Saturday, December 20, 2008

New Study Proves That Political Correctness is a Mental Disorder

When I select a post for the weekly re-run, I go back into the arkive and review what I wrote two years ago. In so doing, a post will generally either make me cringe or draw me in and keep my attention. I guess this one did the latter. It's also been tweaked and fortified with extra thoughts and insults.


Yesterday someone left a malodorous link-bomb to an academic study that supposedly shows a correlation between political conservatism and such “traits” as fear, aggression, dogmatism, intolerance of ambiguity, “uncertainty avoidance,” and a need for cognitive closure.

Ironically, the conclusions of this dogmatic study were prematurely set forth by cluelessly intolerant and passive-aggressive liberal academics who are deeply fearful of conservatism, thus disproving their point while proving their own pointlessness. Like so much academic nonsense, the study essentially came down to a self-serving expression of class interest -- the class of economic free-riders known as tenured moonbats who would be otherwise unemployable in the real world.

I didn’t engage in the ensuing debate because it’s another one of those things that’s not only wrong, but not even wrong. Few people are more insular, parochial, and narrow minded than the typical liberal professor, who lives in such a small, closed circle that it’s pretty easy to “prove” whatever they need to prove in order to keep reality at bay.

Academia has essentially been reduced to a domain of pseudo-rationalism, which, in the absence of metaphysical truth, quickly descends into sub-rationalism and irrationalism. (As always, we are mainly speaking of the humanities, not the hard sciences, although the latter becomes equally silly when it morphs into the Darwinian scientism of a Richard Dawkins and the rest of the bonehead atheist crowd.)

As I have noted in the past, there are only three broad means of gaining knowledge about the world, 1) logic and empiricism (i.e., inductive and deductive reasoning), 2) revelation, and 3) pure intellection. Obviously, the vast majority of liberal academics categorically reject the latter two categories, which leaves only the reason, narrowly construed.

Now, reason is a method. It is empty until it is provided with content that has to come from elsewhere. In short, reason cannot provide its own content. So something other than reason has to provide it, and here you see at once the gap through which so much postmodern nonsense rushes in. Because these metaphysical yahoos of the academic left must rely upon -- say it with me, now -- a sham substitute for revelation and intellection to provide the missing content.

Here we touch on the question of pure intelligence, for it is accurate to say that the intellect as such is an "interior revelation," while revelation represents exteriorized intellect. They are two sides of the same coin, and both flow from a higher nonlocal and "uncreated" source, which can be none other than Truth.

But again, the liberal does not and cannot know any of this. To him, it is all "oogedy boogedy" nonsense. However, sustained reflection should convince you that the intellect is a function of Truth, rather than vice versa -- just as something is not true because it is logical, but logical because it is true.

It has always been understood that one of the keys to being a great scientist is the ability to identify a promising and generative problem. Here again, this mysterious process is completely trans-logical. We cannot say it is “illogical," but it definitely doesn't obey the formal operations of mere linear logic. Rather, the ability to “see” an interesting problem -- and its potential solution -- is much closer to the realm of aesthetics than to logic.

Einstein, for example, was a mediocre mathematician. He did not arrive at his revolutionary theories through any strictly logical process, but by applying pure intelligence to problems that intrigued him but not others. Not only did he “see” the solution to those problems before he worked them out mathematically, but he was one hundred percent convinced that what he saw was true, regardless of empirical studies that didn’t confirm his theory of gravitation until 1919. When asked what he would think if the empirical results did not support his theory, he replied, "I would feel sorry for dear old God. My theory is correct."

A couple of weeks ago I related the story of how I not only managed to bluff my way into graduate school, but once there, continue bluffing beyond the abilities of classmates who, unlike me, actually had undergraduate degrees in psychology. But gradually, I realized that I wasn't actually bluffing, but somehow "thinking beyond myself," in the same manner that I do with the blog. It took me a while in life to find my path, but once on that path, I definitely “knew” things that came to me in a non-empirical way.

