The key to humanities freedom lies in its religious and sexual paradigms. Religion, as a social control mechanism, has sought to limit mans sexual freedom. The stigma associated with sexual promiscuity permeates every level of our society. I believe that in time people will demand freedom in the sexual and spiritual aspects of their lives. In order for this to occur a paradigm must be established that emphasizes wholism. Without this wholistic thought conflict can still exist and dogmatic religion is needed to band all the individuals into a splintered and confused mass.
Within our current Newtonian paradigm, material realism, true wholistic thought is impossible. The scientific rules of strong objectivity, the notion that objects are independent from the mind and determinism prevent it. Strong objectivity was established when Descartes divided the world in to the objective and subjective spheres. This was done mostly as a compromise with the then all-powerful church, which would rule in matters of the subjective mind while science enjoyed freedom in the world of “reality”. Determinism is easiest under stood through analogy.
Think of the universe as a bunch of billiard balls in a three dimensional pool table called space. If one were to know all the forces acting on these balls at any time it would be possible to extrapolate all future or past positions. This creates determinism and determinism destroys free will. The best example of this phenomenon in society would be the partisan political system and foreign policy. Sociologists and the public in general, see themselves and each other as one of these pool balls being kicked around. In this environment neither self-worth nor confidence is cultivated.
These traits are vital in a society that increasingly asks its population to work unsupervised and off of the job site. In 1665 Isaac Newton drafted the theories which set us on the course that led to the materialism dominating our culture. The philosophy of materialism matches the paradigm of classical physics, material realism. Since this revolution our vision has been a mechanistic one. This vision was formed as a direct result of the changes in philosophical and political knowledge that came to light in the mid seventeenth century.
The power and simplicity of Newton’s three laws of motion and the success of scientific empirical method caused nearly every influential thinker of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to use them as a model. Sociology was no exception to this. Auguste Comte, creator of sociology, first called his new science social physics. Comte delved even deeper into physical scientific terminology when looking for ways to describe the inner workings of social science hence the terms social statics and social dynamics.
By subscribing to this worldview of classical physics we give our offspring and ourselves a life full of separation and conflict. Mechanism creates an abyss between humanity and the physical world. There has been no place made for consciousness except as a secondary unintended phenomenon…a galactic mistake. It creates a world of conflict and corruption in which everyone looks out for only their own or at bests their immediate families best interests. What then can be done to fix this fragmented state we now find ourselves in? I believe that once again we should base our sociological views on scientific findings.
Quantum theory has been in use for over eighty years and is the most successful scientific theory ever postulated. Quantum Mechanics have given us lasers and superconductive materials. It can also restore our place in the world as decision-makers and writers of life rather than passive players. This is accomplished by placing the function of consciousness in equivalence with the collapse of the wave function. It would be out of the scope of this work to do any thing but briefly touch on the experimental paradoxes, which explain quantum reality to the layman.
I would like to dedicate a few lines however to the more interesting aspects of this. We will first discuss the both/and mindset given to us by the two slit experiment. Finally I would like to discuss a modern experiment that points to a quantum identity within consciousness. One of the most bizarre and beneficial concepts that we can receive from quantum physics is the both/and mindset. This replaces or builds upon the classical mindset of either /or. Particles, especially light are capable of being both wave like and particle like. This is shown graphically in the famous two slit experiments.
This experiment works by firing photons at a board with two slits in it. Behind the board lies either a photomultiplier tube or a fluorescent screen. In the former case you will pick up a tick in the tube indicating a particle hit. The same experiment performed with a fluorescent screen will reveal a diffraction pattern indicating a wave. This experiment points not only to the both/and nature of quantum objects but also indicates the presence of consciousness as the observer. An example of this on a larger level would be individual and group identity. If you look at a group of people individually you will see just that individuals.
But take the same group and look at them as a collective unit you will see a collective phenomenon e. g. Religious denomination, national, team or family identity. Mob mentality may also be explained this way. A person may know what it is like to be a part of a mob or an observer of that mob but never both at once. Just like you may record the speed or the position of a particle never both at once. In 1992 a team working at Southhampton university designed an experiment to test whether electric fields known to exist across the brain are quantum. Electrodes were attached to the right and left hemispheres of several subjects.
The subjects didn’t know if the electrodes were turned on or off. The goal was to see whether switching the electrodes on had any impact on conscious task performance. If the brain functions were quantum then measurement should collapse the fields noticeably altering focused thought and task performance. In the tests the numbers zero through nine were flashed on the screen at a rate of on a second. Each person had to press a button with their right thumb if the digits matched were one of the preselected three. The left hemisphere controls both numeracy and right thumb movement.
Performance of this task was improved by measuring left brain activity but disrupted by any measurement on the right side. It was presumed that measurement on the right side caused the subject to concentrate on a right brained activity background music ect. This experiment is very significant, as it is the only one that tests for a quantum basis for brain activity. In my opinion the first place to set this kind of change in motion is the religious realm. If people were to embrace the reflectiveness of some eastern traditions it would be greatly beneficial even within a Christian context.
Christianity as a whole is flawed by two thousand years of patriarchy; dogma and sexual repression making it one of the poorest choices for this sort of change. In any case if history is any indication we will see sociologist try and “re-tool” society in the next few hundred years to fit this both/and mold. This is in fact inevitable as long as education levels continue to rise. More and more quantum physical knowledge will become part of our collective unconscious. Ideas will come forth and decisions will be made perhaps differently from this new vantagepoint and ways of life will change accordingly.