“Scientists Say …”: Scientist or Technician?

The withdrawal of philosophy into a “professional” shell of its own has had disastrous consequences. The younger generation of physicists, the Feynmans, the Schwingers, etc., may be very bright; they may be more intelligent than their predecessors, than Bohr, Einstein, Schrodinger, Boltzmann, Mach and so on. But they are uncivilized savages, they lack in philosophical depth — and this is the fault of the very same idea of professionalism which you are now defending.
— Lakatos, Imre; Feyerabend, Paul. “For and Against Method: Including Lakatos’s Lectures on Scientific Method and the Lakatos-Feyerabend Correspondence”. University of Chicago Press: Chicago, Ill. (1999) at Appendix B, 1969 letter to Feyerabend’s Berkeley philosophy chair Wallace Matson.

Not sure if Feyerabend’s above criticism is directed at philosophers or at scientists; if at scientists, it is not warranted. Even if scientists are becoming “uncivilized” technicians in the sense they lack any holistic philosophy for their scientific wordgames, given the power of science in Technological Society (TS) and its potential for abuse by the Powers-that-be (PTB), such becoming of technicians is not necessarily a bad thing. It may in fact be the only option TS gives for continuing working class struggle against the PTB by scientists as they like everyone else in TS become wages slaves. What would make it disastrous and what most likely is happening is they are becoming not only wage slave technicians but technicians for whom the wordgame of science is a religion or at least a religious cult controlled by the PTB so as to control them. With such becoming, science is no longer science but a propaganda tool and what is supposed to be its pragmatic and instrumental truth instead becomes a dogma tool for the PTB to use for their power as an end-in-itself. As contemplated in other essays, the PTB through the normative power of their ethics and its monopoly on violence that is the law create a world in their image in which power is an end-in-itself. Because science is conceptually a descriptive and empirical instrumentalist wordgame concerned only with pragmatic power over nature and not over the supernatural, it lacks normative concepts of ultimate value and thus it is inherently open to the temptation of becoming a god for those seeking power on earth; at the same time it is not open to being directly subjugated to any normative wordgames (i.e., science is just as viable a wordgame under fascism as it is in a democracy). The only way to subjugate it is by converting its wordgame into a cult or religion having a normative form of life controlled by the PTB. We saw this at work in the recent Chinese Coronavirus debacle by the use of the phrase “scientists say” as justification by authority of whatever the PTB wanted be done (“Scientists Say …”).

 
Science was never intended to be either a cult or a religion. It demands skepticism toward all teleological views of life and at worse the only non-pragmatic limitation on its instrumentalist methodology is aesthetic: “[s]ince all models are [eventually] 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 are often the mark of mediocrity.” — Box, G.E.P. “Science and Statistics”. Journal of the American Statistical Association, Vol. 71, No. 356 (1976). p. 792. Conceptually, the religious can be scientific wordgame players but the scientific cannot be religious wordgame players because in the latter form of life science becomes as dogmatic as religion. The religious can place aside their religious beliefs and be total skeptics while doing science because to them science is simply a tool and not their meaning in life nor an end-in-itself. However, if science is your religion, one cannot put it aside without putting aside one’s meaning in life or the end-in-itself of being a scientist. Thus for one whose religion or meaning in life is science, one cannot be a total skeptic while doing science; instead one must accept scientific concepts as the dogma of one’s religion.

 
The recent worldwide Chinese Coronavirus debacle is the most recent example of the power of this scientific conversion: something known as statistical modeling calling itself a science and calling their conclusions “scientists say” was accepted on faith and by the authority of the PTB using the word “science” to generate dogma accepted as true without skepticism. Though statistical modeling is more of a gambling methodology similar to what bookies and Wall Street do than being a scientific wordgame, statistical modelers have been calling themselves “scientists” in order to establish their normative power within the PTB and are getting away with calling what they say as “scientists say”. The problem with calling statistical modeling a science is that like so many pseudo-sciences it does not limit itself to finding correlations as data science does nor in making predictions that can be falsified such as scientists and even bookies do with their instrumental statistical modeling nor does it deal in any type of holistic reasoning. Data science comes up with many potentially pragmatically useful correlations that can be used for normative decisionmaking but it cannot value one normative decision over another nor provide an explanation for any correlation; thus it does not need holistic reasoning. Those who use data science correlations to make normative arguments are supposed to be doing the holistic reasoning (i.e, there is a 99.79% correlation between spending on science, space, and technology and suicide by hanging, therefore we should reduce such spending to reduce suicide by hanging is a sound and valid normative argument based on data science but is still holistically irrational in terms of holistic social viability.) Bookies and Wall Street change the odds in their models as win, lost, place, and other data come in so when they lose the odds are then changed so they will win and they do this holistically (i.e., bookies set odds for the whole race not just one horse and change those odds so they will win for the whole race regardless of what individual horse wins or loses or places; Wall Street hedges their bets by creating hedge funds in case their modeling fails and incorporates those hedges into their modeling). The statistical modeling of the Chinese Coronavirus however sought to explain instead of just describing; it did not just give odds and the basis for those odds but gave explanations of what is occurring and then gave normative conclusions as to what ought to be occurring to avoid what their explanations say will occur; furthermore, statistical modeling explanations are not done holistically (i.e., hedging their conclusions of virus deaths against deaths that would correlate with the effects of their conclusions).

