Idealism: an ontologically more logical paradigm
Neither Materialism nor intellectualism can ever answer the ultimate mystery; “Why is there existe
|Idealism: an ontologically more logical paradigm|
Joined: Aug 02, 2012
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Posted Aug 2, 2012 - 6:11 AM:
Subject: Idealism: an ontologically more logical paradigm
[I wrote a long comment on Amazon regarding Lawrence Krauss’s best-selling book: *A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather than Nothing*. The book has become somewhat controversial after a scientific philosopher wrote a scathing review of it for the *New York Times*. Dr. Krauss’s rebuttal was to call the philosopher “moronic.”
The gist of my comment is that materialists like Dr. Krauss simply cannot comprehend what critics (materialists or idealists) mean by “nothing.” I emailed Victor Stenger, a particle physicist and prolific author of similar books written for intelligent laypeople. He kindly responded and said he has tired of seemingly never-ending debates on what exactly “nothing" means. He advised that he has now [in effect—my words, not his] fallen back on his Catholic background and merely substitutes the universe for God in *The Baltimore Catechism’s* answer to “Who made God?” Answer: “No one made God. God always was, always is and always will be.” Fair enough. However, since it seems that at some fundamental level, someone or something must “just is,” I think a recourse to idealism is more logical than to materialism. My comment explains why.]
"Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but...."
What Dr. Krauss and those like him seem incapable of understanding is what critics mean by "nothing." By nothing, quite simply we mean nonexistence. An example: one's grandchild if one has no children. That nonexistent grandchild can never be the cause of an effect nor affected by any cause. If the laws of quantum mechanics can be applied to a quantum field which contains no space, time or particles to render an effect, then it cannot be nothing. The "ultimate mystery" is how anything can exist. Why is there existence?
Barring a literal infinite regress of causes (material or supernatural), it appears that someone or something must "just is," existing timelessly and eternally which forms the fundamental ground of being which cannot be further sublated. ("I am who am.") There must be an answer, yet the human intellect seems incapable of understanding it.
This is why I am tempted to the idealism of the Eastern metaphysical traditions. Matter is an epiphenomenon of consciousness ("Brahamn") rather than visa versa as held to by Western thought. Perhaps the mystics are right and the answer to the ultimate mystery must be grasped empirically. It can never be intellectually. One does not learn to ride a bike by studying the aerodynamics of the proposition. Rather, one gets on, falls, tries again and eventually understands.
Consciousness may be viewed as analogous to a Rubik's cube, constantly shifting its faces and changing patterns, yet retaining its structural integrity as one. Even an illusion of motion within the eternalism implied by relativity of a materialistic paradigm seems impossible. Something must move in reality in order to generate even an illusion of motion as with motion pictures. Thus, idealism seems to offer a plausible alternative.
(A Zen anecdote: "Two students were arguing over a flag blowing in the wind. One argued that the flag was moving while the other the wind. The master happened along and resolved the question with `Mind moves.'" [Mind = Consciousness or Brahman in Hindu terminology])
Consciousness presents an illusion we perceive as a transitory material existence. This is corporate solipsism, consciousness playing hide-and-go-seek with itself ("Lila"). We are all but manifestations of the one primal ground of existence. This sounds far more logical to me than the desperate attempts of materialists to explain the seemingly inexplicable.
The mere act of searching for an answer to the mystery of the nature of ultimate reality within the illusion of a materialistic paradigm will lead to another mystery after one is solved ad infinitum because consciousness will always provide one. The goalpost will always be pushed back.
What is the arena where everything takes place, without which nothing could be attested to exist? Did non-sentient matter really bang around the universe for countless ages without any awareness of its existence?
Dr. Krauss's book does not live up to its title's promise because he attempts to answer a question that the logic of the intellect can never grasp.
Edited by Donald Schneider on Aug 2, 2012 - 7:38 AM
Joined: Aug 02, 2012
Total Topics: 1
Total Posts: 19
Posted Aug 2, 2012 - 6:41 AM:
By way of P.S., I wrote a philosophical proof of a creator (of some kind, not necessarily God in the traditional sense; it could just as well be a higher dimensional computer program as in the movie *The Thirteenth Floor*) on my website which is a rejoinder to an humanist philosopher who wrote a rebuttal to Hugh Ross, noted astrophysicist and Christian apologist, regarding his views as stated in his book *The Creator and the Cosmos*. My proof is predicated upon Einstein’s STR and the eternalism it implies as first discerned by Hermann Minkowski and later embraced by Einstein himself.
I am convinced it cannot be refuted if one accepts my assumptions: the validity of relativity (very little credible dissent there); and eternalism (the majority viewpoint of both physicists and philosophers). However, I also make an unstated but implicit assumption: i.e., the validity of materialism. Since, as per my original post, I have been increasingly leaning towards idealism, I have come to doubt the validity of my own proof on that basis. For one thing, with idealism the need to resort to a higher dimensional time (or an indefinite regress of them) is unnecessary; thus more compatible with the proposition of Occam's razor.
Nevertheless, if any committed materialists would like to read and consider it, here is the link (about 7 mins. reading time):
Edited by Donald Schneider on Aug 2, 2012 - 6:57 AM