Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hermeneutics

"Rational arguments don't usually work on religious people -- otherwise there wouldn't be any religious people. But don't listen to me. I'm just the messenger. And you should know that these messages I bring are open to broad interpretation; they were given to me as symbols and signs like satyrs and angels, adders and icons -- just a thought of a whimsical mind.

"If there's one thing I've learned over all this time it's that there is no objective truth. Think about it. A scientist says he wants to study the effect of gravity and the weight of the world falling on a newborn child. He says his study is neutral, with no preconceptions. Now, how can that be when he himself was once born and lived out his days held fast to this planet by said force? How can he be objective, 3rd person omniscient? How do you put all that lived experience in brackets in a flesh and blood world? How can he claim to be transcendental, claim to be a god, and remain neutral?

"You see, science is no more than another religion, and rational arguments don't usually work on religious people. I am Hermes, the messenger god, the god of travelers and thieves. You should know better than to listen to me.

38 comments:

Fern said...

listening listening all the time. rational and irrational. I need both.

yes, I should know better, but all the world's a stage and I my seats ain't too bad, so even though my program has been folded into a paper hat, I'm hanging around.

listening.

and watching...that video is so so so amazing.

American Hill BIlly said...

You got Critical Thinking Skills, and teach them well. I been looking for sites to help teach just that sort. You will be in a different blog roll of Critical Thinking Development; when I get it up. I am linking you, IF that is fine, then good. But if not drop me a fresh cut of grass saying the all has been cut!



Peace and Freedom

Duke said...

Hermeneutics - Trying to teach ourselves to walk in another mans shoes with varying degrees of success.

I've watched the clip thrice. Intriguing and sensual. At least that's what I'm getting from it.

Cestandrea said...

Love the clip, its resonating in my belly, and Hermeneutics, are difficult, I always want to see and understand the man/the woman who wrote those words, painted this painting, composed this music and had this connection with the spiritual world...

noisysmile said...

Sometimes those who are completely against the idea of 'religion' are the most religious. All it takes is complete devotion.

human being said...

Hermeneutics...
you have entered the land of the crow!
LOL!
joking apart... Jon, what makes your mind so beautiful is that your thinking abilities and intuition work side by side...or hand in hand?... that's why you are both a good poet/writer and a good researcher...

love the way you help the travelers and thieves...
:)

and another positive point about you (today the crow sees just the positive points!)... is that you never leave any discussion unfinished.... i remember in one of your previous post's comments there was a reference to science...and i asked, 'what is science after all?" and nobody answered the curious crow!!!
now
we have these wise words... yes if we disregard that relativity and defend our belief dogmatically, even science can act as a "mind-petrifier" (do you like the coinage?)-- contrary to its very primary purpose...

the spiral movement i am in love with considering any path... holds also true when we confront any message... all the readers and recipients walk on the path of the message but each are in a different 'altitude'... or 'depth'...
----------------------

can you do me a favor, Jon? please give me the link to this video... i see it just as a white rectangle... and nothing happens when i click on it... it should be on youtube which is filtered here in Iran... when i have the link, i can use the antifilter and watch it... thanks soooooo much...

Hopper said...

Fern...
so it's all hats lately... I've got a pirate hat on here now... and an eye patch... and a parrot on my shoulder... and I'm the guy who's in the seat ahead of yours and why do you keep on kicking my seat... this is an opera... not the freeking Rocky Horror Picture Show... geesh... have some respect won't ya... ;)

Hill Billy...
Nice to meet up with you again... thinking that you came through here from the Enemy of the Republic... she's great... and you go right ahead and link away my friend... I'm not so sure that I'm the critical thinker that you're giving me credit for... I just follow the threads falling out of my mind and let them write their way onto the page (or the screen in this case)... I stopped over at your blog and read a few of your posts... like your thoughts on Che... he's the man... hope to see you around again soon...

Duke...
yeah... I'm not 100% on what this whole philosophy entails... but walking in someone else's shoes sounds about right... I see it linked to the idea of phenomenology in a lot of ways... but also looking at it in terms of text analysis... everything needs a vehicle... more to follow another time...

Andrea...
as always lovely to hear from you... I too want to know better the minds of the artists that paint the painting and write the words... it's a self reflective process is creation... and yeah I love this video too... it's a Peter Gabriel song from 1989 called "Zaar" if you were curious... see ya soon...

