Categories
Sol

Sol, Chapter 3: The Urge

I’ve been out of shelter my whole life, but tonight I can feel it especially. Right up in my broken chest. The externally induced visions of the future I’ve experienced during the oppression of our sun have forced my awareness in the present under heavy stones. The alley I awoke in earlier was one of many in this megacity where faces are absent from for weeks. Earth is filled with the dead.

The machines keep ground-level sterile of any substance harmful to electronics. Although the abundance of ultradeadly human viruses are a product of them. The groundlevel survivors know how to avoid such things, but those people are few and far between. The salt-head cannibals roam the alley sections in packs where the drones fly seldom. My small weapon of choice is an old adamantium flat head screwdriver. Yet I’d rather use my hands. I need the ancient tool for the salt-heads in order to forgo impurities on my skin. The electromagnetic pulse from my palms passes through any sort of material, inflaming the electronics in its path.

Belief is not my provider, rather, protons destroying one another in my clutch give me this power. This source instills a sort of weakness in me, and it is also my strength. This way is practiced by none other than myself, on this planet at least. War is no longer unholy here on Earth for there are no more women nor children to have their lives unjustly and horrifically taken from them. The selfish ones have accomplished that, the capitalists have driven the lower-class underground.

The fiends dash around the corner to my left, but I could smell them long before I sensed anything else. In the matter of microseconds my metal slid through ear drums and into brains wasted by drugs. The drugs made by ECG which offered salvation at first to low-class people by making them hallucinate and think they are themselves corporations. The delusions devolve into a terrible blackness where there are no human traits left. They are called salt-heads for a reason. The flakes of filth shed constantly.

To be a corporation on Earth is looked on as the highest state of being. I am here to change that. The salt-heads are the corp people’s lowest form of defense, even lower than the machine drones which are cheaply mass produced by other machines. No, the salt-heads are even better for the selfish ones because the cannibals were once humans who paid to become corporate minions- although unknowingly. That is why I have no remorse shoving metal into a former female’s torso. I hold the others at bay with electricity, and I think of the oath I swore not to harm flesh by my provider. I make an exception when the innocent are in danger but not for myself. Using tools to off mindless cannibals is not glorious and it will not become an injustice in the eyes of my morality in that well on Titan many years from now. And so I immobilize the half dozen rotting creatures at my back, shutting down their nervous systems instantly.

It’s not long before the humming machines sense movement out in the open alley intersection. The generic drones are cumbersome, running off of inefficient Oil 2 Cells powering the rocket cylinders under the square shells that make up their ugly frames. An explosion shakes the fragmented concrete beneath my bare feet. The mechanical swarm approaches. The salt-heads scatter into the sewers and gutters. A burst of plasma emanates from my being and the swarm is rendered confused, they shoot their missiles at nothing in particular. Entire city blocks which were already facing decay become an obliterated waste. The miscalculating machines destroyed half of the swarm themselves.

I scream two syllables which have not been uttered on Earth for generations.

FREEDOM

Liberty from the waste. Choice has decimated passivity. My blue lips are hidden from our burning sun by my own blood and synthetic oil from above. I have chosen. My time has come to die. Death is more silent than space on this planet.

Inexplicable in material terms, the purple like aegis envelopes my physical structure. I can be nothing if I want to, and just like that, I vanish. Heaps of already rotten flesh and charred skeletons of machines are strewn about where I once was. The corporations say that heaven dissipated ages ago, yet they never deny the existence of hell. It would be foolish to deny such since hell is their domain. The Necros taught my provider through ancient knowledge; the kind of intrinsic wisdom that lies somewhere in biological constructs is not mere conjecture. Souls may not exist in this plane, this realm is devoid of most niceties unfortunately, yet there is a garden in our hearts. Some may call this bed of flowers an urge, a kind of feeling. Not all people have this, but the many that do may serve as proof that our universe is not doomed. To hell with predestination, liberty is humanity’s collective soul, freedom is the last hope for intelligent beings, without it, all sentient life will become inconsequential. The communes must prevail.

