Parading materialistic rationalism as some sort of transcendent ideology because all beliefs spawn from scientific verification is absolutely absurd. Modern rationalism does not run on pure data, but a mix of data and dogmatic interpretation. Many forget that science is tightly wed with philosophy. Before a hypothesis, experiment, and theory can even arise, there has to be a QUESTION. The very question implies inhibiting dogmatic standards of thought, based on perception, which would, in the end, limit the very interpretation of experimental data to fit a worldview.
To get a pure representation of the data received from the experiment, one would have to think and express him or her self in the language in which the data was presented. That language is mathematics. The distortion of the reality presents its self in the attempted translation of that data into a traditional form of language. These traditional languages are embedded in constantly changing cultural and social norms, which distort the pure meanings the inventors of the words initially intended.
This is the very reason we argue, our unique perception in this cultural ocean, mold and reshape our words to a point where the original message can easily lost. This is because of the very archaic technique used to learn language. We learn by making associations between unrelated masses. These associations trigger with either a visual, or audible cue. The problem with this is that the associations are unique to individual perspective.
So a global worldview, or one world religion, or true philosophy, is IMPOSSIBLE with our current languages. Transcendence to a point where that is possible is only available through communication through pure mathematics, not a translation from mathematics. So thinking “rationalism”, or “materialism” is somehow superior to any other ideology because of “facts” is absurd. It is just fancy word play. We are all in our own unique illusion inhibited by our techniques used to define.
@ltwild3, Hello Nic, could you explain what you mean by this….
“Parading materialistic rationalism as some sort of transcendent ideology because all”
I do not mean at all to be confrontational, I think you make some very good points about the incredible weakness of common metaphor based languages. I am just not sure what you mean by this. I consider myself a materialist, and a monist, whose interpretation of reality is based in natural science; however, I can think of at least one type of transcendence, that I currently think may be a hypothetical possibility, as well as a few others that may just be wishful thinking. Could you give me an example of what, “Parading materialistic rationalism as some sort of transcendent ideology”. looks like? It is certainly not something I can envision myself doing.
@epiphileon, Yeah no worries, I was somewhat ranting out of nowhere there. I had just finished watching a scientific debate. Usually when a materialist, or rationalist argues their point of view(at least from my experience), especially when comparing other ideologies such as religious positions or metaphysics, they seem to take the position of idealogical superiority. As if the other positions were for people who are just not smart enough. Its as if the position is defended with an absolute truth to back the ideology, and that smoking gun is scientific data. We say the scientific data is what backs our ideas, but that is not true what so ever. What we back is our own, or a culturally sanctioned interpretation of that data. Ideology is just a coping system, or filter if you will, to comprehend what we call existence. It is not a true or pure signal of that existence.
In the debate, certain individuals would be shunned for presenting alternative interpretations of the same data the others formed their ideas around. The data supported both approaches, but the culture determined the interpretation to BELIEVE. This was all under the guise of the holy word “science”, but it was a 100% philosophical debate.
Now I’m not saying that its not a worthy path to take, backing beliefs with evidence, but my point is it is just as illusory as any other philosophy. It used to be fact, that the earth was flat, it was a fact that the atom was the smallest particle, it was a fact that the earth was the center of the solar system. The data was always accurate, the fault was in the interpretation. My point is just that our reality constantly shifts and morphs because our filter(perception) is constantly changing, learning, adapting, or whatever word you wish to use. These things materialists call facts, are just a word game to convince people to join in the ideology. Just as the religious system uses the word faith. Its a very different ideological approach, but the same tactic none the less.
Sorry I get so wordy, long story short, any absolute truth is infinitely unobtainable through our use of language. So the superiority game I see played when people back their arguments,to me, is completely and always absolutely unjustified.
Hmmm, that was odd that reply was truncated, here is the whole post.
@ltwild3, HI Nic, what debate were you watching, is it available online?
I am really curious about this, I really want to understand how you got this impression. Like I said I know there are plenty of assholes out there who actually think there is some sort of justifiable reason to behave that way, on the other hand I worry that people are getting a misimpression of naturalism due to some manner of presentation that, even I may use.
“Sorry I get so wordy, long story short, any absolute truth is infinitely unobtainable through our use of language. So the superiority game I see played when people back their arguments,to me, is completely and always absolutely unjustified.”
I have no problem with wordiness, language is a slippery thing, and it some times takes many words.
