Water As A Person, Huh?

I recently inadvertently came across an article in the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law arguing for treatment of water as a person under the law in order to give it many if not all of the protections granted persons under the law. I skimmed it and had a good laugh but it then occurred to me how this article is a good exemplification or microcosm of the nature of modern language and of various topics in the philosophy of language such as the absence of any “meaning” for words other than their use and usefulness in any given context.

 
For the moment, water most definitely does not fall into any meaning of “person” except in an aesthetic sense created by poets or rhetoric. However, the same could have been said at one time for entities, concepts, attributes, or things such as corporations, unincorporated companies and associations, trusts, municipalities, states, and even the European Union which is now considered a “person” under much of European law. Hell, even rivers are recognized as persons in some African national legal systems and in tribal legal systems in other countries — even New Zealand does it for one of their rivers in respect of Maori tribal law worshiping a specific river as an ancestor. So, why not add water to the list of human and non-human entities recognized as persons by the law? Why stop at water? Why not treat fire, mountains, the sky, or anything else needing legal protection as a person? The Maori culture historically also worships ritual warfare, slavery, cannibalism, sexual abuse of women, killing of female children, and revenge killings, why does not New Zealand recognize any of these as persons needing respect under the law? Obviously, the cultural process by which words change meaning is convoluted yet it is amazing and impressive how smoothly and quickly such changes can occur when those in power want to change the meaning of words — even when the changes encompass or assume radical changes both in the background and in the foundation metaphysics and physics of reality. An obvious example of such radical changes in both metaphysics and physical conceptualizations of reality is the recent popular and very powerful adoption of radical changes in both metaphysical and physical meanings of the words “gender” and “sex” over a period of only the last few years. Despite this convoluted process, there can be described two universal aspects to this process of meaning change brought out by this simple example of water beginning its path to becoming a person: 1) it results from an teleological act of a will to power not from logical reasoning nor is it derived from sense experience; 2) the resulting change in meaning though it relies upon physical and metaphysical assumptions does not embody either physical or metaphysical foreknowledge — that is regardless of how ethically and thus aesthetically pleasing the change in meaning may be, the change in meaning will not necessarily change reality to meet the teleological motivations for the change so as to be pragmatically or even naturally true.

 
Reasoning does not care what specific premises, axioms, or whatever assumptions are used to begin one’s reasoning. Reasoning is at best a process or methodology for preserving truth however one defines truth not for gaining knowledge of truth. If one starts with true premises, axioms, or assumption, sound reasoning will preserve that truth and valid reasoning will assure it is impossible for the premises to be true and the conclusion false. However, reasoning cannot guarantee one is starting the reasoning process with truth.

 
Nothing in reality or sense experience requires an axiom, premise, or assumption treating water as a person. If one believes water needs to be treated as a person, for whatever reasons one believes this, this set or context of beliefs gives one the teleological or normative goal of having the use and usefulness of the word “water” be the same as the use or usefulness of the word “person” within that context or set of beliefs. The ultimate goal is to give water the same power as a person in our reasoning. If this act of will has the power of violence upon others, especially a monopoly on violence such as the law, this act of will can be compelled upon others to force them to have the same belief in water as a person in order to achieve the teleological or normative goals for the change in meaning. For example, the argument for treating water as a person usually begins with the premises that water is necessary for all persons to live and to enjoy life and that the abundance and purity of water is being threatened by technological pollution of water thus threatening human life. These premises can be derived directly from sense experience. There are then an uncountable number of conceptual options for dealing with these empirical problems. One option is the teleological or normative goal of treating water as a person legally, ethically, or even pragmatically. This is a creative option that is both aesthetically and normative pleasing but is not derived from sense experience but derived existentially and conceptually in the same holistic way we derive “I am therefore I think” and “I think therefore I want more than just thinking” as I have contemplated in other essays. Acceptance of this creative option creates the law and ethics and even the facts to justify itself and not the other way around: the conclusion and supporting facts are created by the act of will wanting water to be a person in the same way any act of will is created. It is not the case that facts lead to the teleological normative goal but the facts are created to justify that goal. An explanation of the creation of this act of will is not something of which we can speak within any language wordgame other than that of intention and will because this existential act of will precedes language as I have contemplated in other essays

 

Even the simple act of will of raising my left arm at this precise moment cannot be explained empirically or conceptually in any way but as an act of will or intentional act. Science can talk all it wants about neurons in the brain being activated that then activate electrical and chemical signals in nerves that extend into my arm but none of these explanations describe why or how “I” activated the neurons to begin this process of raising my left arm nor the nature of this “I” that started this process of raising my hand.

 
Once our act of will successfully leads to a change in meaning, the change will not necessarily change reality so as to achieve the teleological or normative goal for making the change — though it might. Reality is still what it is and we cannot lose sight of this fact. Conceptually, at present “person” has more power than “water”. By making water a person, though this raises the power of water to equality with a person in our conceptualization of reality, because all power is relative this equality means reducing the power of person to the same as that of water in our conceptualization of reality. What effect this will to power for water at the expense of person will have on the pragmatics of our conceptualization of reality is an unknown. Just as when the Supremes in their wisdom made corporations “persons” for many constitutional purposes, this change in meaning strengthened the power of corporations but weakened that of persons in the sense that persons were no longer more powerful than corporations. Perhaps the best example of such distinction is abortion. Making a “fetus” mean the same as “choice” is a result of the teleological normative goal of giving a pregnant woman the power of life or death over a certain form of life. The reality of that form of life and its death have not changed by this change in meaning and the final effect of such a change in meaning upon a society that allows and enforces it by violence is unknown. As the philosopher Thomas Nagel said about evolutionary explanations for morality:

Even if we took the most optimistic view possible, and assumed that in general men’s consciences have been approximately molded by evolutionary forces, the best we could hope for is that they should lay down principles which have been useful. Unlike the God it has replaced, natural selection cannot be supposed to possess or to embody foreknowledge.

If the human race perishes in a nuclear war, it may well be (although there will be no one alive to say it) that scientific beliefs did not, in a sufficiently long time scale, promote “survival”. Yet that will not have been because the scientific theories were not rationally acceptable, but because our use of them was irrational. In fact, if rationality were measured by survival-value, then the proto-beliefs of the cockroach, who has been around for tens of millions of years longer than we, would have a far higher claim to rationality than the sum total of human knowledge.

