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Orlando Hawkins


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Is it time for philosophy to do away with metaphysics?

I love philosophy but one of the main issues that I hear about it is that its impractical and serves no suitable purpose to the world. Although I believe this claim to be somewhat false I understand the point that is being made from those who criticize it.

Philosophy is capable of being pragmatic but the reason why it appears as though its not is because it deals too much with the abstract and concerns itself with metaphysics. If you want a real brain teaser metaphysical talk is the way to go but metaphysics really serves no purpose to the world. For a family who constantly have to work to feed their children and provide an education, contemplating the nature of reality or postulating weather or not consciousness exists outside the brain is probably not going to help the situation. One of my professors say that if we sit in meditation, we’ll understand the true harmonious nature and interconnectedness of the universe. We will understand how to act in each moment (similar to what Taoist believe). He may be right but we often forget that its a privilege to be able to do so. Nor are these concerns on everyone’s mind.

The philosophy department at my school is great but it is too indulged in metaphysics. From an epistomological standpoint this is problematic because most of the claims that are made is either in conflict with the way the natural world really is (scientific discoveries) and they are essentially not able to be proved which means we should not waste our time with such claims. When it comes to epistemology, I think this is where philosophy could utilize the methodology of science.

I"m a philosopher at heart but it concerns me that philosophy would lose it value if it cannot indulge in more empiricism and naturalism when making claims about the way the world is.

are we so concerned with value to the point that we'll negate truth? is science capable of establishing values?


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  • May 14 2013: There have been occasions when contacts have been shown to be fraudulent, but that does not mean that they all are, just as the existence of dud cheques is not taken as "proof" that all cheques are faked.

    There are many investigations of out-of-body experiences occurring during surgery that have not been shown ot be imaginary, and investigators of such phenomena, such as Dr Pim van Lommel, and Dr Jeffrey Long, who tried to prove them to be mere hallucinations have instead become convinced of their reality and are now well respected proponents of that idea, having published solid research in support. You can find them on Google or Youtube. Where, or whose, is the research that you refer to? Sceptics, such as Shermer, repeatedly show themselves to be unfamiliar with most of the research data, but very familiar with their own dogma.

    For one example (out of many) of evidence for metaphysical ideas, you could watch the video at http://www.youtube.com/v/hfVUZAgfUXE (it runs for about an hour).

    I can find many different forms of evidence for the reality of the afterlife and none to show that the idea is false. I can find a lot of scorn heaped on the idea, by dogmatic deniers, but no actual evidence against it.

    Metaphysics is based on such evidence, whereas those who claim to be science-based are often surprised, when they really check it out, to find that the idea of the material-only universe is more of a philosophical, and often dogmatic, construct than an evidence-based viewpoint.

    As I have indicated in previous posts, therefore, it would be premature now to throw out evidence-based metaphysics and replace it with mere scientific-sounding speculation based purely on a lack of scientific evidence.

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