Posted by: Johan Normark | April 13, 2013

The dogmatic non-dogmatic thinkers

If you are a fan of 2012-related ideas you are probably also skeptical to “dogmatic” science that criticizes your favored ideas and prophets that “thinks outside the box”. Not only is this a common belief among people not involved in any scientific enterprise what-so-ever, but it is also common among scientists who have stepped outside the realms of what can be supported by established evidence (such as Calleman). It is easy to say that someone is dogmatic when they demand evidence. What these people usually do not realize is that they are just as dogmatic. Here is an example of how you can turn their own accusation of dogmatism against themselves.

Dogmatix

In my previous posts on Meillassoux I mentioned that he said that creationism, fanaticism, etc. (and New Age in my view) is a (waste) product of Western critical reason. Kant’s correlationism erased dogmatism in Western philosophy and this has led to the incapability of distinguishing rationalism from the “fanaticism” one can see in various comments of the recent TEDx-gate (conspiracy, censoring, etc.). What exactly do these “pseudoscientists” (Sheldrake and Hancock in TEDx-gate and Calleman and Jenkins in the 2012-circus) have in common with “real” science? It is the doctrine of necessary entities. This is a true dogma in classical metaphysics, rationalism, and New Age. It is the need of a necessary entity that exists beyond time and space from where everything else can be derived. There is always a reason behind what exists; natural laws, God or consciousness. Sheldrake, Hancock, Calleman and Jenkins are not at all thinking outside the dogmatic box. They have just moved to another dogmatic box.

The pseudoscientists and the scientists are making the same mistake here if we are to believe Meillassoux. If you really want to think outside the box, you must really rethink the idea of necessity but that would mean that necessary entities like consciousness or God disappear altogether. Meillassoux wants to uncover an absolute necessity that does not reinstall an absolute necessary entity. He wishes to develop an absolute knowledge where the things-in-themselves exist without reason and that they also can change at any time for no reason at all. In his metaphysics of absolute contingency anything can happen without reason and without warning.

Not many are willing to follow Meillassoux in this regard (neither am I). This means that we will have to be a bit dogmatic for our own ideas to work. As the theist Kurt Gödel might have said (through the interpretation of Timothy Morton): in order for a logical system to be true it must contain at least one sentence that cannot be proven. This means that all theoretical systems are flawed in order to be true. We must therefore be dogmatic about that particular flaw…


Responses

  1. “Meillassoux wants to uncover an absolute necessity that does not reinstall an absolute necessary entity. He wishes to develop an absolute knowledge where the things-in-themselves exist without reason and that they also can change at any time for no reason at all. In his metaphysics of absolute contingency anything can happen without reason and without warning.”

    I haven’t read this Meillassoux, but I have to say those ideas strike me as just as absurd and ultimately meaningless as most of what these 2012ers and pseudoscientists you mention publish, just said with more verbiage. Well, perhaps Sheldrake could match it for wordiness. I think these guys give real meaning to the old line, “too clever by half”.

  2. Kudos on the Dogmatix picture, though. I loved Asterix as a kid. I should have shown some images from those comics in my European Prehistory class. Next time.😉

    • René Goscinny is, in my opinion, the best comic book author ever. He died too soon.


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