 
Unfortunately, any explanation and normative conclusion can be supported by statistical modeling if the necessary premises for that explanation and conclusion are assumed in the modeling. In statistical modeling as with all wordgames that want to explain instead of just describe, we can make 2+2=5 as long as we assume the premise that the first 2 in any equation equals 3 and hope no one notices in the convoluted mess of numbers and premises that will be given to hoi polloi. What really happens with statistical models that are treated as science is that if their explanations and conclusions are aesthetically pleasing and are presented so that the PTB can use them to generate fear and achieve more power, they are dogmatically accepted as truth through the authority of the PTB and its use of the words “scientists say”. Thus, what are supposed to be just wordgame models of what could happen if all the assumed premises are accurate are treated as scientific dogma in a religious sense based on authority without the chance or ability for anyone outside the PTB to review or challenge the soundness and validity of the modeling — i.e., the PTB shutdown the world in the name of “scientists say” and for the common good when really it was just a few scientists say and for power as an end-in-itself for the PTB. Most of the world complied with this shutdown order without even seeing the data let alone without analyzing it and actually doing the math — most likely the vast majority could not do the math even if they had seen the data and premises. The authority of “scientists say” and the PTB is accepted in the same way one accepts the religious dogma of a religion in which one has faith. See “Scientists Say …”

 
Conceptually, can we have science in TS without it also being a religion? Yes, we can. But, whether TS will allow for such or whether it can occur without acceptance of nihilism as a morality is an additional question. Consider the following statements:

It is a dogma of the Roman Church that the existence of God can be proved by natural reason. Now this dogma would make it impossible for me to be a Roman Catholic. If I thought of God as another being like myself, outside myself, only infinitely more powerful, then I would regard it as my duty to defy him.

If you want to quarrel with God, that means you have a false concept of God. You are superstitious. You have an incorrect concept when you get angry with fate. You should rearrange our concepts. Contentment with your fate ought to be the first command of wisdom.

— “Doubt, Ethics and Religion: Wittgenstein and the Counter-Enlightenment”. Edited by Luigi Perissinotto Ontos Verlag: New Brunswick, NJ. (2013) p. 45 & n. 4.

At first glance, these statements seem to have nothing to do with science in TS but this first impression is inaccurate. I place them here because they give a foundation for further contemplation by any reader of the essays here on the nature of science in its TS form in which its technicians are expected by the PTB to have science as their religion.

 
As with anything proposed by the PTB, if the PTB say that the nature of the universe, its beginning, its existence, and its future can be explained by the instrumentalist and reasoning of science or of anything pragmatic, working class wage slave technicians as with anything promoted by the PTB should immediately be suspicious — if they want to continue the working class struggle against the PTB that is. If they do not but are willing to accept the end of class struggle and thus of history, of course, it does not matter as nothing else about TS would matter if one does not care. Science as religion as with any religion does not change the nihilist nature of the universe: it is meaningless; there is no truth or knowledge other than knowing my existence; and it has no ultimate value until the nihilist gives it meaning and value by a leap to belief in meaning and value for it.

 

The PTB want their scientists to be religious: believing in the god of science and thus not seeing themselves as technicians but as followers and believers of a true faith. They control this true faith as they control all other faiths in TS. Forget them. Forget Feyerabend’s, Ellul’s, Sartre’s, and many other intellectuals’ ridicule of technicians as somehow uncivilized hoi polloi or as inauthentic waiters. Reject this religion they promote. Nihilistically reject it all and them. Go ahead and accept your fate of being an uncivilized technician free of secular religion and secular religious dogma and thus free to be skeptical of all who claim to know not only the nature of life and the universe but of what you ought to be doing with your life. If you are going to believe in something, let it be something to which you leap not something to which the PTB want you to leap so they can have power over you in their heaven on earth they seek to create in their image. With such freedom of skepticism you will be more of a scientist than any who accept by authority what “scientists say”. Remember, God is the ultimate nihilist.

