One of Jay Dyer’s New-Pseudoscientific Christian-Fundamentalists stopped by to annoy me today on the grounds that I am arrogant, and smart but apparently not wise.
Well, you know, one who acts as a prosecutor of falsehoods in defense of the informational commons, is not the same as a partner with whom you fantasize by engaging in wishful thinking using terms you do not understand in order to fool yourself and others into the pretense that this pseudo-rational, pseudoscientific, wordplay – much like all religions that preceded it – consists of more than shared reinforcement of nonsense words. Just as religions use wishful thinking to provide the incentives to create mutual reinforcement of nonsense words.
Now, I understand that over the past year I have been working on religion, and that over the past year I have been feeding the alt-right as much rhetoric as I can manage in between bouts of obsessive work on my business.
But neither my posturing (which most of you know is a marketing techique) – nor the prosecutorial stance ( which most of you know is something to use to circumvent the attempt to use entry into debate as a pretext for rallying and shaming, rather than the exploration of truth). So I choose the prosecutorial stance, in moral defense of the commons, and debate. This prosecutorialism is a hostile stance – by design. WHy? because we do not seek to agree upon action as they do in pursuit of allies, we only seek to prevent those actions that are harmful regardless of whether we create allies or enemies.
By prosecuting we are not trying to engage parasites in cooperation, nor are we trying to win their consent, nor win their approval, nor even to assist them in understanding our position. Just the opposite: we are trying to determine if they are trying to engage in error, bias, wishful thinking, suggestion, or deceit, in order to obtain by fraud, rallying and shaming what they cannot obtain by fully informed voluntary exchange.
In today’s little tiff I had to explain that the inability to falsify something is not a defense, but one of the ways we how we know that something is false. That something cannot be contradicted still requires that it be falsifiable.
In the same vein, that something is beyond our perception, understanding, and reason means that we cannot testify to it. If we cannot testify to it we cannot claim it is true.
That something is imaginable, does not mean it is possible. In fact, we can imagine many things but it is our attempt to falsify those things that determine whether they are truth candidates.
One of the most common ways of falsifying a hypothesis is by providing a subjectively testable sequence of operations that demonstrate that there is a rational explanation for the phenomenon, where that explanation provides the user with a reward – usually psychological.
We call this simple explanation a test of Occam’s razor, but it is far more than that. When we debate phenomenon in the physical sciences we do not know the first principles of the universe so we must often rely on Occam’s razor for the purposes of further investigation, if for no other reason than choosing the cheapest avenue of exploration is what the physical world does of necessity. It does not try to be witty. It just does what it can at the lowest cost.
But when we debate issues in human behavior, human epistemology, and human intuition, we do know the first principle – man is a rational actor, and therefore a consistent actor – and via empathy (subjective testing) we can test the incentives of others, and judge them rational or not, preferable or not, honest or not, deceitful or not.
So the limits of Occam’s razor in the physical sciences, do not apply to human experience. If there is a very simple explanation for a phenomenon, we must provide a superior alternative explanation in order to falsify it. What we cannot do is state that this is ‘imperceptible or unimaginable, or beyond sensation’. That is just an appeal to the supernatural in order to engage in deception and nothing more.
Now some people say that we cannot engage in self-deception, but this is only true in those cases where we are not trying to create external reinforcement of our wishful thoughts. In other words, we are trying to create the behavior in others that provides us the pretense of the world we desire even if we unconsciously know it’s false.
Once enough of us believe a falsehood, one we wish to believe, we defend that existence of the reinforcement of that falsehood.
This is the monotheist’s objective. This is modern monotheists objective (the left). This is the entire twentieth century: tell a lot of lies to women who, because of their irrational need for confirmation from others, rapidly grasp at wishful thinking of nearly any kind that is offered.
The discursive intellect (which Curt utilises) is nothing more than a survival heuristic conflated with the suprarational.
It’s very different to say “I can get away with finding a relationship between A and B” and “If A, then of necessity, therefore B”. The second is a deduction, the first is an excuse.
Like I said you folk are in the excuse-making business.
