Paradigm Shifts and the Changing Nature of what is 'Fact' (#1640)

Related Documents:
(#1415) SMN, Free Will and Unification of Paradigms
(#1430) Metaphysics of Virtual Reality
(#1470) Religion/Spirituality, Energy/Information and the Unification of Material and Spiritual Science
(#1495) Relative/Absolute Reality, Empirical/Transcendent, Experience/Knowledge, Unification of Material and Spiritual Sciences and the Coming Paradigm Shift
(#1638) Trusting the flow, the Cosmic Dance, the natural holistic process (#1638)
(#1639) Breaking the Code of Secrecy, the Cosmic Dance includes Light and Dark, the Process of Awakening, the Human Collective Paradigm Shift, plus some comments from the I Ching (#1639)
(#1663) System Theoretic Metaphysics and the Unification of the Transcendent and Empirical Sciences
Also see other excerpts from my discussions with the Society for Scientific Exploration.

> Aren't particpants in this group suppose to be scientists? 
> If so, they should refrain from presenting personal
> speculation, esoteric theory, and unsubstantiated beliefs
> as facts.

I agree that loose talk can obstruct a discussion, especially when the participants are coming from markedly different perspectives and are trying to reach a common understanding. But requiring people to keep to the 'facts' raises the question, what is a 'fact'?

There are 'facts' in simple contexts, for example, in the context of the normal designation of the objects of the senses the object at which I am typing is called a 'computer' and not a 'rabbit' - that is a fact even though I'm not sure how I could substantiate it - you'll just have to accept it or question it based upon your own similar experiences - it is very difficult to type on one of those objects of the senses that we refer to by the word 'rabbit'. But in regards to metaphysics or the understanding of the nature of reality there are no facts. There are only experiences, ideas arising from those experiences and mythologies that bring those ideas together using symbolic associations. For too long the empirical sciences have assumed that we humans have direct sensory access to the nature of reality and have thereby confused their mythological ideas with 'facts' (objectivism or empiricentric bias). Quantum physics is beginning to challenge this misunderstanding but it has not significantly affected the outlook of the majority of people. So too has religion taken subtle metaphysical analogies and interpreted them as literal 'facts', and thereby abused them for political purposes (power struggle between competing paradigms).

I have written previously about the relationship between reality, experience and mythologies by which we conceptualise and communicate our experiences.

And I've also previously written about paradigm shifts and how they change the very basis of what is considered to be fact and what is "unsubstantiated belief".

Consider the analogy of some blind men feeling an elephant. Feeling the foot one says that it is a fact that an elephant is like a tree. Feeling the trunk another says that it is a fact that an elephant is like a snake. And so on.

In regards to "esoteric theory", I have previously discussed how that is founded upon "unsubstantiated belief" in the reality of the objects of consciousness. It is a transcendent science, which most empirical scientists do not comprehend. It belongs to a different paradigm and cannot be understood from a materialist paradigm.

In regards to the materialist paradigm I have also previously discussed how that is founded upon "unsubstantiated belief" in the reality of the objects of sensory experience. It is an empirical science.
In particular:

If spiritualists must stop talking about spirit then materialists must also stop talking about matter. An atom is a purely mythological entity - there is an underlying reality there, which conforms to certain outward mythologies in certain contexts but the true nature of that reality is far from understood. That is the basis of mythology; it is an imaginative groping towards truth. In one sense it is matter and in another sense it is spirit in motion, each perspective is equally true within its own paradigm.

As to whether it is a fact that an elephant is like a tree or a snake is a matter of who has the power to assert their perspective over other's perspectives. Early scientists had to break from the church's power to enshrine its 'facts' and any paradigm shift involves a power struggle to redefine the nature of 'fact'.

Empirical science has been trapped by its unquestioned use of myths as fact; this keeps it stuck in a particular paradigm and causes it to become the modern day dogma. For example, by clinging to its belief in objectivism and thereby excluding personal experience, when it is the case that all objectivist theories ultimately stem from our subjective experience of the so called "objective world".

> These are useful in science as long as they are not assumed
> to be absolute truth.

And that is the best way to negotiate a paradigm shift - i.e. to take a sceptical approach and take NOTHING as "absolute truth"; take everything as provisional perspectives on an underlying truth that cannot be directly grasped but only subjectively experienced and mythologised into symbolic representations.

If we are to coherently navigate our way through the next paradigm shift we need to be open to new ideas, and to not mindlessly cling to old ideas, but to question everything in the light of new understanding and to constantly keep questioning things. In this way we gradually refine our myths and bring them into closer alignment with the underlying reality. Otherwise they solidify into dogmas or comfortable cognitive habits.

In conclusion I say that it is valuable to try and substantiated one's comments as well as one can within the context of the paradigm within which one is speaking. For example, comments regarding physical theory can be substantiated within the context of the empirical sciences and comments regarding esoteric theory can be substantiated within the context of the transcendent sciences.

But not everything can be substantiated, this comment, for example will go unsubstantiated simply because it is tiresome to have to substantiate every single thing. Making a statement is an invitation to contemplate it and verify it for oneself, not to simply believe it. This can be difficult when people come from markedly different perspectives and that which is common knowledge to some is an obscure and unfamiliar concept to others. In such instances people should query things and comments should never be "assumed to be absolute truth".

We should take nothing as fact, to hold everything as provisional and to try to see things from multiple perspectives. If people cling to some past concept of what is fact then we remain trapped in old paradigms.