Category Archives: reason

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

END

 

 

 

 

Man’s Identity is Not a Matter of Science (Part One)

Obviously science is useful…clearly its efficacy is there for all to see, for thousands of years. But science can only describe that which is observed, it cannot describe the observer.

The importance of this cannnot be overstated.

Without the observer, there is no frame of reference by which to describe reality scientifically. That is, absent the observer qua observer (i.e. the observer not described and defined by the very scientific processes he is observing) the question begged is: to what or to whom can we reference the machinations of the universe which are said to be governed and defined according to the processes of natural law? Absent the observer, how are all object actions and interactions not infinitely relative? For example, does the earth really revolve around the sun in a universe which has no fixed boundary unless there exists an observer to say it is so, with respect to the needs and the expediencies of HIS vantage point?

The answer is no, it does not.

And neither does the sun revolve around the earth.  The relationship between sun and earth is infinitely relative. Absent the observer, there is no fixed location of ANY object in a universe which possesses no fixed boundary.

I submit that the only non-relative entity in existence which thus can serve as the reference for the (otherwise) infinitely relative movements (action/interaction) of objects in the universe is “I”.  That is, the sense of one’s utter Self…the IS of You and Me…the Root of one’s being. Self. This is the only immovable, fully absolute existing Plumb Line to which all scientific laws can be referenced, and thus it is the Self of the observer by which these laws receive every ounce of their relevance. Absent the Self-aware observer, it is impossible that scientific truths can be known, and therefore impossible that they be called true. That which is not known cannot be declared true—for it cannot be true if it is not true TO a CONSCIOUS reference; if it is not true TO ANYONE, then such a “truth” is wholly irrelvant…which, “irrelevant truth” is a contradiction in terms. A truth which can never be shown nor proven nor applied TO ANYONE is simply a truth which is not true.

And it is the observer, and only the observer, who knows and declares and applies. Truth is Knowledge and Application (relevance), and both of these are a function of the observer, period.

Science, then, if it is indeed true and also contains truths, is thus necessarily a function of the observer, and not the other way around. It is not a matter of discovery, but description. That is, scientific law is not found, it is created…by the observer. The conscious observer, by his powers of conceptualization and therefore language, rooted in the “I” of Individual existence, creates scientific truths from reason. He defines, in rationally consistent ways, to and from himself, that which promotes himself…that which is for himself, so that he may promote his own existence and his own root existential Truth, and absolutely so, according to the (utterly reasonable) metaphysics which demand him. A law of nature, then, devoid of the reference of the observer, is not discovered, as though an ethereal and transcendent natural “process” which resides in some utterly theoretical inky black nothingness beyond and ironically exclusive of man and his universe creates some kind of meaningful relationship between the completely relative existent objects in that universe. The observer, by the reference point of Self and by his powers of conceptualization and language, percieves his environment and gives definition and meaning to the relative relationships between and amongst his body and all other objects which act and interact with each other in that environment. Because of the observer and his absolute and immovable frame of reference of Self, the relationship between objects and all of their infinite parts is utterly relative no more, and thus can now be named, defined, and given purpose. The observer makes nature true, not the other way around. Indeed, the observer creates like God, or as God, perhaps…he by his nature brings into being a universe which otherwise cannot exist, because it can possess no Truth apart from him. And that which has no Truth can likewise have no existence; to say that something IS, which is the sole convention and prerogative of the observer, is the most fundamental truth claim of them all.

Solving the “Problem of Evil” from Reason

You’ve heard of the “problem of evil” (henceforth to be written PE)? If not, that’s okay. I will explain it here. Basically the PE is this: in light of God’s sovereign Character, how can we explain the existence of evil in the world? How can an all-powerful and all-loving God create, cause, and allow for evil to exist in the world, and even worse, in such copious amounts and in such terrible forms?

The problem with the PE assertion is that it makes some fundamental assumptions with respect to God and man’s nature and character, and the nature of reality in general, which simply do not stand up to rational scrutiny.  Now, many, if not all of these underlying rational errors, I have dealt with in articles on this blog, probably more than once. But I thought it might be beneficial to write a summary in article form on the false assumptions which lead people to accept the PE as a paradox that has some logical merit and relevance to theological discourse.

It doesnt.

This is by no means a comprehensive synopsis…and, given that it is relatively deep and detailed, this should tell you something.  I submit that the false and arrantly irrational assumptions which underly the PE, in and of themselves, alone, suffice to illuminate with perfect clarity this baseless notion. Unfortunately, with religion it seems that all too commonly rational error and superstition are a boon, not a demerit.

What most immediately and predominately springs to mind as aiding and abetting the idea of the PE is the Biblically absent yet widely accepted notion of humanity’s Total Depravity.

The idea is this: man, because of “The Fall” (a term also Biblically absent) in the Garden of Eden was cursed with a pervasive “sin nature”.  This means that existentially man cannot help but sin.  In fact, man, by his very birth IS SIN, for all intents and purposes.  Everything he does in his natural state is from evil  He cannot understand, and thus cannot choose nor do anything that isn’t evil at root.  And though the Church can often be seen equivocating most hypocritically the idea that a totally depraved reprobate who is infinitely wicked by nature is still somehow morally responsible for his actions, the fact remains that ALL of Christian orthodoxy asserts either plainly or implicitly that man—and even those who are saved by Christ are often featured in this assessment—MUST sin, and WILL sin.  It is a forgone conclusion from birth, period, full stop. And though I have heard many times Christain apologists and theologians attempt, in cringe-inducing fashion, to explain how a TOTALLY depraved human being is not actually totally depraved, the fact is that, according to their own arguments, it is impossible for them to describe just where in the singularity of one’s individuality evil ceases and good begins.  Thus, I submit that this whole convoluted and disastrous notion of Total Depravity contributes to the PE in a couple of ways:

If man disobeyed God in the Garden, and this initiated the race’s downfall, and if this was a function of God’s creating man with the ability to disobey, then how is God not ultimately responsible?  How can we absolve God of blame when he specifically and in full control of his divine faculties created man with the distinct ability to wreck himself and all of creation along with him by doing evil, and this in perfect keeping with his normal operation?  That is, the ability of man to choose evil was not a design error.  It was a part of his proper construction and function.  So…can we really blame the machine for simply doing what the maker designed it to do in the first place?

Next, does not the fact that after the Fall man becoming wholly determined to sin imply that man has made it impossible for God to abolish evil…since every man born MUST by nature do evil?  Indeed, is not every man’s birth post-Fall an act in and of itself of evil—by definition of the pervasive sin nature which utterly and existentially defines him? And if we argue that God can, in fact, abolish evil by destroying all of mankind, is this not an admission that the Maker has failed in his creation? That the perfect God has created out of Himself that which is inherently imperfect by virtue of its innate ability to sin? Even the act of sending a Savior to redeem man implies a contradiction stemming from the Total Depravity of a failed creature that somehow corrupted the Perfect God’s perfect universe by simply exercising a divinely created, divinely-willed, and divinely-intended freedom of choice. For how can he whose very birth is an act of evil because of the categorical nature of his root existential wickedness and who is unable to see the Truth and accept God’s Provision except when enlightened by God’s Spirit, and this entirely of God’s doing, possibly be converted from darkness to light? In other words, how can God make Good, Evil? What is A cannot be made B without contradicting A and thus contradicting B. That is, Evil cannot be made Good without rendering both concepts entirely subjective, barren of any inherent objective meaning and value. In other words, God cannot make evil good just like He cannot make a square a circle without destroying both concepts…and thus He contradicts His ability to create those concepts in the first place.

Other irrational assumptions which underly the PE have to do with the commonly accepted Divine Characteristics: omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence. Now, I have dismantled these in previous articles, detailing how they are in fact inherent contradictions which destroy God’s identity by ascribing to Him attributes which wreck any distinction between Himself and His Creation. A God who can do anything can, by definition, BE anything; and a God who can be anywhere IS everywhere; and a God who knows everything must determine everything. And thus, the only conclusion to be drawn is that there is nothing that God ultimately isn’t, nowhere that He isn’t, and no act that he doesn’t. And in this context, God becomes utterly non-relative.  That is, since there is nowhere that God ends and His Creation begins, the distinction is ruined and God’s very identity with it. In short, the false paradox of the PE is asserted via these Divine Characteristics as follows:

How can a God who basically knows everything and controls everything and is everything and determines everything NOT be responsible FOR everything, including all of the evil He claims He hates?

To conclude, the simple answer to the problem of evil is this:

It is rooted in assumptions that are rank, object, and arrant contradictions, and thus all of these assumptions must be rejected as impossible. Man, being a rational creature, and one who relies upon the conformity of his concepts to rational consistency in order to define and navigate reality, must stop pretending that claims to divine enlightenment and salvation is but an ideological and fanatical commitment to madness over reason; to ignorance and foolishness as the Most Noble Virtue; and to superstition over Truth.

In mathematics, if the numbers do not properly sum, then the equation is in error and reworked or discarded. In science if the empirical evidence is not forthcoming then proof is not accepted or asserted. And in philosophy—and the theological is inexorably philosohical—if the syllogism nullifies the concepts from which it is constructed then it is false, and no truth can be derived. We must throw it out and start again with new assumptions that are rationally consistent and thus can lead to meaningful and useful conclusions.

The fact is that there is no such thing as the Problem of Evil. It’s a contrivance from ignorance or willful deception, and must be dismantled and condemned as such. It presumes a definition of God that renders “God” a null hypothesis. That is, it makes God a contradiction in terms, and thus it demands that there can be no such thing. It pretends that an All-Powerful God can willfully create that which is contrary to both that power and his very Self. The solution then to the problem of evil is to reject it for the distraction from the truth that it is.

In my next article then, I will discuss what the world’s moral problem really is, and how evil contributes.

 

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

Any Honest King Will Keep His Wormtongue and Kill His Conscience

Only in fantasy stories do kings wake up and cast off their Wormtongues. This is because Wormtongue is the reality of the innate and necessary corruption of Authority–the compelling of behavior by “legal” violence, despite the most noble of rulers and their noble  intentions.

You see, in reality, it is Wormtongue who speaks the truth to the King; and it is the King’s conscience which lies. A “good King”–that is, a truthful and honest king, who is consistent with the metaphysic which demands Authority to compel obedience to Law–will abide Wormtongue and banish love.

Is this good, rationally speaking? Of course not: but again, it is good IF we accept the axiomatic definition of Man which necessitates the idea that it is appropriate to govern him. And by “govern” I mean: organize his behavior, specifically his interactions with himself (men and women associating with others), by codifying moral behavior (Law), and thus moving it outside of its only true and natural source, the individual, and thereby making morality utterly abstract and thus utterly subjective as far as man is concerned, and thereby necessitating an Authority–be it a King or any other incarnation of State Violence (that is, the State, period), even “democratically elected public officials” (and by the bye, a greater example of raw, meaningless, subjectivity you’ll not find anywhere than those words)–whose authority transcends any real rational integrity, and who fundamentally exists for the sole purpose of using force and threats to cause the obedience of the denizens.

And what is this definition of man?

It is that he is not him Self. He is not “I”. “I” is an illusory existential frame of reference–a lie–which, by its inexorable and infinite hold on him, makes him unable to perceive the Truth: which is that he is, in fact, nothing at all. That he qua he (he as Individual), is really an infinite collection. He is the group, yet never OF the group. He is “race”, or “class”, or “sex”, or “nation”, or “church”, or “minority”, or “underprivileged”, etc.. The individual is the group; which contradicts his individuality, and thus demands that it be sacrificed by the Authority into the collective “reality.”

And so I say again, any honest King, with even the slightest apprehension of just what the fuck his whole point is, and whether he admits it to himself or not, understands that he is Violence to men, and literally nothing else. He IS the force which compels everyone and everything into the collective Ideal. He is The Efficacy of the Ideal…of the Utopia…of the Collective Paradise. And thus, he IS the very Ideal itself. And this being true, it is his duty to incessantly invite Wormtongue to stifle whatever compassion he may be tempted towards. For to deny the raw and unfettered subjugation and sacrifice of men is to deny the Ideal, and thus deny himself.

There is no such thing as a King with a conscience. Any such King admits, whether he knows it or not, that he is a fraud, and that sooner or later, the kingdom MUST collapse.

And it will.

It will.