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5- "Wrong"

"Wrong"
 

"Let me begin by saying we were almost all wrong, and I certainly include myself here. ------ Dr. Kay,  October  2003

“I was wrong.”  --- U. S. Senator Biden. (Referring to his vote against the First Gulf War.)

“I was wrong about weapons of mass destruction,  . . . and I admitted it.”

-----  Bill O’Reilly

 

Counselor:  So, what?  Does he get extra points?

 

I’m not sure.

“. . . Montana, or  . . . you wouldn’t even need to go to Wyoming . . . you could go to Texas, . . . and ask a cowboy they will know . . . it is either right or it is wrong.”--Glenn Beck 4-26-04

(See Army Navy Club Item No. 7:

Note that it is not possible to carry out a policy of massive arrests and a more “liberal” policy of benign neglect simultaneously.  Also note that since you must choose, you can not choose massive arrests and then choose benign neglect;  the latter can only be tried first.  Therefore it does not follow that the failure to arrest was “wrong” as "benign neglect" could only be done first, if at all.  )

 

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Iron Atoms on a copper plate
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Note electron waves inside and outside the circle.

The wavelength of visible light is about 10-6 m. The size of a typical atom is about 10-10 m, which is 10,000 times smaller than the wavelength of light. Since an atom is so much smaller than the wavelength of visible light, it’s much to small to change the way light is reflected, so observing an atom with an optical microscope will not work. - --  IBM

Iraq was a gathering, serious threat to . . .
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. . .the world with regard to WMD."

 
 
“If you read the total body of intelligence in the last 12 to 15 years that flowed on Iraq, I quite frankly think it would be hard to come to a conclusion other than Iraq was a gathering, serious threat to the world with regard to WMD.”----- Dr. Kay

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Wrong Part I

 

The problem with “Wrong” is that it is wrong.  It is not a bad way to begin a conversation but it is a poor way to end one.  Senator Biden is doubly wrong.  First he is quite right that he should have supported the President in the First Gulf war.  However, he is wrong to say so, for it implies that the question is a yes or no, wrong or right proposition.  His wrong over simplifies the problem.

 

What we are concerned about is not his vote, (there was a two vote majority without his help), rather we want to consider, and we want him to consider, his method of thinking, yea, or nay.  What method of thought did he apply?  How did he weigh the evidence?  This isn’t an exam.  There are no “wrong” or “right” answers at this level of analysis.  School’s out.  (This must be particularly difficult for those who did well in school.  The teacher’s pets.  But wrong and right are what we tell children, they are wrong to have taken it  so seriously.)

 

This is just the problem with Justice Sandra Day O’Conner.  We do not pay the Justices their princely sums every year merely to come up with “answers.”  We want reasoning.  We want to know how the cases are to be decided.  Rules.  We want law givers.  We can not send every case to them to be resolved.  They have to establish the method of thinking, so all future similar cases can be resolved, hopefully without having to go to court.  But if no one can discern a pattern in her opinions  she is worse than useless, for litigates will be more likely to spin the wheel than settle for muddled judgments from confused subordinate judges.

 

Dr. Kay was “wrong” about what?  Why? How?  As the balance of his statement makes clear, or anyway clearer, he was only trying to start an examination of the question not trying to dispense a final concluding judgment.  As I stated before, (see 45 Minutes) we do not expect or want predictions; we want estimates.  Considering the evidence available at the time, using best practices, what are the most probable outcomes?  We know that some times the roulette wheel hits the zero.  But we want to be the house not the player.

 

But fundamentally what is wrong with “wrong” is that it implies an objective standard that one can take for granted as being true, and thought true by all reasonable people.  “Wrong” is absolute, a final decree, whereas wrong, is contingent, it changes by degrees with the situation, it is only a mask, a flourish of rhetoric, a position which must be proven, QED. 

 

If one is beginning the conversation with wrong then that is right, or at least ok.  After passing over the wrong, we are going to examine in greater detail the reason for thinking so.  We will weigh the counter arguments, the inconvenient facts, as Max Weber called them.  We are going to reason these things out together because we understand that things are more complicated than yes or no, good or bad, right or wrong. 

 

We know all appeals to “objective thinking,” at least in such issues as we are discussing are simply the resort of the intellectually lazy.  The clear eyed realist, the pragmatist, the practical everyman, believes in a world that is an objective fact, but we here at New Ruskin College, contend that they are wrong: let us explain:       

 

Max Weber spoke of how science had  “disenchanted the world.”  He looked forlornly at a world without myth, or religion; faith?  What would become of mankind he worried?

 

Alan Watts would ask Max Weber:  ‘Why so glum?’  Disenchanted?  Says who?  Is the sunrise less enchanted because you “know” the revolutions are 24 hours in duration?  The seasons less glorious because you know that the curvature of space time, created by the sun’s mass, causes the earth to proceed along the shortest path in the warp?       

 

It is a kind of insult to the universe to think it a machine, a dead deterministic thing.  It was Watts’ contention that the bigger our telescopes the further the universe would have to expand.  He would demonstrate the responsiveness of things by striking a rock on a table. Bang!  Well not much of a response, but still:  something.  Bang! Bang! See, every time. Bang!  Not the Sermon on the Mount, not a Guide of the Perplexed, but still, something. A response. 

 

If you believe in objective facts why pass by this one so quickly that you do not even acknowledge it?  Bang!  See it speaks.  I am reminded of G. K Chesterton’s comment that he was not so dogmatic as the scientists who dismiss miracles.  He at least was willing to consider them, review the evidence.  You want to condemn it, and call it names.  Dumb?  Ok.  But still. There is some response.  Bang!

 

We here at the Max Weber Institute have created a course in Physics.  Actually what we study in our little course is not Physics, but physicists.  The psychology of physicists.  We study just enough Physics, so we can understand their psychology.  So we can understand what they are talking about.

 

Our conclusion about the falsity of objectivity may come as a surprise to most laymen, who generally think that sciences, and Physics above all, are an “objective” subject.  But here, as most every where else, it turns out that Physics is “subjective.”  We will examine these terms later with the help of Iris Murdoch.  For now let us just put forward a general theory for your consideration.

 

All “objectivity” resides in those places where you are too lazy to go an find out for yourself.  Like on the old maps,  “There be Dragons There.”   There is the known world, and everywhere else:  objectivity.  For example, cars you think are objective;  until yours breaks down.  Then come to find out that there is a small community of people, mechanics, who have some knowledge, there are the manufacturer’s engineers, a body of literature, manuals.  Test are done, theories postulated, experiments performed;  unfortunately, rarely repeatable.  Start?  No!  ‘Well it could be . . .”

 

For a hundred years now experimental physicists have been turning in results that theoretical physicists have been unable to explain.  Einstein spent the last decade of his life searching for an explanation to no avail.  Most laymen would be startled to learn that the physicists  do not know, that our universe is not objectively explained, but that rather there are some theories, some calculations have been performed, but so far, and for one hundred years now, nothing.  Just subjective opinions.  What is the psychology of these opinion holders? Why do they say the things they say?

 

For example, one group, the “prickly people,” as Alan Watts would have described them, the experimental physicists mainly, call this problem of the last 100 years, “the measurement problem.”  (It is more than a measurement problem.)  Why do they describe it in this way?  What psychology drives them?  Is it subjective or objective?  The problem with the simple minded appeal to “it’s an objective fact” is that, for starters, why did you pick out of the universe this fact? 

 

Even allowing it is an objective fact, why choose this and not something else?  It was your subjective choice.  How can you be sure you have made the correct choices?  Was there some fact of your individual psychology that made the selection and alter the objective reality?  Your belief in God comforts you at just this point.  God can keep everything in his mind and therefore it can remain objective, while you sort through it.  This frees  you up to exercise your choice in the confident belief that the universe will remain ordered by God’s oversight.  Your subjective choices will not disturb reality.  You are mistaken, these choices are how you create reality.   

 

We will not go into great detail, (we have a whole course and would encourage you to sign up for the complete explanation), but we should cover some aspects to illustrate the subject. (A free sample.)

 

But before we do that let me explain why this psychology is important for the study of the 5th day of creation.  Our knowledge of genetics is growing exponentially and will continue to do so until the first die off.  (People will be surprised how much scientific progress was dependent on simply having a great many scientist working on problems.  Every day scientific papers are published because there are tens of thousands of researchers working.  (As we explain in Army Navy Club Item No. 18 the research center will be the first targets.)

 

Exponential growth always surprises.  However, in this scientific pursuit, Biology, the surprise will be enhanced by comparison with the slow progress in Physics. People have grown accustomed to hearing that fusion energy is always 50 years away, or that physicists have just learned some here before unknown thing, or that they have conflicting theories.  (Yet note people still cling to the faith that it is objective, even as they acknowledge they are themselves in the dark how electrons move through wires.  They are sure someone knows.)

 

The 5th day is going to startle with its suddenness.  I noted that the New York Times had a Sunday article about how we have “already begun” to change ourselves.  Which is true.  But all of this, the discovery of the DNA molecule, the human genome project, even the clinical trials that have begun, are atmospherics.  The fingers of dawn in the upper atmosphere.  A gradual lightening.  Early light.

 

The disk of the sun has not yet risen above the horizon.  Indeed there is some fog so you may not actually see it when it crosses the horizon on June 5, 2006.  How complete will be the change will startle you.  This is because you have become accustomed to scientific delays due to the slow progress of Physics.  You have been lulled into a false sense of complacency. 

 

Imagine how difficult it is to solve all the problems of Genetics.   However difficult it is we will call: @!.  @! is the entirety of the difficulty.  Some scientist say that the complete attainment of @! is hundreds of years away.  

 

Now consider @! times 2.  What if the complete resolution of all questions in Genetics  is actually twice as difficult as you first estimated it?  Will it take twice as long?  Answer: no.  Perhaps it will add another month.  Why?  This is the surprising nature of exponential growth.  Even if it is a 100 times harder than you thought just add another year maybe less.  Once the learning curve starts to near vertical in an exponential growth, time dwindles very quickly, then zero.  

