Category Archives: Objective Relativity

Don’t Let Them Fool You: Mystery vs Paradox vs Contradiction

The staggering degree to which these terms are conflated, either out of ignorance or a desire to manipulate, is shocking.  As I have mentioned many times on this blog, I was a reformed orthodox Christian for about 35 years, including 15 in the “soft” cult of Sovereign Grace Ministires.  At SGM, when they weren’t busy covering up first degree felonies, like the sexual abuse of minors, they liked to refer to themselves as “reformed charismatic”.  And this I suppose was the first time I became conscious of the great orthodox bugaboo: contradiction as Truth.  Some years after, when I began to ardently examine the doctrinal claims of orthodox Christianity through the lens of rational consistency, I started seeing this sophist tactic all over the place.  I mean, once you learn to find the contradictions, it becomes harder to discern what ISN’T a contradiction than what is.  I mean, name the doctrinal premise—double imputation, penal substitution, Original Sin/Fall of Man, biblical inerrancy and authority, faith alone, pervasive depravity and sin nature, forgiveness, salvific belief, the Holy Spirit and divine enlightenment, Total Depravity; Uncontitional Election; Limited Atonement; Irresistible Grace; Perserverence of the Saints (the five pillars of Calvinism, T.U.L.I.P.), complimentarianism, etcetera, etcetera—and you will find little more than a bubbling witches brew of contradiction and self-defeating arguments.  Once you know what to look for, let me tell you, the circus of Christian orthodoxy is quite a show.

And how does the Christain Ecclesiastic Authority, in whatever Catholic or Protestant form it may take, get away with this?  How do they convince masses upon masses of ostensibly intelligent and successful lay memebers to part with their hard earned resources and make Orthodox Christianity a billions-of-dollars-a-year-racket?  By intellectual make-believe.  Take a contradiction, put it into the transcendent context of “divine enlightenment” and, as Philospher John Immel oft says, “Alakazaam…poof!!”, we get God’s Mystery…the Holy Paradox.  The Holy Paradox being, incidentally, the fifth member of the Trinity, just after “Bible”.

In this article, I’m going to explain the real difference between these three concepts…contradiction, mystery, and paradox.  Understand the distinctions, and I can promise that you will avoid the intellectual, philosophical, and theological miasma that will permanently stunt your spiritual growth.  Contradiction-as-truth is the hard drug of Christian theology.  Break the habit and you will save your soul.

Just a quick note…I’m not going to quote dictionary definitions.  This tired and formulaic approach to academic discourse is, to me, a mark of the untalented and/or uninspired.  I will define these concepts in my own terms within the context at hand—specifically, but perhap not exclusively, the church—in the interest of keeping things more punchy and less clinical.  It’s more fun this way, trust me.

Contradiction:

A contradiction is merely the assertion that two or more mutually exclusive concepts are, in fact, compatible.  When we are speaking of ideas, doctrine, theology, philosophy, and so on, you will note a contradiction in some form or fashion this way:

A claim to know that something is true, yet that thing necessarily and/or by definition incorporates two or more mutually exclusive concepts, and predicates its “truth” upon the idea that these incompatible concepts are somehow entirely compatible.  It assumes and expects you to also assume that what are overtly and objectively opposite notions are somehow corollary.  Up is also down; black is also white; the square is also the circle.

Example:

  1. Total Depravity:  Man is responsible for his own practical moral failures and yet is born depraved in his nature.  (Incidentally, the oft-responded notion that Total Depravity doesn’t mean that we are as bad as we could be is also a rank contradiction in terms, by definition…”total” does not mean “partly”, but intellectual license is cheap and easy when you can appeal to “divine enlightenment” instead of reason.  Any old dope can claim to “know” things if he doesn’t actually have to explain them.  Telling people that they will understand once they “believe” (meaning when God reveals it to them by magic) is merely saying that they will understand once they agree.  Which is, again, a contradiction in terms.  Like I said…it just never ends.)  That man is BORN depraved is saying that man, existentially, IS evil, and thus in his natural, absolute Self, cannot do any good thing.  This is PRECISELY the argument for why all men need Jesus—-because all men have sinned because why?  Because they MUST sin!  Because of their nature.  Because they are born sinners.  All Good is a function of God’s divine power and enlightenment upon man who is existentially unworthy and, of himself, alone, unable to receive it.  And yet man is morally responsible for his evil as though he can know the difference between good and evil and can choose the latter over the former.  The contraction is this, in a nutshell:  Man IS totally evil, and yet man also responsible for his evil as though he had a choice, which is why God judges him.
  2. God’s Divine Will:  All which happens is a product of God’s omnipotence.  Yet man’s consciousness is somehow real and relevant, and that man can know something, like God’s saving grace and his own natural sinfulness.  This is a contradiction in terms because if God possesses ominipotence then all which occurs in reality is either a function of God’s direct causal power or his “allowing” something to occur, which…means the same thing.  Nothing happens that God doesn’t directly control either via “action” or “inaction”.  In this context, man cannot develop an independent self-identity.  All man does is in reality a function of God’s doing, in which case, there is no point to nor possibility of man actually BEING himself.  For “being” is an action, which is not of himself, but of God, because of omnipotence. If man does not possess his own self, then he certainly cannot be self-aware.

Mystery:

A mystery is simply that which is unknown.  It is not, as Christian orthodoxy implies or outright asserts, that which is UNKNOWABLE.  The idea that God controls all things, yet man is morally responsible for his natural depravity and INEVITABLE evil actions; that God is in control of all things and yet simultaneously abhors the evil actions of men and demands sacrificial recompense…these things are not mysteries! These things are contradictions.  Christian orthodoxy labels its contradictions as “mysteries” because appealing to divine mystery is the most convenient way to conflate ideological folderol with God’s infinite wisdom, which, when presented in the context of soaring-if-not-insipid worship music, the histrionics and emotional blackmail of the pulpit, and the navel-gazing desperation of the congregation, can seem quite profound.  In reality, however, it is no more than pedestrian intellectual error of the kind found in the most nascent of human minds.  That is, in children.  It’s pretty sad.  And yet there it is, Sunday after Sunday, and making big money and casting a wide net of social and political influence.  So…perhaps it’s not so much sad as it is scary.

