A New Morality from Science. Beyondism by Arnold P. Goldstein (Eds.)

By Arnold P. Goldstein (Eds.)

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4] A n instance with a little more appeal than others has been offered by William James, 30 Three G a t e w a y s to the Understanding of Life w h o a w o k e from sleep with the tremendous revelation ringing in his head: H o g a m u s , higamous; M e n are polygamous. Higamous, hogamous; W o m e n monogamous ! A t best it can be said of the experience that it created a form somewhat different from the limerick! [5] Examples of conviction from emotional intuition (which w e should distinguish from emotional truth in the other, empirical sense above) are as numerous and incoherent as sand grains in the desert.

There is no logical way of crossing the obstacle of Solipsism; and it must surely be set aside, ultimately, by probability, and the privileged position reasoning has always given to the simplest explanation. After absolute Solipsism, w e meet the objection which Hume developed that w e can never "know" the external world directly: that our sensations are different from what causes them. This does not bother the scientist, who is happy to manipulate the external world by a model of well-fitting referents or symbols.

A s far as social crisis is concerned, the "developed" countries are, at the moment, seemingly more comfortably remote from pestilence, world wars, and famine than at any time in history. But the rising tide of crime and addiction to drugs represents a new and strange threat, the limits of which, in our ignorance, w e cannot predict. And as to moral uncertainty, intellectuals can rightly say it is a sign of educational maturity to be able deliberately to question tradition and to tolerate uncertainty long enough to investigate and re-evaluate.

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