Reality, Consciousness, and UFOs?
The (current) New Yorker [9/5/16] has an article/review [What Makes You So Sure? Page 71 ff.] by Adam Kirsh about modern philosophy, Mr. Kirsh offering his thoughts on Anthony Gottlieb’s new book, The Dream of Enlightenment [Liveright].
(Mr. Kirsh directs the M.A. program in Jewish Studies at Columbia.)
The connection to UFOs stems, as I see it, derives from what reality is and what creates or is consciousness.
The article is a précis of philosophical thought which many of you would find interesting and enlightening.
Kirsh writes, “When scientists ask how people think or how the universe was created, they are addressing the same questions posed by philosophy hundreds or even thousands of years ago.” [Page 72]
Mr. Gottlieb, a journalist, not an academic, argues that the philosophy of ancient Athens [4th and 5th centuries B.C.] and that of Western Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries A.D. are the philosophies that matter to us, and goes on to enumerate why.
In discussing the changes in society that affected mankind (the discovery of America, the Reformation, and astronomy’s discoveries), Kirsh writes (from Gottlieb’s ideas?) that “Even the discovery of alien life in the universe wouldn’t [be as startling as such changes as] the existence of America or electricity was to Europeans.” [ibid]
(I disagree, but he has a point.)
He goes on to write “Perhaps if it were somehow confirmed that, as some thinkers speculate, our universe is actually a simulation run on a computer by an unfathomably advanced intelligent civilization, we would feel an analogous sense of confusion and possibility” [that Europeans felt in the discovery of America or electricity]. [ibid]
The article/review encapsulates all the main philosophical arguments: the existence of God, what is consciousness, what’s the difference(s) between mind and matter (if any), et cetera.
The piece is a kind of Cliff Notes on philosophy.
But what captured me is the reference to alien life and our reality being a possible computer simulation, ideas that are appearing more and more in scientific and literary circles.
Also, there seem to be a leaning toward the idea that a super intelligence may lie at the heart of reality, with science and writers loath to use the word God for such an intelligence.
Yet, the perceptible inclination I’m seeing in TV shows about UFOs and space and in science writings is the idea that there may be a God after all, not the Christian, Jewish, or Islamic God (who is “dead” for practical reasons and to rational types) but an ineffable God, such as that of the Kabbalists.
Anyway, seek the article online at NewYorker.com and edify yourselves, for once.