Friday, May 29, 2009

Predispositon ...

... Science, the supernatural and searching for patterns. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

What I find interesting about this is that, while we are predisposed to see patterns, whatever patterns are not in accord with reductive naturalism are always found to be wanting and that we must therefore strive to outgrow them. Determinism is fine as long as we are not determined to believe in God. Certainly, if one discerns a pattern and senses a force at work, the first question should be, "Is there such a pattern or force?" One should not immediately assume there isn't and go looking for something - anything - else. Come to think of it, what is biology but a complex of discerned patterns? And why is seeing the world and life in terms of those patterns superior to seeing them in terms of any other patterns?

1 comment:

  1. "Similarly the possibility of describing the world by means of Newtonian mechanics tells us nothing about the world: but what does tell us something about it is the precise way in which it is possible to describe it by these means. We are also told something about the world by the fact that it can be described more simply with one system of mechanics than with another."
    (Wittgenstein, Tractatus 6.342, tr. DF Pears & BF McGuinness)

    My imagination is dual: i speculate and i test; i reach out to possibilities, and i remind myself that they are only possibilities. The gravity of my scepticism keeps me fairly close to what i have actually experienced - but even so, this experience leads me to suppose the world considerably stranger than a materialist would allow. My speculations would strike many as baroque & eerie - or just mad - but they are simply attempts to describe my experience without omission. i believe materialists silently omit a great deal so their simplistic systems can adequately describe what remains - what remains is neutered, drained of the uncanny. It is all too familiar; but the world is not familiar.