• 3017amen
    3.1k
    Though it may still somehow escape the atheists.Apollodorus

    Not sure how we can escape the many descriptions/explanations of so-called existence as being considered logically impossible, yet still exist .

    Accordingly, we have other opposing concepts that seem to fill the void: disbelief/belief, objective/subjective, a priori/a posteriori, ad nauseum. Kant was on to something when he essentially felt like dichotomizing reality was not the way to go, in the discovery of something novel.
  • Apollodorus
    3.4k
    Kant was on to something when he essentially felt like dichotomizing reality was not the way to go, in the discovery of something novel.3017amen

    And he probably was not wrong. But it does seem that when we deny the existence of something, the human mind has a tendency to fill the gap with a substitute that may be worse than the original.

    By analogy, we may dig a hole in the ground only for it to fill with garbage instead of good soil. Or amputate a healthy limb only to replace it with some cheap contraption made in China.
  • 3017amen
    3.1k
    But it does seem that when we deny the existence of something, the human mind has a tendency to fill the gap with a substitute that may be worse than the original.Apollodorus

    Well said. Maybe it goes back to simple reasonableness and treating like cases likely, different cases differently, not sure. Meaning, if we substitute mystery behind the nature of reality and other phenomena, with pure reason as the holy grail, I think we encounter things like self-contradictory propositions and so forth (think Gödel). Kind of like the idea behind Dialetheism I suppose.
  • Apollodorus
    3.4k


    Certainly if we replaced religion with Marxism, for example, the hole-in-the-ground analogy would seem to hold. We are replacing something that is the product of humanity's collective effort over many millennia with the unexamined and untested ideas of a self-styled pseudo-philosopher who failed to even get a job at university and was forced to seek employment as a part-time journalist. But I could be wrong, of course.
  • Gnomon
    2.6k
    The Logic of Atheism debate got me thinking about something. If atheism is defined as a disbelief in the existence of gods, then how does logic apply to that? I’m not sure logic is needed to justify a non-belief.Pinprick
    I suspect that most of the Atheists on this forum do have logical reasons for being skeptical of other people's belief in invisible deities. Their logic might be of the "if-then" form. For example, "if God is good, then why is there evil in the created world?". Others might simply say that belief in any questionable proposition, apart from empirical evidence, is illogical, hence unbelievable.

    However, many of us absorbed a belief in the relationship between humanity and Nature (defined as deity), before the age of reason. So, our reasoning is grounded on that fundamental relationship, and any other worldview just doesn't make sense. Both sides of the "-ism" divide use logic & reason to arrive at "reasonable" conclusions to moot questions. And it's only their unquestioned assumptions (axioms) that allow then to reason-out different answers from the same evidence. That may be why you say that "logic" is not needed to be skeptical of non-conforming worldviews. The logic is implicit in their original belief system, biased one way or the other.

    Those of us who post on philosophical forums though, tend to use explicit logical arguments in favor of their own views, and in opposition to different worldviews. Unfortunately, due to the different emotional meanings of the same terminology, they tend to talk past each other. That's why the great skeptic, Voltaire, said, "if you wish to converse with me, first define your terms". Formal Logic is only as good as the validity of its terms. Yet different worldviews have disparate emotional meanings, as contrasted with rational technical meanings, for the same words. That's why I set-out to define, not just technical terminology, but my innermost personal worldview, as carefully as possible. But still, I am misunderstood more often than not. :sad:


    “If you wish to converse with me,” said Voltaire, “define your terms.” How many a debate would have been deflated into a paragraph if the disputants had dared to define their terms! This is the alpha and omega of logic, the heart and soul of it, that every important term in serious discourse shall be subjected to the strictest scrutiny and definition. It is difficult, and ruthlessly tests the mind; but once done it is half of any task."
  • 180 Proof
    9.8k
    Well, for me, where theism consists in truth-claims I find that upon examination these claims do not evince positive truth-values (and therefore "agnosticism" does not obtain); however, where truth-claims are not asserted about either the world or those who believe otherwise or not at all, there is no issue. Reasonable, rational, logical & pragmatic unbelief as far as I'm concerned.
  • Gnomon
    2.6k
    ↪Gnomon
    Well, for me, where theism consists in truth-claims I find that upon examination these claims do not evince positive truth-values (and therefore "agnosticism" does not obtain); however, where truth-claims are not asserted about either the world or those who believe otherwise or not at all, there is no issue. Reasonable, rational, logical & pragmatic unbelief as far as I'm concerned.
    180 Proof
    The point of my previous post was that "truth values" are ultimately evaluated in terms of emotions and feelings, or the lack thereof. The technical definitions of our words can be understood differently, depending on the emotional shadings of our worldviews. Hence, the contrasting "truth-values" (personal meaning) of our words.

    For example, faith in God implies a "truth-claim". But, I submit that neither of us has empirical evidence, one way or the other, to verify the existence of an entity, that is by definition outside-of or more-than the physical universe. So, the Agnostic position may be the most rational solution. But, when human (and philosophical) yearnings for ultimate Truth are taken into account, there may be an answer that has the best, and perhaps the worst, of both worldviews.

