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There Is Some Differences In Our View

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Posted by Harvey on November 10, 2002 04:45:24 UTC

Hi Nicholas,

It seems to me that there are a few difference in our view.

***I don't think I'm missing that point at all. In fact, that's the exact bias that the Copernican principle is designed to fight. When you say 'center of the universe', you're referring to something completely different from what I'm referring to. I'm saying that nature's laws are not focused around us (setting aside anthropic arguments). Of course I, like everybody else, am at the center of my own universe in the psychological sense, but not in the scientific sense.***

What I was trying to get at was that principles are tools by which to guide our reasoning, however they should not be seen as 'laws' especially ontological laws, at least from the perspective of what we know is true of the universe. For example, when you said in reply to Mario's comments (in reply to my comments):

Mario: "However, agnosticism is a perfectly fair compromise because we simply admit our lack of knowledge. For you to call that position deluded or dismal frustrates me to no extent. It sounds strongly like you would discard intellectual honesty in favor of a dose of morphine." Nicholas: Actually, it's probably more a matter of reveling in the illusionary importance of humans. Ego, that's what it's all about. People just can't get over the fact that they're not the center of the universe. I can't really say that I understand it (of course, I guess I have more outlets for my ego than some), but I really hate it. People really need to look more into the Copernican Principle.

I take your response to mean that the Copernican principle is an ontological law, true because it is necessarily true. My reply was trying to put the Corperican principle in the context of human thought as merely another human invention by which to aid our discoveries. I want to demote the ontological position of such a principle to one in which helps us in our understanding of the world - end of story.

From an ontological perspective, we have no idea our position in the universe. We might really be God's central purpose in the universe, and science hasn't the knowledge nor the right to assert whether we are one way or another. I see that kind of treatment as another doctrine of scientism. As such, I don't think the successful 'tool' called the Copernican principle is justification for agnosticism. This is why I objected to your comments.

Warm regards, Harv

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