 
I will end this essay with another statement that hopefully will promote thought on the present and future of the scientific language wordgame in TS:

Let them have their belief, if it gives them joy. Let them also give talks about that. ‘We touch the infinite!’ And some people say … ‘Ya ya, he says he touches the infinite.’ And some people say ‘Ya ya! He says he touches the infinite!’ But to tell the little children in school, ‘Now that is what the truth is,’ that is going much too far.

— (Horgan, J. (2016) “Was philosopher Paul Feyerabend really science’s “worst enemy”? Scientific American, Vol. 24, October. Retrieved from: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/was-philosopher-paul-feyerabend-really-science-s-worst-enemy/)

“Scientists Say …”

The truly apocalyptic view of the world is that things do not repeat themselves. It isn’t absurd, e.g., to believe that the age of science and technology is the beginning of the end for humanity; that the idea of great progress is a delusion; along with the idea that the truth will ultimately be known; that there is nothing good or desirable about scientific knowledge and that mankind, in seeking it, is falling into a trap. It is by no means obvious that this is not how things are. — Wittgenstein, Ludwig. “Culture and Value”. Trans., P. Winch. U. Of Chicago Press (Chicago, Ill. 1980) p. 56.

A common propaganda tool in TS (Technological Society) is to quote science or some scientist as support for whatever explicit or implicit normative values one may be proposing. This technique has become very obvious in the recent virus lock-down propaganda battles in which almost any soundbite or headline of value will begin with the phrase: “Scientists say …”. To anyone experienced in what scientists actually say, this phrase is immediate warning that whatever sentences follow this phrase should be viewed with skepticism at a minimum and perhaps with outright doubt. The reality of any so-called science that really is a science and not a pseudo-science pretending to be a science or an outright fraudulent science is that “scientists” do not “say” much of anything but “some scientists” say one thing and “some scientists” disagree with them often by concluding the exact opposite. Holistically, this disagreement through critical thought is used eventually to reach pragmatic truth: that is, not true or false propositions but sentences that solve the problem about which the scientists are arguing. The acceptance of this skeptical almost nihilist epistemic reality for science and then being able to continue doing science in a leap to hope of eventually achieving non-pragmatic knowledge is what makes the scientist more than just a technician.

 
As I have contemplated and argued in more detail elsewhere, scientific language is instrumentalist language. It does not deal in true or false sentences in the classical propositional sense but in sentences that are pragmatically true or false: they either work or do not work to solve a problem. Science does not give explanations of reality, it gives descriptions of reality that can be falsified and thus in a world lacking knowledge are used to achieve useful solutions to problems. As with reason, scientific language is a great tool and a great pragmatic improvement on normative descriptive language — especially that of ultimate value — which can only say what the world ought to be and gives no way of getting there nor even lets us know if there is a way of getting there. Though, ultimately, it is no more useful in giving life meaning than any other language. “We feel that even if all possible scientific questions be answered, the problems of life have still not been touched at all. Of course there is then no question left, and just this is the answer.” Wittgenstein, Ludwig. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus at Prop. 6.52.

 
Real scientists disagree and are natural skeptics on everything. Everything that non-scientists assume as scientific truths are really only isolated sentences in a vast holistic collection of sets of inconsistent and incomplete hypotheses that are always subject to be proven false by the parameters of a future experiment. This is as true of the present so-called “hard” sciences as it is of the so-called “soft” sciences — many of which are not really sciences since many of their premises and descriptive sentences are tautologies that can never be falsified (i.e., evolution). The physicist Ernest Rutherford once said, “[a]ll science is either physics or stamp collecting.” Well, those glory days may be gone even for physics whose physicists are now stuck in a convoluted mess of contradictory and incomplete theories in which they must make up words such as “dark matter” and “dark energy” to hide the fact they do not know what makes up 95% of the universe. If pressed, most physicists at least would admit the mess in which they are. Such admission would most definitely not come from those who worship science (or concepts such as evolution) as the ultimate explanation of all that is life. The fact of the matter is that all science may become stamp collecting eventually if the technicians of science continue to have their way and allow propagandists to use them and scientists as tools in propaganda by allowing the propagandists to get away with saying “scientists say” as if they all say the same thing and by treating science either as dogmatic or worse as a discipline that is decided by consensus.

