A casual conversation with Larry Horstman
Question to Larry: Why is science so resistant to the study of consciousness broadly considered, not to mention transcendental consciousness, aka God? Larry, on page 35 of The Lotka Hypothesis you say, “…the science of today supplies no explanation for or guidance concerning the things that matter most to us—our passions, hopes, dreams, desires, ideals, or criteria for daily decisions.” Should not science be curious about metaphysical things? Mathematics is purely a priori and yet it is an essential tool in science. Is it an element of irrationality in rational science to ignore the things that matter most to us?
Off-the-cuff, email, reply: The usual popular meaning of “irrational”, as in “irrational exuberance” (Greenspan), means not guided by reason. But my studies have led me to the conviction that underlying all behavior and attitudes are logical systems, in a special sense subdivided below.
Axioms and Logical Systems
Now, the usual meaning of a “logical system” has as its archetype classical Euclidean geometry, consisting at root of a set of axioms from which are deduced all sorts of theorems. They are indubitably true, given the axioms. Of course, we now know that if you alter the axioms, you get a different logical system, e.g., if you alter the parallel axiom of Euclid (that parallel lines never meet) you get new and different logical systems.
Further investigation in many areas has led me to the conviction that not only all of the classical western philosophies are also logical systems, but so are religions. In other words, all religions are philosophies in the sense that they are predicated on a few axioms (God is this or that …) from which follow the entire structure resting upon them. Continue reading