 

Now consider @! – ? = HSE  (minus what portion will equal the information needed to begin creating Homo Sapeins Engineerus?)  That is, setting aside complete resolution of all aspects of Genetics, all the protein molecules, the receptors, how they interrelate, all of that, just consider what remainder is essential for creating  homo Sapiens Engineerus?  What is the minimum?  However difficult you thought @! was, the knowledge we need to begin creating HSE is less than @!.  Much less.   Not hundreds of years.  We are only months away.

 

The important distinction is that Genetics, unlike Physics, is a finite subject completely contained in our three dimensional universe, operating at sizes well within the capabilities of our microscopes and instruments.  There is no “measurement problem” in Genetics.  And our knowledge is growing exponentially.  A finite problem being exhausted exponentially. 

 

We used to think, here at the Max Weber Institute for the Study of the 5th Day of Creation,  that we should focus on cognition, so the cycle would become self reinforcing.  Then we discovered that the advances were so rapid that HSE will arrive before even the first baby could be raised.  That is we will begin modifying ourselves, our own genes in our own living cells much faster than the feed back from those changes can reinforce the growth. 

 

In other words advances are coming so quickly that  we will not need to genetically design scientists to accelerate the process; at least not for HSE.  No doubt advances in cell biology and genetics will improve cognition, and no doubt this increase in cognitive ability will advance the attainment of @!.  However our ordinary human scientist will be more than sufficient  for HSE to start, to be born, on June 5, 2006.  The disk of the sun just comes up over the horizon.  Happy birth day. Mark your calendars.

 

The reason you have been mislead by the slow advance of Physics is because the universe is a much bigger subject than the particulars of Earth based life chemistry: Genetics.  They are both sciences but the problems are not comparable.  The latter is in fact trivial by comparison.

 

Had our nation directed its resources to this problem earlier the advances could have happened much sooner.  There were no fundamental obstacles.  (The sole technical limitation was computational sciences.)  Such funding as there has been was directed to government and academic labs which are notorious for their plodding pace.  Recollect that prior to Greg Ventner’s entry into the Human Genome Project the government scientists predicted a decade to completion.  Dr. Venter  reduced that time by seven years.

 

During the 1970s when inflation was gutting research budgets Biology funding failed to keep pace with Physics which was driven by National Defense concerns.  Ironically in the late 1980s AIDS activists and Democrats blamed Ronald Reagan for the AIDS related deaths.  They charged he had not requested enough hundreds of millions of dollars.  Yet it now can be seen twenty years and billions of dollars later that these charges were all lies.  There is still no cure in sight.

 

These activists were no where to be found in the 1970s when the Biology budgets were in need of support.  Indeed where are they now when we are so close that a few hundred million truly could make a difference, if not immediately in AIDS, certainly in all the allied areas of investigation?  (We have previously explained the National Security need for this research.  The die off is coming.)  Many lives could still be saved if research was increased.    

 

Let us now turn to Physics as the citadel of objectivity and see if our theory of its true subjective nature is born out.  Not withstanding its renown as the exact science, people will be surprised to learn how much a part individual subjective psychology plays in this subject: Physics.

 

Unlike Genetics, where all experimental results tend to confirm one another, and every experiment advances our knowledge of the limited subject, in Physics things have been quite different; here experiments have been providing anomalous, inexplicable results, that often contradict earlier results, forcing a reconsideration of the whole theory.

 

Starting more than a hundred years ago, with the two slit experiment, and continuing up to today; the EPR paradox with its correlated spin, Bell’s polarized photons, the ghost electrons, the cloud chamber photos, the latest results from the accelerators, all of it, confronts us with what the experimental physicists delicately call the   “measurement problem.”  On the other side of the discussion are theoretical physicists, (Einstein, and recently Wolfram, Greene, Smolin), who believe that there is what they call a “non local hidden variable theory,” to explain these results. 

 

The difference between these two groups of physicists is subjective psychology, not “objective” “Truth” as most laymen  are inclined to assume.  To understand the psychology you need to understand a little of the Physics.

 

In a nut shell the “measurement problem” as Barbour has described it in  his book The End of Time:

 

All of the above noted experimental results are similar to what was first observed in the cloud chamber experiments.  An irradiating body sits in the center of and is surrounded by a chamber of atoms.  The body sends out an irradiating “wave” which hits an electron on an atom and dislodges the electron from its orbit; this is called ionization, a track of bubbles is left behind showing the path the particle took. Of interest, but not for this discussion, is the fact that then the wave proceeds off at a certain angle.  Then it hits another atom, ionizing another electron, and again flies off at another certain, though now, more narrowed angle, the particle having left a track from the first interaction to this second interaction.    Then again, this time flying  away at an even more reduced angle.  These specific angles come up time and again in the movement of subatomic  particles and waves. For example light waves are always perpendicular to the direction of propagation. Penrose spin diagrams.  Accelerator photos of particles in magnetic fields, the angles being determined by energy levels.  Always movement at certain specific angles, almost as if they were following a network, or grooves. 

 

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"Wrong" :  Part II

 

 

The reader may well ask, ‘So where is the “measurement problem.”’  Where indeed?  Where is the problem?  All these atoms and waves and particles seem to be getting along quite well.  A cosmic groove, Mr. Watts might have said, in the now dated Californiaez, of his time.

 

It seems that when the radiation wave first hits, (too judgmental? interacts?), with an electron, it changes to a particle and it turns out that this, change, is the “measurement problem.”    The wave moves out from the body in the center and it interacts with an atom in the chamber.   The alpha particle (the radiation particle)  will “probably” be here, some where, inside this irradiating wave;  it is a “statistical probability” that it will appear some where. But where?   This is the “measurement problem.” 

 

Dr. Heisenberg would want you to know that this wave is not technically a “probability wave.”  He says:

 

“Among the remaining opponents of what is sometimes called the “orthodox” interpretation of quantum theory, Schrodinger has taken an exceptional position inasmuch as he would ascribe the “objective reality” not to the particles but to the waves and is not prepared to interpret the waves as “probability waves only.”  In his paper entitled “Are There Quantum Jumps?” he attempts to deny the existence of quantum jumps altogether ( one may question the suitability of the term “quantum jump” at this place and could replace it by the less provocative term “discontinuity”).  Now, Schrodinger’s work first of all contains some misunderstanding of the usual interpretation.  He overlooks the fact that only the waves in configuration space (or the “transformation matrices”) are probability waves in the usual interpretation, while the three-dimensional matter waves or radiation waves are not.  The latter have just as much and just as little “reality” as the particles;  they have no direct connection with probability waves but have a continuous density of energy and momentum, like an electromagnetic field in Maxwell’s theory.  . . . But . . . (Schrodinger) . . . can not remove the element of discontinuity that is found everywhere in atomic physics; any scintillation screen or Geiger counter demonstrates this element at once.  In the usual interpretation of quantum theory it (discontinuity) is contained in the transition from the possible to the actual.”(143)

 

To understand exactly how this relates to the other experiments, you will have to take our courses.  In the other experiments there are actual measurements that are taken.  Some complete measurements, with complete information being obtained, some with only partial information. (If the measurement taken was such that the wave actually was entangled, the wave function collapses.)

 

But Dr. Barbour wants us to see that the complete “problem” exists in this one experiment.  And thus the “measurement problem” takes place when the irradiating wave interacts with the first electron on the first atom, and then the second, and so on.  These events are a kind of measurement of position.  I am here.  Now I am over hear.  Imagine yourself above the cloud chamber looking down at the irradiating body in the center of the chamber.  The problem is this: as the wave goes out and interacts with an atom at say eleven o’clock on the dial, how does the wave at say, for example, 6 o’clock know that the interaction is taking place at the 11 position, and so on? 

 

As each wave irradiates out from the body, it interacts with only one atom, then a new wave starts.  This is called the “collapse of the wave function.”  The wave is all around the clock then, in a blink of an eye, it settles in on just one place, one atom. Why? How?  In the two slit experiments the electron or photon or now recently, whole clusters of atoms, up to 70 at a time in experiments, seem to travel through both slits, in a kind of cloud or haze, unless, a measurement is taken, then the wave function collapses and it settles for just one or the other slit.  In the ERP paradox the spin is indeterminate until one is measured then the other, far far away, has the corresponding spin.  How did it know what the other one’s spin was measured at?  How did it know we measured it here, not there?  These are similar, analogous, problems.

 

But in the cloud chamber it is the same situation.  Here it is not a question of our “measurement apparatus.”  The wave function settles on a particular place, electron.  Puff it is gone. The encounter, the ionization of the electron, is a kind of measurement. Here it is.  Then the wave moves on out away from the center, now only as a cone or a fraction of its former size.  Next over here, the second interaction.  Then upon this second encounter we can see the course of the particle from the first encounter to the second encounter and see that it is always at those same angles.  Why?

 

Dr. Barbour comments, “As Heisenberg put it in a famous remark, the track is created solely by the fact that we observe the particle.” (286)  I confess that I do not fully follow Dr. Heisenberg.  From the irradiating body to the first interaction, nothing, (except for the wave), then there is a track of bubbles, from the irradiating body to the encounter at 11 o’clock on the dial.  The track of bubbles left by the alpha radiation particle.  Then the wave continues out to the second encounter, now limited to a narrow cone shaped wave, covering for example, only from say 10 to 12 o’clock, no track of bubbles, just the movement of the invisible (now much reduced) wave.  Then at say 10 o’clock the second atom is encountered, the electron is ionized, and then the second leg of the particle’s journey from the location of the first encounter to this new location, the second encounter, another track of bubbles marks the path of the alpha particle’s path from the first encounter to the second.

  

Then the third movement of the wave across the dial from say 9:30 to 10:30 on the dial; the third encounter, the third leg of the particle’s journey,  etc..

 

The particle might be anywhere in the narrowing wave.  The radiation proceeds both as a wave and a particle.  The latter disclosed only because of the cloud chamber, as bubbles are left behind as a result of the wave's encounter with an atom and then the movement of the alpha particle.  As a result of its entanglement with the atom, the wave collapses and settles in on just one atom, the particle shoots out leaving behind the bubbles. 