    I once had an extended pre-internet letter dialog with a relative, who was an evangelical Christian. And our conversation was as calm and rational as possible, since we knew, and loved & respected, each other. My concern was more with the veracity of the "scriptures", than with the general notion of a deity. But, when I asked her for the extra-biblical evidence to support her faith, she replied that she had "experienced" God in her own heart. So, does that sensation count as empirical evidence?

    Since it was obvious that a rational logical debate was not going to change either belief system, we ended the exchange with the "to each his own" resolution. Much later, I developed my own philosophical worldview, that was neither Theist nor Atheist. It may not have much "truth-value" for you, but it allows me to look dispassionately at both sides of any contentious question. That accommodating worldview is what I call the BothAnd Principle. :cool:


    Both/And Principle :
    * My coinage for the holistic principle of Complementarity, as illustrated in the Yin/Yang symbol, and the two sides of one coin. Opposing or contrasting concepts are always part of a greater whole. Conflicts between parts can be reconciled or harmonized by putting them into the context of a whole system.
    * The Enformationism worldview entails the principles of Complementarity, Reciprocity & Holism, which are necessary to offset the negative effects of Fragmentation, Isolation & Reductionism. Analysis into parts is necessary for knowledge of the mechanics of the world, but synthesis of those parts into a whole system is required for the wisdom to integrate the self into the larger system. In a philosophical sense, all opposites in this world (e.g. good vs evil) are ultimately reconciled in Enfernity (eternity & infinity).
    * Conceptually, the BothAnd principle is similar to Einstein's theory of Relativity, in that what you see ─ what’s true for you ─ depends on your perspective, and your frame of reference; for example, subjective or objective, religious or scientific, reductive or holistic, pragmatic or romantic, conservative or liberal, earthbound or cosmic. Ultimate or absolute reality (Ideality, Truth) doesn't change, but your conception of truth does. Opposing views are not right or wrong, but more or less accurate for a particular purpose.
    * This principle is also similar to the concept of Superposition in sub-atomic physics. In this ambiguous state a particle has no fixed identity until “observed” by an outside system. For example, in a Quantum Computer, a Qubit has a value of all possible fractions between 1 & 0. Therefore, you could say that it is both 1 and 0.

    http://blog-glossary.enformationism.info/page10.html

    PS__Technically, "scripture" simply means "writings". But for some it also means "absolute Truth". While, for others, it means "religious propaganda".
  • 180 Proof
    9.8k
    The point of my previous post was that "truth values" are ultimately evaluated in terms of emotions and feelings, or the lack thereof.Gnomon
    Well, that may be, but is besides the point as far as I'm concerned. Truth-values are what they are regardless of "emotions and feelings" which is why they are extremely useful / reliable. By "ultimately evaluated" you must mean religiously believed ... which I don't disagree with; but again, that's besides the point for knowing.
    I don't want to believe. I want to know. — Carl Sagan
    When "mere belief" no longer suffices, one questions, not in search for more certainty in one's current beliefs or some new beliefs, but in order to know whether or not those beliefs are true. Atheism, as I understand it, claims that (realist, cognitive) 'theism is not true', a claim which can easily be falsified by soundly demonstrating that theism is, in fact, true.
  • Gnomon
    2.6k
    Well, that may be, but is besides the point as far as I'm concerned. Truth-values are what they are regardless of "emotions and feelings" which is why they are extremely useful / reliable.180 Proof
    For black & white thinkers, bolstered by the feeling of certainty, "truth-values are what they are", and anything else is false-values and illusions.

    But my point was that no one in this world knows the absolute truth. And no-body is perfectly objective. Why do you think Einstein so passionately argued that "god does not play dice!" .He spent the last years of his life trying to prove that Quantum Indeterminacy was wrong. Apparently, he believed that the real world was deterministic, as assumed by the classical scientists. Was he wrong? Can you provide conclusive evidence, one way or another, that he knew the truth, or was believing a lie?

    What makes you believe that your "truth-values". . . "are what they are"? Christians and Muslims also believe that their truth-values are the true-truth. Not because of empirical facts, but due to emotional certainty. Are you that certain of your "truth-values"? Could Reality be Relative, as Einstein asserted, to the chagrin of his fellow scientists?

    The profoundest questions of philosophy, after 2500 years of the Rational search for wisdom, and 400 years of Empirical Science, have still not been answered to date. That's why we have a Philosophy Forum to continue that open-ended search for truth. It's also why neuroscientist Robert Lawrence Kuhn hosted a TV series, called Closer to Truth. Those who believe that empirical Science has the last word on Truth, may be surprised that serious scientists still disagree on fundamental questions. That's why the BothAnd Principle advises a touch of humility, and a broad mind, for those who seek the elusive butterfly of Truth. :joke:



    Quantum indeterminism asserts that certain kinds of events, call them "Q events" are indeterministic. Really really really indeterministic, not just "as far as we know​" ...
    https://hilo.hawaii.edu/~ronald/310/Quanta.htm
  • 180 Proof
    9.8k
    For black & white thinkers, bolstered by the feeling of certainty, "truth-values are what they are", and anything else is false-values and illusions.

