Essay by dlb9258College, UndergraduateA, November 2004

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Why should one doubt everything? The reason I ask "Why?" is because doubting everything you know and sense is not accomplishing anything; one should only doubt what could be proven incorrect. Descartes is defiantly a skeptic, not the usual doubter but the "King" so to speak of doubters. Descartes, one of the most intellectual of all mathematicians, secludes himself in a room to doubt everything, even his existence. Descartes began this thought experiment intending to find a foundation on which to build scientific knowledge. Descartes, however, is not foolish for doubting, but should not try to "raze everything to the ground," he should only find the faults in the things we call truths and correct them. There is no benefit from this type of skepticism but only to waste the time of people that are slowly deteriorating. But are we deteriorating if we do not exist? Maybe there is a reason to ask "Why?" However, there is no reasonable way to go about this total annihilation of anything that can be doubted.

Finally, we should consider Otto Nuerath's philosophy of taking out what can be proven wrong in the things that we believe and replacing it with what is correct and in comparison measure Nuerath's philosophy next to Descartes' journey to methodically demolish his life down to his very existence.

We as humans have what we call a memory. If we are going to attempt to doubt everything, we are going to have to clear our memory, which is impossible. We cannot take everything that we ever learned and doubt it all. If we do try to accomplish this impossible task it would take longer than a human lifespan. We can examine Descartes' house-building metaphor, which means we "raze everything to the ground and begin again from the original...