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Re: Cladistics (was Sci. Am. - present)



In a message dated 98-02-25 01:17:29 EST, ashapli@erols.com writes:

<< If it's possible to keep getting closer to that goal, even if you can never
reach it, it may end up being more worthwhile than an achievable goal, because
there is  no end to your benifit from it.  I don't think this is a "mystical"
viewpoint; seems  extremely concrete and practical to me.>>

You may in fact be deluding yourself into believing you are converging toward
the goal of Truth but really are not. How will you know that you are "coming
closer"? What measurement are you making of "closeness" to Truth, if you
cannot grasp Truth itself to take its measure? Why would you think that it is
worthwhile to pursue such a goal, anyway?

<<  I believe it's probably impossible to absolutely prove anything;>>

Then you lack an understanding of mathematics. What is "probably impossible"?

<< I also believe that pursuit of real knowledge is the most 
 worthwhile activity.  I see no contradiction in this.>>

What is "real knowledge," anyway? Why is it worthwhile to pursue it, if such a
thing exists? Who has it, if anybody?

<<  To a certain extent, it's the 
 search that's important, and ultimately what one is looking for is the most
likely 
 "truth" about something, rather than some absolute "truth".  If you can't
understand 
 this point of view, that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with either it
or your own 
 point of view.  It just means diferent people see things diferently. >>

This sounds like something parroted out of a philosophy textbook.

Yes, different people seem to see things differently. For example, some people
seem to think they are aliens from space who have come to earth to enlighten
us. At least, this is what they say. If they really believe this and aren't
simply con artists, then they are wrong. Even if they >are< con artists,
they're wrong.