In an infinite universe we would be absolutely ignorant, if my calculation is right. This is a criticism of absolute knowledge in science and beliefs and is also a reply to Comfythoughts critique of the clever cell blog. When ever my day is beating me up I always like to check his blog and would recommend it to all.
1- It was very astute that he linked the single cell to atheism, although it was the lack of purpose projected by strong atheists (Not agnostics) that I was confronting. More precisely put, the belief with conviction that we know enough to know there is no purpose other than the one we create for ourselves.
2- The analogy, in the story, does assume the cell has a purpose in relation to the body, but again, I did NOT equate the body with God. In fact by using the body I’m only highlighting a pattern of hierarchy in nature (explained in this blog), where there seems to be an organisational interdependency. Remember the body also dies and may be part of a higher orders, which could possibly be infinite.
3- As we mock thinkers before us for putting the earth at the center of the universe, we, in a similar fashion believe humans are beyond purpose, while at the same time admire animals, plants, insects, bacteria and fungi, as well as cells, organs, organisms, species, ecosystems working in a purposeful symbiotic relationship.
4- Our admittance of ignorance is a prime objective of the analogy. Looking at culture and peoples around the world few things are observed. People have different beliefs as with the shades that have been rightfully pointed out in the critique, but it is also very clear that most believe in some sort of higher purpose.
5- It is the belief in higher purpose, call it spirituality, mysticism, intuition, gut feeling or something divine, which is the norm in the majority. Different people interpret it in different ways. Through history religion may have been born out of this, but may be outdated as with most things from the past. This phenomena of a spiritual connection is beyond scientific explanation as with taste and Qualia, but it does not mean we don’t taste, see colours, hear a sound etc.
6- I propose science do what they do best, and advance our knowledge by abstracting nature and describing it, rather than explaining it, and leave the greater space of ignorance and the infinite possibilities, to those that ponder and try to understand through intuition, gut feeling and spiritual connection, rather than just empirical evidence. If only 5% of what is out there is known, and 95% they call dark energy and dark matter for lack of better words, we should be humble and act in the same way.
7- If I missed it in the analogy as it was suggested, it is exactly the belief in the good, that I try to bring out. The belief in good as an ends rather than a means or utility to serve the self. So I’m very much against the me, me, me and very much for the community, us, we, together, being connected (the purpose of this site). The focus on individuality in this modern world with such modern philosophies as Rational Egoism has created exactly that which the author of the critique has negatively pointed out.
8- I simply reject, and am saddened if my analogy is interpreted with non-tolerance, tolerance being one of my principal values in life. I would rather die, than kill for a belief (explained in this poem I wrote), probably not when it comes to protecting my daughter though. I believe in relative morality, and mutual respect, and have a disdain for anyone who tries to impose beliefs on me, the belief that our knowledge is limited is about the only absolute I’m willing to entertain.
9- The conclusion of Comfythoughts in rewording my analogy fits perfectly with the way I feel and for that, I’m willing to let go of the Bill O’Rielly left-field incursion he made.