On Sunday, January 27, 2013 5:35:22 PM UTC-5, freqflyer07281972 wrote:
>
> Hey everyone,
>
> I've been following this group a lot. I read it everyday and enjoy all of 
> the wonderful stuff that comes up, even if some of it tends towards ad 
> hominem, argument from authority, and petitio principi. Hey, we're humans, 
> right? That means we get to make these fallacies, in good conscience or 
> bad. 
>
> Anyway, I wondered about what anyone/everyone thought about the notion of 
> 'chosenness' as a way to understand where we are here in the world. It 
> seems to me that concepts like MWI, Bruno's comp/mech hypothesis and the 
> 'dreams of numbers' ideas of subjectivity, and even Leibniz's 'best of all 
> possible worlds' don't actually do something like flee away from our 
> everyday responsibility to accept the basic fact that we have been CHOSEN 
> -- and when I say this, please don't immediately put a bunch of theological 
> baggage on it. I'm not saying God chose this reality as opposed to another, 
> although this might be a convenient shorthand. But what I am saying is 
> that, out of all the staggering possibilities that we know exist with 
> regards to our universe, our galaxy, our solar system, our planet, our 
> society, and even our individual selves, things could have very easily 
> turned out to be different than they were. The fact that they have turned 
> out in just this way and not another indicates this kind of chosenness, and 
> along with it, comes a certain degree of responsibility, I guess? 
>
> It seems to me that all the various 'everything' hypotheses (MWI, comp, 
> Leibniz, and others) try to apply the Copernican principle to its breaking 
> point. True enough, there is from a purely 3p point of view nothing special 
> about our cosmic situation re: our planet and our sun. BUT, from an 
> existential 1p point of view there is a huge privilege that we have, i.e. 
> we are sentient observers, who love, feel pain, feel desire, and long for 
> transcendence. 
>
> Moreover, the 3p point of view is a pure abstraction, kind of like eating 
> the picture of a meal rather than the actual meal. How do we know what any 
> kind of 3p account of truth would be? What would it even look like? A 
> universe with no observers. A falling tree without a hearer/listener. This, 
> to me, is nonsense. 
>
> Aren't things like MWI of quantum physics and comp hypothesis of universal 
> dovetailer trying to, at a fundamental and existential level, an attempt to 
> try to run away from the concreteness and absolute 'givenness' (gift) of 
> the world as we find it? And isn't our role, in creation, as freely 
> choosing beings (sorry, John Clark, free will is more than just a noise) to 
> choose what will make other people with us now and in the future feel more 
> love and less pain? And isn't this why we were chosen? 
>
> I'll go back to lurking now, but I'd appreciate any thoughts you might 
> have on this reflection of mine. 
>
> Cheers,
>
> Dan
>

What I propose is that a complete description of the universe must include:

1. The experience of significance.

This speaks to the idea of chosen-ness, of choice, of free will, of 
improbability as a quality as the subject of appreciation.

2. The experience of the significance of the idea of insignificance.

I word "the significance of the idea of insignificance" in this convoluted 
way to reflect the natural sequence in which the revelation of objectivity 
has occurred across all human societies. Since as far as I know:

   a.  *all* cultures begin their history steeped in animistic shamanism, 
divination, creation myths and charismatic deities and 
   b.  *no* cultures develop eliminative materialism, mathematics, and 
mechanism earlier than philosophy or religion, and
   c.   *all* individuals experience the development of their own psyche 
through imaginative, emotional, and irrational or superstitious thought
   d.   *no* individuals are born with a worldview based only on generic 
facts and objectivity. Healthy children do not experience their lives in an 
indifferent and detached mode of observation but rather grow into 
analytical modes of thought through experience of the public world.

We are so convinced by the sophisticated realism of objective 
insignificance that we tend to project it into a default position, when in 
fact, it does not occur naturally that way. It is we who choose 
subjectively whether or not to project objectivity beneath our own ability 
to choose it.

The fact is, that were it that simple; were objectivity be the final word, 
then we should have had no reason to be separated from it in the first 
place. The whole notion of illusion depends on the non-illusory capacity of 
our own reason to deduce and discern illusion from reality, so that to 
question our own ability to freely choose, to some extent, how we reason, 
gives us no possibility of ever contacting any truth to deny.

Looking at 1. and 2. more scientifically, I would link significance with 
teleology (choice) and insignificance with teleonomy (chance). I have 
proposed that while these two opposite potentials seem mutually exclusive 
to us from our subjective experience, that from an absolute perspective, 
they are in adjacent ranges of the same continuum. I suggest that the 
subjective experience of sensation, and nested layers of meta-sensation 
constitute significance, and that this significance is what allows the 
possibility of choice based on personal preference. It is the choice 
capacity itself which divides the sense of the world for the chooser 
between the chosen and the unchosen. This ontological fracture is what 
gives the impression that there is a difference between chance and choice 
and creates the possibility of feedback loops in which we can both question 

  a.  the reality of choice by choosing to adopt the perspective of 
impersonal chance, as well as 
  b.  question the reality of chance by choosing to adopt the perspective 
of super-personal chance.

In both cases we cannot arrive at a perspective without exercising our will 
to choose one over the other, even for hypothetical consideration. There is 
no ontological possibility of our abdicating our choice altogether, 
although the position which elevates insignificance compels through an 
appeal to do just that. This is true of contemporary forms of science in 
general, as the outside-in bias inherently demands compulsory and 
involuntary acceptance of facts and unambiguous inferences between them 
rather than recognizing the self-same subjective autonomy which drives the 
scientific consideration from beginning to end. Science relies on 
peer-review to enforce the belief in disbelief - the faith that peer-review 
itself is an unexplained artifact of human weakness, and that the rest of 
the universe has no need for such deliberations, nor could it generate them 
even if it were useful.

In practical terms, what this means is that 

  a.  you can choose to pursue the chosen-feeling significance of your 
experience, but you risk increasing possibility of delusion and conflicting 
intuitions. 

  b.  you can choose to pursue the unchosen analytical feeling of the 
significance of insignificance, but you risk cutting yourself off from the 
most unbelievable experiences of personal truth and participation.

In both cases the potential rewards are equally intense. If you open the 
door, you open the door to Heaven and Hell. If you close the door, you can 
be more effective as a practical agent on Earth. Sometimes the choice seems 
to be coerced by circumstance. Sometimes we open the door in some contexts 
more often and close it more in others. Our choices can change and evolve. 
Sometimes it doesn't matter either way.

The universe that we find ourselves in is chosen on the inside, chance on 
the outside, but it is only because we are inside that we can discern the 
difference. Without an inside, nothing can choose to recognize a difference.

Craig




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