Erised

Posted: June 26, 2007 in Theo/Philo

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Harry Potter and the philosophers stone:

 

 

“‘It shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts. You, who have never known your family, see them standing around you. Ronald Weasley, who has always been overshadowed by his brothers, sees himself standing alone, the best of all of them. However, this mirror will give us neither knowledge or truth. Men have wasted away before it, entranced by what they have seen, or been driven mad, not knowing if what it shows is real or even possible.'”

 

 

 

There’s a great drive within the sciences to unify all knowledge, so that everything can eventually be traced to a few laws and equations., that ‘everything’ includes you and me!

There must be a worldview that explains everything,we just need to find it! E.O.Wilson wrote a book called ‘Consilience’ the drive of this book was to find a theory of knowledge that explains everything (The theory of everything; TOE) from a naturalistic point of view, this,IMHO will fail, because we cannot go from particulars to universals. Meaning flows in one direction; top down.

The result of the theory of everything including ‘man’ will be to loose sight of meaning not to gain it.

 

As an example of this, co discoverer of the structure of DNA ,along with James Watson and Rosalind Franklin, Francis Crick has said:

“We’d like to know more about mental health-how much is genetically determined and how much depends on the environment.”

Of this statement Francis Schaeffer says :

‘It is not clear,here,how man suddenly disappears? There are only two factors: (1) heredity and (2) environment. It is 90 of one and 10 of the other ? Or 10 of one and 90 of the other ?

It makes no difference. Either factor or both together are no more than mechanical. In your stream of conciousness , if you think in psychological terms the person isn’t there…it isn’t just God who is dead, man is as well, because he becomes simply the product of the original impersonal with only the addition of the equally impersonal time and chance.’

 

The assumptions of a theory of everything include:

  1. ‘Man’ is indistinct from other phenomena.

  2. ‘Man’ has gone from being the investigator to the investigated,yet we retain our role as investigator. With TOE the assumption is that we are determined, as Crick says,yet we are also able to be objective with our choice of what evidence to collect and our interpretations of evidence.

  3. Nothing exists except that can be measured.

Can the  unifying theory of everything be realised, or are we  building our theory on  assumptions  based on nothing but wishful thinking ,caught in the mirror of erised?

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