 

To the extent I do follow I understand Dr. Heisenberg’s point that the particle’s path is made because we “observe” it, the situation is similar to our science: 

 

For example, housing availability is a “social issue” in the San Francisco Bay area only because we make it an issue.  Of all the facts of our world we select out the questions of government interference in the housing industry.  The shortfall in the supply.  The distortion of the market economy of mutual assent caused by the forced coercion of the government and its threats of legally sanctioned force.  The imposition of the remorseless power of the state, in all aspects of ownership, zoning, finance, building codes, etc..  If it were not for our selection, our observation, there would be no social issue.  We make it.  Just as packing lots of atoms around an irradiating body and setting up a camera we created the bubble tracks, “the track is created solely by the fact that we observe the particle.”

 

So where is your fabled objectivity now, dear reader?  I think you can agree that I have been fair.  I selected for scrutiny your hardest of hard sciences.  If we are not to find objectivity here then where else shall we look? 

 

Dr. Teller is struggling with Physics, mightily, at many levels, and you and I are struggling with it at . . . well alright, you and I are not struggling with it. . . it is a complicated and difficult subject and we stay out of it.  Fine it is a free country.  But please do not tell me that it is objective.  Dr. Teller has some understanding, (had some), and you and I have some,  subjective interpretation, a subjective understanding of the questions:  all of it limited, contingent, speculative.  (I understand that this rather overstates our situation, but lets dummy up.  Nod your head gravely,  ‘Yes, Dr. Teller, sir, I’m following you, lead the way, sir.  We are with you.’)  But please do not tell me that it is an objective fact.

 

And all the world, the universe, is just like this.  There is human knowledge up to a point,  then the wall of ignorance.  You imagine an objective knowledge because you have not yourself attempted to push back our limits.  In every direction that we should look, whether up into the heavens, and space beyond, out over the sea or under it, high and low, in politics, or even into our lover’s eyes, there is always this limiting factor, an incomplete, limited, contingent opinion, guess, possible speculation, --- we are idiots!  Of course, Alan Watts would wince.  ‘Why so glum?’ 

 

Your understanding, such as it is, is what it is, he would say.  Every moment is fully disclosed, as it is disclosed, to the extent it is disclosed.  Incomplete?  Perhaps.  No, certainly.  Let a breath of air fill your lungs.  You do not have to do anything.  Stop grasping.  Let go.  See?  No, harm, no foul.  Life is going on just as it has for billions of years.   The universe does not need your searching judgments, or interpretations.  Make them fine.  Know that you are making them.  They are not objective features of the world.  They are yours, bubbles of thought.       

 

Einstein then Wolfram many others say that what we see is the result of some non local hidden variables. What could this mean?  “Non local” explains how the wave at 6 o’clock knows what happened at 11 o’clock.  The wave went out in all directions but settled for just one atom at one location,  and the rest of the wave knew it.  How?  This is the “discontinuity” also that Heisenberg mentioned.

 

Discontinuous in that the wave went from being all around the clock to being in just one place, the alpha particle that interacts with the atom.   “Hidden,” means we do not see the connection.  We do not see how the rest of the wave knew about the interaction.  How does the particle know to come out and leave behind its track?  There is no obvious sign of a connection in this universe.  That is not in the three dimensions of our universe.

 

“Finally,” says Heisenberg, “the criticism which Einstein, Laue and others have expressed in several papers concentrates on the question whether the Copenhagen interpretation permits a unique, objective description of the physical facts.  Their essential arguments may be stated in the following terms:  The mathematical scheme of quantum theory seems to be a perfectly adequate description of the statistics of atomic phenomena.  But even if its statements about the probability of atomic events are completely correct, this interpretation does not describe what actually happens independently of or between the observations.  But something must happen, this we cannot doubt; this something need not be described in terms of electrons or waves or light quanta, but unless it is described somehow the task of physics is not completed.  It cannot be admitted that it refers to the act of observation only.”(144)

 

Heisenberg replies to Einstein’s criticism by saying, “It is easily seen that what this criticism demands is again the old materialistic ontology. . . .the ontology of materialism rested upon the illusion that the kind of existence, the direct “actuality” of the world around us, can be extrapolated into the atomic range.  This extrapolation is impossible, however.”(145) 

 

What would it mean to describe these interactions in terms other than quanta?  In a three dimensional universe one dimension appears as a line; without breadth or width, a string?  Two dimensions appear as a plane; with out depth.  At least three dimensions are required for a point, or an object?  It seems for a hundred years we have been trying to explain the experimental results of an 11 dimensional universe, using only our three dimensional universe. 

 

Though I have not read this, I doubt that our three dimensions actually are part of the 11 dimensions that have been proposed by the mathematicians.  These three may simply fall out from, or unfold from, the interactions of the others.  The three cardinal dimensions we take to be so profound and universal may be an irrelevancy, a mere chance phenomenon, that result by accident from the others.  At one time we thought our planet the center of the universe.  Now it appears that our whole universe may be simply the interplay of another more basic set of relations. 

 

Dr. Wolfram says in A New Kind of Science that he has confidence that a genius will come along and explain how these dimensions interrelate and goes on to say he thinks that it will be a fairly straight forward geometry, which will cause us to slap our foreheads and say, ‘Yes, of course, it’s obvious.’

 

Well, maybe, some of us will.

 

“But I consider it very encouraging that some of the most basic quantum phenomena seem to be connected to properties like causal invariance and the network structure of space that already arose in our discussion of quite different fundamental issues in physics.

 

“And all of this support my strong belief that in the end it will turn out that every detail of our universe does indeed follow rules that can be represented by a very simple program --- and that everything we see will ultimately emerge just from running this program.”(545)

 

For me it seems fantastic.  Where would you even start?  The irradiating body’s wave, is that two dimensions?  The atom, which as we know has at least three dimensions. (At least three to make an object. (A very small object. (An electron?)))   

 

So then the wave becomes entangled in a web of other dimensions, the atom,  and becomes itself a particle as it ionizes the electron.  In a sense the wave collapses into the particle.  Right.  These 5 dimensions are somehow in communication with one another at least upon contact, (possibly before also), and this is how it is communicated to the rest of the wave, ‘forget about it, we are doing it at 11 o’clock.’  Right here.  Right? 

 

This is the non local part of the theory we were talking about.  No real “communication” is required because though to us, looking through the three dimensional lens of our universe, it looks like 11 o’clock and 6 o’clock and 3 o’clock, etc. are all separated one from the other around the irradiating body, in some way not yet explained, all these positions around the clock are part of a single dimension, (or two, or. . . ) , that we can not see. In this universe these are separate places, however looking at them from one of these 11 dimensions they are a single place.  Even the great distances in the EPR experiment are of no  consequence as in this example, because of these other dimensions, their positions, though separate in our universe are the same place in one of these dimensions, when viewed from these other dimensions. 

 

Even if we did know what these 11 dimensions are, we would still have, in our three dimensional universe, the wave particle duality, the uncertainty principle, etc. as these are features not of “reality,” but of reality in our three dimensional universe.  In three dimensions the wave dimensions, (probability or what ever they are), resolve themselves into a particle, (at least three dimensions),  after the wave has been entangled. 

 

This is what it turns out is the “measurement problem.”

 

The measurement, like the atoms in the cloud chamber, entangle, the wave dimensions, with the atoms of the measurement instrument itself, which is made up of (at least three of these dimensions, certainly many), and this is why the electrons and photons and even the as many as 70 or so atoms resolve themselves into one slit or the other when measured; because they have been entangled.

 

All of these separate things, irradiating waves, electrons, photons, 70 atoms, the spinning quarks, 11 o’clock and 6 o’clock,  separate things, separate places, are bound together in as yet unexplained dimensions that infuse our universe.  A recent study proposed a shape of nine sides to describe the universe.  The soccer ball theory.  In the theory there are no actual sides to the universe, rather each of those sides being a dimension that flows through the whole of the universal. Each face irradiating to all others, each quanta space being a nine sided hologram.  A web of interrelated dimensions.

 

What we take to be objects and places inside this universe are in fact projections of these nine dimensions that form a network out of which unfolds our three dimensional world. 

 

Counselor:  I thought you just said there were 11 dimensions?

 

Ups, looks like I left two dimensions on the work bench.  Well, I did not claim to be the genius who would explain all. . . wait a minute.  Time, that could be one couldn’t it?

 

Counselor:  But you said time didn’t exist.

 

Well I changed my mind now it does.

 

Counselor:  So that’s 10 dimensions.  You are one short.

 

Oh, my dear, but don’t you know . . .

 

Counselor: Please don’t say it.

 

The eleventh dimension is  . . . Looove.

 

Or what ever. 

 

(Dr. Wolfram has likened our three dimensional universe to his automata of the type that have three “causal update links” or connections between the nodes of the matrix.  The three dimensional universe thus unfolds as each link or pathway updates.  The 9 dimensional matrix of quanta spaces thus could be interlinked by the remaining 2 dimensions which serve the “causal update” function; every quanta space being connected by the 9 interconnected dimensions and two updating dimensions.  Thus two dimensional waves would have two dimensions of the 9 dimensions entangled in a quanta space, plus  that quanta space would have two updating dimensions, so as the wave moved through the matrix each quanta space would be connected or updated by the matrix + the two additional causal connections: 9+2=3 cardinal dimensions in our universe.  (Occasionally, in some automata, the arrow of time reverses to allow an update to be completed, however the flow of time remains, statistically, only in one direction, with the exception of these occasional reversals.) )

 

This is not just theory.  We have attempted to separate quarks.  We have applied more and more energy, and the further apart the quarks are pulled apart, the stronger becomes the strength by which they hold  together. Mark that.  Where does the increasing energy come from?  Normally when we separate two things the force that connects them becomes weaker.      

 

There are many examples of real actual data suggesting that an invisible web transfuses our three dimensions.  For example, our sun warps time space, as we mentioned at the out set.  The reader has heard of this (theory?) before? However, how does nothing get warped?  Folding, compacting empty space?  How?  Only if that space is explained as a web of  “causal invariance and the network structure of space” and has some substance or reality, beyond what we can presently see, can it be warped by the mass of the sun.  And yet faced with these results from over a hundred years of experimental results, some physicists still insist that they are only facing a “measurement problem.”  Why?

