well this hardly helps you as i'm not you, and i'm over 18, but i know other countries exist, i've been to two of them. (3, if you count Heathrow as having been to England) how do you know i'm what i claim to be? of more immediate concern, how do i know you're real? trust. sure some will abuse it, particularly online, but i choose to trust people.
in the spirit of the thought experiment though, what if my trust were completely unfounded and everyone's deceiving us? that would suck, and on such a large scale, i think we'd need to know, because it's almost certainly to get something out of us, even if it's control. i'm stopping here though as it gets into a serious tangent about the nature of deception, complex motivations and whether the ends justify the means.
I agree with Danno. I, however think that not everyone is trying to deceive you. Atleast, not when it comes to what country they are from. :)
I'm a huuuuge fan of travel, and you probably won't believe the following:
*I'm 16, and I've lived in 3 countries. (Israel->Japan->U.S.A.->Back to Israel)
*I've been to maaaaaaaany, maaaaaany more countries on vacation besides the ones mentioned above. Canada, Argentina, Italy, Romania, the Netherlands, Denmark, England, and I may be missing something, but that's all I can think of at the moment. Do you believe that I'm from Israel, and at a young age, did all that? Probably not, but I know what I did. xD
total aside, but why (if you don't mind me asking) were you living in these different countries?
I'm immediately reminded of the "brain in a jar" idea. Or, you can go with the Matrix idea if you're not familiar with that (I'm not too much either, so yeah). I think this also relates to Plato's "allegory of the cave" idea, which I'm not 100% sure on so I may be wrong (I'm also lazy and don't want to look it up).
Ultimately, I think the conclusion of each of these thought experiments is that there is no 100% way to conclusively prove that something outside of your own mind (or mental framework) exists. The most likely possibility is that the real world is (more or less) what it appears, but it's entirely possible that it's brains in jars all the way down. The only thing you can be sure of is your own mind, hence why I think Descartes said "I think, therefore I am." Your own mind is the only thing you can be (mostly) sure of as existing. More than anything else, anyway.
So make sure it's the most awesome brain jar there is.
been a few years, so don't quote me on this Cameron, but if memory serves, the cave allegory is actually saying that it is possible to perfectly and complexly imagine something/someone else, but only with effort and intent (and a whole lot of reworking previously held beliefs) of course that could just be the electrodes i have hooked up to my jar :D
Pfft, nerdfighter brains don't use mere electrodes. We are powered via liquid rainbows funneled through the woven hair of unicorn tails.
wait, does that make us collectively part of team unicorn or team zombie?
Open your... cortex? and look at the contents of your brain jar to find your answer!