And in fact, looking back on it, I am quite sure that if I had begun studying psychology when in was 18 or 19, accumulating and memorizing what passes for psychological knowledge in academia, I would have in all likelihood buried this capacity for direct knowing under a load of received nonsense. Like so many academics, I would have been “educated” at the cost of my intellect.

Again, I always use the term “intellect” in its time-honored way, as that which allows the human being to distinguish between substance and accidents. Intellection is direct knowledge of reality, very much analogous to physical perception. If you see something with your eyes, no one will ask you to prove the existence of sight. But in our current anti-intellectual climate, if you perceive something equally vividly with the intellect, you will be asked to provide logical proof -- itself a wholly illogical demand.

In reality, only an intellect of equal or greater depth can judge the claims of the intellect. And there is no rational basis whatsoever for determining who has the deeper intellect. It is only something we can know with our own awakened intellect. I can assure you that, for example, Meister Eckhart's or Frithjof Schuon's intellect is infinitely deeper than, say, Richard Dawkins' -- indeed, it couldn’t be more obvious. But can I prove it with logic? Of course not, any more than one can logically or empirically prove the greater artistic depth of one musician over another.

So in approaching these studies that prove conservatives are somehow maladjusted, you must first try to imagine the puny intellects of the researchers, and the "problems" that intrigue them as a result of that puniness. Obviously, trapped within the constraints of their narrow vision, they felt that it was worthwhile to study the link between conservatism and maladaptive personality traits, because their little minds already saw the connection. Therefore, it was just a matter of confirming their well-worn biases.

A deeper intellect will see much different problems. Reality is hierarchical and layered, so that something that is true on a shallow level may be false on a deeper level. Again, academia confines itself to such a superficial level, that it ends up being a self-reinforcing enterprise, that then makes you believe that reality is confined to that single level. For example, few things are more fascinating to the enfeebled intellects of academia than diversity, a construct which holds not the slightest interest to an intellect of greater depth. So how do you even debate a person who thinks that skin color is of vital importance? There’s nothing to discuss, because I honestly don’t remember how to be so stupid, whereas they frankly don’t have the capacity to be any deeper. There is simply no point of contact.

I saw a beautiful example of this incredible stupidity on dailykos yesterday. It was written by a couple who are deeply disturbed at the prospect of the Supreme Court putting an end to government mandated racial discrimination, because of the effect it will have on “diversity.” They are presently in the process of selecting a school for their kindergarten aged daughter. They have about seven schools to choose from and are weighing a number of criteria, including -- I kid you not -- “number of GLBT families and GLBT-friendly staff,” and the exact racial breakdown: “Specifically, the balance of race.... We eliminate from consideration ANY school that has more than 60% of a single ethnic group.” Naturally, they have had to eliminate several “excellent schools,” but one wonders how they can be simultaneously excellent and insufficiently diverse?

The writer claims that “we want [our child] to learn that the real world is one of many different types of people of different races, sexualities, ethnicities, languages, etc., to learn not to make judgements based on race or religion or ethnicity.” But by indoctrinating their daughter to believe that race determines anything, aren’t they teaching just the opposite? That we should by law be forced to make such odious distinctions? They also say they want their daughter “to learn that many different viewpoints can come to the truth better than just a few.” How can this absurd statement possibly be true? Truth is true, irrespective of whether a million people believe it or no one believes it. But for the multiculturalist, all falsehoods are equally true.

Which comes back to my original point about the silly study linked to yesterday. From the moment I entered graduate school, one of the issues that most fascinated me was this question of psychopathology. We all know that mental illness exists -- although even then, there was a big movement among leftist psychologists in the 1960’s arguing that mental illness didn’t really exist, and that it was essentially a designation assigned by the powerful to the powerless (which is why politically correct psychologists call patients "clients" or "consumers of mental health services").