 

Because their psychology requires them to hold to their three dimensional world,  all evidence to the contrary.  They, like the average man on the street, believe in an objective world, about which they know things.  They are here and not there.  This is important to them.

 

Let’s be clear, I also agree, that I am here not over there.  The time is 6:37 not some other time, etc.. At the scale and energy levels of our Earth, there are definite places, and things, and a definite time.  The statistical probabilities are so large that they are dependable. It is just that all of this unfolds from an 11 dimensional manifold in which everything is in a  space-time relation in which everything has happened and not yet happened.  The Schrodinger time independent equation  describes a universe that has the characteristic of a crystal that appears frozen in time.

 

So many physicists have told me this, that I now believe it to be true:  the philosopher’s previously postulated “present moment,” as a universal constant, does not exist.  Depending on our relative motion and our relative distance the ordered quality of time turns out to be contingent.

 

Faced with such a situation is it any wonder that the experimental physicists cling to their “measurement problem.”  Their psychology is to cling to what little they know:  Their experimental apparatus.  For beyond this, there is a roaring universe with out separate things, but rather a gigantic whole, without any definite place, at least not in the three dimensional sense, and now, without time, no past present or future as an objective continuous  feature.  Can you blame them?

 

Further consider this:  They ask me, half baked scholar that I am, ‘why don’t you go back to talking about the Gods on Mount Olympus? For all the good you have contributed.  What are your 11 manifold timeless dimensions?  At least when you were speculating on the Gods there was some poetry, some drama.  What is this, speculation, philosophy?’

 

It must be admitted they have a point.  I do not know how you would even begin trying to describe much less experimentally prove these 11 dimensions.

 

However, before we get into a debate with the physicists let us recall our real interest. 

 

Genetics does not face nearly the obstacles that Physics faces.  Every day brings greater clarity.  Every experiment adds to our knowledge and exhausts an area of study.  There is steady progress.  You should not base your expectations or your estimates of the pace of progress in Genetics on your experience with Physics.

 

Secondly, and more generally, we have seen the limits of “objectivity.”  It turns out that even our hardest of hard sciences is the result of subjective psychology.  In the context of advances in Physics to speak of “objectivity” as a final and absolute universal is beside the point.  What objectively can you say about an 11 manifold dimensional universe from inside your insignificant merely accidental and contingent universe?  What does 3 dimensional objectivity mean in an 11 dimensional universe?

 

Of course, you can say perfectly plausible things about your three dimensional world, as long as your statements are true in the lower case meaning of the word.  Not True but merely contingently true for this universe.  This was Heisenberg’s point.  In atomic scales our test results  are true for the experiment that was conducted.

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“Wrong”:  Part III

 

 

“Bohr maintained, as a general principle of interpretation in physics, that theoretical concepts, including assertions of the reality of entities or of their properties, cannot be used unambiguously without careful reference to the experimental arrangement in which the concepts are applied.  . . . Bohr wrote:  ‘Without entering into metaphysical speculations, I may perhaps add that an analysis of the very concept of explanation would, naturally, begin and end with a renunciation as to explaining our own conscious activity.’  The theme of renunciation and submission to the unavoidable limitations of the human condition is recurrent in Bohr’s writings, and places him, more perhaps than he realized himself, in a philosophical tradition of renunciation of excessive claims to human knowledge, including Hume and Kant.  The latter systematically maintained that human beings have no knowledge of ‘things in themselves’,, but only of the objects of experience.”(394) The New Physics, Shimony, Conceptual foundations of quantum mechanics. 

 

As for the psychology of how we face this universe, we should consider Alan Watts’ question to Max Weber:  “Why so glum?”  However these 11 dimensions interact, they create this 3 dimensional world. What ever may be the Truth about time it flows as it does, (at least for us, in our perception).  Is this a disenchanted world?  Really?  Invisible dimensions course through us connecting separate places, time ebbs and flows, and reverses.  If this be a disenchanted world save the dragons.

 

So far most readers will imagine that the discussion about the objective and subjective is a two way conversation, pitting the “prickly people,” such as our experimental physicists, against the “touchy feely,” types who emphasize the subjective and contingent.  However, Iris Murdoch, in Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals, has it as a four way conversation. 

 

First there is the groups of American Objectivists, the Ann Radians, John Dewey’s American Pragmatist, the Instrumentalist,  the Scientific Positivists.  Their's is the philosophy of the practical business man and the economist.  This philosophy is the everyman’s philosophy.  However, it is not really an academic philosophy, as it has no ontological basis.  All they can say about their values when challenged, is to stupidly claim that their values are objective.

 

Ontological sounds academic but really you can see the problem that results from not having a serious basis on which to stand.  This is why conservatives do not have much influence on their society.  They do not know how to justify their contentions, if the objective Truth of their contentions, should be disputed. They melt away into Libertarianism, and let everyone do his or her “own thing.”   For example, speech codes are supplied by the left.  But it used to be conservatives who believed in a code of conduct.  In the arts, politics, religion, education, media, cultural morals, the left is ascendant, imperially so, and the conservatives in sheepish flocks try to stay away from the dogs. 

 

Conservatives think there is a “standard” but when challenged they lack the confidence upon which to argue for their values, because they have no ontological basis, no foundation, and this is because the have gone through life shrugging off all questions with claims of objectivity, and leave it at that.  (Pause for a moment and think about Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, the king of talk radio, Laura Ingraham, many others.)

 

The left is actively pursuing its goals while the American right, which claims to have an agenda, when it comes right down to carrying out their program, does not know on what to base their arguments.  This is why they continue to give huge sums to their universities and other foundations and charities even though they know they have been taken over by the left.  They know the mass media has been taken over by the left, but do not dare advocate censorship, even if carried out my “associations,” because when confronted they do not know how to justify their arguments.

 

To say in the simple minded way of the average everyman that it is good because it is “objectively” good, practical, or functional, etc. is to say nothing at all.  Objectivity is hot air.  It answers nothing. 

 

What most take to be the other half of the two way discussion, the philosophy department here at New Ruskin College, is not correct.  The practical everyman is not really even talking with the philosophers, his conversation is with the Marxist, who are sitting opposite him in this four way conversation.

 

For the Marxist also agree that there is an objective reality, that can be known.  And for the longest time they had the moral courage to impose their views on a large part of the world.  American university professors still do.  However, Marx  has no more ontological basis for his philosophy than does the American everyman.

 

Both Marx and American Pragmatism are enamored of Science.  Marx wrote in the Nineteenth Century and his philosophy is in complete accord with Nineteenth Century Scientific views of objective reality, in his case applied to economic political social questions.  He called it “Scientific Socialism.”  The American everyman found it difficult to argue with the Marxists and large numbers in the West thought Socialism was the way of the future.

 

The three larges steel plants in the world were built in the USSR, fascist Germany, and the USA.  All agreed that scientific management and economies of scale dictated such large facilities.  Some eighty years later we see that this wasn’t so scientific.  Smaller plants are more responsive to changing market conditions, and these market concerns are more important than economies of scale, i.e. it has been demonstrated in a kind of gigantic experiment that the subjective demand of the consumers, the free market, is more important than the objective economies of scale.   

 

At its core, Marxist Philosophy was a philosophy of Pragmatism.   It fails because it is not possible to determine what is pragmatic by any system of reason, because there is no ontological basis.  This is not just theory.  There is literally no way to determine the objective best way to do anything. “Best way” is a trick or loaded phrase.  Best for whom?  Best judged by whom?  These are subjective questions.

 

It always comes down to this in Physics or Economics:  a person making a decision.  Gorbachov used to confuse his subordinates by listening attentively to their reports on, for example, the ten year plan for the light machine industry, and then say, ‘Thank you comrade for that fine report.  Now tell me,  . . . what do you really think?’  And this is just the problem with Marxism and American Pragmatism.  It postulates a rational animal that can objectively determine the best way.

 

That animal has not yet been invented.  In this three dimensional universe he probably can not be invented.  In the 1920s Ludwig Von Mises was explaining to anyone who would listen that Marxism could not possibly work because economic calculation was impossible.  Why it is impossible is still largely misunderstood.  It is not because Marxists did not have a medium of exchange.  They had Rubles. Their  Rubles were backed by gold. 

 

The problem resulted because of the fundamental dishonesty of human beings.  They will say anything, but tell me how they spend their money?  Every day the market economy asks, “Tell me comrade, what do you really think?”  And out side the communist world, consider Japan, where company men, clerks, make decisions on the economy not based on their own personal calculations but based on their corporate ethic, or their belief of what their fellow employees think the corporate ethic should be.  How much of the stagnation of the economy is due to this false belief in an objective best way;  because the people making the decisions do not have anything invested in the outcome?     Or, perhaps I am being too harsh?

 

Counselor:  You?  Too harsh?  Never. That is why people read you:  your exciting honesty.

 

(She is really earning her money today.)  Thank you Yvonne.

 

Counselor:  You are welcome.   

 

Ironically the American economy works well even though most Americans do not know why.  Back when Western Philosophy was still propounding the objective Truth the classical economists, in the Enlightenment, thought that the value of a thing was determined by its essence, by something inside the thing. Because of the work of Ricardo, and Smith, and Mill, etc. we know that value results from the subjective opinions of the consumers, how they value it, not the objective thing itself.

 

Marx drew heavily on Hegel, as do the American University professors that conservatives often misidentify as Marxists.  They are in fact Phenomenologist and they make up the fourth place at the table, they sit opposite us, here at New Ruskin College.

 

Iris Murdoch describes the Phenomenologists as “secretly holding hands under the table with the Marxists” because they both rely on Hegel.  They both are fundamentally dishonest.  The Marxist claim, and agree with their counterparts, the American Pragmatist everyman, that there is an objective Truth,  but they dispute that anyone but the Marxist, who with his superior understanding of the objective development of “Historical Materialism” can know the Truth about our objective world.

