeting God and finding out that he is to be reincarnated. Of course, the details of that reincarnation (e.g., being reincarnated as a Chinese girl from the sixth century) lead to a surprising conclusion.
But Andy Weir’s story had nothing really Mormon in it. So that went into my, “OK, that’s nice, but kinda lame” pile.
But then, the second thing that made the gears of my mind turn was a comment on reddit. The comment brought up Adam-God Theory, which to be honest, I hadn’t really paid much attention to ever before. It pointed out that, if Adam is God, then the “loop” of “As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become” is closed. In other words, it isn’t the case, for example, that God was a man on a planet like ours…God was the first man on our planet.
The issue is: how did God create the same world he was the first man on? If God is outside of time, this isn’t problematic at all, however. But is the Mormon formulation of God (any system of folk doctrine you choose) outside of time?
At Faith-Promoting Rumor, Enoch posted his nuancimony. While I think the discussion about the nature of honesty is fascinating (you should just read all of the comments, there, I was more interested by Enoch’s elaboration on his belief in reincarnation. He elaborated:
Yes, it is a very fun topic. The very short version: If our goal is godhood, this life is both too insufficient and unequal to accomplish that. My views absolutely extend to Jesus–would you want a God who had not also been a Savior? The only answer is multiple incarnations and there is much to back this up–the temple statement about the nature of this world, the King Follett discourse that says God was also a Christ, the doctrine that Christ is also the Father, the idea that Adam is Christ’s “firstborn”; we are spiritually begotten, etc. My favorite parts of this idea: That we have a God who understands everything because he has BEEN everything, and the equality of men and women. I will email you the document I wrote up on this, since I don’t want to get on too much of a tangent on this post. Perhaps I will post my “Eternal Progression” thoughts another time.
Consider the lines in the middle of that: God was also a Christ, Christ is also the Father, Adam is Christ’s firstborn. We have a God who understands everything because he has BEEN everything.
God was also a Christ not to some other world, but to this very world. God understands everything because he has been everything.
Or more precisely, I have been everything. You have been everything. I am you and everyone else who has ever lived or ever will live, and one day, we will progress to be with heavenly father not just because this is proper, but because the only thing we can do is realize the fullness that we are ourselves.