13 11 10 - 09:57Our state-run radio in the USA is universally leftist, but all leftists like to pretend it's centrist or "balanced" so they can continue to justify their leftist beliefs as "common sense." Having recruited a collection of neurotic liberal make-workers to blog for it, NPR is tackling issues with its usual leftist bent:
âAll civilizations and empires have fallen because their cultures became decadent,â Meckler said. âWe need to lift up conservative culture, family values and wholesome things by supporting conservative musicians, writers, artists and producers.â
My Websterâs dictionary defines conservative as âdisposed to maintain existing institutions or views; opposed to change.â A counterpoint to conservative is the word revelation: âthe disclosing of what was before unknownâ (fr. Latin velum, a veil).
Revelation is a central concept in the monotheistic religions. A truth, originating directly from God or via an agent such as an angel, is communicated to a human who, in passing this truth on to others, is called a prophet; in some traditions the prophet may come to be called a saint. For the traditional believer, these divine revelations are sacrosanct, the pillars of their faith.
So I would say that scientific understandings represent revelations of a second kind. Unlike those canonized in a religious tradition, unlike those entombed in whatever fundamentalism â left-wing or right-wing â that enthralls a populace at a given time â they not only come with errata sheets; they come with the promise of errata sheets. - New People's Revolution
We have to go to see someone with more study and insight behind them in order to make sense of this -- warning: this article, unlike the NPR one which appears to be "Learned" in the way that a peasant with a uniform is "Official" actually requires a brain to read:
Huxley goes to great trouble to explain â what todayâs theorists usually just take for granted â why it is that he thinks humanity should be considered specially valuable and important. This (he says) is because the mental qualities that it is developing through emergent evolution â especially its capacity for intelligent worship of the universe through science â are the growing-point of the whole cosmic process. These mental properties are not something alien to the material properties that the physical sciences study but are continuous with them, so any materialism that fails to recognise their continuity is mistaken. The still-surviving Cartesian dualism that treats mind as a separate substance from matter must therefore be abandoned. Mind must be taken to have been somehow present in the cosmos from the start. âWe come, that is, to a monistic conclusion â¦ that there is only one fundamental substance, and that this possesses not only material [but mental] properties. We want a new word to denote this X, this world-stuff; matter will not do for that is a word which the physicists and chemists have moulded to suit themselves, and since they have not yet learnt to detect or measure mental phenomena they restrict the word âmaterialâ to mean ânon-mentalâ.â
Huxley, in fact, saw clearly â what few of those who now exalt science seem to have noticed â that this exaltation does not make sense unless we somehow enlarge the notion of reality to make room for mind. Doing science is, after all, a mental activity; it can hardly constitute the purpose of a purely physical universe. More widely, of course, Huxleyâs whole way of conceiving evolution as purposive is itself profoundly religious. Darwin himself avoided such thoughts, as do most of those who claim to follow him today. Yet people still do often take it for granted that Evolution, like Progress, is directional â an escalator bound to carry us, or at least our descendants, safely on to higher levels. - BrokeBack Island New Humanists
The point here is that, once we get outside the peasants pretending to be kings section of the haughty bookstore, we see that religious thinking is integral to humanity because thinking of purpose to the universe, and the decisional mind required, is necessary. It is necessary in part because we are out of answers as to "how did reality itself begin" or "why does existence exist" without some sense of computation, growth, or evolution.
Materialism, or strict believing in biological/physical impetus to everything, only makes sense so far.
Revelation is the new religion and it is strictly physical science, which denies both (a) the metaphysical and (b) long term reasoning, since it doesn't involve tangible objects but predictions, intuitions and game theory-styled planning multiple moves ahead.
While the NPR idiot intended to slam all conservatives, she made a useful point: science is the new revelation/religion, and those who say "let's stick to what we know, instead of following every new theory like it's a prophet" are in fact the sane ones. She won't understand that of course.
Increasingly, we're finding more about the brain, but less about consciousness, because consciousness is an effect (calculation) of the brain, which may itself be an effect of something else. Food for thought.