 

Similarly the Phenomenologists also seemingly agree with us here at New Ruskin College, they too admit to the subjective nature of reality, but they like their Marxist colleagues think that their subjective understanding is superior to ours or that of the American everyman.  In other words of this four way conversation, two participants, the Phenomenologists and the Marxists, pretend to agree with us but secretly they hold us in contempt.  Their views are, they believe, superior because of their greater mental athleticism.  Their secret . . . ?   What?  They will not disclose it.  They are holding hands under the table.

 

Iris Murdoch describes the ontological basis for Marxism and Phenomenology:

 

 

"The Phenomenology (written by Hegel)  is a tale of developing aspiring mind moving from the apparent to the real, and may be read as logic, or science, or an allegory of the nature of thought , or human history, or the intellectual or spiritual pilgrimage of an individual person.   It can be used in many ways (as it was by Marx).  Hegel must count himself a platonic thinker, and his image of progress must remind us of Plato’s Cave.  However Hegel’s omnivorous dialectic is unlike Plato’s dialectic.  Hegel’s Reason proceeds by a continuous  discarding of possibilities; doubt, ambiguities, alternatives, ramblings of any kind are officially not permitted and cannot be left ‘lying about.  Seen in this way, the process seems not an increasingly widening, increasingly well-lighted all-embracing prospect, but rather an entry into some dark narrowing almost mechanical confinement.  (Allegory of a Marxist state.)  What is contingent, sui generis, incompatible, mysterious, has been ground up by the machine;  but great things, love, religion, happiness, even art (of which Hegel has many interesting things to say) demand, not logic, but freedom.  Plato is not systematic in the Hegelian sense.  (After all he was inventing the whole of western philosophy.)  His dialectic is the open-ended to-and-fro, sometimes inconclusive, movement of serious argument, wherein his art gives life to opposing positions.  He tells us when he is using a myth (metaphor).  He changes his mind, he expresses doubt. His Forms are separate and distant.  In Hegel’s account things may be distant but nothing is separate, and in spite of the contrasts of changes of consciousness, often so stirring and interesting, offered by the these and antitheses, the inevitable process itself is what is real, the end is contained in the way, there is a continuum to the Absolute.”(227)

 

 Yes, the Absolute, Truth that can be known, objectively? Allegory of a Marxist state, indeed. 

 

But because the everyman imagines himself in a two way dialog, instead of this four way conversation, he misunderstands the arguments.  Because he lacks an ontological basis for his position, he can not justify his position, except with the intellectually lazy appeal to “it’s objective.”

 

Let us examine the American Pragmatist, conservative, positivist, and consider how we here at New Ruskin College can help him in this battle. . . . . (to be continued) . . . .   

 

Barbour, Julian, The End of Time, 1999, Oxford University Press, New York, New York 

 

Davies, Paul (editor), The New Physics, Third Edition, 2000, copyright 1989, Cambridge University Press, New York, New York

 

Greene, Brian, The Fabric of the Cosmos, 2004, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York

   

Heisenberg, Werner,  Physics and Philosophy,  1999, copyright 1958, Prometheus Books, Amherst, New York

 

Murdoch, Iris, Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals, 1992, Allen Lane, 1993 Viking Penguin,  New York, New York

 

Smolin, Lee, Quantum Gravity, 2001, Basic Books, New York, New York

 

Wolfram, Stephen, A New Kind of Science, 2002, Wolfram Media, Inc., Champaign, Il

                

 http://superstringtheory.com/links/index.html

 

The Conservative Seminar
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At New Ruskin College

 

Wrong:  Part IV

 

 

‘What happens if the conservatives find out the truth?’

 

This is the question the late Dr. Allen Bloom of the University of Chicago asked in his book, The Closing of the American Mind:  How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today's Students (1987). His question, really it was more a warning, was addressed to his fellow academics, the leftists, Phenomenologists, Structuralists, Poststructuralists, Marxists, various cultural relativists of the many “schools of complaint” (see Dr. Harold Bloom), the feminists, gays, the whole left wing crowd, that had taken over the universities. 

 

‘What if the conservatives stop arguing with you about their claims of objective “Truth,” and start using your own arguments against you; what if they start justifying their own positions by referencing, your ‘moral relativism,’ your ‘contingent’ “Truth,” all of it, the whole edifice of “relativism” that you have built up?’ he asked.  For example, what if the conservatives too start talking about the U. S. Constitution as a “living document,” to justify their reinterpretation of Constitutional Law?     

Being a closeted homosexual Jewish liberal academic this could only result in some kind of Nazism he worried.  Nearly everyone thinks of Dr. Alan Bloom as a conservative decrying cultural relativism, but he was in fact a liberal.  He does complain about the moral leveling caused by ‘value neutral’ judgments;  treating all cultures as the same in the name of openness.  However, he does not dispute with his fellow academics at the ontological level.  He does not claim that his Great Books are objectively superior.   Unlike the conservative everyman he knows that he must argue for his position, defend his interpretation, he acknowledges that it is not self evident, i.e. objective.    

(Ironically he was castigated for being an ultra conservative because he challenged the leftist who control our universities not withstanding the fact that he was himself a liberal Democrat.  Camille Paglia, describes what she finds to be, “The main problem with "The Closing of the American Mind" was that it seemed caught in a time warp: By 1987, yet another generation had risen up (the melancholy, anxiously ironic latch-key kids scarred by parental divorce (whom Allen Bloom describes as “nice”) and craving the consoling Big Tit of P.C.; thus Bloom's quarrel with the 1960s didn't feel completely up to date. Nevertheless, his complex book will certainly endure in American letters as the soberly reasoned protest of an intellectual dissenter who was treated with outrageous disrespect by the liberal lemmings of academe.” (From Slate))

Iris Murdoch in her, Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals, is attempting to return from the subjective “existentialism” of her youth, to a moral system that escapes the black hole of isolated individual subjectivism which Dr. Bloom also has described.  Both Bloom and Murdoch agree on the Continental origins of this relativistic ontology, and the central role of Hegel in creating moral relativism.  In Hegel, the “Truth” emerges from the process as a whole, any individual statement, the thesis and the antithesis, are only means to that end.  The thesis can be a deliberate lie.  What difference?  This is why Iris Murdoch says the Phenomenologists and the Marxists are “secretly holding hands under the table.”  Both use their philosophy to justify their lies for the greater good. 

 

This is the aspect of the leftist academic relativism that most enrages the conservatives.  This is why conservatives stupidly insist on an objective standard.  What they are being called on to understand here is that there are two steps in the analysis. Bloom and Murdoch both go so far as to agree with the leftists on the first step, “Truth” is contingent on our act of perception and cognition.  Given this limitation on the human condition, how shall we proceed?      

 

Unlike the simple minded everyman conservative, who disputes the subjective nature of  truth and demands objectivity, intellectual honesty requires us to accept the contingent limits on human understanding: relativism.  Dr. Allen Bloom worries that the conservatives will simply join in with the Phenomenologists and Marxists,  the dishonesty of the left, matching them lie for lie.  Iris Murdoch does not agree with the simpleminded everyman’s conservatism of objectivity;  however, she is a pathfinder, flying solo into the night of moral relativism. We follow her trail of parachuted flares marking our way through the darkness.

 

For the way is in no way certain.  What is Truth?

 

In Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals, Iris Murdoch asks, what could be more objective than the ontological proof of the existence of God?  Not only is there a God, but what if his existence can be proven by rational argument?  But how can there be a rational argument for God if we agree with the first step and accept the limits of our subjective understanding?  If we forsake objectivity must we forsake God?

 

She is concerned to bring a moral purpose to our subjective interpretations.  Her arguments are meant to show all the ways that morality, and our daily subjective awareness of  morality, infuse every moment of our consciousness.  Even when you make excuses for your misconduct, you are acknowledging the existence of the implicit standard.  When you tell a lie and excuse yourself with the explanation that you are engaged in a larger dialectical process from which the “Truth” will emerge, you are Murdoch says still acknowledging that you do know, by your very excuse, that you are lying.  Proof of God.

 

When Ludwig von Mises first came to the United States he was surprised by the apologetic attitude of his American colleagues about the sorrowful state of American education.  So few completed High School let alone went on to College.  How shameful they thought compared to the continent with its intellectual giants, (like Hegel).

 

In Human Action he tries to explain to his American friends why they are mistaken and have completely misjudged the situation.  He starts by explaining that after about 8th grade all most all education is instruction in ideology.  Mark that conservatives.

 

Here is your first test.  What is Ludwig von Mises talking about?  Why does he call it ideology?  Try to focus.  If we lived in an “objective” world then High School and College education would be instruction in objective disciplines about which all reasonable persons would agree for all time.  However, if we use the term ideology, then we are saying that this higher education is not about objective subjects but is rather about subjective interpretation.

 

If Ludwig von Mises is right then the conservative, everyman, American positivist, objectivist, pragmatist is wrong.

 

Do you follow?  Am I going to fast for you?

 

Counselor:  No, I think we are keeping up with you.

 

Good.  After learning to do sums, and division, basic reading and writing, etc., about 8th grade, Ludwig von Mises is saying the students have learned enough.  Let them go an get jobs, we do not have very much more for them, at least not on a purely objective basis.  Everything they need to know to earn a living, to be contributing members  to the economy, for most jobs, has been given them.

 

Most everything else is ideology.

 

Most readers will want to move on.  They feel they have read these words and understand the point.  But there are profound implications for every other discussion of society and politics, philosophy and the meaning of life, which I doubt more than but a few readers have yet grasped.

 

First note that Ludwig von Mises is not disputing the philosophical positions that Bloom and Murdoch would argue.  Unlike the conservative everyman objectivists, he agrees with Bloom and Murdoch.  He kneels at the alter of cultural relativism, the contingent subjective nature of moral judgments.  Not only does Ludwig von Mises not argue the point it is exactly his point that the children will be better off the less ideology they get; at least from the state. 

 

Precisely because it is ideology the state should be kept out of it.  Note the contradiction.  The typical everyman conservative, just because he thinks that there is an objective “the Truth,”  he thinks that there is no big problem in having that “Truth” taught at public schools controlled by the state.  Why not if it is objective?