Example (of Mystery):

  1. How did the lion escape from the zoo when the cage was closed and locked? (A simple hypothetical mystery.)
  2. Why does the sun rise and set? (A historical mystery, henceforth solved.)
  3. How does an experienced hunter, tracker, and survival expert get lost and starve to death in terrain with which he is intimately familiar? (A hypothetical mystery which may never be solved.)

A mystery can be that which we do not yet know, which we did not know but now do, or that which only one man or a few men once knew and have taken the knowledge with them to the grave.  None of these things are “unknowable”…that is, the answers to the questions do not exceed the existential and epistemological boundaries of man’s identity.  Man’s identiy as “man”, and all that this naturally implies about his consciousness and cognitive capabilities, are the only frame of reference necessary to de-mystify the mystery.  The answers to the questions may rationally exist within man’s reality and will be defined according to reason.

Paradox:

This is, I submit, the most misunderstood and misused of the three concepts addressed in this article.  “Paradox” is not a synonym for “contradiction”…and yet this mistake has become so common that you find it almost as often as you find someone using the term “literally” to mean “figuratively”.  It’s become part of the common vernacular, and we don’t even bat an eye at the massive distortion in meaning it creates.  Paradox shares absolutely nothing in common with contradiction with respect to its own particular meaning, though it is true that one can be confused with the other based on incorrect assumptions or a lack of or misunderstanding about some amount of empirical evidence.

A paradox is something which can as of yet only be described by combining two or more mutually exclusive concepts, but which nevertheless MUST be true based on empirical evidence.  We might also say that a paradox is observably true, but conceptually false.  We cannot describe what we are seeing in terms that do not conflict.  Paradox, then, is only temporary…for any observed phenomenon can and must only be described in conceptual terms that are consistent.  To leave a paradox to a contradictory definition is, I submit, to divorce man from his own reality.  A reality which does not conform to man’s conceptualizing faculties (his reason) inevitably makes man irrelevant to reality.  The consequences of this are disastrous.  To claim that man can observe something he CANNOT and CAN NEVER describe is to drive a wedge between cognition/conceptualization and perception.  Man then, in the metaphysical sense, as a singular Self—the conscious Self, you you might say—becomes divorced from the determinative  cause and effect of “objective reality”.  Man qua man then becomes an imposter to reality, or at best an illusion…his awareness of Self—that by which he describes and defines “objective reality”  becomes, ironically, a paradox of nature—some determined cause of a determined effect prescribed by the blind and unthinking laws of nature.  The “I” of man—the individuality of the individual—is reduced to an ultimately irrelevant epiphenomenon of the utterly determined universe.  Man becomes a paradox which can have no conceptual solution because he doesn’t really, or at best, relevantly, exist.

And it doesn’t take a clairvoyant to see where this goes.

At any rate, a paradox, in summary, is that which is observed, and thus is real, but as of yet has not been explained in rationally consistent terms.

Example:

  1. The wave/particle duality of light.  That light is both a particle and a wave.  For light can be observed in both states, and thus is said to BE both, simultaneously.  As this is a contradiction in terms, we must assume that how light is observed probably has to do with the location of the observer and not with the idea that light both is and is not a wave and a particle at any given moment.
  2. That objects exist, an distinctly so, and yet all objects are comprised of a collection of parts, and thus no objects exist, because all objects are comprised of other objects, infinitely so.

END

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Douglas Murray and Jordan Peterson: The terrible and fascinating car crash of IQ and moral worth

I know in my last article I said would deal with the difference between mystery, paradox, and contradiction.  But alas, I must detour. Because yesterday I stumbled upon a video that I simply must address.  Thank you for your forbearance.

It was a discussion between Jordan Peterson and Douglas Murray, two of arguably the greatest libertarian (I mean ideologically, not politically) social commentators of our time.  (If you don’t know who they are, just look them up on YouTube…you’ll find as much information as you want.) They were discussing, adroitly, as is expected, a myriad of things, among which was the controversy of Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and race.  Unsurprisingly, the notion of some races performing better on IQ tests than others came up, and with that, the concern that this information may cause some manner of genetic superiority collectivism to rear its ugly head and begin to categorize human worth based on quantifications of intelligence. That this method of collectivizing humanity is so particularly scandalous seems at first surprising, given that humanity has been collectivizing itself, to disastrous moral effect, for thousands of years, based upon almost any reason at all.  Since any group characteristic can be and has been used to classify humanity into superior and inferior classes and castes since time immemorial, why is this so particularly shocking to heady thinkers like Murray and Peterson?

Well, the reason is pretty straightforward, and you’ve probably already figured it out.  You see, intelligence is a scientifically proven and statistically verified means of predicting future life success, even correcting for race, language, social context, socioeconomic status, and any other factor you can think of.  It has been used since the early 20th century and has never failed, as a general instrument of measure, to gauge intelligence and then empirically verify the results through objective evaluations of life performance.  Put simply, IQ tests are overwhelmingly effective at predicting life success (where “success” is defined according to socioeconomic scales in a given sociopolitical context), no matter who is being tested or where or when.  Okay, not so controversial…so far so good.  But here is where intellectuals and moral men like Peterson and Murray get the vapors, and you saw this coming a mile away.

