Humans evolved 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