 

If the everyman conservative really knew the truth about his “the Truth” he would know how impossible the idea of a public education; at least one controlled and directed by the state.  So here I submit my first proof of thesis:  the reason for the failure of conservatives to enact vouchers in education for the last 50 years is because in their hearts and souls they do not see why vouchers are so important.

 

For example during Bush 41’s Administration conservatives hit upon the idea of performance based testing  of student accomplishments to make sure the tax payers were getting their money’s worth.  However, if the proposed tests tested only the student’s I. Q. the conservatives thought this unfair, for they reasoned what if a student worked harder to master a subject but did so with an I. Q. lower than his less disciplined peers?  Would that be fair?  They wanted to test what the students learned not just test their academic ability (i.e., I. Q.).  Or what if some districts had more students with high I. Q.s than others, would that be fair?  No, they resolved to test performance.

 

(Murray and Herrnstein describe this as the fallacy of the off setting abilities argument.  For there is no reason to assume that students with high I. Q.s are less disciplined than their less fortunate peers.  (In fact the reverse is true.)  Further all exams of academic ability are predictors of students future academic attainment only to the extent that they measure I. Q., i.e. to the extent they correlate to I. Q. examinations. 

 

(This is contrary to what is accepted instruction in our universities where the liberal establishment conceals the findings of I. Q. research because of an age old prejudice against genetics.  Note that though I. Q. research is real, it is not objective.  Much evidence supports the I. Q. research, but you must have the subjective willingness to accept the evidence. It is not objective because the liberal academics will it to be not objective.  (Also note that so called objective testing is objective only in the sense that the subjective decisions are made before the exam is given.  The questions are chosen, the answers selected, etc., these are subjective choices,  so the evaluation is limited to checking which possible answer has been selected.)))

 

These Bush 41 conservatives, being the gullible simple minded sort who believe in objective “Truth” proceeded to go to the universities and ask that they develop objective standards for American History, Literature, Math, all the disciplines.  Then for the next few years we were treated to the laughable spectacle of conservatives, veins bulging, cheeks turning first red then purple, as one Marxist, Phenomenologist, Structuralist, etc. college professor, packed on one academic committee after another, mocked their idea that there is an objective standard for American History, etc., etc.

 

And throughout the entire farce the conservatives never showed the slightest awareness that they were being mocked by the academic establishment.  Indeed it developed that the simple minded radio talk show hosts began joining in with the radical academics in ridiculing “outcome based standards,” for reasons which never were clear.  What emerged  was a dialectic of the radical academic liars, and the simple minded conservatives:  but was there Truth?  

 

First the conservatives would have had to themselves decided the truth of American History.  But instead they relied on the left wing university professors.  Why?  Because they believe in an objective truth.  For which they were well mocked.   Conservatives, there is no alternative to asserting your view.   If you are waiting for assent from the professorate you wait for ever.  

 

Conservatives lack the ability to carryout their program because at the most fundamental level, at the ontological level, they do not really understand their situation.  And Dr. Allen Bloom is in no ways in a hurry to explain the situation to them, for he is in fact fearful that conservatives will discover the contingent nature of truth, and then our democracy will beset with not just the left acting out of a solipsism of  moral relativism but now, oh dear, the right too?

 

Iris Murdoch would very much like conservatives to see the contingent nature of their world and act on it, and hopes liberals, everyone, will see the moral nature of the task before us as we interpret our world.  She would have all undertake the enterprise as a moral duty.  She would not allow you to merely slough it off unthinkingly, claiming it objective.  She wants us to take responsibility for our interpretations.

 

Ludwig von Mises, is not advocating that education stop at the 8th grade, he frankly does not think it much matters one way or the other.  He is amused that his new friends in America are so turned around that they do not clearly understand the ideological nature of their world.  They have lived in isolation on their large new continent, their New World, and have enjoyed a veritable capitalist’s garden of Eden.   So, that is their good fortune!  And with this good fortune there comes this innocence, this misunderstanding, what of it?  Is it not typical of hay seeds, and colonists, to feel inferior to the mother country?     

 

That they send their children off to the universities, to be filled with a lot of propaganda by the leftist professors, does not change his science of Economics at all.  Provincials have always aped the city folk’s fashions.    Ultimately ideology must give way to Economics.  But, again note, he is not disputing with Bloom or Murdoch at the ontological level, for here all three agree, they recognize the contingent nature of our understanding, it is not objective.

 

But because the everyman conservative does not appreciate this point, which Ludwig von Mises cedes without dispute, every other area we might examine is confused.  For not only does the everyman not see the necessity of vouchers in education, but every other policy question is misperceived.  If we discuss education or abortion, the interpretation of law and legal documents, economic calculations of risk and rates of return, foreign policy and war, every question, is muddled because at the most basic ontological level the conservative everyman fails to understand his relationship to the world:  How he creates his world with his judgments.

 

And even though we have now spent several paragraphs reviewing the subject the typical everyman conservative is no further along in understanding his misapprehension, than he was at the outset.  For this confusion has been years in the making.  The reader may have been educated by Marxists who in fact have deliberately inculcated this mistaken view of an objective world in the reader, the better to control and manipulate.  Their teaching is that there is an objective world and they with there superior knowledge of Historical Materialism know it.  Whereas the reader is a victim of class prejudice and suffers from a “false consciousness.” 

 

And again this is the point where the Marxists and the Phenomenologists are seen by Iris Murdoch to be “secretly holding hands under the table.”  For it is just this point they both agree on.  They both agree that the reader is misinformed, class bound, suffering unconscious prejudices,  (race, religion, etc.), where as they correctly perceive the situation in which we find ourselves.  And how many conservatives have taken this teaching to heart?

 

Often I have seen conservative Senators justify some Bill or other by pointing out the Senator Kennedy or other notorious liberal also supports the proposal;  as if that were proof.  They subjectively know that they do not spend much time thinking about the suffering of their fellow men but they assume that because people like Senator Kennedy talk so much about human suffering that they must be exemplars of moral  vision.  (So complete has been the inculcation of their since of moral inferiority that they seem never to have considered the possibility that Senator Kennedy spends no more time ruminating on the condition of mankind than they do:  Senator Kennedy just talks about it more than they do.)

 

When we here at New Ruskin College tell conservatives that their “Truths” are only their subjective judgments we do not, as do the Phenomenologists and Marxists, seek to undermine your confidence, rather we do so to explain how important your assertions and convictions are.  Unlike, Dr. Bloom, we shout Bravo!  With Murdoch we want you to see that your thinking is a moral act.  God can be found in your thoughts and judgments. 

 

Even when you miss the mark, your knowledge of missing the mark is, Iris Murdoch would have you know, evidence of the existence of God.  (Alan Watts notes that in Hebrew, the word sin, means missing the mark.)  This subtle awareness may not be as dramatic as a burning bush, but perhaps in waiting and searching for such objective signs you have been missing what has been before you all the time. 

 

The proof of God has been here in all these small things all along  that you have been so quick to pass over. Bang! You see?  The proof has always been here in your thoughts.  You just haven’t been focused on the right place.  You have been looking outside yourself.  God is not keeping all of this in His mind so that you might have the comfort of an objective universe without the bother of morally creating your interpretation as you perceive, rather, you are safekeeping the world for Him in your thoughts.

 

Ludwig von Mises may have confidence that the everyman will eventually work his way through the problem, but in fact, if you never come to a better understanding about your relationship to the world, that would be acceptable also.  For Ludwig von Mises’ Catalytic Science, (Economics--- or Entrepreneurial Capitalism), is not dependent on any one persons understanding.  In the grand scheme of things it is a big cold universe that does not give up its sustenance easily and which regards the reader’s understanding of it with indifference.

 

Iris Murdoch, has gone before us, into this dark forbidding universe, and see, she has lit our path.  Alan Watts would want us to see at the outset that this “forbidding” nature of the universe is a subjective attribution which we project onto the universe.  Ludwig von Mises would again have no quarrel in ceding this point of clarification.  It matters not to him if the coal miners go into the mines with foreboding or enthusiasm, or significantly at what price, as long as they go and remove the coal from the earth clinched veins, and sell it at a price the consumers are willing to pay.  He is contemptuous of the ideology of his colleagues in the other departments.

 

When asked if he followed the developments in Physics, and if he found it significant that the physicists were possibly confronting a similar ontological limitation on their ability to explain their science that also confronts the social sciences including Economics, he replies in Human Action, that it is of no interest to him.

 

If it should turn out that Physics never is able to present an ontological basis for explaining the wave particle duality, of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle he says it will in know way be of interest to Economics.  For even if it should turn out the Physics and Economics are both tautologies he will think no less of Physics nor will he think better of Economics.  (He takes no pleasure in the difficulty being faced by the physicists in explaining their “discontinuity” or “quantum jumps.”)

 

For he says he has never regarded the fact that at the ontological level Economics is a tautology with embarrassment. He points out the geometry also is a tautology.  (Whether Euclidian or one of the other types of geometries that have been invented? Or discovered?) 

 

At the ontological level statements in geometry are true, only because “true” has been previously defined.  They are “true” only because one has accepted as true the theorems, i.e. a tautology, a self referencing system of thought. Note Euclidian truths (truths for flat geometry) are not true in, for example, positively curved geometry. And negatively curved geometry does not produce “objective” truths in the other two, etc.  Each system is contingently true, contingent on what assumptions one projects, e. g., flat space or variously curved space, etc.

 

Not withstanding this limitation, Ludwig von Mises, avers that geometry is still very useful.  One can make all sorts of useful calculations that can have practical benefits in this world even if they are not ontologically “True” always in every place --- unless one first accepts the postulates and theorems.  So too for his science of Economics he argues: It may not be objectively true at the ontological level, (again unless one accepts its postulates and theorems), but once again, as with geometry, one can make very useful calculations and estimates that are applicable in the practical world, all be they contingent.       

 

The fact that these different geometries are “relativistic” or that there is no “absolute standard” or that they are not “objectively True” in that one must first accept that they are contingent on certain assumptions, one has had to first agree to certain rules, and principles, yet, still, they are immensely practical, or useful.

 

For the conservative everyman there is still resistance for though a pragmatist, it is not enough that his ideas be merely useful and practical, he wants them made immortal, permanent, objectively true for the ages, he craves the absolute.