 

We can see these two aspects present and being ignored in the recent and ongoing arguments for the meaning of “sex” and “gender”. Empirically, the word gender was taken from linguistics and incorporated into problems dealing with differences among the male and female sexes by psychiatrists dealing with individuals who were hermaphrodites, androgynous, or had other unusual sexual characteristics such as bodies that appear female but have XY chromosomes. As with all words, even the word “sex” commonly used to mean a distinct biological male/female distinction has some vagueness and ambiguity as is true of all words because language is a social construct whose meaning is dependent on the context of its use and usefulness. Empirically and scientifically, defining sex involves many factors of physical attributes, chemicals in the body, and even conceptual genetic combinations that are not as clear and distinct as is commonly assumed. We could have more than two biological sexes: 1) male; 2) female; 3) hermaphrodites; 4) intersex (androgynous); 5) gonadal dysgenesis (women with xy chromosomes); 6) infertile persons; and probably some more if we really wanted them.

 
No one wanted more than two and there was no reason to do so until the 1970’s when feminists picked up on this sex/gender distinction to try to break the association of what they considered to be socially constructed male behaviourial characteristics with the male sex and of what they considered to be socially constructed female behaviourial characteristics with the female sex. As with the water/person meaning change, this feminist theory had a teleological normative goal of empowering the female sex by eliminating what they considered to be an unequal power balance in favor of the male sex so as to supposedly equalize power between the sexes. Regardless of whether one disputes the soundness or validity of their arguments, in the last few years these arguments and their teleological normative goals have been accepted by the law, academia, and ethics along with the assumed metaphysics and physics that justifies the change in meaning of gender for now but eventually also for sex. As I wrote in my previous essay Not Utopian But Heavenly, the ultimate goal of this assumed dogmatic metaphysics and physics appears to be not a utopia but a heaven on earth socially constructed consisting of angelic humans equal sexually because there will be no sex. Thanks to this teleological process taking over the monopoly on violence called the law, such a genderless and sexless society in which everyone is their own gender creating their own sex seems to be our future for the foreseeable future absence some catastrophe or revolution.

 
What effect will these changes in meaning for sex and gender have upon reality? Despite everyone involved pretending to know, just as no one knows what the result of making water a person will be, no one really knows what the result will be of  changing the meanings of sex and gender will be. Despite our inability unambiguously to define “sex” empirically as is true for all definitions because all words are vague social constructs, in all known sense experience there are two and only two sexes for purposes of reproduction which is a fairly important aspect of reality. These two — male and female sexes — are necessary for persons to reproduce and thus for societies to continue living. Heaven may be sexless but heaven does not need physically to reproduce. Even for test tube babies we need a male and a female contribution to the tube. Of course, life was not always divided into male and female. For hundreds of millions of years and perhaps billions of years, life consisting of single cell and even multiple cell individual lives reproduced and prospered without two sexes or any sex, there was only individuals. This seems to be the future desired by those who presently control our social will to power to change meaning in the wordgame language of sex and gender: a world of individuals defining their own sex and gender. The Powers have the will to power to achieve this just as they soon will be doing with the wordgame language of water and person, but will this change in language succeed in changing reality? If reality does not go along with our language telling it what to do, what then? Maybe the proto-beliefs of the cockroach will give them the last laugh on all of us.

The Fading Out Of Objective Truth / Part II

Even a creature that is weak, ugly, cowardly, smelly, and in no way justifiable still wants to stay alive and be happy after its own passion.
— George Orwell, “Such, Such Were the Joys”, p. 284 of “Facing Unpleasant Facts”, a collection of Orwell’s essays compiled by George Packer. Mariner Books: N.Y., N.Y. (2008).

John Rawls is one of the gods of 20th Century moralism and political liberalism. Having supposedly lost his Christian faith during World War II, he preceded to spend his whole life after the War recreating the Christian God in an image in which he could have faith through political liberalism. Born a Patrician, he worked his whole life after the War as a professor at Harvard. Rawls’ arguments for principles of “social justice as fairness” use a thought experiment consisting of a hypothetical veil of ignorance. Citizens making choices about what the attributes of a society are supposed to be ought to do so from an “original position” of a “veil of ignorance” in which they will not know such things as what gender, race, abilities, tastes, wealth, position, and so forth they will have in that society. Rawls claims this will cause them to choose “fair” policies. Nice idea, problem is he did not go far enough nor did he see that for this hypothetical to work it must actually consist of two veils: one veil for the society we create and one veil for the reality that created us. He did not continue this veil of ignorance into ignorance of who if anyone would be altruistically willing to engage in such reasoning or who if anyone would even care about fairness for anyone but themselves. He did not continue it into ignorance of truth overall or of knowledge of anything except our ignorance, including ignorance of such things as fairness, the nature of language, justice, supposed natural rights for all, and most definitely ignorance of whether there even are such things as equal rights for all and much else that moralists assume as the Good despite claiming subjectivity of values as the Good. He did not continue it into now knowing the meaning of life. If he had done so, he might have been on to something. Instead of just being a hypothetical game, this veil or more accurately these two veils of ignorance would be a really rational means for normative especially for nihilist normative decision making: decision making by which the individual person seeks power over reality, over society, and over the Other in order viably to give life meaning.

Rawls did not go further to assume a veil of complete ignorance and thus nihilism because though he pretended and doubtless meant to be talking to all participants in society regardless of their particular characteristics such as ethnicity, social status, gender, race, physical and mental abilities, conception of the Good, and so forth so as to enforce a universal standard of normative values, he was not really talking to all. In reality, such talk is meant for and has meaning only for the few in a given society who have the power to control its normative values as I have been arguing in all my writings. Most of humanity, regardless of poverty or wealth, is just trying to survive in their personal struggle against reality both existentially and socially created. Requiring or assuming that any significant portion or even a small portion of humanity will go through their daily lives making decisions by forcing themselves to think they are what they are not or to assume they might never be what they are is a serious delusion blind to our Heart of Darkness. Rawls was preaching to the few Powers with the time and power in life to concentrate on creating a world in their image hoping they will ignore their Heart of Darkness to create a Christian world without the Christ. Nice try but just as delusional. In the end, as with all delusional moralists varying from Aquinas to Nietzsche, he created simply another wordgame of techniques for social engineering to keep the Powers in power creating a world in their image.

Going further with Rawls’ hypothetical as required by Acceptance of Nihilism, the veil of ignorance must actually be two veils of ignorance: one over the reality that created us and one over the reality society creates. Further, for our nihilism, this technique cannot be said to deal with good, evil, fairness, justice, the Good, nor the other usual aesthetic dogmatic language of morality and ethics but with the only attribute and state of affairs that matters: power — how to achieve it and how to control it.

