THE “KARL JASPERS FORUM” UPDATE 36 (Oct. 27, 2007) Case scrutiny of William Byers, David Hodgson, Paul Roberts, and Ulrich Mohrhoff--also the link to the “Existenz-Paideia” Karl Jaspers Applied Webpage
Note: This possibly final frequent UPDATE 36 amounts to an “I told you so!” to Herbert Müller regarding his “Karl Jaspers Forum” blog. Herbert wrote the “e” word “(evolution)” parenthetically in such a manner that it could suggest there is something in and about the word that needs critical evaluation. There was swift reaction by the more frequent contributors, and some new ones that unbelievably emerged out of the cosmos. Regardless of how much design was involved, the accentuations substantiated the idea that a psychoanalytical method, scrutiny, might reveal something—reveals that, in Herbert’s words, upbringing and authority has a deterministic role in faith.
It unleashed reverberations the likes of which prevents the intellectual-level of thinking pertinent to a Karl Jaspers’ domain such as can be found in the current 2007 fall “Existenz” articles < www.bu.edu/paideia >. It has been left up to me in reaction to play the confrontational role. The resulting ostracizing is understood, and respected only because it results in all the more independence.
Below, and continued in today’s posted Karl Jaspers Applied “Existenz” Webpage, an attempt will be made to understand the causal connections behind the resounding reverberations. Though “I told you so” assumes to cover only the coincidental and un-intentional consequences of Herbert’s word, it does not mean the element of design, the determining of slant and goal, has escaped detection. One would have to be a domesticated blind dove to be oblivious to the subjectively designed factors exhibited by infiltrators crashing a Karl Jaspers domain.
Title: Real cases display a dysfunctional scientific attitude
1. The Byers, Schleifer, Paul Roberts’ ultimatum to revere “e” or else
1. The Byers, Schleifer, Paul Roberts’ ultimatum to revere “e” or else —Or else Karl Jaspers’ works will be held captive. William Byers and Paul Roberts’ ultimatum is found in the last paragraph (where ultimatums are manifested in various degrees of diction) of their current postings (assigned date Oct. 20 2007) on Herbert’s Forum. The ultimatum involves the need to impose universally a reverence for the “e” word’s foreordination that limits the value of the role of psycho-socio-culturo-religio-ramifications and dynamics. Michael Schleifer’s ultimatum is found in the last paragraph of his TA98C1 (assigned posted date is Sept. 29 2007). It is that paragraph’s warnings about a heretical paper tiger (my name) he has designated “ID” (his phrase is “intelligent design”—but “e” and “c” epistemologically begs the question and will be avoided in my Website as much as possible without kissing super-glue--to seal lips). William’s less obvious militancy is found in his last paragraph where he claims to be sensitive to the “e” issue but he is participating in a mission to force those with broader perspectives to profane the historical context (embroidery is mine but the mission is William’s).
2. Paul as medical missionary to those with “vaunted consciousness”--Though William has the where-with-all not to, he participates in Michael’s aggressiveness, an unscientific attitude that emboldened Paul’s adamant reliance on reductionism in the quantitative aspect of what he considers science—reductionism is expanded on in my “Existenz” Webpage (posted today) where Jaspers’ scientific attitude is compared to the qualitative overviews of Goethe, W. Humboldt, and Portmann. Any contribution in the name of Karl Jaspers that does not mention or propagate the “e” faith gets a truculent reaction from Paul whose “e” ontologism is now embellished with words about antibiotic-resistant organisms—those only “e” collared higher-complex biologists are alleged to be qualified to see. These are hubris-biologists who are saviors for those judged to have “vaunted consciousness” who dare to not salute the salute at “e” biologists. His current concern for the suffering caused by diseases (like aids) is at least secondary to his “e” ontologism, a concern at least Paul is now expressing on Herbert’s blog.
3. Andemicael and Patlavskiy get “F” for “E” minus in Paul’s book -- Because Paul only emerges urgently when the “e” word is mentioned, it seems like an attempt to justify Universities’ (funded) “e biology” positions via a façade of primary concern about disease. If arguing from “e” phylogenesis as such is pointed out as less necessary from the humanistic end of science, “sorge” is reverted to for embroidering the ontologism. Paul is overlooking the ethical category in his “concern” about antibiotic resistant diseases, but theologically he uses Adhanom Andemicael and Serge Patlavskiy’s comments to say they are not atheistic enough (not even granted tip-toe-finger-nail clinging to a deistic faith) for they fail the oral-profane-test and get a grade of “E-minus” (minus regarding being militant enough regarding uttering the word)—an “F” in Paul’s book. This Oregon University emeritus biologist is right about one thing and that is one cannot be a Paul-type “e” believer and still belief in God.
