Category Archives: reason

The Lie of the Smallest Particle: Greater implications for existence and consciousness (Part Two, Conclusion)

Taking a cue from quantum physics itself—and it is important to understand this, for I am basing my arguments not upon mererly my own conjecture, but on conclusions physics itself ineluctably makes about the nature of reality—beyond a certain point the reduction of the physical literally stops being emprical. Beyond a certain point physical reality can no longer be sensed, because it has simply been reduced too far (it is too small). Beyond a certain point physical reality can no longer be said to possess mass, which means it does not, in the emprical sense, occupy space—it is volume-less; it no longer exists dimensionally, and thus it also posssesses no temporal value. In other words, empirically speaking, it exists no where and at no time. Physical reality at this point cannot be verified empirically, but is only rationally inferred.

The evidence for the rational assumption of reality’s existence beyond the place of physicality—beyond the senses—is the mathematics, which are a purely abstract cognitive contrivance…that’s the whole point of math. Math, like music notes on paper, implies the existence of physical reality, but it is not physical reality itself. For if it was, then it would no longer be math, it’s as simple as that.

The effects of these non-emprical yet existent objects, which are referred to as quanta, are said to possess rational existence because they mathematically correlate. In other words, the effects on the physical universe of the quanta are predicted by the math. When atoms are smashed and certain effects recorded, the effects occur in ways that the mathematical rendering of quanta predict, with sufficient repeatability, and this is how, not via direct empirical observation, the quanta (massless, timeless, spaceless particles of reality) are said to objectively exist.

And here we see that empiricism and objectivity are completely distinct. Quantum physics, if we accept its validity, proves that reality does not need to by physical to be be utterly objective, actual, existent, and real.

I have no reason to believe that the mathematics are spurious, (though I understand that by the nature of quantum physics there is always some endemic degree of uncertainty, and this is likely because mathematics is essentially the breaking up of infinity into units, which makes absolute claims ultimately impossible, but science nevertheless is able to get close enough). I’m sure the math is perfectly functional; I have no doubt that it works, and I have no problem assuming that quanta exist and act the way science describes and accepting the mathematical context.

That isn’t my point.

I have no problem with science when it functions as science, and not as philosophy; I do not doubt the mathematical data…believe me, I haven’t the abstract skills to know the difference between good or bad calculus—that’s well beyond my skill set. I’d no sooner argue with Stephen Hawking about the veracity of mathematics than I would a pilot about the veracity of flight. My problem here is the abject conflation of that which is rationally inferred with that which is empirically validated.  Quantum physics is simply not empirical science, even by science’s own definitions (though utterly absent science’s admission, which is hypocritical). The fact that quantum particles must be rationally inferred through the abstracton of mathematics doesn’t necessarily negate the validity of the claims that they nevertheless objectively exist.

My goal here is to show that at some point we must admit that existence—that that which can be said to objectively be—is not strictly a matter of physical, empirical proof, but also, if not ultimately, a matter of reason, and reason is cognitive, and cognition is consciousness. In other words, at some point we must admit that it is the observer, the Conscious Ones, who must declare what is real and what is not; what exists and what doesn’t; what is true and what is lie. Quantum physics is evidence that objective realty does not exist outside of man—or specifically, his consciousness; his ability to conceptualize himself, his environment, and their relative relationships, but wholly includes him, affirms him, necessitates him, relies upon him, and heeds him. This is not sollipsism, but it is, at root, an acknowledgement that reason—rational consistency—can be a plumb-line for truth and realtiy, not only empiricism. Existence and truth do not end at the limit of observation or sensory experience. Quantum physics shows us that just because you cannot observe that something is there, you can still reason that it is there, and that that reason suffices as objective evidence that it is indeed there. One does not, and cannot, sense it is there—for it is utterly beyond observation—yet one may still objectively know that it is actually there; actually true. And this is, again, because of reason. Reason, which is cognitive, which is conscious, is a means, and I would even argue is the fundamental means, of accessing objective realtiy and objective truth.

END

The Lie of the Smallest Particle: Greater implications for existence and consciousness (Part One)

The broader point I am trying to make with the last two articles on the lie of the “smallest particle”—a particle with no dimensions and no sub parts, which physics acknowledges as existing—is that at some point, no matter how hard we ignore it, or do not acknowledge it, or lack the wisdom or critical thinking skills to see it, empiricism runs out. At some point the ability of the observer (man) to sense reality (that is, using the sensory transmitters of taste, touch, vision, hearing, smelling) breaks down and can only be accessed consciously. Now, by “consciously” please understand that I am not talking sollipsism or mysticism or faith, I am talking reason…the rational (non-contradictory) integration of concepts, which is a process that is wholly cognitive. That is, is a product of man’s mind, and not a product of his senses. Indeed, I submit that the ability to conceptualize precedes the senses in the rational metaphysical chain…or perhaps better said, the senses are a function of man’s ability to conceptualize his existential context (‘enviroment’) and not the other way around. But an expansion on that topic is best left to another article.

At any rate, speaking of mysticism, I submit that the objectivists, empiricists, scientific determinists, scientific rationalists are the real mystics, for they are the ones who ignore where reason takes them, insisting that only that which can be sensed is objective; and when the senses break down, as in quantum physics, conflate the part of physical reality which can literally only exist as mathematical equations, which are catagorical functions of man’s (the obeserver’s) ability to conceptualize, which is the foundation of consciousness…yes, they conflate the mathematical equations with empirical proof; that is, the wholly conceptual (math) is the empirical nature of the quanta.

Impossible.

No, my friends, the objectivists, rationalists, and determinists are the true hypocrites…are the true peddlers of determinist, mystic forces which act as the tyrannical overlords of creation and reality, with the minds of men—those very minds which create the formulas which describe the quantum universe in the first place—relegated to rank illusion, with only those “enlightened” souls able to know the truth. Men, you see, do not create the mathematics which describe the unobservable-yet-still-empirical reality of the quantum universe, they merely “discover” them. And only those given the “grace to perceive”—the particular intellectual proclivities necessary to grasp their hyper-complex design—can really understand. The rest of us are to simply accept their scientific wisdom on faith, as though a divine command, and to punt the explicit-yet-conveniently-ignored rational contradictions (e.g. waves of spacetime) into the abyss of “unknowable mystery”.

But here’s the truth: Objectivists, determinists, empricists openly (though they may not know it themselves, for they are much blinded by hubris and religious zeal) deny the right of anyone else to hold mystic ideas. Everyone else is a fool. Everyone else is deceived and a deceiver. Oh, they can demand fealty to their gods and goddesses—the quanta revealed through quantum theory and the cosmic noise generated by the Church of Billion-Dollar-Atom-Smashers—but the rest of humanity…well, god forbid that they should ever give any mind or deference to other divine ideas. Only the pernicious, mendacious, indolent, and simple would deny the supremacy of the gods of science. Only the irredeemably immoral, the unwashed barbarian, would reject the enlightened sight of  the Preisthood of the White Lab Coats.