Which groups, pray tell, score highest on IQ tests?  Asians, Jews, and Whites.  Now, in this day age of rampant, insatiable, and insidious social Marxism in the West, the first two aren’t much of a problem.  But the last one…the Whites…well, to say that Whites are more intellegent than Browns is like saying the Devil is more powerful than God.  The argument that “Jews and Asians are smarter that’s Whites” is irrelevant to the rabid masses of Marxist ideologues rampaging through the West with their bike-locks-turned-cudgels and their Malotov cocktails, both literally and figuratively.  The fact that a white person is more intelligent than a brown person on average is the problem, and is a fact that must be denied, and is just one more example of Western “institutional racism” and the white man’s inherent existential proclivity towards deception and manipulation and of course his endemic natural evil; and just one more reason white people need to be destroyed en masse. And make no mistake, to marginalize any group by claiming an inherent existential moral deficiency, which is exactly what the left is doing with whites, is to declare the need to wipe them out.  Regardless of what anyone tells you, if you concede the root existential moral failure of a group of people, the only rational means of dealing with them to murder them.  If the white man is evil because he is white, which is a function of nothing more than his birth, then he has no right to live.  If the existence of the white man means that he is inexorably White at his very natural root, and White is evil, then the white man has no right to exist, period.  The logic is clear, it is simple, and it is utterly consistent if we concede the metaphysical premise that Whitness = inherent moral depravity.

Now, as I said, the left explains the discrepancy of IQ between whites and browns on institutional racism, social manipulation, and outright perfidy and mendaciousness on the part of the western “White Patriarchy”, due to the natural depravity of white people, who are born this way.  But see, Jordan Peterson and Douglas Murray know that this is not the case.  At the same time, the empirical and statistical evidence cannot be ignored.  The scientific fact is that, on the whole, white people are more intelligent than brown people.  And because it is a fact, there is some concern amongst both Peterson and Murray, that this information will be used by some right-wing ideologues to declare whites a superior class, and, necessarily, to seek to demonize and politically (and eventually, ACTUALLY) eliminate the inferior classes.  Because, well…let’s be honest.  It’s not like it hasn’t happened before.

As a hedge against this kind of argument, Peterson quickly, and rightly—for morality obliges him—points out the fact that the level of one’s intelligence does not determine the level of his moral worth.  And “moral worth” means the value of an individual’s life qua life…of their root existence.  And with that, all the controversy dissolves into mist, right?  It seems logical, after all.  Only a fool would deny such an obvious assertion.  How much your brain can do has no bearing how good you are as a person.  And…well, this is true.  I’ve no problem asserting that as an axiom.

But here is where it gets messy, and here is where I DO have a problem with the assertion.

Both Jordan Peterson and Douglas Murray know that this is true, but they do not know WHY it is true.  And this is where it gets so, so interesting to me.  Because there is nothing more fun and fascinating than watching men who are geniuses in their fields venture into intellectual areas where they are so very clearly NOT geniuses.  Whilst there, they make some observations, and then never, ever address the gaping rational errors behind their ideas.  They talke about IQ and morality, utter an axiom, and then never address the problem of their premises not actually leading to the conclusion that the axiom is in fact axiomatic.  And you can hear the uncertainly in their voices…the cold, sharp claws of that thing digging into their brains telling them that no, it is not actually resolved at all.  That they haven’t any idea how to handle this.  And why?  Why?  They don’t know…it’s a big blank space.  Nothing is there…but is that because nothing is there, or something is there and they just can’t see it?  The axiom is clear:  Intellgence doesn’t define your moral worth as a person.  This is so intuitively true.  And it IS true….so why the hesitation?  Why is there no satisfaction in asserting something so true?

I will tell you why:

Peterson and Murray’s declaration of the truth that intelligence is exclusive of moral worth flat out contradicts their assertion that IQ is, in fact, an objective measure of objective outcomes. Because you cannot have it both ways.  You cannot divorce intelligence from morality AND claim that intelligence has objective VALUE.  Because value is, itself, at root, a function of morality…it is a matter of ethical truth, not epistemological truth.  To claim that something is objectively useful to reality, in some context or another, like, for example, the prediction of one’s socioeconomic performance via intelligence levels, is, in fact, a claim of objective moral worth.  In other words, to say that intelligence is objectively useful to man is to imply that it has value.  And value judgements—the degree to which something is good or bad, which can also be rendered as “useful or degrading”; “helpful or harmful”—are judgements at root of morality (meaning, they fall into the philosophical category of ethics, which deals with the distinction between what is good and what is not).  If high levels of intelligence are objectively useful to objective success then high intelligence must be said to be objectively GOOD.  Which in turn must mean that low intelligence is objectively BAD.  And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the rub.  You cannot divorce the “OBJECTIVE usefulness” of high intelligence from the “OBJECTIVE morality” of high intelligence.  The fact that having high intelligence produces “objectively” good outcomes for people and societies means that the people who possess high intelligence must be morally superior to those who possess low intelligence. If, of course, you accept the premise that the “success” intelligence predicts is objective. Which I promise you Murray and Peterson do.

And THAT is the nagging, gnawing thing in their brains which torments them.  They know, somewhere inside, that this must be the case (that intelligence = moral value) but the abomination of such an idea offends, and rightly so, their sensibilities as good and honest and kind and empathetic men, which they clearly are.  They know there’s a monster in the woods, but they have never seen him, so can they be so sure?

The answer is: Yes they can.  But I promise you that they will not like the reason.  They will very likely not and never accept the reason…so it goes.