 
For an age that loves storytelling, there is an almost universally known and simple story that attacks this propaganda technique and shows it as the fraud it is: Galileo and his heliocentric theory of the solar system. In the 16th century, the almost universal consensus among scientists accepted an ergocentric model of the solar system in which everything revolved around the earth as first described by Ptolemy a couple of thousand years earlier. A small minority including Galileo argued for a heliocentric model in which the earth revolved around the sun as proposed by Aristarchus of Samos a couple of thousand years earlier. The Catholic Church had a trial; the scientists came to present their evidence; Galileo had no opposing evidence or experts since he lacked the necessary mathematics at that time; and thus deciding the science by scientific consensus, the Church ordered Galileo to stop teaching his heliocentric theory as foundational truth but allowed him to continue contemplation of it as theory — which eventually allowed him to develop the mathematics to make his heliocentric model become the dominant consensus. Thanks to Einstein, we now know they were all wrong and both theories have been falsified; space and motion are relative, either model would work but the heliocentric one is much simpler mathematically and thus it is accepted as true pragmatically. Now that the consensus of physicists accepts Einstein’s mathematical models as descriptive, are they foundationally true and not subject to doubt? They better not be so accepted or physics is no longer a science but stamp collecting.

 
Getting into serious analysis and contemplation of the nature of scientific language may be beyond the capabilities and skills of many who quote what “scientists say” but it should not be if one is going to go around treating such phrases as dogmatic authority. The Galileo story is a simple and readily available means to understand what is going on if there were a genuine desire to understand what is going on by those who propagate the “scientists say” propaganda and by those who blindly or dogmatically accept it as true. Even if one is not able to look up the data and do the math, if one is going to read any “scientists say” propaganda should one at least be honest enough to know there must be disagreement out there by opposing scientists and should one not be so lazy as to avoid finding it and contemplating it? As always, what should be and what is are very different and incompatible. The dishonesty and the laziness of accepting “scientists say” propaganda exists and is the norm, this is why the phrase is so powerful and omnipresent by the Powers-that-be (PTB). As I have contemplated elsewhere, this dishonesty and laziness are the unavoidable reality of TS because there is a need to make science a religion. I have argued that the only way to deal with this TS reality is by accepting nihilism as a morality. But, how would this work with scientists themselves? Can scientists avoid being used and useful as propaganda tools through nihilism?

 
The philosopher of science Paul Feyeraband wrote in a letter:

The withdrawal of philosophy into a “professional” shell of its own has had disastrous consequences. The younger generation of physicists, the Feynmans, the Schwingers, etc., may be very bright; they may be more intelligent than their predecessors, than Bohr, Einstein, Schrodinger, Boltzmann, Mach and so on. But they are uncivilised savages, they lack in philosophical depth – and this is the fault of the very same idea of professionalism which you are now defending.

Though I would not go as far as calling modern and post-modern physicists uncivilized savages; but, just as with philosophers, their need to make language — in the case of physicists, it would be the language of mathematics — more real than reality does threaten to convert them from scientists not only to technicians but to technicians who do not care if what they say becomes propaganda for the PTB. Is there a way to avoid such conversion? I will argue next — consistent with my arguments before — that acceptance by scientists of nihilism as a morality is the only way to avoid such conversion of a scientist to being a technician that worships science as one’s religion.

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.

Charity Not Love

The word love is everywhere these days. From the actual and seriously taken presidential campaign of Marianne Williamson to all popular secular and religious philosophies. (Personally, I loved Williamson’s campaign — for great comic relief if for nothing else. She seem to be the only real person in the whole bunch.) Love is seen as the answer to all problems involving human relations in almost any form. So, why is not “love” listed in any of the classical virtues going back to Plato’s Republic nor in the list of Western theological virtues? These two sets of virtues total seven and consist of prudence, justice, temperance, courage (or fortitude), faith, hope, and charity. It is with good reason love is excluded and I am getting tried of hearing about love as if it is a cure-all. When everyone seems to agree on a concept, one should immediately be suspicious of it as either a delusion or a con.

 
As I contemplated in my essay asking Why Does God Hate the Poor: Can God Love? Part III , love is a self-centered act and one side of a two sided coin in which hate is the other side. One cannot know love if one does not know hate and the reverse. Love is the relationship we have to that which gives meaning to our life; hate is the relationship we have to that which denies meaning to our life. Love is the answer? To what? What is the question? So, love of money, power, sex, rape, child molestation, your tribe, or the almost uncountable number of acts most people would call evil and which the evil love are answers to evil? If you love your neighbor must you not hate if not the evil person who hurts them but the evil acts that hurt them? Must you not hate evil acts? According to those who preach love is the answer, you must hate and punish racism, sexism, fascism, and much more in order to be a truly loving person. Love is not the answer but only an answer to certain specific problems. Even assuming it is somehow possible to love your enemies, loving their evil acts only helps your enemies do evil to you and to others and to spread their evil acts — however you define evil. By definition, to love truly, you must hate the evil acts of those you love to help them see the Good.