Yet what is the difference between “Empirical Church” and other churches? We are told that the difference is that there is no actual faith involved in believing the “scientific evidence”, and this is because it is observable; tangible; physical; actual; sense-able; that science believes is observably distinct from this or that, or him or her. That what they believe can be seen and measured. It requires no more faith to believe in the truth of the quanta than it does a bowl of oatmeal.

But does it?

Can you observe that which is dimensionless, possessing no sub parts, and thus existing at no place, and in no time? In other words, can you empirically observe that which isn’t actually there?

I think you know the answer to that one.

And the answer is—faith.

END part one

Science Confirms the Existence of Gravitational Waves; Reason Does Not (Part 4-Conclusion)

Picking up where we left off in part four:

If space is itself a thing, through their implicit objectification via gravitational waves, then in what vacuum does space exist that it may be displaced in waves? And why should this vacuum—the vacuum in which space exists in order that it may be displaced—not also be objectified and thus subject to displacement via some cosmic episode? And if that is the case, then this second vacuum must then occupy another vacuum in which it is now displaced. And so on and so on and so on, as the fallacy of infinite logical reducibilty determines. Science has, in addition to discovering literal black holes, dug for itself a figurative black hole in the form of complete rational inconsistency.

LIkewise is the case with time—for we should not ignore the “time” component of “spacetime” waves. If time can fluctuate—be displaced in waves—then it is by definition not fundamental…it is not absolute. Time is a finite continuum, and the logical implications for this profound. The declaration of “gravitational waves” mean that temporality itself can shift into different spatial locations. In the same way thus that gravitational waves imply, contradictorily, variations in the where of space, they imply variations in the when of time. Except that time cannot itself have a when, and this is because it is the when.

[Note: The point of the metric tensor (the mathematical coordinate system of “spacetime”) is to graph both the where of X and the when, as “when” and “where” are corollary. And this because space implies relative movement (of objects), and movement implies temporality. It is important to note then that according to the metric tensor (as well as logic in general) both when and where are a continuum upon which the physical universe is perpetually moving. Thus though an object may appear to be sitting still to an observer, it is constantly in spatial flux. Because when and where (time and space) are corollary it is erroneous to claim that an object which is sitting still is only moving temporally and not spatially, as though movement through space (or upon the spatial component of the continuum) can be distinct from movement through time. An object is always moving simultaneously through space and time, again because these things are corollary, which is why the metric tensor is referred to in the decidedly un-distinct “spacetime”. In other words, existence is perpetually active…existence, or being, is itself movement. An object which is sitting still is nevertheless moving through space via—what I would posit as—the root action of being, just as it is moving through time via—what I would posit as—the root moment of now. As for the observer, and this should perhaps be examined in detail in a later article—he is always only directly observing the root “being” and the “now” of any given object. All object states of linear travel and/or future an past are entirely conceptual.]

So time then, according to the implied logic of gravitational waves as fluctuations in spacetime, has a specific temporal value at any given moment. In other words, time (somehow) exists in time…time itself is subordinate to an external temporal continuum. And if this is so then to what temporal continuum is that second temporal continuum subordinate?  And then to what temporal continuum is that third subordinate? And so on and so on, into the same black hole of reiteration and redundancy where pace has been so thoughtlessly cast.

The conclusion of this article series then is thus: I am not (necessarily) doubting that physicists have recorded something subliminal perhaps directly related to the black hole collision observed in 2015, but they most certainly did not record “disturbances in the curvature of spacetime…that propagate as waves outward at the speed of light.”

END part three—conclusion

Science Confirms the Existence of Gravity Waves; Reason Does Not (Part 3)

Gravitational Waves areripplesin spacetime…”

“‘Wavesof changing spacetime would propagatein all directions away from the source like waves inwater caused by a stone…”

-Caltech LIGO page on gravitational waves

Referencing back to part two of this article series, the logical fallacy discussed there relative to space and time is what science commits when it clams that “gravity waves are fluctuations in spacetime”: space and time manifest volume and temporality to themselves; they act relative to themselves, which is redundant and contradictory. Space and time are objectified as distinct, not fundamental (i.e. the context for the relative existence of physical reality-that is, physical objects), and then subsequently asserted to act as distinct objects relative to themselves. By both presuming a fundamentality and irreducibility to spacetime and obejctifying spacetime as a distinct object which interacts as a material object with other objects in the physical universe by being displaced in waves as a consequence of certain massive object interaction, science reveals its ignorance of the difference between metaphysics and physics, and pretends that they are one and the same, and that the metaphysical manifests as the physical, and vice versa. Which constitutes an outright embarrassing intellectual error on the part of those (physicists and mathematicians) who are widely considered to be the brightest minds humanity has to offer. This is not surprising, as the scientific community at best pays lip service to metaphyscis, and when it does it is usually in the form of some scientist who happens to be an adherent of some organized religion who is espousing scientific phenomenon as mrerely proclaiming the wonders of the Divine. In other words, proclaiming that science constitutes a validation of the mystical. And that’s not actually dealing with the metaphysics so much as punting them into the cosmic abyss of “God’s mystery”…which is it’s own brand of codswallop that we won’t be dealing with here.

Here’s the problem: Space and time simply cannot be relative to the physical universe without fundamentally nullifying their very nature through redundancy and self-nullifying contradiction. Space (we will deal specifically with space here), once objectified, becomes a distinct entity itself—the vacuum, in reality, the absence of existence (that is, the absence of that which IS, is really a metaphysical context in which the relative relationships of those things which do exist becomes possible), becomes physical…it becomes not the absence of that which IS but something which IS, physically, itself. This being the case, space must have its own location, a location which is now relative to other objects which physically exist. In other words, space must now occupy space. And thus by occupying space may thus be displaced as “waves of gravity”.

But if space is actually what is implied and outright proclaimed by science and all rational and conventional defintions…that is, if space is indeed a vacuum—is the absence of that which exists—and thus does not and cannot occupy space, then it is, ipso facto, fundamental. For nothingness, by definition, is by nature infinite. But the infintity of the metaphysical is of course not directly (or, perhaps better said, not physically) compatible with the finity of the physical. Space, being the vacuum, and not a thing itself, thus exists nowhere. Thus, it cannot be displaced in waves, for there is literally nowhere for it to go. Waves by definition indicate a displacement of the medium which is “waving”, therefore, there can be no waves in a medium which cannot by its nature be displaced.

