Taking chances

Looking at the chances of the universe being the way it is, the supposed possibility that its causes can happen by chance neither explains how chance happens nor how inevitabilities intervene – to establish boundaries of possibility, which delimit what happens next. And there is no calculator in pure unbounded chance for considering the possible range of consequences, including the possibility of chance being overridden by the occurrence of something else – such as the emergence of deliberation and the known non-random results of its calculations.

Nevertheless, we continue to wonder how possibility is possible, even if by chance, as we observe in reality, possibilities for chance that invite us to perceive the outcome as made possible by chance.

© Mike Laidler 2014

Theories to Order

If we take ourselves off into science to explore the second law of thermodynamics, quantum mechanics or genetics and their implications for the question of how order arises from chaos, we will afterwards be able to return to the debate armed with the knowledge that the question still remains unanswered.

© Mike Laidler 2014

‘Orangality’

Scientific studies show that mankind and great apes share ‘personality dimensions’. We are all very intelligent animals. The Orangutan is said to qualify especially for the title ‘non-human person’ – because of their social abilities, they have been observed to spend less time on social issues and more time thinking.

Mike Laidler

A fact by what fact?

In what belief do we conjure a fact? As if the facts we discover do the seeing for us, as if it is the evidence that makes us see; as if knowledge is more secure when attached to facts that see nothing and know nothing of themselves?

Then is the claim to make a factual discovery not a figment of our perception, implying that the facts are the cause of the seeing, when all we see is our version of the seeing?

So does knowledge not come down to our ascriptions of authority – such as when ‘we’ claimed to discover America as representatives of a knowledge that the indigenous inhabitants could not equal?

© Mike Laidler 2014

Seeing stars

A child can see that the universe plus life is more than the universe without, and the fact that we are all star dust doesn’t help us to make sense of the difference. Also, our children, by their presence, help us to see that the universe with new and sentient life is now very different to that caused by a big bang, and all our elaborate theories can’t place that difference in a common origin, reduced to the elements.

Perhaps we need to look again at what there is to see and rethink the origin of seeing and thinking as it arises amongst the generalised oblivion of the vast expanse of stars and planets.

© Mike Laidler 2014

The Genie of the Bottle

All the forces in the universe cannot muster the power to move a humble bottle from one table to another, nor can they formulate the intention to do so, yet here we are accomplishing such feats on a daily basis whilst wondering how nature empowers us to do it.

So should we be talking about the absence of intention in nature whilst exercising intentionality as a part of that nature? And by what belief do we suppose that the unintentional powers of nature can explain intentionality for us, or equate to the same?

Equally, the idea of psychic powers seems to go to the other extreme by downgrading the special nature of the psychological powers already at our disposal, which act upon the world and change things through faculties that are alien to known natural laws.

Perhaps there is a lot more to know about the nature of the ordinary. Nature has no mental powers and yet it acquires them through us as a part of nature. Then what about the nature and potential of personal awareness? And what will we do with that potential? Do we assume it is there to serve our whims in the pursuit of pleasure and distraction? Or do we merely meander through life at the whim of others without elevating our potential, and with it that of the world? For is not our existence interwoven with that of a universe of which we are a part – a universe that now contains the power of self-awareness?

Then what of the potentials we may host? Perhaps the next step requires a simple act of recognition that can begin only with itself, personally, thereby to glean a reality of which both nature and personality were recognisably deficient until then.

It appears that we have the power to awaken the Genie, which, by comparison to all the remaining powers in nature, introduces something truly magical into the universe.

© Mike Laidler 2014

Are we alone in the universe?

We know there is life out there in the universe because we are out there. Perhaps it’s because of our perception of life as belonging here, to the earth, that we fail to see its origins in the universal properties of which the earth is a beneficiary.

It’s not that life is a random accident here on earth, it’s that it is a cosmic potential empowering it’s inception everywhere the conditions are right.

The question about whether there is life out there is merely a question of where not if. The question of whether life can become intelligent is already answered, so it’s just as plausible to expect that we are not alone.

© Mike Laidler 2014