Saturday, January 14, 2012

It is or it is not

I would have used 'tis and tain't but for the taint that might come forth. So, what is this about? Well, we're going to look at issues raised by a growing set of people, such as the late Christopher Hitchens. You see, this type of discussion is central to truth engineering, especially as it relates to T-issues.


As well, we see both sides of the arguments claiming to know. On the one side, it's phrased in terms of having fact at hand (to wit, discussions at the Dawkins site), as we expect with science (except, evidence has become increasingly wrapped within computational/mathematical modeling that requires us to put into place the necessary filters/lens, etc. -- recursive issues) as it has evolved in the past few centuries. On the other side, there are statements about material obtained via various types of means, with revelation (whole slew of sacred literature) being one of these.

So, it's like a fence for the reasonable folks. There are two sides, yet one may (ought to be allowed to) waffle on both sides (actually, operational effectiveness may require us to do just that). Too, nuances come into play on both sides. All of this is relevant to the discourse, however we are using an 'engineering' ontology, so that means the following assignment.

  • It is not -- argues this: any claims that might have theistic leanings are basically bonkers, as in delusional (look it up on Google). We can wrap ourselves in the Mystery (see Krauss, et al) or Evolution (see Dawkins) or ... 
  • It is -- the converse, in a sense: there is a whole lot to look at here as this is an age-old issue. From our viewpoint, though, we'll just say that there exists a meme (or set of memes) that follow Anselm's argument of the ontological nature. Or, in other words, we have times when something outside of the human limits (mind you, only offering the use of a symmetric entity to which we can project) has a role to play in our decision processes. For now, the use of  'meme' means that we can draw benefits (potentially quite remarkable -- hence, the motivation) without taking the discussion to the nth degree (that cannot currently be resolved for many folks - okay?).  
Before we proceed, there needs to be a statement of a disclosure nature. That is, on which side is the blogger? Well, it may be that using 'It is not' as the basis for argument may imply something about that. But, then, again, that question will remain unanswered, for now, in an attempt to be balanced. 


Now, again, one might ask if an a-theist (some say, the 'It is not' side) can claim to be scientific (and that might imply a position on the part of the blogger). You know, science does not provide answers in an ultimate sense. There is always a provisional platform that grows in size. Too, that increase in size does not diminish what is not known (at least, from the viewpoint of the less strident mind). If science cannot at this time disprove the meme (or its metaphysical analog), how can one claim to make the decision via science? 


On the other hand, if one were to argue for the 'It is' claim, why does it have to take the ultimate leap to describing what exactly is being labelled? You see, the meme would be an operational flavor; nowhere within the context of its use would there be any requirement to subsume the essence (that which is labelled) within some limited sensibility. Look, if science has increasing boundaries, so too will this argument.  


Okay, we'll be going back and forth on this. Mind you, the meme mentioned above is a type of closure. As a joke, one could say it deals with compactification (use any sense that you want). Yet, the issue is that we have to assume closure, in many cases, since we have undecidable regions (in both time and space) lurking. You know, we do that anyway with our common sense. Lots of times, it works. 

With computational complexity being a core issue with 'truth' (only one of many other things, so don't leap too far in trying to extract implications here), we cannot use the 'omniscience' approach (though, one wonders how the 'It is not' side is going to look at this -- we'll look at this later) that seems to underlie some notions (those who ponder such things do not know how we can know the truth behind any modern situation with having our arms around the whole thing -- oh yes, some have taken mathematics as the basis meanwhile ignoring quasi-empirical issues). I say 'underlies' as it seems to be that we have a basis moving about down there. Truthfully? Many seem to just jump right over the matter; my hope is to show that they're straddling the fence when they do so.

That brings up the first requirement. Show that there is a fence. At the same time, discuss the symmetry related to this fence's dynamics.


How long will this take? Why would there be a rush? Mankind has fought over these matters for thousands of years. My interest is trying to set a framework that will allow increased insights (as well, will provide for some interesting discussions and experiments).


01/22/2013 -- The site referenced in a below Remark took down my comment about dreaming of Hitch (ah, can't believe that he's in heaven?). Yeah. So, here it is: Hitch (in one, he was scrunched in a public place (as if not wanting to recognize the new reality tht flowed around him), as I walked by him, he grabbed my notebook (as in EOJ material), and started to browse it; later, he and my college roommate visited me at my desk talking about a new school that they were involved in -- perhaps Hitch saw the peripatetic need, at the same time, Hitch sized me up, and I showed him the writing on the wall which is there for all to see, after they left, my whole work area went through some type of transformation, I had met several people there after they went to the wider expanse).

05/30/2012 -- See dreams of Hitch comments at the It is or it is not post. These were written at the Daily Hitchens site (and deleted). They'll be re-posted here at some point. Recent Krauss tribute.

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.

01/31/2012 -- Blind or delusional.

01/15/2012 -- Jobs, labor, and disrespect.

01/15/2012 --  Hitch lives on. In more ways than one. ..., One might say that this is the middle way (variously characterized throughout our history on the planet). From the viewpoint of product development, middle out is the only way that finds success.

Modified: 01/22/2013


Old Guy said...

In more ways than one -- the first dream depicts a state not unlike your waking up from sleep. Who arises with a bounce and runs out into full sunlight? The second dream intimated the continuity of purpose that ought to be understood (the first will be last, ...).

The work? Related to starting a school. Methinks that, perhaps, it would be something that would un-indoctrinate the extremist from his/her view.

Letting the Muslim know that his thoughts of 70 virgins was due to a mis-typed set of text. Or, it could be teaching the Christian that the Muslim was right in telling him/her that Jesus was not The Deity.

Deity? We cannot describe this. That there is an operational use for the notion is our task to attempt to demonstrate.

Old Guy said...

Further on the dreams of Christopher Hitchens.

We need to explore the symmetry that ought to exist between science and religion. How either of these are defined will be part of the discussion?

The latter? Not any unreasonable stance, by the way. Yes, some religious views exist today that are amenable to an insightful science.


Of course, dreams are subjective. Yet, there may be measurable information that can be imparted via this means.