END part 3

Science Confirms the Existence of Gravitational Waves; Reason does Not (Part 2)

Gravitational Waves areripplesin spacetime…”

“‘Wavesof changing spacetime would propagate in all directions away from the source like waves in water caused by a stone…”

-Caltech LIGO page on gravitational waves

*

Space cannot both be a vacuum and occupy a vacuum…e.g. “waves of spacetime”, where space, the vacuum, is displaced into the vacuum of itself.  And time cannot both be temporality and occupy a temporal location. In other words, time cannot have or possess specific temporal value—e.g. “the end of time; the beginning of time”. It cannot fluctuate with space in waves or ripples because these fluctuations imply shifting temporal changes within time itself—that time, can move with space to shift its own temporal location. This is simply impossible, because it contradicts time itself. Time cannot itself posses a specific temporal value which can then shift with space in the presence of gravitational changes. This is a redundancy which nullifies the very root essence of time.

Let’s look at some other examples of science, and material philosophy, which contradict themselves by presumptuously reducing their own irreducibles:

-Energy cannot both be the measure of action potential (the ability to do work) and the instantiation of action (work) and possess energy, itself. That is, energy cannot both be the manifestation of work and a thing which works.

-Gravity cannot both be that which pulls and a thing which possesses the capacity to pull. That is, gravity cannot both be the manifestation of gravitational pull and be a thing which pulls on other things.

-Existence, which is considered the irreducible context for Realtiy in empirical and objectivist philosophies, cannot itself be a thing which exists. That is, the context in which material realtiy exists cannot be objectified as a distinct object which distinctly exists. Existence cannot exist in its own existential context. This is a redundancy which contradicts and nullifies Existence. This of course is the inherent self-defeating fallacy in the metaphysical claim “existence exists”. It is a futile proposition which attempts to correlate the metaphysical to the physical, which is of course a very noble endeavor, but here the endeavor fails. To claim that existence exists is to state the redundancy that existence possesses existence; that it does what it is. Which is a rational error. Existence, being fundamental, somehow yet acts in order to verify itself to itself. In other words, to state that existence exists is to objectify existence as not a metaphysical context for the interaction of the physical, but as a distinct object which is specific from that which exists “in it”, or “in its context”, and thus is not a basis for object existence, but an object which is merely relative to other objects. “Existence exists” undermines existence as being fundamental and primary.

And more to the point of the redundancy of “existence exits”…let’s use “tree” as an example of the rational error committed when material objects are correlated and conflated with their value upon the greater environment (e.g. other objects). It makes no sense to claim that a tree, for example, itself, possesses “treeness”. That the tree does tree. Treeness is entirely irrelevant to the tree, itself; just like existing, or “existence-ness” is entirely irrelevant to existence, itself. “Treeness” is the role the tree plays relative to other objects in order that the observer may conceptualize “tree” as distinct from say “bird” or “dog”. Treeness, or “doing tree”, is a relative action that is a consequence of the tree’s existence relative to its environment. “Treeness” is a concept that results from the tree plus its environment plus the observer. In other words, the tree cannot be a tree to itself. The tree does not act relative to itself. In the same way existence does not act relative to itself. Existence does not exist any more than the tree does treeness. Existence, once objectified as a thing which exists, only exists because it acts relatively to other objects in a greater environment. And this means that existence is not in fact primary, which means it is not irreducible, which means empirical and objectivist metaphysics are incomplete. I propose that the reason objects act relatively to other objects, and why the observer observes and conceptualizes these relative distinctions to create epistemology and ethics, is because they are able. Ability is the singular commonality which binds all material realtiy, then. Ability is the metaphysical primary. And you would not say that “ability is able”, because ability doesn’t need to be able. Ability implies action, and action implies that which acts. And that which acts is what is able. We could even say that “that which exists is able to exist” if we still feel the need to inject existence into metaphysics. This makes existence a rational metaphysical concept because it recognizes that existence is in fact reducible. If we remove ability then we are left with “that which exists, exists”, which is merely another way of stating the tautology “existence exists” (“existence does existence”) which is meaningless. We could say that “existence implies that which exists” if we are going to force the issue of existence as metaphysical primary. But this begs the question “how does that which exists exist?”. And the answer of course is “because it is able to exist’.

END part two

There is No Such Thing as “No Such Thing as Absolute Truth”

The claim that there is no such thing as absolute truth is, of course, a bald-faced self-nullifying contradiction. If there is no such thing as absolute truth then the assertion that there is no such thing as absolute truth cannot possibly be absolutely true. It could be true, one might argue, to which I would say: perhaps I will grant you that, however it’s only possible truth, and not absolute truth. It can be known, perhaps, but not known for certain. But…hang on…if absolute truth is not knowable for certain, then how can it be claimed that there is such a thing as absolute truth? It cannot. And thus we must assert that there is no such thing as absolute truth. But this assertion then cannot be absolutely true…and round and round we go. Wash. Rinse. Repeat, as the bottle directs us.

So much for the faux profundity of idiotic, what I call, Dorm Room Philosophy—philosophical neophytes sitting around over a bong or a four pack of artisan beer waxing on with ivy league pretension about shit that no one understands because it’s nothing but tarted up nonsense. Nonsense on her prom night.

Let’s get one thing straight: Contradiction is not deep thinking. It’s make believe. It’s mysticism. It’s a galaxy far far away. It’s not philosophy. It’s not wisdom, and it’s certainly not truth…of any kind.

Back to the flummery of “no such thing as absolute truth”.

If there is no such thing as absolute truth, then what is the point of language? Indeed, how is language even possible at all? If there is no such thing as absolute truth then of course there is no such thing as objective truth…or of objectivity at all. Which means that language can serve no objective purpose. And this being the case, language contradicts itself…it becomes self-nullifying. It can make no certain claim, about anything, and this is an extension of the fact that it is impossible for the user of language (the Observer) to actually know anything…because there is no objective truth, which is to say, following the logic, that there is no truth at allAnd if the user cannot really know anything then there is no fundamental point in any utterance, and thus communication is likewise pointless. Language then becomes categorically irrelvant at the most fundamental level. And that which is by nature irrelevant, based upon explicit,  endemic, necessary self-contradiction is indeed utterly impossible existentially. That is, you might say, as soon as it is manifest, it dissolves into non-being, because nothingness is the only thing it can “mean”.

And if language is impossible then so must be consciousness. For one cannot be self-aware…that is, one cannot know himself, cannot conceptualize himself and then name himself, if what he is is infinitely subjective, lacking any objectivity because truth itself is infinitely subjective and thus infinitely irrelevant. Impossible language is language which is infinitely subjective, which makes consciousness likewise subjective. But if consciousness only subjectively exists, and this fundamentally so, then consciousness, doesn’t actually (objectively) exist. Consciousness then is purely an illusion…which of course begs the question: an illusion of what? You see, from the frame of reference of he or that which is (or is said to be) conscious there is no difference between consciousness and the illusion of consciousness. Because how would he or it know the difference? How would you? How would you know the difference between he or that which is actually conscious and he or that which possesses only the illusion of consciousness? In order for you to claim that consciousness is only an illusion, you would have to know that the consciousness to which you refer is not in reality actual consciousness at all, but is in fact merely an illusion of consciousness. Which would imply that you have an objective frame of reference for actual consciousness, thus proving implicitly that there is, indeed, such a thing as actual, objective consciousness. And if there is such a thing as actual, objective conscioness, then there must be such a thing as objective language, which means there must be such a thing as objective truth. Or capital “T” Truth, we sometimes say. Which means there must be such a thing as absolute truth. And if there is such a thing as absolute truth then there is such a thing as absolute ethics (objective ethics) and absolute (objective) politics and absolute (objective) aesthetics. And pure reason (rationally consistent, utterly non-contradictory, thinking) is how you define them.

