This essay is primarily a response to commenter Wednesday’s World, who contributed a thought in the comments section of my previous post. It can be seen here. I recommend checking it out prior to reading my relatively short response (well, too long for a reply in the comments section, but much shorter than my usual voluble yarns).
Hi Wednesday’s World. Thanks for visiting my page and for commenting.
As one who avers that all movement between bodies is relative, how such movement is observed by the senses may not in fact describe the existent properties of said bodies which are moving. In other words, how we observe things to move relative to us may not necessarily be a true representation of how those things actually exist in space; or rather, in a vacuum of themselves.
Take the duality of light paradox. Science says that light is both a particle and a wave. But this is only because human beings observe it as one or the other depending on the environmental context. But I do not accept the premise that light can be in essence both what it is and what it is NOT simultaneously simply because we observe it that way. And the reason I do not accept the premise is because it violates THE fundamental law of rational non-contradiction. And to violate reason by asserting and inserting a full-on contradiction destroys the very foundation of existence; which precludes man from ever apprehending truth. And this is a recipe for disaster, and is the clarion call for every despot and bloodthirsty tyrant in world history, bar none.
The contradiction implicit within the wave/particle duality of light paradox is the idea that something is both what it is and what it is not–that is, the idea that an object is “both” and “and”, where something, for example, is both A and B while simultaneously being distinctly A and not B, and vice versa. But what is proclaimed to be “both” and “and” is in reality nothing more than “is” and “is not”. This is, by definition, impossible. So I deny the paradox regardless of how we observe light because the philosophical conclusion which such a paradox renders is entirely untenable, and thus must ultimately destroy the very reality of existence. If there can be “truth” within the idea that something can be both an “is” and an “is not”, then truth is itself, fundamentally, a contradiction, and therefore cannot possibly be true. Because to say that something both “is” and “is not” demands the corollary that that same thing is both simultaneously “true” and “false”. In which case Truth (and Lie) cease to have any meaning whatsoever. If truth is not necessarily true, then it is impossible for man to know anything at all. Which renders all discussions moot, and “reality” and “morality” become nothing more than a matter of who has the biggest gun (or bomb, or sword, or stake, or dunking chair) and the willingness to use it.
You want conspiracy? Try looking at the existential assumptions which drive the very meaning and relevancy and purpose of what is observed, and not simply at what thing is observed. In fact, to ask people to spend so much time examining and questioning the physical nature of what is observed, as though ideas are a function of the sensory data and not of the individual ability to exist as a categorical and absolute SELF…well, that to me is the real conspiracy here with respect to the flat-earth issue.
Also, to your point about telescopes and horizons, and the heavenly revolutions of the sun and the moon, well…just because I observe from terra firma that the sun revolves around the Earth or that the horizon is flat or that a boat does not “dip” below a curvature on the horizon does not mean that I accept the Earth is flat. This again is a function of my premise that what is observed does not necessarily represent the existent nature–the Truth–of the objects I am observing relative to me.
To understand the true nature of ourselves and other objects which exist, we must examine our philosophical premises and develop irreducible metaphysical and epistemological axioms which are completely consistent, non-redundant, and non-contextual. It is only via this that can we claim to possess Truth.
Truth is not a function of science, as I said in my last post. And thus I find it of little practical use to try to prove empirical scientific data false, simply because at the end of the day, science–with respect to empirical evidence–is going to destroy all contrary arguments, because A. they have MUCH better equipment than you or I do, and are MUCH better at math than everyone else (because they have to be), and mathematics is the single greatest–and, ultimately, the only relevant–means by which all empirically observed data can be classified as actual in the empirical sense and thus evident in the empirical sense; and B. they have no reason to lie or to cover up anything they discover, such as a flat earth, because, again, truth is not a function of empirical data but a function of the philosophical premises by which any of that data has any relevancy or meaning to humanity–or, more specifically, to the existence and the essence of the individual human being. In other words, scientists, or rather, scientific empiricists (because not all scientists are necessarily scientific, mathematical, and empirical determinists) only have to convince people that THEIR existential interpretive premises are the correct ones (e.g. causal determinism, consciousness as illusion, the reality and deterministic force of Space and Time, the material transcendence and universal “governance” of physical laws, the transcendent, autonomous and self-contained existence (and thus causal power) of Abstraction, such as mathematical proofs). After that, they can be perfectly truthful about what they observe as the physical properties of the universe and the objects in it. Because once you control the interpretive philosophical premises–once you are in charge of the axioms…the irreducibles–everything becomes a direct function of those premises. There is nothing then to be gained by lying about empirical data because all such data MUST inevitably and inexorably conform to the premises.
