Science and its scientists must make conscious their a priori preconscious metaphysical presuppositions, value assumptions and beliefs underlying modern scientific ideology and methodology. These “idols of the tribe” become the “false absolutes” of science that belie the interdependence of subject and object, experimenter and experiment. Scientific study and research into subjective aspects of mind and consciousness is thereby precluded. For example, the view that the whole of reality is objective and physical, or that it is subjective and spiritual, is a judgment of value, not a scientific fact. These unproven and unprovable metaphysical assumptions and beliefs are the totems or mana of scientism, the cult of modern and postmodern scientific materialism that permeates the view of the physical and social sciences, humanities and our global mass culture. This quite unscientific protoreligion is largely responsible for our catastrophic reduction of subjective spirit to mere objective consumable matter. We may now summarize these unexamined exclusionist biases, assumptions and beliefs.
- The Principle of Physicalism (Material Realism): An essentially pre-given separate and independently existing, exclusively physical spacetime reality exists as the basis of all appearing phenomena, a priori, independent of observation or experiment by any sentient observer (the “myth of the given”).
- The Principle of Objectivism: This purely physical reality is ultimately knowable to separate human observers via objective, quantitative scientific observation, experiment and mathematical analysis (although objective proof has remained unfindable for 400 years). Reality is ultimately objective. The mind’s subjective personal and transpersonal phenomena are not proper study for objective science (the “taboo of subjectivity”)
- The Principle of Material Substance Monism: There is no reality other than, or transcendent to this objective physical reality, and no truth or truths discoverable or existant beyond the view of this objectivist material realist “scientific method.”
- The Principle of Reductionism: All subjective experience—private, first person, mental, emotional and spiritual events—can be reduced to their objective, purely physical electrochemical neural correlates. Mind, experience, behavior, God are nothing more or less than an “emergent property,” an epiphenomenon or “artifact” of physical brain and its physical-chemical processes. Causality is always “upward” from physical to mental. “Downward causality,” mental to physical is ideologically precluded.
- The Principle of Local Universal Causal Determinism: All events are determined by their local, purely physical causes. If we knew all the initial causal conditions, then we could predict or determine with complete certainty all of the effects (objects/events) in the universe.
- The Closure Principle: This purely physical realm of all existence is “causally closed” to any non-physical causal explanation. The validity of any causal explanation beyond the purely physical dimension is implicitly or explicitly denied.
- The Principle of Universalism: The preceding principles are the only correct explanations as to the nature of reality, its discovery, prediction, explanation and interpretation. No other views or methodologies can lead to truth. All differing views are in error.
(Thanks to Werner Heisenberg, Neils Bohr, Willis Harmon, Alan Wallace, Ken Wilber, David Finkelstein, Adi Da Samraj, Richard Tarnas, Owen Barfield, Amit Goswami and the many astute critics of Scientific Materialism.)