There are many kinds of fraud. You are specializing in one of them.
The strange thing is you don’t even really know it.
Argumentum ad verecundiam. Appeal to authority. Empiricism is to be questioned here as a questionable authority of deductive reasoning.
Appealing to this authority, this illusory human heuristic is risible. It’s okay to use cautiously within human scale, but when you apply this model to the metaphysical realm (religion) you run the risk of category error.
– In a tautology, (or name) the information is identical.
– In a truth statement, the information is perfectly parsimonious without being identical.if identical it is a tautology. the absence of information yet the retention of correspondence is what separates a truth statement from a tautology or ‘name’.
– In a theory, or law, the statement is tested but is not perfectly parsimonious – and if it is we cannot not know it is.
– In a hypothesis the statement is untested, and we have no idea whether it is parsimonious or even a truth candidate. It is the result of free association only not causal dependence.
The standard by which I make this claim is three-fold:
2) EMPIRICAL OBSERVATION
(law)(economics)(science) I suppose I don’t need to cover this – it’s obvious that the common law evolved for the purpose of resolving disputes. I suppose that it’s obvious that science relies upon the scientific method: the systematic attempt to eliminate error, bias, wishful thinking, suggestion and deceit from words and deeds. (that’s all the scientific method does).
The reasons that we demand truthfulness are the following:
a) your personal choice in word and deed.
b) the effect upon those whom you speak and act with.
c) externalities produced by your words and deeds
d) decidability in matters of conflict over your words and deeds.
In other words, the reason we demand truthfulness from one another is the damage you cause to others, and the costs that your error, bias, wishful thinking, suggestion, and deceit places upon others. And the resolution of disputes caused by your words and deeds. And the restitution you must pay for the damage caused by your words and deeds.
Now in theory, just as whatever you do in your bedroom is no one’s business as long as it is voluntary. And just as whatever you do in the rest of your home is no one’s business as long as they are unaware of it. Whatever it is that goes in in your crazy little head is no one’s business, as long as it causes no harm to others.
The problem is, when you do cause harm, we need a method of conflict resolution, and we USE a method of conflict resolution, and natural law and physical law, both of which are empirical systems, is how we can and do resolve conflicts.
So the purpose of truth is to resolve conflict: provide decidability. And the reason we provide decidabily is to prevent violence in retaliation for your words and deeds, which increases the cost exported upon others by your words and deeds.
What you and your ‘kind’ refer to as “truth” consists in the conflation of that which is preferable to you, and the words and deeds that you use to attempt to obtain it. (Even though it appears that the only benefit you get from this deceit is a psychological falsehood that gives you confidence or justification for doing what you wish, or believing what you wish. In both cases denying reality.)
So it is MORALITY that is the authority we appeal to when we seek decidability.
And if you wish to speak and act immorally, in an effort to provide yourself with emotional confidence and security, then you will of course bear the consequences of doing so – one of which is to be shamed for.
In a better world we could sue you for harmful public speech, and force you to keep your self-deceits to yourself. In this world we must just argue with and shame you for the harm you do by spreading lies. But hedonistic self-expression and damage to the informational and normative and institutional commons is the fashion of our age. A luxury good we have tolerated – and perhaps tolerated too long.
So you see, we have historical empirical UNCONSTRUCTED evidece (meaning naturaly occuring evidence) of what constitutes the ethical, the moral, and the true. It’s called the common or natural law.
But at this point if I try to educate you it will burn a lot of my time and be of questionable value to me.
But you cannot sell a product without responsibility for the consequences it may cause. You cannot sell a service without responsibility for the service you provide and consequences you cause.
So why is it that you may speak without regard for the consequences of your speech? We already limit hazards. We already limit libel, slander, and the disclosure of information.
Free speech was included in our laws only because we did not know how to determine what was truthful speech in the constitutional era.
But that is because of greek folly – we did not understand the difference between exploratory public speech and critical public testimony.
Now we do. We know that truthful speech is not in fact an act of speaking the truth, but of warranty by due diligence that we do not speak falsehood, and do no harm.