We have no idea why there is something instead of nothing. Life has no meaning other than existence and it exists for no particular or general purpose other than existence. The “No Miracles” argument for scientific realism is unsound and fallacious. It only works because the advocates and worshipers of science as religion use words such as “approximately”, “essentially”, “closely”, “most accurately”, and so forth to argue it. In practice, there are multiple contradictory assumptions and conclusions among scientific theories in those few sciences that are still trying to derive holistic explanations for reality. Contradictory assumptions can prove any argument true; contradictory conclusions disprove all arguments. Further, saying that scientific reality must be true because miracles cannot be true is begging the question. It is accurate to say that scientific realism offers the simplest explanation of why the laws of physics are the same in Tokyo as in London or on Mars and as to why certain theories “approximately”, “essentially”, “closely”, or “most accurately” align with certain experiments, but as to the life of an individual which is all that matters to individual life, no science can prove to the individual that we will see tomorrow, see the sun rise tomorrow, give life, or take life.  The undisputed universal fact is that for those that will die during the night, the sun will not rise tomorrow. Seeing the sun tomorrow is as much a miracle for any individual waking in Technological Society as it was in the Stone Age regardless of whether we are the product of evolutionary genetic physical forces or by the design of an omniscient and omnipotent being. A miracle explanation of why science works is just as sound and valid as a “No Miracles” explanation. Regardless of the actual existence of the universe, we are ignorant as to whether this existence is necessary or contingent. We also most definitely know that my, our, and any individual’s existence are contingent — other than maybe taxes, death is the one certainty in reality. The individual life is a miracle to the individual and no one including science, science as religion, or religion has any rational basis to deny this existential miracle.

Thanks to science, we have probabilistic and statistical methodology that allows us to create predictive value out of some of our theories about reality but that is it. And, that is enough. We want power over reality: power to live and to give life meaning. Looking through our veil of ignorance to this reality, regardless of whether we are “weak, ugly, cowardly, smelly, and in no way justifiable” or the most distinguished of academic elites creating wordgames that bind even God, we are entitled to choose and ought to choose that which gives us the most power over the reality from which we came and to which it is trying to get us to return: be it the Big Bang, evolution, physical matter, dirt, God, or whatever. The veil of ignorance by which we see this reality allows us and if we have made the leap to wanting to live even requires us to force or at least to try to force upon the reality that created us choices that give us the most power to control this reality so as to live and prosper in it. This is the first “original position” by which the nihilist makes normative decisions of ultimate evaluation and perspective value.

However, the veil of ignorance by which most of us view the reality created by society — most notably by its language — does not allow us to know the power by which we can control social reality; the opposite is the case, at any given time except for a small minority in society, we are at its control and under its power. For that small minority of Powers-that-be, during the time they are Powers, they create the normative wordgame that controls social reality and thus by definition they are not in an original position of ignorance but one of knowledge because they are the ones that define both and thus are irrelevant to this contemplation. Unless we become one of these few, our only control of social reality is by struggling against it. Thus, if we make a leap to life as a nihilist, the “original position” of our veil of ignorance rationally requires beliefs that would give us social power but then acts or doing the opposite required by those beliefs: the veil of ignorance by which we see social reality, again if we have made the leap to wanting to live, requires us to act upon this social reality, upon the Other, and upon ourselves not on the belief that gives us power to control it but less power so as to live and prosper in it. It is only by believing in what will achieve power and by then taking the opposite action can we control the few that seek and have power as an end-in-itself endangering my individual meaning and power for life.

Let me exemplify this technique using examples from my prior essay. Assume James Watson — a Nobel laureate who in 1953 co-created the double-helix structure of DNA thus giving us a lot of power over the reality of birth, physical health, forensic investigation, and much more — has offered to give you a seminar regarding molecular biology. Also, assume he is a fanatic racist advocating segregation of a supposed Aryan race from other races. Regardless of whether DNA may simply be an instrumental “Central Dogma of Molecular Biology”, from our original position of ignorance of natural reality, the nihilist choice is to accept his offer and actually to allow the seminar to try to gain some power over natural reality. Now, assume you are a fanatic racist nihilist yourself. In which case, to empower your racism you need to act upon and to empower his racism so all of you can act upon it. However, as a nihilist, you know that in the end regardless of racism or no racism, the end result will be the same with the Powers using your normative choices and acts to empower themselves over your individual life; so, despite your belief in the language of racism, you oppose giving yourself, Watson, or anyone any power affirmatively to act upon the language of racism. Assume you are not a racist; in which case, you will believe in the power to act against racism. However, again, as a nihilist, you know that in the end racism or no racism, the end result will be the same with the Powers using your normative choices and acts upon them to empower themselves over your individual life; so, despite your belief in language against racism, you oppose giving yourself or any others who are against racism any power affirmatively to act upon your language against racism. In the choices available, the end result is the same: Watson gives the seminar but is not allowed to act upon any racism (he can only speak about his beliefs) just as those against his racism cannot act upon it.

Another example is my CAT problem of the previous essay. At a certain point in our original position of ignorance of natural reality, CATs were the most powerful solution over the natural reality of smog and the nihilist rational choice through this veil of ignorance would be empower CATs and thus to empower our individual life over nature. However, through the veil of ignorance covering social reality, regardless of whether the nihilist supports CATs to thus believe in empowering them or opposed them so as not to believe in empowering, the required nihilist action is not to give anyone a monopoly on violence to enforce CATs.

Obviously, this “two veil” nihilist reasoning is at a very basic level and needs the details to be worked out. Rawls’ two books A Theory of Justice and Political Liberalism working out his one veil of ignorance total about 1500 pages depending on the editions. I have to start somewhere. One more exemplification that may help to jump-start the working out is a contemplation of how these two veils may work out in a democracy.

 

The Fading Out Of Objective Truth / Part I

This kind of thing is frightening to me, because it often gives me the feeling that the very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world.
— George Orwell, “Looking Back on the Spanish War”, p. 154        of “Facing Unpleasant Facts”, a collection of Orwell’s essays compiled by George Packer. Mariner Books: N.Y., N.Y. (2008).

 

What Orwell feared has occurred, the concept of objective truth has faded out of Technological Society. This disappearance does not result nor is it explained by any metaphysical “social construct” explanations but results solely from the practical reality that there is simply too much of it. Because of the power of Technological Society to measure, experience, and describe reality, our senses and minds are inundated with so much objective truth that it exceeds our individual ability to understand it either holistically or atomistically — irrespective of how one defines “truth’. For most working persons, we know the objective truth of only a small part of the reality with which we work but that is it. This is true of the work and life of everyone from the least educated service worker forced by the needs of reality to specialize in provision of detailed services to a specific clientele to the most educated of scientists forced by the vastness of their studies to specialize in either its theoretical, mathematical/theoretical, experimental, observational, forensic, or some other specific aspect of their science. To function in Technological Society, we must at some point reach Acceptance (acceptance of a statement as true) of the Storytelling stated to us by others about their esoteric corner of reality and weave it into our individual Storytelling and Acceptance of life so as to create a viable social interaction and society. The universal consolation of such fading away of objective truth is that the Other is just as ignorant of objective truth as we are.  So, why should we accept anything the Other says as true; why should they accept anything we say as true? In this cloud of ignorance, vagueness, and indeterminacy, how is Acceptance even possible except through propaganda and by the force of authority of those who control propaganda to seek the power of conning us into Acceptance of their truth as an end in itself? The first step in answering these questions is Acceptance without fear of this fading away of objective truth; unfortunately, we must reject Orwell on this issue. The next steps are not conceptual. This fading is a practical problem that requires practical solutions not more idealism nor conceptualization.