 
As is often true, the Ancients and the Medieval Scholastics were wiser than much of modern philosophy in their contemplations and so they intelligently left “love” out of their list of virtues to instead include Charity. Charity is considered a theological virtue because supposedly it cannot occur naturally, it is a gift from God in which a person sees God and other persons not as a means to an end — such as achieving meaning in one’s life — but simply as an end-in-itself. It is not a two-sided coin as is love and hate. Its absence is not uncharity or the state of being uncharitable but is simply its negation or absence — just as nothingness does not replace being as an state of existence but is simply nothing regardless of what Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, or their worshipers otherwise preach in their aesthetics.

 
Is Charity a meaningful concept existentially or in any pragmatic form or is it itself simply aesthetics? Is it used and useful only in the same way as the words “Pegasus”, “the Self”, “the Other”, or any of the other uncountable amount of words available for preachers of certain ethics and moralities to use to promote their self-centered images of how the world ought to be? Does it have pragmatic value for nihilism? Maybe. At a minimum, it gives us a word to use and is useful for pointing out the absurdity and the shallowness of the omnipresence of “love” in present society as another false god. Nihilists can do better than love.

The “Other”

The “problem of the mind” is a major divide between analytic and continental philosophy. Right off, as an example of the divide, I have committed an insult to post-modern social justice theory based on continental philosophy by referring to this contemplation as a “problem”.  It is not a problem for them, supposedly, instead it is a mystery to be enjoyed — or else be punished for not enjoying it.

For analytic philosophy, the mind is something one rationally and even logically contemplates. “I think, therefore I am” allows me to conclude I absolutely in all possible worlds in which I think, I also am. In such analysis, my mind or “I” or my subjective me Subject, whatever words one wants to use to give this concept meaning, is a rational conclusion to be rationally contemplated. It deductively follows the same is true of other minds; there are others out there who I experience as acting, talking, and behaving as I do so it is rational to conclude they and others have a mind also — the Other. From these basics, the nature of this concept mind for analytic philosophy generates libraries of analytical verbiage of the mind as a subject and object of reasoning, logic, and epistemology speaking of that for which they should be silent.

For continental philosophy, first perhaps with Kant but most definitely by Hegel, the mind is an a priori category; “I am, therefore I think”. For continental phislosophy including existentialism, I must exist and be conscious of my existence as a prerequisite for thought and not the other way around. It is my self-consciousness as a Subject that makes me an Object of my contemplation. It is my self-consciousness that makes me contemplate whether there are others — the Other — out there who are conscious of me in the same way I am or differently. This generates the question of whether these Other are self-conscious? Am I the Object of their Subject? So on and so forth into the convoluted aesthetics of phenomenological verbiage distinguishing between the “Self” and the “Other” of which I am already confused. In the hands of a Husserl, Sartre, Derrida, and many more speaking of that for which they should be silent, the potential of such verbiage reaches aesthetic perfection.

 
There should be no objection to the basic concept of the Other. All reasoning and logic begin with the recursive base case of “I am therefore I think” and then the recursive step “I want more than just thinking”. Analytic philosophy starts with the wrong base and misunderstands the significance of this a priori knowledge even to the point of denying it is a priori. However, continental philosophy is just as bad by getting the recursive step wrong and by misunderstanding the rational implications of these premises to the point of denying the very will to power of which they constantly pontificate. Both use the Other — just as they use the Self — as words with benign, neutral, or similar harmless meanings for their aesthetic use. For all academic philosophies including for ethics and morality, these are lifeless concepts not reflections of our Heart of Darkness.

 
The Self does not exist in a timeless, spaceless, or any type of vacuum awaiting the power of aesthetics to give it life. I exist in a meaningless universe trying to kill me — be it by disease, catastrophe, hunger, thirst, cold, heat, age, or whatever. If I want to exist and to continue existing, I must be ready to fight to exist and to kill or be killed when the situation warrants such acts. I must be ready to fight and to kill anything trying to kill me, including killing the Other, unless I am willing to die myself. Most of my life, I am willing to live and let live assuming I am lucky enough to live in a world prosperous and materially successful enough to allow for such an attitude. However, if luck runs out, the Self’s Heart of Darkness will destroy the Other or they will destroy me — I have no way of knowing which.

