Friday, September 12, 2008

Non-Reductive Monism; Now in Politics--SMS and Congress

Conventional Wisdom v.
Ontological Wisdom in Naturalism
In the sense of conventional wisdom, naturalism is the metaphysical position that "nature is all there is and all basic truths are truths of nature."

But it also involves reducing life to "strictly physical beings [who] don’t exist as [ ] either mental or spiritual," [and where,] "Thought, desires, intentions, feelings, and actions all arise on their own without the benefit of a supervisory self, and [ ] are all the products of a physical system, the brain and the body." [italics added] Naturalism.Org

This reductive monism is an ontological nightmare, and a contradiction.

"Ontology is the theory of objects and their ties. Ontology provides criteria for distinguishing various types of objects (concrete and abstract, existent and non-existent, real and ideal, independent and dependent) and their ties (relations, dependences and predication)." Raul Corazzon For an introduction to ontology see:

The very nature of distinguishing one thing from another under the same genus, e.g., life, presupposes either a dualism of one sort of another, or non-reductive monism whereby the genus is monistic, and the differentia do not imply dualism, but instead support the axiomatic concept of "Being," i.e., identification of a primary fact of reality, namely that, "You are an indivisible entity of matter and consciousness." [italics added] Ayn Rand; "Atlas Shrugged"

Under this theory of non-reductive monism we discard "irrational conflicts and contradictions, such as: mind versus heart, thought versus action, reality versus desire, the practical versus the moral. [You] will know that the conceptual level of psycho-epistemology—the volitional level of reason and thought—is the basic necessity of man’s survival and his greatest moral virtue." [italics added] "Galt’s Speech", For the New Intellectual; Ayn Rand

In the "strong" sense, dualism or "the idea [ ] that, for some particular domain, there are two fundamental kinds or categories of things or principles," [Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP)] has given empirical science the permission it needed to create the dualism of the soul/body dichotomy, of the dichotomy of matter/spirit; and then to divide the material of cognizant life into brain versus body and conclude that what the mind is made of is chemical and electrical signals that cause us to believe we have souls (spirits).

Non-reductive monism is the principle that consciousness as an attribute of biological entities is the means by which they acquire awareness of a reality that exists outside their consciousness and is not dependent on their consciousness for its existence. This monism puts both consciousness and all that is independent of consciousness in the same genus called "Being," or existence; and futher, that existence is the given, is primary, and is not contradictory to a non-material differentia called consciousness that is yet predicated of material. This monism does not admit of such consciousness transcending or succeeding the existence of the life form in which it resides; in other words, 1. it is caused by material actions; 2. it is itself non-material but dependent on matter for its existence; 3. cannot by definition exist without the matter which created it.

It is, therefore, not a belief that souls exist, but instead it is the given that we can be conscious of something that Man calls soul whatever it may be, and that as we are conscious of pleasure and pain in wherever is the seat of our physical emotions, so Man is conscious of something which he calls soul.

Naturalism, done correctly, is not reductive monism. It is the power to overcome this reductionism, as well as the cosmological, mechanical, and moral arguments generally associated with creationism or its equivalent. Non-reductive Naturalism overcomes these, wherein
1. cosmology is taken to mean that which treats of the origin and structure of the universe; [see below]
2. mechanical is taken to mean the explanation of the present and the future in terms of the past;
3. and the moral argument is taken to mean an argument for God based on man's moral nature. This is an objective nature recognized by non-reductive monism, and that it gives Man cause to make moral assertions about existence, but has no basis for conclusions of the supernatural.

Reductive naturalism does not overcome creation theories, but dismisses them as invalid, thereby giving creationism room to argue for validity. Non-reductive naturalism proves the soundness of it's own position, leaving no room for creationism to argue except to do so either by getting off theme or off subject. Reductionists will argue with creationists about creation; non-reductionists will argue only about the ontology of its arguments, placing creationism in the position of being less than the skeptical position of Naturalism. Creationism cannot argue with non-reductive monism because it assumes the moral argument, which requires the extreme position of the defence of faith, which requires relinquishing reason.

"Insofar as is possible," wrote Boethius, "join faith to reason." But they cannot be joined in the extreme because they are diametrically antithetical. No form of creationism can argue for faith without using the principles of deductive reasoning. Such reasoning can only go so far in explaining faith and the moral principle of God; then it comes up short because faith and reason can be joined only as far as is possible, and that possibility comes up short. The argument for faith always relies, in the end, on the belief in faith to explain faith.

1. Cosmology also refers to the structural view that is the world view of physics. However, as to cosmological origin, let me be clear: there is no origin. If existence itself had an origin, then the pre-existing condition of existence would be non-existence, which by definition can have no existence and therefore cannot have been a state of being prior to existence. It is a contradiction of an axiomatic concept.

2. The opposite of mechanical is teleological, i.e., the explanation of the past and the present in terms of the future, i.e., "Becoming." [see above for comparison]

3. The only moral argument acceptable is teleological, meaning it must be the answer to the question of whether--not why--Man needs ethics; and what those ethics must be in terms of the objective nature of Man himself as "that, of which Man is all there is," in terms of deducing the natural, not the super-natural, existence of existence.

Now In Politics
Why have SMS (texting) rates doubled since 2005? That is what Senator Herb Kohl, chairman of the Senate's antitrust panel, is asking.

"'Maybe because mergers and acquisitions—witness Sprint-Nextel, Verizon-Alltel, and AT&T-BellSouth—have led to less and less competition,' Kohl said.
"'I am concerned with whether this consolidation and increased market power by the major carriers has contributed to this doubling of text-messaging rates over the last three years,' wrote Kohl, who gave the carriers a month to justify their higher SMS rates." Yahoo! Tech

Government interference in the marketplace is not political naturalism. Naturalism is freedom, the freedom that man started with before thoughts of political power and its coercive corrosion of that freedom became the antithesis of protecting it--in the name of protecting it for the common good.

The common good is the good of the individual, first.

"When Apple and AT&T announced that free text messages would not come with the data packages offered to iPhone 3G customers,
I predicted that Democrats in Washington would schedule SMS hearings and denounce the "excessively high costs. How long before we're treated to the spectacle of Kohl dragging all for CEOs to testify before his Senate committee?" Andrew Smith

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This publication © 2008 by Curtis Edward Clark and Naturalist Academy Publishing ®
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