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Science disenchanting the world. posted 05 November 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionScience disenchanting the world. by TakLoufer, Candidate

Quote: "Cu'jara Cinmoi":2fepd390
The latter issues you raise, Tak, are the only one's that hold my attention anymore. For me, the primary 'abstract' issue confronting humanity is one of reconciling what we experience with what we know.[/quote:2fepd390]

Well, knowledge comes from experience. Our knowledge may lead us to suspect that our naive experiences are not accurate depictions of what is really "out there," but we're never going to get to a point where our experiences themselves are doubted. The red I experience may not "really" be there. But the fact that I see red is indisputable and still has to be accounted for.

Free will, on the other hand, may be an illusion, but I don't take issue with this. Rather, I take issue, for reasons explained in previous posts, with the notion that these illusions of free will (and experience in general) originate from the interactions of vacuous entities.

This is an exciting and terrifying time in history. The dominant institutions in contemporary society are corporations, social units designed to pursue short-term self-interest.

No arguments here.

Meanwhile, we are in the course of witnessing the greatest extinction event since the comet that hit the Yucatan some 65 million years ago.


I'm not a big fan of Bush myself, and I think the war on terrorism is a bunch of smoke and mirrors - but I don't see how we're on the verge of global devastation. Or at least not devastation at an extinction level. Societal collapse is a possibility (maybe), but anything close to an extinction level disaster is vanishingly unlikely. Even a full nuclear exchange wouldn't reduce us to that.

Meanwhile, revolutions abound in every one of the natural sciences. Meanwhile, we're learning that our native self-understanding is as quaint and implausible as the fantastic world-views demolished by science.

Then we need to change our worldview. Materialism, and possibly "free will" (as commonly understood) are just such concepts that need to be scuttled.

We've moved beyond, 'The world makes no sense!' Sense doesn't even make sense anymore.

Nonsense. <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) --> We can always be certain of one thing: We have experience (or, at least I do). This is the axiom by which we derive all other axioms.

1. I have experience.

2. Certain objects in my experience behave as if they have experience as well.

3. Therefore I assume that these objects that behave as if they have experience do, in fact, have experience that is similar, to some degree, to the experience that I enjoy. "Strong" A.I. and thought experiments such as Searle's Chinese Room are exceptions (or, if they do possess experience, the universe is necessarily dualistic).

We can continue this train of thought until we come to the question of what the objects in our experience are made of, or what sustains their existence. Also, we come to the issue of how our experience arises in the first place. This is where the concept of materialism starts to cause more problems then it solves, which leads me to think the metaphysic is outdated and should be scrapped.

So while much knowledge remains (and may forever remain) outside our observable realm, we still have truths (the existence of experience and the assumption of a world beyond our own mind) that we can use to extrapolate about reality.

Modern theories of consciousness make no sense, but this is due in part to an outdated adherence to materialism.

We are all Achamian. We all walk in the shadow of the apocalypse.

This is true.

Every self-aware experiencer walks in the shadow of its own demise. By believing that one's experience came from "nothing," one is led into believing that they are destined to this same "nothing" when the body ceases. To salve this fear, stories of the preserved dead are passed down, as people consider the "I" that looks out from their eyes to be the same as the personalities the "I" inhabits.

A few months ago, you posted this on the "Descartes" thread:

Quote: &quot;Cu'jara Cinmoi&quot;:2fepd390
Back when I tried Zyban to quit smoking I had what could be charitably described as a 'psychotic episode.' Zyban is simply another name for Welbutrin, an anti-depressant that has improved the lives of millions, but seems to drive a small handful bonkers. Quite the experience. 'IT' was thinking alright - the thoughts just seemed to come from nowhere (the 'darkness'). But what freaked me out more was the subsequent realization that the only difference between those thoughts and the thoughts I normally have was that I simply wasn't accustomed to them, and that if I had held onto them long enough, I likely would've have started identifying them as my own. Which led to the question: 'Just WHO (or what) is doing the thinking anyway?'

Then, Replay responded:

Quote: &quot;Replay&quot;:2fepd390
Yep thats the thing. In a way there really is no such thing as a thinker - only thinking itself. If you just quiet your mind and watch, you can easily see this for yourself.

Of course, then you have the problem of trying to work out just what it is that is watching (which isn't you either). But then asking yourself "just who/what am I" is perhaps the hardest (and greatest) question anyone could ever ask.[/quote:2fepd390]

And later:

Quote: &quot;Replay&quot;:2fepd390
Your right, and if you could argue yourself out of existence (though i don't think argue is the right word here), then perhaps this thing called self is not as real as you would first think.

The important thing to notice though is this nothingness that the layers cover. Just what it is? It's certainly not empty, as even if you were to reach a point where there was nothing left of what was originally considered you, there still would be something that sees; something that responds when your name is called; something that acts. So again, what is it? There is certainly no easy answer to such a question.[/quote:2fepd390]

This pretty much sums up my ontology. If I were to place a name on the "something that sees," I'd call it the universe.

-Tak view post


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