Sunday, July 11, 2010

If not, then what?

I've been bored with my usual pontification lately. I have I think adequately expressed most of my opinions on the subject of the interface between faith and reason and all the conflict between them, at least for the time being, and so I think I'll try something different. Something more interactive. Something more disturbing.

I'm asking a question of you my readers. It is partially inspired by a comment made a while back by one of you (Eric) about how a good debater should be able to take the opposite side of the issue. I didn't agree at the time and it still goes against my grain, but I've thought about it, and it seemed worth pursuing at least as a discussion. It may reveal things about us; or it may just bore you all to tears and make you hate me as a person. I have no idea, but what the hell...

And so, the question is this:

If your belief or idea or concept of reality, of the universe, of this world and our place in it, were revealed to you to be totally and utterly incorrect, if you somehow found this out to be true (hypothetical, so don't ask me how, but you find it out *for sure* and you *must believe that you've been wrong all along* whatever it might have taken for that to happen) then what other concept or view of reality do you think is most likely to be true? In other words, what would be your second choice, your 'second best guess' as to the TRUTH OF IT ALL, if you had to look for one?

I have one rule: If your current belief is naturalistic or scientific, your new adopted view must oppose that, i.e., must be supernatural or theistic in some way; and the reverse is also true. If your view is currently a 'supernatural' or 'theistic' view, then for the purposes of this discussion only, you must embrace a naturalistic or scientific viewpoint of some sort.

Relax Christians, it's only a hypothetical discussion; I promise to not take your souls and eat them with jam. (Muah hah hah...)

I'm not sure whether my 'All is mind; all is a communal dream' Big Brain (hate that name) speculations count as entirely supernatural or naturalistic, so I'll let that type of thing slide in either direction. Or perhaps better to say, all 'supernatural or partially supernatural but non-theistic' concepts can be taken by either side of the argument as an alternative, as their 'second best guess.'

So I've set the rules for this little discussion. Of course as usual, we are not constrained to be limited by these rules, but in the beginning I hope we can have a discussion at least loosely based on them. So say, if you're religious and absolutely refuse to take a non-religious view, I really don't care if you merely take the view of a different faith, a different religion. I'm mainly after a discussion of alternate views, so I'm not that particular. However you can't just take a different sect of the same religion. If you're catholic, you can't pick 'methodist.' It must really be a different view, is the salient point.

And after that, as usual, anything goes. The conversation can evolve or devolve as chance will have it. And eventually someone will post the equivalent of 'hey lardass, write another post' and I will...

As for me, I have to take the naturalist position as my 'primary' theory of reality, and as for my 'second best guess' well, you all know it already, my "Big Brain Speculations.' I'll refrain from discussing them again here, unless someone else brings it up.

So come with me on a journey outside your comfort zones, my brothers and sisters...