Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
1Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
NM3JU

NM3JU

Ratings: (0)|Views: 14 |Likes:
Published by Polaris93
New Magicks for a New Age Volume 3 Beyond Ritual Book 10 Additional Topics Part 21: Gedankenexperiment: To Construct an Experimental Paradigm to Determine Whether Values Have Absolute or Only Relative Frames of Reference
New Magicks for a New Age Volume 3 Beyond Ritual Book 10 Additional Topics Part 21: Gedankenexperiment: To Construct an Experimental Paradigm to Determine Whether Values Have Absolute or Only Relative Frames of Reference

More info:

Published by: Polaris93 on Jun 14, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as DOC, PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

08/26/2011

pdf

text

original

 
 NEW MAGICKS FOR A NEW AGEVolume 3: Beyond Ritual -- Part 10: Additional Topics --- Chapter Page
1Yael DragwylaFirst North American rightsemail: polaris93@aol.comwordshttp://www.webleyweb.com/yael/
NEW MAGICKS FOR A NEW AGE
Volume III: Beyond Ritual: Historical, Philosophical, andScientific Considerations --Essays on the Cutting Edge of Esoteric Science
Book 10: Additional Topics
Part 21: Gedankenexperiment:To Construct an Experimental Paradigm to Determine Whether Values HaveAbsolute or Only Relative Frames of Reference
Do morals, ethics, and other value-systems refer to absolutes, that is, frameworks of reference thatnever change, regardless of changes of circumstance or displacement in time or space? Or do they refer instead to relative entities whose natures necessarily vary with circumstance? Philosophy of values – the body of scholarly and psychological thought concerned with systems of ethics, morals, and other standards by which sentient beings act and live – has long debated this question. Do our beliefs aboutright vs. Wrong, good vs. bad/evil, desirable vs. repellent, pleasurable vs. painful, etc. concern things thatare true for all eternity and throughout the universe, unchanging from lasting to everlasting, the moral,ethical, and esthetic versions of the Ether of pre-Einsteinian physics? Or are their objects localized phenomena which must necessarily change according to changing circumstances of history, biology,culture, ecology, and various other factors?The Classicists tend to opt for the Absolute; the Moderns, for Relativity. The theists and the atheistsgo beyond mere tendencies. The first group holds that morality, even ethics and esthetic standards, are of God and from God, and as eternal and invariant as God. The second group contends that God is a fiction,and all systems of value ultimately come from man, that utterly ephemeral being. The linguistic schoolsof philosophy, on the other hand, believe that the entire argument turns on semantic points rather than onmatters of objective fact, so that by restating the question properly, the argument could be resolved rightthen and there as an artifact of semantically charged discourse. And so it goes.In a sense the linguistic philosophers are right. These arguments do all turn on semantics as well asanything else, and, as a result, tend to become circular at the drop of a categorical imperative. “TheGood, the True, and the Beautiful
must 
exist; therefore they
do
exist.That “must” is of courseelliptical, concealing a wealth of emotion-charged ideas, theories, and experiences the logical of which,while quite real and whole, is generally unconscious, or at least unspoken, and would be of far moreinterest to a psychologist, sociologist, or sociobiologist than to a general philosopher or theologian. So if an objectively verifiable answer is ever to be found to the question, “Do values, whether they concern theRight, the True, the Just, the Beautiful, or anything else, refer to timeless, universal phenomena, or arethey only relative and continent in nature?”, then an experimental paradigm, by which this question can be subjected to objective, repeatable testing, must be designed. How is this to be done?In fact, an excellent model already exists for construction of all such paradigms. This is soregardless of whether the intended subject of a given test is part of the “real,” physical universe; the“real” universe of things in accord with the collective consensus, such as written statutes and similarlynuminous entities nevertheless having (by the deliberate choice and actions of sentient beings)objectively verifiable reality; or the universe of 
noumena
, “unreal” entities such as ideas, creations of theimagination, thoughts, emotions, values, etc. This model is the one used for the Michelson-Morleyexperiment, first performed in 1887. The purpose of this experiment was to determine whether the
 