As a naturalist I can tell you, there is only one thing I regard as indubitable or, as what you may be calling absolute truth. “I think; therefor, I am.” That is the only unassailable fact I know, after that, everything is open to some level of doubt, and the function of natural science, is to lower that doubt as much as possible.
@ltwild3, Hi Nic, finally finished watching the video from your OP, and first let me say, that contrary to your impression, I saw an extremely civilized discussion, on the part of folks that are specialists in one of the most esoteric fields of scientific investigation.
The only time that I see anything interpretable as “shunning”, or being dismissive of an other’s interpretation of the same data is at about 1:16 when Marcello, asserts that data from the LHC indicates something different than what Katy thinks it does. Frankly I’m surprised that went over as lightly as it did. The history of physics is replete with some very knock down, drag out, fights over interpretations of the data. The wave vs particle debate is a good example, prior to the synthesis of the two positions.
Physicists are human, they have personalities, and although it is not in compliance with a pure application of scientific method, they do sometimes, get personally invested in their work, and can get just as shitty as anyone else who mistakenly, or unconsciously, thinks the very fabric of themselves is under attack because of such disagreements.
That however; is not an invalidation of, what I think, you are calling rationalism.
Let’s go back to your original assertion…
“Parading materialistic rationalism as some sort of transcendent ideology because all beliefs spawn from scientific verification is absolutely absurd. Modern rationalism does not run on pure data, but a mix of data and dogmatic interpretation”
I still have trouble accepting that I really know what you’re saying here. I do not at all understand, in this context, the phrase, “transcendent ideology”, could we substitute,
“Parading materialistic rationalism as the most objective description of our shared reality, because all beliefs spawn from scientific verification is absolutely absurd”
Is that an accurate interpretation of what you said?
If so, and if that were the case, I would agree with you; however, I do not know anyone who does that, anyone that is, that I consider to be doing science..
Not all of science is empirically verified data, speculation is a huge part of the scientific method, it is the basis of hypothesis formation.
” Many forget that science is tightly wed with philosophy.”
None of what I would consider properly trained scientists would make this mistake, before the name “scientist”, they were called, “natural philosophers”, IOW Lovers of the knowledge of nature”. Fundamental to the activity of science is knowledge, and as every proper scientist knows, all terms must be defined; therefore, what is knowledge? Aha! philosophy, specifically epistemology.
Philosophy also plays an active role throughout scientific investigation in the shaping of questions. This has been so throughout the history of science, and I can give you an excellent modern example, Daniel Dennet(a philosopher) in his book, “Consciousness Explained”, does a superb job of delineating what a theory of consciousness must be able to explain, if it is to actually be a valid theory of consciousness.
Ardent defense of scientifically derived positions, should not be mistaken as dogmatism, most scientists confronted with clear contradictory evidence to an accepted theory, will reject the theory,
I’m sorry I do not have the time to watch all the videos you have posted, I’d never get around to responding if I did. I noticed that you posted one of Richard Dawkins though, I am pretty familiar with him, and his positions. Do you think that evolutionary theory is dogma? Currently one of the most ardently defended scientific theories is evolution. I would join Dawkins and many others, in defending this theory, and if it seems at times that we are dismissive of some debaters, well yes I think we are, but with just cause. I have argued the case for evolution on other forums and the biggest problem is the people who rail against it, do not understand the theory, and insist on making misinterpretations of what the theory says. Evolutionary theory is one of the most robust and incredibly well supported, current scientific theories. But it is not dogma, it is open to doubt on the basis of any contradictory evidence, the problem for the deniers is, there isn’t any.
There can be no dogma in science, we are always aware that any description of reality we have, is only the current best approximation we have, and there are other qualifiers, like the absolute inability to disprove that all this is just a simulation. We are well aware of that, we are also aware that rational investigation of the world has brought us one hell of a long way, and one of the biggest benefits of it, is we now can take the time to immerse ourselves in the wonder of the universe, and delve even deeper into it. No other interpretation of reality has done that for us.
Terrance McKenna is making a completely unverifiable conjecture, and is also misrepresenting quantum mechanics. If reality is made of language, then where did all of the reality prior to language come from?
And the potentially most misleading influence to understanding the universe is what seems intuitively correct. What in all of evolutionary history would have selected for a brain that would naturally comprehend QM? Nothing. And if we can sing reality into existence then why don’t we sing away cancer?
