A Final Author’s Note

PhysicalEthics4-20-14

I’ve built an ideology from which to theorize answers for all personal and social questions of relevance to a given subject, or that which is good/bad for it. The stated premise is that this question does not simply concern arbitrary/anecdotal philosophy, but rather an aspect of reality that “mental/behavioral” varieties of science will need to theorize in order to emerge from their “primitive states.” Though various examples of my theory have been shown along the way, the focus of this discussion has simply been “to describe reality,” with an emphasis on “conscious life,” and particularly “the human.” But what does this perspective practically imply? How specifically can an individual or society promote its sensation based interests, given its specific circumstances? Here I extend an invitation to all for intelligent discussion of both the potential consistencies and inconsistencies of these models against observation, as well as their practical personal and social implications. This work has now consumed me for over half my life, though I should indeed have some time left for general discussion.

Here I do expect “heated conversation with my own ilk.” Throughout the universities of our world and beyond exist the descendants of an ancient society that seeks to build “philosophical understandings.” But apparently we’ve also “failed” — today we have virtually no generally accepted theory regarding philosophical dynamics. Thus by advertising this deficiency I should also invoke the ire of those who are perhaps “proud” of our various perceived achievements.

Furthermore my work seems to also have implications to “science” — a great institution which has indeed developed a vast field of accepted theory. But I presume that it will not hastily consent to the expansion which I propose, and will also fight the notion that its “mental/behavioral” fields could be nearly as troubled as I’ve suggested. But if this community cannot practically demonstrate that personal relevance is “fundamentally arbitrary/anecdotal,” “naturally unscientific,” or otherwise “impossible for human comprehension,” then the institution of science should indeed be required to take up the ancient philosophical question of “good” in order to also become “more whole” in this regard.

Moving now to the practical business of determining how specific individuals and societies may “lead their existence properly,” yes I do also consider such questions from the perspective of my theory — though perhaps in an unusual way…

Observe standard political discourse. This commonly seems to be a process where we demonstrate the “horrible” implications of an opponent’s ideas, as well as the “pleasing” implications of our own. The associated attack and defense here should be quite familiar to those of us that live in the democracies of our world, and perhaps beyond.

For my part, however, a somewhat different discussion is sought. I do not seek to demonstrate that the implications of my own ideas happen to be “pleasing,” or that the implications of an opponent’s are not. Thus my response to a standard attack must simply be to check whether or not the assumptions which have been made seem “valid,” as well as if an accurate interpretation of my theory does seem to exist. If so, however, then regardless of how “distasteful” a given implication may seem, I simply must not object.

Though this approach might also be termed “political suicide,” I do nevertheless remain confident. Regardless of how my “repugnant theory” may cause me to be perceived, I do find hope in the following belief: Once our “mental/behavioral” sciences accept philosophical elements of reality as their own burden, the “greatest” revolution in human understandings, should indeed occur.

To now conclude this discussion, please consider the following argument for a coming “greatest” human revolution…

What has been the most prominent effect of science upon humanity so far? Observe that by teaching us about reality it has brought us both more and less “useful” types of understandings. Furthermore over the past few centuries we’ve used some of the more useful in order to develop various tools and such that provide us with astounding abilities. Thus it might be stated that the most prominent effect of science upon humanity so far, has been to provide us with “unprecedented power.”

Apparently “power,” however, can also be “dangerous.” A person that gains tremendous new abilities should also gain the potential to make tremendous new mistakes — and apparently our societies display this vulnerability no less. So in retrospect the state of our world over the past few centuries of science fueled power, without a balancing science fueled theory from which to use our power properly, should not be surprising. I suspect that this dynamic is sufficient to explain every great “horror” associated with “the age of science.” (Please choose your own examples of “personal and social horrors,” to assess whether or not they each stem from an inability to understand how to lead our lives and structure our societies “properly,” given our tremendous science provided modern abilities.)

It is from this perspective which I reason that the “greatest” achievement of science, will not gain this distinction by imparting still greater human abilities. Thus neither Newton nor Einstein (my own favorites), would merit such a distinction, nor would this be earned by developing a successful “theory of everything,” nor a means from which to “live well without polluting,” nor the ability to “colonize the galaxy,” nor even the development of a method from which to “exist perpetually in perfect contentment.” Rather than provide us with “still greater abilities,” I suspect that the greatest achievement of science will rather “rebalance” its traditional gift. By further teaching us about reality, I believe that science will soon give us a theoretical understanding from which to use our power “properly.” Once our “mental/behavioral” sciences accept philosophical elements of reality as their own burden, we should soon find that this “greatest understanding of them all,” will be achieved. Here scientific theory of good/bad will rebalance our disproportionately great modern abilities.

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5 Comments on “A Final Author’s Note”

  1. You are coming along slowly. You have my basic structure there, ordered sensations based on mechanisms that are processed for a mind, with inputs to it and outputs from it by the mechanics. So the basic structure is there, but you are obviously a computer person so it difficult to adapt my ideas and appear original.

    It will be interesting when you get to the crucial piece, the mechanics. If the brain just processes, then it all really depends on sensation provided by inputs from the mechanics for outputs to the mechanics.

    Your friend Graziosi at Conscious Entities has done much the same thing. Actually, almost identical. He took my structure and tried to adapt it to computers, all based on sensations provided my a missing mechanics, like yours. Neither of you can take the next step to detail the mechanics that gives such a comprehensive mind.

