Paradigm in Default
truths of the past were wrong. Not by being absolute, but by being no truths.
1. A characterization of the currently dominating paradigm
Let’s look for a number of cultural and socio-philosophical starting points, such as implicit assumptions and inclinations in various domains of thought, and reach for a possible concise greatest common denominator that amounts to a modern paradigm. First, some history about paradigms.
In his The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago, 1962) Thomas Kuhn advanced the idea that in all historical periods there is a (highly coherent) set of rather implicit starting points of thinking and action: a paradigm. It will be shared by almost everyone. For example, up to the Enlightenment the paradigm was that God was the Source of everything, and that the social order and its hierarchies were consequences of His will.
From the Renaissance on, and culminating in the Enlightenment, such theological paradigm got gradually undermined by what one may call “naïve rationalism”. This also amounted to the idea that everything in the world is defined by local causality such as demonstrated in the collision of billiard balls. It reached a climax in nineteenth-century physics.
Two developments in particular rather radically revised it in turn.
First, Romanticism, from about 1800 AD on, was a contrasting tendency. It emphasized emotions, the subjective and the intangible. Second, the revolution in physics of the first quarter of the 20th century put in doubt various “rationalistic” concepts such as strict causality, determinism and even the detailedly articulate objective nature of reality. Inter alia, in some microphysical experiments the outcome appeared to co-depend on how the observer prepared his instruments. More precisely, the new physics and Romanticism tended to substitute naïve rationalism by ideas as described under a) and b), respectively:
a) Positivism, maintaining that only observations (experiments) and formulas predicting their outcomes and coordinating them are relevant in science. Neither understandable models of “reality” nor even coherent explanations matter (much). Also, values should play no part in science and should be strictly separated from facts; they cannot be derived from the latter. Most micro-physicists think positivistically and hold that “detailed models of ‘reality’ only lead to paradoxes, and are also superfluous”. They feel much in the world to be fundamentally uncertain and “fuzzy”.
b) Current “sceptical” romanticism succeeded the more idealistic variant of the 19th century. It contrasts with rationalism by emphasizing the subjective, impressions, the spontaneous and the incidental (also as to emotions), and, further, because of its relativism.
These two modern attitudes have in common a rejection of more-than-local coherence: determinism, coherent models, any objective meaning of man’s life, society or the universe, and the idea of progress. Much in the world is subjectivized, relativized or “fuzzied”. Uncertainty, unmakability, and scepticism about “the truth” are correlates. Man-centeredness appears in two ways: positivistic emphasis on observations as opposed to coherent models, and in romanticism’s preponderant interest in subjective experience and freedom.
We can conclude that modern thinking is highly governed by a paradigm that succeeded naïve rationalism, and which is typified by the thesis: “Fundamental uncertainty, ‘fuzziness’ and the elusiveness of understandable models in microphysics, and relativity and subjectivity of values and of the idea of progress, make incoherence and chance basic features of life and the world”. We call it the Relativism-Uncertainty paradigm or RU.
It is closely associated with some more practical attitudes and phenomena:
1. The here and now get more weight; think of consumer mentality and short-term hedonism.
2. Modern incoherent art and subjectivistic, man-centered philosophy and literature (abstract paintings, incomprehensible poems, the “poly-interpretable”, existentialism, postmodernism,…).
3. Emphasizing freedom so much that duties and responsibility get less attention.
4. “Nurture” is more important than “nature” and every individual is fundamentally (genetically and morally) of the same value because quality is relativized and not in the genes.
5. Such egalitarianism is part and parcel of current solidarity ideology and political correctness that succeeded religion and nationalism.
In connection with point 5. realize that all solidarity ideologies have one important shared feature: our “rallying round what we have in common” (which will often be “the centre”, such as the government). Within this scope, nationalism has been called “an instrument to make the many exert themselves for the benefit of the few (that is, the establishment)”.