4. A pathetic case elucidates this situation—It’s no wonder Jaspers is avoided. This aggression leaves the therapist uneasy and that’s one of the clues of a pathological state. William’s position is that a mathematical authority has to be decimally and quantum certain that organ origin is primary to origin thinking. This is what he means by “organs evolve” and “ideas evolve” therefore all must be made to use the word and forget the greater historical context. In this he shares Chardin’s idea that “the evolution of Dogma…evolves as a man does…the Church changes…[as] an organism” and his commitment is fulfilled by this “evolution of Dogma” for he could “envisage no finer end than to sacrifice oneself for a conviction” and I can add, a sacrifice made possible through the (his words): “accidental and ephemeral lapses” of his Church. “It would be a biological blunder for me to leave the religious current of Catholicism”. What a pathos-dependence on the magic of mutation! What upbringing! (Heart of Matter, 115ff)
5. “Pierre” Teilhard De Chardin in context, Ulrich Mohrhoff--To grasp this historical context one has to be attuned to such thinking as that done by “Pierre” Teilhard De Chardin, the point-man and “father” of the Church of Evolution, i.e., his Church. He tried innocently enough to resolve the emotionalism manifested in outbursts regarding the “e” word though he merely played with the word “transformism”. But he took too shallow a view of it forgetting, like a good Catholic, the institutional inherent trend toward inquisitional imposition of dogma. Appropriating this understanding is preparatory to the Goethe-Humboldt-Portmann and moreover Jaspers scientific traditional attitude. Ulrich Mohrhoff in C6 TA 97 uses French to support dramatically his “e” argument, his raison d’etre, his French linguistic inflation “of the drama of evolution” (<4>). It’s comparable to Herbert Muller’s excessive use of Latin in his exchange with the “judge” David Hodgson (it took a Latin professor to translate it before the meaning could be deciphered and then the meaning escapes except the inherited cultural aspect of it).
6. The Byers-Chaitin ingratiating book polishing—Beyond the last paragraph’s “e” promotion, another paragraph stands-out . The argument presented goes like this: I am one original thinker and there is another one, Gregory Chaitin, more popular than I. The second argument goes like this: William and Gregory are communicating and promoting each other’s books and therefore they must be worthwhile. This sort of backslapping is certainly not atypical with authors, but some are subtler. It is anything but random but it is outstanding and hard to not notice. However, nothing whatsoever is original especially when two stand in such ingratiating agreement. The third is argument by circular augmentation ( R1 TA98): “Chaitin knows what he is talking about…” and “since my book came out I have been in contact and we agree on various questions…” and moreover “I am grateful…[for his] very enthusiastic review of my book for the British magazine, ‘New Scientist’…” William then includes the publication date for verification and the reader’s edification, something not needed for I have no reason to doubt his word here. It is obvious that Herbert’s blog, flying the banner of Karl Jaspers, is being used to promote the two authors, and coincidentally their books.
7. Byers’ admitted “evolution” minefield extends beyond US—To avoid further postponing any relief from Herbert’s blog’s circularity of thinking, relief is here to be found on the my “existenz” Webpage posted today. But first, note that William in  agrees with Michael Schleifer that using the word, i.e., talking up “evolution” is a “mine field especially in the U.S…” William and Michael desire to confine protesting to what can be clearly attacked and reduced to phenomena interpreted through Michael’s lack of will toward understanding “fundamentalism” and what permeates the “creation vs. evolution” scene. William shows his Aristotelian preference over his misunderstanding of Plato through the Neo-Platonism of Augustine in his final paragraph . There is no Plato fixed Platonic heaven, according to William, as though Plato in reality thought so, and William makes quick and easy light of an idea that Plato never had. On the “Existenz” Webpage it will be shown that the “e” issue is very much alive in the occidental protestant spirit and ethic though talking openly about it by academia is now anathematized—in a way that is as it ought to be.
8. A Jaspers and Humboldt comparison that limits Hodgson’s scientific method—
9. Jaspers Law and/or medical “science”--Whereas David’s law-vocation was also one initially entertained and prepared for by Jaspers, it was necessity and circumstance that played roles in Jaspers’ decision to change to that of medical “science” (See Kirkbright’s Chapter 2, Young Scientist in “Navigations in Truth”). I place that “science” in quotes because the meaning as used by David, in the Response, is unclear compared to its meaning when associated with Jaspers, the scientist, as made clearer because of his choice to change from law to medicine—though law is a scientific endeavor or ought to be second to none, and none second to law. Jaspers’ “science” was also manifested in his expertise regarding forensic medicine. In medicine Jaspers learned the virtues of visual observation but also the less obvious but no less real learning about how the minutest forms of life might come into being in the ontogenetic sense. He is obviously referring to the limits of knowledge surrounding human generation and following though not to the point of putting caps on research but removing them. The visual phenomena at large and small never become conclusive philosophically and only in some gestalt sense holistic and metaphysical enough to keep hypothesis germinated. His scientific attitude includes the intuitive.