    But my point was that no one in this world knows the absolute truth.
    Gnomon
    Truisms. So what? Knowledge does not require "the feeling of certainty" or "absolute truth". This is special pleading for not excluding woo-woo and pseudo-science from reasonable examination of theism or other mystifying dogmas. I'm neither scientistic nor a positivist, Gnomon; the truth-value of a truth-claim – positive, negative, undecidable? – is my concern. Insofar as theism consists in truth-claims (i.e. religious realism), it's reasonable to ascertain their truth-values (via sound inferences and/or public / objective corroboration) which, of course, is fallibilistic and not "certain" or "absolute", that is, pragmatic (re: Peirce & Dewey, Popper & Haack, etc). Expressions of theism, etc which do not consist in truth-claims (i.e. religious nonrealism, mystical (esoteric) quietism, etc) are not of epistemic (or metaphysical) concern for secular freethinkers.
  • Gnomon
    2.6k
    Expressions of theism, etc which do not consist in truth-claims (i.e. religious nonrealism, mystical (esoteric) quietism, etc) are not of epistemic (or metaphysical) concern for secular freethinkers.180 Proof
    FWIW, I consider myself to be a "secular freethinker". but I do have epistemic, ontological, and metaphysical "concern" for unorthodox truth claims. Many concepts that are currently accepted by the majority of scientists -- such as the counter-intuitive notion that the Earth moves around the Sun -- were once radically eccentric.

    Most people in the world, not just Theists and Anti-theists, seem to believe that their personal ideology is The Truth, or close enough for their purposes. But they can't all be right, even those who claim to rely only on empirical facts. So, for me, all truth-claims are suspect. I am a card-carrying skeptic (e.g. subscribed to Skeptical Inquirer and Skeptic Magazine for over 40 years). Hence, I am well-informed about Science and Pseudoscience.

    However, the invisible line between Orthodox Science and Pseudoscience is always murky & moot. Therefore, I try to keep an open mind about those borderline notions, but not so open that my brains fall out. I also try to follow Spinoza's motto, as quoted below. Yet, the purpose of Philosophy has always been to explore the fringes of knowledge (epistemology) in search of Truth and Wisdom.

    The skeptical attitude toward other people's beliefs is not intended to be offensive, but defensive : to avoid taking the bait of superficially appealing doctrines. Nevertheless, I am not afraid to look closely at supposedly scientific, but non-empirical & fringey ideas -- such as String, and Many Worlds, and Instantaneous Inflation theories -- in order to see if I can fit them into my own worldview. That's how I work to get Closer to Truth, and not to bury my head in the sands of Official Truth. That's the freedom of a FreeThinker. :cool:


    " I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to bewail, not to scorn human [beliefs] , but to understand them." —Baruch Spinoza
    [my brackets]

    Pseudoscience :
    The wide umbrella of pseudoscience encompasses ideas that come from a variety of sources, and they generally have little in common except that they have been designated as such by members of the scientific community.
    Discover Magazine, June 2021
    Note -- Galileo's controversial ideas about a sun-centered system, were "designated" as pseudoscience (heresy) by members of the orthodox clergy.

    Purpose of philosophy :
    Philosophy overall aims to question assumptions we make about our lives and really dig in to the details of why we think what we think and how we choose to act. It can get complicated at times, but it can also help a person to see more clearly that there are other ways of looking at the world than is our habit.
    https://study.com/academy/lesson/philosophy-definition-purpose.html

    Fringe Theory :
    Fringe theories include the models and proposals of fringe science . . . . the term fringe theory is closer to the popular understanding of the word theory—a hypothesis or a guess or an uncertain idea—than to the concept of an established scientific theory.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fringe_theory
  • Gnomon
    2.6k
    In the last decade or so my particular (contra one g/G at a time) 'posiitive atheism' has developed into an even more rigorous, parsimonous and general (contra g/G-Types, and only consequentially their g/G-Tokens) 'antitheism'. For integrity's sake (contra philosophical suicide), only crushing 'realist-cognitive theism' satisfies me – écrasez l'infâme! – while, without contempt or condescension, leaving alone otherwise inoffense 'noncognitive theists' (of "simple faith", like my mother).180 Proof

    By now, you may have noticed that I am an equal-opportunity Skeptic. I can doubt the confident positive assertions of both Theists and Atheists. I was raised in an evangelical religion, which taught us how to "reason" with those of different beliefs -- including Christians who had lost their way. But it didn't take long for me to realize that it was futile to sow seeds of "truth" on stoney ground. Only those who are pre-disposed toward a certain version of the truth, would see the "error of their ways". That's why Jesus said metaphorically : “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” .

    Since this is a forum for logical "wisdom seekers" you'd think that most would immediately recognize the Truth, and file it away in their wisdom cache. But, surprisingly, a significant number here have closed-off their minds to whole categories of "truth". And I have learned by empirical experience that "crushing" the opposition is a lose-lose approach to anything. Anyway, it's usually the inoffensive innocent non-cognitive types who are "crushed" by scorched-earth offensive tactics.