Note that solidarity ideologies imply our not (or less) criticising (important) social actors, that is, sectors of the establishment, which should be basically accepted as they are. Political correctness even extends such acceptance to problem groups and what others may feel to be moral and/or genetic rearguards. Solidarity ideologies actually imply that we should neither be whistle-blowers as to society as a whole. Here we see an aspect of current paradigm that will support the status quo: relativism => egalitarianism => solidarity => not being a whistle-blower on the highest level. Note, more fundamentally, that relativism already in the first place devalues any possible moral criticism of de facto power or situations! It has some relation with conformism: accept others, or situations, as they are.
In all, many have an interest in truth, good and evil to be like rubber rather than diamond.
2. A curious experience
Practically exclusively, any criticism as to my work concentrated on a mere few points, in spite of its broad scope and “exposing” attitude with respect to many social evils, ideologies and theories. For decades mainly four things were held against me:
1. My rationalism, which was criticised because it would erroneously contain the idea that reason is more dependable than anything else. Also, I would be wrong in holding that it does not start from any extra-rational presupposition;
2. My claim that rational argument is in a position to objectively define values, such as good and evil and, correspondingly, my general rejection of relativism;
3. My emphasizing the appearance of objective progress;
4. My claiming determinism and that the world is highly coherent, even on the macro or nonlocal level. [Remark: determinism has been demonstrated by me (see below), whereas more-than-local coherence is hitherto a hypothesis made plausible by various physical phenomena (see also below).]
The above criticism can be summarised as substantially referring to my refusal to accept both relativism and the partly “fuzzy” and uncertain nature of the universe, in addition to my surmising macro or nonlocal coherence, such as in evolution, progress and human destiny. That is, one criticises my not starting from current paradigm. This is deemed more important than everything else I wrote, about social theory, immigration, sexuality, art, power and major physical phenomena.
In actual fact, I partly demonstrated (see below) and partly hypothesized that the universe and man are not less objective, definite and coherent than reason and mathematics themselves, according to which they apparently function.
I conclude this Section by a number of remarks.
The ideas of 1. – 4. above are far from the essential content of my work, nor are most of them original. Among others, Voltaire roughly subscribed to most of them. But indeed they are – almost self-evident – preconditions for much innovative and critical thinking and producing explanations and theories about both physics and society. Then, the simplest explanation of the concentration by my opponents on 1. – 4. I can imagine is the following: One does not like my explanations and theories, but is not in a position to refute them by finding faults in my rational argument, and then reacts by undermining reason and rational argument in the first place (as to fundamental matters), i.e. by relativism, the fuzziness position and the incoherence thesis. Of course, my personal experience is only a specimen of what current paradigm is unconsciously attuned to more generally: emasculating reason so much in vital cases that one can no longer bring anything important from its place because of mere “scepticism and relativism”. (For further discussion on this matter see Sect. 4.)
Compare with the above “emasculation” prominent Dutch sociologist Anton Zijderveld (in an interview with NRC Hb., Nov. 28, 1982):
“… substantial thinking on the culture we live in is no longer done by sociologists, and consequently it is no longer concerned with anything. … It became a round game that may continue for centuries”.
Concurring with him is I.L. Horowitz in his well-known The Decomposition of Sociology (N.York, 1993).
3. Current paradigm can easily be refuted by rational argument
* In my Kennis zonder grenzen (BLIND! No 3, March 2005), and more extensively in The Scientifization of Culture (Assen, 1994), I discussed “the network of Galilei, Newton and Einstein” (GNE) as a strikingly coherent complex of facts, phenomena and their mutual relations. Observations, rational conclusions and mathematics are vital “components” of GNE. Mankind, or scientists, collective experience GNE to appear, just as the sun or the sea. There is nothing like fundamental presuppositions about it, merely “technical” hypotheses like whether the Ptolemaean or the Copernican system is the simplest and most coherent. We experience “natural laws” (coherences) to order the world to a considerable degree, and the observations and formulas are the same for our and Chinese scientists. If it is all a dream, well, then we experience it as a very coherent, “scientific”, one. Let’s stop talking about “presuppositions” while nobody can identify any dubious assumption that underlies the theorem of Pythagoras and its correspondence with the functioning of natural phenomena! The latter agree with (mutually tallying) observation and reason. Rare “paradoxes” as yet appeared to be short-lived or amount to a word play.