The truth, which reconciles the moral dilemma, is that the “life success” which intelligence predicts is, in fact, not objective at all.  And this means that intelligence is nothing more than a character trait, which, like skin color or the size of one’s nose, may or may not have any meaning or value to the individual, his life, or reality.  Intelligence, you see, being divorced from morality, which it must be in order to avoid the  very real ethical dilemma Peterson and Murray discuss (valuing an individual according to his intelligence) doesn’t really have anything to do with knowledge, and I mean in the philosophically primary sense.  Because the knowledge of what IS is inexorably bound to the knowledge of what is GOOD; and furthermore the knowledge of what IS and is GOOD is only relevant and therefore objectively meaningful if it drives behavior.  Since IQ does not and cannot incorporate the relevant knowledge of objective truth corollary to objective moral truth BY also incorporating actual observed objective moral behavior, then intelligence indeed has NOTHING to do with one’s moral value. This being the case, intelligence is not the equivalent of what we might call “wisdom”.  And wisdom is where the Truth is.  Wisdom is knowledge, and the knowledge of what IS includes the knowledge of what IS GOOD, and is made manifest—made REAL—by one’s actions.  Wisdom is really all that matters when it comes to OBJECTIVE success, I submit.  And by that I mean, success absolutely, existentially, forever and ever.

See…I told you they wouldn’t like the answer.  In fact, I’m willing to bet that you don’t like it either. Which one am I?  A fool?  Deluded?  Possibly both?  Lol…I take no offense, dear reader.  Correct me where I stray, and if you cannot, then accept it.  Those are your only two rational choices

Here is my point in summary:

“Intelligence has nothing to do with one’s moral worth” is the assertion made my Jordan Peterson and Douglas Murray, and it is a correct assertion.  What this means is that intelligence doesn’t have anything to do with morality, in general, at all. Intelligence, in other words, having nothing to do with man’s moral value, cannot itself have any moral value, because MAN provides the only rational reference for morality.  MAN decides the value of intelligence, not the other way around.

What DOES have something to do with man’s moral value, and incorporates morality, itself, in general, is knowledge of the Truth, or Wisdom. Because wisdom is the understanding of Truth and it’s corollary, Good, and is made REAL and meaningful through man’s behavior.  How do we know whether or not a man has moral worth, or to what degree it is?  Watch his actions and gauge them against objective morality…objective morality being that which references the individual, and thus does not violate his sanctity.  Does not kill him, steal from him, lie to him, abuse or threaten him.

Intelligence then becomes a subjective predictor of success, which makes the success which it predicts necessarily subjective also.  In such a case we are forced to consider intelligence, again having nothing to do with morality, as little more than a character trait which may or may not have any actual value, depending on the individual in question.  It may have value, if one’s definition of his success is that which intelligence can predict, but OBJECTIVE success—that which is manifest by the implementation of wisdom—is not a function of intelligence.

END

 

How Existence Destroys Reality

Ability underwrites all action. Action, itself, being necessarily relative (that is, relatively discerned—which corollates to a conceptual definition of what is acting and how, which corellates to an Observer) can imply (epistemological) distinction as spawning from metaphysical (or “existential”) equality.  Relativity, you see, is corollary at the metaphysical level to Ability, and thus distinctions in actions, whilst they imply and corollate to epistemological differences (epistemology being the category where objects, or “things which are” enter into the philosophical paradigm ), do not imply differences in root metaphysical (“existential”) value and essence, and this because of the necessary metaphysics spawning from Ability as Primary, as opposed to Existence.

Existence, as metaphysical primary, is not actually being…not actually existing, because ability (to exist) is not implied, and thus neither is action. And therefore, relativity, a necessary metaphysical foundation of meaning (truth, or the object definition of what is) is likewise not implied, making epistemological distinctions between things (which exist) impossible. That is, from existence as primary we cannot logically draw the conclusion that existence exists—that it does existence—because if that were the case—if existence actually existed—then the ability to exist would be necessitated as that which underwrites existence, thus supplanting it as the metaphysical primary (which it does).

Existence, then, as primary, is not an act from ability, but merely an Is from an Is. The metaphysical primary becomes a rank abstraction: Is qua Is.

Existence doesn’t act (exist) because it’s able, but rather it Is because it Is. In other words, existence as primary is tautological…a rational error, from which no truth and certainly no reality, can be drawn.

”Is qua Is” cannot mean equal metaphysical (“existential”) value and essence whilst also correlating to and implying epistemological distinctions (different and distinct things which exist) because epistemological distinctions (by the Observer) cannot be made absent action and relativity rooted in Ability. By making existence passive, it also becomes monolithic and intrinsically indivisible, and therefore implies that at the most fundamental, absolute level the things which exist are all the same thing—that being “existence”. But of course the idea that different things are really the same thing is meaningless folderol…contradiction. So with existence as the metaphysical primary we have a root singularity from which all reality springs which is undefinable, and therefore unknowable, because it precludes existential distinctions between and amongst things, and thus no thing can actually be said to exist at all, in which case existence itself cannot be said to exist. Existence, as the metaphysical primary, becomes nothing, and all of reality with it.

 

The Point of Law is to Eradicate Moral Consequence, Not Enforce it (PART THREE)

In the world today, collectivist metaphysics are a philosophical juggernaut, with virtually every school of thought, field of study, and religion in the world, including and perhaps especially the “hard sciences”, conceding these metaphysics as a priori, whether they are consciously aware of it or not.  Which, they usually are not because…well, who needs philosophy when you’ve got math, right?  Numbers beat reason every time.

Hmmm.  To that I’d say: numbers are units of infinity, nothing more.  So be careful.  It’s easy to replace truth with abstraction when the abstraction you’re working with is designed to be rendered an infinite number of ways.  Give me infinity to work with, and I can come up with anything…by definition.  And thus, for mathematics to be in any way reasonable and relevant on the level of arrant and object reality, we must hem them in by rational consistency.  That is, by truth. That is, by understanding what is rationally possible and what is not, and from this, what is actually good and what is actually not.  And truth is a function of philosophy.  Period.

Anyway…

By the collectivist metaphysical premises which underly practically all subjects it seems, and along with these subjects society at large, the denizens of society seek to eradicate the “illegitimate” and “invalid” moral consequences of an “illegitimate” ethic.  Which is to say, of morality, as opposed to legality.  And thus the metaphysic in which this ethic is rooted, the Individual (I, the Self) is marked for death, figuratively unto literally, by “the people” demanding that the government nullify moral consequence through the power of Law, which government wields alone, as the One, True Authority.