 
This new world lacking in objective truth can be contemplated even in the simplest of technical problems without getting anywhere close to any of the complicated and convoluted technical, philosophical, social, and even individual emotional happiness issues facing society. For example, this week I was faced with the question of replacing my car’s catalytic converter (CAT). This seems to be a straightforward question with a necessarily required answer: CAT gone back, so replace with new one at great expense. These are truths that demand Acceptance. Unfortunately, I am personally knowledgeable about the historical and technical process that lead to this Acceptance and thus am able to question it. Back in the day when most cars had carburetors, unless carburetors were well tuned and well tuned on a regular basis (such as weekly which no one except a few motorheads ever did), they were only fuel efficient in a narrow operating band thus there was always some excess fuel dumped into the exhaust system resulting in the smog you can see in photographs of most US cities in the 1960’s and 70’s. The catalytic converter was designed to chemically burn off that excess fuel and thus reduce smog: the carbon monoxide (CO) is converted to carbon dioxide (CO2); nitrogen oxides (NOx) are broken down into nitrogen gas (N2) and oxygen gas (O2); and hydrocarbons (HC) are converted into carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O). Sounds good and worked great with those smog filled photos of US cities disappearing by the late 80’s. However, at the same time there was technical progress occurring so that by the start of the 21st Century carburetors are rare even in the cheapest of cars and motorcycles most of which now have fuel injectors instead of carburetors. Fuel injectors controlled by computers can change the fuel/air mixture as often as 1/100th of second and are now the norm. In this type of reality, I and many knowledgeable engineers and scientists argue catalytic converters are a waste and do more harm than good in many ways including by the need for mining and refining of rare metals such as platinum for their manufacture. Now, not only can all the benefits of a CAT be achieved by proper tuning of fuel injected engines, such tuning would provide more power, more fuel efficiency, and more reliable engines with resulting cleaner air at far less expense for these better results. A humorous anecdote on this issue is the fact that at one point during this historical process fuel injection would not create the excess fuel and heat necessary to bring CATs up to their necessary operating temperatures, so “smog pumps” were added to engines to create higher temperature exhausts; that is, smog was created so that the CAT could remove it. As far as I am concerned, anyone who is truly morally concerned about clean air, the environment, supposed global warming, fuel efficiency, the reduction of overall pollution both air and land and so forth should remove their CAT from their fuel injected cars and do some cheap re-tuning so as to run without it. Problem is, such removal would be a criminal violation of the federal Clean Air Act and many state laws.

 
How do you know any of my statements about CATs are true? You do not. It took me years of experience working on cars and the necessary background education to reach these conclusions — or did it? Maybe I am just full of shit and bull-shitting you? Maybe all I care about is getting an extra 5% in horsepower by removing the CAT and could not care less about fuel efficiency or clean air? How would you resolve these questions? Spend the days if not weeks necessary to get the foundation education and experience that would allow you to personally inspect the detailed, convoluted, and complicated objective reality of CATs so as to make your own individual conclusion? Spend hours viewing the conflicting articles, blogs, opinions, and so-called expert analysis available on the internet for and against CATs to find some opinion you trust and can accept? Since CATs are required by law, maybe you should have the government resolve this dispute by holding hearings, examining and cross-examining all sides of the issue, and making objective findings? So, do you have the lobbying money necessary for spending on professional lobbyists to contact government officials to get them to question the Acceptance of CATS and begin the process for such hearings? Do you have the lobbying money necessary to cancel out the lobbying money that would be spent by those who profit off CATs to oppose you? Do you have the time and resources to do such lobbying yourself instead of hiring a professional? Even if your lobbying is successful and you get a hearing, who will make the final decision? A politician? A qualified engineer or scientist? Who will decide whether the engineer or scientist is qualified? Who will decide the politician is qualified to make the final decision on such a technical issue?

 
Most likely, unless you are a motorhead for whom the joy of engine horsepower cancels out the threat of violence from the monopoly on violence called the law, what you will do is just bite the bullet, accept the Acceptance of CAT, comply with the law, and spend money installing a new CAT. By default, the law is the final arbiter on this issue. As you should do; most people have more important problems to deal with in their lives than the morality of their CAT. As Camus complained, “[n]obody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.” Being normal and surviving life by being normal is not a sin, it is usually the only option allowed for survival in Technological Society as anything close to being a free individual.

 
Now translate this CAT contemplation into the voluminous amount of bigger objective truth problems faced by Technological Society varying from questions of what the age requirements for voting in a democracy ought to be to the whether the use of zoos is a social good or an unethical treatment of animals and all the problems in between. How would you come to understand and epistemically synthesize the objective truths of reality available to you in all these questions to reach true answers? Will you spend the days, weeks, months, perhaps years necessary to get the foundation education and experience that would allow you to personally inspect the detailed, convoluted, and complicated objective reality of all of them so as to reach your own individual conclusions? Spend an similar amount of time viewing the conflicting articles, blogs, opinions, and so-called expert analysis available on the internet for and against all of them to find some opinion you trust and rely on it? Rely on the law and its Inner and Outer Party elites to decide for you? Trust a qualified politician? Trust a qualified engineer or scientist? Trust a qualified something else? Who will decide whether the politician, engineer, scientist, or whatever is qualified? If science cannot accurately predict the weather 10 days from now, why should you trust them to predict the weather 100 years from now for purpose of making “global warming” decisions? Perhaps, the best option is just to flip a coin and take your chances? Perhaps, just trust those you like and thus award charisma and supposed niceness as a person with Acceptance of their truth. “[F]or while every one well knows himself to be fallible, few think it necessary to take any precautions against their own fallibility or admit the supposition that any opinion of which they feel very certain may be one of the examples of the error to which they acknowledge themselves to be liable.” — John Stuart Mill, On Liberty at Chapter II “Of the Liberty of Thought and Discussion” (1859).