END

Why an Opposite is Not a Corollary, and Vice Versa: Seek truth in proper definitions

Though I have touched upon this topic previously on this blog, it never hurts to revisit it. It never ceases to surprise me how even the most intelligent thinkers among us tragically confuse and conflate the concepts of “opposite” and “corollary”. To me, it is the intellectual equivalent of the common conflation of “literally” and “figuratively”. Understand that in this article I am speaking of the philosophical use of these terms…that is, how they conceptually relate to general and overall Truth, as it were. I understand that in common parlance, we read the nuances of people and language…we can easily discern that “literally” really means  “figuratively” when our neighbor declares that they “literally died” when they heard the news that the new bathroom would cost twenty thousand dollars; likewise we understand that “corollary” really means “opposite” when we hear someone explain that the corollary to things going up is that they must come down…we understand what is being said here is merely an iteration of the  common maxim that “what goes up must come down”, which we accept as such and go on with our day.

But when grand truths about existence and humanity and nature are couched in a false assumption about what is corollary, the confusion becomes very dangerous, and obviously misleading. If we believe that the “corollary” to life is death, when in fact “death” and “life” are diametrically opposed, then we have utterly misinterpreted reality and formed an idea about our existence which is about as wrong as it could possibly be. And it is the smuggling in of the false synonymic relationship  of “corollary” and “opposite” with respect to greater and profound meaning that I take issue with, and wish to set straight in order that we may stop leading ourselves astray by committing one of the most obvious and avoidable mistakes of all time: ignorance of the  basic linguistic—conceptual definitions we have set for ourselves.

I offer this article as a primer on the subject…in my customary discursive fashion.

*

The conflation of “opposite” and “corollary” is not unlike the falsely presumed interchangeability of, say, “ironic” and “coincidental”, or “ironic” and “misfortune”, in addition to the aforementioned “literally’ and “figuratively”. One can’t help but wonder how long it will take the English language to contradict itself altogether and lose all practical utility entirely.

A summary of the following article can be stated this way: Opposites do not imply each other as equally existing or occurring simultaneously, and possessing equal and shared relevance and importance in all contexts at all times. Corollaries do.

Corollaries are a single conceptual essence, broken into purely semantic distinctions, mostly for linguistic efficiency. Opposites are utterly antipodal, mutually exclusive concepts. The presence of one does not demand the simultaneous equal representation of the other; in fact, by definition, and apropos, quite the opposite is true. The presence of one implies the utter absence of the other in a given context. If X is going up, for example, X is not going down. Now, I understand that it is the inexorable inverse linguistic-semantic relationship between opposites which gives them a veneer of corollary relationship…of symbiosis. But in any practical application, this relationship is simply not so. If X goes up, X is not also going down; if X goes left, X is not also going right. To imply otherwise gives us neither opposite nor corollary, but a contradiction.

The other day a friend of mine on Facebook posted a quote attributed to Carl Jung…though I’d never stake my life on the claim that facebook memes are entirely beyond suspicion when it comes to correctly assigning quotes to speakers or authors. For all I know the quote actually came from Daffy Duck…I’m just not that familiar with Jung. But we will give my friend the benefit of the doubt and assume that she knows that these words are in fact his words:

”Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.”

With all due respect, that assertion is at best misleading, and at worst the utterance of a man who has but a tenuous grasp of important conceptual distinctions, and thus has little business making aphorisms of any kind dialoging on existential truth. Because what is being committed here is the rational crime of confusing and conflating corollaries with opposites. Happiness is not “balanced by” sadness/darkness; happiness doesn’t demand that sadness have anything to do with it at all. In fact, by definition, the complete opposite is true.

While it is not necessarily irrational to claim that a concept implies its direct opposite, as I mentioned earlier when noting the inexorable inverse relationship of opposites, the nature of a corollary is not actually that a thing implies another thing, but that a thing is simultaneously and equally that other thing. In this context, I am not of course speaking of contradictions as being actual…I am simply explaining what is being stated when one speaks in corollaries. Corollaries are wholes which are commonly parsed—wholes considered in parts (as opposed to parts which are commonly considered in wholes (e.g. any concrete noun, and even some abstract or pseudo-abstract nouns like “collection”, “bunch”, “chaos”, “government”.)

Let’s take for example the corollary love/value. It could properly be rendered as:

It is love, therefore it is value.

There is a corollary relationship between “love” and “value”, but the corollary—the whole which is considered in parts—is love/value. Love and value are, philosophically, when speaking of corollaries, an “it” not a “them”. The corollary is properly described as “it is”, not “there is”. It is improper to render the corollary as “There is love, therefore there is value”, because the phrase “there is” implies a distinction between love and value; yet when considering the actual corollary relationship between love and value there is no distinction. Fundamentally, love is value and vice versa. Always. In all contexts and at all times. That’s why love/value is a corollary. And having said that, we can see why opposites cannot be corollaries. It is rank nonsense to claim that “it is left, therefore it is right”, or “it is up, therefore it is down”. Clearly that cannot possibly be the case, in any context, at any time. And again it’s not about implication. A corollary does not mean X implies Y. Love doesn’t imply value, it is value at the same time. Left may imply right, up may imply down, but this does not make these concepts corollary. At least not when we are speaking of root, philosophical principles. The concept of “corollary” in such a context needs to be carefully understood and properly utilized in order to avoid utterly careening offcourse and crashing disasterously into conclusions which are entirely opposite of truth.

