NO Subjectivism, personal or otherwise.
NO Creating your own reality through observation changing natural quantum states.
Just say NO!
This site is about empiricism, objectivism, and rationalism. As such, I reject wholeheartedly any philosophy or ontological system that allows for the observer to affect the observed (without a physical or natural connection).
(Heisenberg notwithstanding–recent experimental evidence has shown that unless you are talking about an infinite number of observers, quantum effects of observation cancel each other out at any macroscopic i.e. real-world scale.)
The human experience is of ultimate importance. That importance is to each individual and their own frame of reference. But they should not believe that because they had the experience, it is somehow extensible to all of humanity as a general principle.
Subjective beliefs are valuable as fantasy and source for creativity and imagination. But like a person’s private sexual fantasies, spiritual fantasies should probably not be shared in public! They come under the category of “too much information,” or Karaoke singing at the office. On the other hand, the entertainment industry (of which religion is a part) involves convulsive and in-your-face sharing of these fantasies. Clearly this has purpose and value (I make my living this way). But it is not science.
As scientists, it is our job to take ourselves out of the equation. If we do not see clearly, it is our duty to find out why, and continually adjust, re-evaluate, and re-examine our beliefs. In fact, if the concept of god has any meaning at all, it is as the objective observer (since no human can claim to be such). We can work in groups to improve the consensus reality, chipping away at the debris of subjectivity. We can check each other to keep us honest. But the least effective response is to throw up one’s hands and declare that nothing is real and nothing can be known.
Often, those who argue against science and objectivity are actually arguing against the sociopolitical result of modernity–to which they correctly ascribe many negative outcomes (war, environmental devastation, inequality, etc.) But if they were being intellectually honest, such critics would acknowledge that what they actually object to is the imperfect state of modern politics and economics.
While science is often the servant of modern power structures, its methods are not truly in dispute. In fact, the scientific method is responsible for almost all of what is both good and bad in the world. The method itself is decidedly neutral, and based on the universal quest for knowledge. Therefore, those who argue for a more ‘wholistic’ approach to science are actually couching a political critique in philosophical terms. Most of the problems of the world can be traced to lack of understanding, and a misapplication of scientific principles. One of the worst examples of this is the denial being practiced by the Bush administration of the link between fossil fuels and climate change. There are many such examples.
So goes the old joke “we will not tolerate intolerance.” Paradoxical, funny, but actually wise. [Hat tip to Karl Popper].
This site does not tolerate challenges that are not grounded in rational debate–where points are not conceded when made. It does not tolerate those who want to tar both rationality and injustice with an equivalent brush of moral deficit. It is always a simple matter for those with these kinds of weak arguments to redirect the debate or change terms midstream. This is not reasoned debate, and proponents of this method of argument should find new-age sites or other places to express these opinions. If you want world change, wishing will not make it so. No amount of insistence that spiritual beliefs can change life on earth will amount to anything until those who make such claims are able to put forth some verifiable evidence of their position. Or until they take concrete action to create the change they so desire.
Please. New-agers, postmodernists all. I beg you. I dare you. Prove me wrong with evidence and a logical argument. Then you will have a convert. Otherwise let’s save us both some time and let Heisenberg sleep in his grave.