Noisysmile...
I'm trying to remember where I saw it... maybe a friend of yours... it's a poster about atheism... it goes something like:

ATHEISM: the idea that once there was nothing and then nothing did nothing and became something and then for no reason nothing that became something went bang and everything formed and without any reason things started crawling around and then one day you were born and none of it had any purpose...

I'm not sure that I believe in anything absolutely... and as far as argumentation goes I say... if you are not willing to admit that perhaps there is no god then I am not willing to admit that perhaps there is...

CROW...
well you know... I can't let discussions go myself... especially when it's about things that I'm always thinking about... trying to puzzle through...
mind-petrifier is a good term... and isn't it funny how science seems to defend itself to fiercely sometimes... Arthur C. Clark once said...

As soon as someone says something is impossible it must surely one day come to be.

And I can agree with that... how can science say that anything is impossible when everything about science is a theory... even those things we take as scientific law... they're usually more like a work in progress... and going back to Acham's Razor for a moment... in any law governing phenomenon simplicity must be the maxim... the more elegant and simple a rule the more likely it could be true... anyways... just a thought...

Hopper said...

Oh yeah... in case anyone was wondering why I chose to use the voice of Hermes (a god himself) to admonish religion and science... well... I'll just leave that one for now...

magenta&riffraff said...

With a bit of a mind flip...
You're into a time slip...

BBC said...

Not bad, no original thoughts here, but decent recycling.

He says his study is neutral, with no preconceptions.

If he had no preconceptions he wouldn't be working on that study at all.

Frankly, I believe in the religion of science as you call it. The evolving god is a scientist trying to discover himself and improve all that is.

There are of course evil scientists and that is a worry.

Bobbb - Citizen of Earth said...

So says Hermes
But what of Copernicus, Kepler and Einstien?

They told me something different
Something religions didn't want to hear.

Objective truth?
It's all relative says Einstein
Even Hermes

Bobbb - Citizen of Earth said...

Jon
was curious as to your thoughts on my comments re pictures telling stories...

human being said...

thanks Jon for the link... i could see the video and... it was shockingly beautiful...

and now that you like simple rules, i put all your thoughts in a nut shell:

-- impossible is impossible --

how do you like that?
:D
thank you Jon for all your thought-provoking thoughts...
----------------------

and Bobbb...
i learned a lot from your comments and your answer to Jon regarding photos telling a story...

just wanted to tell you how inspiring your words are wherever you write them...
thanks dear friend...

BBC said...

Jesus fucking christ people, wash your hands before you take your brains out too play with them. It's the oil off the fingers you know.

Or the books you read, if you don't stop reading books you will never have an original thought of your own.

Duke said...

At the risk of disrespecting the rest of the crowd...

I like the cut of this BBC's Jib!

Bobbb - Citizen of Earth said...

To equate science with religion is a foolish thing for Hermes to do
For religion allows Hermes to exist
And science does not.

The last time we chose to equate science with religion
Mankind was stricken with a dark age that lasted over one thousand years…

In the English language, a theory is something that you’re not sure of, but think might be true.

But when it comes to science, a theory is a body of thought, supported by evidence coming from differing fields.

A theory in fact, carries more weight than a principle or a law.

As for preconceptions
Science is nothing but preconception.
The difference between science and religion is that religious preconceptions tend to be static.
Scientific preconceptions are anything but.

Science puts preconception to the test.

There is a misconception about science permeating our social fabric lately.

I often hear people decry that scientists only see what they want to see, and only find what they are looking for, because of preconception.

Nothing could further from the truth.

Scientists almost never see what expect to see, almost never find what they expect to find.

The life of Johannes Kepler, and his theory of planetary orbits, is the best example I can think of to describe the sheer and bitter beauty of scientific discovery.

In his day there were six known planets.
Kepler was one who believed the planets to be other worlds, like the earth.
He also believed mathematics to be the language of god
An so he excelled at math, in an effort to “know better the mind of god”

In geometry there are five, and only five, perfect solids.
These are three-dimensional objects, with regular polygons for faces.
(Cube, tetrahedron, etc…)

Kepler believed that this was no coincidence
He believed that he had stumbled upon gods design for the universe.
In essence, his theory stated that the orbits of the planets were embedded within giant crystal spheres, and that the spheres nested inside one another.

To hold all this in place, he envisioned immense invisible structures in the shape of the five perfect solids, between the orbits of each of the planets, thus explaining the differing sizes in the gaps between the orbits.
(Thus the reason for only six planets)

The relationship between the perfect solids and the increasing distances of planetary orbits actually fit quite nicely.

