The tale of a Confessional Skeptic
We are at a stage where a succinct definition of reality can’t be made but let me put it clear that the aim of this article isn’t to take an advantage of this situation or to complexify it. It is appropriate to proceed with the tone of a skeptic; skeptic because he is aware of the immediate limitation of his ‘Baloney Detection Kit’. I personally feel it comfortable when things sound obvious that it grants humor in the sense of sounding right. But I am constantly repercussive of the fact that he, though it is odd, had figured out a way about how to unlimit his kit intelligently -by evolving under the paradigm of scientific methodology. Needless to say, he is a positivist, libertarian to change based on the logical, rational formalism of thought following the synthesis of the information. Does he look contradictory to himself? Should he not change given that he is himself? Such quandary is the case with reality.
Whether we turn to mathematical arguments and try scrutinize the existence of imaginary numbers critically or to palpable examples from conjectural theories like paranormal, quantum sentience or some over smart assumptions of religious texts, the idea of reality is diffuse from a skeptic standpoint. These are rather extreme examples so, let us come up with the modest one by bringing in, the quantum perspective.
A reality is claimed when an observer is aware of the consequence driven by the collapse of the wave-function of the state ‘he was an alien to’ to distinct, measurable outcome, a state ‘he is judgmental’. The words ‘observer’ and ‘aware’ are critical here, in a sense that these would make the moon disappear irrespective of its mass and gravity. The implication doesn’t end here; it goes on to galvanize the whole of science. Risking science, simply for the sake of individual importance (of observing entity, specifically) is abhorrent. The early 20th century physicists being driven by the same impressions, ultimately came up with a rhetoric Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics which proved to be intelligent by ignoring the whole problem. The Copenhagen Interpretation (CI) asserts that the act of observation affects our measurement. In order to perform such an act, we need a measuring apparatus but CI doesn’t specify what that measuring apparatus would be like, making a room for any macroscopic system to be dealt as an apparatus (thus avoiding any quantum jargons and meanwhile, eliminating the measurement problem).
Obliteration of the problem is appreciable, the only skepticism is whether one can apply such tricks in overwhelmingly critical situation. There were many criticisms of this rhetoricity but the critics couldn’t come up with a rebuttal except the obvious ‘it doesn’t sound right’. One has to admit that a severe problem with science is its inability to accept true claims unless they are positively routed by evidences. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidences but they could be limited since, extraordinary evidences, as a matter of fact, are rare accounting to the paradigm shift that is usually required. Now, even after almost a century, for rationalists and skeptic, who seek to know the whole set of things rather than important ones and for whom doubt and curiosity are inherent qualities, this marks one of the most frustrating days in the history of science and reason; leaving the case unresolved yet.
The first reason as to why the interpretation is frustrating is because it posited a false impression that certain problem can be solved by completely ignoring it. This tendency influenced many dimensions of human knowledge and endeavor and halted any epistemological progress that could have been achieved, given skepticism and rationalism, to their fullest degree, were operational.
Second, this encouraged a trend in social and humanistic domains, to only consider certain elements as having more weight and leaving behind a horde of elements that could have some considerable importance and deserve attention. As for example, humanistic ideals of our time are concerned not on dissents in sex as a biological state, to the extent as they do for homosexuality -although these variants are primarily rooted in the gene-pool of an individual in more or less the same way. Often, the human Eupraxsophy is more into pragmatism rather than any supreme search for knowledge on how to lead a decent human life, which could otherwise have been a humanistic motto.
Third, the devaluation of the observer and the subsequent impression that the reality exists irrespective of anything as an absolute entity is convincing since it demystifies the glory of consciousness but on the ground of recent insight under the scheme of model dependent realism, it falls off ferociously and becomes inconsistent of its own. If science allows a reality to be defined differently, still preserving the notion of absolutism, then one doesn’t see any distinction between logic and absurdity. In that way, science wouldn’t be what it is expected to be and would no longer serve for the purpose intended.
If we try to analyze the reasons through rational inquiry, behind why science is undergoing through such cases of utter nonsense, we fall off back to where we started and we become the prey of our own reasons. Is this because we are presuming our scientific saturation too early? Could the solution to this paradox be ignoring this question or to stop reading this article?
Rationalists don’t sound good as much as they used to because they have nothing new and interesting to render. At this stage, plain skeptic like me are boring and our issues like this one, resemble a form of frustration and indignation. These are expected to, at least, hint the optimal solution through possible reasons within the framework of science. But it would be unwise and way too early, given the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before us. Nevertheless, the safest position to stand would be that of a skeptic – who casts doubts upon what we already know and holds curiosity to march forward in the human endeavor of knowledge and reason. The delusions we face while talking about reality are inherent because the web of interconnectedness is complex and the phenomenology is so diverse that it dismantles the topic of interest, in a purely intrinsic way. Thus, this conundrum should not be taken too seriously.