The above means that the integrated complex of rationalism and empiricism (reason and observation) has a sound basis, unchallenged by whatever competitor as to knowledge.
* Still, the foregoing does not demonstrate that the world is “non-accidental” to a larger degree than science could establish up to now. “As yet” the universe may be fuzzy and human destiny “a mess”, incoherent as a whole. Though ratio-empiricism does not presuppose anything, it may only define the world and its order as far as local causality does so. In view of the “uncertainties” of quantum mechanics, this also leaves more things to chance than 19th-century billiard-ball physics did, which, in turn, already highly “left to coincidence” many macro-processes such as evolution and human destiny. The uncertainty and observer-dependence of micro-physics are hitherto “unimpeded” by ratio-empiricism.
* In the professional Journals, I gave a number of physical demonstrations which are relevant here. Four among them in various ways prove that the world – rather than only consisting of a three-dimensional “now” – is realistically four-dimensional, the future “already” existing. (The four dimensions are length, width, height and time.) Four more proofs demonstrate that, in some physical experiments, retroactive influences cannot but appear: from the future to the present. This, in turn, implies the future to have influence and, therefore, to exist. Seven among the proofs are unchallenged, one has been contested only vaguely-philosophically. In page
Four-dimensional Reality and its Coherence – an outline of Rietdijk's theory on physics
you can find precise references and also relatively simple outlines of two among the demonstrations. (The outlines are discussed with figures 1 and 2.)
The relevant demonstrations, containing the existence of both past and future, imply everything to be completely defined. Inter alia, any uncertainty and indeterminism of quantum mechanics can no longer be fundamental. Moreover, filling in quantum-mechanical uncertainty margins may be performed by retroactive influences from the future. More generally, retroactive influences imply more coherence in nature to exist in the first place: more mutual influencing. (Cf. C.W. Rietdijk, Physics Essays Vol. 16, No. 1, 2003, p. 43.)
* The preceding point implies a second basic flaw of the paradigm under discussion, after ratio-empiricism appearing to be premise-free. That is, it now appears that, in spite of quantum-mechanical “uncertainty” and possible “fuzziness”, and in spite of “free will”, the future is defined to detail rather than being contingent, since it exists.
Still, the question of how much coherent the four-dimensionally realistic world may be is still open. Note, however, that the mere appearance of retroaction, jointly with such four-dimensionality, strongly suggests natural law to be four-dimensional too. This would introduce a new dimension of order in nature, transcending local causality. On the other hand, macro-chaos can be accommodated with an existing future too: it may be a rather incoherent future. Evolution and our lives may be chaotic, but they cannot be fundamentally uncertain: there is a blueprint of the future and the four-dimensional world at all. How much coherent (because of partially nonlocal four-dimensional laws) such evolution etc. may be is up to further research. [Physics, in the famous Paradox of Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen (EPR), already established the existence of nonlocal laws: two mutually distant particles sometimes instantaneously influence each other. Also note the relation of nonlocal coherence in laws and processes with the question of “intelligent design”. (See below.)]
* We now turn to the two core implications of our current paradigm that remain after the two items – presuppositions and determinism – discussed above: objective values and the (related) point of objective progress.