Kepler would spend the next 60 years or so trying to prove that this was true.
During this time, science and religion both, would put some stern demands on him.

He was persecuted and threatened with excommunication for his beliefs
His mother was accused of being a witch, was nearly burned alive at the stake.
He lost his job, was exiled from his home.

Lacking data accurate enough to validate his theory, he was forced to work with some of the very people who ridiculed him.
Eventually though, the data was in his hands; precise measurements of the movements of Mars across the night sky for a period of several years.

He struggled for years, trying to get his theory to align with the data.

But he couldn’t.

And he couldn’t let it go either.

For his theory to work, the planetary orbits must be perfect circles.
Kepler was the first to realize, that they were not.
He found that the orbit of Mars was an ellipse.
That all the planetary orbits were ellipses.

So at last, in the bitter end, he had to reject his own theory of planetary orbits, and accept that the true nature of the solar system was not as he had envisioned.
He valued the truth above his own fanciful wishes.

He did however; give to us his three laws of planetary motion, describing the mechanics of the solar system two hundred years before Newton and his work on gravity.

His list of firsts and achievements is impressive.
He wrote about optics, was the first to experiment with a pinhole camera.
He described stereovision and was the first to mark its connection to visual depth of field.
He wrote several books, including one short story
The Somnium
In which he postulates that the Moon is more than merely just a light in the sky.
It is a place.
And that Man will travel to that place someday.
Preconception?
You bet.

Now we are on the brink of equating science with religion once again.
Will it be
Koyaanisqatsi?
Another thousand years of darkness?

Or something better…

I for one know better than to listen to Hermes
He says so himself

BBC said...

And you should know that these messages I bring are open to broad interpretation;

Generalizing. And the right religion hasn't been formed on this planet or the whole of mankind would come to a collective agreement on it and stop fucking fighting about it all.

Maybe after the great awakening, but it will get very ugly before that happens.

Hopper said...

magenta...
thanks for reading a leaving words... welcome aboard...

Duke...
I wouldn't worry about right or wrong or disrespecting or respecting... this is an open forum... I've never deleted a comment yet and I don't intend to... for me the whole thing is about the interaction and the communication...

Hopper said...

Bobb & BBC & CROW

I just want to try and write out some thoughts here... mainly to respond to some of the ideas that your lines of questioning spurred for me... and thanks a lot for your comments as they have been with me for a while now this evening and I've been thinking about them...

I want to say first of all that I'm not sure exactly what it is that I believe... I've been exposed to an awful lot of new ideas lately and my "beliefs" have been shaken up... are in flux in many ways... so if you'd be so good as to follow this train of thought/lack of train of thought... held loosely together by duct tape... what I wrote in this post I hoped it would elicit differing responses... didn't think I set out with a premise so I didn't think I'd get to a solution... it was only a vehicle... something that carried doubt (perhaps)... and so...

Whether one chooses to believe that science and religion are linked I am convinced that these concepts are linked to POWER and CONTROL... are a means for placing constraint and not necessarily a means for free thinking or exploration... policy directives for scientific research are set by those with power... they determine the discourse and as such the outcomes... some conversations will not happen... and to say that religion is static I cannot agree with... religious beliefs change as power structures change and the connection here is more obvious than the linkage between science and power... again... I have trouble conceptualizing this in a manner to communicate it effectively to you... my mind boils with so many ideas these days... sorry I can't be more specific...

A story from an Earth Scientist I speak to regularly:

Every 65 million years or so the earth goes through a cycle of massive extinction linked to impact from huge meteors... scientists wondered why these events happen on predictable time lines... why every 65 million years (or so)...

An idea has been forwarded that our star system has a twin... a dark star or a collapsed star which is relatively close to our own solar system... this theory suggests that the two stars gravitational fields play off one another... it suggests that our sun and this dark sun (which they call NEMESIS) dance a kind of tango while the planets do their elliptical orbits... every 65 million years (or so) our system streams through the remains of the planets from this system and that this accounts for the regularity of meteor strikes on earth and other celestial bodies we can observe and analyze (like the Moon and Mars)...

Now just for a moment let's assume that this is true... that there is a nemesis star our system is twinned with... this could change the very basis of our understanding of our planet... or change the terminology by which we define things... could change how we think about everything...

To me... all it seems is for a shift in thinking like this to take place and all scientific knowledge is thrown into disrepute... like how some of Einstein's theory changed the landscape of science and everything had to be reexamined... like Bobb's example of Kepler changed the scientific landscape...

