15 11 10 - 05:26While I'm critical of the modern religion as well as the egalitarian, victim-revenge nature of Christianity and liberalism, I think there is a place in post-modern times for a kind of religion.
It's a type of reverence, or worship of life itself, and one that says a good but possibly wrong belief trumps an incomplete but scientifically "right" belief. After all, science is statistics; if 81% of people who are married are miserable, science thinks marriage is bad, forgetting that those 81% were probably miserable before they were married, and the 19% who are not miserable were happy before they were married because they have IQs 20 points higher, and so have a happier life in general.
They call us conservatives, throw-backs, and reactionaries, but the fact is that science doesn't return complete answers. It attacks our existing knowledge, and replaces whole concepts with partial ones:
Consciousness, of course, is one of the great, unsolved conundrums of modern science. Where, if anywhere, does awareness reside? How, if at all, can it be explained? Is the mind separate from its body? Or does everything, ultimately, reduce to biochemistry and quantum physics, including our private, inner-most experiences of the world?
From the time of Aristotle and Plato, these questions have largely been the preserve of philosophy. But the past several decades have witnessed the steady rise of cognitive neuroscience, which maintains that all human faculties, including consciousness, can now (or one day will) be explained by neural oscillations in the cerebral cortex â accountable by simple measurements of neurons and synapses.
Science can document all the processes involved in vision â electromagnetic waveforms striking the retina and proceeding electrochemically along the optic nerve to the brain's occipital lobe. But where does the felt experience of what is seen â let's say the colour red â come from? Says Mr. Chalmers: âThere is an explanatory gap between the functions and experience.â
And the problem is hard, cognitive scientist Steven Pinker adds, because no one knows what the answer might look like âor even whether it is a genuine scientific problem in the first place.â - Rainbow Daily
Good points. We know the physical counterparts to our thoughts, but the mind examining itself still cannot figure out where it is.
There isn't even a necessarily metaphysical answer; possibly our brains are our minds, but there's more in the software than in the hardware.
Either way, we need to be wary of reductionism -- we lose whole concepts and instead get the classic scientific passive-aggressive: "It's not what you think, but I only know a small part of what is true, so wait on me for an indeterminate period of time and I'll get back to you with what you should believe, or be considered ignorant."
Yeah, no thanks.