Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
My concern is the popularization of metaphysical discussion. For example, there's a movie "What the Bleep Do We Know?" which makes some interesting points, but to do so it takes a mangled and simplified version of quantum mechanics and applies it to daily life.

It seems to me that the way to look at it is that the universe is a lot more complicated than we have noticed, and that it's likely that physics will advance as much in the next 100 years as it has in the last 103 (to include 1905 in the range) years. But such advances have nothing to do with religion or metaphysics, but with experimental evidence and hard math problems.

by asdf on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 07:31:40 PM EST
Well put. Metaphysics is essentially irrelevant to modern concerns and developments. Indeed this is true across all times and places. Whether or not the Platonic Forms exist, I still have to eat, work, procreate, and deal successfully with other people. Even if it turns out that we are all really 'One', I am presented with exactly the same problems of social reality (including, nastily enough for the truth of us being 'one', the requirements to act at least occasionally as an individual with distinct interests). It doesn't matter what the metaphysics of the age say: we are presented with our particular material and social circumstances which we have to deal with. Ancient China had very different metaphysics, much more interesting and touchy-feely for us Westerners bored with our own stale version (and that includes me), but it was still a hierarchical society based on the exploitation of the peasantry, and it would have sucked to live there, metaphysics notwitstanding. And modern affluent Chinese now behave very much like ideal Western consumers, again metaphysics notwithstanding. Indeed they will enthusiastically help us destroy the Earth ... regardless of an entirely different provenance of metaphysics.

The faulty ideas that do concern us, that do actual damage, lie not in metaphysics but in other realms (principally the 'science' of economics). Even if our allegedly faulty Western metaphysics is entirely replaced in short order, the ideas that cause the damage will remain in place because they are serviceable for those who make the money.

by wing26 on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 12:12:56 AM EST
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"Metaphysics is essentially irrelevant to modern concerns and developments. Indeed this is true across all times and places."

Wow, someone actually believes that.  Then uses the lowest common denominator effect of the herd mentality of various civilizations to justify the belief.  When in effect, they simply illustrate what happens when individuals without connection to "higher order realities" go about amassing the daily bread, at any expense.

That makes me totally irrelevant, for which i am grateful, as it allows me to work hidden from the herd.  I'm sure the all-powerful Church is very grateful to the Alchemists and other hidden metaphysicians, for creating an undercurrent of thought which eventually led to the diminishment of that power.

There wouldn't have been such a cataclysmic upheaval of society in the sixties without the coming together of various powerful new threads of thought, and which included as one thread the metaphysical.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 02:46:50 AM EST
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