Consilience/ Chapter 11/ Ethics and Religion.
To really get into the debate, into the controversy of it all, why not discuss ethics and religion. Wilson decides to do this by posing two distinctive ideologies, that of the empiricst and the transcendentalist. Wilson's approach is much more scientific, in all aspects, and not much philosophical at all. For this matter, much of what he says seems like affirmations, backed up with a logical process of his own, ironaclly the fact is he cannot prove anything yet; more on this subject is seen on Fire in the Equations.
To the right lies a schema we made together with Katarina Hall, and Mabe Fratti (only the two of us were prepared for a meaningful dialogue). It resembles the main ideas behind empiricism and transcendentalism, at least the main ideas posed by Wilson in his book. As I looked back at my notes I found this...
"It is not a matter of "choosing" authority, this is of no discussion. Authority is an irredeemable crave of ours. The distinction lies on the representation of this authority, some choose it to be ourselves (empiricists), others give such responsibility to a deity (transcendentalists), but we know we err, and are imperfect. Why should we then, trust ourselves?"
The chart explains itself. Wilson attributes empiricists the advantage of scientific evidence, in a way, were the subjective experiences of the mind may be explained along with epigenetic rules as hereditary biases of mental development, were the evolution of religion became nothing more than an inevitable instinct. On the other hand, transcendentalist are in a sense comformed with the idea of a God. They are fond to dismiss absolute truth as humanly attainable, and credited solely to a God, or an outside external influence if you may. Nonetheless, what strikes me the most interest incorporation of this chapter, is the way Wilson presents these arguments; He first defends the Transcendentalist argument, by giving concise explanations, only to later refute them on behalf of the empiricists, were he himself stands. It is no wonder why the empiricists defense is a much wider one. All in all, none can be affirmatively correct, not science nor God, and this we will soon see to be so on the book by Kitty Ferguson entitled "Fire in the Equations".