Ergo, I know you do not speak the truth, and I know your words do harm. that does not mean that if you spoke in concrete recommendations that those recommendations would be immoral. It means that you do not speak in concrete recommendations, and instead that you are attempting to produce psychological rewards by expanding the number of those who speak the same fantasy story.
This is called the “social construction of reality”. a postmodern technique whereby speakers use experiential terminology of non-causal construction to obscure their intent to decieve. And that is what you are engaged in.
We cannot object to correspondent social construction of reality because truth by definition cannot produce a harm – only a correction.
But we can object to non-correspondent construction of reality because it harms others, and by consequence the commons.
Why you cannot pollute air, water, and land, is the same reason you cannot pollute information. They are commons. And your comforting lies do those commons harm
The Propertarian Institute
(law)(economics)(science) I suppose I don’t need to cover this – it’s ovbvious that the common law evolved for the purpose of resolving disputes. I suppose that it’s obvious that science relies upon the scientific method: the systematic attempt to eliminate error, bias, wishful thinking, suggestion and deceit from words and deeds. (that’s all the scientific method does).”]
I have no problem with your assessment of common law and its reliance upon the scientific method. I do have a problem, however, when you apply empirical observation to the realm of metaphysics. Empirical observation via the discursive intellect can only cover so much ground. Much of metaphysics, and in particular religion, falls outside the scope of empirical observation. Ask a Christian monk. To experience the divine energies has relatively nothing to do with the discursive intellect.
[“What you and your ‘kind’ refer to as “truth” consists in the conflation of that which is preferable to you, and the words and deeds that you use to attempt to obtain it. (Even though it appears that the only benefit you get from this deceit is a psychological falsehood that gives you confidence or justification for doing what you wish, or believing what you wish. In both cases denying reality.)
So it is MORALITY that is the authority we appeal to when we seek decidability. “]
Morality, Curt, is a human epiphenomenon that moves both horizontally and vertically on a scale throughout human history, as a social paradigm. In other words, it is impermanent. For you to establish some kind of “truth-telling” through your mercantilist version of society is itself a falsehood. It is a falsehood by dint of “defining” motion. Tell me. How can one define something that perpetually moves? How does one size up its nature when it shapeshifts? You have many great insights, but alas what you share with us is only part of the story. There is a reality transcendent to the one you present as fact.
As far as I have seen from your writings, there’s not much I can disagree with you; however, when you bring religion into the equation you’ve stepped too far. This is the only thing that compels me to interject here. Morality is certainly prevalent in exoteric religion. But the fundamental core of religion, such as Christianity, is esoteric. Morality has never defined the core of religion. For even atheists live according to a morality. No single person, group, movement, whatever – has any advantage over the other by dint of their brand of morality. Now, I do sense a possible reason why you frame morality in this regard. This erroneous connection between religion and morality is a very modern one, in fact. You’ve probably had it drilled into you since a young age. But postmodern religion is heresy. I do not subscribe to it personally. So in this sense, I recommend you adjust your perception of me accordingly.
I think it’s fine if you want to use your version of “morality” as a standard of authority. However, my only qualm is your extensive use of it. It is over-used in my opinion, and you extend its efficacy too far as a tool. Bottom line, I agree with much of what you teach; the standard you use, however, I think needs to withdraw out of the realm of metaphysics.
Morality (used relatively loosely), in true traditional religion, deals with the reordering of human desire, so as to reanimate light energy that is beyond scientific observation – within the human individual. This is quite distinct from the modern, corrupt forms of religion that teach morality as more akin to following “rules.” Nothing of the sort. 🙂
I think is more simple, in that humans evolve on a spectrum from the more animal to the more human to the more super-human.
And that just as animals cannot reason, some men can reason only a little and are dominated by animal impulse, some men find a balance between reason and animal impulse, and some men rely exclusively upon reason and transcend animal impulse.
Just as some men cannot learn except by repetition, other can only learn by imitation, others by instruction, others by reading, others by investigation, and others still by invention.
