People operate with diverse systems of belief and we can live with this incoherence - Political Theology: Four New Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty - Page 118 - Paul W. Kahn - 2011 - Preview - More editions In the postmodern world, the...1 month ago
Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.
In view of the fact that multiple anonymous comments in a thread make confusing reading and it becomes difficult to track who is telling what and to whom, only comments bearing some name/pseudonym/identity will appear in future. [TNM 011110 SEOF]
Tuesday 20 February 2007
Quantum Physics, abstractquant-ph/0611261From: D. M. Appleby [view email] Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2006 01:56:12 GMT (14kb) Concerning Dice and Divinity Authors: D.M.Appleby Comments: Contribution to proceedings of Foundations of Probability and Physics, Vaxjo, 2006
Einstein initially objected to the probabilistic aspect of quantum mechanics - the idea that God is playing at dice. Later he changed his ground, and focussed instead on the point that the Copenhagen Interpretation leads to what Einstein saw as the abandonment of physical realism. We argue here that Einstein's initial intuition was perfectly sound, and that it is precisely the fact that quantum mechanics is a fundamentally probabilistic theory which is at the root of all the controversies regarding its interpretation. Probability is an intrinsically logical concept. This means that the quantum state has an essentially logical significance. It is extremely difficult to reconcile that fact with Einstein's belief, that it is the task of physics to give us a vision of the world apprehended sub specie aeternitatis.
Quantum mechanics thus presents us with a simple choice: either to follow Einstein in looking for a theory which is not probabilistic at the fundamental level, or else to accept that physics does not in fact put us in the position of God looking down on things from above. There is a widespread fear that the latter alternative must inevitably lead to a greatly impoverished, positivistic view of physical theory. It appears to us, however, that the truth is just the opposite. The Einsteinian vision is much less attractive than it seems at first sight. In particular, it is closely connected with philosophical reductionism.
A large part of the philosophy of the mind consists of various rather unconvincing attempts to understand how the brain, conceived in reductionist terms, can give rise to consciousness. One of the reasons I am interested in the epistemic point of view is that I feel that when properly developed it may lead to a much more satisfactory, non-reductionist way of thinking about the mind-brain relationship.
The ambition to “know the mind of God” is not realistic. But I would go further than that. I would question whether the idea is even attractive. Suppose one really could comprehend the universe in its entirety. Might this not be found a little cramping? If the universe really could be comprehended in its entirety it would mean that the universe was as limited as we are. It seems to me that living in such a universe would be rather like trying to swim in water that is only six inches deep.
Groucho Marx once said that he would not want to belong to a club that would have him as a member. In a similar vein, my personal feeling is that I would not wish to belong to a universe that I was able to fully comprehend. Against this vision, of physics as knowing the mind of God, I would like to set another: physics as swimming in water that is a great deal deeper than we are—perhaps even infinitely deep. koantum matters 18 February 2007