Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Meditation in a toolshed

This is the link to Meditation in a Toolshed, which appears in God in the Dock. It prefigures a lot of what we find in Thomas Nagel's "What it is like to be a bat."


M. C. Evers said...

Thank you very much for posting this. This really gets to a point I've been trying to make in another venue about the fact that while science can tell us how something happens, even give certain physical indicators that correspond to our emotions, it cannot tell us what that experience IS to the individual experiencing it, nor can it tell us what value should be assigned to it or WHY it exists.

If there is one thing that irks me, it is the false dichotomy between science and faith because of some people's misapplication of science to things that cannot be quantified, yet ARE still real to the person experiencing them. (And conversely, the expectation some of these people react against, that Scripture is somehow supposed to be a 100% literal scientific treatise? I don't think so!)

The problem is that we simply cannot transfer what you might call "experiential data" (as opposed to "experimental data"). Yet people insist that the non-transferable, non-falsifiable nature means that IT IS NOT. But for me to deny the validity and the reality of my internal experiences (that is, everything that is not sensory input) would be to deny myself and render meaningless any comment about my life other than strict measurements! You might as well do away with such "obvious" truths as "love" and replace them with valueless scientific terms, if you want to go down that road. And we haven't even gotten to the question of God yet!

Goodness knows no one's paying me to be a philosopher--but I definitely appreciated that one. :-)

Anonymous said...

Yes, thank you for posting this,and I apologize for not having read your full book, but I was curious about how you feel about Lewis' obvious Christian bias in this piece and how it affects the whole proof in the denial that the "savage's" spiritual beliefs could ever be of any significance in the physical world unprovable by science?

Anonymous said...

I am the same anonymous, I apologize for not having an account, but my name is Christopher and my email is cdchemsa@unca.edu if you wish to continue this conversation.