    Don’t be shy, its in the title of my work spread around all the sites you visit for the last several years. Its called the human Design, because the mechanics has a very specific Design for a mind to work.

    At least I have inspired you both to try to write something.

  2. From here: https://platofootnote.wordpress.com/2017/06/23/platos-reading-suggestions-episode-84/comment-page-6/#comment-22316

    wtc48
    June 25, 2017 • 10:34 pm
    Eric: “I am a monist, naturalist, determinist and all the rest. It makes sense to me that effects happen because preceding causes force them to do exactly as they do. From this view the things which occur by means of time, space, and all other dimensions of existence (if there are any), are ultimately fixed by means of causality. ”

    I’m not disagreeing with your position, but I would observe that prior to the appearance of Homo Sapiens on the scene, the earth and its biota would have conformed well with a strictly deterministic view of causality, a system that could have run for eternity (or perhaps not, given an event such as an asteroid collision) in which every effect proceeded from a cause. The advent of humans appears to have muddied the waters enough to require a different paradigm, allowing for the fact that we not only cause effects based on plans of our own, we also predict effects, usually inaccurately, but in the process altering reality in unforeseen ways. This situation, I suppose, corresponds to the quasi-geological era of the Anthropocene, and two of its possible consequences are man-made climate change and possible colonization of other planets (complete with Earth bacteria).

  3. Wtc,
    I think I see what you’re saying about human paradigm shifts, though I’m not actually sure what my determinism has to do with that. Such shifts might happen in a non determined realm. I do have some thoughts on the subject however.

    The essentially modern genetic version of the human must have existed as a relatively normal animal for most of our existence. Civilization and the specialized occupations that it brought would have been a major paradigm shift that separated us from other animals with new abilities. But even here we might have been somewhat sustainable, that is if not for something that happened only a few centuries ago. This was not just science, but that there have been amazing properties to nature which science has been able to teach us about. This has brought us unprecedented power, and our abilities here continue to expand as well.

    The problem with this as I see it is that science has given us tremendous power, though without showing us much about how to effectively use our power. And what happens to something which quickly becomes extremely powerful that doesn’t also gain a proportional understand of how to use that power? It goes on to do all sorts of unfortunate things. You’re right that this can’t continue for long — science has changed us in the blink of an eye. Furthermore were actually stuck on Earth despite all the SciFi spaceman nonsense that we entertain ourselves with.

    My solution is for us to finally begin exploring, not just the social construct of moral ethics, but also an amoral form of what is good/bad for any given subject. I warn you that this study will not tell us what we want to hear, since apparently reality itself can sometimes have very unpalatable implications. But if we are ever to effectively harness the power that science has unleashed, we will need to finally face up to the realities of what we are. With such understandings we should be able to progressively get into balance once again — to figure out how to lead our lives, as well as structure our societies, in effective ways.

  4. wtc48 says:

    I find a lot to agree with in the ideas expressed above in your blog, but haven’t had time to take in all the implications. I gather there is a good deal more that doesn’t appear on this page.

    ‘ By further teaching us about reality, I believe that science will soon give us a theoretical understanding from which to use our power “properly.” ‘

    As you say, I think the main paradigm shift has come about in the last couple of centuries, but I believe language, among other things, put us in a different category from the rest of the primates and other animals a good deal earlier than that. My view of the present situation is basically expressed in a remark that someone made about Bush 43: “He was born on third base and thought he’d hit a triple.” We have, essentially, an unrealistic notion about who we are, as if the complex culture we have discovered around us in the process of acquiring an education were somehow present in our genes. Anyway, I’m the least knowledgeable about all these matters, and just trying to find my way around.

    I had a feeling my comment Sunday had come too late for any response, and thank you for bringing yours to my attention! What caught my attention was the idea of determinism, because I suddenly realized that the pre-human world was, in effect, totally determined (subject only to the workings of evolution and geological change). Whether it remains so in the face of the complexities we have introduced (during the few millennia of civilization) is something I can’t get my mind around at this point.

  5. Wtc,
    I’m actually a bit embarrassed when people read through this site. It was written over three years ago, and I’ve done very little editing since. Given my education during this period I realize that a full reorganization is in order, and an epistemology focus will probably be taken at some point. But I am happy with a new configuration for my mental chapters, which I’ve recently prepared for a friend’s review. Just say the word if you want in on that as well (16 pages).

    It sounds like our understanding of history is consistent — language made us what we are hundreds of thousands of years ago, but civilization made us culturally what we are in recent millennia. These were big shifts, but nothing like what’s been happening through the power of science. Good job reminding Massimo that culture is recent while genetics is not. Still he seems to know that we were “born on third base”, and I share your frustration that so many fail to take this to heart. Such humility should be intellectually helpful.

    Given what humanity has done and seems to be doing, I think I now understand why you’ve asked about my determinism. This suggests agency, and there ultimately aren’t any agents, or freewill, under a perfectly determined system. Yes. So what’s my perspective here?

    To me everything does make sense in a fully determined realm, given various levels of imperfect perspective. Because I don’t have anything close to perfect information about people and what’s happening in general, let alone the capacity to process such information, from this level I can characterize us to have agency, and thus the ability to do evil and good things. But I also believe that the more informed I become about what underlies our behavior, the more causal properties that I would generally see to thus reduce the appearance of freedom. If our behavior is not perfectly determined once this logic is taken to its theoretical conclusion, then I see no option but a violation of causality itself. Another term for this is “magic”.


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