Wednesday, February 13, 2013

5 Smooth Stones

The Magic Question of Self-Referential Metaphysics

You can count these stones on one hand.

Memorize the following:

1 What
2 about
3 that
4 statement

The whole point of having you memorize that question is so that when you are exposed to general universal claims about knowledge, truth, or reality, you will think about what the implications are for that view itself.

A friend memorized that question, had a eureka moment, it blew his mind, and it changed his life.

Here's a few expanded versions of the question:

Is that statement itself merely the product of the factors it cites as fully explaining or determining everything?

Is that statement ITSELF relative, subjective, economically determined, socially determined, psychologically determined, genetically determined, environmentally determined, evolutionarily determined, illusion, maya, bs, meaningless, stated only because of the speaker's or writer's background, or due solely to some combination of explanatory or determining factors?

Or is that statement itself getting its own free ride past scrutiny?

Memorizing at least the first of these key questions is your ticket to developing a thoroughly rational metaphysic without having to read a lot of books, online essays and discussions, journal articles, and so on.

I'm doing all that dirty work, remember? In fact, what I'm telling you now is part of the result of my reading and analyzing all those sources so that you can benefit from it without having to pick-and-shovel your way to these insights for decades of your life like I did.

Let me do that for you. I will anyway.

Here are the benefits of memorizing the 5-word question and a few others that make up the basis of self-referential metaphysics:

Less to learn
Deepest level of analysis possible
Faster-shorter path to conclusions
Virtually none of the typical obstacles
Opposing arguments build your case for you
A few simple inference tracing principles are all you need
Systemic universal methods of refutation
No more haphazard struggling with first-order objections
Works with all self-referring views

What's not to love? Memorize now!

(Image credit: lightwise / 123RF Stock Photo)

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

What's Wrong with Divine Command Theory

While I think divine command theory can surmount all the objections to it, I reject it as superfluous as well as ignoring the moral obligations operating prior to its own moral theorizing.
Just as some supervisory theory of truth must be in force already in order to evaluate competing theories of truth, so morality and moral goodness are already necessarily embedded in the propriety of rational principles of thought and in the criteria we must use to evaluate moral theories.
Moral theorizing is merely a particular instance of the higher category of universal rational standards on which that theorizing itself logically depends. If there is no moral obligation to think rationally, there can be no moral obligation to think rationally about morality or act rationally with regard to morality.

If we’re not morally obligated to recognize reason and logic, then why do people who disagree with me use reason and logic to arbitrate the status of moral obligation?  Are they just inventing the authority of reason and logic to obligate themselves to think of all morals in one way instead of some other way?.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

The Problem of Evil: Conceptual Welfare Chiseler

Definitional dependency embarrasses the mere concept of the problem of evil.

You don't add anything to dislike by calling it evil. Just as Schopenhauer said about pantheism: you don't add anything to the world by calling it God.

To recognize anything to be evil or negative in any sense beyond human dislike already requires a problem-free ultimate ideal goodness to contrast itself to and therefore give it meaning and recognizability as evil instead of being merely disliked, however extreme, exceptionless, and absolute that dislike might be on its own. This is how the problem of evil steals its meaning.

Evil can be recognized as evil only in the light of a contrasting already-existing problem-free good.

Without some concept of perfect goodness, you don't get to add the histrionic "evil" label to "everyone dislikes it" and get out of that anything more than "everyone dislikes it".

So the whole problem of evil is on definitional welfare. When you need evil so much that you're willing to steal its criterion of meaning from the concept of ultimate perfect goodness to even know that it's evil in the first place.

This is why the problem of evil is a childishly stupid objection.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Days of a Future Sayonara Past

We necessarily use reason as an invisible theistic Mind-God. This is understood by only a handful of theists, but it's a death-knell issue for atheism if it's not addressed, and it's not going to go away.

Self-referential, criterial, metaphysical, and philosophy of logic issues are where the debate is headed. Atheists continue to beat the same old drums while the theists are facing every single lingering issue with deeper and deeper research.

The last 50 years has seen a global rejection of atheism's parading of reason as some kind of cognitive crypto-theism. Merely continuing to tread that stagnant water is hardly going to get atheism any street cred, especially when science is so overwhelmingly dominated with political and commercial vested interests.

The real issues with atheism are those that continue to be avoided. Dismissiveness won't make them disappear.

In fact, the New Atheism movement has been a flash in the pan that is now backfiring. They are in the same situation as Japan after attacking Pearl Harbor. At that pivotal moment in history, Admiral Isaroku Yamamoto was said to have remarked, "I fear that all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant, and fill him with a terrible resolve." Atheism is doomed.

Reason is assumed to be some kind of mind-influencing, mind-defining, mind-obligating unity. Logic is the instrument of definition and justification, and can only itself be assumed. Any defense of logic necessarily proceeds logically to proceed at all, but that defense of logic cannot itself be anything more logically basic than logic itself. So only existential necessity justifies logic and reason, but since this is common to all persuasions, it's not an issue in the God debate between believers and atheists.

Logic is logically basic by definition, which involves the notion of premises being basic to their inferred conclusions. God's mind is ontologically basic but embodies the components of logicality and general reason. But the word basic here is simply logical basicality. The facticity of logic is an ontological notion, but that has nothing to do with justification or the order of knowing. Even ontology itself must proceed according to logical rules of justification and therefore of inferential priority and basicality. God's mind IS the embodiment of logic and general reason. Having no other method or instrument for justification or explanation is at rock bottom precisely what is meant by necessity, both existential and logical. The rationally necessary is necessarily the existentially real. And it's metaphysically basic precisely because of this same principle. The question of metaphysical basicality itself assumes this in its demand for what implies that same basicality.

If logic is logically basic to thought, then by that defining characteristic, it does not itself need a logical foundation, only an existential explanatory foundation to illustrate or clarify its place in the mind's theater of environmental objects. But even that must proceed according to that same logic, since it's necessity is a necessity of thought itself generally.

Logic and reason are not God, of course, but there is no subordination of one characteristic of God's being to any other. They are all co-equal ultimates. Obligation depends on logic for its intelligibility and meaning, while logic depends on obligation for its rules to be followed as a mind-guiding instrument of knowing and communicating. Since this is all used and expressed by preferential choices, goodness ia another ultimate that drives obligation and proceeds in its role as ideal according to logic as well.