And so on some level I've got to see science as only another belief structure... a way of explaining that's waiting for another belief structure to come along and make it obsoleted... and I don't see as how scientific advancement (no matter how far that may go) can claim to be a truth finder... claim to be purely objective...

I again apologize... these ideas (power and belief structures and nemesis stars!!!) I can't claim to be able to link in some way to make intelligible... but I am trying to be critical and to not accept that there is some "truth" waiting to be discovered... I think there are many possible truths...

As a final point... the biggest limit to my reasoning and thinking lately has been some questioning from a philosopher I've been talking to a fair bit... he's most interested in hermeneutics... he asks me not only to think of the structures of ideas that I'm trying to conceptualize but to also think of myself and the framework of my being that influence how I'll approach a particular idea or question... to examine how I am a lens through which I must appreciate the world around... that's been the biggest obstacle... to know myself first and them to try and tackle what's outside while putting my own ideas in brackets... it's a way towards a kind of objectivity (maybe)...

What a mess all this is...

All I know is that I just went outside and looked up into the night sky and saw Venus... and I don't know how to explain that either... except to tell you that I love Venus... I like the thought that it is a planet floating way up there in space somewhere and that I am small and insignificant in comparison... and I am somehow comforted by that... and I don't feel like I need to have any answers as long as I have questions... and in the end of all things... that's what I think matters...

IMPOSSIBLE IS IMPOSSIBLE

Hopper said...

BBC...

I do think that science and religion are linked...

I do not believe that there will be some kind of great awakening that will change humanity and the world... things seem to happen slowly to me...

And I usually have a wet-nap handy when I take out my brain to clean the monkey grease off my fingers first ;)

Hopper said...

Bobb...

I did get your comments on photographs telling stories and I'm sorry that I didn't get back to you sooner... it's been eyeballs and alligators here lately... sorry buddy...

I'm going to leave a further comment on this on your site...

Hopper said...

Crow...

So that line is going to be posted on my office wall tomorrow... my new mantra...

IMPOSSIBLE IS IMPOSSIBLE....

Thank you!!!

JON

zoinkyzooz said...

ahh religion....
**runs and hides**

P.S
last comment
that was beautiful

I am so jealous

human being said...

wow wow wow
the crow is so excited... what a beautiful ocean of thoughts... inviting me to plunge in....
i'll be back soon... now i'm swimming( or drowning?!)in the ocean of house chores!!!

just one word Jon....
your train of thoughts is one of the best express trains i've ever boarded... cuz its destination is truth...

you... i mean your beautiful personality...remind me of Solaris by Tarkovsky ... have you seen that film?...

BBC said...

Thousands of years ago when our ancestors were still crapping close to their campfires and in their water supplies and not washing their little monkey hands before taking their brains out to play with them it was easy for them to dream up religions without any scientific backing.

All it took is some good convincing and brainwashing. Like a sexy monkey could convince you she had a D cup if she put her tit close enough to your face.

But good science is harder, and more of an infant than the monkey droppings of religions. Everyone wants proof from science where many or willing to take on a religion without any real proof.

If mankind doesn't destroy itself first someday science with kick religions butt. I said religions butt, but there will still be a spirituality. There has been a spirituality, a consciousness of awareness on this planet since not long after life started developing here.

Wow, this is cool, how did this happen? I am a part of this wonderful thing, must figure it out.

And in time the omnipresent spirit will figure it out, through science, if he can get the fucking monkeys to stop brainwashing themselves.

Meanwhile, those little girly monkeys need to let us play with their tits more instead of always giving us such a bad time.

BBC said...

"Poems are made by fools like me, but only god can make a tree."

Well, only nature can make a tree, but there are scientists getting it all figured out and will one day be able to make trees also.

Parts of spirit is scientists.

human being said...

'this train carries the truth...'
'destination of this train is truth...'

think these two statements can depict the prevalent attitudes among intellectuals regarding religion or science or anything...

the former signifies that the truth is known and owned and put on a train... and where does it go? it depends on who owns the train... it is linked to power and control, as you said Jon... and when the subject of 'power' comes forth, we start to doubt that truth... is it really the truth? or just they've made it up to make us 'follow'... to discourage any further research... and thinking...
(think this attitude is defied by you, Jon)

as to the latter, any school of thought ... even any individual can claim that their train is aiming the truth... and this is true... sure all want to get there... but we have our choices to get on or not... to choose this one or that one ... or to board our own train... here no one OWNs the truth... just try to reach it...