 
This issue of trusting experts and of determining qualifications of experts for purposes of Acceptance is an especially important and pertinent issue in Technological Society because the objective reality for resolving of this issue involves the same complicated and convoluted mess of facts and states of affairs that results in the fading away of objective truth from the other aspects of objective reality. The problem gets worse when ruling class ideology — ethics that is — and morality get involved. Because “moral character and ethics matter more than science”, the University of Illinois disqualified James Watson, a Nobel laureate who in 1953 created the double-helix structure conceptualization of DNA, from speaking at the University of Illinois on DNA which is something about which he is undisputedly a qualified expert; according to University of Illinois associate professor Kate Clancy, Watson is or may be a racist and thus is disqualified from opining on any aspect of objective reality and anything he says is by definition not objective reality. Many including myself have ridiculed the University for this action but admittedly they do have a point though it is not the point they are making. Expertise, even undisputed expertise, in one aspect of objectively true reality does not make objectively true one’s other opinions in other areas nor one’s general opinions on reality and especially not one’s normative evaluative or perspective opinions on objective reality. Quite the opposite, usually expertise in one area because of the time and resources spend concentrating and specializing one’s knowledge in that one area leads to unfounded and outright delusional conclusions in other areas for which one lacks time to study. Historically, Martin Heidegger and even Adolf Hitler were well qualified geniuses in some areas of thought such as continental philosophy for the former and political and military strategy for the latter but they were racist Nazis much of whose other thought despite their intelligence was and is totally delusional and incompetent as any basis for Acceptance.

 
A more recent exemplification of this point is the power of genius intellectuals such as Noam Chomsky, Michel Foucault, and even a Jacques Derrida who arguably should be disqualified from giving any expert social and political commentary and opinion that results in discretionary power outside their specialties. These three truly are gods in their respective fields of linguistics and continental philosophy of language but this god complex makes them want to create a world in their image regardless of whether that image has anything to do with what reality is or may be — they are completely delusional once they leave the wordgame world they created to seek power over reality. Chomsky single-handedly created the wordgame of modern analytic linguistics with its generative and transformational grammar changing a simple sentence such as “the dog ate the bone” into something such as “[S [NP [D The ] [N dog ] ] [VP [V ate ] [NP [D the ] [N bone ] ] ] ]”; the complexity of these grammars when applied to any analysis of anything even remotely more complicated in language than a simple object/predicate sentence would confound even the most genius of physicists and mathematicians and their equally complicated grammars and syntax for the language of mathematics. Foucault and Derrida ingeniously created wordgames that treat the language for describing reality as if it were reality. As Wittgenstein pointed out in his writings on mathematics, the power of wordgames is that their rules bind even God: even for an omnipotent and omniscient being to understand what we mean for example by a simple phrase such as “the seventh digit of π”, this being would have to know the semantic and syntax rules of English and the mathematical rules for calculating π to seven digits and then would actually have to do the calculation — that is God would have to follow the rules of our social construct wordgames to understand them. No one can just know “the seventh digit of π”, it must be calculated; perhaps calculated outside of time and space by God but it must be calculated. In essence, God would have to become a Man to understand our social construct language — no doubt this conclusion makes Christians happy at least. Having the power to bind God through one’s wordgame creation understandably makes one a god. This is why persons such as Chomsky, Foucault, and Derrida and all worshipers of social construct language as reality are dangerous if given the power through a monopoly on violence to create a world in their image — think intellectual power joined with political power such as with a Lenin, Bukharin, Mao, or any of the many others whose thoughts were the foundation of the numerous communist genocides of the 20th Century responsible for the deaths of hundreds of millions.

 
Luckily, the former three unlike the latter three are purely academic intellectuals and cowards who do not have the stomach to do their own killing. They prefer to act as prophets for those who are willing to do the killing; they are only competent outside of their created wordgames as preachers pontificating delusions to their worshipers — this is why I find them scary and would disqualify them from pontificating if I had the power to do so. Which is why I do not seek nor should be given such power; unlike them and their worshipers, I admit my temptations and act to avoid acting upon them.

 
For practical reasons based on the limited ability of the human mind to understand the vast quantity of objective truths available in reality through the sense experience provided by Technological Society, the concept of objective truth along with the hope of maintaining this concept through Acceptance of those in authority as qualified to provide us with objective reality have already or will soon fade away and rightly so. This fading away is the one objective truth remaining. Now what? The first step is the doing away of the fear felt by Orwell so as to gain Acceptance of this fading away in order to provide not conceptual replacement but practical solutions for this practical problem. Throughout history, practical inventions very often have preceded conceptual explanations for those inventions: from the ancient Greek aeolipile to Michael Faraday’s inventions of the transformer, the electric motor, and the electric dynamo or generator. It was Watt’s invention of the steam engine that led to the science of thermodynamics and not the other way around; it was Faraday’s inventions that created the need for the science of electromagnetism and not the around way around.

 

Because of the complexity of Technological Society, lone inventions by lone inventors may be a thing of the past but the realization and rejection of the fear of having lost objective truth is a something that requires Acceptance by the individual before it can proceed to social Acceptance. By such Acceptance, I do not mean the hypocritical and inconsistent acceptance preached by social justice theory and by most worshipers of science and law as religions by which they ridicule as subjective anything with which they disagree but accept and require everyone to accept under threat of violence their agreed truth as objectively true. Before we can leap to the next practical steps, there must be a nihilist Acceptance without fear not only “that the very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world” but also that this fading is a good thing allowing humanity to proceed to the next leap of faith in life.

Truth: Time For An alternative / Part II

In relation to my need to survive in life as a free person, the Powers-that-be are equivalent to a person who always lies. I and the individual worker bees of any society always speak the truth to ourselves — even when living a lie — so we are equivalent to a person who always tells the truth. This is getting somewhere and needs to be developed as an alternative to truth. The reasonable inference from the analogy I am using and reasoning is that when acting upon words that are the truth as told to me by the Powers, I should try do the opposite of what that truth implies doing. When acting upon the words of truth I am telling myself, I should try to act as action is implied by the truth I am telling myself. Will this work? There are a couple of problems.

 
In doing the opposite of the truth told to me, I seem to be ignoring or acting against truth which in turn seems to go against my simple goal of living in reality instead of living in ignorance of reality. Further, in acting in accordance with truth that is really a lie I am telling myself, it seems I am acting on a lie. However, these impressions are incorrect. The words “truth” or “falsehood” do not really add anything to reality other than normative implications. Saying “it is true the car is green” adds no reality to the statement “the car is green”. Saying “it is false the car is green” adds no reality to the statement “the car is not green”. The facts are the same in either case with or without the words “true” and “false”. In the case of the Powers, they are only using these words “true” and “false” to get and maintain power, they could not care less about the facts or of reality, they only care about what reality ought to be in order for them to maintain or raise their power not what it is. So, by trying to go against the truth of their statements, I am rejecting power as an end in itself and trying to insert reality and the truth of reality back into the meaning of language and back into action based on the language of truth. As far as acting on lies I tell myself, so what? Unless I know it is a lie, it is my truth and thus I am acting on truth. If I know it is a lie and I still act on it, I am proving my freedom by acting upon a lie with the knowledge it is a lie. Cannot be anymore free and honest than having true knowledge and the power to freely act or not act upon that true knowledge. Right? Supposedly, even the ultimate truth that is God has given us the complete freedom of rejecting that ultimate truth.

