Thursday, November 6, 2008

Still passing the Popper test

Though I haven't studied him at all (yet), I believe Popper's claim to fame (besides butting heads with Wittgenstein), was to offer the theory that scientific discoveries progress not through validation, but by lack of invalidation.  "I'm right unless you an prove me wrong."  I guess OJ Simpson belongs to this camp.  So it dawned on me last night on the bus ride, however illogical this may sound, that consciousness does not give us the right to go to heaven (hardly an original thought), but it is simply self-awareness of instinct at work. 

For some reason I like to liken humans to lions--have a conversation with a lion on his turf, and you will quickly find out the meaning of life!  Does a lion learn how to hunt and how to take shelter?  Is not a lion an intelligent creature?  I propose that we are no more advanced philosophically than a lion.  The only difference is that when we learn, we can "see" our instincts at work, where a lion cannot, though for all I know, maybe it can.  In fact, let's believe that it can and there is a whole world of lion consciousness that we are unaware of.  What implications would that have?  A lion is a lion because it acts like a lion and makes decisions like a lion.  We are human for like reasons.  Is one human more human because of the difference in thoughts it produces.  Of course not.

What is a world like where nobody thinks?  It is a world exactly like our own.  Exactly.  Does that make me an empiricist?  Hell if I know, but put a label on me and I'm no different than I was a minute ago.  If I figure out how to make a space ship and fly to the stars, it is no different than a lion figuring out a new style of hunting or a zebra figuring out a new way to jink a lion.  It would simply be me adapting to my environment.  I think this is an Ijon Tischy moment.  Lem was so brilliant.

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