Now, from this we can approach the distinction between opposites and corollaries from another important angle. Opposites like “happiness” and “sadness” are not corollary because, unlike true corollaries, they are always contextual, and thus always subjective. In other words, opposite concepts are not axiomatic, they are merely practical. They are always subject to a particular frame of reference. They do not apply equally to all people at all times, even given that opposites share an inverse relationship when taken purely abstractly. “Happiness” in a given individual context does not necessarily imply “sadness” at all, like “up” does not necessarily imply “down”, or “left” imply “right”. If I point to the top shelf in the pantry and say to someone “the cereal is up there”, I am not giving any value, and certainly not an equal, corollary amount, to “down there”. To assume otherwise simply confuses the issue and muddies the context of the statement. Certainly, we might make the basic, obvious semantic claim that “up there”, generally speaking, implies a “down there” generally speaking; but with opposites, unless we are in a grammar or linguistics class we are never speaking generally when using concepts like “up”, “down”, “left, “right”, etcetera. In other words, the notions of “up there” and “down there” never really come up nonspecifically. There is always a  particular “who” or a “what” to provide context. There is nothing fundamentally meaningful about “down”  relative to “up” when I am speaking of the cereal being “up there [on the top pantry shelf]”. Likewise, with respect to Jung’s quote, to say that a given individual’s life is happy does not necessarily imply that it is or has ever been to any degree sad. It is simply irrational and incorrect to claim that if one is happy he must also be or have been sad, as though it is through sadness that an individual’s happiness is manifest (and vice versa) rather than through the specific experience of whatever happy things he may have done and been a part of in his life (e,g. Having children, getting married, earning a college degree).  To claim that for one to be happy he must have the personal frame of reference of sadness is an arrant contradiction. For even if one who is happy had in the past been sad doesn’t mean that his happiness is known to actually be happiness because he has also been sad…as if sadness is the frame of reference for happiness. This is to imply that one actually means the other, which of course contradicts their very definitions, which nullifies the concept of “opposites” at root. “Happiness is sadness; sadness is happiness” is a tautological form of rational folderol. Happiness cannot also mean sadness, like up cannot also mean down. The assertion that one cannot experience happiness unless they’ve experienced sadness is, for one, not true or logical, but more egregiously, subjugates man’s existence to rational error.

True corollaries are not contextual, they are objective, universal, symbiotic, and utterly equivalent and inclusive of one another, at all times, absolutely and infinitely so. One means the other; one is the other. A corollary which is true for me is also true for you; unlike oppoites, which are subjective and contextual—what is happiness for me may be sadness for you and vice versa. But things like love and value, labor and property, ruling authority and force, truth and morality, action and ability…these are true corollaries. As they apply to me they also apply to you. If I am loving then I am valuing; likewise if you are loving then you are valuing. If I am acting then I am able to act; likewise you. If I make a truth claim then I make a morality claim; likewise you. If I am laboring then I am owning (that which with I labor—my body); likewise you. If I am a ruling authority over others then I am forcing others; likewise you.

END

A Faith So Easy to Understand, Yet So Difficult: How Christianity deceptively integrates complexity and simplicity

Converting the fossilized remains of long-dead organisms into a means of mass conveyance; splitting the atom to generate near limitless amounts of energy; the formulation of equations by parsing infinity into units, then subjecting these units to a rigid abstract legal paradigm in order to organize an otherwise chaotic physical environment, enabling the creation of everything from tuffets to skyscrapers to battleships. All of these are universally efficacious, categorically productive, infinitely applicable, and are a part of the knowledge reliably categorized as capital-T Truth. None are by any means easy to do or understand, by any reasonable standard. Indeed, what watersheds of man’s existence are easy? Very few, if any. For any Truth I submit is necessarily arcane, enigmatic, and elusive, if not downright paradoxical.

Yet despite this, we are led to believe that the very epistemology by which man can know the difference between Truth and Falsehood in the first place is simple. Why, even a child can grasp it.

It’s nothing.

It’s the blowing of a dandelion.

All philosophical truths can be reduced, in all of their complexities and facets and nuances and archetypes and qualifications and distinctions, to the size of a bumper sticker. A small, sticky rectangle is all that is needed to adequately express the Truth.

In no better place is this notion exemplified than in Christianity. In the course of the past seven years of my commitment to calling out rational fallacy within the church and in human thinking in general, I have been scolded by Christians again and again, implicitly and explicitly, for my criticism and dismantling of orthodox doctrines. They tell me it constitutes an over-complication of the simple “faith” to which they ascribe; my thinking and teaching is a stumbling-block to the unsaved and seeking, and a barrier to those who proselytize them with Christ’s “simple” gospel of God’s forgiveness.

But is it really that simple, or is simplicity merely a matter of one’s point of view? Or is it something else altogether? The answer, as it may or may not surprise you, is both and neither…which is entirely consistent with the exasperatingly reasonless nature of Christian apologetics. You see, without contradiction, the church wouldn’t have any doctrine at all. The whole of Christian faith is built upon smoke…the fog of the burning bodies it leaves in its wake is so thick that it has become a facade of solid ground. Smoke so thick you believe you can actually walk upon it…yes, this is the essence of Christian thought.

Smoke. Gilded bullshit. Call it what you like, but the “faith” which is so simple yet so hard predictably falls apart when subjected to rudimentary logical examination.

Let me explain.

As I have mentioned, Christians are never slow nor reluctant to tell us how simple and universally accessible their message is. Yet on the other hand the Church has spent thousands of years weaving their orthodoxy into doctrines of incoherent paradox, contradiction, and doublespeak. And because of this we have, concordant with the notion that Christianity is intellectually accessible to the most nitwitted among us, the notion that Christian theology is an inexhaustible ocean of intellectual stimulation. Certainly, it isn’t uncommon to find Christian apologists who insist that one who dares wander along the road of the theological literati shall find that God’s revelations sufficiently challenge even the most intellectually gifted. And, in keeping with Christian manipulative tradition, where apologists engage in an intellectual war of attrition as opposed to rational discourse, qualification and equivocation are always the typical response to accusations that Christian orthodoxy isn’t complex and deep so much as it is heavily reliant upon tautology which has been sufficiently wrought enough to give the faith a relatively effective veneer of substance. But Christian metaphysics declare humans in all ways existentially depraved, including intellectually. And this is likely the greatest argumentative cop-out of all time, because it makes actual truth beyond the capacity of man by virtue of his very birth as man. And this grants Christians a convenient excuse to avoid their obligation to rationally defend their ideas, because rationality only goes as far as man’s mind, and that’s not far enough. What they believe, in other words, is so complicated that it is beyond the human capacity to know. They cannot actually explain it to you, because it’s beyond man, outside of him, literally and absolutely. Which means that they cannot actually explain it to themselves. Which means that they don’t actually believe anything at all. Therefore “Faith” and “belief” are mutually exclusive according to Christian metaphysics. Faith has nothing to do with actual belief, because belief requires a sufficiency to the Truth of God that man simply does not possess by nature. And THAT’S Christian apologetics in a nutshell.

So let’s open the nutshell a little here. I’m afraid we shall discover that the nutshell doesn’t contain any actual nut.

Saving faith, they declare, is open to all, and because “saving faith” is open to all, it is therefore so simple a child can understand. And yet, on the other hand, the faith is so complicated that man is, by nature (by being man), incapable of ever truly grasping it, and thus, man cannot actually believe on his own behalf so that he can be saved by belief…that is, by understanding. Because of this, he is really elected by God to salvation; it is a gift of God, and a product of God’s all-determining power.

Do you see what’s being done here? Faith is both simple and a matter of Divine, predetermining Will. But how can this be?  Either the faith is so simple that all can apprehend it sufficiently to be saved or belief doesn’t matter because salvation is in fact a matter of Divine determinism—that is, since God elects who shall be saved, whether one can actually understand the Gospel message or not is entirely irrelevant.

