Tag Archives: fallacy

The “Consciousness is an Illusion” Fallacy

When it is said that X is an illusion, it is meant that what is perceived as X is really Y. Once the false perception is corrected, we can understand the difference: what we are actually perceiving is different from what we thought we were perceiving.

The correction of the false perception reveals that the perception of X as Y cannot be categorical. Meaning that X cannot always by everyone be perceived as Y, because if everyone always perceives X as Y, then it cannot be known that there is in fact a difference; and thus it cannot be known that X is an illusion. As far as anyone can ever know or say, X is simply X

This is precisely the problem we run into when we posit that consciousness is an illusion. To say that what we perceive as consciousness (the awareness of a singular metaphysical Self) is in reality something else implies that a difference can be known—that the false perception can be corrected. However, since consciousness is a frame of reference for perception, itself, it can never be perceived that consciousness is something else. It can never be perceived that “I” am actually “not I” because the perception of such a distinction requires the frame of reference of “I” in the first place. Put another way, the frame of reference of he who makes the distinction between the illusion and what the illusion actually is cannot itself be the illusion.

A distinction between the “illusion of consciousness” and what consciousness “actually is” is something which no one, anywhere, at any time, can perceive. Thus, any claim regarding such a distinction is necessarily false. Further, I would add that since consciousness necessarily implies choice and will, any claims as to the illusory nature of these things must also be false. Much more could be said of choice and will, of course, but we will leave it for now.

Rights are a Slavemaster

There is no such thing as rights. As George Carlin once said—“We made them up. Like the boogie man.” There is only Truth and Death…and I define Death as anything which denies the Truth; and I define Truth as the whole of ideas which do not contain or imply contradiction.

But that’s a separate issue.

For now, let’s just say that, speaking of rights, for example, mankind must freely associate or it must die. Man’s singular “I”, or “Self”—his absolute awareness of an utterly singular existential frame of reference—implies an incompatibility with forced ethics, and “forced ethics” means Law. And authoritarian-compelled restricting and compelling association is a cornerstone of Law, despite what the ideals of western democracies might tell us. Under law, then, man is made a slave. And slavery will destroy the Individual because it demands that the Singular Self commit itself to a frame of reference outside itself—to an external will, or “Authority”, which it cannot possibly do because it is, itself, the Singular frame of reference for Reality and Existence. The Self, then—man, the Individual—will thus necessarily be crushed to dust by Law, as punishment for inherent disobedience or as a product of Its own futile attempt to obey, where obedience is impossible because it requires a denial of Self, which the Self cannot do because, again, it is absolute.

In an ultimately pointless and vain attempt to mitigate the Law’s fatal flaw, “rights” are employed as a political solution. In other words, “rights” are a function of the Law, not the other way around, as most of us assume. Despite the perhaps benevolent intentions of rulers, rights are merely a transfer of the indiviudal’s existential political-moral status and station in Reality as a general, categorical, natural principle of his life to the State. The State, being the Authority over man, must then define man’s rights for him; and having defined them, must thus dictate them. And “dictated rights” is one of the head-scratching oxymorons which nevertheless implicitly forms the backbone of all “enlightened” democracies. Since the State by definition has Authority over man, because it is Authority by definition, being the practical incarnation and motivation of the Collective Ideal (e.g. the People), it will necessarily then have Authority over all of man’s “natural rights” which are said to be a function of his existence. It is a noble attempt at merging individual freedom and collectivist sociology , but clearly this cannot work. Man outsources his rights to the State, which exists to govern man. It governs man because he is, by nature, incapable of governing himself, as an individual, pursuing moral living via his individual will and choice alone. Man as an individual is depraved…societies functioning thus by strictly voluntary association with no central authority to compel behavior must then collapse into exploitation, chaos, and death. Because of this inherent natural depravity—the inability to manifest a moral society through the will alone, without Law—whatever good man can “possess” must be dictated to him by the Authority in spite of himself. His “natural rights” then are whatever the State decides they should be at any given moment. To claim that man, who is not good in and of himself, which is why he must have government to compel his behavior, has an inherent morality which implies rights which should be safeguarded in order that he not become a victim of government tyranny is a complete contradiction in terms.

