Tag Archives: Socratic method

Dear Religion

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Dear Religion,

Logic, reason, rationale…  etc.  This train is one that has come and gone for you. If the evidence for evolution is something you deny, and you have chosen a god or gods as a guiding influence in your perception of reality, then your comprehension of reality no longer requires any other substantial reason – other than sheer curiosity.

Why?

(for your curiosity)

Typically, theism comes in a package (generalizing, here):

1) Life is a divine schematic.

2) The mind of God(s), nor the mystery of his/her/the/it/their design is not something you claim to know, or understand, or else, you’d be omniscient as well, and not require religious faith.

3) Therefore, debating evolution or abiogenesis is not a wise move – as, your alternative hypothesis relies on a magical being you cannot understand, comprehend, nor explain – beyond honesty.

4) Furthermore, upon acceptance of the divine plan – your will has been entered into a contract, and is no longer yours unless you void the transaction. In effect, this also compromises any conversation with an empiricist, as they fully understand before you enter the veritable room, that your belief system is built upon the antithesis of the refined scientific aim (aka – “Scientific Method”).

After all, how can you enter a debate on the grounds of reason when you’ve already abandoned it? You’re trying to open an account with no currency to justify its existence.

Science relies on an extremely dense type of comprehension – as, its adherents maintain empirically substantiated evidence to support their worldview.  Whereas, religious faith relies only on the will of the adherent.  It must be nice.   lol

In conclusion, you chose to abandon things like reason, logic, and science.  Any empiricist you debate, relies on a level of knowledge that is bound by tenable and testable confirmations grounded in both personal discovery and a coordinated alignment with scientific comprehension to the extent it can be understood.

Ironically, both paths wind toward attaining some degree of omniscience, but essentially lead in opposite directions.  Theists believe in a bridge of understanding reality, while empiricists build theirs.

Now, I have some questions of my own:

-Why worry about what others believe if it is all part of a predetermined plan – a destiny?  

…And, if you believe that your preach/dissent is part of that plan, then:

-If your god does not want to interfere with free will, why has he/she..etc. sent you to tamper with it?
(I assume that is the self-less version of your motive to debate, and/or “spread the word”)

It would be far easier to change my mind (or that of other empiricists) if your god(s) simply …showed up – And, not through you, either.  I see the same stuff you’re made of when I look into a mirror.  lol

 

Sincerely,

Concerned Citizen

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The Measure of All Things

Socrates is one of the most common and celebrated names in philosophy circles, and his material is often covered in any philosophy 101 course.  What made his ideas so special?

The height of Socratic wisdom is something many may argue was not wisdom at all – devoid of philosophical value.  Despite all of Socrates’ reason and original thinking, his contention that the only certainty he could obtain is that he could not be certain of anything challenged the value of his philosophy.  How is this useful thinking?  Some may contest that the idea finds no application in our world today.  They may suggest that this apparent lack of knowledge is no wisdom at all.

The Greek roots of the word “philosophy” summarize it in its entirety.   The Greek translation is “love of wisdom.”  This leads us to explore the wisdom itself.  Wisdom might be summarized as the optimization of knowledge itself.  If Socrates was so wise, so aware, then why resort to such humility?

Life should be a very humbling journey.  Just as wisdom, it is not a destination.  Socrates dedicated his life to the vigorous pursuit of obtaining a deeper realization in relation to the world around him and his self.  He developed many ideas and synthesized bytes of information into industrious tunes of understanding.  Yet, he remained humble in his findings.  Certainty, or, truth, is the holy grail of the philosopher.  I would compare absolute certainty to knowing the mind and form of what we commonly refer to as “god.”

This humbling conclusion is the very reason people continue to seek answers, knowledge, and truth today.  Everything is not known, and this fact compromises everything that can be known.  Philosophers that arrived on the scene after Socrates demise have been expanding on Socratic wisdom by drawing up schematics for human understanding.  Immanuel Kant, pioneered metaphysics by attempting to define what he termed “noumenal” reality.   Though Kant’s hopes were misguided, they still caused him to drive out new and fascinating conceptual identities that continue to broaden the contemplation of the modern thinker.

Noumena” defines phenomena in the sense that it is the root of perception as it exists, and is extended from, within the individual.  Kant went so far as to argue that noumena creates phenomena.  In this sense, the observer (or, subject) would be the measure of all things.  You may ask yourself at this point – if reality is purely subjective, would it be important to think about it?  I would argue, yes in all cases.  I  would also argue that Socrates and Kant make a powerful duo when they are both considered right.  Subjectively, we are the measure of all things, but wisdom lights the path upon realizing the limits of our measure.

