We're all doing and thinking our own things. Everybody has their perspective. You ask 10 people what they think is the ultimate reality and you might
get 10 different answers, if there's no orthodoxy. Yet many people do follow orthodox beliefs, so people tend to answer similarly.
This is why science is praised. It's trying to find the common shared reality, so eliminating any subjective error. While most scientists think
parapsychology or mysticism or anything tied to the supernatural isn't science because it cannot be empirically tested, there're still some people out
there who feel it should be. I think some people in this thread probably think it should be. But I ask, is it true it cannot be empirically tested?
(NOTE: If it can't be empirically tested, it cannot be confirmed to be shared reality, so it's considered subjective and unscientific.)
Is finding a common shared reality important? Well, if you believe any of the science, it has to be. If you can know the shared reality then it can
bolster your survival, since you share it. In order to survive, we need XYZ. It's conservation of energy and various forces and properties
interacting. Science tries to get an accurate understanding of these things.
What about survival in the hereafter or the supernatural places? What if we die and God condemns us to hell just like in the bible? Or maybe God
erases us from existence because of our actions in life? Again, if these things cannot be empirically tested then they're not part of science. If we
cannot know the bible and God are part of shared reality then it's not really any better than the crazy rantings from a madman.
Isn't it survival that matters? Whether it be living fully or not being condemned to hell (or non-existence) or avoiding painful punishments? I guess
survival is trying to reduce negative or unwanted outcomes.
What if there's no unwanted outcomes or negative outcomes? If there's no fear or sense of danger or dislike or aversion or revulsion? Then survival
would not matter, would it? Maybe then the subjective and the shared realities would mix fully and become a big blur.
So I'm arguing pain and fear and all of the negatives make us seek out shared, empirical truths. It doesn't mean we will, but we're likely to.
Subjective truths are blurry and unreliable to reduce suffering.
Like a car coming to a sharp turn at night in the rainfall, I swerve to stay on the road... What I just said contradicts the fact 90% of people
believe in God. Numerous studies show people who have a belief are (generally) more secure and happier. They're more likely to think there's justice.
Psychiatric symptoms are also less
So subjective truths seem to help us even if they're not empirical.
(*) - I fudged the facts on some things. Belief and desire for meaning seem to stem from threats. When we're threatened, we tend to grab for something
which creates meaning and hold onto it. This is why secular people will
believe in science more strongly
and believers in god
be more devout
if they're primed with death anxiety. If what
they believe engenders in them purpose and meaning then somehow it helps.
This is why recent research shows when you shut off the part of the brain dealing with threat, belief falls along with it:
Directing Magnetic Energy Into The Brain Can Reduce Belief In God, Prejudice Toward Immigrants...
SO it seems subjective truth (sometimes) helps us to respond to threats in a productive manner. Surprisingly (or not?), religion is/was a good thing.
Maybe it helps us make sense when sense is scarce.
So uncertainty increases, and religion reduces, ERN. It looks like a feedback mechanism to keep levels of ERN under control by reducing the level
of ambiguity and uncertainty in the world (by ‘explaining away’ mysteries) – at the cost (perhaps) of failing to pick up on real, but obscure
edit on 10/19/2015 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)