And here enter the cavalcades of Christian equivocation and objection. Because in God’s world—a world where all is possible, and where “all” includes the conflation and synthesis of complete opposites—up is simultaneously down, left is simultaneously right, wisdom is simultaneously ignorance, etc. These contradictions, when interpreted via “God’s wisdom”, are all perfectly consistent; it’s all most clearly and necessarily true. Indeed, the recognition of entirely different rational standards for religious thought and secular thought is the very basis of holy faith. Hence, why “belief” is so easy. Because, in essence, it requires absolutely no intellectual capital because by man’s nature it cannot be accessed in the first place. And yet this is also why faith is so utterly complex…it’s so complicated that man cannot ever fully understand it. It is simply beyond him.

Faith is all about trust without belief. Thus, one let’s go of their insufficient human wisdom and embraces a reality where God’s mind rules, which makes anything possible…and presto change-o…contradiction becomes completely reasonable.

You see, saving faith is intellectually simple because the intellect is irrelevant. Believing “by faith and not by sight” is to accept truth whilst acknowledging that you cannot possibly know why the truth is true. Truth and reason are split apart, and thus faith is easy, because it requires no reason for it. And this is the “faith like a child” which saves. This is why so many Christians embrace simple-mindedness as a virtue.

Now, ironically, this simple saving faith, where the corollary between belief and why one believes is torn in two, provides the framework upon which the vast“complexities” of Christian theology are built. In the theological fantasyland of Christian orthodoxy where there is belief without reason, anything can be true…or nothing. Truth has been emancipated from the confines of reason, Christians, especially divinity scholars, theologians, and the leadership, can make the particulars of the Faith as arcane and abstruse as they like, and on a whim. Where “truth” doesn’t actually mean anything, you see, it can mean everything. When A is simultaneously B, then the corridors of Divine Wisdom become an infinite maze of rational subjectivity. One enters and one leaves as one pleases. Out is in; in is out. The complex is easy; the easy, complex.

And that’s how they do it. That’s how Christianity gets away with peddling their ideology as both beautifully simple and infinitely challenging…a one-size-fits-all for any mind, of any ability, at any time.

END

The Cognitive Dissonance of “Easy Contradiction”: Why I am accused of being too rigid and abstruse (PART ONE)

I have heard it a million times…it’s become simply a toll I must pay daily to make my commute to philosophy and back. I am too much of an absolutist (I love that one…makes me sound almost tyrannical); too “black and white”.  I am unwilling to compromise…things are either this or that, yes or no, there’s no room for negotiation, no allowance for mystery, the unknowable, divine intervention, truth beyond man’s mind; that there are notions and ideas which matter but which we cannot fully explain.  Which of course begs the question: If we can’t really explain them, then how do we know they matter?

But we won’t worry about the rational failures coming from my critics.  Rationality clearly isn’t a priority.  Pity.

By being labeled an absolutist, too committed to stark demarcation between truth and lie; right and wrong; black and white, it is insinuated that I reject the bell curve.  That I believe and assert that there is no such thing as degrees of anything, but all either is or is not.  This is ludicrous.  Now, I can understand how one might initially perceive this to be the case with me, as my focus is on rooting out contradiction from meaning and understanding…which is to say, to indicate what MUST be false, and from that determine what MUST thus be true, and then explain why truth then cannot be integrated with its own nullification (though I’m not sure why this needs explaining at all, exactly…once we know what must be false it seems to me a pretty direct and obvious line to the determination that it cannot also be true).  So, in the sense that contradiction is in fact NOT a bell curve, yes, I am an absolutist. For example, the contradiction that says that it is somehow relevant for us to know that God controls all things but yet we are still responsible for our own moral choices is COMPLETELY false.  Why?  It’s obvious!  Why does this even need explaining to anyone not five years-old or younger?!  You cannot integrate the concept of personal responsibility with an utterly determinist God.  To attempt to merge these mutually exclusive concepts is not “thinking in degrees” or some form of virtuous compromise, it’s complete bullshit and should be rejected out of hand by anyone with an ounce of intellectual integrity.

You don’t have ANY frame of reference for the assertion that A is simultaneously B!  You can’t assert that such a contradiction is true without implying that you have NO MEANS by which you can EVER ascertain truth.  Because your fundamental epistemology is rooted in the fact that something can both be true (God controls ALL things) AND false (man makes his own choices and thus bears responsibility for them, which means that God doesn’t actually control all things) at the same time.  In which case truth is impossible, because it intersects with falsehood.  Truth is and isn’t true, in other words.  And THAT is nothing.  Just irritating noise coming out of your mouth hole.

But by making it a constant theme in my philosophy that contradiction cannot somehow pass for rationally consistent truth I am called too rigid…an absolutist.  Just too doggone black and white.  No compromise; no bell curve.  The only two flavors are chocolate and vanilla.  The only dinner options are Italian and Mexican.  The only breed of political ideology is American Republican or American Democrat.  By rejecting contradiction as in any way meaningful, I somehow reject the existence of strawberry; believe that Chinese food is a myth, and declare that Libertarianism is only practiced in Fantasy Land.  There are only dog people and cat people, no one ever owns a turtle; there are only squares or circles…the liar claims to prefer rectangles.  There is no gray…no spectrum of color.  My philosophy is fundamentalist in the most LITERAL and OVERT of ways.  EVERYTHING is an illusion that isn’t A or B.

C, D, E etc. are mere interlopers.

I show myself nothing more than an immovable ideologue…nothing but “black and white” philosophy, you see, because I DARE commit the OUTRAGEOUS intellectual sin of declaring that black cannot simultaneously be white.  This makes me a moral pariah to “learned” and “less judgemental” Christian acquaintances, who are much more versed in the holy and compassionate virtues of wisdom, compromise, temperance, and forgiveness than a recalcitrant asshole like myself could ever be.  I’m a prick because I won’t let people have their cake and eat it, too.  The bromide of soft contradiction is something I refuse to ingest, and that makes me a criminal.

Do you remember who it was that was so intent on convincing Adam and Eve that knowledge (truth) came from OUTSIDE of themselves, from a tree, and not from their own rational minds…not from living life as a thinking agent?  Do you remember who it was that was so enthusiastic about the idea that man’s own reason had nothing fundamental to do with reality?  That truth is a function not of man’s own innate ability to reason fact from fiction, and thus integrity  from perniciousness, morality from mendacity, but from some special,  magical, ethereal enlightenment granted from beyond?  And thus implied that man’s mind itself could not be trusted to SAY what is TRUE at any given moment because what man says “IS” might simultaneously be “IS NOT”, and so man should simply accept a DICTATED truth, rather than think for himself….do you remember who this was?