 

This craving has a biological basis.  It is encoded in our genes.  It is present in all mammalian  animals of the type: social predators.   ( To be continued . . . )

 

Conservative seminar

 

canyon.jpg

Part V

 

Editor’s Notes:  11-19-04

Because time is running out many parts of the site will have to remain incomplete.  The next part was to cover how we organize knowledge and how this organization is governed by our genes.  Here are some notes:

 

William F. Buckley, Jr. said, agreeing with someone, (Muggeridge(?)), that if Jesus of Nazareth was not “risen” then “what is the point?”  I have always felt that this attitude is a repudiation of Jesus, another betrayal.  For either Jesus was a beloved rabbi, who taught love, was persecuted and executed, and whose teachings continued on after his death, in his disciples, “the Church,” or, He was the Christ fulfilling the prophesies,  whereby the Lord became man, no longer separate and apart from His people, and resides in us even now.  This is His body, this is His blood.  The two cases are indistinguishable. 

 

If the Christ is not resurrected in your life, then He is not risen.    This is the literal teaching.  If you think that the Bible is the literal word of God then how else to interpret His words?  “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me.”  Unto Me?  (et respondens rex dicet illis amen dico vobis quamdiu fecistis uni de his fratribus meis minimis mihi fecistis) Matthew 25:40

 

Not “objectively” risen so many years ago, but resurrected in this subjective being, now.  Why do you look for the living among the dead?  (timerent autem et declinarent vultum in terram dixerunt ad illas quid quaeritis viventem cum mortuis ) Luke 24 : 5  Is He dead?  This bread, this wine, His body, His blood.  Unto Me?   Whose body is this?  Whose blood is this?   Why do you look for the living, (He who lives), among the dead?  Rejoice!  Z :  He lives.

 

Oh, or are you still waiting for the Messiah?  Is that it? Perhaps you think that you are not yet the body of the Christ?  (Corpus Christi)  Not yet a branch on the vine of Christ?   What are you waiting for? You take the bread, but it does not become your body?  Is it His body?   You drink the wine, does it enter your blood?  Is it His blood?  Do you believe in the resurrection or not?   Are these things not “objective?”      

 

 

God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. (non est Deus mortuorum sed viventium) Matthew 22 :32

 

Do you not believe in the ever lasting life of the world to come?  And again what do you suppose is, where will we find, that ever lasting life?  Are you looking up to heaven?  Clue: The least of these. Are you looking outside yourself?  Unto Me?  I bring you good news, the body of Christ is all mankind.  The everlasting life: humanity down the generations.  And not your children only. 

 

Even he that cannot keep his soul alive.

A seed shall serve him;
It shall be counted  unto the Lord for His generations.

They shall come and shall declare his righteousness
Unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done it.

--- Psalm 22

 

Some times the seed falls on fertile earth, sometimes on barren ground.  But do you suppose that life is pure chance?  Or do you imagine yourself to be the individual seed?  The chaff?  Roots?  Is that what you think?  Now who is being solipsistic?  More good news:  The Corpus Christi is the entire crop, life!  Not just one individual puny seed.  You continue in the life of the world to come, not in the genes of your children, not some molecule,  (why be so limited?),  but in the body of the Christ. 

 

You say you believe in the resurrection but I wonder if you really do?  You say you believe in the life of the world to come, that the Christ has given us eternal life, redeemed us, but you are still looking outside yourself, to heaven, or somewhere else, as if He had not yet come.

 

What are you waiting for?  Do you not think He is risen?  You want an “objective” heaven.  And what would you do if you got there?  You go before God, kneel, Hallelujah!  Ok, Alan Watts asks, then what?  Wouldn’t that get a little old?  But eternity?  Thank God you, and your puny little consciousness wasn’t allowed to plan out the universe.   

 

I mean you are a part of the body of Christ, ok, I accept you as a brother, but I mean, my God, (excuse the expletive), what if we had left things up to you!  We would be on our knees for eternity crying out Hallelujah?  Do we get coffee breaks?  I shouldn’t mock you but really!  Thank God!  More good news:  we do not depend on your limited imagination, He has made other arrangements for us. 

 

Now, do you believe in the life of the world to come?  As the bread becomes His body, the wine blood, so too the teaching becomes the Holy Spirit.   His teaching, have you received it?  Yes?  So the Holy Spirit has it entered you?  Or are you still waiting for the Messiah?  All these things, the resurrection, the life of the world to come, they are arrayed before you, in these objective facts, the bread, the wine, humanity, life, the teaching, and you look about you, up to heaven,  and ask, ‘where is He?’   You want an ‘objective proof.’  Barren ground.  You see?  All alone.  I told you that there was no one left. 

 

“The conception of an absolute requirement,   whether  or not adorned with metaphysical justification, is shared with religion whether it is connected with and absolute ground, that is some  idea of  a  persisting and necessarily existing reality.  How far can a demythologized religion go in that direction, and still be called religion? The “ reality"   or “ ground" , traditionally  thought of picturesquely   as “elsewhere",      may  be seen as available to ordinary cognition, veiled   and so on.” (Iris Murdoch, (303)“Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals”)

 

Just as we saw earlier when discussing morality, you want everything done for you, and are disappointed that you must act, to reconstruct your world, in every minute of your days.  You want your moral values to be “objectively True,” made objective by being held in “the mind of God,” so you do not have to act, and be responsible for those acts, and to save you the bother of that moral act of reconstruction.  God confers value.  You feel your morality is diminished, made less valuable, if it is contingent on you, and your acts, this moral reconstruction of the world.  And again I say this fact makes you, your acts, more valuable, important, not less valuable,  for if you do not hold the good as good then there is no good.

 

Iris Murdoch:  “God is good.”

Student:  What is good?

Iris Murdoch:  “Good is good”   (Because you “know” it, therefore you know there is a God.  The awareness of the good penetrates your consciousness like rays from the All Mighty.  Isn’t this a miracle?  And to think, this miracle all most past you by unnoticed.)

 

And now again,  you also wanted the resurrection to have been taken care of for you, (thousands of years ago);  the Christ risen and sitting at the “right hand” of “God the Father” on His heavenly throne.  Everything already taken care of for you, no mess, no bother.  As with children, you wanted everything to have already been done, for you.

 

No.  Sorry,  you have some chores yet to do.   Jesus is not less valuable because you must do unto Jesus, your acts become more valuable, important,  because, (just as morality is contingent on you so to the resurrection is contingent on you),  Jesus must wait upon you.    He has been waiting a good long time hasn’t He?  What are you waiting for?  Why do you look for the living among the dead?  If the Christ is not resurrected in your life, then He is not risen.

 

He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err. (non est Deus mortuorum sed vivorum vos ergo multum erratis) Mark 12:27

 

Jesus was a values relativist.  As with the others we have considered, He, also, asked us to consider the meaning of our values and how to apply them, and our judgments about them, to our lives.

 

For example, the objective Law is that one shall not commit adultery, however, Jesus asked us to consider the issue more deeply, subjectively.  Objectively, by the standard of the Law, looking at yourself from the outside, you may not have committed adultery, but what about subjectively, Jesus asks?

 

If God were not looking down on you, looking at you objectively, but what if God were inside of us, what then?  What if God resides in us?  Looking at us, subjectively?  Have you committed adultery subjectively?

 

Sure, you can place an offering on the alter.  This is a commendable act, objectively.  But Jesus asks us to consider that notwithstanding this act, if our hearts are wounded by a dispute with our brother, it would be better to forgo the offering and go directly to our brother and make amends.  This subjective turmoil deserves precedence over the objective offering.

 

When Jesus admonishes us to give more garments to the man who  takes our coat, does He really suppose that we should have no system of justice?  Elsewhere He has asked us to visit those in prison, not that we should tear down the prisons, so we can take it that He accepts  a system of law and punishment.

 

In fact He says that there are a set of values relative to Cesar, and for God there are a different set of values, standards, some of which, as we have just seen, penetrate to our very soul, and are not hidden from God, who will soon reside in us, upon the  Resurrection. 

 

Do not appeal to God at the high alter with your offerings to help you in your dispute with your brother.  This is to confuse two realms.  It is an abuse of God.  Go to your brother first.  Nor should you try to bribe God with your coins.  Do not apply the values of the market place to God.

 

Nor apply the system of values you have for dealing with criminal conduct in your invocation of God--------

 

Counselor:  So, for example, when you condemned them for not taking action against Saddam Hussein earlier, remember?  You said “God Damn you.”  That was probably not something Jesus would have approved?

 

 . . . No, . . . Yvonne, dear, . . . probably that would be an example of bringing the Damnation of the All Mighty down to the level of politics.  A confusion of different standards.  Probably Jesus would not have approved.

 

Someone may steal your cloak ----

 

Counselor:  Then when you said, “No one cared what was done to me.  No one cared what was done to Mr. Bush!  God Damn You.  God Damn You,” Jesus would not ---

 

Yes, this is very similar to the first example.  I am quite certain Jesus would not have approved.  He said:

 

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?   (quid autem vides festucam in oculo fratris tui et trabem in oculo tuo non vides) Matthew 7 : 3

 

So, no, sweetheart, He probably ----

 

Then when you told Bill O’Reilly,  remember you said, “God is manifest,  you prick,”  this would be another example of something Jesus would not have approved?

 

(This preaching thing is not as easy as it looks.)  No, again, this would be another example of the same thing.  Thank you, Yvonne.

 

Counselor:  You are welcome.

 

Alright class settle down.  Let us continue with the lesson.

 

Someone may ----

 

Someone may . . .  steal your cloak, or strike you on your cheek, but these complaints are not things about which you can expect God to intervene.  Do not ask God to strike your adversary, not because God approves of theft or battery, but because you are confusing the realm of  Heaven, with that of daily life.  There are different values to be applied.  Different standards.  Relative standards depending on the circumstances.

 

The objective standard is an eye for an eye.  But Jesus advises us not to be too hasty in the simple minded application of this seemingly simple and obvious law.  For  if applied to our daily lives, Jesus says, God’s standards should result in very different conduct.  We would turn the other cheek, we would hand the thief our other garments also. 