To put it frankly, rights are nothing more than a form of political expediency. Man, being depraved in nature, has no individual rights. Further, the concept of “natural human rights” implies that man should possess some form of existential autonomy. But that autonomy is incompatible with the State, which exists specifically to compel man’s behavior against his will. So by what logic do we say that the State can possibly recognize an individual’s rights?

To square this circle:

The State defines man’s rights for man; and since the State is Authority, these rights are therefore entirely dictated by the State, making them in practice, if not also in theory, a direct consequence of the State, and not of man’s own natural existence. And notice how everyone in society who is clamoring for this right or that at any given moment is concordantly demanding that it be enforced—canonized by Law, and thus thrust into the category of “that which shall be obeyed or forfeit your life”. Rights and government violence are not only politically hand-in-hand, they are undeniably corollary.

“Rights”, therefore, far from being a marker of a benevolent State safeguarding and championing the cause of individual liberty, is merely a digestif given to the people to make government tyranny easier to absorb. And the irony should not be lost on us that that which claims it exists to uphold and secure our “natural rights” is that which cannot exist without completetely dismissing them.

Property rights? Taxes obliterate the very notion.

Speech rights; rights of association; privacy? I am not permitted to reject the Authority of the ruling class…I am bound by the coercive, legal obligation to obey the outcome of the vote, no matter how unjust or stupid or pointless or irrational it may be, otherwise I forfeit my life…thus all my “rights” to speech, privacy, association, property are subordinated to the governed (coerced) society at all times and in all circumstances. I am a slave to the Collective Ideal forced upon me by the Agency of Violence known as the State. I have no individual rights as far as it is concerned, because I, myself, do not exist and do not matter as far as it is concerned.

This is not hyperbole…it is not a screed or a conspiracy theory or some hypothetical injustice. This is what the metaphysics—the fundamental philosophical primaries—necessitate. There is only an immutable, inexorable, inevitable, and immediate consequence of the organization of society, and by extension Reality on the whole, under the umbrella of institutionalized Authority: the marginalization and suppression of the Individual.

The concept of “rights” is merely  politcal bromide…lubricating us up to smooth the application of tyranny.

The very fact that in the “enlightened” American democracy we need to insert “rights” as a hedge against what the Founding Father’s admitted was inherent government tyranny illustrates the inherent evil of government. And from this we can extrapolate the futility of rights. Because government is Authority and Authority is force, and Authoritative force is manifest by the supremacy of violent power, rights cannot possibly serve as a hedge against excessive government power. Also, there is no such thing as an excess of power from that which exists, fundamentally, to wield power absolutely.

And here we therefore must ask the obvious question begged:

Without government what need is there of rights? My objective existence, objectively as an individual, is why I am free. Your individuality is why you are free. Government can only serve to nullify that freedom, then, not manifest it. When we consider reality from the perfectly rational, morally perfect frame of reference of individualist metaphysics, then freedom is a metaphysical fact, not a right.

Finally, we say that rights exist as a necessary hedge against government, and this because government, being Authority in essence, is tyrannical by nature. Therefore, think about this: Since government is the monopoly of coercive force, which is legal violence, and legality (as opposed to morality) is the ethical plumbline of societies which are governed by institutionalized Authority, then rights cannot possibly serve the purpose for which they are ostensibly intended. That is, rights do not, and cannot, and shall not, and should not (if we are being consistent in our logic) protect us from or serve as a hedge against that (the State) which exists specifically to compel man against and in spite of his own will/choice into his legal obligation. The very fact that man does not get to choose to follow the Law is proof of the implicit assumption of legal ethics that man’s will is insufficient to ethical existence. Thus, who man wills to associate with, or what he wills to speak, or what he wills to own, or wills to pay is entirely subordinate to government Authority. Rights thus— to free speech or free association, movement or property, etc—are a complete fabrication with regard to bulwarking the individual against government oppression and suppression.

Rights at best are a well-intentioned palliative, which serves to do nothing more for the individual than encourage him to passively accept the State; to make it appear as though the State has anything of any value, practical or philosophical, to offer the individual, instead of revealing the truth, which is that the State and the Individual are mutually exclusive agencies.



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.