Bobbb, are all scientists like Kepler?... to confess their train moved on a wrong path for a while? i just want to emphasize his honesty ... and i don't even think he was wrong... he just didn't know some fact and he was searching... a train traveling on a wrong path is better than a train never venturing any journey...

some scientists are linked to some controling power and may fail to be objective while considering the evidences...
some are not influenced by them but do not have a mature and wise character... they have 'knowledge' in some field but not 'wisdom'... they may have just a childish eagerness to find more... and not the wisdom what to do with it... or who uses the result of their research...
many of the misuses of science happens here...
think a scientist is responsible for his findings...

yes... sometimes the scientist's work is misused without him knowing about it... but a true responsible scientist works for compensations...

think the more one knows the more s/he is responsible... knowledge is not more privilege or power... it is more care and love...

are all our scientists like this? have our scientific endeavors brought more care and love?
those few who are true... sure are ignored more and more...
and Bobbb, my dear friend, how many of them really believe in this definition you presented?

'But when it comes to science, a theory is a body of thought, supported by evidence coming from differing fields.'

theoretically it is marvelous because it points to that relativity... that train moving toward the truth...
but practically...
are all evidences included without any political, religious, cultural, economical prejudices? and who can tell that these 'differing fields' encompass all the evidences?
that's why we have many 'para(something)logy' popping out...

and a very important fact.. true science doesn't need any propaganda and/or followers... and doesn't force to convince ... it just fosters CRITICAL thinking...

and all these are just the way i see the world... and sure as i've always emphasized, they are not the truth but my version of the truth... the way i try to be true to myself... thanks for being so patient and kind to get on my noisy slow train for some time... now you can get off...
:D
love to you all...

aha...
Jon... think that philosopher you talk with is so wise... (envy you!)

" but to also think of myself and the framework of my being that influence how I'll approach a particular idea or question."

hmmm... fabulous...
and about 'questions and answers'... i've always believed...
the way is more important than the destination... and the question than the answer...
and
today i read something beautiful by Shubhajit:
" But finding solution is not the right thing to do. Problem is itself a solution. If people can stick to the problem, then only they can control over it."

http://shubhajit-chakraborty.blogspot.com/2008/07/nothing-else-matters.html

BBC said...

I wish that woman would wash her hands before taking her brain out to play with it.

American Hill BIlly said...

I want to say first of all that I'm not sure exactly what it is that I believe... I've been exposed to an awful lot of new ideas lately and my "beliefs" have been shaken up... Hopper these are your words.

I agree with the Cyberskin ole' Fart that there will be a great awakening. You from your own words, and many other's that I read all talk of new things.....It is beyond the limits of age, and lessons learned in life. Religion, and A lot of the sciences are absolutely controlled in order to maintain POWER AND CONTROL.


Peace and Freedom

sukipoet said...

Amazing video. I love the colors and textures of the art in it. Your posts evoke a lot of discussion. maybe that is what is important. I cant always read it all as right now I dont seem to have the concentration for lots of words but I am impressed. Science, religion, reason, intuition arent they all just ways we try to make sense of the world, now from this pov, now from that, turning things around to see all their facets. Still, bounded by the brain, soul and spirit we were born with.

dr.alistair said...

"Generalizing. And the right religion hasn't been formed on this planet or the whole of mankind would come to a collective agreement on it and stop fucking fighting about it all.

Maybe after the great awakening, but it will get very ugly before that happens."

no great awakening will occur until our brains begin to work differently.

some people`s brains work differently now, but thier words fail them.......

meanwhile we are measuring and predicting shadows of things, not the things themselves.

that`s why religions, and sciences only work to a certain degree. enough for us to contine to argue.


occasionally some of us get glimpses of something else for a second or so.......but then we spend the next few moments trying to compare what we just saw to everything else.....and we slowly begin to forget what it was we thought we just saw.

"sigh"

and i forgot to wash my hands bill....

Hopper said...

Zoo...
Love that line... religion... runs and hides... and it's me that's jealous...

BBC...
Again, I'm not too sure what to expect... but I'm not putting too much of my confidence in science to come up with the things to "save" us all... think I'll stick with the writing for now... seems more human to me... not this kind of supposed objective view from nowhere... and I really hope that no one is successful in engineering trees... I'm afraid of GM cars, GM foods, and terrified for some reason by the thought of GM trees!!!