You who are so quick to judge me as stubborn and cruel and arcane and abstruse and exacting and pedantic and judgemental…why don’t you root out the serpent in your own tree?

END PART ONE

Debating Substantive Issues is Fruitless

I think debate is a waste of time.

I know that this proclamation may be quite puzzling coming from someone so committed to reason and cooperation.  And I know how valued debate is in our culture…though less so in our current political climate, which is trending solidly toward violence.  But given the number of debates I have had and seen during my lifetime, and especially since my break from Christian orthodoxy, which put me at odds with the majority of my friends and family, it is impossible not to notice how people simply NEVER change their fundamental positions—their premises and conclusions.  If anything, the more rationally consistent one participant is, the more stringently the other commits to his intellectual error.  So after years of witnessing this both directly and indirectly, in thousands of instances, I am forced to come to the disturbing conclusion that regardless of my commitment to voluntarism and idea exchange, debate is simply an irresponsible way to spend one’s time and emotional and intellectual resources.  It just doesn’t work.  You can’t drive a railroad spike into the ground with a rubber mallet, and you cannot reason someone into or out of a position by argument.  You just can’t.

This admission, finally made, while disturbing and disappointing given the amount of energy I have spent trying to change others’ minds, and they trying to change mine, is also somewhat freeing.  I can now evolve as an intellectual and an academic, and put my resources into more productive and fulfilling activities.  For instance, I have committed to no longer debating in the comments section of this blog, or others, or on facebook or any other social media platform.  Instead, I will spend more time and energy writing articles, pursing questions and finding answers, and less time caring too much whether or not anyone agrees with me.  I understand that the integrity of the ideas is the most important thing, and that my focus should be all about getting to the truth of each and every question, not maximizing agreement, and not even about presenting ideas in the most appealing or un-abstruse manner possible (not that I can really be accused of doing that anyway on this blog).  Because—and please understand that I am not saying that I have ALL the answers or am the paragon of intellectual consistency—rational and intelligent people will grasp my meaning, or at least apprehend the question I am trying to answer and see why doing so is important—and the more obtuse and complacent amongst us, let’s be honest, won’t get it and won’t care no matter how directly or simplistically the argument is made.  And bye the bye, I think that putting complex arguments into simplistic conveyances isn’t a very good idea, anyway.  Bumper sticker philosophy can be a fine way to affirm the opinions of those who ALREADY agree with a certain ideal, for whatever that’s worth (the laughably facile and ubiquitous “COEXIST” sticker comes to mind immediately), but this seems like a general waste of time.  Better to formulate the argument as comprehensively as possible, despite it being perhaps more arcane and involved, than to leave out a bunch of details which are inexorably necessary to the argument’s root veracity.

In other words, real understanding doesn’t proceed from the ass-end of a car.

Additionally, foresaking any concern with HOW to convince someone of an idea makes studying the idea more fun and relaxing.  Realizing that people who hold contrary premises and conclusions simply cannot be convinced by debate to agree or disagree with a certain idea puts YOUR understanding front and center, where it should be, not the understanding of others.  Now, I’m certainly not arguing that we shouldn’t have an utterly rational foundation for whatever we accept as truth, just that arriving at this foundation doesn’t need to appeal to anyone  else, not because other people don’t matter, but because it CANNOT be MADE to appeal to them, no matter how you develop it—they either accept it or they don’t, you need not spend much time on the aesthetics of your argument.  It only needs to be rationally consistent.  Further, the HOW you arrive at your conclusions and premises, though complex perhaps, WILL I believe necessarily be appealing and ultimately understandable to those who are are already rational.  The rational and intelligent among us are first and foremost committed to truth, as oppposed to the mysticism, sophistry and contradiction which underwrites most peoples’ root thinking, and at the end of the day rational and intelligent people don’t really care how complicated the path is.  Getting to the truth is what matters, not how comfortable or direct it Is for them.  The rational and the intelligent, who understand the deep moral relevance of the truth, WILL pursue it through fire and fury and hell and high water to get to it.  The lazy and/or the stupid and/or the cowardly will not be compelled to apprehend it even if given a map that points them in a straight line to an X which is marked merely across the room.

Now, having said all of that, let us get to question begged here:  Why is debating (issues of substance, in particular) such a waste of time?  Well, let’s talk briefly about philosophy.

Philosophy is cumulative as well as corollary. What I mean by this is that each philosophical category (metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, politics, and aesthetics) except for the first (metaphysics) proceeds from the one before it (cumulative). Epistemology of course proceeds from Metaphysics, metaphysics being the first category, dealing with the nature of reality, itself.  The metaphysical premise is the fundamental Primary of the entire philosophical paradigm which all other premises infinitely imply and from which they are infinitely implied (corollary).  Epistemology considers how man knows what he knows…or more specifically, how man can say what is true and what is not.  In this article we are mostly concerned with the epistemological premise (occasionally I may refer to this as the epistemological primary) but for the sake of clarity it’s important to know all of the philosophical categories, and how they line up and their basic symbiosis.

Whether we realize it or not ALL of us hold basic philosophical premises. If we did not, we simply could not function.  For example, that you know that you don’t brush your teeth with a banana at least obliquely implies a basic interpretation of reality, which implies a philosophy, which implies premises and a metaphysical primary.  In our example you must make a distinction between you, the toothbrush, and the banana.  A is not B is not C, in other words.  Thus, you accept a practical plurality of reality…these objects exist separately.  Yet because they are relevant to you (that is, they have equal practical meaning) you accept that they also exist in a single existential context. Thus, I already somewhat know your basic metaphysical assumption: reality is both plural and relative. This is very important. Your metaphysical premise is the basis for WHY you do what you do and think what you think.

Next, because you know that a banana is NOT a toothbrush (A is not B), the plurality of (relative) existence implies that specific objects in reality have distinct definitions.  The metaphysical idea that A is not B implies a difference in meaning, and the specific meanings elucidated are epistemological. Metaphysics says that A is not B. Epistemology says that A is a banana and B is toothbrush.

Next, you know that it is irrational to brush your teeth with a banana.  Another way of saying this is that it is not good (where “good” in this case is defined as “productive”) to use A to do a job reserved for B based upon its practical definition. This is a form of ethics—how you value things in a given context depending on their meaning and the nature of their relativity and relevance to you and each other at the existential level.

And here I could go on to politics and aesthetics, but you get the idea. However, I wish to make it clear that no one should ever assert it is a simple thing to determine the sum and substance of a given individual’s philosophy, for such a thing can be extremely complex, full of nuance, ostensible and/or subtle contradictions, and even rank delusion.  Not to say that it is impossible to determine with relative certainty the nature of someone’s philosophy at a detailed level, but it takes quite a bit of experience with and observation of their behavior, not to mention listening to what they actually say about what they believe, which is, unsurprisingly, probably the best way to figure it out.  So, while I can get an oblique picture of one’s ideas, philosophically speaking, by simply observing them brushing their teeth, there is a great depth to one’s understanding about the nature of their existence which reveals itself much more fully the better one knows them.  I cannot tell the difference between a collectivist and an individualist by their teeth brushing beyond the fact that they on some level accept an existential distinction between and contextual relativity amongst themselves and the toothbrush (and everything else involved in the process).  But I cannot see where those philosophical assumptions may give way to the contradiction and delusion of, say, a theocratic socialist state, in the case of the collectivist, or provide a simple but sturdy framework for the argument of property rights and self-ownership, in the case of the the individualist.

