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Posted by Harvey on April 8, 2002 20:23:42 UTC

Scott,

***Is there some history between the 2 of you or what? You both seem to have conflicting views of reality, don't you?***

We have had a couple of disagreements that have spilled into something less pleasant. But, I like Aurino. He's a good guy. We just happen to have significant differences in our views, and this has sometimes affected our usually cordial dialogues.

***I guess I would have to refer to myself as a reductionist. I think existence can be reduced to neural responses to environmental stimuli.***

Reductionism has a wide following in philosophy. I'm a quasi-holist who thinks much of nature is only approximated by reductionist views. For example, a major impetus that I see as a positive development is complexity theories of science. I think as this is explored we will see more themes in the natural order that apply universally. I suspect this will be demonstrated to be more holistic in approach. But, for now, reductionism is still having a major influence on science.

***I mean 10,000,000 species of insects could care less - they are programmed to reproduce and die. Isn't that what we are here to do. Isn't it possible that our advancements in science, technology, and to a certain extint religion is an end product of boredom?***

There are patterns in nature that are what we might classify as mathematical patterns. I think this suggests that there are 'truths' to the universe that are guided by fundamental principles. If so, then it can't all be 'reproduce and die' since these principles are the kingpin to the world.

***Our brains are wired to "think" our way into survival, maybe contemplation is nothing more than an offshoot, or byproduct of evolution only useful to us.***

I wouldn't discount this possibility, however I think there's more to the world then blind selection. I think the world approximates the eternal principles and that nature flows in a direction which exemplifies those 'higher truths'.

Warm regards, Harv

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