Regarding the former, we can start by concurring with relativism that about none among the values, “do’s” and “don’ts” of history can be grounded objectively, that is, be derived rationally. Compare “love your country”, “homosexuality and euthanasia are wrong”,…
However, it can rationally and objectively be defined what is undesirable (for you or for me). For example, that our children are killed, or we are tortured. This does not imply we always deem the same things (un)desirable. For example, if I buy your house, both of us know that I find the house more desirable and you prefer the price, and we can act accordingly. All of this is simply empirical facts. Now we can jointly optimize desirability by our “buying and selling houses” in the broadest sense, in addition to my feeling morally obliged to contribute to your “desirables” as far as mine are not harmed disproportionately. That is, rational ethic amounts to our jointly optimizing “desirables”: total happiness (with which unhappiness counts negatively). In all cases in which this cannot be rationally inferred or intuitively surmised ethics leaves us free: it cannot contribute to a decision then. The above indeed establishes an ethic that is only based on experience and reason. As all others are not, “ours” is demonstrably the best one. This invalidates moral relativism, as the “economics of happiness” is provably more desirable as a moral basis. For example, it prescribes that euthanasia is good in many cases. Our ethic comes about by experiencing and communicating our (individually different) desires and, subsequently, acting “economically”, that is, rationally. Nothing at all is objectively more desirable.
As regards moral relativism the problem can actually be “solved in a nutshell” by the following discourse (The Wall Street Journal, 25 July 1978):
Student:…Values are subjective.
Teacher: No, that’s not true. Some people’s values are better than others’.
Student: No, they’re subjective. No one can impose his values on somebody else.
Teacher:… I say values are not subjective and if you don’t agree with me I’ll flunk you.
Student: (gasp) What? What?… Are you crazy?
Teacher: No. I can do that. Why not?
Student: Well, (sputtering) because it’s not fair.
Teacher: “Fair”, “fair”, what do you mean “fair”? Don’t impose your values and sense of right and wrong on me.
Student: (Pause, and eventually) I see your point.
* The above ethic obviously implies that progress in principle amounts to a long-lasting increase of total happiness. Of course, it is another question whether such process actually appeared during, say, the past few centuries.
A rather decisive answer to this, in my opinion, has been given by Ruut Veenhoven in his Conditions of Happiness (thesis, Rotterdam, 1984). He found that, in many inquiries, respondents in the West and Southern Asia or Africa on average judged their own personal happiness should be marked by 7.5 and 4, respectively. Additionally, medical advance, decreased poverty, more human rights and a better position of women leave little doubt as to their effects on the well-being of the average individual. We can even surmise that the circumstance that many still express doubt as to the question whether happiness in the West is now generally superior to that in the times of witch-hunting betrays ideological prejudice, to be discussed in the next section. (As to moral progress also think of the Red Cross, the general disapproval of torture and cruel death penalties, the treatment of animals,…)
Finally, we can conclude that nothing remains of the currently dominating paradigm except one idea. That is, that on the nonlocal or “macro” level (evolution, human destiny, nonlocal effects in physics,…) things – though defined in the “four-dimensional blueprint” – may be “chaotic”, only locally being governed by ordering natural law. Actually, this question is not “paradigm-like” at all but is up to be decided on by further scientific research on the factual level. However, a few preliminary clues appear that somehow point in the direction of “nonlocally orchestrating” (coherence-enforcing) natural laws:
a) The earlier mentioned Paradox of Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen that shows some specific nonlocal coherence between two mutually distant particles;
b) A striking mutual attuning of various natural constants so as to make life possible;
c) Retroactive phenomena as indicated above.
4. If the RU paradigm is so unsound, why does it haunt on?
Moral relativism being refuted in Sect. 3, and the other tenets of the RU paradigm being either easily disprovable (“rationalism starts from premises”, indeterminism, the non-existence of progress), or scientifically speaking undecided (the macro-incoherence of the world), one asks oneself why such paradigm continues to dominate. The more so because the adherents of relativism are not even consistent: they will not relativize away the Holocaust by declaring it to be “a mere alternative moral option”. The relevant continuation is nothing less than a sociological enigma. Far from explaining it “mono-causally” we give a number of the paradigm’s psychosocial sources:
1) Present-day “descendants” of the anti-Enlightenment alliance of Church, nobility and convention of the 18th and 19th centuries still hate reason, rationalism and scientism. Then, relativism, uncertainty, the poly-interpretable and distrust of progress are more than welcome. For example, progress should be either impossible, or subjective or depend on religion or social ideology rather than reason.