 

Also, if I am going against truth, I seem to be going against reality which goes against the purpose and goal of my seeking an alternative to truth. This impression is also incorrect. Notice that I said “try” to do the opposite and “try” to act as implied by your truth. As I have repeatedly concluded in my writings including in these blog essays, no one in Power — be it God or His anointed Powers-that-be — care what I think nor really care what I do. In the end, I will always have to act according to their truth; all I can do is believe the opposite and intend to act in opposition to it. Which is a significant accomplishment these days. Remember what I pointed out about the simplicity and honesty of Pilate and his Rome and also the warning of Orwell in his 1984:

By comparison with that existing today, all the tyrannies of the past were half-hearted and inefficient. The ruling groups were always infected to some extent by liberal ideas, and were content to leave loose ends everywhere, to regard only the overt act, and to be uninterested in what their subjects were thinking. … With the development of television and the personal computer, and the technical advances which made it possible to receive and transmit simultaneously on the same instrument, private life came to an end. The possibility of enforcing not only complete obedience to the will of the State, but complete uniformity of opinion on all subjects, now existed for the first time.

The error of this impression is most obvious in the hard sciences. I may try to reject their truth that E = (1/2m)p2−(erE); F=ma; E=mc2; or whatever but I cannot. If I want to accomplish anything physical I have to trust them and act on faith in accordance with their truth — does not mean I have to like it and accept my bondage. Never know; someday I might be able to challenge these truths and prove they are false and create new math and a new physics. Remember the old school spirit of science and the humanities, this is what the scientific spirit and the spirit of the Enlightenment is supposed to be all about: rejection of argument and faith based purely on authority.

 
This impression of going against truth is more deceiving in the social sciences and the humanities. Starting with “a” for example. According to the normative supposed humanity of the law, abortion is not only ethical and moral but a natural right of the mother. By my alternative of contrariness, this is false but so what? No Power cares. As long as they want their daughters to be able to abort their children, they will allow their daughters this power — plus it allows them the power to get rid of a lot of unwanted poor kids. If I actually act to stop the infanticide, I will go to jail. The point of my alternative to truth is a free life and not a life of imprisonment nor of my death; it does not require I be a hero. So probably the best that my alternative will let me do and the only way that I can by action affect the elimination of abortion is by creating medical technology to make test tube babies, designer babies, and designer bodies (that only get pregnant when pregnancy is desired by the person) so as to have the material reality that no one gets a pregnancy unless they actually want it. At that point, abortion will fade away in the same way that bleed therapy by leeching has faded away: because it is technologically inefficient or does not work to solve the problem trying to be solved. The Powers will always let me mess with technology — we are a Technological Society, it is a requirement. Of course alternative action allowed by my alternative to truth and allowed by the Powers will result in other ethical and moral problems, but so what, everything in life and in living causes ethical and moral problems. F–k them.  One problem down and solved, on to the next one.

 

History is class struggle; no class struggle, no history — we become a stagnant and eventually a dead culture and society. My alternative to truth not only maintains this struggle and creates it but does so as an act of freedom instead of just an pretend struggle of words between individuals in the bondage of aesthetics. “In prison, dreams have no limits and reality is no curb. Intelligence in chains loses in lucidity what it gains in intensity”. — Albert Camus, The Rebel. As the poem goes, at least I will be or at least can pretend to be “the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul”. One thing I learned from the Navy, if you are going to die a miserable death in struggle, you are better off doing it as an officer on the bridge or at the helm than as a lowly snipe pushing the boat around and providing its power, water, and light in engineering with no clue as to where you are, where you are going, nor how or why you got there. At least at the helm or as “O’Captain! O’Captain!” you will have some control over your “fearful trip” and its demise.

 
I have my alternative. In honor of the philosopher Nelson Goodman and his “New Problem of Induction” that inspired much of my reasoning in my life’s epistemology and never ending search for a theory of knowledge, I name this alternative “grue”. From now on, I will honor and respect truth — as I must or else — and I will pretend to seek it in all my endeavors — as I must or else. But, what I really will be doing when freely making  my beliefs or my rules of action for life and living is seeking, honoring, and respecting grue: when acting upon words that are the truth as told to me by the Powers, I should try do the opposite of what that truth implies doing. When acting upon the words of truth I am telling myself, I will try to act as action is implied by the truth I am telling myself.

Truth: Time For An Alternative / Part I

The problem with truth is not that there is no truth but that there is too much of it. Forget Pontius Pilate and is Quid Est Veritas; those were simpler times that allowed for doubting truth. Now, not only does every one know and must know the truth, but what each person knows to be true contradicts or at least is different from what every one else knows to be true. As if this is not bad enough, they all insist on telling me what it is plus insisting that I accept it. It is a complicated world that changes in knowledge and creates new knowledge every day, and we must use language and its inherent vagueness and indeterminacy to talk about it and its truth. So, even if one wanted to know and talk only about the truth and nothing but the truth, it is simply not physically possible to do so. For me to know the truth of any subject, I would have to spend a full day studying its truth that would be different from the day before by which point the day would be over so I could not act on the knowledge I have gained during that day anyway, but then the truth for that one day will be a different truth tomorrow. Truth is a full-time job but I already have a full-time job. In reality of the majesty of the law, I accept its truth or go to jail which is worse that Pilate. Pilate just wanted me to work, pay taxes, and tell everyone else to do the same, after which I could do whatever I wanted and accept whatever truth I wanted and he would leave me alone. Pilate and Rome accepted Power as the only god and were honest enough to admit it. If they had to crucify an innocent to get that point across, they did it knowingly and did not cowardly hide behind ethics or some -ism claiming the sacrifice will create a utopia. As government prosecutors and police are well aware, if you talk long enough about anything, you will eventually contradict yourself and thus they will eventually be be able to accuse you and charge you with lying as leverage to be used against you for whatever else they are trying to get out of you.

 
The unfortunate reality is that I and most persons in Technological Society spend most of our days and life acting in ignorance of truth as a matter of necessity and must hide our ignorance by minimizing talk of truth and thus avoid the inevitable contradictions that lead to trouble with the law so as to earn a living, sleep, and have some fun. According to the Dunning-Kruger Effect in statistics, not only is this what most people do but the most ignorant usually are the most confident of their truth and are the most confident of it when they talk about and act upon it. We need an alternative to truth. Let’s start looking for one.