At any rate, the point is that we all have a philosophy and we all hold philosophical premises in all five categories.  We simply must, because such a thing is endemic to our identity as thinking creatures, period.

So back to the issue at hand.

Let us focus on the epistemological premise, because this deals with how reality is specifically defined and interpreted, and so it deals most directly and most substantially with the topic of debate.

I submit that one’s epistemological premise isn’t chosen, but is simply known—and this is very important because it provides the fulcrum for my entire argument here.  The epistemological premise is either inculcated by one’s environment, such as in childhood, and reinforced by experience and perhaps instruction; or it is realized, again through experience, but perhaps later on in life—such as in my case where the hypocrisy of decades of Christian orthodoxy left me with the realization that my spiritual “belief” was, at the irreducible root, a distinction between a “truth” that is madness  (truth within the church) or a truth that is reason (truth outside the church). I left the church because experience forced me to realize that real truth could not be found there, and thus morality dictated that I abandon it.  Which I did…to great emotional harm to my family, and emotional and physical harm to myself.  This realization amounted to a categorical shift in my most fundamental philosophical assumptions, and I mean consciously.  In order to make a move like that, trust me, you have to understand the ENTIRETY of why, and ALL of the implications for the nature of your existence for the rest of your life, both this one and the hereafter.  I and my family lost 99% of our friends and aquaintances by realizing that the church is built on a lie, and that the devil, as always hiding in plain sight, was meeting us every Sunday morning at the podium on the stage in front of the big, comfortable auditorium.  You don’t make a sacrifice like that unless you know the profundity of it exactly.  And you simply cannot leave that much behind unless your philosophy utterly changes.

And it isn’t a choice.  Because one cannot choose to be insane any more than one can chose to be rational.  Once you are punched in the face with rank evil and you recognize it and realize it, you instantly become apart from it.  In that sense, I didn’t choose to leave the church.  I REALIZED a new premise, reason instead of madness, and was obliged to follow it.

*

So the epistemological premise is not a choice.  And neither is it learned, in the strictest definition of the word.  Choice is a function OF the premise, it does not precede it.  Choice is impossible unless one knows the nature of it at any given moment, and the nature of the choice depends on what what you believe about truth.  Choice is NOT how you decide what you believe about truth.  The epistemological premise is lived and subconsciously accepted, or perhaps later in life circumstances change and a new premise is realized.  But it is not something which can be merely communicated to one another by language; it is not something one can reason another into, because the epistemological premise is that FROM which reason springs, and that which reason itself thus necessarily implies.

Reason, you see, is only REASONABLE if one ALREADY has a premise which serves as the plumb line for what makes reason meaningful and efficacious.  And this is why one never changes the mind of another during argument or debate of issues of any real substance…because both parties must have the SAME epistemological frame of reference in order to actually have an argument or debate on any sort of equal platform of reason; for otherwise their frames of reference for MEANING in general are incompatible, and debate is necessarily impossible.  But the paradox thus becomes that IF they do hold to the same epistemological premise—implying, remember, a metaphyscial premise—then debate is likewise not really possible.  Because “debate” amongst two people who share the same frame of reference of meaning (reason—epistemology) and reality (existence—metaphysics) don’t debate so much as merely exchange information. That is, one or both parties simply lack certain knowledge that if they knew, WOULD have them accept the SAME perspective with respect to the argument…and debate over.  Once the information discrepancy is corrected, then reconciliation—or agreement—is inevitable (again, assuming the argument is regarding something of substance, and by that I mean, objective, as opposed to, something like, say, whether Gene Simmons is cooler than Ace Frehley).  The “debate” in this case isn’t at root a difference in how reality is interpreted, which is the foundation of any true and worthwhile debate, but again merely a deficiency of information.  In other words, the parties debating already agree with each other, they just don’t know it yet.  But if the epistemological premises are different—if there is a descrepancy between the parties’ interpretive lenses with respect to meaning, then agreement on ANY issue of substance is impossible, because each party intellectually (and thus emotionally) occupies utterly distinct realities at root, which obviously makes these realities incompatible, and agreement ultimately impossible.

*

One’s epistemological premise is either reasonable (adhering to categorical conceptual consistency (e.g. a square cannot also be a cicle; black cannnot also be white; man cannot possess a depraved nature and yet be on the hook for making moral choices)) or it is not.  And again the premise is not chosen.  It is lived and unconsciously accepted or (later in life perhaps) consciously realized.  Choice I submit springs from and leads back to the premise, and thus choice is always relative to it, and therefore is in a sense superficial, all choices fundamentally and equally affirming the premise, which guarantees a particular MEANINGFUL conclusion, which may LOOK different depending on the given practical context (the context of routine daily life), but will be, when viewed in terms of the epistemological (and metaphysical) foundation, equal to ALL the conclusions of ALL of one’s choices.

*

Reasoning as an argumentative strategy is only effective on reasonable people (and the converse is also true…that is, irrationality as an argument only works on irrational people).  And a reasonable person is one who has already accepted a reasonable epistemological premise, which in turn means that he has accepted a reasonable metaphyscial premise, which is his very assumption about the root of reality itself.

Now, as I said earlier, the epistemological premise to which one holds is not a function of choice, but indeed it is the other way around.  The circumstantial context of choice in daily life may make specific choices seem fundamentally meaningful in and of themselves, but all choices are simply equal expressions of one’s premise, which isn’t chosen.  And this is why I find choice so fascinating and a little enigmatic.  I belive in conscious agency and thus choice, but I also understand that choice doesn’t play a very significant role in determining one’s actions…choice is basically superficial when it comes to fundamentally understanding WHY people do what they do.

In order for me to choose, I must already have a premise by which I devise a  working definition of what “me” is, as “me” relates to the environmental, emotional, and psychological context in which “me” finds itself, and this definition of “me” is a function of the subconsciously assumed or consciously realized epistemological premise.  To say I choose this premise is thus putting the cart before the horse.  The premise is the substrate of the meaning (to me) of reality, itself.  Thus, this primary, not my choice, is the ROOT of my ideas, and thus is WHY I make the choices I do (why I do what I do).  Therefore, if people holding mutually exclusive epistemological premises attempt to debate an issue of substance, then the absolute best that can be achieved is a stalemate.  Because I cannot CHOOSE to accept an argument which is rooted in an epistemological premise that I do not choose.

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