2) Everybody loving troubled waters likes uncertainty, moral relativism and the poly-interpretability of reason. Think of politicians, ideologists and the corrupted. Actually, current paradigm accommodates to “the political way of being”: “running with all hares and hunting with all hounds”.
3) Rational values are a threat to ideological manipulation, e.g., into nationalism etc. They are very threatening to the dominating egalitarianism, because they find many people to be objectively inferior, morally and/or genetically.
4) Determinism is inconsistent with “free will” and suggests our being confronted with overwhelming forces of destiny.
5) Relativism, the “premises” idea, “fuzziness” and fundamental uncertainty constitute the ultimate trick leaving a way out with respect to any irrefutable argument or undeniable fact. They work better than censorship and jails. Relativism actually boils down to philosophising truth and righteousness out of existence. Then, power, vested interests and prejudice continue fundamentally unchallenged. Also, fuzziness and indeterminism prevent various “puzzles of reality” from being filled in to coherent models. We see this happen from physics to sociology.
Generally, it is very clear that truth and moral values are less dangerous if they are more relative, fuzzy, poly-interpretable, subjective, incoherent or “incidental”! That is, they are less dangerous as to undermining irrational power, myth, and ideology. Moreover, such truth and values, then, can hardly serve as a basis for a coherent and inspired alternative to the status quo.
6) In his Die Arbeit tun die Andern (Opladen, 1975) Helmut Schelsky explained: ideologists will distrust technology because it makes people less dependent on the supremacy of nature and, therefore, less inclined to seek refuge in ideological systems. Now we can radically extend his idea. That is, not merely ideologists but major parts of the establishment not only fear technology but – more broadly – everything tending to allow man to bring his destiny under rational and moral control, such as rationalism, rational values, detailed coherence and the idea of progress. This shows one more reason why RU is popular and why relativism and fuzziness are in great demand. Such paradigm not merely makes the individual more dependent on ideology but also on coincidence and “the group”. (Think of Riesman’s other-directed personality.) The relevant dependence and conformism will be welcome to many. If man lacks truth, objective values and a coherent reference frame as a mainstay, he will need the others and the “institutions” more. The very last thing irrational power and ideology want is the idea that happiness could be organised via reason and rational values (via systematic progress). Within this perspective, both evil and the problems of life should be “complicated”, subjective, relative, “fuzzy”,… rather than depending on objective factors such as information (science and technology) and genes. Evil, e.g., should also be “incidental” and incoherent (no “conspiracy theories”!). All of this makes people more powerless against it.
Within this scope compare that our cultural establishment not merely does not cease emphasizing life to be unmakable, but appears to be not in the least sorry about such human powerlessness! That speaks volumes. Life and its problems are continuously purported not to depend mainly on clear and scientifically and morally identifiable factors such as ignorance and concrete social or other evils.
7) Point 6) can also be considered from the point of view of anxiety. In all history, anxiety has been a primary instrument of power and manipulation. Violence, hell, poverty, sickness and the earlier mentioned supremacy of nature and the authorities in general produced much of it. In recent history, most of its causes diminished and, therewith, the manipulability and conformity of the individual.
It would have been rational if former absolute and dogmatic value systems and other certainties (Church, King, tradition) would have been substituted by a truly enlightened mainstay: rational thinking and values. On the contrary, we now see current paradigm dominate. Apart from its being correct or not, its social function to a great extent is substituting the old-time anxieties (violence, the supremacy of nature,…) by new (less radical) ones reflecting the basic uncertainties and intangibles implied by the paradigm. For, as we saw, it does not even offer the consolation of the former certainties. Accordingly, people still want to belong to as a “defence mechanism”; to belong to “the group”, the right social setting or club(s). And one will still hesitate to violate taboos or having unpopular ideas at all (such as criticising the paradigm or the “correctness” of the day). Anxiety can only be rather intense, as we see how few people actually do so. Our hypothesis now is that current RU paradigm – leaving life, our values and our destinies to uncertainty and incoherence – is co-responsible to a considerable degree.