 

Judge not, that ye be not judged.  (nolite iudicare ut non iudicemini) Matthew 7:1

 

Jesus is not arguing that we reward thieves and assailants, He is suggesting that we should not appeal to God in a simple minded way as if all were “objective”, we are cautioned not to invoke the absolute, as if it were a fixed absolute value --- a certainty. For we are so far from God that we can scarcely understand God’s judgments let alone manipulate them with our alms and prayers.   

 

And Jesus illustrates just how far from God we are with a series of preposterous statements:

 

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.  (beati qui lugent quoniam ipsi consolabuntur)  Matthew 5:5

 

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  (6:28 et de vestimento quid solliciti estis considerate lilia agri quomodo crescunt non laborant nec nent  6:29  dico autem vobis quoniam nec Salomon in omni gloria sua coopertus est sicut unum ex istis) Matthew 6:28:29 

 

Though these are hardly more outlandish than the admonitions  to turn the other cheek or that we should reward the thief.  Of course we must make clothes, His point is that it is a measure of how far we are from God that we do not emulate the lilies of the field --- we are that far apart. 

 

Ironically, some churchmen take Jesus literally, and actually do believe we should turn the other cheek and reward thieves, wander the woods dressed in lilies.   However, they are clueless.  Jesus would have used different examples if he had been talking to them.  Only the sick need a physician.    

 

But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (euntes autem discite quid est misericordiam volo et non sacrificium non enim veni vocare iustos sed peccatores) Matthew 9:13   

 

He was trying to challenge our set assumptions, our confidence that we know God, or God’s Commandments.  For today’s egotists he should have advised them to join the Army or Police, in order to shake them out of their egotistical complacency and self satisfaction.  If you do not find His statements paradoxical then you need a different medicine.   (I am surprised there has not yet been a lilies of the field clothing line.)

 

For the pacifist is a kind of egotist.  They think that they will always be able to persuade the wrongdoers.  Most of us recognize our limits of persuasion and therefore are armed.  When asked to condemn soldiers He pointed out the extreme of generosity represented by the soldiery.

 

He knew perfectly well that the peace maker would not be blessed, but crucified.  The meek are not to inherit anytime soon.  He is not outlining a program of action, he is illustrating how far we are from God, how inadequate we are compared to His judgment.  Therefore we can not say with certainty what God’s judgment would be,  as if it were an “objective” fact, therefore our judgments must as a result be tentative, contingent on the situation, and we:  humble.    

 

Not that we should not make judgments, but that we should do so thoughtfully, carefully, with discerning awareness of the relative, contingent, situation.  As is made more clear:

 

Judge not, and ye shall not be judged:  condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: (nolite iudicare et non iudicabimini nolite condemnare et non condemnabimini dimittite et dimittemini)  Luke 6:37

 

There are different standards for different situations.  An eye for and eye is the objective standard, yet Jesus asks us not to stop in our judgment, not to be satisfied with mere surface appearances, with the merely “objective”, but to look more deeply.  We can not say, ‘he hit me’, or ‘he stole my cloak’, so therefore, God’s absolute condemnation shall fall on him.  Beware, for if you take your dispute to God’s court and demand God’s judgment, are you prepared for such an examination yourself?  Being so far from God, how could we even imagine what God’s judgment would be?

 

Ought you not fear God’s judgment?  How easy for the objective judgment to slide into the subjective condemnation.   Do you really want to take this case to trial?  In God’s court?  Jesus advises to settle your differences amicably out of court. 

 

Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. (esto consentiens adversario tuo cito dum es in via cum eo ne forte tradat te adversarius iudici et iudex tradat te ministro et in carcerem mittaris ) Matthew 25 : 5

 

God, upon the Resorection, now resides in us, our subjective being,  and we must apply the Law to the circumstance, we must interpret,  we must think.

 

And is this not the sin for which God sacrificed His son?

 

Was this not the original sin?  Knowledge? 

 

Lost in our thoughts, our human knowledge, we were thrown out of Eden.  Instead of simply existing in the Garden with the other beasts, docilely living in the “objective” world we developed self awareness, knowledge.  But see now how God has taken pity on His people, and sent His son to redeem us.  To forgive us our sin He sent His son to show us how to think.  

 

His son does not admonish us to return to God’s favor by following the example of the other beasts, and living in ignorance in an objective world.  He counsels us to use our minds, to think.

 

Formerly God could only be understood objectively.  There were the Ten Commandments to be followed, objectively.  That was enough.  Now Jesus tells us that these Commandments must be followed not only objectively but subjectively as well.  Not just the letter of the Law but the meaning of the Law as well. 

 

We can no longer manipulate God with these objective acts, offerings at the alter, sitting in the front row of the temple, coins, objects like that, now Jesus admonishes us to serve God in our thoughts, subjectively.  We are redeemed the original sin of knowledge not by retreat into thoughtless objectivity, but by attending to our subjective awareness.

 

The Resurrection of Christ is completed not up in a heavenly sky kingdom but down here on the ground in the thicket of our thoughts, our subjective awareness of God, the Good. 

 

This awareness of  the Good is proof of God.  God comes to us in our thoughts.  Have you been aware of His presence?  How many miracles have been missed:  Looking in the wrong places, expecting the wrong things --- objects --- signs?  Bang!  You see, every time.  We are in luck . . . see over there, drifting on the wind currents, a sparkling flame.  Iris has marked our way in this darkness.

 

‘But Sir, please, might we not get lost again?  The last time we were thrown out of Eden, but we ended up here, a place of woe, yet still, Earth.  Considering what might have happened . . . we tremble . . . to think . . .  But next time, where will we be thrown next time?  God knows.’ 

 

Jesus offers us this advise, if we get lost in our thoughts and can remember nothing else, at least remember the two most important Commandments, Love God, Love your neighbors as yourself.  

 

In either case Buckley’s “what is the point?”  misses the point in such a profound way that one is sorry for him.  To have lived such a long life in such compete darkness . . .  he demands magic, what he needs is wisdom.

 

Dr. Edward O. Wilson has explained this hierarchical need, this demand for an absolute absolute, highest almighty, top of the top, as a function of our genes.  Social predators survived to pass on their genes by organizing themselves into hunter organizations, with a leader, a leadership group.  Organizations are in our genes.

 

Hunters have a calculator encoded into their genes, manifested in their brains, that organizes space and time into a geometry that coordinates the overtaking of the prey.  Our visual processing centers allow us to focus on the object moving across the field, calculate the speed, direction, etc.  However, social predators have encoded whole worlds of meaning that solitary hunters do not.  Organizations.  Hierarchy. 

 

Our brains are organized, “designed,” to facilitate certain kinds of thinking.  Meta principles are distinguished from “subordinate” ideas, just as we instinctively note the leader of a herd and the stragglers.  Some ideas “dominate” and others are “submissive.”  We look at the world through a lens, a brain, that is millions of years old at least.

 

Jesus, or any Godhead, has to be on top, most high, the first one, ---- our tissue craves it, demands it.  We feel incomplete if the universe is not ordered the way our group is ordered: Leader, and then ranked order “beneath,” a hierarchy of meaning.  Our thoughts are in this manner channeled.  And all of this is natural.  So natural that we do not even notice it.  It is the primordial stuff out of which we are made.

 

 

 

. 

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier on this very web page . . . 

 
“. . . Montana, or  . . . you wouldn’t even need to go to Wyoming . . . you could go to Texas, . . . and ask a cowboy they will know . . . it is either right or it is wrong.”--Glenn Beck 4-26-04

 

Counselor:  I thought you said he didn’t want to be mentioned anymore?

(This is how she starts.)  Leave me alone.

Counselor:  Well clearly he is dissing you.  See that “wrong?”  And you haven’t even published your paper yet. 

Yvonne,  please.  I do not want to play.

Counselor:  And see that Montana and Wyoming.  Clearly that is a reference to that handbill about the Senate.  Remember where you said,  “Marin County has two Senators, Montana and Wyoming are well represented . . .?”   You see that? 

(Just ignore her.  This is how she gets you to talk.  For her its like shoving . . . except, you know, verbal.  She is just trying to start a conversation.  Ignore her.)

Counselor:  It must make you feel pretty important to have such an important, powerful person like Glenn Beck making references to what you have written . . . even to things you haven’t written yet . . .?

(No, no, don’t make eye contact, it will only encourage her.   . . .  Medusa.  Turn men to stone.)

Counselor:  Don’t you feel important?

(She’ll get tired after a while and leave.  Just ignore her.)

Counselor:  And what’s with the atoms?  Was that a mistake?

It is not a mistake. 

Counselor:  Oh, it looks like a mistake.  This is about politics not science. 

Max Weber wrote about science and politics:  Politics as Science.

Counselor:  Oh?

It is a question of perception.  Objectivity . . . look there are bearded scientists in white lab coats with mirrors and smoke and lasers who are able to elicit from the universe some small inclining of a ‘fact,’ a verifiable, that means repeatable fact, an experiment.  But that is as far removed from us as Iraq to America.  It is as if science were on the far side of the world.  We are not dealing with “objective facts” much less “The Truth.”  This doesn’t make what we work with less valuable.  It is more valuable.  If you do not hold the true as “True” then there is no truth.  A rabbi has said that God is a verb.  It means if He is not in your actions, in your thoughts, in your every minute of the day He does not exist at all.  It depends on your actions. . . . that’s why Jews wear hats, it signifies that they realize they are always before God . . . in His sight. . .

Counselor: Oh?

 

In fact I’ve started wearing a yamica.  A satin Kippah from A1 Skull Cap Co.  The worlds largest Yarmulka source.   I have a beard now, so with the yamica . . .

Counselor:  Yes, I can imagine. . . so how is that working out for you?

Oh, are you kidding.  Instant community.  And not just with the Jews.  The goyim also.  Its like with this . . . its like people know how to relate to me . . . before just a poor guy with a beard.  Now a Jew! 

Counselor:  Yes, . . .

I didn’t even know you could do such a thing until I saw it in a movie.

Counselor:  Yes, . . .

Oh,  it is great!

 
 
 

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