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Re: [ontolog-forum] {Disarmed} Reality and Truth

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: KCliffer@xxxxxxx
Date: Sun, 20 May 2007 10:17:37 EDT
Message-id: <d50.913c654.3381b281@xxxxxxx>
I'm trying to restrain myself, because I think we're coming to a basic agreement in this line of thought. I'm trying to let others now take a part of it into another direction in which I have less to contribute, I think (multiple venues for truth, etc.). However, being inadequately disciplined to refrain from responding to an ongoing element of creative challenge, I'll reply once more (without promising it's only once) to a point or two that you make, with acknowledgement that I think we're in fundamental agreement.
paola.dimaio@xxxxxxxxx writes:
As a creative, artistic person, I apply 'imagination' to see beyond what I know for certain. Imagination, although may not  understand what it is or how it works, it is a powerful driver of scientific and technological progress. Intuition and 'fantastic projection' is the first way for human to challenge the boundaries of known reality, lacking other apparatus. (that may account for the legitimacy of some of  Dali's perpective) It is also what propells us to try new things and combinations and innovate and attempt to manipulate and control basic elements of the physical world. Ultimately, scientific and technological vision arise from the ability of humans to imagine something that was not there before.
Yes - and when they (we?) do so, it only works to the degree to which it has a correspondence with reality. The creative advances grow by extending mental models in ways that intuitive imagination leads to insights of what reality is and can be. It's based on how it has been modeled previously, along with a creative, maybe random element to how we think, perhaps analogous to random genetic variation. We have many misses, which get less publicity than the amazing hits. The ideas that work survive and progress because they work and allow further extension in functional relation to reality. (This idea of "evolution of ideas" has been expressed by others before.)

 I am always so surprised when I see how clever humans can be when it comes to electronics and nanotechnology and lots of such lovely tricks that exploit the laws of physics to do the unthinkable. I am equally stunned when I see lacking ability in simple problem solving like endemic poverty and diseases, hunger, social injustice, war and defeating evil spirits (LOL). Lots of other paradoxes too.
Those "simple" but yet unsolved problems have complexities you are not acknowledging or seeing, or they would have been solved. The simplicity is apparent, but not all there is. Some advances are being made on some fronts, including using insights about how complex systems themselves function in light of their complexity and its implications. But we have a substantial way to go.
With respect to the "unthinkable", of course, they were not truly unthinkable, because someone(s) thought of them. A practice I follow in education about science is to avoid the word "incredible" about advances or discoveries, because it literally means "unbelievable," suggesting that we could not consider the findings of science as true. Since the endeavor of science is to seek a kind of truth on which people can agree, I prefer words such as "amazing" or "surprising".

As a scientist, and a researcher, I do not want to preclude myself from knowing and understanding  what there is.  I claim the right to a rational logical investigation of everything that my mind can think of.. That obviously,includes thoughts about the origin and cause of life and the creation etc.  Therefore I appreciate and respect what you say, that God is outside the realm of science, but only because science does not have (yet) a suitable apparatus for such an enquiry. And not because people stop wanting to find out more about it.
No fundamental argument, as my parenthetical "(at this point in history)" acknowledged. I don't know whether we will ever get to the point at which something we can refer to as "God", akin to what people now mean by it, will be tractable in any meaningful scientific sense - and I'm not sure how important that would be, since my personal opinion is that there's nothing wrong with it being in a different realm. But I mean seriously the "don't know" part. It's largely in the realm out of the reach of my best imagination at this point.

Working from the assumption that our dimension,constrained by time space coordinates (which may not even exist in absolute terms after all), and limited to what we can perceive of it,  is related to, (or  generated, or the product of) other dimensions that we cannot perceive within the human senses, and admitting - as you say - even partially the notion of something that could correspond to our mental model of God, or equivalent 'not from this dimension'  entity, I wonder what is the cause of life

(double uh) 
Science has a fairly deep understanding now of many levels of HOW life evolved - in that sense of its cause - consistent with the overall scientific view and framework of understanding the universe. This doesn't mean that there are no gaps or mysteries - there are plenty. But much of the mystery (not all) is at the deepest levels that get into questions that go beyond any science we have, and maybe that we could ever have (again, I don't know).

Why are we here, whats the purpose of the universe, and most important,  how do I get out when it gets painful?
This depends on what you mean by "I" (you), "get out", and "painful". There are known ways to ease transition out of the life we know, although ethical and legal considerations limit how some of them can be applied. Much of the answer I have for this question gets WAY beyond the science into how we relate to those we love, and to our and their lives in this existence as far as we know it. Many claim a knowledge or belief in a life beyond the obvious one we know - I don't know. I now have a friend who may be losing her mother. I talked with her last night, over the phone (one of those technological miracles by a naive standard), at a distance of many hundreds of miles in space, but no distance at all in presence. I was right there with her. My thoughts on the way for us to get out in that sense is to do it as much as possible, and to facilitate for others, with love. But, as I say, we're way beyond the realm of this discussion now.
Our family had a brilliant friend, no longer with us, who made a hobby of asking people interesting "survey" questions. One was whether they would, if they could, choose to be immortal, under certain defined conditions such as they would be the only one - not others. Interestingly, most said "no." Part of an implication I get from this is that somehow they conceive of their own purpose as not requiring their personal physical life beyond what we clearly know here. It's hard not to have a kind of humility in the face of a question like that.

 As a researcher I think I want to understand more about where I stand in relation to the rest of the universe,

In the (temporary) absence of an adequate scientific apparatus, I can only use my imagination to probe what's out there,  and because I 'believe in science'  I am sure that carefully pondered visions can contribute to development of more comprehensive instruments for enquiry into the nature of what exists (and its cause)
Undoubtedly - and it will be interesting to see how this develops, as long as we're around to be interested. After that, others will carry on. (And maybe we'll have some way to carry on - I tend to think not, in any meaningful sense of our current individual identities, but ... I don't know.)
Kenneth Cliffer, Ph.D.

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