sábado, 11 de maio de 2013

Follow up - Clarifying the last post.

I thought that maybe the other post deserved some sort of justification/deeper explanation, for some that read me (and newcomers alike). A few readers agreed with me, but I received some mixed answers about it, so I thought I best summarize it here. 

Boy, do I knew people were going to freak out about it.  

But that´s the magic of talking about mathematics, right?


Let´s go at it calmly, point by point. 

The main, fundamental beef of the post is about this simple notion: 

Mathematics is considered, by and large, a perfect achievement of human beings. 

Of course, this can be divided into any number of topics, but the this is the main issue I´m tackling.

That´s it.

Math is considered almost as a magical, Word of God gift of/for the human mind. I´m not the only one who says that. Everybody says and society upholds that. Just google it. One example is this:
Inevitably people would conclude that there is an order to the universe for all things including ethics, morality, politics and economics. Mathematics from the very beginning has been considered a perfect science. It was provable as a perfect science. The philosophers I have read are pretty good in arriving at considerable insight into all of these areas.  Of course they never agree. However, they would presumably say that, just like in math, the formula is there. We just haven’t found it yet. (link)
But then, maybe the majority of links you can find are not from hardcore mathematicians, right? Maybe. But so what? It´s not like you are going to find any major attacks to the Bible and Christianism inside a christian church! But scientists and the whole secular intelligentsia are so eager to dismiss religious thinking, right? I´m not religious, but I´m pissed at that, because they don´t allow that the same thing when it comes to them! When you want to criticize them, you have to be a full blown scientist with any number of points and capital letters after your name, right? But any scientist thinks they can barge in and criticize anything else? What the hell is up with that? You can´t have the cake and eat at the same time, people.

But of course, some mathematicians do realize that (just google it, as well).

What I criticize is the usage of math as a replacement for the ancient search of meaning within the universe vis-à-vis us, as existential beings, is void. That´s my whole point. 

So what´s the other option? We take away all the religion, all the philosophy, and human thinking outside those main veins and replace the with the temples of science, with math at the forefront of  it all? Well, ok, but how do we take meaning, for us, for our lives, how do we think about what existential values are, mathematically?

Take this:

1. How do we know what´s good, mathematically?
2. And what about what is just? Can math prove/disprove Justice?
3. Can math alone solve the problem of existence for mankind (and other species)? Can it say with certainty that we should do this or that, and, in the sense of this blog, procreate or not? 

Those and others, are the questions I´m tackling, and they can´t be dealt with mathematically. If you can do it, please show me. 

I´m not, though, against math and some of it´s applications. 

What I´m against is:

1. Mathematics as a an extractor of meaning (for us, as existential creatures); 
2. Mathematics being used as the sole determinant of value for rational creatures; 
3. Mathematics as a motor of prejudice and arrogance (and therefore harm) for those very reasons; 

That´s it. 

I do not mean to offend anyone - those are my ideas about it. If you heartily disagree, create your own blog, where you can expand on the issues here presented. 

If you can explain concepts like justice, corruption, fear, virtue (and how we should be procreating or not, for our species and individual sake) mathematically, please send me the link where you put those. 

I, for one, know for a fact, that rational thought has limitations and can´t penetrate very deeply on the types of truths discussed on this blog. But if you disagree, let´s see what you can muster. 

Cheers for all.  

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