Originally Posted by Dragoon En Regalia
Reality, as according to scientific models and mathematica, is a construct designed to make the world more palatable for Western society. In the backwaters and third-worlds here on Earth, anyway, people still operate from a perspective that fully-recognizes illusion and subjectivity as the core of their lives. And, in those places, the mortality of concepts, ideas, and symbolic exchange between life and death is something of importance.
Baudrillard was a genius. And I'm only a master thinker (though that's fine too).
I'm not familiar with Baudrillard, but I am with Foucault and Deleuze. My gut reaction is to say that our exchange (at least from my end) will be too reductionist/simplistic to argue in any meaningful manner. That being said, I have immediate disagreement with your precis of his philosophy. I absolutely concede those differences exist between Western and non-Western societies, but to say they exist to make the world more palatable is nonsense. Yes, they are inexorably Western, yet are more in line with any meaningful interpretation of reality ever to exist. Science and math are unquestionably the best tools ever invented to understand the world around us - and nothing else comes close. The symbolic and interpersonal experience is vitally important, of course, but it will always play second fiddle.
Originally Posted by Bombadil
We have to believe things. And when we say we're being objective, it just means were adhering to a standardized set of beliefs that a large number of people have agreed upon - which is what history and science and politics and religion is. A collection of largely agreed upon ideas that become perspectives for others to adopt at their choosing (or not at their choosing).
And even though I'd like to believe that everything I said in this post is true, I cannot. It's just something I believe based on who I have added up to be at the moment, based on a whole lot of factors that I had no control over and some that I believe I had control over but perhaps never did.
No, I agree -- and that was my point earlier in this thread about the differences between truth and Truth. "Objectivity" doesn't exist, but there are concepts and methodologies that are functionally objective, as they are relatively more objective than others. And, again, science is one of those methodologies. When you start getting into pseudo-scientific and pseudo-philosophical arguments about the "observer being unable to observe the observer being observed" the entire point is lost. We accept these axioms because to consistently question the underlying root of reality nullifies progress. Adhering to materialism (monism; whatever derivative you most like) doesn't mean one cannot concede the limits of epistemology and science, it just means one's objections contribute nothing meaningful. In other words, you are absolutely right, but I'm going to go ahead and continue placing confidence in peer-reviewed scientific findings in all relevant fields; and continue to use objective and science as synonymous.