Where to draw the line: how Platonism haunts our discourse and the search for exorcism

by slimboyfat 120 Replies latest jw friends

  • slimboyfat
    slimboyfat
    Science is a way of investigating reality. It is committed to methodological naturalism. It works.

    It's interesting again you defend science on pragmatic grounds. To the extent that it works it's to be welcomed. But shouldn't you be defending its truth value, beyond mere arguments for utility? I mean theology "worked" for millennia, and still does work for many. That didn't stop it becoming obsolete, as you claim.

  • galaxie
    galaxie
    It seems convolution will accelerate... for ever etc
  • coalize
    coalize
    Therefore scientists are the new high priests

    The difference between scientists and a theologian in the reality field, is the same than between an investigator and a medium in a crime scene...

  • slimboyfat
    slimboyfat

    talesin you are exactly right.

    Religious tradition taught that God's perspective provides absolute truth.

    Scientific tradition taught the rational man's perspective provides absolute truth.

    Perspectivism asks whether it's time to stop calling particular perspectives absolute truth and show some humility.

  • coalize
    coalize
    "Perspectivism asks whether it's time to stop calling particular perspectives absolute truth and show some humility"

    The perspectivism doesn't oppose scientific method, nor scientific tradition! He even don't oppose rationnalism!

    If you remember, Leibniz himself promoted a perspectivist and fully rational philosophy, based on the principles of sufficient reason and fullness, and asserted the need to envisage worlds and multiple viewpoints using a higher and inclusive logic.

  • cofty
    cofty
    "What if" questions are those of the true scientist - forever challenging the status quo - Talesin

    Science is based on never-ending attempts to break new ground and challenge error. String theory is still an unproven hypothesis. Maybe one day it will be shown to be true maybe it won't.

    I see the 'human superiority' stance as the greatest conceit

    Superior in what way? As a species our speciality is our big brains. However we can use that for good or not as history shows.

  • cofty
    cofty
    But shouldn't you be defending its truth value, beyond mere arguments for utility?

    I am.

    The earth isn't flat. That isn't a useful perspective, it's a fact. The worm is ignorant.

  • slimboyfat
    slimboyfat

    A problem at the heart of scientific discourse on reality is the basic assumption that humans are mentally equipped to ask and answer questions about the nature of reality in a way that accurately reflects the world in itself. There is simply no way to justify that assumption. It simply must be assumed in order to get off the ground. But there's nothing actually supporting it, other than wishful thinking and an inhibition to contemplate the alternative.

    Take a dog as a counter example. It sees food emerge from the cupboard every day. It may wonder to itself, "how does the cupboard make food?"

    From our perspective that question betrays a basic misunderstanding of the reality of the situation, and no matter how hard the dog tries to answer the question he's not going to arrive at what a realist would call an "objective" answer to the question as framed. It's the wrong question to start with.

    So Cofty thinks he's got a trump card when he says, "do rocks have consciousness?" is a question for science and science alone. The problem is how do we even know it's a valid question in relation to the world in itself in the first place? What if the question, "do rocks have consciousness?" makes as much sense as the dog's question, "how does the cupboard make food?"

    In other words what if the question itself betrays a misunderstanding of reality so fundamental that we cannot even begin to understand how the question distorts the world in itself that it seeks to explain? There is no way to rule it out. In fact there may be good reasons to suspect that our understanding of reality is distorted at exactly that sort of fundamental level.

  • coalize
    coalize
    the basic assumption that humans are mentally equipped to ask and answer questions about the nature of reality in a way that accurately reflects the world in itself

    No. At contrary, the scientific method is a tool useful, specially because we can't trust our mental or our reason. They are not sufficient. That's why you need proofs...

  • galaxie
    galaxie
    The human brain deserves respectful credit... the dog has a long way to catch up

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