To put it much more bluntly, people who have conceded the collectivist ideals of all the “truths” upon which a collectivist society is based will appeal to the State to use its giant hammer of coercive monopolistic brut force to pound into a bloody mash the individual freedoms of everyone in response to the unwanted moral consequences brought about by the choices of the evil or irresponsible.  In a society ruled by Law, and not morality, everyone is a sinner.  Everyone is guilty for the sins of everyone else.  And this is because under Law, there are no individuals, and this due to the collectivist metaphysics which imply legal ethics.  Man as an individual is insufficient—morally, intellectually, existentially—and thus the failure of some men (criminals) is merely the reflection of the failure of all men; so how can the Law treat those who commit no crime as innocent?  All individuals are merely latent criminals, which is why the Law is declared necessary in the first place.  The innocents therefore are punished for the crimes of the guilty, and this is how we think justice is done and how humanity is protected.  By using the State to destroy the distinction between the good and the evil, the innocent and the guilty, the responsible and the deadbeat, the giver and the taker, the host and the parasite, we wreck the individual at the point of his very metaphyscial reality, and by this we think we can eliminate his curse—his natural ethical failure, due to the choices he makes as an individual.  We take guns away from the non-violent; fossil fuels away from good stewards; money away from the generous; tobacco and other “vices” away from the moderate; and force licenses to ply trades upon the honest and compassionate; and so on.  We do this thinking we are protecting the innocent public, while all we are really doing is punishing the innocent for being individuals.

It need not be said that this never, ever works in the long run.  Appeals to the Law as a panacea for social ills merely enlarges the State, which like a gravity well draws to it every sadist, narcissist, and greed-monger who has the means and intelligence to get there, and heaps exponential misery upon the nation, compounding the very moral atrocities it claims to alleviate.  Without a shred of irony this farce continues, day in and day out, election cycle after election cycle, and no one seems to notice.  It’s shocking.

To remediate unwanted moral consequences, we, the lemmings of collectivist ideology, appeal to government violence—the use of state force to compel obedience through death and threats of death—to fix and prevent the fallout of poor moral choices…to clean up the messes left by individuals who have committed specific immoral acts.  Instead of encouraging better choices through a saturation of society with rational philosophy, we, without a hint of irony, appeal to the monumentally immoral act of using violence to force the innocent to comply with legal regulations which are deemed a collective necessity due to the immoral actions of some. In short, we use the law to burden the innocent for the crimes of the guilty.  This is not only irrational, it is an object evil.

As I have said, this will never work because to apply legal solutions to moral problems denies the real and root truth of the individual.  The individual is truth, the collective is a lie, metaphysically speaking.  Which means, when we are talking about the fundamentals of human existence, the individual is that from which reality flows.

The Law seeks to regulate the choice out of reality by using regulation to compel obedience, which is the antipode of choice with respect to root ethics.  But choice is actual reality, because the individual, not the collective, is what is real.  The individual is concrete; the collective, abstract.  To attempt to subordinate the concrete to the abstract is at best hope over reason.  To attempt to solve ethical problems by destroying that by which ethics has any meaning in the first place—namely, the individual—is the mere substitution of soundness for madness.  And this only ever multiplies and compounds unwanted ethical consequences.  It sews misery among the populace, it doesn’t resolve it.  Further, the implimention of an irrational ethic like legality is, itself, patently unethical, because it is immoral.  And it shouldn’t have to be said that you cannot solve or prevent immorality by appealing to immorality.  Yet, this is precisely what the Law is.

Replacing morality with legality destroys and brings abject misery to humanity for the simple reason that collectivism is a lie by virtue of it being a metaphysical contradiction. That is, it defies reality.  And there is no power in the universe which can change reality.  This is because power is, itself, real, and therefore can only ever confirm reality.  Even if that confirmation comes in the form of a Roman cross, a guillotine, a killing field, a concentration camp, a gulag, mass starvation, or a mushroom cloud.

END PART THREE

Relativity: A very interesting philosophical paradox

Absolute relativity—that is, relativity absent a reference from which to observe it and organize the implicit relationships—actually precludes relative distinctions between objects, which precludes relativity itself. In other words, unreferenced to a non-relative observational constant, relativity is not relative, it’s infinite.  But of course infinity is purely a concept, because what is infinite cannot exist because it cannot be given a place or a time and thus cannot be defined.  And yet if relativity is referenced to an observational constant, then it’s not actually relative.  Meaning that there is no relativity qua relativity.  Relativity becomes, itself, relative TO the observer.  Meaning that the observer decides what relativity is, and absolutely so, at any given moment, depending on how he chooses to define it according to himself.

In other words, relativity, like infinity, is a concept.  Neither of these things are actual.  And yet if the relative relationships between the objects the observer conceptualizes are not actual, and if the observer possesses a body which is likewise a relative object with a relative relationship to other objects which is not actual, then how does the observer actually observe anything in order to conceptualize it? And if relativity is not a thing, and thus everything is infinite, but infinity cannot exist except conceptually, then what is anything? What exists? How is reality even possible?

So here is where we leave it, the paradox only to be unraveled by throwing out the metaphysics that the giants of history have given us, replacing them with much better, more rational metaphysics that we who stand on their shoulders might devise.  For those who stand on the shoulders of a giant may see things that the giant cannot see, and because of that knowledge build him a step stool.

Infinity cannot be infinite and relativity cannot be relative without the observer.  But they cannot be “infinity” and “relativity”, respectively, with the observer, either.  And yet, they are both necessary to the definition of the observer, himself, and to his purpose.  Thus we know that relativity, infinity, and observer are symbiotic…are corollary.  But how? And What?

