Thursday, February 18, 2010


Quotable: "facts of science are not enough"

... when Logic congeals into all-encompassing and perfect-seeming theories, then it can actually become a very evil con trick. Wittgenstein has a point, you see: "All the facts of science are not enough to understand the world's meaning."

Source: Character of Bertrand Russell in Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth by Apostolos Doxiadis, Christos H. Papadimitriou, Alecos Papadatos, and Annie Di Donna (New York: Bloomsbury, 2009) p. 296.

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meaning? what meaning? that statement assumes that the world HAS some "meaning".
Yes, Wittgenstein did assume the world had meaning. He wrote, "The meaning of life, i.e. the meaning of the world, we can call God."
So... some hypothetical invisible sky wizard is the "meaning" of the world? Um.. yes, that would indeed be outside the realm of scientific fact.
What evidence do you have that Wittgenstein understood God as an "invisible sky wizard". I'm guesing none. In my experience, the "invisible sky wizard" is the phantasm of religious fundamentalists and their mirror image--the atheistic fundamentalist. The vanguard of this latter group is currently comprised of profoundly ignorant people such as Hitchens, Dawkins, and Harris. I've read their work and can say on those grounds that they are sadly ignorant of all but the narrowest, retrograde ideas of religion and theology.
I find the term amusing, for reasons of my own. However... to make an analogy.. if the purpose of the world is that which purportedly created it, then the purpose of a book, for instance, is the author?
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