But to say “mental illness” is to say “mental health,” and to say “mental health” is to say design and function. In short, the mind, just like any other organ, was designed to do something. To the extent that it fails to achieve this end, it is in a state of pathology, or ill health.

So before we address the question of whether conservatism is a form of mental illness, we must first determine what the mind was designed to do. I didn’t read the study, but I seriously doubt that the researchers took it upon themselves to do this. Nor will I be able to do so today, because I’ve just run out of time. Perhaps tomorrow, if anyone’s interested.


julie said...

"As I have noted in the past, there are only three broad means of gaining knowledge about the world, 1) logic and empiricism (i.e., inductive and deductive reasoning), 2) revelation, and 3) pure intellection."

Vanderleun linked to this today:

"In fact none of the most important truths can be proved: that right is sovereign over might, that it is better to be loved than feared, that every human being however poor or powerless is worthy of respect, that peace is nobler than war, forgiveness greater than revenge, and hope a higher virtue than resignation to blind fate. Lives have been lived and civilisations built in defiance of these truths, yet they remain true."

Gagdad Bob said...

I would slightly disagree with the rabbi, in that these things can be proved, just not empirically. But I certainly understand his greater point.

Anonymous said...

Conservatism is dying because the wise old pragmatics within have been out-barked by foolish new ideological blowhards from without.

T said...

Saw your post mentioned Richard Dawkins. Did you know that Dinesh is chasing him around trying to debate him? This youtube clip covers it a bit -

hoarhey said...

To me, the majority of what Julie just quoted sounds like shallow platitudes because there is always a context which proves them false. For instance, "that it is better to be loved than feared", I would rather the Islamist radicals fear me and my country than love me. If they did love me, what would I then be?
"that every human being however poor or powerless is worthy of respect". What about the "poor" welfare recipient who is far from powerless with regard to actually taking control of their lives and working their way out of poverty, but instead chooses to game the system and live off of the sweat of others. I see them, fully able bodied, in the grocery store with the "party time" attitude almost every trip, are they worthy of my respect?
"that peace is nobler than war", peace in what context? Capitulation to a tyrant to avoid conflict in my mind certainly isn't noble.
"forgiveness greater than revenge", that I would agree with but substitute justice for revenge, is forgiveness greater than or come before justice?
After all, there is the reality of life on this planet and the context in which that life is lived.

Dougman said...

They also say they want their daughter “to learn that many different viewpoints can come to the truth better than just a few.” How can this absurd statement possibly be true? Truth is true, irrespective of whether a million people believe it or no one believes it. But for the multiculturalist, all falsehoods are equally true.

Hence King David's, (whom God said would be the Prince of this world,) sin of counting and numbering the Tribes.

julie said...

Hoarhey, I do see and agree with your point, well, to a point. But I see "it is greater to be loved than feared" from another perspective: if the Islamists were believers in the God that is lOve, would they not be greater? Instead, they wish to be feared, and in so wishing they become less than human.

And personally, I do think that every human being is worthy of respect for the divine spark that resides within them, or at least did reside at birth. That doesn't mean they can't do serious harm to that spark, nor that they don't also earn a great deal of disrespect or even outright hatred based upon the choices they make. But it serves as a reminder that, no matter what I think about someone, no matter how bad they may be, they have the capacity to change (again, it doesn't mean they will change - it merely means that it is possible). For a while, I didn't believe that, but this past year has demonstrated, to my eternal gratitude, that I was wrong.

Peace vs. War: well, it depends on the peace, and on the war. So yeah, I'm with you there.

Forgiveness vs. Revenge: he didn't substitute Justice there, and I doubt that was an accident. Revenge isn't good for the soul, but true justice certainly is.

I'm with Bob and with you to an extent - the Rabbi's reasoning isn't perfect, here, but I appreciate his greater point.

Dougman said...

The way I see it, all of mankind comes second to God's Love of the world. After all he gave his only begotten Son.

