Am I Crazy?

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Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2010 09:40 am
TurboLung;175032 wrote:
That is what they are trying to do; unify the theories.
Not at CERN they're not, and the Higgs-Boson is a prediction of the standard model, it has nothing to do with unifying relativity with QM.
TurboLung;175032 wrote:
The reason for all this reasearch is primarily to move beyond the Big Bang.
I take it that you can not provide a source for your claim that "the whole reason we want to unify the two areas is that once we do, we can know what happened prior to the Big Bang".
TurboLung;175032 wrote:
This is also closely linked to perhaps a meaning to our universe.
In short, you have mistaken experimental physics for a religious quest. Convince me, show me where your claims are confirmed: CERN - the European Organization for Nuclear Research
Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2010 06:07 pm
ughaibu;174994 wrote:
You think that at CERN, they're trying to find the "meaning of life"?

That is a really interesting question, you know.

What they are doing at CERN used to be called, until maybe the late 19th century, 'natural philosophy'. Obviously, it is not called that any more, and the relationship with philosophy is now extremely tenuous. But I do ask myself why we think that reality is what you see in a bubble chamber. If nothing else, we have gone past the limits of reductionism, have we not?

We busted out of the Aristotlean physics in the 1600's, and out of the Newtonian - Cartesian physics in the 1920's (not that many realise this). So what The Tao of Physics was about was asking if the implications of QM could be interpreted within the metaphysical or epistemological framework of eastern philosophy, instead of Aristotlean or Cartesian metaphysics.

So: Get hold of Frithjof Capra, The Tao of Physics. It will at least provide you with some framework within which to think about all of this.

---------- Post added 06-10-2010 at 10:09 AM ----------

TL - don't worry about those fundamentalist nutcases. Pay them no attention.

---------- Post added 06-10-2010 at 10:11 AM ----------

Otherwise you WILL go crazy:lol:
Reply Thu 10 Jun, 2010 12:03 am
Turbolung: You presuppose that science can discover the meaning of life, you must have a very clear conception of what you mean by 'the meaning of life' in order to make such an assertion. I do not have such a clear conception and therefore cannot respond to your presented case. Perhaps you might clarify your meaning?

What is to be the outcome after we learn the meaning of life?

Something seemingly relevant: Wittgenstein pointed out in his Tractatus that even should we learn the totality of our physical nature we would not be able to answer the more 'existential' or 'humanistic' questions. It may well prove that we could do so on some level (I'm conjuring up thoughts of Dennett), but not in Wittgenstein's ultimate sense. We can never answer anything in the ultimate sense: Hume effectively demonstrated that, and I have seen no satisfactory refutation of him (if you are unfamiliar with the problem of induction, I will be happy to expand here). On the other hand, even if we cannot know the absolute truth with absolute certainty, we can probabilistically reason about what the truth most probably is. We have no difficulty doing this, we do it every day.

So without the goal of ultimate truth, which is seemingly nothing but an idealist's wet-dream, what of science? It is seen functionally; as an instrument of control. We attempt to discover regularities in the physical behavior of our world in order to exploit them.

The exploitation itself is what is sought: we gain control, the ability to better ourselves, our lives, our communities and our descendants. This is the value of science, and it should held in reverence by all of us. With the ability to create comes the ability to destroy; and so we must be critical and responsible in developing new technologies, but not so fearful that we shy ourselves away from salvation.

To claim that politics, which is effectively the mass of human interaction (the public, the private interests, the state interests etc.) plays any little role in the development and use of a great many technologies, both to aid us and to detriment us and others, is myopic and absurd. I'm sure you agree with that? Then politics is just as integral a tool to our general welfare as engineering: if ground breaking research in medicine is disallowed by a radical
quasi-theocrat, then our situation is still pretty lousy, right?

So I'm sorry, but I see your attitude toward politics as wholly uncritical seemingly littered with false presuppositions and ill-founded biases.
Reply Thu 10 Jun, 2010 02:25 am
So without the goal of ultimate truth, which is seemingly nothing but an idealist's wet-dream, what of science? It is seen functionally; as an instrument of control. We attempt to discover regularities in the physical behavior of our world in order to exploit them.

TL speaks from 'existential angst', or that is how I read it, anyway. The causes of this are very deep, and not to be easily summarized, but let us just recall that prior to it being hijacked by boffins in white coats, Natural Philosophy also included some consideration of 'our place in the scheme of things'. And this did indeed include at least the aspiration for some kind of meaning behind it all.

Ultimate truth, in a godless age such as ours, will either be some kind of scientific fantasy, like an artificially prolonged longevity or technological enhancement of our senses or inter-stellar travel; or perhaps just abandoned, dismissed as a fantasy, 'an idealists wet dream'.

So let the boffins get on with it, eh? When they find the God Particle, they can put it in the empty cage that remains in their Particle Zoo and charge admission.

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