We all must work with the information our biology allows us to possess. So men can be forgiven for their inadequacies, as long as they do not cause us harm. (And that is the open question – whether those who remain more animal and less transcendent, cause harm to those who have transcended.)
It is true that we cannot directly perceive either our ability to move our limbs; our ability to intuit (find free associations in memory), or to delve into our moral intuitions. And perhaps we cannot modify our inner animal’s moral intuitions -only observe and understand them as inner animal intuitions.
But that does not prevent us from obtaining the knowledge of how we in fact move our limbs, perform searches by free association, and feel our moral intuitions.
We know that spirituality is a trick we use to invoke the euphoria of the pack response. We know that religious study in all its forms, is a trick we use to escape constant self analysis in larger, more anonymous, post-tribal groups, where our status signals are no longer directly under control of our actions. We know that through discipline we can create what we call mindfulness, but which limits the mind’s quest for patterns that we cannot alone find, and allows us to filter out the noise of the far greater density of post-tribal life.
In practice, religion gives us the tools, that through disciplined use, we use to suppress the fear (or need) for the information provided by the tribe, (herd, and pack).
Now, we can explain phenomenon experientially (as you do, as most women almost always do) with knowledge of the subjective experience (the animal). We can explain phenomenon as the actor, with knowledge of his intent. And we can explain phenomenon as the observer. And we can explain phenomenon by externality: general rules of causation that produce the phenomenon observed by the observer, intended by the actor, and experience by the recipient of the stimuli.
Just as we can explain morality as experiential, as mystical, as religious, and moral, as rational, and as the necessary consequence of the need for organisms to develop moral intuitions, in order to limit the self and others from parasitism (cheating, and free riding) in a cooperative group: as first causes.
Just as we can explain that the experiential, mystical religious, moral, rational, and first-causal, correspond almost perfectly to each half standard deviation in intelligence between us – skewed heavily by gender, with the female skewing experiential(subjective) and the male systematic (analytic).
This does not mean religion cannot be used by the most transcendent as a means of suppressing the stresses of post-tribal life. Many great thinkers remain religious for this reason, even if they report far less ‘spirituality’ (elation from surrender to the pack response).
This is not to say that the person experiencing, the person acting, the person observing, and the person describing first causes, ‘feel’ the same in response to any phenomenon.
But it **IS** to say that conflating experiential, mystical, religious, rational, and scientific terminology in order to attribute greater intellectual legitimacy to one’s words so that one can pretend to defend one’s animal intuitions using some semblance of reason, is nothing more than a pseudorational, pseudoscientific, act of fraud.
It is one thing to say “we use religion because as humans in the modern world, we need the tools religion gives us”. And it is quite another to use the pretense of reason by adopting rational terminology to make mystical or supernatural statements. For example, metaphysics refers one of two categories of ideas: either (a) what do we mean when we say something exists – a branch of epistemology, or (b) the bucket we throw things into that we do not yet understand.
And as far as I know, metaphysics is settled by the problem of taking action, and the determinism that arises from our observation that the same actions generally produce categorically the same results.
So as a speaker of first causes, morality consists in those rules of cooperation that prevent parasitism and persist cooperation. That we bend these rules just as we bend the rest of nature’s provisions, and just as we bend our own minds through narrative, justification, ritual, and repetition, says nothing about the universality of those rules.
And as a speaker of first causes, truth *can* only mean, testimony that if understood, will recreate the speaker’s experience, and that the recreated experience would cause the observer to agree that the description corresponded to reality.
All human thought of one kind or another is reducible to this same process of ‘pairing-off’. From testimony to the number system, to the definition and transfer of properties and relations by analogy or syllogism.
So any truth proposition must be possible to state as “I promise ….”. But to promise, what is it that one promises to construct? the experience. And what language does he use to reconstruct the experience? Experience, mysticism, religion, reason, rationalism, and science.
Now, in order to make a promise – a promise of truthful testimony, we must understand what it is POSSIBLE to promise in each of these languages. And each of these languages describes a point of view (POV). Each provides a ‘grammar’ of experience. And just as we cannot mix grammars in narration of a story, we cannot mix grammars in our given testimony.