Just think if every county around the world was to have the liberty to be as free to consume as much of the resources as the west does.
Looking into the mirror darkly, we are the fatted calf and we need to go on a diet, lest we all perish.

hoarhey said...

"if the Islamists were believers in the God that is lOve, would they not be greater? Instead, they wish to be feared, and in so wishing they become less than human."

But they aren't and thus the context. It's much more compassionate to strike down a mad dog rather than allowing it to continue with its carnage.

"And personally, I do think that every human being is worthy of respect for the divine spark that resides within them, or at least did reside at birth."

My point is that in not respecting them for their lazy, and in my opinion immoral behavior, I am respecting that divine spark within which I know they will never kindle into a fire without a little bitch-slapping and prodding from others.
Without the context, it sounds like just so much "progressive" shallowness and there are plenty of shallow progressives willing to latch on to the platitude in order to feel superior.
My point is that without fleshing out the explanation, it remains feel good nonsense.

Dougman said...

Abraham's seed was to be as the sand of the seashore. Un-countable.
Sounded good to him at the time, but with time, God knew that would totally screw us and the world.
Plagues, disease & disasters could keep us from tipping the balance but it would also keep us ignorant of the reasons and need for death on a large scale.
So, thank God for setting brother against brother, and war.

The price of Life is not up for negotiation as a commodity.

Supply and demand anyone?

hoarhey said...

And also, why didn't the Rabbi choose the word justice over revenge. The distance between the meanings is alot closer.
While I'm not willing to use the time to do the research, I would suspect that this particular Rabbi is involved in quite a few "progressive" causes as indicated precisely by the words he did choose to place in that paragraph.
For me it doesn't pass the smell test.

Gagdad Bob said...

Really, as Dennis Prager says, "justice" just is another word for "revenge."

Gagdad Bob said...

Which is why "social justice" is just the revenge of the envious.

ximeze said...

This is so bad that everyone need a chance to see this Mental Disorder before it rolls off AT's blog page.

Eeeeewwww, strong soap & lysol required after the first one.

jwm said...

Now, Ximeze, you're just showing your lack of appreciation for the higher and more rarefied echelons of art- and I may be stretching it too- is echelon spelled right?
Anyway once you get with the groove High art is groovy!
Here's my ode to post middle age, filled with many startling, indelicate, and downright naturalistical images of everyday bodily functions and malfunctions...

On second thought, I'll spare you.


julie said...

Hoarhey, I get it - I honestly do. Please, for the luvva O, do not conflate me with the "we must be nice and feel sorry for the bad guys" crowd, 'cause I ain't with them. For one thing, I don't believe love is separate from duty, responsibility, respect, etc. And as I've often said, the most loving thing you can do for many people is give them a hearty thwack with a cluebat. Or several, administered as needed. And some others really do just need killing.

"Without the context, it sounds like just so much "progressive" shallowness and there are plenty of shallow progressives willing to latch on to the platitude in order to feel superior.
My point is that without fleshing out the explanation, it remains feel good nonsense."

Fair enough; you may well be right about the guy. Maybe it's just 'cause Christmas is coming up so I'm more susceptible to "feel good nonsense," or maybe it's just that I'm making a conscious effort at trying to see past the irritatingness of most people (not always successful - some people are just assholes, especially right now), but I didn't read his article that way. I do think the world could use more love - especially the paternal kind, accompanied by a willingness to administer a good spanking, which appears to be dreadfully lacking these days.

Anyway, I'll shut up now, before my raccoon mask turns back into an asshat.

maineman said...

I didn't read the whole article, nor have I followed this discussion that closely, but it seems to me that you and the Rabbi have been unfairly maligned.

Isn't it more like, "ALL OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL, it's better to be loved than feared"? There are always exceptions to such rules.

julie said...

Thanks, Maineman. That's kinda what I was thinking :)

austracoon said...

