On 12 Jan 2013, at 15:37, Platonist Guitar Cowboy wrote:

On Sat, Jan 12, 2013 at 12:11 PM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

On 11 Jan 2013, at 21:47, meekerdb wrote:

On 1/11/2013 10:31 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

What are its tenets that you believe on faith?

That there is something different from me.

But you have evidence for that - if you can figure out what is meant by "me".

I think you need faith to make data into evidence.

That would vitiate the concept of evidence. I'd say you only need a theory to make data into evidence which can count for or against the theory.

But for making data into evidence, you need to have faith in some theory, even if the data will refute some other theory. It might be unconscious theory used in the brain, and so it might be (and certainly is in most case) an unconscious faith (which is close to my suggestion for consciousness, following Helmholtz theory of perception). There is always implicit theories, and we always need to bet on a reality behind them, to be able to make interpretations.


A large part of this is not always conscious and taken for granted, which by default puts the theorist into a mystical situation. A point at which, after say her or his child will have bombarded them with a chain of "why questions?" about the nature of their work, at which there will be some unverified statement "because I have to make a living, because I love what I do, because of the advancement of knowledge, because I have to survive".

... or because I have the mystical believe that 0 is different from s(0), and I accept that "p&q" is true if p is true and q is true, etc. Yes. of course the revelation that 0 is different than s(0) is done in the early month of life, so we get blasé about it, and even forget the faith, about it.

It's not totally unconscious, and as with religion, there are paradigm shifts, differing schools of thought etc. so to pass off progress in techne or understanding as purely "scientific in the disinterested sense", is a flaw.

I am not sure. May be I don't get what you mean by "scientific in the disinterested sense". Science comes from the interest in (varieties) of truth.

Mystic nomads came up with hunting tools despite their deities, and I guess many would say precisely because of their faith in deities. That a 21st century scientist tends to use "working hypothesis", "theory" or some variation thereof does not place him above the mystic.

On the contrary, I think it is the only mystical attitude. of course we are living a long time of opposition between religion and science, but this can only lead to pseudo-religion (and suffering), and bad science (and suffering). It is a sort of schizophrenia. We cut our social corpus callosum. We separate the heart and reason, but they have to work together all the time.

We tolerate lack of rigor in the human science, like we tolerate idolatry, in philosophy, theology, etc. We are still in the dark age, a lasting coming back since about +500 in occident.

The very act of stating: "well, this differs from theism" is the oldest mystical trick in the book: my religion is more awesome than yours because...

In one sense, this distinction between science and theology is more deceptive than mysticism: where a mystic will wear her or his current unjustifiable belief on a shirt, some scientists will not avow to themselves that they have some. I do not care if certain scientists do this out of vanity, to place themselves above mystics and crazies in their internal narratives about their relationship to the world. Fine, we all need a bit of vain hero-narrative for motivation. I do care, when this internal negation of a scientist's theology is so literal and fanatic, that they start asking things like: "How many can we fit into a gas chamber? How can we extract fossil fuels from even deeper deposits at the lowest cost? How do people react to electrocution?" - at the mercy of political forces, ideologies of markets etc. for example.

For now I stick with Bruno Latour's notion that "we were never moderns"

I am not that pessimist. "We" have been modern from -500 to +500, and modernity is still in the heart of everyone, but a bit sleepy. Some people still want to defend truth, instead of searching it. They have missed the deepest truth common among (genuine) mystics and (genuine) scientist, which is that truth is the last thing needing argument per authority.

and that when we "reasonably" take the correct fork in the road after reading the direction sign, some alien observer will state: "the metallic panel obviously exerts a force on the entity believing some propositions, same situation essentially as when we visited last time and they were still nomadic mystics taking cues from shamanic forces and betting on game, that they now apprehend with digital technology on wall street. Deities morphed into "incorporated corporations"

? false deities I guess. They got name, and here it is important to not let them be considered as person (unless we decide to abandon our universality, but I would not recommand that). This problem will rea- appear all the time in the long futures of humanity and the more general Löbianity, if I can say.

and enshrined entities in law, the market, political systems, and other gurus.

democracy should prevent them to be like "gurus", but for this to work, you need good separation between the different powers. Those days, there is a lot of leaking. democraties are machine, and machines always ages. That's why there is sex and other metamorphoses.

All of this stuff still seems very dreamy and subconscious, still war driven, like last time we visited. They don't seem like fun just yet."

This is why I avoid strong forms of distinction between scientists and mystics, and will give both of them benefit of the doubt if they are not aholes.

I can' agree more. I don't separate them at all. It can be a good methodological idea to separate some aspect of science from some aspect of mysticism, but they can progressed only together.


------ "No Walter, you're not wrong! You're just an... ahole" - Jeff Bridges in some movie :)


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