The answer is Ability.

Why Death is Irrational

I shall define death this way:  The end of consciousness; the cessation of self-awareness; the nullification of the distinction of “I”.  This is a fitting description of death qua death, or “proper death”, as it is more aptly described.  What I mean is death unqualified by either science or religion…qualifications like “spiritual death”, or “death” as merely a biological pattern…of “life” scientifically reconfigured.  In both cases, consciousness—the awareness of the Self—has nothing to do with death…death is merely one aspect of a perfunctory reality.  Death is existant; and it is not an end of anything.  And in this case, death is not existentially relevant to man, and so it is not relevant to philosophical truth, and thus is not relevant to ROOT truth.  For philosophy deals with the observer—you and I as our singular Selves—where science deals with the observed, and religion deals with the observer as a mere function of divine will.  Spiritual death refers to the irreversible debauchery of one’s character and the experience of divine punishment, and consiounsess in this case never ceases, and so there is no death as an ending, which means death is purely abstract, merely describing a different version of life.  Biological death, being rooted in the mathematics of science, doesn’t concede the fundamental legitimacy or efficacy of consciousness, and this is because science posing as philosophy is inexorably determinist.  And therefore death has nothing to do with the individual, who has no frame of reference for anything at all absent his consciousness.  Scientific determinism precludes consciousness entirely.

My argument for the irrationality of death is fairly simply, and it is this:  It is a self-nullifying and contradictory act to incorporate into reality, be it via divine power or purpose, or scientific processes, the destruction/subtraction/expiration of that by which creation and the powers and processes which cause it have any frame of reference whatsoever.  The eradication of the reference by which God or nature (physics) and creation can be known as such, and thus given any value, is impossible because it necessarily amounts to a plenary invalidation of both.  And once the Cause and the Caused are invalidated they cannot be, because they can have no meaning.  Their being is entirely dependent upon their meaning, purpose, relevancy, and efficacy, all of which can only be functions of that which is the practical reference for all of these things.  The Truth of all which is said to exist is the sum of meaning, purpose, relevancy, and efficacy.  But without that TO which the Truth of the Cause and the Caused can, in fact, be True, then they cannot be Cause or Caused in the first place.  In which case they could not have caused or be caused at all.  Without the conscious reference, who is there to say what is, and what is is is to be called, and what is actually does, and where it is, and where it’s been and where it’s going?  There is no one.

For a simple example, take “chocolate”.  “Chocolate” which is not referenced to he who can apply it to his single, constant, unchanging and thus objective reference of himSELF, which thus necessarily implies consciousness, or awareness of Self, is not and cannot in fact be chocolate.  Without this reference, chocolate is not “chocolate”—the thing has no meaning.  It has no purpose, no relevancy,  no efficacy…it has no Truth, and therefore is not a thing at all.  It is neither chocolate nor “chocolate”.  And therefore if the reference dies…if “I” qua “I” dies then so must everything else.  If “I” goes blank, then all of reality, all of existence, likewise goes blank.  And if it goes blank then it never existed at all, because blankness, nothingness, is infinite.  And this is why death is impossible.  If we concede the absolute end of the Self then there is no reason why anything referenced to the Self should ever have begun in the first place.  None at all.  Unreferenced reality cannot be real, and could never have been real because a relevant past suggests a relevant present, which is not there.  What is not real now, never was.

It may seem the height of arrogance to suggest that without “I”—without the Self, the individual conscious frame of reference for all of reality—that existence itself is null.  We are bred, I submit, by the implicit humility of western thought and culture to accept that “I” is purely an extension of “other”, and that what is good for the Self is only that which is good for the collective…for the “greater good”.  From this, at least in part, we implicitly concede that “I” is at root transient, and alone is insignificant to the overall ontological and spiritual landscape.  We, individually, are small…mere blips in the vast expanse of time and space and the universe…that reality is reality and existence is existence whether the individual is conscious of it or not.  To suggest otherwise, as I myself have personally experienced more than once, is to be branded a solipsist, a subjectivist, a mystic, and/or a peddler of Kantian collectivist metaphysics.  But whether or not these labels are fitting or rational (they aren’t) is nothing but a distraction.  Conjecture about my motives or my ideas in this context is besides the point.  All I am doing is asking an obvious question with an obvious answer.

How would I know?

I am told that reality objectively exists and is true and will continue to be true despite my consciousness of it, but how would I know?  Absent my Self…that is, my awareness of my Self, I have no frame of reference for such an assertion.  So, when I am told that reality is objective and existant outside of me what I’m being asked to do, ironically, is to accept the claim by blind faith.  I am being asked to believe in a thing absent any objective evidence that I can be aware of, because, as I am told, reality is entirely outside of my awareness.  My awareness is irrelevant to reality, because when it’s gone, reality is still entirely real.

This is a problem.

If my consciousness is integrated into reality then reality cannot be utterly real without it; and if it’s not integrated, and reality is outside of it, then my consciousness is entirely irrelevant to it, distinct from it, and therefore is a complete lie.  I cannot be conscious of reality because my consciousness is irrelevant to reality qua reality.  It’s a figment…an illusion.  Thus, I am being asked to accept an objective reality without any objective evidence.  And this, dear readers, by some means of rational extortion and contortion passes for objective truth in many philosophical circles.

And it may further be argued that there is evidence for an objective reality outside of my consciousness that I can be shown now, and that is why I should accept the notion, as if what I accept by consciousness now has any bearing upon a state of absolute unconsciousness.  Whatever I know as a Self ceases to be known when I am no longer that Self.  The Self ceases, and thus any evidence I gather from the frame of reference of Self also ceases.  Such evidence is not really evidence in that case.  And further, to make this argument, that evidence now from consciousness is meaningful, is really just a concession that consciousness is utterly necessary to truth, which nullifies the entire argument that truth is still true and reality still real absent consciousness.