"But for the multiculturalist, all falsehoods are equally true."

Jos 23:12 Else if ye do in any wise go back, and cleave unto the remnant of these nations, even these that remain among you, and shall make marriages with them, and go in unto them, and they to you:

13 Know for a certainty that the LORD your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.

Zoltan said...

An acquaintance of station who recently was calumniated in the public prints and private councils is also a regular at Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer and has been seeking solace there in the Psalms.

He inquired why, when we are told to forgive and forget, and to turn the other cheek, the Psalms typically contain these elements, and in particular the fifth one:

1- Lord, you have always taken care of me, I trust you implicitly,

2- Your Love is supreme in all occasions, and I am grateful for your limitless kindnesses,

3- You know the beginning and the end of all, and I am content to live in your Grace,

4- Let me always be devoted to you,

5- And destroy my enemies, kill them dead and bury them in the place of the unknown forever.

How can that last element be there?

I answered that one's enemy has wronged one. The wrong is objective, real. It has to be answered. If it is not answered, justice has not been supported and if justice has not been supported, God has not been.

The supplicant, therefore, is required -- but only able when in an estate of Grace -- to forgive the wrong doer because he, the suppliant does not know the past or future and must not presume to demand or expect anything specific in either.

The supplicant is also required -- and, again, only able when in an estate of Grace -- to address the wrong done -- because it is real and unjust.

To address the wrong, the supplicant again must work from their position of not knowing past or future. And they must address it for what it deserves, unambiguously.

There is only one way to do that: ask God to mete out the punishment the wrong deserves and in His time and manner.

In this sense, justice is the same as revenge, as Bob says.

The point is, justice must be maintained if God is to be faithfully trusted.

This involves hard work and huge risk, to identify the wrong, to face it squarely for what it is, not dissembling, not fearful, and to request its treatment by competent authority, namely, God.

God, love and justice are one and the same, only the words refer to different aspects of the One and different requirements of fidelity to Him.

Justice is not what courts do. Courts can only approximate justice, and then only if the personalities and processes in them are just themselves.

Justice is the recognition of the personhood of a personality, a creature who is not only chemical, mineral, organic and psyche but also spirit.

Justice is respecting the limits on one's freedom that the nature of another creature, personal, animal or plant, but especially personal, are.

God's justice to man is precisely that allows man to deploy his freedom either way, for reunion with Him or for self-destruction.

The so-called negative emotions, generally, such as revenge, hate, etc. are destructive (negative) only when a creaturely personality presumes to know enough to manipulate and deploy them. Otherwise, they are all positive, constructive, required, salutary, all appropriate in their time and place and all belonging to the esse which qua esse bonum est.

Van said...

I'm with Hoarhey, with a small addition.

It is better from the other's perspective, to feel love for you, than fear... but the choice is its to make. You are infinitely better off, centering and developing your thoughts and actions around Love and Truth, and are far stronger for doing so; in no way whatsoever does that make you weak. If anyone thinks that love isn't strong... in the words of Inigo Montoya, I do no tink that word means what you tink' it does.

Where did we get the idea that Love means only passive squishiness?

(Rhetorical question. The notion itself is a purposeful misrepresentation. For the answer, look to the sources of the left)

Permit a necessarily flawed analogy, Love may be at the top of the pyramid, but that doesn't mean that Justice is somehow excluded from that structure, it is a key part of the structure - remove it, and there will be no pyramid for Love to cap. But the image of a structure is flawed, because it gives the impression that the parts are modular and separable - they are not, Virtue is One. As with a solution of liquids, each ingredient is necessary, and the solution could not be itself without each ingredient, but once mixed they become One, and you can't point to one part of the solution and say I'm going to drink the Love part, but leave the Justice part in the glass.

Fear is a reaction to something which threatens it, it is not a cause.

