> ...allow me to timidly pose a question. Is there any way to escape a
> solipsistic view without some sort of faith in an external objective
> reality? I believe that this tiny little leap of faith is a rational
> choice, but it still remains a leap of faith.
Solipsism is just like theism: it's not disprovable, so whether or not it is true isn't relevant. You can make all the same predictions if you assume that you are the only existent being in the universe, experiencing an illusion that behaves /as if/ there were an objective reality in which you are just a part as you would make if you assume that reality is in fact objective; just as you would draw the same conclusions you would if you assumed that God created the universe to appear the way it does. It makes no difference at all. One reason to reject them is Occam's Razor: since making the assumption that you, or God, are somehow special and central isn't necessary, why bother?
> Is this not saying that if there are no indubitable grounds for belief
> that at the heart of any belief system there must be some little nugget
> of faith in something without a true proof?
Define "belief" and "faith" sufficiently, and ask again. To me, to "believe" is to treat a theory as sufficiently useful that I base actions of will upon it. This does /not/ mean that it is immutable, nor that I consider it "proven". What I call "faith" is immutable belief /in the face/ of evidence to the crontrary. One can reject such immutable belief without going so far as to demand absolute proof of a theory before committing one's will to it. Reason is neither blind faith nor blind skepticism.
"Proof" as the central concept of epistemology was dethroned by Popper et al. Long live criticism!
-- Lee Daniel Crocker <firstname.lastname@example.org> <http://www.piclab.com/lcrocker.html> "All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past, are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC