Tag Archives: epistemology

Why the Is-Ought Problem, or “Hume’s Law”, is a Fallacy: Hume’s Law presumes passive observation, and ignores the “shall”

Hume’s law says, in short, that one cannot derive an “ought” (a prescriptive claim) from an “is” (a descriptive claim). In other words, there is no such thing as objective morality because volitional behavior (the engagement of will being how we classify behavior as moral, immoral, or amoral) is always predicated upon purely subjective “if” premises. See the following:

The moral formula presumed by Hume’s Law is: “Because A is this or that (descriptive), you ought do behavior B (prescriptive)”. Now, implicit in this formula is an “if” upon which the subjectivity of volitional action is predicated—“You ought do B if you desire outcome C”. For example, “Because God is the wisest and most powerful being in the universe, you ought obey his commands”, with the implied “if” being—“If you wish to honor Him” or “If you wish not to be punished by Him”, etcetera. The “ought”, you see, is purely subjective because it is dependent upon a subjective valuing of the objective description. The fact that God is the wisest and most powerful being in the Universe cannot objectively demand that one choose to value that fact to this or that degree and then act upon it in this or that way. Only if they happen to value it ought they act this or that way. Yet whether or not they value the fact, to whatever degree, and whether or not they act according to that value, doesn’t change objective reality…it doesn’t change the objective description. “God is the wisest and most powerful being in the universe” is the description…the fact…the objective reality…the “is”. Whether that ought compel one to choose this or that action is utterly dependent upon the degree to which one decides that fact matters to them. What one ought do with a given truth claim always depends on the degree to which a they value it. If they value it, then they ought do this or that. That’s why morality, what one ought (or ought not) do, is only ever subjective. Morality (prescriptive) is purely an “if”, where reality (descriptive) is an “is”.

Here is my response to the assertion that objective morality is impossible, due to the ethical is-ought dichotomy:

That there is no such thing as objective morality—that there cannot exist objectively good and bad volitional actions—is an assertion which contains many rational errors, and all of them rooted in the following presumptive premise, implicit to Hume’s Law: that observation is at root passive, meaning that truth, and therefore by extension, knowledge, is in essence purely a description of reality which is entirely dictated to the observer from outside himself.

This is the premise, I submit, which has ushered in the demise of every argument heretofore attempting to debunk Hume’s Law, because virtually everyone either explicitly or implicitly accepts it on its face. Consciousness is passive; reality dictates its description wholesale to the observer who simply regurgitates it in some manner. In other words, there are no objective acts of will because will is a function of consciousness, and consciousness is merely an illusion of reality, or at best an epiphenomenal mirror which reflects it, but is not real, itself. Human behavior is merely the regurgitation of objective reality back onto itself. Human action is thus determined; consciousness, if it exists in any sense at all, is merely a bystander, an epiphenomenon, and thus fundamentally irrelevant to objective reality. Even Christian doctrine, the place where some of the most ardent defense of objective morality stems, ultimately concedes that truth, and thus knowledge, and thus the volitional application of knowledge, is strictly the purview of God; and that even if it were possible for man to commit moral acts, they must ineluctably be infinitely inferior in morality to God’s acts, rendering them only relatively moral, meaning only subjectively moral, and thus not truly moral at all. Yet I submit that, according to prevailing Christian dogma, even God’s morality is utterly relative to Himself, because He alone is the moral standard, making anything he chooses to do moral, thereby making objective morality a direct function of God’s subjective whim, which again means that morality is only purely subjective.

All of this makes every Christian argument affirming the existence of objective morality an exercise in rank hypocrisy. Indeed, Christian doctrine professes that Christ is the only one who can keep the Law of Moses perfectly—He is God; men are mere mortals, fallen, and immutably wicked in their root nature. Even after salvation (and why anyone gets saved at all is an object mystery, because men cannot earn it, as their very nature is evil, and thus there can be no reason anyone should be saved in the first place) morality isn’t theirs, but the “work of the Holy Spirit through them”. Jesus is the only man who can truly act morally, and thus the only one who can keep the Law. This is because He is God, and only God is capable of keeping his own moral standards. However, what is meant by “standards” is “whatever He feels like doing”, because he is God. This of course isn’t “standards” at all, but pure whim; and “objective whim” is a contradiction in terms.

At any rate…

Since the premise of Hume’s Law is virtually always conceded a priori, all criticism ultimately fails. In other words, if one builds his argument against Hume’s Law upon the very same epistemological premise that Hume presumes, then one must necessarily fail. One doesn’t win a debate by agreeing with his opponent before the debate even begins.

Let us consider a different premise, then.

I submit that observation is not passive, but active; that truth is not dictated to the observer but is, in fact, a function of observation, and thus a function of the observer. It is not reality which describes itself to the observer, it is the observer who describes reality for himself; and it is the observer who describes what is true, from himself, in order that he may promote himself truthfully in his environment.

Yet this is not relativistic or subjective truth. Truth finds articulation and meaning in language, and language is purely a function of the ability of the observer to conceptualize what he observes. What is extremely important to understand, and critical to objective morality, is that language implies communication, and communication implies that there are other observers with whom a given observer shall communicate, which means that truth is shared…it is not relativistic or solipsistic. In order that truth be objectively shared (that truth be shared truthfully, so to speak), it must be shared consistently. Truth is not “relative truth” or “subjective truth”—these are contradictions—but objective truth. This means truth is a matter of conceptual consistency, and conceptualization itself is the foundation of language. Thus, conceptual consistency is the only way truth, and thus actual, objective knowledge, can be shared. I cannot declare to you that I have created a square circle (and no, I don’t mean a bunch of squares set up in a circular fashion…as cheeky as that may be) because that is an entirely meaningless claim, containing a synthesis of concepts, “square” and “circle” which in such a relationship are contradictory…that is, conceptually inconsistent. You have no frame of reference for “square circle” because you simply cannot have one, because the very ability to conceptualize, which is the root of your consciousness, and that from which we form language, precludes it; and since language is necessarily shared because it ineluctably implies communication, and is, again, rooted in conceptualization, conceptualization must be consistent among all observers. If you have no conceptual frame of reference for contradiction then neither do I, and thus you know objectively that I am not speaking the truth. It may not be that I am necessarily lying—it could be that I am deluded or mistaken—but I am certainly not speaking the truth. It is an object falsity to claim that there is any such thing as a square circle, because this claim is conceptually inconsistent, and thus violates truth, meaning it violates a consistent conceptual description of reality; and it is impossible for the observer observe reality this way; and further, impossible for him to share it as truth.


The idea that observation is fundamentally passive means that the observer’s knowledge about that which he observes can only ever be of that which is utterly outside himself, meaning outside of his consciousness, meaning outside of his conscious frame of reference as the observer. Therefore the observer can never truly posses knowledge in and of himself because the sum and substance of reality has absolutely nothing to do with him qua him at all, making observation entirely moot. This makes it impossible that there is actual observation occurring, since an observer who possesses no real conscious knowledge, because he is entirely irrelevant to the “objective reality” he observes, is an observer who is entirely obsolete, and therefore so is observation. Meaning that as far as reality is concerned, it is not actually being observed.

Without an observer, there is no observation, by definition. I submit that it follows then that a reality which is unobserved cannot be said to exist at all, let alone objectively, since there is no means and no frame of reference by which it can be defined…that is, described…in the first place. It is, absent an active, conscious observer, entirely meaningless, entirely purposeless, and therefor entirely irrelevant, all of which renders its existence null, since the question “What objectively exists?” or “What is objectively real?” can have no answer. With no observer, there is nothing to say—to describe—what it is or is not, which means that there can be no it in the first place.

Without an observer, reality cannot be described, and therefore it can have no description, and therefore there can be no descriptive claim, no “is” from which the observer can derive his “ought”. Objective reality, you see, cannot describe itself to itself…this is a redundancy which makes description null. With no active observer and thus no one and nothing to derive any knowledge of or meaning, purpose, and relevance from reality, that is, to describe reality to form knowledge and thus establish the actual truth of reality, reality remains necessarily undefinable, meaningless, purposeless, and irrelevant, and thus can never be described as being anything at all, and thus cannot be said to be a thing which actually exists and is real in the first place. The corollary relationship between the observer and the observed is simply ineluctable.

Further, the implicit (or even explicit) assumption that observation is fundamentally passive (and it is a fundamental assumption, dealing with the nature of observation at its metaphysical root) is false because that which is fundamentally passive is by definition not doing anything, including observing, and thus “passive observation” is the antithesis of observation. “Passive observation”, in other words, means “not observing”. An observer to whom reality dictates itself—or “describes” itself—is a passive observer, meaning an unconscious observer, and is thus not actually observing,


The problem with the implicit-to-Hume’s Law assumption of passive observation and dictated description is that it is simply an impossibility.

Dictated truth—dictated description about what actually is real—to the observer by reality is impossible because this suggests observation without any objective meaning nor any objective use to the one doing the actual observing. In which case, observation itself is utterly pointless and irrelevant. The observer is not real, you see. He is outside of reality, or it is outside of him, in which case “observation” is nothing more than reality simply dictating its own description of itself to itself. Which is just another way of saying that there is no observation at all, and therefore no observer. The sum total of knowledge then is purely a meaningless, pointless description of that which has nothing whatsoever to do with the one who supposedly knows—the observer.

As far as reality is concerned, the observer doesn’t exist. You qua YOU, conscious you, have no true existence, only subjective, relative existence. Whether you live or die, objective reality remains fully objective reality. Indeed, this is the root of all “empirical” and “rational” philosophies: Even if you did not exist or never existed, objective reality is always objective reality. There is an infinite and eternal ontological chasm between the transient, fleeting observer—his consciousness blipping in and out of existence at random with birth and death, possessing no real meaning nor effect—and eternal, immutable reality. There is no corollary relationship between the observer and the observed except that of mutual exclusivity…which of course is no relationship at all.

If we accept that such a claim like “the sky is blue” is objectively true because it is an accurate and consistent description of reality, then we must accept that the observer who observes this possesses objective observation, and by declaring it—by describing reality in language—possesses objective knowledge. Knowledge, I submit, implies meaning and purpose, and thus must be something the observer can apply to such purpose. Which means that there is in fact an objectively correct way to apply knowledge and an objectively incorrect way—there are objectively right behaviors, and objectively wrong behaviors. In other words, that there is such a thing as volitional action which can be objectively valued, which means there is such a thing as objective morality.


The observer is active, meaning he is conscious. He is aware of the the distinction between himself qua himself, the Conscious Self—he, himself, being not merely a body, but an observational constant, so to speak—and that which he is observing—that is, his environment—and understands that the distinction is corollary, not mutually exclusive. Observation is thus relevant, meaningful, and purposeful, which means that observation is knowledge which the conscious, active observer thus applies in order to orient, manifest, and promote himself in the environment. In short, objective reality is objectively observed by an objective observer who possesses objective knowledge by which he makes objective decisions about how to objectively act in order to objectively promote himself in the environment.

Or, we could say it this way:

He who observes objective reality is by definition an objective observer (he, himself qua himself, is objectively real), and he is fully capable therefore of observing objectively and thus acquiring objective knowledge, which is called truth. This objective knowledge he then uses to make objective decisions about how he shall objectively manifest and promote his existence in the environment. In doing so, he acts in accordance with objective truth and thereby acts objectively good, or, morally.


Hume’s Law erroneously presumes that morality is fundamentally about something that one “ought” do. This is incorrect.

Hume’s Law presumes that “oughts” are purely subjective, and depend upon explicit or implicit “ifs”. This is correct, and would be relevant if morality were fundamentally about “oughts”, which it is not.

The logical extension of the assumption that morality is purely a function “oughts”, which are subjective, is that objective morality then must be devoid of things one ought do and instead contain things one must do. Of course if they are things one must do then they are not choices, in which case there is no volition involved, and thus we are no longer talking about morality. If one must perform certain acts then they are not volitional…they are not acts of will, and therefore these choices and behaviors cannot be said to possess any moral value.

So you see, If one does not get a choice, because there is no volition involved, because it’s about what one must do, then it’s not morality. Yet if one does get a choice, and thus does engage the will, then one does not have to make a specific choice, for this is the nature of choice—whether they do or not has no bearing on, nor anything to do with, objective reality. The “is” descriptive premise is neither obligated to nor dependent upon the “ought” prescriptive premise—and thus the behavior can only ever be subjectively moral. In short, you either have subjective morality or no morality at all.

Hence the reason why Hume’s Law is often informally rendered “Hume’s Guillotine”, the metaphor being that of a blade which decapitates any argument in favor of objective morality. Any appeal to objective morality necessarily terminates in a self-nullifying contradiction.

However I submit that this is not so, because the implicit premise of Hume’s Law—that morality is entirely predicated on what one “ought” do (a premise upon which the validity of Hume’s Law entirely rests)—is completely false, and fails to consider the more obvious ethical root of morality, which is not “ought” but rather “shall”.

“Shall”, in terms of moral ethics, is simply this: What one shall do are those actions which rationally and therefore necessarily follow from the epistemological premise, in this case, that truth exists as a function of the conscious observer and is rooted in his description of objective reality. In other words, what one Shall do is that behavior which is implied by the Truth.

“Shall” should not be confused with “will” or “must” which are entirely different concepts, ethically speaking. Objective morality is certainly a matter of volition, but this volition is a function of what the observer, as his metaphysical root implies. shall do because he is what he is. That is, what he shall do in the capacity of actually being that which he is: the observer. His choices and behavior shall be rationally consistent with himself, and to do not what he shall do is a fundamental denial and rejection of himself, which renders his volition a lie, because it denies the very source of volition—himself qua himself. In other words he cannot by his will deny that he has will. He cannot by his existence deny his existence.

Morality is not at root about what one ought or ought not do—not about making good or bad choices—it is about engaging the will in a manner consistent with the truth…the truth which exists in the first place because it is a function of the the observer; and that for one to attempt to act in manner inconsistent with the truth is a denial of one’s own self and is a contradiction. One cannot deny that he IS by an act of his will.

Morality is simply man acting out the truth that he objectively exists as himself qua himself. It is about valuing choices and actions according to how they validate man’s objective existence at his metaphysical root, and it’s about valuing consequences of actions according to the degree to which they validate him.

An immoral act is an act of self-rejection at the very metaphysical root, and the result is chaos, and, inevitably, suffering for the perpetrator, his victims, and those who choose to indulge him and his lies. The consequences for immoral actions are not “punishment”—this is a term and concept relevant only to legal ethics, not moral ethics (and, yes, they are mutually exclusive)—but the response of reality and truth to a metaphysical aberration. A man who attempts to murder another man has fundamentally presumed to own that other man’s life, which, this idea being wholly irrational and a lie, becomes in fact a rejection by the murderer of his own life. The intended victim is entirely justified then in using deadly force to defend himself. He is not obligated to respect the life of the murderer who refuses to rationally acknowledge his own, and will act out his lie by attempting to murder his fellow man instead of affirming him.


The correct way to render the ethical “shall” premise is this way: You are, therefore you shall. Meaning that to attempt to do what you shall not do is a fundamental denial of you—“You shall do X if you want to deny yourself”, is an obvious error. The denial of you of course means that you couldn’t possibly do or have done X in the first place. Thus, to attempt to reduce “shall” to some form of ethical subjectivity results in a meaningless, contradictory assertion.

Knowledge must be consciously applied, which means purposefully, which means volitionally, which means that volitional action is a fundamental function of the possessor of knowledge…that is, the observer. If what is observed is objective, then observation must also be objective, because the “purely subjective observation of objective reality” makes observation and reality mutually exclusive. So if observation is objective then knowledge thus is likewise objective, and thus there must be an objective way to apply that knowledge. This objective application is objective moralitywhat one shall objectively do because one objectively is. To attempt to do other than what one shall do is an attempt to consciously deny oneself—that is, consciously deny one’s own consciousness; willfully deny will; choose to deny choice. This is meaningless and null.


If the observer observes objective reality, then observation itself is necessarily objective. Subjective observation of objective reality is a contradiction in terms when we are speaking in fundamental terms. The observer, in order to be in a position to observe objective reality, must himself be objectively real. Both the observer and his observation, which is at root his consciousness, possess equal ontological value to that which is observed. The observer and his consciousness—the means by which he actively observes—are as objectively real as objective reality.


Observation necessarily spawns knowledge of and about that which is observed; knowledge is necessarily meaningful to the observer; and meaning implies relevance; and relevance implies purpose. Knowledge therefore is practical, and its practicality is manifest and realized through application.

Application of knowledge must be volitional…it must be an act of the will. Non-volitional application of knowledge is impossible—if what is known cannot be willfully applied, then knowledge is irrelevant, and therefore meaningless. “Meaningless knowledge” is a contradiction and is thus null. Knowledge which is not willfully applied is not consciously applied, and therefore it cannot truly be called knowledge. Without knowledge there is no observation; without observation there is no observer. If there is no observer of reality, then there is no one to define what reality actually is. Reality which cannot be defined cannot exist, “What is real? or “What exists?” or “What is?” are impossible questions because they can have no answer. That which cannot be defined cannot be declared to be anything, and thus cannot actually be anything at all. If objective reality is not true to that which can conceptualize it, and translate its existence into something with purpose, meaning, relevance, and value, then it is existentially redundant. Without an observer, what something is is entirely irrelevant; and irrelevancy at the root metaphysical level means that there is no difference between a thing existing and not existing. It is fundamentally irrelevant…whatever it does, including exist, amounts to the very same degree of meaning and value as if it did not. It’s existence—its place in reality—is of the same root metaphysical value as non-existence. It exists as though it did not. This is a contradiction to reality and thus is null.

The truth is that not only is there no existential mutual exclusivity between the observer and the observed, they are inexorably corollary. One always implies the other. This would seem obvious—transparently axiomatic based upon the overt terms—“observer” and “observed”; “consciousness” and “that which consciousness is conscious of”. Yet Hume’s Law, as I have illustrated in this missive, implicitly and fundamentally bifurcates them to the point where not only does one not imply the other, but “objectively reality” implies that there, in fact, can be no such thing as an observer at all, because consciousness is nothing more than reality projecting itself back onto itself. This is a contradiction and is thus null.

Thus: No volitional observer, no conscious observer, no observation, nothing observed, nothing defined, nothing meaningful, nothing relevant, nothing at all. No will, no observer, no reality. Or, put most succinctly: No morality = no reality.

To summarize:

If what is observed is objective, then observation is, in fact, observation of the objective, which means that observation is not exclusive of objective reality and thus is likewise objective. This means that knowledge of the observed objective reality is also objective. Knowledge must be applicable to be meaningful and relevant, and application means volition, which makes the observer a volitional observer, which means he is a conscious observer (is naturally aware of the distinction between that which he is and that which he observers). Thus knowledge, being objective and implying willful application, implies that there must be an objective way to apply knowledge. There must be an objectively correct way to apply knowledge and therefore an objectively incorrect way; an objectively good way and an objectively bad way; an objectively moral way and an objectively immoral way; objectively moral actions and objectively immoral actions.

Objective Reality = Objective Observation = Objective Knowledge = Objective Application = Objective Morality

Reality = Observation = Knowledge = Application = Morality

Metaphysics (Observed, Observer) = Epistemology (Knowledge) = Ethics (Application of Knowledge)

Metaphysics = Epistemology = Ethics

It seems that the truth of objective morality has been staring us in the face for several millennia now. Who would have thought?


The purpose of this post was not to elaborate upon which specific behaviors are moral or immoral, it was simply to prove that objective morality is both possible and necessary, and that Hume’s law rests upon false presumptions concerning the nature of the the observer and observation, the nature of reality, and the nature of morality. These false assumptions are a.) That observation is fundamentally passive, and b.) That volitional action is a purely subjective matter of what one “ought” do based upon information entirely dictated to the observer by an objective reality which exists utterly outside (meaning, entirely exclusive of) his conscious frame of reference. A further flaw of Hume’s Law is its failure to recognize that the assumption that knowledge is objective but the application of knowledge is subjective is in fact a contradiction and is therefore null.


More on the Self and the Fallacy of “Existence Exists”

Let’s take a chair.

Is the chair able to exist…as a chair?


But if it is unable to exist, then how does the chair manifest its existence…how can it BE a chair if it’s not able to be a chair?

Let’s say that Ability is not considered  wrt to the suggested metaphysical primary, Existence. Then “chair” is simply a manifestation of existence qua existence…it cannot be distinctly known as “chair”. You see, if the chair doesn’t have any inherent ability to BE a chair then it isn’t actively a chair…it doesn’t act–it doesn’t DO–as a chair, and so how can it be said to be a chair? What’s the difference between the existence of “chair” and existence of, say, “tree”? It doesn’t ACT as a chair, so what exactly makes it a chair? All of the things that make it chair must be relative to the things that make a tree a tree? But the tree doesn’t act as tree, and the chair doesn’t act as chair–because they possesses no inherent, underlying Ability–and so by what means can we qualify or quantify the distinctions? Chair is chair and tree is tree, and neither act and thus there is no relative distinction between the two..because relativity (relative distinction) requires action requires the ability to act, and they possess no ability. They only possess existence. But then what is the difference between the existence of tree and existence of chair?

There is none.

There is no ability and thus no action, and thus no relative distinction.  Any distinction would be absolute. But there is no such thing as absolute distinction because absolute distinction is infinite distinction; and infinite distinction precludes co-existence.

And this is why Existence as the metaphysical primary wrecks ALL distinctions between its supposed particulars. There is no tree and no chair; there is only existence. There is no ability to exist and thus no action of existence and thus no relativity of the objects which are said to exist and thus no way to make distinctions of the particulars of existence and thus no way to define the particulars of existence (e.g. chair as opposed to tree) and thus no way to claim that any of the particulars of existence exist and thus no way to claim that existence exists.

But if we say the chair has the ability to exist then we make existence AS CHAIR an action…something the chair does. It is doing as a function of its ability to do. And all doing is relative. There is no action that is not relative, because a single object cannot move in a vacuum. (In a vacuum, there is literally no difference between position A and B of a given object, whether in time or space.) And so if being is action and action is relative then those extant properties which make a tree a tree and a chair a chair are, in fact, a manifestation of their ability to act (as chair or tree) and thus are likewise relative. And relative distinctions do not make a chair a chair and a tree a tree except that they be by conceptualized. Relative distinctions are not absolute, by definition. They require an observer. They require conceptualization via a constant…a reference. And that reference is Self. Is “I”.

And so the Ability (to “exist”…e.g. as chair) which drives the action (of “existence”…e.g. being a chair) demands the relativity (of “existence”…e.g. of chair) which demands conceptualization (of “existence”…e.g. the sentient observation of the chair) which demands a constant–a reference (for the “existence”…e.g. of the chair) and that reference is “I”.

That reference is what I mean by the Self.

Metaphysics: Ability-Action-Relativity-Conceptualization-Constant

The Ironically Titled Movie “Inside Out”: How it teaches the collectivist metaphysic of “Outside In”

Let’s get to the issue at hand here: the collectivist philosophical irony of thinking that what is clearly an outsidein metaphysic–that is, man is a direct and absolute function of his environment–is really something which can relevantly include the individual man; what I would call the “inside”, or the Self, of man. I aver that this is the deception being propagated by the new animated Pixar film, “Inside Out”.

The message implied by the movie is basically the same message implied by American culture in 2015 in general, and it is that the individual somehow stands to gain by accepting the idea that all he or she is is a function of what they experience…of the causal universe; of what happens when the “discovered” physical laws which are absolute and inviolable, and somehow exist in an infinite, unseen vacuum of their own perfect and self-contained integrity, knock one thing into another thing, and then those things into other things, and so on and so forth until “you” appear.

And this is the root and unavoidable conclusion of this message:  that you are both you and NOT you.  That you have emotions and you don’t have emotions.  That you benefit from understanding these emotions and what they do and what they contribute and you don’t benefit.  Because you somehow exist and yet do not exist.  That somehow one times zero can equal something NOT zero.  That you are a direct function of your environment, and your emotional experiences attest to this, and yet, this in spite of the glaring and overt contradiction in the statement “YOU are a DIRECT function of your environment”.  For it does not take but a remedial understanding of logic and a cursory glance at reason to ascertain that if one is a direct function of his environment, then one cannot possibly exist in the first place…which renders the statement itself patently false, and thus inevitably destructive and murderous should it ever be implemented in any practical way  upon a society.  And by “society”, I mean individuals.

Now, let’s pepper the assertion “You are a direct function of your environment” with some educational (and ostentatious) parentheses, in order that we may render to it a proper translation and explication:

You are a direct (read, “absolute and inexorable”) function of your environment (read, “laws of nature”; read “determinative forces”; read “the causal universe”; read “someONE needs to be in charge of the masses because they can only possess the illusion of consciousness, which will be a disaster for them (read “the ruler’s self-assumed power”) if they ever decide to exist for and to themselves; read “group metaphysic”; read “destruction for the sake of destruction”).

And thus is revealed this formula:

Absolute causality = absolute determinism = absolute collectivism = group metaphysic = inherent vacuum of definitions/meaning/purpose for said group which any given member of the group at any given moment is unable to provide due to the very nature of the group metaphysic (e.g. the illusion of individual consciousness) = a select number of “divinely-appointed” rulers who must compel the unenlightened masses into “right” thinking and behavior = the categorical sacrifice of the individual for the group = destruction for destruction’s sake since without the individual and without a perpetual and external “threat” to the group there is no reference for the group in the first place = perpetual group vs. individual antagonism (wherein the individual is always collectivized into a rival group, since the illusion of individual existence must be maintained in order for the leadership to convince people of the need to passively accept and willingly offer up their own self-sacrifice) = rationally vapid, morally nebulous, never-ending calls to overt nationalism almost exclusively limited to unfettered pro-militarism, seemingly incongruously paired with the Balkanization  of society into competing groups who villify each other and vie for some illusion of power within the Central Authority structure which is in reality restricted solely to those “called” to lead the group by the mysterious and cosmic Divine Will.  And thus, the formula becomes circular, repeating itself over and over and over again, with literally no end in sight until nature alone finally brings about the end of humanity.

Only the individual can end the cycle, which is nothing short of hell on earth (or hell in general); but this necessitates that the individual become the absolute existential constant, fully of himself and to himself, and this necessitates an almost total re-defining and re-codifying of the accepted human metaphysical premise.  And given the pervasive and almost inextricably planted notions of Man-as-Extension-of-a-Causal-Universe averred by even the most trenchant and brilliant of libertarians and rationalists, I do not see an end in sight, if there even is one at all.  I mean, I see it for myself, because I live it with the understanding that my life is not a function simply of my environment, and that in some way, in some form, I, via my acceptance of my SELF as the only universal constant by which anything has any rational meaning at all I will perpetuate that Self irrespective of the environment or other people’s irrational ideas, and that death has no more claim upon my existence than “blue” or “left” or “heavy” or Planck’s Constant or any other concept which man has decided that though he created it, and he is the sole reference for which it can have any relevancy or usefulness,  nevertheless he is entirely subject to it, unto both life and death.

Which ironically (though this irony goes unnoticed) renders life and death one and the same.  Meaning that if you concede the moment you are born you begin to die, then logically you assert that the moment you come alive is the moment death lays claim to your existence.  Thus, life = death.  And since not even these two basic concepts can serve any rational purpose to any form of efficacy, because they lack even a nascent facade of practical meaning, what difference does it make what we think or do?  What difference does anything make when we declare death a direct, inevitable, and absolute function of life?

Here’s the answer you are looking for:  It doesn’t. Because we have no claim to SELF, because we have sacrificed it to the very concepts which are supposed to promote us.  For shame!

So..in short, you were born for the sole and determined purpose of dying.  And that makes you literally no different from any collectivist who may demand your sacrifice for his pleasure (sorry…the “group’s” pleasure”); from the collectivist you claim to reject; and your claims no different than claims you pretend to trample.

No.  Sorry.  It isn’t as easy as you would like, nor as you would think.  Rational consistency, it seems, itself must be sacrificed in service to “truth”, right libertarians?

Time to think a bit more about things.


The basic epistemological chain of reasoning, which bespeaks of the collectivist, determinist metaphysic (as I shall explain), on display in the movie “Inside Out” is this:  Your emotions are a function of your environment, and you are a function of your emotions. Which makes you a function of your environment (your environment = emotions = you, which means environment = you), according to transitive property.  Which is in perfect harmony with the group metaphysic.  Since you are a function of the very “laws of nature” which govern all reality, and therefore existence, you cannot really lay a claim to “yourself”, nor can you claim to possess any real truth because, again, there is no such thing as “you”.  “You” are just like everyone else, who really isn’t anyone else.  For everyone is a function of the same, inalienable, inviolable laws which govern everything, and so there is no means for you, individually, to obtain truth, or knowledge of any kind, or morality of any kind, or existence of any kind, except it be bestowed upon you from the outside, just as your existence is.  And the only ones who can do that are those who (in some manner or fashion, usually under the guise of a state “ruler” or “leader” or “pastor” or “priest” or “king”…some manner of “divine” proxy) have been somehow specially “called” to represent to the masses of humanity those forces (God’s Divine and Sovereign Will, the Laws of Nature, the Essence of the Party, or the Race, or the Culture, or the Nation, or the Tribe) which govern them absolutely.  How they get  a pass on their own absolute group metaphysic and their own insular and total determinism is a “mystery” punted into the cosmic abyss.  They never explain it because they cannot–for even they are merely lowly representatives of the infinite Will, they will say.  And even if they did explain it to you, you wouldn’t understand anyway because your lack of individual awareness makes you an nsufficient vessel to contain such lofty knowledge.

In other words you wouldn’t understand it even if they told you; and if you did understand it you would abjectly concede it, which makes understanding it quite irrelevant.  You would simply agree that it is rational; you would have no questions to ask; thus, there would be no discussion…no defense of it.  You would be a “called” one, fit to rule and to lead and to cajole and compel and to sacrifice and to profit and to absorb.  And you certainly wouldn’t question that.  For the benefit of such a role would be self-evident and readily apparent, particularly when it is in perfect keeping with the Divine Will.


If you see the movie “Inside Out”, or if you have seen it, you will notice or have noticed that at no time does the ability to maintain a rationally consistent conceptual paradigm ever enter the discussion.  Concepts, in other words, are presumed ipso facto…that is, they simply exist as the universal absolutes which compel material outcomes in the environment to which human beings have a corresponding, determined and predetermined emotional reaction.  This chain of causality does not change, you will also notice or have noticed, from infancy through adulthood.  Human beings have bestowed upon them, somehow, language, which is merely the codification and cohesion of concepts (abstractions)  into a practical linguistic framework allowing for group integration.  That is, we communicate via language because we are a natural product of the group–the collective–which has given birth to us, because we are it, as far as we can know, and not as a means to manifest our own individual personalities, wills, whims, and ideas upon our environment to our own ends and for our own comfort and pleasure and perpetuation.

Which is what language really is and why we really possess it.  In other words, we have language because we, individually, have the inherent ABILITY to have it; making us, individually, the only true reason for it.  The ability to conceptualize is the ability to communicate through language; and this is the ability to reason.  For reason is simply the rational consistency of the conceptual paradigm, applied through language.  Language qua conceptualization qua reason is only relevant if there is an absolute reference for it.  Since it is  the individual who has fundamental, existential possession of it, it is a direct function of the individual, which means the individual must be the absolute source and absolute objective of it.

But once you remove the individual and make him an absolute function of the environment qua his emotions, as this movie does, then you have no need for language, and thus concepts, because language is merely a means by which to compel people into the collective, period.  Language is not of the Self, it is of the group; but this movie is about ONE girl.  NOT the group.  And in this context, the individual “you” is merely a bundle of emotions, without rhyme nor reason; directed to and fro by the passions elicited by determined and inevitable environmental stimulus, trying to make sense of what is fundamentally senseless, because the true metaphysic of the Self has not been realized; and this is the message of the movie.  Without the group to tell you what everything is supposed to mean–to define your reality for you and to provide the interpretive lens for all the seemingly incoherent and capricious environmental influence…to give you a hook from which to hang your very existence–NOTHING fundamentally can prevail except confusion, which in the movie is rendered as “Sadness”.  And “Joy”, no matter how hard she tries, cannot overcome to emotion of “Sadness” because the truth of existence according to the group metaphysic is that ALL reality is doomed to crumble into an endless abyss of nihilistic madness and despair if one concedes that he or she has some manner of individual presence.   Individually, you are the rope being stretched between two competing, irreconcilable, forces:  the lie of Self and the Truth of the Group qua the Environment.  And though all emotions seem to have an equal say in things at first, as the child grows up left to herself, the power of Sadness becomes more and more dominant, subordinating ALL other emotions to its inevitable consequence:  destruction.  Destructive behaviors, destructive ideas, destructive conclusions.

It is the group’s responsibility to turn sadness, happy; to make the confusing, rational; and the meaningless, purposeful.  And when we are left alone (and the little girl in the movie is nothing if not the metaphor for the lonesome INDIVIDUAL, as we spend 90% or more of the movie inside her head), with no group available with which to integrate ourselves, then the environment will kill you.  The only way to control it is to acknowledge its power, and your complete inability to organize it on your own.  You need OTHERS.  And that’s the moral of the story, as we see when the little girl finally understands that she must either subordinate herself to her family–her parents–or die.

The perceptive among you will notice that the little girl never has any just cause for her sadness, or her anger, or her disgust, nor even her joy; though “Joy” is, I submit, a metaphor for the collective, because Joy always invokes images of belonging; whereas Fear, Disgust, Sadness, and Anger are the emotional displays of rank selfishness.  No, the little girl feels things without the corresponding conceptual rhyme or reason.  And what this means is that she can never claim to have been wronged by any circumstance, which means she can never claim to have a legitimate grievance against anyone else, and thus she can never claim that she has a right to justice.

This too is hallmark–an uber foundation–of collectivist philosophy.

Interestingly enough, the family “unit” is seen as the salvation for emotional-qua-environmental induced misery, and yet, through a few scenes within the heads of mom and dad, we see the following emotions in the “leadership” roles (in each character, there is the “boss”; the dominant emotion to which the other emotions defer). Mom’s dominant emotion is “Sadness”, and dad’s is “Anger”.  Which, yeah…interesting.  In the little girl’s head it is “Joy” who is the brains of the outfit, but Joy quickly gives way to Sadness (reluctantly…showing the stubbornness of the young in clinging to their individuality) when life’s circumstances take a turn for the worse and she is forced to move away from her friends to follow dad’s job to San Fransisco.  This speaks to the prevailing negative power of the environment, I believe, which is a subliminal way of criticizing America’s “free” society.  You see, no matter how hard we try, even as adults the negative emotions dominate, because there is just too much fucking freedom.  Even in a society ruled by the largest central authority the world has ever seen, individuals are just too burdened with their own choices and their own interests to ever truly be happy.

I’m sure more could be said about this, but alas, I’m getting long in this essay, even for me.

At any rate, this, I submit, is why the movie doesn’t spend any time at all dealing with concept formation nor language development in its treatment of one’s emotional evolution.  They remove the individual from himself (or herself, as it were) by making him a categorical function of his environment; his emotions being the primary and only relevant expression within the human organism of environmental stimulus absent the influence of the collective (and since the collective isn’t directly dealt with, per se, in the movie, there isn’t any reason to deal with concepts, which again are only useful in emphasizing group dominance).

I find it telling that there is almost no back story to this movie.  We know nothing about why the family moves to San Fransisco, or what dad does for a living,  or where mom went to school, or even if she did, or what either mom or dad like to do for fun.  They exist as merely props for the girl…a representation of the monolithic power of the environment to control feelings and thus behavior and thus existence; and then, near the movie’s conclusion, the conveniently provide the metaphor for collective integration.  For the life of me I cannot even remember their names, of if they were even given names at all.

The family  has no friends, no extended relatives, no work acquaintances to speak of.  Basically, mom and dad aren’t fully human, let alone ever portrayed as sentient, volitional individuals; and this is made even more poignant when we see that they, exactly like the little girl, are ruled entirely by the anthropomorphized emotions in their heads.  Mom and dad are the intellectual and metaphysical equivalents of the child.  Their only “advantage” it seems is that they have at least some semblance of group-awareness.  They understand that the key to happiness is to let the environment–your collective–define it for you.  Give in and let go.  Mom and dad, and later the State, will make it all better once you stop thinking that you somehow have a say in anything at all; as though you are anything more than a pre-programmed cog in the inexorable mechanism of universal causality.


The moral of the story, with respect to how to interpret emotions, is that all experiences are a composite of emotions.  That is, a given experience, to be truly matured and meaningful, is neither sad nor happy, nor angry, nor disgusting, nor fearful, but is a combination of some or all of these emotions.  Those of you now familiar with the implicit nihilism and futility of assuming an individual existence within a prevailing collectivist metaphysic will quickly make the connection to this conclusion and the fundamental assumptions which underlie this film.

Why do you think this is?  Why do you think we are to assume that no emotion has any singular, inherent meaning?  Why can no emotion stand alone as this or that, or as claiming absolute sovereignty over any given situation?  Why cannot losing your best friend be simply sad, and not both sad and happy?  Why are the emotions always mixed?

Is it because you are happy about part of the experience and sad about another part of it?  But “environment” cannot be compartmentalized, you see.  Environment is the singularity…it is THE governing force behind your emotions.  There is no partitioning of what is absolute, by definition.  You are a function, in totality, of your environment, and therefore there is no such thing as you deciding which experience means what to you; or which part of which experience means this or that.  Environment, and thus experience, is entirely monolithic, homogenous.  And this means what?

Right.  You’ve got it, I dare say.

The moral of the story is that of emotional equivalency.  The reason why emotions as they relate to environmental stimulus are always mixed is because, being a direct effect of the singular environment, they can have no distinctive value.  Sadness is no better nor worse,nor more rational or irrational, than joy.  Anger is no different than fear, practically speaking.  “Sadness”, “joy”, “fear”, “anger”, “disgust” are concepts, and concepts are the sole purview and prerogative of the collectiveThey can have no meaning with respect to you individually. As such, whatever you perceive, as an individual, as a function of the environment, is the exact same thing as what you perceive next, or what you perceived before.  Feelings are simply not distinct in any practical nor relevant way.  You cannot claim to be sad, nor happy, nor angry at any given moment because there is no actual difference.  Emotions are the environment, and the environment is unequivocal, and YOU are the environment.  Meaning is conceptual, and conceptual reality is group reality.  Period.  Full stop.

In short, there is no need for you to be afraid, or disgusted, or angry, or sad; and there is no need for you to worry about being happy as though you, individually, are in any way responsible for that.  You only need to obey.

And through your obedience you will find all the practical emotional meaning and fulfillment you need.

Your Absolute Dependence Upon Pastoral “Authority” for an Efficacious Rendering of Reality (i.e. Your Sanity): Part FOURTEEN of “Collectivism Masquerading as the Christian Orthodox Ideal”

“Let’s face it; we’re all prone to wander.”  (P. 32, “Community: Your pathway to progress; North Point Ministries, 2008)

Well…no.  This is simply not true.  Useless conjecture; but even worse, it is patently deceptive.

We are not ALL prone to wander.  I could rattle off a half dozen people off the top of my head who I know are not “prone to wander”…whatever that means; I’m guessing here, because they haven’t defined it.

Ah…now that’s telling isn’t it?

Tell you what.  Hold that thought for a sec.

Furthermore, how in the hell is it possible to empirically verify such an assertion?  Did the authors interview every human being on earth both alive and dead to determine if they ever wandered?  And who decides what it means to “wander”?  And by what criteria and what consensus do they decide? And did the subjects they interviewed concede the definition?  And if they did not concede the definition, were they then excluded from the survey?  And if they were not excluded, by what rationale did the researchers decide it was legitimate and consistent with objective research protocol to disregard the opinions of the subjects with respect to the proper definition of terms?  And further, if they WERE excluded, does not that invalidate the initial claim–that “We are ALL prone to wander”–because, if some people are excluded from the survey, is not the hypothesis automatically disqualified on the basis that not ALL people were interviewed?

Also, what makes them the experts on what constitutes “wandering”? I mean, we can probably agree that, say, farming, homesteading, sharecropping, and squatting are pretty obviously not “wandering”.  But what about hunter-gatherer societies? Are they considered wandering? What about military families who move a lot?  Or traveling salesmen, or musicians, or acting troupes, or circuses?  Do they suffer from the blight of wandering as defined by North Point Ministries?  Should we demand they stop being so damn irresponsible and grow roots and put them down?  Or…um…is “wandering” merely a figurative term?

Hm…yes.  I think we may be on to something.


You see, once we understand that “wandering” is a euphemism for “sin”, and that only the “orthodox” ecclesiastical authority is allowed to define “sin”, this obviously absurd and impossible-to-substantiate claim (“we are all prone to wander”) is quickly revealed as an important and foundational part of the American Church’s very profitable deception.

Now, I’m sure it has, at this point, not escaped your attention that the author does not define “wander”.  And that, incidentally, is a glaring omission common in reformed literature, since the days of Calvin and Luther…at least.  You see, “sin” is never specifically defined in writings dealing with doctrine; and that’s because sin as a concept must have a fluid definition in order for it to be profitable as a tool of manipulation.  In other words, “sin” is whatever the ecclesiastical authority–(defined as those “standing in the stead of God” to shepherd (compel by violence, threats, or both) your spiritual “walk” (trail of tears))…yes, “sin” is whatever the ecclesiastical authority says it is at any given moment, in any given circumstance.  This way they can control the moral narrative of your life, and by this control the practical fruits of your labor; your existence.  Which is the whole point. The treasure is not in heaven as they have told you, but rather it is the fruit of your labor, and it is meant to flow upward, to the top of the hierarchical pyramid…and this is collectivism 101.  The government (the moral and intellectual supreme authority) of the church, just as it is in Marxist autocracies, is the only agency which really matters.  Said in an ironic way, you exist to NOT exist…that is, you exist to be sacrificed categorically to those who are “called” to ‘lead” you–where “lead” is a euphemism for “possess”.

You see, according to the metaphysic of reformed doctrine, there is no “you” distinct or autonomous from your “sin” (the reformed human metaphysic being, succinctly stated: man IS Evil; or man IS Sin).  Thus, in the process of purging you from your “sin nature”, YOU, the self-aware agent, must also be purged (and your awareness is an illusion at best; however, a self-indulgent lie and proof of your categorical apostasy probably better describes how individual consciousness is perceived by the eldership).  This purging is most effectively accomplished by destroying your cognitive ability to anchor yourself to a rationally consistent conceptual paradigm. And this is done by constantly manipulating the meaning of terms so that you remain in a perpetual state of confusion with regards to apprehending reality; that is, through manipulating concepts by implicitly teaching the constant vacillation of the meaning of words, the ecclesiastical leadership keeps you permanently dependent upon them for your sanity.  A denial of their “authority” is a denial of reality and condemns you to a state of madness from which there can be no salvation.  Of any kind.  Because “salvation” (or “Christ”, or “God”, or “YOU”) cannot have any meaning at all apart from their AUTHORITY.  That is, without them interpreting your life FOR you, you cannot tell which way is up or down.  You are as likely to wind up in hell as in heaven, and it doesn’t matter anyway because there is no functional difference.  It’s all misery because it is all undecipherable, disconnected images combined with sounds and utterances that have no reference in objective reality.   Truly it is psychological abuse and manipulation of the worst kind.  And psychological abuse is the worst kind of hell, because it lives INSIDE you.  There is no escape.  And this is why the American Spiritual Industrial Complex is so insanely profitable.  The threat of hell is, or can be, in a sense, and ironically, the worst kind of hell.  And make no mistake, it is FEAR which drives the payroll.  It is the insertion of a living and active hell into the minds of men which makes men dependent on any half-witted knob who merely claims, with absolutely no appeal to reason whatsoever and none asked for,  to have the “words of eternal life”.


Now, a rational definition of “sin” is pretty much that of which any sane person will assume; a definition, incidentally (for all your biblicists), one could easily garner by an honest, unfiltered, and unmolested examination of Scripture:  don’t do things that violate the the sanctity (the right to individual self-ownership) of your neighbor.  Don’t murder, don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t covet, don’t blaspheme…pretty straightforward moral standards not unlike those found in a rather significant, but oft ignored (because it’s far too easy, you see), moral code known as the Ten Commandments.  But since ALL of Scripture is merely a function of the Reformed “gospel narrative”, the ability to grasp the true meaning of these moral imperatives eludes you, because you, unlike your Pastor, have not been given the divine enlightenment necessary to determine for yourself what “not-coveting” or “not lying” or “not stealing” really looks like (remember, they must provide the definitions for you, moment by moment by moment, in perpetuity…for this is the only reference for “reality”…for conceptual meaning).  Thus, your pastoral “authority” is forced to interpret the “narrative of reality” for you, because you, having not been called to stand-in-the-stead as they have, and thus having NOT been divinely bequeathed enlightenment (for according to reformed epistemology, truth is not learned but is bestowed) you cannot possibly understand the Ten Commandments because you cannot possibly understand what sin really is because your absolute sin-nature has precluded you from any reference of a rationally consistent reality by which you could interpret “sin” in the first place.  Simply put:  since your consciousness is an illusion, you cannot define anything you claim to see.  Thus, they must define everything for you, according to their pastoral “enlightenment”, and this “enlightenment” is the utterly irrational metaphysical construct of a “gospel-centered” interpretation of ALL reality; which is ironic because such an interpretive lens makes defining “reality” in any rational sense impossible.

It is by no accident that the interpretation of reality always begins and ends with discussions, though no consistent definitions, of “sin”; that is, sin is always a function of the present context; it is always in the NOW, which is why even after salvation we are all still “functional” sinners (active reprobates by nature); sin is NEVER relegated to the past; there is no cure for sin because there is no cure for YOU; your existence IS, and IS NOW, and thus sin is always “with you” because sin IS you. 

This is done to serve the narrative that your sin is perpetual, of course; that there is absolutely no moment of your life which is untainted or untouched by your debauched nature.  If they can convince you that you are always doing wrong simply by breathing, they can convince you that doing right is quite impossible, but only if it is outside of their “covering” of course. Naturally then, and quite logically, being humanity’s “covering” is a highly lucrative position.  And this is why there are so many churches, and so many wealthy churches, with so many very wealthy “shepherds”.

So now you understand why there is no consistent definition of sin, as you might see in the Ten Commandments where morality is referenced to the autonomy and right-to-life and right-to-self-ownership of the self-aware agent (God and Man).  “Sin” is only ever remotely  defined with any specificity when the ecclesiasty perceives a threat–real or imagined–to their authority; their ex post facto ownership of your mind, body, and property.  “How dare you question our beliefs?” They say.  “How dare you question our vision and how dare you impose the temerity of your blindness upon us? Your gossip and your lies and your recalcitrance trail behind you like a cloud of darkness, infecting and corrupting all the wonderful things God is doing in our church family. You are probably not even saved.  In fact, no…you are not saved.  I declare it. And I will rattle my keys under your nose in mockery of your apostasy.” Yes, this is the only time sin is given anything even approximating an objective definition.

And if this sounds too profound to be true…if you are curling your lips and upturning your nose at the absurdity of my assertions, well…then whatever “God-appointed” authority to which you’ve been lending your ear is admittedly doing his or her job with exceeding facility.  You are supposed to think people like me merely polemic.  You are supposed to recoil in fear and wince horror at such suggestions.  You are supposed to blow raspberries at anyone who would dare question the motives of those who have everything to gain from exploiting your love and, even worse, your fears, and who make it a blatant point to reject reason and to offer no further apologetic for their doctrines than “who can ever really understand His ways? [shrug]”.  You are supposed to instinctively reject any possible connection between the doctrines they teach and the destructive outcomes so frequently observed in the American Church (child sexual abuse, financial scandals, sexual harassment and exploitation of women, embarrassing and psyche-demolishing church-splits, heartless and vindictive attitudes towards non-believers, open and unrepentant hypocrisy amongst the leadership, rejections of Christ en masse by former believers…to name just a few).

They’ve been perfecting their approach for thousands of years.  Your knee-jerk rejection to the idea that you could possibly be exploited by these people for their own selfish benefit, either willfully or out of ignorance, is proof that practice has indeed made perfect.  I mean, let’s face it:  you won’t be convinced to jump in front of a train unless someone spends a lot of time practicing the approach necessary to convince you that your life is ultimately beside the point; that the train cannot go where it must go with you in the way…and that being in the way means existing at all.  That is, and ironically, unless you jump directly in front of the speeding train, you cannot help but to hinder its divine mission, which, you have been convinced, is somehow worse for you than rejecting the very life you believe God created and gave you in the first place!

Yes, and thus, like the proverbial frog slowly boiling to death, you sit in the sanctuary and stare at the plexiglass podium and nod at your reformed pastor’s message dutifully, unaware of the grave reality of your condition.  And upon hearing my message you psychologically assume the fetal position, terrified at my hyperbole and paranoia.

You see, for me to declare to some people that their lives matter and that human life matters has become a yarn of madness to them, and sends them into  fits of moral indignation, a sputtering of denial, and compels them to cry aloud “God-hater!” and “Heretic!”.

And when they’ve finished, I confidently proclaim my case rested.