    My "inoffensive non-cognitive mother" was lectured long into the night, by my positive cognitive-theist father, on fine points of doctrine, which he took for absolute essential truths, but she was more flexible about. For the sake of peace in the family, she pretended to go along with his hardline doctrines, but inwardly she was not pre-disposed to black & white worldviews. I suppose I inherited some aspects of both dispositions. But in my old age, I'm more inclined toward moderate win-win tactics. I can be flexible now, because I no longer believe that those who reject a particular version of The Truth will be tortured in Hell forever. Besides, aggressive evangelism is not approved on a philosophical forum of diverse worldviews. :nerd:

    11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
    12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, . . .

    ___2 Thessalonians 2:7-12

    Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?
    ___John 18 : 38
  • Gnomon
    2.6k

    I feel the need to clarify that, in our discussions, I am not arguing in favor of Pseudoscience or against Science. Instead, I'm trying to make 21st century science more inclusive. My Enformationism thesis has made me appreciate what Aristotle was talking about in the second volume of his treatise on Nature (Greek "physica"). Because the focus of the second volume was on the immaterial mental aspects of Nature : the theories that humans have developed about Nature-in-general. That encyclopedia of philosophical concepts was later labelled "The MetaPhysics" : simply indicating the second of two volumes. But over time that descriptive term took-on a secondary meaning, probably due to Catholic Theology (the Scholastics). It was used to refer to anything SuperNatural, as in gods & angels & demons. So, when empirical Science revolted against Catholic hegemony on Truth, they turned that useful theological distinction into a pejorative. Hence, today, "metaphysics" is commonly taken to mean "unrealistic" (definition 2 below).

    Ironically, materialistic 20th century scientists, in their search for Truth, inadvertently blurred the imaginary line between Physics and Metaphysics, as it dug into the quantum foundations of Reality. Classical Materialism was based on the notion of solid "real" atoms as the fundamental building blocks of reality. But now, physicists have gradually come to accept that the basic elements of Reality are Fields of Virtual Particles. And those invisible intangible specks of mathematical information are defined as dimensionless nodes in a mathematical matrix of geometric interrelationships. So, they can be interpreted as either "realistic" or "imaginary", depending on your perspective. However, following Aristotle's example, I prefer to consider those fundaments as both Potential and Actual, as in the state of Superposition.

    The classical picture of Reality, as a smooth continuum, was turned upside down by two discoveries : 1. the granular nature of Quantum physics, and 2. the digital nature of Information theory. And those discrete-but-entangled Virtual Particles are now known to consist of nothing more real than mathematical Information. From that counterintuitive insight, I have developed a Theory of Everything, based on the notion of superposition of Information : it can be both Real and Ideal, both Virtual and Material, both Energy and Matter, both True and False. Therefore, I conclude that our world is not simplistically black-or-white, but Complex and Relative --- in the sense of Einstein's theory of Relativity : what you see (your truth) depends on your frame of reference. Of course, that shades-of-gray worldview, makes distinguishing True from False more difficult. But philosophical wisdom has never been easy.

    For example, those who are disposed to believe in ghosts or UFOs will see them in any strange reflections or fuzzy images, where imagination is allowed to construct patterns within randomness. But subjective interpretations of limited information seldom manifest themselves in a hard material form. I see ghosts & aliens in fictional portrayals all the time. But I have never seen them in person, or in non-fictional reality. So, while I remain skeptical about such vague manifestations, I cannot categorically dismiss them as absolutely false, because some very intelligent people do claim to "see" such things. So, like Schrodinger's cat, I merely imagine them in superposition of true/false, or as possible-but-not-likely. For me, they don't seem real, but I acknowledge that from their perspective (biased, prejudiced, or better informed??) their metaphysical idea of ghosts seems just as plausible as Invisible Fields and Virtual Particles. :nerd:


    Metaphysics :
    1. the branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles of things, including abstract concepts such as being, knowing, substance, cause, identity, time, and space.
    2. abstract theory with no basis in reality.


    Virtual Reality :
    Victor Toth (on Quora) "Virtual particles are called virtual” because they do NOT EXIST," (5/30/21). Gordon Caine (in Scientific American) "Virtual particles are indeed real particles," (10/09/06). Can anyone resolve this seeming contradiction?
    "However, under certain very extreme circumstances, virtual particles can “become" real in a sense. And they may well be “real" in the minds of those who are intimately familiar with the mathematical formalism. It just becomes a matter of perspective."

    ____Quora

    Aristotle divided the theoretical sciences into three groups: physics, mathematics, and theology.
    https://www.britannica.com/biography/Aristotle/Physics-and-metaphysics

    Truth Embargo -- UFOs :
    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/truth-embargo-ufos-are-suddenly-all-talk-washington-n1270560?utm_source=pocket-newtab
  • 180 Proof
    9.8k
    Well, Spinoza Hume & Kant collectively drove the final stake through Aristotle's undead metaphysics centuries before "materialistic 20th century scientists" (who never even bothered to consider it). I call "BS", Gnomon, with all due respect, regarding attempts to resurrect any vestige of Aristotlean/Thomistic speculations by, IMO, misappropriating – over-interpreting – (mere) interpretations of modern physical theories such as SR-GR & QM. This way leads to "the dark side" – bad philosophy, pseudoscience & wooidealism of most flavors.