Terence McKenna is not misrepresenting Quantum Mechanics. You say that as if quantum mechanics can be represented correctly and incorrectly through scientific means. It does not have a voice whatsoever. Any representation of the evidence of the implications quantum mechanics has on society, by whoever it may be, is not a scientific process, it is a philosophical one. Mr. McKenna is not addressing pure statistical observations here, if that were the case, he would just be discussing the steps that the experiment went through. What he is expressing is the philosophical implications that these experiments have on society, based on his interpretation. What ANY scientist does after analyzing their data, and presenting it’s implications to the public is philosophy. He presents it so that society can integrate new ideas based on observation, and how that affects our idea, or perception of the world. It is no longer science at that point.
Representing or misrepresenting data is not scientific, is is philosophic. The data does not come with the interpretation. If the ideologic approach does not hold up to the construct of the currently accepted and dominant world view, it is discarded by means of presenting a more readily accepted interpretation.
My point in all of this is that the materialistic world view does not come about by a “correct interpretation” of scientific data, for the data is voiceless. We humans add the voice to it through philosophic means, not scientific means or processes. Reductionist Materialism is not a scientific idea, it is a philosophic one. But a materialist argues, perhaps not you (this is a straw man comment based on prior discussions and observations) that their philosophy is birthed by pure scientific data, which I am arguing is impossible. As Rupert Sheldrake puts it, ” The science delusion is the belief that science already understands the nature of reality in principle, leaving only the details to be filled in.”
I will reword my original statement to try and clarify, because I do not believe your clarification correctly addresses my concern.
Original comment: “Parading materialistic rationalism as some sort of transcendent ideology”
Re-prased: “Claiming materialistic rationalism is an ideology that better approaches some sort of ultimatum of underlying truth”…
To answer your question in regards to singing away cancer if reality truly is language, skip to 23:48 in this video. Terence Answers it himself. He is not referring to language in the same sense that we understand in, in terms of english, or spanish, but as a form of information patterned in a way to spawn and present complex systems. Mathematics or binary is closer to the language he is talking about here, languages way more complex and sophisticated than or feeble attempts at coding abstract associations, unique to each individual, into words that we all must share in a system such as latin. So why cant we sing away cancer? We are working on it in the medical field with the science of chemistry, a science void of all presuppositions and dogmatic baggage that plague the other disciplines such as anthropology, archaeology, or any other science where a direct observer of a specific event cannot be present, and a BELIEF has to fill that void. Through these systems such as chemistry and mathematics, which we can call language, we can indeed get to a point where we find the right words, in a METAPHORICAL sense, to indeed sing away cancer.
P.S. sorry for the delay, was recovering from surgery. We both seem to have been messed up lately. Also my CAPS are not yelling, I’m just emphasizing particular words to the best of my ability void of the ability to italicize. @epiphileon,
@ltwild3, Hi Nik, no problem, I hope the surgery was a success and recovery is proceeding well, and as comfortable as possible. I’ve had a few, and although I find the initial recovery from general anesthesia interesting, overall it is an unpleasant business.
In the first video, Terrance McKenna said, (I haven’t watched the part of the second one yet you referenced, but I feel this is a critical issue)
“Mind is necessary for the world to undergo the formality of existing, this is what quantum physics teaches.”
This is what I was referring to as a misrepresentation, and it is one form of a very common misrepresentation, I do not believe QM teaches this at all.
When two slit experiments are done on photons from distant stars, the reality of the photons began, in some cases, hundreds of millions of years ago, observation within the experimental space may effect how they are manifested, but it does not create them, they exist independently of mind. ‘
And again this raises the question, “What of reality before minds?”
The phenomena of QM are largely confined to the QM realm. For example consider electron tunneling, fire a stream of electrons at an insurmountable barrier, and there are various outcomes for the individual electrons, annihilation, or redirection before hitting the barrier; however, some disappear near the barrier and reappear on the other side, as if nothing had been in the way., Now try this with a stream of bullets fired at a sheet of steel, there will be only one outcome until a hole is worn in the barrier.
Please understand that nothing I say is meant belligerently, I do directly counter a few points on the basis of what I understand of the sciences involved; however, in general I still think there are area’s of your position that are unclear to me, and these may indicate that parts of what we are saying are not as far apart as they may seem. I do think there is a fundamental difference though, and this is what I’d like to understand.
I did start listening to the last video you referenced, when you said to start, that guy is certainly fascinating and has obviously thought deeply about his position; however, not only do I want to listen to more of it, it seems, at this point, that how I would address what he is saying in this clip, would broaden, rather than lessen my uncertainty that we are effectively communicating.
I still object to the notion of science being dogmatic, dogma is unquestioned, at least that is the most common connotation of the word. There are only two things I know of that are unquestionable. One is that I exist, the other is, about everything else I may be wrong.