 

The clearest meaning of truth is in the hard or natural sciences including their language of mathematics; can they give me an alternative? They seem to know timeless, all possible worlds, and absolute hard truths. Want to get a rocket to the Moon, Mars, or the outer solar system or accomplish anything physical? The worker bees of the hard sciences are your source of truth. But, that is the problem with their truth. It is a collective truth. It is a massive collection of contradictory mathematical models and mathematical fictions known by a few worker bees in a few hives that are created, divided, and subdivided so as to ignore the contradictions. Of course, the simple stuff is as easy now as it was in Pilate’s day; 2 + 2 = 4 is true anywhere in the real world and in all possible real worlds except perhaps in the imaginary ones of post-modernism that are not real worlds anyway just pretend real worlds created for aesthetics and perhaps for power. However, what about the hard truths of the hard sciences? For example, what is the truth of gauge theory in physics or in mathematical logic? Is it true that the reified formula A[δ] can be treated not as the ordered pair <A, δ>, but as the result A(d1,…, dn/x1,…, xn) of substituting the objects d1 =δ(x1), … , dn = δ(xn) for the variables x1, … , xn that occur free in A? Does E really and truly = (1/2m)p2−(erE)? If relativity physics has to hypothesize the existence of non-detectable dark matter and dark energy that makes up 95% of the universe in order to get its mathematical fictions to work, does that mean it only describes 5% of the universe? If the universe is made up of atoms that cannot be experienced directly in any human sense and are themselves made of numbers consisting of waves of probabilities that are not waves in anything since there is no ether, is not the universe made up of numbers? Hell if I know.

 
Which one of my examples above is pure mathematical logic inquiry and which is pure physics gauge theory inquiry? Only the few are given the gift of knowing the true answers to these sample questions and pretty much all the other questions and answers of the modern hard sciences. The average person has to accept what these few say on faith not on knowledge and everyone knows it but only a few admit it. The propagation of this faith depends on full-time preachers varying from incompetent scientists such as Richard Dawkins to ignorant publicists such as Bill Maher. What about the worker bees of science? Ultimately, if you are able to get an knowledgeable, intelligent, and competent worker bee individual scientist alone in a room and ask them what the f–k they are doing, the honest ones will admit: “[s]ince all models are wrong the scientist cannot obtain a ‘correct’ one by excessive elaboration. On the contrary following William of Occam he should seek an economical description of natural phenomena. Just as the ability to devise simple but evocative models is the signature of the great scientist so overelaboration and overparameterization is often the mark of mediocrity” — Box, G.E.P. (1976) in “Science and Statistics” Journal of the American Statistical Association, Vol. 71 (No. 356), pp. 791-799. Or, simpler yet, such worker bee scientists will admit “the goals of science [are] to be met by construction of theories that correctly describe all observable matters, whether or not they are right about what lies behind them … [which] is a metaphysical question best avoided by philosophy as well as science.” — Richard Healey in Gauging What’s Real: the conceptual foundations of contemporary gauge theories, Oxford University Press (2007) at p. XV. Great, they admit their truth that I must accept on faith as a basis to run Technological Society is really based on an avoidance of truth so as to be economical in their descriptions. So, they already have alternative to truth; an alternative that is just as confounding and confusing as the omnipresent and convoluted cloud of truth that surrounds me behind my ability to grasp it and deal with it in anyway but blind faith. So the hard sciences alternative so is not an alternative to truth but only a further reason to look for one.

 

What about the math? Forget words, just deal in numbers as an alternative to the word “truth”. Forget truth, all answers to problems and questions must be expressed in the form of a correct answer to a mathematical equation. If the problem and question cannot be formed mathematically, than, hey, it must not be worth asking? According to some books I have read, as many as 70% of mathematicians are Platonist — they believe they discover numbers in the same way we discover and trip over rocks. Others, such as the great Bertrand Russell concluded, “I fear that, to a mind of sufficient intellectual power, the whole of mathematics would appear trivial, as trivial as the statement that a four-footed animal is an animal” — Holt, J. (2013) in Why does the world exist?: an existential detective story, N.Y., N.Y.: Liveright Publishing Corporation, at p. 183. Given that great physicists from Aristotle to Newton, Fourier, Heisenberg, Gell-Mann, and others have had to make up new math to get their physics to work leads me to go Russell’s tautology route but maybe not; maybe they discovered their math in the same way they discovered their physics. The problem with tautologies is that they can never be proven false and thus are not science: a scientific hypothesis is one that can be falsified by parameter controlled, repeatable, experiments. So math does not seem to be a viable alternative; not only can only a few do the math and thus only a few know the math as an alternative to truth, in the end math may be a worthless and trivial alternative no better than the word “truth”. I would be replacing faith in scientists with faith in mathematicians. If numbers are Platonic, this may not be so bad. If not, the cure is as bad as the illness. I cannot even answer this basic question and must leave it to mathematicians and philosophers of math to tell me what math is — I am back to relying on faith. Numbers thus cannot be an alternative to any problems with the word “truth”.

 
There is a popular expression among trial attorneys: “There are three types of lies. There are lies, dam lies, and statistics”. Frankly, an alternative to truth dependent on one’s ability to do math with the remainder based on ignorance of math (again, does E = (1/2m)p2−(erE) and how would I know any proof you give me for this equality is actually true?) or dependent on blind faith in mathematicians and their math that may or may not be just aesthetic fictions is not much of an alternative — post-modernists can give me aesthetic fictions in which to have blind faith. I was hoping and am looking for something better than just numeric beauty and faith based aesthetics.

 
What about the soft or social sciences, do they provide an alternative for truth? They are what the philosopher of science Karl Popper called pseudo-sciences and the physicist Richard Feynman called cargo cult science in which generalization without predictive value is taken as truth. In the post-modern world preaching creativity, these sciences have lost all creativity regarding alternatives to truth with their only alternative for truth now being just one word or generalization: evolution. Whatever the problem or question, evolution is the answer and the explanation. Evolution is the new god that explains everything, makes all explanations true, and empowers everything no matter how contradictory the explanation. Whatever. I am not looking for an alternative god; I am looking for an alternative to truth. There are already too many gods in the world just as there is too much truth in the world. The overabundance of gods and of truth my be related. Evolution is a worthless alternative because even I know enough math and logic and have sufficient reasoning skill to use them to know that the concept of evolution in the social sciences is a tautology and thus is no more truth or knowledge than saying “a four-footed animal is an animal”. Again, if you get a competent, intelligent, knowledgeable worker bee scientist — even a social scientist — alone in a room safe from the condemning religious eyes of their preachers, they will admit to this.