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Filed under Philosophy, Religion and Modern Politics

The Uncommon Sense

Common sense is not common. Every person develops their own unique framework of ideas that construct a working understanding of reality. This obstruction can be demonstrated by the diversity in human belief. Unseen deities stand at one end of this spectrum, whereas, pure empiricism is found at the other. Each end offers some form of absolutist posturing. This creates faulty foundations to base our perceptions on.

Are there absolutes? Of course, there are. The counterintuitive principle of an absolute; however, is the limitation of its scope. Absolutism does not provide all pervasive truths. Rather, they are relative to human understanding. Not many people consciously accept this because they need to comprehend their environment at some level. There is not much gained from accepting a realist view on a material level. However, Socrates considered this realization to be the height of his wisdom.

Accepting that we cannot be certain of anything is necessary for our personal and cumulative development. In contrast – A full grasp of reality has served as an evolutionary imperative in the past.Societies could be suspended in animation if the members patiently waited for complete bodies of knowledge before moving forward with daily activities. A humble moderation is needed to walk this fine line that borders restrictive conceits and stumbling foolishness.

The industrial revolution spawned from existing bodies of knowledge, adequate communication, and the development of a functional logic used for experimentation. Opposable thumbs were the original tool created by our species. The thumb enabled advanced tool usage. Logic seems to be the latest human technology. Abstract ideas are now the vehicle we move forward with. Accepting Socratic wisdom affords us unlimited potential. Logic is arguably the next thumb. Like the thumb, it is not something that exists outside ourselves. Silicon chips and quad core processors are simply machines developed through human understanding. Looking only outside of ourselves will continue to be the hindrance in our development. Only through a sincere progression can we move forward. Imagining deities was never detrimental until the hope became suffocated by a greed. Unlike property, we cannot own truth.

Truth remains forever beyond our reach, yet accepting this limitation is necessary for growth.  Through the unyielding results of scientific knowledge, the human species can find certitude to varying degrees.  This gives both hope and reason to keep stumbling forward into the unknown.  Ideas are being tested before they are accepted now.  It can be said that we are positively advancing scientifically.  Yet, technology will immobilize a society if it does not also develop its capacity for humanity in tandem.  For example, a nuclear weapon can destroy a third of the planet.  This is only an estimation.  Something is very wrong.  The existence of such a weapon clearly presses this fact.  What can we do?  We can use the tools available to us.  Political and economic systems are not perfected by any means.  As a species, we fail where we could succeed.  Again, this is due to our greed.  New ideas can be drawn from current bodies of knowledge in these areas.  People seem to be frozen in their conceits – as if current social, cultural, political, and economical paradigms cannot be leveled for progress.  To the contrary, the populace is often discouraged from reaching for any tangible and real change.

Felons are forbidden to vote after they have paid for victimless crimes, while those that are granted the right feel helpless to change anything.  The same economic models are preached by public figure heads.  Finite systems of governance are consistently presented as if they were as sound as scientific law.  Elitists feel that they are fit to rule due to an uneducated populace, yet never educate those they hold themselves over when it is well within their power to do so.  Distrust is bred like a noble horse.  An onlooker might begin to suspect that this is either a product of intention or that the elites continue to show incompetence.  Perhaps it is all the reasons I’ve suggested and more.  When alternative views are voiced, they are quickly funneled into existing themes such as socialism, communism, or measured by the actions of heartless warlords.  In our development of technology, we did not stop at the wheel.  No, and we will not stop when aerospace mechanics is mastered, either.  Progress is fueled by the very desire for it, yet in order for humanity to move in this direction – we must first discover a potential for movement.  Medieval times illustrate this kind of stagnation.  Royal lines ruled by divine right and the masses were then segregated by class.

These lines of class still exist in eerily familiar forms – ranking modern society.  It is nothing less than division of a people.  Unfortunately, due to a mixture of helplessness, fear, and apathy this separation is accepted.  It seems social roles are exacted as if they were engineered – as if lesser classes were left for dead in Plato’s Cave for eons untold.  Bound by chains, they watch representations of reality dance in shadow along the walls of their void.  Enlightenment is denied the more the reality is accepted – adopted, even.

Nonexistent gods were only the beginning of this blindness unfolding.  The gods that concern me are those that bind the progression of our species intentionally.  That is, unless I mistake their incompetence for intention.  I would not be so swift with false notions of certainty, like some.  As in Plato’s allegory, it was “the philosopher” who, after attaining his enlightenment, descended back into the cave to free his people.  However; the same question remains – would they not speak of his madness and refuse the knowledge of their chains?  If he tried to pull them up into the light, would they not feel attacked?

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Filed under humanism, Philosophy, Religion and Modern Politics, Social Evolution, thinking