    Using contemporary physical theories in order to "justify" or "as evidence" for the prevalence of non-physical "forces" "agencies" "conditions" or what have you constitutes a performative contradiction that yields other fallacies (e.g. reification / misplaced concreteness, category mistakes, hasty generalization, appeal to authority / intuition / mysteries, etc). IMO, Gnomon, your "Enformationism" is no less conceptually incoherent.
  • Gnomon
    2.6k
    ↪Gnomon
    Well, Spinoza Hume & Kant collectively drove the final stake through Aristotle's undead metaphysics centuries before "materialistic 20th century scientists" (who never even bothered to consider it). I call "BS", Gnomon,
    180 Proof
    You've made it clear that, for you, Metaphysics is anti-scientific. But, how did you arrive at the conclusion that Aristotle's "First Principles" is a zombie? It's true that some philosophers and scientists have tried to put a stake through the heart of Scholastic Metaphysics. But Aristotle's abstract notion of Substance -- Quality, Quantity, and Relation, as the essence of concrete matter -- keeps rising from its grave to haunt hard-core Physicalists and Naturalists. I'm currently reading physicist Carlo Rovelli's book, Helgoland, about the origins of Quantum Theory. In his brief history of that revolution in Science, it's obvious that Metaphysics was inadvertently resurrected from a shallow grave. Which reminds me of Mark Twain's quip : "reports of my death are greatly exaggerated"

    Rovelli noted that while some of the QT founders were using metaphors from Buddhism and Hinduism to explain why the basement of reality is so full of spooky ghosts, such as Superposition and Entanglement, others were making non-empirical metaphysical claims of their own. He described Ernst Mach's "anti-metaphysical spirit", but then notes that the target of his criticism was not Aristotle, but the materialist scientists, who tried to understand QT in terms of Classical physics. Rovelli then quoted a philosopher friend, who asked "what are these 'most rooted metaphysical convictions' of ours, if not what we have become accustomed to believe precisely by handling stones and pieces of wood?" Rovelli labels those sober scientist's "metaphysical prejudices" as "naturalism without substance".

    He says, "many interpretations of quantum mechanics . . . (Many Worlds, Hidden Variables, and Physical Collapse) . . . seem to me to be efforts to squeeze the discoveries of quantum physics into the canons of metaphysical prejudice." In other words, he's accusing some highly credentialed scientists of holding -- not empirical physical beliefs -- but metaphysical philosophical positions that are out of date. Moreover, he said that "Mach argues that the progress of science shows that this notion of 'matter' is an unjustified 'metaphysical' assumption". So, even post-enlightenment scientists hold-on to Metaphysical beliefs about Ontology and Epistemology.

    Clearly, Rovelli is not using the term "metaphysics" in the sense of definition "2. abstract theory with no basis in reality", but of definition "1. the branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles of things, including abstract concepts such as being, knowing, substance, cause, identity, time, and space". The thesis of the book is that immaterial metaphysical mathematical Relations are the essential "substance" of Quantum Reality. However, Rovelli himself is a sober and credentialed scientist. Yet, he is also a Theoretical Physicist, so he experiments with metaphysical ideas, not physical objects. Do you consider his metaphysical science to be BS? :nerd:


    Aristotle's Substance :
    . . . four possible candidates for being the substance of something: essence, universal, genus, and subject.
    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aristotle-metaphysics/
    Note -- all of those proposed substances are subjective mental concepts, not objective material objects.

    Rovelli's Field of physics :
    Loop quantum gravity, by contrast, is concerned less with the matter that inhabits space-time than with the quantum properties of space-time itself.
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/string-theory-meets-loop-quantum-gravity-20160112/
    Note -- the notion of invisible strings of matter vibrating in 11 dimensions is about as "naturalism without substance" as it gets. By contrast, the mathematical properties of space-time are legitimate subjects for a theoretical (philosophical) physicist, who doesn't pretend to study invisible, non-empirical matter.
  • 180 Proof
    9.8k
    You've made it clear that, for you, Metaphysics is anti-scientific.Gnomon
    No, not "anti-scientific", just not scientific (or non-cognitive) at all like in any aspect of philosophy.