Love, Truth and Justice are ready to embrace that which is willing to reflect and integrate with them. That which not only refuses to do so, but opposes them and reality itself, it has very much to fear from Truth, Justice and Love for they portend its destruction, but the fear is it's own reaction to the Good, the Beautiful and the True, the choice of whether to receive kindness or force, is it's own.

Van said...

Great post BTW, one of my favorite themes.

Van said...

anonymous said "Conservatism is dying because the wise old pragmatics within have been out-barked by foolish new ideological blowhards from without."

Conservatism is in trouble, because many conservatives mistakenly think pragmatists, who are unable to tell the difference between ideology and ideas, are capable of wisdom.

They are not.

Van said...

Remodeling Raccoon style, and the hot meaning of the word 'Raccoon'.


hoarhey said...

My comments were not directed to you personally so I'm not conflating you with anyone. I was speaking to the paracraph which you quoted. I'm a firm believer in speaking the truth and self-conflation. ;*)
My view is that in these days of Obama and this "I am a blank slate where people can project their hopes onto me", the clergy owe it to their audience, and to God for that matter, to be very specific in the words that they use because if they aren't, those words can and will be twisted and used by any and all useful idiot Marxists to justify their ends. If a person can't be specific, then don't say anything because it will be used. (once again, a general and not a personal statement)
As far as this Rabbi goes, he is either unaware that his words have whatever meaning anyone is willing to assign to them OR he is pushing an P.C. agenda, whether he is conscious of that agenda or not. It's not as if he were speaking to someone off the cuff in an interview, he wrote it down and had all the time he needed to think about what he wrote and edit.
Marxists are blending religion with their dehumanizing Heaven on Earth creed and these sloppy, feel good, discomfort averse, clowntown religious leaders need to see where this is leading and get their shit together.

Zoltan said...

An elaboration, and also advice rendered my acquaintance:

It is not correct, as I said before, that the only way to address wrong is to ask God for justice.

If one has the means of executing justice at one's disposal and is clear about the situation in all regards, specifically that one has been wronged -- a situation that occurs, particularly on a field of battle -- then one is required to use those means and do the justice on the spot.

God is not going to do what a man can do for himself. A man who does not stand up for himself when he is wronged is not a man, not fully human.

How does one know what one cannot do for oneself and therefore needs to ask God to do?

That is the risk of faith. If the risk is not accepted and made, faith is dead. But almost never is certainty going to be present. One has to make the effort to be clear, and if one is clear and has the means, one must execute justice for the wrong done.

A reason Soldiers enjoy battle is that it is clean, certain, confident.

St. Paul applies the metaphor of the Soldier's love of purity to describe the spiritual warrior of the Christ. Sts. Francis and Ignatius take up this metaphor and apply it centrally in their rather different yogas, spiritual exercises.

River Cocytus said...

Yes, those intangibles can not be proved, let's say - quantitatively. But they prove themselves if the mind is illuminated and knows something more of the Good. Because of this, man has a propensity to assume that he is illuminated and seek no proofs for the goodness of his ideas. As an Orthodox man noted, "Icons bear no proofs, but rather convince by their existence." You can no more prove the sunset than these properties. This is why one should be careful in speaking of them, as too much talk of them renders them platitudes. But one must be certain to remember to speak of them else they be forgotten (especially by the next generation.)

May God have mercy that we do not simply assume ourselves illuminated and declare our judgment superior just because it is ours, taking its unprovability as proof enough.

To stand on the shoulders of giants - this is one true way to know that one is on the right track.

Doug - to consume one must also produce. If all could consume as some of us do, but still could not produce as many of us do, we would certainly be in ruin. The Free Market is free to 'creatively destroy' partly because it is so creative to begin with.

Van said...

hoarhey said... "Julie, My comments were not directed to you personally so I'm not conflating you with anyone."

Ooh... didn't think of that, Julie, me neither!

Dougman said...

The Free Market is free to 'creatively destroy' partly because it is so creative to begin with.

Creative destruction.

Me likey :^}