 NEW MAGICKS FOR A NEW AGEVolume 3: Beyond Ritual -- Part 10: Additional Topics --- Chapter Page
2observed speed of light varies in a manner dependent upon the relative motions of observers andobserved, hence whether an absolute
 physical 
framework of reference, the Ether of pre-Einsteinian physics, exists or not. If the observed velocity of light is dependent upon the motion of the observer relative to the observed, then there does exist such an absolute reference; otherwise, there can exist nosuch ultimate, absolute framework of reference for the physical universe.The mechanics of the experiment are simple. A planet in the Solar System is selected that is far enough away from Earth to give significant experimental variances, should these exist, as a result of our test, for reasons discussed below; but large enough, even so, such that even at that distance, its largesurface area reflects a great deal of sunlight, as observed from Earth. Clearly Jupiter is the best choicefor the purpose, though Saturn could do, if necessary. Next, we need to obtain the interference spectrum of the light coming to us from whatever planet wehave chosen for the experiment. We therefore split the light from the planet into two beams, refract each beam by means of a prism, and then converge the refracted beams together to produce an interferencespectrum. Depending upon how we do this, when we have obtained the interference spectrum – a seriesof lines from different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum arranged along a line perpendicular to thelight-beams – it will show a certain number of discrete lines per inch, black against a rainbow for anabsorption spectrum, colored lines on black for an emission spectrum. (Since sunlight, even sunlightreflected off the surface of a planet, is “white light,” emitting in all portions of the visible spectrum in arelatively even distribution of wavelengths, the average number of lines per inch tends to correspond tothe actual number of lines per inch for any given example of such an interference spectrum. Complicatedstatistical sampling methods, or surveys of hundreds and hundreds of such interference spectra, aren’tneeded to determine this average. It is sufficient to be able to see the pattern and count the lines, whichshould be quite clear and distinct if the experiment is properly performed.) Now Jupiter and Earth move at different velocities relative to each other at different times. Whenour planet is more or less between Jupiter and the Sun, so that Jupiter can be found anywhere from 120°to 180° across the sky from the sun, as observed from Earth, Jupiter seems to move westward through theheavens, night after night, for about four months out of every year. The rest of the year, Jupiter seems tomove eastward along the ecliptic. There are many other variances in the motion of Jupiter relative toEarth as well. If an Ether exists, such that all things move relative to it, but it is itself unmoving andfixed, permeating the entire universe, then reflected sunlight coming to us from Jupiter at one time of theyear will be moving more rapidly relative to that Ether than it will at another. In that case, since light behaves like a wave under the conditions standard for this test, the wave-crests of that light would arrivemore frequently than at the other time of year, and the observed number of interference lines per inchshould vary depending upon the positions of the Earth and Jupiter relative to each other in their orbitsaround the Sun. (Thus if the planet is not far enough away, such variance, if it exists at all, would bemuch too small to be observed.)As it happens, both when this experiment was first performed and in numerous tests since, no suchvariance has ever been observed. This implies not only that the Ether doesn’t exist, but also that thespeed of light,
c
, is invariant regardless of the relative positions and velocities of observer and observed.This result inspired Albert Einstein’s work on the Special and General Theories of Relativity, and pavedthe way for the “thirty years that shook physics.” That finding was one of the most significant events of human history, for it opened the biggest can of worms – a nuclear-powered one, yet – of which anyonehad then ever conceived. Now, it is possible to perform this same sort of experiment upon so-called
noumena
such as ethics,morals, and other standards of value. All of these are judged within the context of real situationsinvolving real living beings, behaving in objectively observable ways, with objectively observable effectsof their behavior upon other living beings and their world as a whole. The universe of moral discoursemay itself be noumenal, invisible, and otherwise inaccessible at least to mortal ken; but the realities of  behavior and its consequences judged in reference to that universe are as objective and amenable toobservation by ordinary human beings as, say, the motions of the planets, the growth of plants, themotion of a dropped rock or a bullet fired from a gun, or any other physical phenomenon. Let usconsider a thoroughly generalized situation of the sort about which human value-judgments might bemade. What are is most basic aspects?Such a situation involves
 X 
number of living beings, each related to all others and to the non-livingthings encompassed by that situation. The maximum number of these relations isX 
Σ
i = 1 + 2 + . . . + (X-1) + X = (X)(X+1)/2
 
