Listening recently to a discussion (if one might call it that) between CH and a peer (closer than you might think), the peer had the task of arguing the It is (henceforth Is) side. CH could just sit back and take pot shots. Why? It's not that CH was a scientist. It's that the It is not (henceforth Is-not) side has less proving to do.
What? Yes, the matter is not open to proof in the sense of demonstration. No, those types of actions (as in demonstrating something) is on the onus list of the Is folks. You see, science deals with what is. From an operational sense, the issues of Is and Is-not never come up. They don't add any butter to the table.
I might add, not yet. Do they ever? Yes, as ostensible choice of either side can have economic ramifications. Go to a country like Iran (and, perhaps, a number of others) and try to be a Christian (mind you, name any religion; perhaps, even Muslim sect that is not in favor of those who hold the power) who has the power of the state behind you and who can be successful in any field. In many cases, education is cut off. Actually, the Jewish diaspora could easily be used as an example due to the breadth involved, in terms of time, space and human suffering.
Now back to the CH lambast (some might see it as a basting). His peer kept saying "why can't you see?" in terms of the CH's position of not accepting something supported by writings that get a lot of attention. Or, we could re-phrase: why are you blind to this? That being said, 'blind' implies not being able to recognize something that is there. In reality, we are blind to a lot of things (in short, all of our senses have a lot of limits). Science is to the point where a whole lot is determined after a whole lot of processing (lens, filters, and more -- remember, quasi-empiricism?).
If one does (as in, can) not see what is not there, does that not turn the question around? Yes. Many 'secularist' make this point; some do so very vehemently: I'm sorry, but you are delusional. Ah. Secularists, like scientists, can take the relaxed view (except, there are career, and fame, issues related to the human being that can be troublesome). You see, science's reliance on the lense and filter cannot be said to be delusional. Why?
Two things, mainly. It's public, in that readings (assuming that we can discount any interpretation issues related to vision, etc.) can be shared. If I'm going 100 mph, any passenger can see the speedo. That's the first thing. Public. To boot, many calibration issues are resolvable in the public forum. We'll go on about that, at length. Why? Delusions can be a crowd issue (somewhat due to warpings of the ether -- joke, in part, okay?).
The second thing is that you can do things multiple times; that is, if something is repeatable (or observed time and again), then it may very well be real. But, even here, we have to be careful. For instance, one could take mind alterers and know what to expect. Does that make all of the characteristics of the perturbed sense (nervous system) processing less of a delusion? Wait? If one knows that one is delusional, is one still delusional?
So, the whole thing gets to be unsettling. Why? Exchange 'real' with truth, and it seems like we're screwed. Oh, I know. The modern way is that money is the truth; that is, buy what is necessary to make something true. Are we not seeing that in abundance with this election year's experimentation with a whole lot of new ideas (some of which are suspect)?
In short, we got pulled into looking at T-issues in an unexpected way. It looks to be an interesting bit of affairs.
06/25/2015 -- ACM Communications had an article (Created Computed Universe) that suggest that our computional prowess ought to lead to agnosticism rather than to anything else. Of course, my initial remark: So many modern minds conjure and contort in order to introduce what is not much different than what some knew many millennia ago in the desert.
01/22/2013 -- T-issues will migrate to issues of science and religion.
05/04/2012 -- Alan's 100th. We need to look at Computability in the World.
03/29/2012 -- Interesting video on self-transcendence. Pay attention to the last three minutes.
02/24/2012 -- A qualification is necessary, in order to offset what might appear to be an oversight, namely falsifiability (see Karl Popper). Above, it was mentioned that science deals with 'what is' without worrying the Is/Is not issue. That is partly true, in the sense that science is a public means to know reality. It is untrue, unfortunately, in a few senses. One of these is that scientists, being human, are not above the controversies (yes, you, Richard) raised by the big questions. Too, scientists, being biological forms, cannot perceive a bunch. After all, life is essentially successful filtering. We may adjust our filters; we cannot remove them. You know what? No amount of mathematics, artificial means, or what have you will overcome our limitations (yes, cosmologists have extrapolated way beyond their rational basis).
02/01/2012 -- Actually, both of these are highly ad hominen. Which is worse? Let's see, who is the more at fault? Well, the secularist does claim to be a clear thinker. Perhaps, that approach only has so much power; that is, eventually, it gets to a pissing contest. On the other hand, those on the Is side have a whole lot of counsel about behavior to process. Is slapping someone with a diatribe considered okay?