I also have trouble with what I think you might be saying about everything after the data, in science being philosophy. I believe you would have to redefine the words for that to be so. Hypothesis testing, and theory development, are subject to rigorous methodology.
Sorry for the delay in this response, I have been in quite a bit of a quandary over how to present the case for naturalism, and that has been interfering with my response here. In any case, what do you think of the above?
@ltwild3, Most beliefs don’t spawn from scientific verification at all.. but much the opposite. Most beliefs are inherited from one person to the next. Even if the original message for us was somewhere in mathematical format, someone along the way changed all the 1s to 0s and 0s to 1s in order to make that message benefit them and put down others. There is no forumla.. or message.. We are the message.. we are the point.. what you do with it is just your choice. You don’t have to do anything with it. But trying to understand anything outside of this is a mute point.. What this “IS” or what the point is, if there ever was one would never be comprehended by human beings with our limited knowledge and be able to be put into words nonetheless.. our simple brains just can’t fathom it.. nor should we be able to.
All matter is merely energy condensed to a small vibration.. we are one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, There is no such thing as death, life is just a dream and we are the imagination of ourselves. Enjoy it.
@trek79, Yeah, I believe all idealogical constructs hold equal validity in terms of an absolute truth, because experience of the “external”, where that truth is believed to exist” is out of our reach indefinitely. We are confined to a filter called mind, which uses tools to analyze an infinitesimally small portion of the external reality called senses. Then that mind translates that experience to perception. So no ideology could obtain what we call truth. At least thats what my filter interpreted lol. Im not arguing for religion or any scientific philosophy. Im agnostic to all experience.
@jjj333, Haha yeah thats what I’m trying to say. Scientific verification is just another ideological construct. I do not believe there is an obtainable truth, thats why I’m arguing against the idea that science can provide something we call answers. All questions we may have are from the mind, so all answers we have, must also come from that mind. Nice Hicks quote, I actually experienced that same idea the other day after doing five grams of mushrooms. It was more in the sense that conscious experience is a concentrated swirl (like a waterspout) dancing briefly in an eternal fractal pattern made up of different size swirls. It somewhat puts a new spin on the idea that we are eternal, because each swirl has the entire fractal within it, but as you zoom in, you only experience that swirl for an instance as a new one appears.
@epiphileon, Yeah, I think McKenna misspoke when he said that “this is what quantum physics teaches” if we want to get into a direct litany of the verbatim in the quote. I do not think anyone can speak in the name of a scientific idea. I believe what he was getting at, though, was his interpretation of QM leads him to the idea that mind is fundamental based on his interpretation. Just as each individual’s interpretation can differ slightly.
I think we will just have to agree to disagree though on the following point. I still hold that philosophy molds the scientific community 100% because thats what our minds work off of. I do not think it is a scientifically valid idea that existence can be without mind, because it is fundamentally untestable. It is a presupposition based on a philosophical idea adopted by the mainstream scientific community, that we understand the fundamental theory of existence, with just the remaining holes to be filled in. Mind provides the experience, without mind there is no experience, with no experience, there is nothing to call reality, which is just a product of mind. The only scientifically observable “fact” here would be that mind is a fundamental aspect of reality, because that is observed. Wipe out all life, and no one can test that there is a universe. Which means it would be unscientific to say there is one.
Lets use Dawkins as an example to further explore my point that there is only philosophy in the endgame. He believes nature is purposeless and absolutely random. His mind (according to him) is the product of this random occurrence. If this is true, than his mind is just a jumble of random and wild electrical firings that create what he experiences as perception. He then turns around and has the audacity to state that those who subscribe to religious philosophies, or those who engage in drug induced states are experiencing delusion, or false experience in terms of underlying reality. But if his philosophy is true, then ALL perceptive experience would be equally delusional, including his, for there is no fundamental underlying structure that the electrical impulses could abide by. No fundamental truth. The chaos would void all dominance of theories and speculation because there would be no foundation for which they could stand. Because all philosophies are the result of equally random electrical firings(including his), none would be connected to what we would call truth. From that point, he cannot claim intellectual superiority, because his very philosophy contradicts his approach to making a point.
I get what you are saying though, I just cannot accept it based on the associations and observations from my own perception. I believe in terms of truth, all perceptions are equally flawed and accurate, as Dawkins or any materialist should, taking their approach seriously. I believe materialist reductionism is the first step towards the philosophy of chaos theory, once it can get over the contradiction I am pointing out.