Solipsism is Everything That's Wrong With Philosophy
In case you’re unfamiliar with Solipsism, it’s basically the position that nothing exists outside of your own mind. It’s essentially the philosophical argument that any five-year-old can discover and espouse as elegantly as the best philosopher, and in my experience most children do figure it out for themselves at some point.
It makes me angry for one very specific reason: even if it’s true, nothing changes. Yes, for all we know nothing outside of our consciousness actually exists and it’s all just a construct of our minds. But in that case what changes? Not a thing. Besides, it’s a ridiculously wasteful hypothesis, very unparsimonious, and you’d think it would have been sliced to pieces by Occam’s Razor long ago.
Why is it wasteful? Because in order for it to work, there has to be something that creates our consciousness (in the case of the aforementioned article, a computer simulation). But then we have to explain how that got created. All that it does is add another, pointless layer of complexity to the universe, one that we can never see or test and which is unparsimonious, and as such should be thrown out.
Appealing to the apparent fine-tuning of constants for life is also pointless. Imagine that, beings that can think find themselves in an environment that’s conducive to beings that can think. Quite the surprise! There may very well be no other way the universe can turn out, but maybe not, and either way the fact that we find ourselves in such a universe is not a surprise, and NOT evidence for an intelligent designer of any form, computer or god. To get to that conclusion requires healthy doses of sloppy thinking.
Solipsism embodies everything that I loathe about philosophy: untestable, predictionless, unparsimonious, and absurd. No one who seriously considers it as a possibility should call themselves a scientist.