Why? Because the experiential is not rational, the rational is not causal.
And what do we do when we try to speak truthfully, make a promise that our testimony is free of error, bias, wishful thinking, suggestion and deceit to the best of our abilities? Testimony and honesty differ. Honesty requires we do not intend to deceive. Testimony requires we perform due diligence to ensure we do not engage in in error, bias, wishful thinking, suggestion or deceit: human frailties.
So in each of these grammars, these different languages, what is it possible to testify to having performed due diligence? And what knowledge is required, and what effort is required in order to speak in each of those languages and grammars?
Well, let’s look at it this way: Just as we evolve ethically from the imitative to the heroic, to the virtuous, to the ontological (rules), to the teleological (outcomes) because at each stage greater knowledge is required of us. When encountering new experiences beyond our knowledge we rely on the most simplistic ethical model that we possess the knowledge to use. This is why we resort to tradition when all else fails.
So the same applies to our languages and grammars of description: experiential, mystical, religious, rational, rationalism, and scientific.
When we have great knowledge of a thing we can speak scientifically about it. When we have less, we can speak with some reason, and with less knowledge we can speak with only experience. So we resort to the grammar of description (language) that we possess the knowledge to employ in the subject matter.
Now humans being as we are, the creatures of self-doubt, need for inclusion, and status signals, seek through displays of grooming, displays of property, displays of alliances, and displays of intellect, to increase our perceptions of ourselves and others’ perceptions of us in order to give us greater confidence in our intuitions, reason, and actions.
And so many of us if not all of us seek to achieve greater status and confidence by signaling greater knowledge than we possess, or giving greater attribution of status to the sources of the knowledge that we depend upon to act.
And failing that pretense, many if not all of us seek to undermine those ideas, words, and deeds, that discount or falsify those inflated ideas, words and deeds.
So when you criticize the fact that I have used the grammar of first causes – the descriptive testimony we call science – wherein we warranty by due diligence that our words are as free of error, bias, wishful thinking, suggestion, and deceit – and then defend yuor own position by the pretentious use of rationalist terminology, which at best is an attempt to rationally defend your reliance upon and need for religion, mysticism, and experiential justification, I criticize your right to claim truth or testimony in what you say. When it is mere utility.
It may be the utility you need to survive and prosper. It may merely be the utility that you were exposed to and were able to master. And it may be that you need to feel intuitionistic agreement with statements in order to truly feel you understand them with confidence.
But you are not testifying truthfully, nor warrantying your words, because you are practicing a pretense – a display, rather than a fact: a description.
I am not anti-religion or mysticism. I am anti-deception and self-deception. Just as nearly any mathematical statement can be described in plain language, we can describe almost anything in experiential, mystical, religious, rational, rationalist, and scientific languages.
There is no issue describing most human phenomenon in experiential, mystical, religious terminology.
It’s when we use one grammar and the pretense of another grammar more ‘respectable’ that we engage in fraud.
I hope this was helpful to you in some way.
It’s a very important set of ideas.
We do what we have the knowledge to do.
We do what we have the energy and resources to do.
The Philosophy of Aristocracy
The Propertarian Institute
However, I still do take issue with this:
[“I think is more simple, in that humans evolve on a spectrum from the more animal to the more human to the more super-human.”]
This is a narrative that seems to frame much of everything else you discuss above. I perceive that you may be using the myth of human evolution with a pretense of the kind you explain above. I likewise may criticize your right to claim testimony or truth in what you say. Is this scientific narrative not mere utility on your part? However, that said, I am fine if you wish to dialog with this frame of reference – this ‘grammar’ as you call it, if it is truly not pretentious.
Thanks for the dialogue. Appreciated.
Edit: This fundamental difference may be the crux of the issue here. I am not inclined to agree that humans ‘evolved,’ progressed biologically from a lower to a higher level of being. I am of the view that the human was made in the image of the God from the beginning. His physical, mental, spiritual form (physical, cognitive abilities, et al) may have waxed and waned, fluctuated consistently over thousands of years – however, the notion of ‘progress’ in any sense is illusory.