It seems as if debates on this form are most contentious between those who approach the same mysteries from completely different points of
origination. I know that I find myself shaking my head when confronted with those who've come to the profound conclusion that there are no
conclusions, and have come upon this incredibly significant revelation as a result of purposefully vacating all efforts to come upon any revelation
whatsoever. My approach could not be more different than the "open up and let the truth reveal itself" method that is promoted by many of the more
active posters in this forum, and as a result, how can I ever be expected to embrace what such a method allows one to assert as being objective
reality. Especially if that assertion involved the dismissal of objectivity as being an invention of the human mind's need for objectivity within a
belligerently subjective reality (or lack thereof).
When one considers the holistic nature of what's generally discussed on this forum, is it any wonder that there is such rigidity in views here. After
all, if a person can so easily replace a whole perspective (everything that meets the senses as a full suite of reality) then what does that say about
the nature of that person's hold on any reality at all? Even if that exchange involves months or years of intense mental and psychological
reconfiguration, the fact that a reconfiguration of reality perception has been introduced will always be a fact within the contextual slurry that
defines that person. That kind of profound schism will always be central to the character of that person.
I've begun to suspect that there are at least two unique groups that meet here and toss thought and assertion around for consideration. Of course,
I'm not including the salesmen and acolytes who aggressively haunt this http, since it eventually becomes obvious what their reasons for being here
are (and there's nothing wrong with soliciting to a willingly gathered market, so don't misunderstand my statement concerning those who do not come
here to learn).
The two groups who come here to learn and/or verify what they've learned - as far as I see it - are philosophers and
Philosophers are those who enjoy playing with supposition and engaging in "imagine if" scenarios. And there's nothing wrong with that. Hell, it's
certainly better than fighting over politics or social engineering. That said, it does suggest a lack of disciplined effort to ground such speculation
within the obvious parameters of proven reality. In fact, what often happens is that such casual speculation is presented as serious academics -
sometimes complete with misunderstood published reference links - causing some legitimate discussions to devolve into a valueless wash of competitive
sophistry. Maybe that's okay if what's desired is just another place for wasting time during a boring day at work, but I have to wonder if that's
the point of this forum.
Then there are the metaphysicists, of which most here seem to generally associate themselves with. (Of course, I've already acknowledged that there
are acolytes and adherents to extremely specific disciplines that regularly post here, and they know who they are) So, what is a metaphysicist, and
how do they differ from philosophers? Here's a definition of the prefix meta
that I found, and in the application as a prefix in the word
metaphysics, I think it suggests the extremely broad nature of the metaphysicist's focus, and implies some of the requirements that such an
individual places of any assertions presented within a given discussion.
A prefix meaning one level of description higher. If X is some concept then meta-X is data about, or processes operating on, X.
For example, a metasyntax is syntax for specifying syntax, metalanguage is a language used to discuss language, meta-data is data about data, and
meta-reasoning is reasoning about reasoning.
As the prefix suggests, the metaphysicist is very limited in what he/she can embrace as possible, since any premise must be workable within all
plausible (meaning interrelated and consistently applicable) conditions and environs, at least conceptually (meaning within scalable reason, given the
specifics involved). A good example is the claim that the anomalous nature of some indications presented by quantum mechanics suggests that all
physics (even the physics that has proven itself again and again to be extremely stable and reliable) is, in fact, without uniform structure. Such a
claim disintegrates the reality that there is a consistent and reliable "real" that has been the foundation of all that has physically progressed
from the particle to the particle supercollider machine, and to the intellect that has successfully engineered a way to precisely manipulate all that
progressive development to serve its own end. In short, the metaphysicist can't dismiss the obvious in the same manner that the philosopher can. And
not due to any other reason but the fact that the metaphysicist has that extremely high-level view of reality that he/she has been blessed/cursed
So, I guess it'd be a good thing if a person could take a moment and get to know where they line up in this sense of what they bring to the table
here. Especially if one insists that each of us can have their own truth. Philosophers can have their own truth, but metaphysicists can't. And
that's really the difference between the two. And neither can legitimately fault the other for how it is that reality touches their senses. The truth
is that the philosopher's contribution is his/her imagination, and the metaphysicist's contribution is his/her willingness to examine that
imagination and see if anything can be learned from it about what is real and potentially actionable. Good partners as long as each knows where the
other is coming from, but they'll never agree if they try to unite in common perspective.
So, are you a philosopher or a metaphisicist?
Me, I'm a metaphysicist.