Categories
Non Fiction

Materialism and Ignorance

Materialists conclude that nothing exists except for matter, hence, they assert that consciousness is wholly due to material functions within the brain, and they object to the “duality” of body and mind propounded by Descartes and theologians before him as completely fictitious.  This is the very purpose of eliminative materialism as philosopher Paul Churchland’s answer to reductive materialism, because the latter, according to Churchland, relies on human “folk psychology”.  Folk psychology is just another way of saying that human knowledge of how our mind works has been based upon misconceptions and limitations in human experience (just as humans used to mistake natural phenomenon for the wrath of God) which Churchland explains by listing mistaken scientific discoveries in the Enlightenment that have been debunked in the modern age.  Thomas Nagel on the other hand, points to the subjectiveness of consciousness as the point in which materialists are missing; Nagel does not attack materialism nor defend duality in any way.
Although eliminative materialism takes into account human ignorance in regards to how the mind works in terms of past and present knowledge, it does not take into account the future.  There are theoretical physicists who have proposed and scientists who have been pushing the boundaries in discovering new forms of non-matter (such as dark matter, anti-matter, and dark energy) that can completely revolutionize what we know about ourselves and the universe (or universes) around us.  Materialism, when seen in this new light, will certainly become (in a few hundred years, or sooner perhaps) as ignorant as folk psychology seems to materialists now.
Eliminative materialism has a sole purpose in reinventing human conceptions of thought process from mistaken but widely accepted terms, such as, behavior, and applying abstract thoughts in the mind to physical experiences in the brain.  Reductive materialism did not go far enough in explanation for Churchland because it applied the same concepts in psychology to physical processes. As a neuroscientist, Churchland knew that there were inconsistencies with reducing thought to physical processing in human brains through accepted concepts about the mind, so he proposes that people throw away all pre-conceived notions about the mind in order to explain it as a direct result of matter and its movements.
Churchland’s first argument in his dissertation on eliminative materialism involves applying the logic in reductive materialism to situations like witchcraft. If reductive materialism was used, then one would simply place another cause behind witchcraft instead of satanic possession; his point being that a completely new framework is needed to explain the phenomenon (which would be psychoses).  His second argument in support of eliminative materialism is seemingly wise, but ultimately contradictory because he questions our past understandings about the self but does not sufficiently apply it to his own theory or the present.  This leads him to discuss probabilities, in which he is right when whittling down the possibility of reductive materialism but still does not apply the concept of probabilities thoroughly to his own.  The probability of the existence of anything other than matter affecting the human mind is completely left out of the question. This is because Churchland assumes that any argument for the non-material would involve the mind or soul, products of folk psychology, which he already thought he disproved using inductive reasoning.  Yet Churchland’s arguments are lacking anyway because he focuses on the philosophy behind neuroscience while excluding other factors from human consciousness, which is the main concern regarding human perception of the self.
Thomas Nagel agrees that physicalists have misconceptions when it comes to human consciousness because they focus on the brain and overlook subjective experience in itself.  Nagel uses the bat to explain a being with processes completely different from ours, in that the animal senses the world around it through sonar, a sense unknowable to human beings. This is meant to demonstrate the subjectivity of experience, which in turn points to the unique individuality of consciousness.  Perhaps one day technology will break the boundaries of this limitation. Nagel acknowledges that materialists could be right in physicalism, but he asserts that the physical does not explain consciousness in and of itself.  Nagel essentially argues that materialism is not wrong because it correlates behavior and consciousness in one sense, but that it does not get the whole picture surrounding consciousness, and completely ignores subjectivity altogether.  However, he does not claim that there is something else affecting the mind or how one perceives the world around them other than the physical processes that materialists espouse.
In reality, the probability that materialists are right is not as strong as Churchland and his supporters would lead one to believe.  Churchland attempts to leave open his eliminative materialist theory to human discoveries about the physical world in the future, but this completely leaves out the probability that there will be scientifically explainable phenomenon discovered in the mind that have nothing to do with matter. The existence of the non-material is not mere conjecture, nor is it theoretical nonsense that could not be applied to our material world in actuality.  The probability question deserves the weight of ongoing experiments such as the large hadron collider, which put theoretical physics into action on a sub-atomic level here on Earth. Yet when the idea that something like dark energy can directly affect the universe is brought up, one usually does not delve into the aspects of the human mind.  Since non-matter does not take up space and does not abide by the limitations of matter, it is possible that dark energy, or other forces, can affect the mind and how one perceives the world around them.  Dualism is not what is in question here, but rather, the idea that forces materialist would assume were spiritual in nature and in fact, non-existent, could be explained through non-material things.  Churchland has fault in both his limitations and expectations.  Three hundred years from now, his theories and their basis will be as antiquated as Enlightenment ideas are in philosophy now.  The argument here is that since non-material forces are already being applied theoretically to the universe, why shouldn’t they be applied to consciousness, behavior, and perception?  The probability that humans know even less than what they think about the world around them is definitely higher than what physicalists embrace so assuredly.