    Do you consider his metaphysical science to be BS?
    No. Having just read Hegoland myself, I consider your interpretation BS ( :wink: which I pointed out in the last paragraph of my previous post). Rovelli's RQM has strong metaphorical affinities with Nāgārjuna and, therefore, like Spinoza Hume Kant et al who I've pointed out, is anti-Aristotlean (i.e. contra hylomorphic substance, horror vacui, teleology (finalism), potential-actual, etc), which is how he interprets the history of QM (sans other interpretations). Physical science is 'grounded', in part, by metaphysics insofar as it's a grammatical (narrative context), as Freddy reminds us, and logico-mathematical (formal modeling) hybrid; but this neither 'reduces metaphysics to science' nor 'generalizes science into metaphysics' as your (Hegelian? Husserlian?) oxymoron "metaphysical science" suggests.
  • Gnomon
    2.6k
    No. Having just read Hegoland myself, I consider your interpretation BS180 Proof
    OK. But, I must object to your interpretation of Rovelli's interpretation of Aristotle. It's true that Aristotelian physics and metaphysics were rejected by some of the Enlightenment scientists, who were rebelling against Scholastic Philosophy (i.e. religious interpretations of Aristotle). And those early scientist's objections were reflected in Stephen Weinberg's book titled, Against Philosophy. Apparently, from his perspective, philosophy was all about Metaphysics. That's why Rovelli wrote a rejoinder, Physics Needs Philosophy. There, he recounts an ancient debate between Isocrates and Aristotle. And he concluded that, "Two millennia of development of the sciences and philosophy have vindicated and, if anything, strengthened Aristotle’s defense of philosophy against Isocrates’ accusations of futility."

    It seems that Rovelli agrees that Philosophy is Metaphysics : i.e. theories rather than experiments. In another article, he says "I show that Aristotelian physics is a correct approximation of Newtonian physics in its appropriate domain, in the same precise sense in which Newton theory is ..." But in the same article, what he referred to as "Physics" was Aristotle's arguments, his theories, his generalizations, not his laboratory experiments. Today, few scientists, in their own work on Physics, refer to Aristotle's facts from the first volume of Phusis (Nature) . Yet they do make use of his Categories and Logical Arguments, which were expressed in the second volume, now known as The Metaphysics. Although, for Aristotle, both books addressed the current best knowledge of Nature, the first focused on Hyle (wood, matter), and the second on Form (essences, ideas, theories). What he didn't discuss in the Metaphysics was popular myths about the various gods & ghosts. When he did refer to "God", it was more like Spinoza's Nature God, than to the exploits of Zeus and Apollo. :wink:


    Physics Needs Philosophy :
    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/physics-needs-philosophy-philosophy-needs-physics/

    1. “Men create gods after their own image, not only with regard to their form, but with regard to their mode of life.”
    ___Aristotle

    IMO, Gnomon, your "Enformationism" is no less conceptually incoherent.180 Proof
    Maybe so. But I am in good company. Since most of the metaphysical concepts in my thesis were derived from prominent scientists, like Rovelli, who are reinterpreting Nature in light of Quantum Theory, in terms of Relationships, not Material objects. Whether or not Enformationism is "conceptually incoherent", it is based on Quantum physicist John Archibald Wheeler's radical notion of "It from Bit". Could it be that your Classical interpretation of the thesis is what's muddled? :joke:

    Carlo Rovelli’s Relational Quantum Mechanics :
    Rovelli won the second prize in the 2013 FQXi contest ‘It From Bit or Bit From It?’ for his essay on “relative information”. His book, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, has also been translated into 41 languages and has sold over a million copies worldwide.
    https://medium.com/predict/carlo-rovellis-relational-quantum-mechanics-256cc264f394

    "It from bit symbolises the idea that every item of the physical world has at bottom — at a very deep bottom, in most instances — an immaterial source and explanation; that what we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes-no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and this is a participatory universe."
    https://plus.maths.org/content/it-bit

    Abstract of the Enformationism Thesis :
    click box for popup
    http://bothandblog6.enformationism.info/page82.html
  • 180 Proof
    9.8k
    I said nothing about Rovelli's "interpretation of Aristotle". I was referring to your anachronistic, neo/faux-Aristotlean interpretation (reading) of Rovelli's Hegoland.

    Maybe so. But I am in good company. Since most of the metaphysical concepts in my thesis were derived from prominent scientistsGnomon
    Yeah, and philosophy based on science is assbackwards (incoherent) insofar as science is derived from – conceptually framed by – philosophy. The "good company" you're keeping, Gnomon, are just as incoherent as your "thesis". Also, this implicit appeal to authority is neither here nor there. I do appreciate your ambitious speculative "thesis", however, even though I don't agree with it jumping the shark to masquerade as a "science" of some kind.
  • Gnomon
    2.6k
    ↪Gnomon
    I said nothing about Rovelli's "interpretation of Aristotle". I was referring your anachronistic, neo/faux-Aristotlean interpretation (reading) of Rovelli's Hegoland.
    180 Proof
    What do you think my "anachronistic, neo/faux-Aristotlean interpretation" is all about? Please, be constructive. Name-calling, and expressions of disgust ("I consider your interpretation BS") are not philosophical arguments. :joke:

    How do you "interpret" Rovelli's interpretation of Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna's "central thesis" of emptiness? (chapter 5) He quotes him as saying "the ultimate reality, the essence, is absence, is vacuity". Does that notion fit your understanding of scientific Truth? From my perspective, Rovelli seems to approve of Nagarjuna's belief that the material world is an illusion. Therefore, he concludes that only relations are real. Yet, relationships only exist in the Minds of observers. And the function of Consciousness is to "see" invisible relations between things, is it not? Hence my thesis suggests that "ultimate reality" is not a collection of parts, but the Whole, which exists only as a web of relations. Does that sound disgusting from your scientific perspective? :cool:

    Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter is a 2011 book by biological anthropologist Terrence Deacon.. . . . "A central thesis of the book is that absence can still be efficacious."
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incomplete_Nature

    I do appreciate your ambitious speculative "thesis", however, even though I don't agree with it jumping the shark to masquerade as a "science" of some kind.180 Proof
    What gave you the idea that my thesis is "masquerading as science"? Do you think it's actually a religious concept, disguised as science? Or could it be merely an emerging paradigm of quantum science and 21st century philosophy? :cool:

    Enformationism :
    This informal thesis does not present any new scientific evidence, or novel philosophical analysis. It merely suggests a new perspective on an old enigma : what is reality? The so-called “Information Age” that began in the 20th century, has now come of age in the 21st century. So I have turned to the cutting-edge Information Sciences in an attempt to formulate my own personal answer to the perennial puzzles of Ontology, the science of Existence.
    http://enformationism.info/enformationism.info/page2%20Welcome.html
  • Gnomon
    2.6k
    The "good company" you're keeping, Gnomon, are just as incoherent as your "thesis".180 Proof
    You seem to have strong opinions about a thesis you know only from a few forum posts. Obviously, you still don't understand what my thesis is really proposing. Apparently, you read a few trigger words in my posts -- such as "Panpsychism" -- and then jump to a foregone conclusion without actually knowing how & why I use such terms in a novel manner. FWIW, I have placed below a link to an introduction to the Enformationism thesis. It also includes an even more condensed version in a popup, for those who can't follow long arguments. Unfortunately, the abbreviation may leave too much room for "reading into" my words, the reader's own meanings.

    Speaking of "trigger words", in chapter six of Rovelli's book, he addresses some misuses of Quantum Theory to support some theories of Panpsychism and Spiritualism, which I also discuss in my blog. Although, he admits a hippie phase in his own past, he expresses disgust for New Age notions such as "quantum medicine" and "quantum spiritualism". And I agree with his scientific position. But I don't dismiss the ancient roots of such ideas as the work of neanderthals and idiots. For example, the sages, who invented the notion of invisible Spirits, were probably some of the smartest people in the world at the time. But what they described as animating "spirits" was actually what we now call invisible causal "energy". Unfortunately, the explanatory theories of those early philosophers and scientists were quickly converted into religious doctrines by those who wanted to use "science" to convince the gullible that they had influence over those scary natural forces.

    Rovelli says "I don't find such arguments and such 'pan-psychism' persuasive in the slightest. . . . there is no need to attribute proto-consciousness to elementary systems . . ." And I agree. That's why I use the the more neutral, and technical, term "Information", instead of spooky "consciousness", to describe energy exchanges in bits & bytes at the quantum level of physics. However, he goes-on to discuss "Intentionality", which is a property of Information that goes beyond the mechanics of Energy, to include the notion of "Meaning". Then he says, "Two concepts bring us close to an answer : Information and evolution, even if neither is enough to comprehend what "meaning" is in physical terms." Later, he asserts, "a small miracle occurs, however, when we combine the two ideas of information and evolution." Again I agree, but I maintain that it is a natural "miracle", not a divine intervention. My thesis is all about the consequences of combining Information with Evolution. I had to coin a neologism to convey the meaning of that chimerical combination : EnFormAction. But, I'll leave it at that. I suspect that we have strayed far from the OP question of the relationship between Logic and Disbelief. :cool:

    Introduction to Enformationism :
    One of those early worldviews is Panpsychism, which is updated to replace ancient “Psyche” (spirit) with modern “EnFormAction” (creative energy)
    http://bothandblog6.enformationism.info/page80.html
  • 180 Proof
    9.8k
    :smirk:
    Addendum to :point:
    It is with sadness that every so often I spend a few hours on the internet, reading or listening to the mountain of stupiditie dressed up with the word 'quantum'. Quantum medicine; holistic quantum theories of every kind, mental quantum spiritualism – and so on, and on, in an almost unbelievable parade of quantum nonsense. — Carlo Rovelli, Hegoland, pp. 159-60

    et al.
    (re: TPF's Quantum-Woo Crew :sparkle:)
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    :smile:

    Muchas gracias señor!
  • Gnomon
    2.6k
    ↪Agent Smith
    :smirk:
    Addendum to ↪180 Proof
    ... It is with sadness that every so often I spend a few hours on the internet, reading or listening to the mountain of stupiditie dressed up with the word 'quantum'. Quantum medicine; holistic quantum theories of every kind, mental quantum spiritualism – and so on, and on, in an almost unbelievable parade of quantum nonsense. — Carlo Rovelli, Hegoland, pp. 159-60
    ↪Gnomon
    ↪Enrique
    ↪Wayfarer
    et al.
    (re: TPF's Quantum-Woo Crew :sparkle:)
    180 Proof
    Thanks for that sincere confession of faith in Scientism : Reductionism & Materialism. Ironically, the "woo-crew" typically quotes the informed opinions of physicists, such as Rovelli to support their philosophical ideas. Whereas, "The Boo Hiss crew" (180Proveit) typically spouts expressions of faith in generic scientific doctrine, and of intellectual superiority to freewheeling philosophers.

