Logic Alone

Logic is not everything.
The idea of true or false pays homage to our biases
– as if contradiction has the power to destroy a fact.
And logical conclusions serve our pre-logical presumptions
whilst the certainties of logic blind us to our blindness.
For it is logic alone that demands of reality
that it should be logical to be realistic.
But nothing exists alone.

Mike Laidler

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Philosophy Alive

Philosophy is the idea that carries the present into the future, and it stays alive by being re-cast in the mind that is the future’s future.  But it is the way of language, not philosophy, to further itself in the endless dissection of what has been said.  For no analysis of language has uncovered the real world.  Also, no record of things said lets us know what to say next.  Nor is our recognition of the past masters sufficient to show us what is to come.

Mike Laidler

 

Surviving Death

Will systematic organ replacement do the job?  Or even a head transplant?  Do we need to remain biological, or could synthetic body parts take over?  Setting aside the ‘hardware’ questions, would it be sufficient to transfer the memory into a suitable receptor – real or artificial?  Ultimately, could we liberate ourselves from our physical encumbrances?  Might this constitute some form of rebirth – or should we accept our lot and patiently await the redemptive intervention of an insuperable supernatural presence?  In any case, is it immoral to cheat death?  Is it not ethically appropriate to strive for self-improvement, both physical and mental and isn’t modern technology a benign means to a desirable end?

But do these scenarios use up all the options?  Are we definable by our embodiments?  If not, by what extra-bodily capacity are we able to recognise the difference?  And isn’t our brand of intentional action something alien to nature?  Also, doesn’t consciousness introduce a real difference that is neither evident in the stark biology nor definable by what we happen to be conscious of?  Likewise, what if there is more to us than a life we can call our own?  Then what if we are more than a personality forged by circumstance – because personal being transcends our individuality and we retain the flexibility to be more than we can become in any number of biological lives?

Mike Laidler

 

Elephants and Feathers

My left leg and a light bulb don’t equal two of anything even though one plus one surely equals two – except there is always scope for an active imagination to find a connection. Indeed no branch of mathematics is without its imaginative dimension – especially when we take a mathematical equation to stand for an equalisation of differences, so to prove that mathematics not only shows how the universe works, it also shows how it is. However, reality is bigger than our explanations, which is why an active imagination remains an essential requirement for doing science. And it takes an active imagination to say that all things are really one thing because the differences disappear at atomic levels.

Therefore, whilst it is true that an elephant equals a feather because their differences disappear when comparing their behaviour under gravity, nevertheless such convergences in reality have nothing to tell us about the emergent divergences – whereby realities come to differ from one another. Meanwhile, our scientific equations rely on differences that can be equated. Yet even at an elementary level there remains a functional difference between energy and matter, otherwise we would have no basis to start looking for their equivalence. And despite all our proofs there are other phenomenal differences that pertain – because life is an unnecessary divergence within material reality, and consciousness marks a fundamental departure of a different sort, whilst the brain provides only secondary evidence of the existence of a thought.

Mike Laidler