8) It is not only the establishment that does not like the status quo to be subject to irrefutable arguments and objective moral obligations, but also many among the rank and file take refuge in myth, illusion and ideology. Hence many nationalists, egalitarians and “politically correct” people prefer the paradigm to rationalism and objective values. To a great extent, freedom to create or choose their own world and values is dear to them.
The above points make it clear why so many people get uneasy when my work evidently violates every aspect of the paradigm that underlies a major complex in both science and attitudes towards life and the world, and defends much which cannot be defended by reason or rational ethic. Accordingly, the rest of such work is deemed less relevant. It is sensed that, once one engages into a rational discussion of the explanations, theories, social abuses etc. I advance or discuss, this would result in defeat. Therefore, the all-important line of defence has to be the paradigm. (Not merely with respect to me, but as to all rationalistic and “over-simplifying” authors.) If you cannot win by reason, well, then relativize reason in the first place. Otherwise, you will be confronted with unwelcome conclusions. Conclusions about (the causes of) social evils, about the (moral level of the) establishment, about hidden interests behind ideologies, about causes and profiteers of Zijderveld’s “round game” and about many other at first sight inexplicable phenomena. Phenomena from incoherent art to why veto groups are not democratically “overruled” and everybody keeps mum about this.
In actual fact, in essence current paradigm is not less attuned to the interests of dominating groups than the one we saw in the Middle Ages, when the paradigm about everything being caused or willed by God was very pleasant to those who liked the social order.
5. Current paradigm as an ideological prejudice should be substituted by hypotheses as far as we need them
As we saw in Sect. 1, the RU paradigm stems from sources in both the alpha and the beta sector (Romanticism and microphysics). It is man-centered rather than focussing on a coherent model of the world (such as the GNE network does). That is, both the subjectivistic nature of Romanticism and positivism’s putting first and foremost measurements by observers (rather than coherent models) are man-centered. Note here that all of this amounts to a moderate variant of postmodernism, relativism being the core link.
On the other hand realize in this context that Bohr’s conjecture stating that in quantum mechanics measured object and measuring instrument (and the observer himself?) constitute “a whole” is neither incompatible with the RU paradigm nor with the idea of a completely defined four-dimensional model of the universe. For object, instrument and observer could all coherently contribute to such a model. Bohr’s idea is simply a scientific hypothesis, to be verified by further research.
Apart from its being logically untenable, the demise of RU can also be expected to result from human consciousness and the “subjective” in themselves becoming normal objects of science, fitting in the rest of natural phenomena, so that man loses his “special status” in reality.
Within the above scope remind that a core difference between the spirit of my work and that of RU is that the latter starts from natural law leaving many micro and macro phenomena (and outcomes) to incoherence (only “meso” phenomena being wholly determined by causality, such as a falling stone), whereas “my” model hypothetically surmises or makes plausible many more things to be precisely defined by laws and logic, outcomes and moral values included.
Also, if we do no longer believe in religion, dogmatic values and myth, we should look for more rational laws and arguments that substantiate and legitimate order and values, on pain of our being confronted with much nihilism and degradation, as we indeed see around us. (For example, think of increased crime, addiction and short-term hedonism.) The main obstacle for such substitution probably is that RU, just as the old “absolutes”, is very useful to many vested interests in its highly frustrating substantial rational and moral argument, in ways discussed in the foregoing. It is also useful to them in not leaving the individual any mainstay but “the others”, thus pushing conformism. (Note that at the same time true friendship is undermined by RU: friends can no longer call on a common basis of irrefutably positive values and emotions, which makes their relation more noncommittal.)
