Imagination is an important quality of being human.
Regular readers may be aware that my blog often asks deep questions, and attempts to answer them. Occasionally I get readers who have pondered on what I write, then adds comment that is equally deep and thoughtful. One such reader is the blogger Danny Williams, one of the first of the followers of my blog. I was dissatisfied with my response to Danny Williams on the question of time, so this blog post is the result.
Most scientists delight in dismissing the theistic claims of God and intelligent design in evolution; yet the same scientists claim time exists as either a dimension or force, upon which they build theories about how the universe works. Philosophers follow upon the tracks of scientists by pointless debates around time travel, whilst story tellers entertain with the exploits of heros travelling through time. The irony of the scientists belief in time as they dismiss intelligent design in evolution is funny. Time is an illusion, it is a measure of change. Humanity is gifted with a sense memory, thus they can remember a past image of a person, compare that memory to the person in front of them, note the change, and call that change time. Because of human belief in time, humanity is trapped in the illusion of time. I pointed this out in a few blog posts, where Danny Williams offered comment as follows:
“However, if time is intangible and can therefore be argued that it doesn’t exist, do you hold the same argument for all other intangible things? … love and hate; happiness and sadness? These things are intangible, but we know they exist because we experience them.”
As an empiricist I hold that a thing is true if it is observable or demonstrable. I know time is an illusion out there, but in the human mind we have a sense of time. This is where I hit a block, for emotion exists in me, I observe it, but I am wary about its influence on truth. Emotion is a property of animals, the rest of the universe is unlikely to have emotion. Emotion is the result of hormones, chemicals in our body, for instance adrenaline gives us a feeling of anxiety, oxytocin results in loving emotions. Animals are chemical junkies, for instance the rat that will keep pressing a button until death by exhaustion just so it can enjoy a rush of pleasure. Human addictions to drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling are all results of chemical addiction in the brain.
Take the example of the recent victory of President Obama in the US Presidential 2012 election. The result of this election exists out there as a cold hard truth, in reality it lacks emotion. Enter one Republican voter and one Democrat voter, the Democrat experiences the emotion of joy and the Republican the emotion of grief to the result. One result, but two different conflicting emotions to the same result. Even emotions won’t share a common ground for the same external event or result, it is a property of an individual brain. Here is a problem of objective and subjective reality based on the same object, result or event. In objective reality the presidential result is a cold hard fact, in subjective reality the presidential result has been added to, tainted by subjective emotion, that is variable from person to person.
Emotion and time are subjective, but they are not truth, they corrupt truth. I am however unable to dismiss these subjective “intangibles” as Danny Williams calls them, for they exist, albeit in the animal brain only, but then how do I deal with these intangibles in my constant quest to see the true nature of the universe?
Enter another blogger I follow called thedarkclear, who said:
“a) Life is largely imagination. Imagination is the difference between life and existence. Expressing the same in a less desirable manner: fantasy is fundamental to life.”
An irritation I have with humanity is that it taints truth with subjective bias, then call it truth. The Democrat calls President Obama a blessing, some Republicans refer to Obama as a curse, yet both claim their bias to be the truth. Imagination is behind this bias. In scientific demonstration constantly the brain cares nothing for truth, it gains sensory input and fills in the blanks with its imagination. The brain default is to create a reality by filling in blanks, filtering out input, or dismissing input altogether. Humanity has been gifted with imagination, but it is notorious for corrupting the objective truth of what is really out there.
Some scientists are awake to the corrupting influence of imagination on truth, thus they make the error of dismissing it altogether. Imagination is another name for creativity, which together with strife and renewal is the third great kinetic force in the universe. Imagination makes people human, without it our chances of survival diminish substantially as we are reduced to dogmatic cold robots, unable to adapt to the chaotic motion of the universe.
Imagination is for survival, but bad for truth
Imagination cares nothing for truth, it is interested only in survival. Imagination cares nothing for the objective truth of the nature of a snake, only if it is edible or if it will harm the beholder. For all of organic life, their bodies and activity is loaded to three key aims of living, growing and reproducing. Objective truth is low on the agenda, survival is what matters. Imagination assists in survival, but it is a lousy tool for objective truth, thus one whilst accepting imagination as an important aspect of being human, must be aware of the fact that it corrupts objective reality with its own bias based on survival and need. Time and emotion are the children of imagination, but in objective reality they are illusions.