Monday, December 27, 2004

The reach of human ignorance.

I suppose I'm rather a Kantian in my opinion of what we can know about reality. After reading this article about 'quantum flapdoodle', I've become more confirmed in my view that the inability of the human mind to fully to grasp the universe is as certain as is the physical reality of it's existence.

The result of this starting point is my search to find ways to describe reality that don't ignore the important stuff e.g. physics offers a description of reality but not the wisdom as to how to deal with it. Spirituality offers guidance, but based on highly questionable assumptions. As a popular song put it two men claim to be Jesus- one of them must be wrong. The shear breadth of competing religions, mystics and charalatans, all presenting arguements based essentially on an appeal to authority, leaves that field as a maelstrom of human confusion and ignorance.

A bright friend of mine suggested that this situation was temporary, and that exact knowledge would triumph. I replied that I was more interested in asking what we could learn about the universe, given the parameters of human ignorance. What do our limitations indicate about the nature of the universe we live in?

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"If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country."
-E.M. Forster