 
The Other is also not timeless, spaceless, or simply aesthetic verbiage allowing me to pretend I care and love others as I do myself. The Other if they want to exist and to continue existing must also be willing to fight and to kill or be killed when the situation warrants such acts. The Other must be ready to fight and to kill anything trying to kill the Other, including my Self, unless the Other is willing to die themselves. Most of the Other — not all but most — may be willing to live and let live assuming they are lucky enough to live in a world prosperous and materially successful enough to allow for such an attitude. However, if luck runs out, the Other’s Heart of Darkness will destroy me or it will destroy the Other — the Other also has no way of knowing which it will be.

 
We all share this Heart of Darkness known only by struggle not by reasoning, logic, or aesthetics. We can ignore it. Many do ignore it and live long and happy lives ignoring it. Some of the Other acknowledge it and use it as a means to assure their existence by using it as justification for their ethics and morality achieving or trying to achieve a monopoly on violence to protect their Self’s Heart of Darkness from the Darkness of the Other Heart — perfect exemplification of the truth of this Heart of Darkness. The true existential struggle is to acknowledge it and to live with it honestly as a nihilist demanding no ethics or morality nor their necessary need for a monopoly on violence but at best with only a leap to faith to the will to power of nihilism denying all ethics and morality.

The Fading Out of Objective Truth / Part IV

The major problem of our time is the decay of the belief in personal immortality, and it cannot be dealt with while the average human being is either drudging like an ox or shivering in fear of the secret police. How right the working classes are in their “materialism”!
— George Orwell, “Looking Back on the Spanish War”, p. 164 of Facing Unpleasant Facts, a collection of Orwell’s essays compiled by George Packer. Mariner Books: N.Y., N.Y. (2008).

The theme of all my writings is that nihilism is not a problem. Maybe it was in other times but no longer, it is now the only sound solution to the individual struggle for meaningful spiritual survival in Technological Society that is itself at least for the foreseeable future the only sound solution to the absurdity of the human struggle against the universe to survive. Humanity survived the Stone Age that lasted millions of years, the Bronze Age that lasted thousands of years, and the Iron Age that lasted hundreds of years to reach our present Technological Society. Through lack of historical perspective, we describe our present as various Ages measured in hundreds of years at best and often just in decades such as the Industrial Age and the Age of Science — the first lasted approximately a couple of hundred years and the latter can be probably measured in decades. Our present Age is the Language Age and it will go back to the pattern of lasting millennia. Language and its control is the ultimate material for making power for all Powers in all forms of life in Technological Society.

 

In the West, the Age of Language has given us material power allowing the average person no longer physically to “drudge like an ox” nor shiver “in fear of the secret police”. Thanks to the power of the language of science and now of technology, the average person in the West is free from material drudgery in the sense of living a life of physical travail but the spiritual drudgery of seeking meaning in life has gotten worse. Further, there is no need for secret police to limit thought and freedom of thought any longer, the nature of language and the masters of the use and usefulness of language through the power of technology create normative rules that limit them opening, clearly, and as a natural acceptable attribute of Technological Society — physical threats and fear control the speaking of individual words but technology allows the Powers to control the words of individual thought directly. All my writings advocate a return to old school existentialism concerned with the survival of the individual soul in such an Age and Society. I am not concerned with promoting new school existentialism and its social engineering of the individual soul to create and maintain a world, gods, and a God in their image. I argue nihilism as the only sound morality that allows the individual soul to survive as more than a solipsist without being negated as nothing more than a social construct.

 
Indirectly, the individual nihilist who has made a leap to morality must accept and deal with materialism in their life. As bad as spiritual drudgery is, it is much worse if you are at the same time drudging like an ox uncertain of your next meal, of having a home, or of physical survival beyond the moment unless you are fully aware of what you are missing. Admittedly, many times, physical drudgery is a successful means of avoiding spiritual drudgery. When working like an ox, just as with an actual ox, one’s meaning in life is physical survival so there is no opportunity to engage in spiritual drudgery. As a human ox, one could find peace by an instinctive faith in a god but it may be only the nearest available social construct god and not God freely derived from one’s individual existential choice. I have no problem with someone who has known wealth or at least material prosperity to then reject materialism and its present successful economic subsidiaries consisting of capitalism and technology to take a vow of poverty or to see asceticism as meaning in life. I do have a problem with social justice theorists varying from Catholic priests to Earth worshipers lecturing to the poor and the working class that they most abandon their materialist consumerism to find peace in life by living as ascetics in harmony with the universe. The poor and much of the working class may find peace in life in such a way but it will be in the same way prisoners find peace in life through poverty: simply because they have no other choice. F–k the universe; it will eventually kill me but that does not require that I have to like it and accept its indifference to my existence. Nihilism is about the individual knowing reality as it is, not as it ought to be, and doing something with this knowledge. A nihilist who based on life experience rejects wealth, economic materialism, consumerism, or even the hedonism of Brave New World and then preaches rejection of them to workers who have not experienced them is a secular religious fanatic not a nihilist.

