Objectiphilia, Quasi-Religion

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kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 07:30 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;111902 wrote:
But is the word "symbolization" jargon?

Main Entry:
Pronunciation: \ˌsim-bə-lə-ˈzā-shən\
Function: noun
Date: 1603
1 : an act or instance of symbolizing
2 : the human capacity to develop a system of meaningful symbols

---------- Post added 12-16-2009 at 07:11 PM ----------




You left out "of reality".
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 08:29 pm
@Reconstructo,
I propose that man leans on objectivity just as he leaned God, as a source of comforting certainty. Objectivity has proven itself, and is certainly a more respectable prop than many others. But do the Romantics not have a point? I count Nietzsche and Rorty among the Romantics. Is it a lack of faith in one's personal authority that drives us to make an idol of objectivity?

The practical use of objectivity is undeniable. It has been immeasurably valuable for Western man. Still, perhaps it is just another white lie? And this is not to curse white lies. Perhaps we have nothing else. We should honor what has served us, but never slavishly. But perhaps this is my truth?

How many truths are for everyone? Is the universality of truth just a prejudice of a democratic age? Have we put the Kings and Priests away to discover that the inner King and Priest is alive in well, now in a more sophisticated mask? Have we traded Kings for politicians and priests for experts? Maybe it was a good trade. Maybe it's a good thing to contemplate. Maybe not. "We report. You decide. "
 
Quinn phil
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 08:57 pm
@Reconstructo,
Philosophers speak in Philosopher Jargon. Whenever I enter this forum, I put on my philosophy cap. He'll, when I'm around friends, I even talk slang. But part of what makes a philosopher appear intellectual, I believe, is his vocabulary.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 09:00 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo wrote:
I propose that man leans on objectivity just as he leaned God, as a source of comforting certainty. Objectivity has proven itself, and is certainly a more respectable prop than many others.


Do you propose man leans on objective methods, or objective truths? Keep in mind that people can come to objective truths using subjective methods. Another forum member articulates this well:

nerdfiles wrote:
Surely I can get to an objective truth by subjective means. "The cat is on the mat at time t" can be a true proposition which, in some cases, someone can arrive at by subjective means (perhaps a priori). We wouldn't thereby say that my means of getting at the truth of it becomes objective. You want to remind everyone that I arrived at such a truth by a priori reasoning or knowledge or thought. It's certainly possible for me to arrive at the truth of the claim without having to observe it. It's not necessarily just coincidence either. I can determine a priori contingent truths and its not necessary that they be coincidence because I didn't follow the relevant scientific or empirical procedure.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 09:08 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;111962 wrote:
Do you propose man leans on objective methods, or objective truths?


Perhaps I was vague. What I mean is that many tend to associate themselves emotionally with the authority of the objective. In a practical sense, objectivity is to be prized. But I think that "Objective" can function as a lucky rabbit's foot. The correspondence theory of truth has its weaknesses. There are some too emotionally attached to it to see these. But that is "my" truth. It's a truth for whoever can use it.

Homosexuality was classed as a mental disease until social mores changed. How objective was psychology, then, in the first place? And yet the men in lab quotes spoke with the authority of our modern God, science. Real science (what I consider ideal science) is beyond this, but men are fallible, and power corrupts.

I offer opinions. The objective man (a straw-man, a cartoon villain for illustrative convenience) has the arrogance of a priest. We look to expert, gape-mouthed. Not all of us but many.

Heretics are burned for offering contrary dogma. Objectivity is catholic, universal. This is fine when it's the real thing, and terrible when it silences dissent. Chinese Communists (if the US media is to be trusted) have oppressed religious minorities for their "irrationality."
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Thu 17 Dec, 2009 03:38 am
@Reconstructo,
But I think it has to be understood in historical terms. There was and is an immense reaction to traditional religiosity. Some of it is well grounded - the 30 Years War and the horrors of the Inquisition, the immense struggles over freedom of thought, the Trial of Galileo. Of course it is worthy of multiple volumes, and I could refer to half a dozen (most of which you have probably read). But the key point is, it is an attempt to throw out all the useless metaphysical speculation and religious dogma, and concentrate on what is really there.

But then, of course, live long enough, and you find out that this is not nearly so obvious as it seems. What is 'really there'? Even atoms aren't 'really there'. Most of the universe, apparently, is not 'really there' (i.e. we can infer that it must exist, but have no way of knowing what it is). So the game is well and truly up for old-school materialism. But you have to acknowledge it has created a lot of very useful knowledge and technology which sure as hell we never would have had if the religious institutions had been running the show (which is a very good argument as to why the Industrial Revolution happened in Europe and not Asia).

So there you have this massive tension in the Western outlook on life. Many are trying to occupy the vacuum left by the abandonment of religion with scientific theories. But this kind of scientific quasi-religion will never work.

This blog entry also addresses this question.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 17 Dec, 2009 04:53 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;112035 wrote:
But I think it has to be understood in historical terms. There was and is an immense reaction to traditional religiosity. Some of it is well grounded - the 30 Years War and the horrors of the Inquisition, the immense struggles over freedom of thought, the Trial of Galileo.


I know. I really do. I was a passionate atheist once. Strangle the kings in the bowels of the priests and all that. But the desire for equality is sometimes a mask for the desire to dominate. We've got new kings and new priests now, and it's a kinder gentler machine gun hand, one might think. Except of course for Hitler and Stalin and if you ask the Japanese or the folks who somehow survived Dresden, Truman and Churchill. What science has given us, I think, is all this technology. Man is morally and mentally the same, I think, but objective science is a time-binding method indeed. Korzybski is mocked these days, Hillary Putman implies, but in Manhood of Humanity he does a good job of bringing home that man is a time-binding animal. He, as a species, does have world enough and time. And what we has wrought is staggering. I know I couldn't get away with my relative life of leisure and contemplation if it weren't for the scientific method.

Perhaps I'm comforted by the thought that those who criticize science peacefully and poetically are perhaps its best friends, just as a man's best friends are those who tell him what he needs to hear, rather than what he wants to hear.
 
 

 
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