Hill Billy...
Yeah... those were the words I wrote... ??? ... ??? ... I don't get what you're saying... because I said that I don't think there'll be some kind of "spiritual awakening" as our friend BBC says??? Can't I disagree??? I mean... I hope that it's right... but I don't think it'll be just a thing when everyone will wake up one day and be awakened... that sounds a bit unrealistic to me... and not really in line with our "postmodern" world where difference is the unity... but again... I don't know what to believe... I'll keep my fingers crossed...

Crow...
Thanks for putting me onto Shubhajit... been reading over the site... and thanks too for your ideas as always... I'm not going to rehash it all again here... but it's me that owes you a note and I'll try and get one out to you soon... and also should say that I've been thinking more on your latest post... had some new thoughts on this earlier today... I wonder whose face it was that Thor sees when the door finally opens and if that's an illusion like the tortilla chip or the man in the moon... hmmm... will get back to you on that too...

Suki...
Thanks for stopping by!!! always great to hear from you and enjoy your perspective... it seems to me that sometimes in all this wordiness I lose site of these things that I am bound to... that's something I've been trying to keep in mind... thanks for the reminder... you're a gem... :)

Hi Dr. A
Welcome to you new friend... checked out your site there earlier and see that you're into hypnotism in some ways... maybe you could help me quit smoking... and yeah those moments you talk about... those brief and fleeting seconds of epiphany... wish that I could hold onto them... hope to see you again soon...

AND TO ALL THE OTHER READERS THANK YOU... M.C., T.C., P.P., N.H., A.S., T.D., J.P., H.C., T.C., L.E., and anyone I've forgotten or don't know about...

IMPOSSIBLE IS IMPOSSIBLE

JON

human being said...

thanks Jon
regarding my latest post... think Pareidolia in a way is linked to Hermeneutics...
:)
and that post has been an amazing experience for me... each friend's unique perspective gives a new meaning to the story... or even making it a new story... have you read other friends' comments?
and now this new reflection by you...
i'm quite interested to know about it... as you see it in a new perspective quite different from the original one: Thor is seenig a face...

oh i've always believed writing is magical... and it is... love the way it teaches us indirectly... making us more human... nothing like writing is so paradoxical... it's both very personal and at the same time very communal...

Funny my next post's name is Genetic Modification!
---------------------------------
and one short note to Bobbb....
wish all scientists were like you... having two wings... one science... one art... and a heart beating for humanity...

Bobbb - Citizen of Earth said...

Who gets to say
What is impossible
And what is not?

Are there degrees
Of possibility?

Is that the same as...
Probability?

I think all good people of science
Have wings
Wings of art
Science
Passion
Integrity

Vision

We
Have a passion
For
Discovery

To the scientist
It is not so much a matter
Of right and wrong
As it is a matter of
What is and what is not.

That and the wisdom
To know that what is
Will most likely be far greater
And more beautiful
Than what you imagined.

human being said...

"To the scientist
It is not so much a matter
Of right and wrong
As it is a matter of
What is and what is not."

Bobbb, my dear friend... help me swallow this part of your beautiful poem...
isn't wisdom "The ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting; insight"?

sure to a man of wisdom the right and wrong matters...

my religion is cosmic morality...
:)

Bobbb - Citizen of Earth said...

Of course Crow

By right and wrong I meant correct or not correct
In a forensic sense, not a moral one
Wisdom does indeed include the ability to discern or judge what is true and right
And insight has its place
Indeed a very important place

But science must take this understanding, and this wisdom, into the realm of the unknown. For it is there that the horizon of discovery ever dwells.

tall penguin said...

This is a truly fascinating conversation. I have had so many of these thoughts but have lacked the language to express them. Thank you all for giving my inner rantings a voice.

christopher said...

For science to succeed it is enough that the subjective aspects of the investigators are reduced and controlled to a very small corner of the phenomena under investigation, so long as all answers are rendered provisional based upon agreements and future findings. What happens in practice are so many interlocking interdependent results in certain areas of experiment and exploration that subjectivity becomes a vanishingly small component of things.

This is tantamount to saying there are some objective statements that are no brainer good bets. True enough to stake your life on.

If you accept that, then I can accept the notion that there are no ultimate objective truths. Otherwise you should throw your computer away. It is untrustworthy.

Do not conflate scientific practice and method with statements arising in the philosophy of science. The scientists who irritate us are perpetrators of exactly that conflation but they stand on the opposite side of the argument.