 

For nihilism, the truth and morality of the struggle with physical drudgery is pragmatic: if it works to physically make my life healthier, wealthier, and free of physically working like an ox, then it is true including morally true. If an individual who accepts such pragmatic moral truth wants to use that truth existentially to reject it, fine, but this does not negate the pragmatic nature of truth.

 
It is struggle with spiritual drudgery in the Age of Language that is the most difficult challenge for nihilism. All others who conceptually struggle with this spiritual drudgery — varying from agnostics onto true believers of both secular and theist religions and onto the most mathematical and rationalist scientists — knowingly agree only on their joint opposition to nihilism with all considering it a problem and an evil to be opposed and beaten. They are also all knowingly or unknowingly in denial as to the consequences of their opposition to nihilism:

Love of truth is one of the strongest motives for replacing what really happens by a streamlined account, or, to express it in a less polite matter, love of truth is one of the strongest motives for lying to oneself and to others. Besides, the quantum theory seems to show, in the precise manner so much beloved by the admirers of science, that reality is either one, which means there are no observers and no things observed, or it is many, in which case what is found does not exist in itself but depends on the approach chosen.
— Feyerabend, Paul. Against Method. Verso: N.Y., N.Y. (4th New Edition, 2010) p. 259.

Because language is a social construct, the existential individual described in language ultimately becomes either a social construct with no individuality in reality outside of language or a solipsist whose individuality is the only reality in language — both of which are nonsense but either work to allow Technological Society to survive and continue: the individual becomes either a worker bee lost in the many or a solitary lonely individual outcaste from the many, either way they are no threat to the Powers. This is true regardless of whether it is the aesthetic and instrumentalist language of science or the aesthetic and normative language of new school existentialism and its post-modern social justice social engineering. Only nihilism avoids both of these two resulting attributes of any language by accepting reality as it is: other than pragmatic truth, the only truth is the knowledge that there is no truth. The individual nihilist knows the universe as it is in the same way science knows reality by accepting not truth but falsification.

 
Once the individual is free of physical drudgery, it is nihilism that creates freedom from spiritual drudgery in the Age of Language. What will the individual do with the freedom provided by nihilism? For some who do not make the leap to morality, it may be a will to death instead of a will to life; for some it will be a will to power to become one of the Powers or a god using the aesthetics of scientific or mathematical language to bind even God; for others who make a leap to morality, it will be finding the companionship and love of other souls; for others it will be the hate of other souls; for some it will be one of the three absurd heros described by Camus: an actor who lives in the delusion of the moment, a conqueror who lives in history not outside of it, a Don Juan who achieves eternity through the timelessness of living in the moment; for some it will be a pragmatic acceptance of life as a wage slave as a means for happiness in this life with hope for a next; for others it will be a will to power as a Knight of Faith among the Powers; the options are uncountable.

 
What will be true of all these nihilist leaps to morality is that the Powers will not be able to count on any of these individual souls as a means for maintaining power based on prescriptive or evaluative normative obligation — that is as ethical obligations. The power of the Powers will derive from these nihilist choices only if they satisfy the pragmatic truth of these choices — they will not be able to justify power solely as an end in itself. If they fail in such satisfaction, the individual nihilist soul’s acceptance of the Powers — be it as wage slave, another Power, or whatever — may be taken away and the Powers fought and struggle begins. There is no moral obligation to believe in anything nor to trust anyone other than oneself or the authority one accepts as meaning in life — be it God, a god, or rebellion against all gods. That choice may be pre-destined or determined but only in language, existentially one’s soul is what it is and can never be anything else. Ultimately, existentially outside the delusion of language, freedom may consist only of knowing that one is not free but in nihilism this truth is enough and can be accepted or be rejected as a basis for meaning in life.

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.