10. Note how David falls victim to the hypnotic effect of using the abbreviation “MIR”, Short for Herbert’s no mind-independent reality—here meaning something like what Jaspers meant when he said that it was doubtful that Heidegger understands what he means by the phenomenological method. Herbert does not understand his “MIR”, i.e., not to the point where it can be made clear while tolerating an ontological “e” (“evolution”) epistemic approach to phenomena of both quantity and quality. Compared with Jaspers, David, as Heidegger, may not understand what he means by “the scientific method” as manifested through his easy appropriating of a formula, for “the” scientific method becomes stable enough to be imposed as a universal formula. There is absoluteness in David’s talk about “the” scientific method, as though there is an absolute reality holding researchers spellbound (Reply to my critics, 793)—and thereby displaying a public posture of uncritical enlightenment (PFR 50). One wearing “the” scientific method robe can hardly have judgments questioned without some warnings about being in contempt.
11. The actuality of the scientific attitude vs. the conclusiveness of “the” scientific method”--The conclusiveness of a monomaniacal affirmation on origin can be clarified by comparing Jaspers’ scientific methods with “the” scientific method. David speaks of the scientific method in arguing for reality beyond that which is thinkable. His reasons are: First, it is phenomenological in that complex reality cannot be reduced to object, i.e., objectively in some subjective sense. His second reason is surprisingly shallow, if not monomaniacal. He says humankinds’ commonality has an origin that has to emerge out of physical structures, and the conclusiveness of which is sanctified by the liturgically uttered “e” word. It smacks like a return to and beyond the womb of origin, a yearning with subsequent thinking comparable to Jaspers forensic work in homesickness and criminality, i.e., I would carelessly put it: homesickness and senseless epistemological behavior. David’s third apology for the already “e” objectified reality is what every good Catholic would fain agree, i.e., that individual life begins at conception and birth. It is a radical time-consciousness factor, an empirical fact amidst many infinite chemical and nuclear physic’s facts. No individual has retained consciousness of the event, nor communicated the occurrence, due to incapacity for infinite recall. Ontogenesis picks up the process somewhere in the middle of the ocean of being. His argument limits consciousness and delimits the limits of biology. One can agree with the ontogenesis aspect but in disagreeing with the use of babies and suffering to support “e”; if one disagrees in greater depth it makes one appear in opposition to life. His fourth reason Herbert will find epistemologically inverted: the wrong end is always handed to Herbert while Herbert’s wrench is designed to fit minds first and never brains alone. For David brains determine consciousness and the awareness of consciousness (whereas in determined-fact consciousness is being used in touching more than brain-localized interchanges). Both Herbert and David are overlooking the impossibility of being in the world without humankind consciousness already prevalent and inconceivable in terms of origin. Consciousness and its psyche when activated cannot claim ultimate cause regardless of ones’ willingness, urge, or yearning for origin.
12. “The” scientific attitude--So the limits of a scientific method given a “the” status is always plagued by the constancy of the emerging will as it flounders, resigned to the limits of nuclear physics and chemistry. The will, against freedom itself, renounces what transcends the corporeal; the will opposes intellectual honesty regarding limits, for the honesty demands the attitude that there is no “the” scientific method but there is greater potential truth in the scientific attitude. The scientific attitude participates more in philosophy and theology than in a liturgically sung “holy science”. There is needed just enough renunciation of science’s absolutizing potential to leave room for “conversion or rebirth in thinking” (Jaspers, Reply 794). To preserve that remedial constant quality, that attitude, Jaspers uses the word philosophy.
13. Jaspers’ attitude, restraining and renouncing harmful conduct--For Jaspers it is not the scientific method that is universal, but rather scientific methods that proceed from the scientific approach, i.e., the scientific state of minds’ attitude that is parsimonious and transparent enough to be recognized via that distinctive quality that makes for humankind amidst morphological diversity. Difference is sometimes obviated by physical and mental harm done to self and others (such as conduct that contributes to antibiotic resistant organism). That approach and its universal appeal in view of modern science is that while understanding the ever expanding frontier it reveals “there is no knowledge without knowing its limitations; there is no certainty without uncertainty; the scope and premises of every method are seen, and it is understood that this sort of honest cognition” depends on “restraint and renunciation only and will never reach the whole of Being” (50 PR). “The” scientific method should not become an ontologically given fixed method, or verbalizations about a “thou” method that amounts to an excuse for easy judgments that take on a public display of “uncritical ‘enlightenment’” (PFR, 50).
14. David assumes Herbert an expert on Jaspers--David begins his Response with a nod toward net-ethics, that is, he begins with the one paragraph where Herbert mentions the name of Jaspers. By beginning with this reference to Jaspers, the pertinence to Jaspers is assumed established. In other words, David’s first quotation from Herbert’s Comment includes the name of Jaspers, so one cannot cite David’s posting of Sept. 29, 2007 for not mentioning the name of Jaspers. Herbert’s frequent excuse for using Jaspers is the word “encompassing” but Jaspers uses it in the biblical and traditional sense, i.e., not excluding theistic faith. So, now thinking about the relevance of the relevancy issue, David here shifts the responsibility back to Herbert and then proceeds on the assumption that Herbert is an expert on Jaspers. I had made the same mistake too when initially contributing to Herbert’s blog.