    Speaking of "woo of the gaps", highly credentialed physicist Hossenfelder interviewed Mathematical physicist Roger Penrose, about the physical cause of consciousness. His theory is that quantum scale microtubules mysteriously produce consciousness when measured. He's a Nobel Prizewinner, but Sabine found such woo-of-the-gaps "quantum spiritualism" hard to accept, because the gap between non-conscious tubes of protein and conscious minds is filled with unspecified and unwarranted assumptions. "I find that stunning, because it's telling us that your belief that the system works is stronger than the system itself. What are you doing that enables you to transcend the system?" Fortunately, he admitted that it was just a hypothesis, not a doctrine.

    180's faith in the system of science also transcends any specific evidence within the system. He dresses up his quips, not with the ambiguous word "Quantum", but with vague references to intuitive, but outdated, Classical Newtonian Physics. By avoiding references to quantum weirdness, I suppose he feels that his bold accusations of woo-mongering are on safe ground. Because, with no details, they're not subject to the Holistic interpretations of the quantum pioneers. That sounds like the Trump technique, when challenged he points the finger at the other guy and calls him unflattering names. Is that legitimate TPF philosophy? :joke:

    WOO-FREE AND ARGUMENT-FREE "BOO-HISS" PHILOSOPHY
    Boy-Sticking-His-Tongue-Out-And-Wiggling-His-Fingers-By-His-Ears-Royalty-Free-Vector-Illustration-10241113968.jpg
  • 180 Proof
    9.8k
    :rofl: Yes, you & the Woo-Crew quote the likes of Rovelli, Stenger, Carroll, Deutsch, Hawking, Feynman et al without the slightest comprehension of what they say. I wear your Dunning-Kruger ad hominems, sir, as badges of honor. :clap:
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k


    If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don't understand quantum mechanics. — Richard Feynman

    While Feynman's comment suggests any theory/idea based on Quantum Mechanics is a case of obscurum per obscuris, I find it quite fascinating that anyone would lay a foundation of ignorance for their knowledge claims.
  • Gnomon
    2.6k
    While Feynman's comment suggests any theory/idea based on Quantum Mechanics is a case of obscurum per obscuris, I find it quite fascinating that anyone would lay a foundation of ignorance for their knowledge claims.Agent Smith
    Hey! Don't blame Feynman. It was the obscure First Cause that laid the foundation for Quantum obscurum. Feynman was a genius, but not smart enough to make sense of a system that functions both deterministically and randomly.

    My Enformationism thesis accepts that such nonsense was necessary to produce a self-organizing world that also has an element of freedom. A straightforward computer program would be self-organizing, but it would be very limited in novelty. That's why the Evolutionary program was a stoke of genius. It allows simple repetitive cause & effect actions to go creatively crazy sometimes. That's because linear logical predictable Cause-Effect is built on an unstable foundation of non-linear absurd unpredictable Background-Hiss. And I'm not talking about 180. :grin:


    How Randomness Can Arise From Determinism :
    This dichotomy between unpredictable individual behavior and precise group behavior is not unique to quantum mechanics.
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/how-randomness-can-arise-from-determinism-20191014/
  • Gnomon
    2.6k
    Yes, you & the Woo-Crew quote the likes of Rovelli, Stenger, Carroll, Deutsch, Hawking, et al without the slightest comprehension of what he says. I wear your Dunning-Kruger ad hominems, sir, as badges of honor. :clap:180 Proof
    There's no honor in pretending to be intellectually superior. Even Trump can barely pull it off. Besides, isn't it hard to make a supercilious smirk-face with your tongue sticking out? Hey, trading insults, instead of ideas, is fun. But, you don't get no badges for your political playground philosophy, sir! Just kidding . . . or am I? :joke:

    PS__No offense intended. The smiley has tongue-in-cheek, and no wiggling ears.
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    I see that you're utilizing your BothAnd concept to full effect! Bravo!
  • Gnomon
    2.6k
    I see that you're utilizing your BothAnd concept to full effect! Bravo!Agent Smith
    I try to practice what I preach, but it's hard to get Either/Or thinkers to view anything from a perspective other than their own ingrained point of view. Apparently 180BooBoof looks to Trump for philosophical arguing tips. Just accuse the other guy of doing exactly what you are doing. Or at least distract the attention from your own faults. A finger pointing away, reliably distracts bystanders from looking at you. That's not a complementary BothAnd perspective, but merely the old "don't look at me . . . hey, look over there" trick. That's not Philosophy, it's Sophistry. And it's childish. :cool:

    DON'T ACCUSE ME OF RACIST POLICIES,
    JUST LOOK OVER THERE AT THAT RACE PERSON
    200w.gif?cid=82a1493btu8aehf63x10sv1oqprkvftovr7r7jwngqbt3spe&rid=200w.gif&ct=g

    6fdebd5958557f2b1b716395c55466c0.jpg
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