A Cure for Metaphysics. Cutting the Gordian Knot
For the most part scientists would be relieved to lay down their metaphysical baggage; however, this is proving to be a difficult maneuver. For instance, the rise of anti-scientific sentiment in the latter part of this century has naturally provoked a conservative reaction from scientists. This reaction often entails a hard-line stance that includes homage to the tradition of scientific materialism.
It is difficult to avoid the psychological speculation that behind all this posturing and rhetoric there lies a deeper, unexpressed concern. I have taken it upon myself to give expression to this concern by attempting to act it out. These attempts on my part have tended to provoke further resistance and denial. Thus have I felt compelled to resort to a more political stratagem that brings me to these meetings with scientists who have administrative responsibilities.
The problem is with the metaphysics, which most scientists see as little more than a nuisance. It has almost no bearing on their work, and yet it is the source of many passionate and often pointless debates. My stratagem is to bring out the issues of ultimate concern that I believe underlie the endless rhetoric.
Let us look directly at the ‘worst’ case scenario. In this case, scientific materialism is not just a little bit wrong, but is dead wrong. That leaves us with an immaterial world, which ought to be a scary proposition. I claim that it is precisely this fear which best accounts for the millennia of metaphysical obfuscation that leaves us now in such a state of metaphysical confusion. And if I am right our present confusion has a divine sanction and a divine cure.
What then do I need from the scientists? I need their sanction in order to explore and act out the consequences of our awakening to an immaterial cosmos. I want their permission to act out our worst metaphysical nightmare that is the eschaton. The eschaton is the end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI). I can hardly give credence to that image without the implied consent of the scientific authorities.
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