 NEW MAGICKS FOR A NEW AGEVolume 3: Beyond Ritual -- Part 10: Additional Topics --- Chapter Page
3i=1This number, which is a maximum, not necessarily an actuality, varies only as the number of living beings in the situation. As some enter it and others leave, this number necessarily changes.Each being exhibits various sorts of behavior, affecting some or all of the other beings in variousways. These effects include changes in the nature of the relationships among these beings, ranging fromthe biological and ecological, through the social and psychological, to what might be called the spiritual.In addition, the behavior of a given being may directly affect only the non-living portions of the situation, but the changes this brings about in these abiotic aspects of the situation may in turn affect other living beings, or even the original one exhibiting that behavior.Relationships are multidimensional. When the nature of one changes, the strength of one or more of its components varies, sometimes becoming stronger and more intense, sometimes becoming weaker or even being nullified. In this way relationship itself can be quantified, its various qualities beingconsidered to be dimensions of relationship, the intensity of the latter comprising the scalar componentsof relationship. Relationship can thus be represented as a vector, which can be mathematically analyzedas such.In the same way, behaviors, their consequences, and related phenomena can be represented asvectors and analyzed as such. Ultimately, for purposes of mathematical analysis we can consider asituation of any kind which contains living beings to be a set of 
 X 
such beings, interrelated inY
(X)(X+1)/2ways, exhibiting
 Z 
behaviors. In turn, each such behavior can be represented as a vector, having
 E 
effects upon other living beings and non-living things which share the situation with the being exhibitingthe behavior; each of these effects can likewise be represented as a vector.The living beings and non-living things in the situation as elements of the set, and the vectors thatrepresent behaviors and their consequences, are all as well elements of a system in a universe of moral,ethical, or other valuational discourse. Like the elements of any other set, these can be counted – justlike the interference lines in the Michelson-Morley experiment described above.We now ask: If we move this situation in time and/or space, through history, from one culture toanother, from one species or other biological taxon to another, even from one planet, whole stellar system, or universe to another, what happens? Do the number of moral elements in that situation changeas the context, the phenomenal matrix in which it is embedded does?Something rather peculiar happens at this point. Moral, ethical, artistic, or other valuationalabsolutists will emphatically deny that those elements do change in number, regardless of changes in thecontext in which they appear. After all, an absolute is an absolute. If morals, ethics, or other values andvalue-systems are indeed absolute – if Good and Bad, Right and Wrong, Holy and Evil, Beautiful andUgly are absolutes, unchanging over time and space and regardless of context – then the elements of which they are composed, by which they manifest in the world,
cannot 
change!Ah, but that creates a problem. Here we stumble over a semantic confusion. Why do we assumethat the
manifestations
of these things as they appear in our humble “Earth Plane” are anything more thanshadows of the ultimate reality, what that may be? Isn’t it far more likely, as the Idealists believed, thatthe events and phenomena which make up the world of physical experience and objectively observable phenomena have about the same relationship to Ultimate Reality that biological traits of any organism, or even the physical molecules of DNA in the nuclei of its cells, have to the genetic information encoded inthose molecules? Or the relationship which a discrete, physical copy of a book has to the contents of that book, the information it contains? Or the relationship which a computer program has to the physicalmedia which encode and facilitate it? Or, to return to our original model, the relationship which theinterference patterns cast by the light of the Sun as reflected off Jupiter, observed in Michelson andMorley’s laboratory, and refracted and recombined in their experiment, do to light, to energy itself,whatever the latter might actually be?The elements of any situation which has moral, ethical, or other meaning for us, there to be read out by us, are just the “interference phenomena” which exist as artifacts of the interaction between theuniverses of value and our sensory and perceptive equipment, the latter embedded in and dependent uponthe normal, workaday, physical universe of scientific, rational discourse. So if there is a “moral Ether” or an “ethical Ether,” or indeed absolute frameworks of reference for any phenomena of value whatsoever,

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->