 
Genetics and its conceptualization of evolution is science. However, genetics is a mathematical model and thus we are right back to the problems of getting alternatives for truth from science and mathematics. For example, in biology, because of its dependence on computers and their software to do the correlations required for the vast amount of data necessary to establish DNA probabilities, many biologists are complaining that the exalted DNA “explanation” is quickly “becoming epistemologically vacuous” with genes defined or equated by some biologists as no more than the mathematical algorithms or computer subroutines used to correlate the massive amount of data for physical traits with the equally massive amount of data that makes up DNA. — Buchanan, Anne V.; Sholtis, Samuel; et al. “What are genes “for” or where are traits “from”? What is the question?” Bioessays (February 2009), p. 3. doi: 10.1002/bies.200800133); Gerstein, Mark B.; Bruce, Can; Rozowsky, Joel S.; et al. “What is a gene, post-ENCODE? History and updated definition”. Genome Res. (2007) Vol. 17, p. 671. doi: 10.1101/gr.6339607. It is clear the social sciences cannot give me an alternative for truth; they are one of the main reasons I and we need an alternative for truth. Faith in them is a religious faith.

 

Finally, we have the humanities. Once the furnace for The Renaissance and The Enlightenment, in our post-modern world they are a dead end and as much a reason for needing an alternative to truth as are the social sciences. In our post-modern world, they simply make shit up. For the humanities this is not really a problem. They have a long tradition going all the way back to the great Socrates stating the alternative to truth is admitting that you do not know truth and then to accept a search for knowledge and truth as an end in itself — you may never know whether you ever find truth; it is the search for truth not the truth that is important. Yeah, right. Every time a boss asks me for the true answer to a problem, I will tell them I am in search of it and it will be a life-time search that may never end. This alternative will get me to the truth of being poor, homeless, and alone. I already know that truth; not interested in re-learning it. If one has academic tenure in the humanities at some university or other academia or even as a life tenure judge with complete immunity for failure, this alternative will work fine. However, just as the alternatives used by science and mathematics, this is a limited option only available to a select few and is not an alternative for hoi polloi.

 

I am stuck here. I need to find a new way of looking at truth. Reasoning is my usual tool for creativity. This problem is similar to the logic game of the prisoners. Its reasoning may help in my search for a truth alternative. This game goes by many names but its facts essentially are as follows:

You are in a prison. There are only two ways out. One way leads to freedom, the other to death. One way is guarded by someone who always lies, the other by someone who always tells the truth. You can leave if you pick the right exit. You are allowed to ask one guard one question. Instead of a random and arbitrary guess to choose an exist, is there one question you can ask either guard to learn the true exit to freedom?

There are actually at least two questions that will work. You could ask either guard, “what would the other guard tell me is the exit to freedom” and then take the other exit. Or, ask either guard, “what would the other guard tell me is the door to death” and then take that exit.

 
As Orwell so beautifully brought out in his writings, the Powers-that-be only care about power; power is an end-in-itself. Whatever they say, its only use and usefulness and thus its meaning is to maintain or to raise there power — neither truth nor falsehood matters; it is all bullshit. In relation to my need to survive in life as a free person, are they not equivalent to the guard who always lies? However, I am always honest with myself. Even when I am lying, I am honest to myself that I am lying. This may not always be true nor true of all persons. Some people live their whole lives or a good part of their lives in a lie. However, during the time we are living a lie, it is our truth and thus we are still being true to ourselves. So, we are always the guard that tells the truth. This is getting somewhere and neads to be developed — there may be an alternative to truth here.

Is Ethics Subjective or Objective?

Neither and both.

Morality means the individual’s leap to meaning in life, it is an ideology that in theory can be non-violent if the individual decides martyrdom for that meaning is part of the meaning of their life. Ethics is essentially a group’s morality, it is the social construct by which a social group arbitrates morality conflicts among members of its group so that the conflicts do not disrupt and destroy the group’s ability to exist and maintain its social construct meaning and power. By necessity, ethics must involve an element of violence though this is not obvious since usually most members are not involved in the enforcement aspect of the ethics. Even an ethics of non-violence will be enforced by violence. If an ethics has no violence element, it is simply a social construct ideology that makes nice parlor conversation but is meaningless in the struggles of life and eventually will achieve social suicide by disappearing from history. All social groups have a code of ethics including such as the mafia, the Russian mob, and the lowest street gang on the West Side of Chicago. In my experience, these latter are more honest, consistent, and loyal to their ethics than the vast majority of moral busy bodies that enforce “legal” codes of ethics that are in denial of their violence. However, complying with the code of ethics of the mafia for example does not make you a moral person.

Morality and ethics are not the same.

Law is simply an ethics with a monopoly on violence.

Language is “objective” when it describes by means of hypotheses subject to Ockham’s Razor and makes quantifiable predictions that can be tested and falsified in repeatable parameter controlled experiments. Objective truth is pragmatic: its truth is ontologically real as long as the words of its truth work to solve the described problem. “To be is to be the value of a bound variable”. Willard Van Orman Quine. “Subjective” misses one or all of these attributes.

Thus, an ethics that works or is successful in having a social group survive its struggles with the universe and other social groups is objectively good; one that does not work but leads to the group’s destruction or loss of power is objectively bad. However, for any given individual in the group who disagrees with the ethics but is forced either by violence or threat of violence to comply with it, it is subjective and a basis to struggle against it regardless of whether or not the ethics is objectively good in terms of survival for the group. Existentially, social history is the struggle between these two objective and subjective meanings.

 

Race and Class: A View from the Bottom Up

I have not posted any essays for a few months while writing a book. The book is now available at: They Hate if You’re Clever and Despise A Fool and at the bottom page of Selected Essays/Podcasts.

This book is a conceptual analysis of race and class. It begins as a contemplation of my personal life experience with both varying from my white trash emigrant beginnings to my Ivy League education. It then goes on to an analytic contemplation of the past meanings of race and class, their present use and usefulness, and the future use and usefulness of these concepts. I argue that social class distinctions are a necessary attribute of any modern Technological Society just as they have always been a necessary aspect of all past civilizations. The only new attribute of class struggle that Technological Society creates is its ability to isolate individuals in the lower classes from any social bonding with others in their class and thus potentially ending class struggle and making present ruling class ideology permanent resulting in the death of history. However, the death of history is not the end of history. I argue that such death may not be a bad thing given the material benefits and power Technological Society creates for humanity’s need to explore, discover, and conquer the universe. I argue that race distinctions will continue to be used and be usefulness as a means to maintain class distinctions and as a business model for profit. In modern Technological Society, the humanities act solely as a means for normative power. Distinctions such as race serve both as a means to keep individuals in the lower classes isolated and unable to struggle together and as a means for monetary profit by those humanities holding normative power.