Sunday, 24 July 2011

The Memory vs The Moment

So here's one of those philosophical questions: are you experiencing this moment right now, or are you simply remembering it? (And if you are remembering it, thanks for thinking of this blog.)

Seriously, the previous night I was woken around 3am by some louts yelling outside. Unusually for me, I went back to sleep pretty much straight away, yet I remember the moment. And now, I'm wondering... did I ever really experience, or is it just a memory I have and it never happened?

And beyond that... this moment right now. Are you experiencing it for real? Or is this simply a vivid memory you're experiencing? And if it is a memory, is it a real one?

Studies have shown that memory is very unreliable. So if this is a memory, is it one that is actually based in reality? Or are you imagining that you're reading this post?

[This reminds me of the idea that... what if the universe was created, as is, with everyone having their memories as they are, what if it was all created just five minutes ago?]

However, contemplating this sort of thing, while interesting, and can lead to weird thoughts in your head... what can you do about it? It's one of those non-falsifyable hypotheses. And, more practically, what of it? Even if it is true, what can you do about it? You can't tell if this is happening right now or a memory, so that possibility doesn't get you anywhere.

(Although, there is a comfort of knowing that you're around in the future and simply remembering it.)

It's a weird idea that I have at times...


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