Where to draw the line: how Platonism haunts our discourse and the search for exorcism
Science works - that isn't an appeal to utility but to objective truth.
It makes predictions and then tests them. If scientifically-gained facts were not objectively true they wouldn't work.
In fact there may be good reasons to suspect that our understanding of reality is distorted at exactly that sort of fundamental level
Vacuous assertion of the smug who think they can find truth by gazing intently at their navel.
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.
I don't agree. This question is pertinent. It's not the wrong question to start with, but the wrong question to finish with!
Science can only help us to find answers to questions we pose. It cannot tell us what questions to pose in the first place or determine the relation of our questions to the world in itself. There is simply no way to be sure that the questions humans see fit to pose about the nature of reality are better questions than what dolphins or done other conscious life may pose. Religions assume a God is the measure of everything. Science assumes human rationality is the measure of everything. Both rely on basic assumptions that cannot be proved.
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?
The first question, distort or not, doesn't have importance. The important is how you handle the question :
* Like religious people, you stay on this first question, rejecting all facts discordant
* Like scientific people, you can change the question according to the new facts...
What is important is not really from where you start, but where you go!
Science assumes human rationality is the measure of everything
Cofty it is for those who assert that science delivers objective reality to prove the point, not for others to prove the opposite. How can you prove that humans are capable of asking and answering questions about the world in itself that make more sense than the dog who asks how the cupboard produces food? It's an assumption that science needs to make before it even gets off the ground, but it's unprovable.
How can you prove that humans are capable of asking and answering questions about the world in itself that make more sense than the dog who asks how the cupboard produces food?
but the question of the cupboard making food makes sense...
Cofty it is for those who assert that science delivers objective reality to prove the point
Or just ignore the cynics and get on with it.
if somebody doesn't value evidence what evidence are you going to offer to convince them otherwise?
You have hit bedrock and no further conversation is possible - or in my case desirable.
The human brain deserves respectful credit... the dog has a long way to catch up
The world in itself deserves respectful credit. For all we know the human mind has even further to catch up than the dog. We may hope otherwise. But where's the woof, I mean proof?