I must say that I find it specious at best to assert that one who accepts the obvious fact that without one’s conscious frame of reference there can be no such thing as reality means that he is a sollipsist, or that morality becomes merely a function of one’s subjective whim.  That is, to be blunt, bad logic.  Given that before any concepts can mean anything they must be consistently applied to the reality which the conscious observer perceives and defines necessarily to himself, the subjectivity of truth and morality is, from this premise, quite impossible.  Because individual consciousness is the frame of reference, morality and truth can be objective.  Individual consciousness allows ideas to have a reference point…a constant for what would otherwise be purely relative.  It allows “me” to ACTUALLY be me and “you” to ACTUALLY be you, and from this we can derive a consistent epistemology and ethics.  It allows reason to be reasonable, and thus ethics to be ethical.  Reason, being anchored in a constant reference, has a consistent meaning, no matter who is using it…me or you or he or she.  Because reason is shared, it is NOT subjective.  There is no subjectivity implicit to the singular Self who communicates…that is, who shares concepts and conceptual consistency.  The same reason that defines MY Self as the reference for all of reality TO ME also applies to YOUR Self as an equal reference TO YOU, because we share the concepts and thus share reason.  The fact that reason must be referenced to the Self doesn’t make it unreasonable, but reasonable, because now it has a reference.  The only time morality and truth become subjective is when one no longer SHARES in the rational truth of the Self as the singular objective reference.  The only time truth becomes a lie and good becomes evil is when people reject the idea that their consciousness—their singular awareness of Self— is the only absolute reference for reality.  And thus, the only time there is “death” is when the Self rejects its own infinite existence.  The only time death is “real” so to speak is when one assumes that their consciousness is transient, or tertiary, or fundamentally irrelevant to reality.

So take heart, and know that because You must always be You, you cannot die and you will not die. You may travel, but you will not end.  You may be out of sight, but you cannot be out of existence.

Illusion and Existence as Ersatz, Postmodern Philosophical Primaries

If anything is said to be an illusion, the following two questions are begged:

An illusion of what?

An illusion for whom?

Both “what” and “whom” must be actual things, and must be distinct. They are, in fact, a prerequisite to illusion. Unless some actual one is experiencing an illusion of some actual thing (that is, unless a real person is experiencing an illusion of a thing or things derived from, and apprehended via the reference of, reality) then there can be no illusion. Therefore, illusion itself cannot be a (philosophical) primary; and I know that this statement may seem obvious, but when you hear the scientific determinists–the post modern priest class as I like to call them–implicitly or explicitly refer to the illusion of human choice and by extension the illusion of consciousness, it seems that obvious statements are no longer so obvious. When leading neurological scientists like Sam Harris and Nobel Prize winning astrophysicists like Stephen Hawking can’t seem to follow basic rational consistency or utter a single coherent philosophical statement, one is forced to explicate the obvious, unfortunately. (As good as these guys are at science is as bad as they are at philosophy, is what I mean to say.)

Interestingly–and this will annoy the Objectivists and others who nod to Aristotle–“Existence”, as a metaphysical primary, is like “Illusion” as postmodern philosophy’s (e.g. scientific determinism) epistemological primary. It begs the same two questions:

Existence of what?

Existence for whom?

As with illusion, both what and whom must be actual things and they must be distinct. Which means they must have a root that precedes existence. If what and whom are both metaphysically identical (both absolute) products of Existence–which Existence as a metaphysical primary implies–then there is no root distinction between what exists and who observes it to exist (“who” being the rational frame of reference for that which is). And therefore there is no one to define what exists. And if what exists cannot be defined then who exists cannot either. Which renders Existence as a metaphycial primary entirely absent meaning. Which it is.

(Side note: You see, all definitions of what exists are products of man’s consciousness, which by the boundaries placed upon truth by Existence can have no fundamental, objective bearing upon reality, which is entirely ALL of Existence, including consciousness itself. Existence doesn’t just subordinate consciousness, it makes it entirely irrelevant and redundant…that is, impossible, and…that’s a problem.)

My point here is that postmodern determinism such as averred by atheistic and scientifically rooted philosophers proffers the idea of Existence and Illusion as metaphycial and epistemological primaries, respectively. And in both cases these primaries beg two questions which must be answered and then when answered undermine those primaries entirely. “Whom” and “What” cannot at root be products of Existence or Illusion. It’s actually the other way around.

Or you might say that if “Of what?” and “For whom?” have no answer then Existence and Illusion as anything but subjective assumptions are nullified. And if they have an answer then Illusion and Existence as anything but subjective assumptions are nullified.

There Can Be No Such Thing as Gravity Qua Gravity, So What is it?

The following argument is based upon these assumptions, which I aver are all rationally defensible:

1. All that exists must be able to exist, which then supplants Existence with Ability as the metaphysical primary.

2. Gravity cannot possess any distinct existence. That is, there can be no such thing as gravity distinct or separate from the objects upon which it acts. Apart from these objects it has no relevance, which means it has no meaning, which means it cannot be defined as gravity.

3. There is no such thing as space qua space, because the distinction between objects cannot itself be a thing from which objects are also distinct. Therefore, there must be a different manifestation of distinction. I submit that gravity is this distinction.

In light of these, I submit the following about gravity:

Existence is ability to exist. Existence then is action, because ability must find rational expression as action. Action is always observed as relative movement. I therefore propose that gravity is, specifically, the expression of the ability to exist. Or perhaps better said, it is the action of existing…of existence observed  necessarily as an action.

Can You Solve the Metaphysical Paradox Endemic to Philosophy on the Whole?

The existence of A must necessarily be a corollary to the relativity of A to B.