Evolution

One item left out of my last essay complaining about delusions that have taken over political debate is the concept of evolution. It is such an assumed part of life that even I assume it as a given that it is a useful concept. Everything from a single cell to the most convoluted questions of mind and body and of social and cultural states of affairs are described as having “evolved” or as the result of evolution. Except in esoteric areas of analytic philosophy dealing with epistemology and philosophy of science and among very abstract theoretic biologists and chemists, no one bothers to question why such a concept serves as a truly universal explanation of almost everything in life: the reason evolution is a god that can explain everything and anything is because the concept of “evolution” is a tautology. Tautologies are aesthetically beautiful and powerful because they are always necessarily true explanations of everything and can be used as premises in any argument because they will always be a true premise.

 

However, in science, tautologies are bad conceptually because they cannot be falsified. By any definition of science, something that cannot be falsified is not and cannot be a science regardless of its truth: i.e., “all bachelors are unmarried males” is undisputedly and clearly true, it is not science. Real scientists such as physicists are keenly aware of this problem. So for example, there is an ongoing dispute in physics presently as to whether the universal constant “c” that is the speed of light is a tautology. The present protocol for measuring time and distance are based on atomic oscillations within the cesium atom. The unit of time is defined by the frequency of atomic transitions in cesium atoms, and the unit of space is defined in terms of the distance traveled by light in that same unit of time. So, therefore c is essentially defined “one light-year per light-year”, i.e. The Physics Detective. Some philosophers of science have been making this argument since Newtonian physics were discovered or created (depends on your metaphysics). Since we measure the universe by distance and time with both measurements requiring parameters measured visually, the nature of vision must be a constant? Resolution of this issue is above my pay grade. But, this serves to exemplify the need to be aware of tautologies if one wants to call a concept “science” or to be a science.

 

In its humble beginnings, evolution was tautologically defined by “natural selection” in On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life. Because “natural selection,” “preservation of favored races”, and “struggle for life” all reduce to the same concept once we accept that “struggle” includes reproduction as well as survival — as everyone does and must do for evolution to be an explanation. These humble beginnings were quickly forgotten as evolutionary biologists have tripped over themselves for decades trying to find a non-tautological definition of evolution including perhaps a workable recursive one but have failed miserably at these attempts. Popular attempts at doing so these days always include elements from formal logic to give them credibility. A typical attempt:

The Principle of Natural Selection: For all reproducing entities x and y, all environments E, and all generations n: if x is fitter than y in environment E at generation n, then probably there is some future generation n’, after which x has more descendants than y. — Godfrey-Smith, Peter. “Philosophy of Biology”. Princeton University Press: Princeton, N.J. (2014) p. 34.

 

Sounds good and no doubt such acceptable writing will help one get tenure in academia worshiping evolution, but the obvious question is how does one determine “fitter” — especially in humans. In the animal world, one can say that the “fitter” are those who survive and reproduce the most but this brings us back to a tautology. In the human world, even this definition of “fitter” fails miserably. Socrates, Alexander the Great, Jesus Christ, Julius Caesar, and on to Isaac Newton, Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, and many more x’s were all fitter than the average y’s in any E by most definitions yet they had no descendants or none beyond their first generation n. In the human world, one can make an good argument that the actual principle of natural selection is that the less fit not the “fitter” are “probably” the ones with the most descendants.

 

The fact is that if the word “evolution” disappeared from biology including genetics, all of which are now based on the statistical and probabilistic analysis founded upon Mendel’s statistical studies, nothing would change or be lost pragmatically — only a secular god would be lost from the pantheon of secular gods we now have.

 

Instead of acknowledging this reality, the worshipers of the god of evolution deal with it by the common technique I call “assuming the contradiction”: they simply create another concept that assumes evolution as a truth under a different name so that the tautology and any contradictions it may cause nominally disappear. The present fad conceptualization is called “hyperadaptationism” or “Panglossian hyperadaptationism” that differentiates between serious evolutionary theory and comic evolutionary theory. The practitioners of this fad have their own conventions and blogs where they laugh at comic theories and of course take serious the serious theories, i.e.Panglossian Hyperadaptationism and Survival of the Funniest . How do they differentiate between comic and serious evolutionary theories? The same way psychologists differentiate between delusion and reality: they vote on them. If a majority agrees a theory is serious or real, then it is. If not, it is not. Pretty much as scientific as psychology or evolutionary theory can get.

 

So, again, if you want to hold or run a political office, get real:

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. — Putnam, Hilary. “Why Reason Can’t be Naturalized”. Synthese Vol. 52. pp. 3-23 (1982) at p. 5-6.