It is also worthwhile to consider a number of practical developments that contribute(d) to the domination of RU:
1. Disillusion with respect to the old absolutes and “great myths”;
2. The flood of mutually incoherent experiences and information encountered by the average individual in modern life;
3. Democratization that partly led to egalitarianism which actually amounts to that merit and qualities discriminating one individual from the other are no longer deemed very relevant after all, which means relativism;
4. “Relationism” and the network society: man will play many roles in many relations at the same time, which tends to relativize his values and purposes. In this context think again of Riesman’s other-directed personality, who is very “political” and “fuzzy”.
The foregoing suffices to elucidate sources and social effects of the RU paradigm, and its simply being wrong from a scientific point of view as to moral relativism, indeterminism, the question of “premises” and the subjectivity of truth. (Also think of the realistic blueprint of four-dimensional reality.) Further note that one more characteristic of it, i.e., its positing “chaos” as to many micro and macro phenomena such as evolution and human destiny, cannot be decided by paradigms but only by sober scientific research. Indeed the “chaotists” are in a strong position, though EPR, the coherence of various natural constants and other manifestations of nonlocality in physics (such as retroaction) cause a different standpoint to be far from untenable. Realize here that any newly discovered physical law or influence tends to increase the coherence of reality if, such as retroaction, it does more than merely “adding some decimals” to what we already knew.
The above results in the conclusion that we do not need any paradigm in the first place, but only an optimum extension of the network of GNE. That is, we only need finding facts and relations between facts, even apart from the question whether life is a (coherent) dream or not. A priori’s play no part. Moreover, RU implies an anti-scientific tendency in devaluing both truth and values, leaving more latitude for myth, the subjective, troubled waters and ideology such as nationalism and political correctness. Confront this with ratio-empiricism that can no longer be relativized or “fuzzied” away in its tendency to expand and “articulate” the GNE network ever more, to an unknown ultimate extent.
I feel it to benefit the dynamics of science and the inspiration of its practitioners (and of all of us) if we substitute the RU paradigm by a merely hypothetical virtual opposite:
“The universe and its coherence, as to observable phenomena, as to values (purposes) inherent to it, as to its future evolution, and as to the role in it of my existence, are much more fascinating and awe-inspiring than we can see up to now”. Newly discovered laws (such as nonlocal and retroactive ones) increase the world’s coherence and order and, therewith, at least its potential of being beautiful and impressive, and also of implementing deep moral principles.
Actually, however, we need neither paradigms nor hypotheses on these fundamental points in order to carry on practicing science. But some hypotheses are more inspiring than others.
Note that our hypothesis, also embodying that the laws of nature are considerably more coherent and mutually attuned than we hitherto assume, is somehow related to the idea of “intelligent design” (ID), which embodies that a “coordinating hand” guides evolution. In our picture, such guidance is in many laws operating coherently, in line with the mutual attuning of various natural constants we already referred to. Such picture contains the “intelligence” and the “design” to be in the mathematical and, possibly, moral concept underlying nature and its laws.
Conclusion: We summarise much if we say that RU – its relativism, “fuzzy-mindedness”, etcetera – has a socio-cultural function in “smoothing” interactions among myriad different groups, interests, educational levels, religions, values and attitudes to life. In modern society it supports “multiculturalism” in a much more general sense than the usual limited one. It is a more moderate and abstract, but broader, variant of political correctness.
But it has a price in the way it not seldom functions at the cost of truth and the morally good, one of its specific drawbacks being that it does not take seriously various social abuses and special interests that ideologically manipulate people contrary to the common good. In the foregoing we saw the price is high. And, moreover, men of science should never acquiesce in truth not being taken deadly seriously.
As with most (all?) paradigms, the main source of RU is the establishment’s preference. In our case it is the latter’s bias towards “unity” and “solidarity” (round status-quo forces as the centre), which highly means that all major interest groups, and also individuals, roughly “take each other as they are”. This, however, borders on conformism because fundamental criticism of what is prominent is virtually “not done”. (Also think of veto groups.)
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