That is:

A cannot be A unless it exists relative to something else…in this case B, because A in a vacuum of its own existential absolutism is infinitely A, and infinity cannot have a set value (or definition). So, it can be logically said that the existence of A is a direct function of the existence of B.  And yet, in order to be relative to B, A must, in fact, exist infinitely and absolutely as A…in order that it can be said that A is truly, itself, relative to B.

Good luck!!

(Part Two: Why UPB Self-Nullifies) The Multitudinous Problems with Secular Ethics: A critique of Universally Preferable Behavior

[I apologize in advance for the tedious and highly technical nature of the following article. Bear with me. There really isn’t an easy way to do this. Thanks.]

1. If UPB is simply a set of possible choices, but does NOT reference an absolute moral Standard which makes compliance with UPB not simply preferable, but necessary in order to avoid some kind of irreparable existential contradiction, which thus implies and necessitates some irreparable existential injury (however that is defined…if it even needs to be defined at all), then UPB cannot claim to be either universal nor preferable, since there is no fundamental existential difference between compliance and non-compliance. In which case, UPB self-nullifies.

2. If UPB IS considered an inexorable natural law–referencing itself as its own absolute moral Standard–to which the individual is obligated or face some form of irreparable existential injury (however that is defined…if it even needs to be defined at all) then UPB is not preferable, but necessary, and perfunctory, and it self-nullifies.

3. If UPB is a legal (as opposed to ethical or moral) Standard–that is, Law as defined by a legal Authority, like the State–then by definition the individual is legally obligated to comply, and non-compliance results in punishment which, though legal, is, for all practical purposes, existential in its effect, since the manifestation of the ownership of oneself–i.e. free will/choice–while under State sanction is impossible. And therefore, UPB is not preferable and therefore self-nullifies.

Now, to expand upon point number two; and the reason is because this argument is, as I observe, the primary argument utilized by apologists for secular ethics:

If UPB is considered merely a de facto parameter of (one’s) Existence–that is, the perfunctory behavior of (one’s) Existence which affirms that (one’s) Existence actually exists, then UPB is nullified. Meaning, if we use the argument that because we observe that species or the individuals of that species behave in ways which are consistent with survival and reproduction and then claim that this behavior is actually preferable…we’ve contradicted ourselves and shown that such behavior cannot possibly be preferable, let alone ethical, and is only universal in that it is simply a de facto function of Existence qua Existence. In other words, if we remove choice–moral agency–from ethics entirely, or make it purely a function of the laws of nature, then a choice is never actually chosen. However, removing choice contradict ethics as meaningful in any rational or practical way, because amoral ethics imply behavior which doesn’t make a distinction between good behavior or bad behavior. So…why would any given behavior be preferable? It wouldn’t.

Also, notice how in scientific terms, which are the secularist’s terms of epistemology, ALL action is merely “behavior”…”choice” as a vehicle is sophistically smuggled in later–a bromide meant for and used by the small minority of non-communist atheists as a nod to the non-aggression principle; but UPB pairs with the NAP like salad pairs with Guinness.

If we accept Existence as the Metaphysical Primary, and therefore objective (empirical) reality and natural law as its practical Ethical and Epistemological derivatives , then we must admit that one cannot act via his Existencee in a way which contradicts his Existence…so regardless of what one does, and therefore what one chooses, one must necessarily always be acting ethically. To claim that one can somehow violate the terms of his or someone else’s (absolute) Existence by Existence, itself, is a contradiction in terms. Therefore, if UPB is said to be an Ethic derived from Existence, it is impossible for one to violate it, since one cannot violate the very thing that makes all behavior–like the “violation” itself– ultimately possible.

On the other hand, if we were to place UPB outside of (one’s) Existence and then argue that, as an Ethic outside of Existence (which is its own giant fallacy, given that Existence is the Metaphysical Primary for all apologists for UPB, I think), failure to follow UPB somehow amounts to an Ethical, and therefore moral, violation, and therefore is evil, and therefore obliges men to “prefer” UPB,  then the individual–as a rank existant–could neither be the source nor the reference for UPB, which makes whatever the individual prefers, and thus ultimately chooses, entirely besides the point…since his choice and preference are a function of himself. This again, as I asserted above in point 3., relegates UPB to the status of a Legal Code–the Legal Law–which means that coercion by a legal Authority, not preference, is the only legitimate and rational means of fulfilling the Law.

Now, if we claim that (one’s) existence is not in fact absolute, but somehow transient–an effect and not a cause, as it were, or a function of some Absolute Cause outside of (one’s) existence, then we would have no logical reason to conclude that behavior which promotes one’s existence is preferable to behavior which does not. For (one’s) existence, being non-absolute, is no more valid a state of nature than is his non-existence. Non-existence, because existence is not absolute, does not violate the Absolute Cause (that of which (one’s) existence AND non-existence is a direct effect), and therefore it can be no more rationally nor morally preferable to behave in ways that promote existence–of either oneself or others–than to behave in ways that do not. And therefore by what basis can we argue that UPB is actually preferable at all? No basis.

Interestingly, I have noticed that those who promote Existence as the Metaphysical Primarily DO, irrationally, make the distinction between Existence, the Primary, and one’s individual existence–because they understand that individual existence necessarily incorporates consciousness, and therefore they reject it as having anything to do with Existence qua Existence, because consciousness they assert is not objective, because it’s not empirical. But you see as soon as one makes the distinction between conscious existence (consciousness) and Existence the Primary, then whatever the individual consciously prefers--and all preference is conscious by definition–is beside the point. When you reject consciousness as fundamental to Existence you necessarily reject choice. Which means that you reject choice as fundamentally meaningful, which not only wrecks UPB but wrecks morality entirely, and makes any discussion of Ethics pointless.  I submit, however, that if we oblige consciousness to rational consistency, which is entirely logical (and a separate article), then reason alone serves as a perfect and categorical guide to Ethical behavior, because it makes Truth actually and objectively possible.

Part three very soon.