We need to understand that reality is a function of what we believe…or rather, our ability to conceptualize, and from this to formulate ideas, not our ability to observe. Because of this, there is simply no reason to lie about the shape of the earth. There is no reason for a conspiracy. Control is a function of who gets to define reality according to the metaphysical and epistemological assumptions we hold about the nature of existence; and by this I mean the nature of HUMAN existence, and by this I mean the nature of individual human existence, because, really, that is the only existence which matters; the only essence which matters. What reality looks like is besides the point. There is no reason to lie about the empirical data–the observed data–because what is observed must simply be the necessary and inviolable result of the premises, period. The premise will and MUST define what is observed, regardless of HOW it is observed. Because what is observed is a direct function of the premises we hold about the nature of reality…of existence, of essence. And this is because reality is not a function of empirical observation, but of philosophy; of ideas. Philosophy…the ability of man to know himself and to know what he is not is the root of Truth. Philosophy defines material reality as a function of man’s metaphysical essence. And all that man observes MUST comport and WILL comport to the irreducible philosophical axioms, be they rational or irrational. It is our job to make sure they are rational. Then, when we do, we can know that what is observed can be described rationally, and reality can be established because Truth will have been bestowed upon what is seen. But the form of what is seen is not the issue. In itself, the form of the Earth is irrelevant. Thus, there is no reason to lie about it. There is no reason for a conspiracy.
You observe something. You reproduce what is observed in various contexts in order to establish that its pattern is one of uniform consistency. Then you create an arcane (but practical and imminently utilitarian) mathematical proof for the observed event, substituting particulars (e.g. the apple, the tree, the ground) with abstract universals (e.g. x, y, and z). And then, suddenly, seemingly without regard to the destruction, war, torture, abuse, psychological obliteration, and bloodshed you are initiating you proclaim the mathematical proof not a conceptual abstraction devised by man to organize his environment to his own promotion and pleasure but as the “language” of an actual autonomous cosmic governing AGENT, or FORCE, which determines by its power every action (with respect to the movement in question…that is, the movement to which the mathematical proof relates) of every object in the universe.
Now, to be fair, this is most likely due to the sheer and staggeringly immense power of mathematics to enable man to manipulate his environment to his own will and whim and to codify it conceptually thus making it universally accessible to all men, which grants the illusion I think of some kind of cosmic, causal universality. And this rather than a form of intentional malevolence whereupon a certain group of impish nerds in lab coats and comb-overs wish to subject and subdue and subordinate the vast “unenlightened” masses to their whims and pleasures. Alas, we have the institutional Church of ALL religions for that. Satan is always in the place everyone has been convinced he is not, I suppose.
Finally–and this is not nearly as important as the aforementioned points–I still insist that the most glaring “scientific” flaw in the flat-earth theory is the fact that gravity is uniform upon the world. That is, no matter where you stand, you weigh the same. This could not be possible if the earth were flat. A disc shaped earth, or a one dimensional earth, would demand an entirely different gravitational rubric. This would affect everything in the universe–from the revolution of the sun and the moon to the position of the stars in the sky to how you looked to what you could do to how you identified yourself as “human”, if there could even be such a thing (there couldn’t, I guess is my point). In other words, if it weren’t for a round earth you could not take issue with the scientific data, or claim your own as a counter-proof, in order to deny a round earth because the data wouldn’t exist in its present condition in the first place.