Monday, September 21, 2020

Project 2 + 2 = 5

Just for metaphysical kicks & giggles, I'm reading two books that represent opposite sides of the spectrum, after which I will try to reconcile them and thereby fashion a daring jailbreak from a supposedly inescapable, ultra-postmodern ideological prison surrounded by impenetrable and crock-solid walls of pure nothingness!

The first is the unwieldy and dryasdust Introduction to the Science of Mental Health, which exhaustively and exhaustingly lays out the Christian/Thomistic view of our predicament. I'm about halfway through with that one. It's somewhat slow-going, like reading a medication insert that goes on forever.

The second is called The WEIRDest People in the World: How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous. I'm only 20 pages into this one, which comes at it -- or us, rather -- from a strictly evolutionary standpoint.

Now, both of these can't be true. And yet, let's assume they are. How can this be? We can't simultaneously have a universal human nature if what we call "human nature" is just a contingent adaptation to everchanging environmental circumstances. Can we?

The challenge is in figuring out how both perspectives can possibly be true. Of course, there are levels of truth, so that's one way to pull it off. Still, we want details: how exactly can contradictory truths be true on a deeper or higher level?

So, that's what we're working on at the moment, and I first have to get further into the books before putting them into the cosmic blender. And as usual, I have other responsibilities gumming up the works, including my dreaded semiannual continuing education requirements and the upcoming MLB playoffs.

Therefore, if things are a bit slow around here, that's my excuse. I'll leave off with a few aphorisms which may point the way upward and provide a bit of preluminary light for the journey:

Two contradictory philosophical theses complete each other, but only God knows how.

Every truth is a tension between contradictory evidences that claim our simultaneous allegiance.

Truths do not contradict each other except when they get out of order.

It is not the false idea that is the dangerous one, but the partially correct one.

The philosopher who adopts scientific notions has predetermined his conclusions.

There are sciences that can be taught and others we can only learn. Natural sciences, social sciences.

Whoever appeals to any science in order to justify his basic convictions inspires distrust of his honesty or his intelligence

Science, when it finishes explaining everything, but being unable to explain the consciousness that creates it, will not have explained anything.

Without philosophy, the sciences do not know what they know.

The Christian who is disturbed by the “results” of science does not know what Christianity is or what science is.

The doctrines that explain the higher by means of the lower are appendices of a magician’s rule book (Dávila).

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good Afternoon, Dr. Godwin and panel. How is everyone faring this last day of summer, 2020?

So the good Dr. is at it again, comparing opposing tracts and looking for a synthesis. At least he is willing to entertain two viewpoints; most of us have our settled viewpoints and no longer entertain any other.

Once a firm weltanshaung has been formed, it is arduous and unsettling to remodel it.

Any the post is written in the usual inimitable deft and witty style.

Being a professional contrarian I am obliged to to rebut assertions, however this post does not have fresh ones.

The aphorisms pointing towards science as an incomplete explanation of things pass muster as I don't suppose any serious thinker would say differently.

Well I'll loiter and lurk until the bait is in the water, then come out snapping.

In the meantime I have to deal with my adolescent daughter who seems to have late onset "Bieber Fever."

-Canadian Bacon

Anonymous said...

I wish that more people entertained different viewpoints. I certainly understand how much fun it can be to cheer together with a large crowd for some home team, even while wearing paper bags on heads, or the joy in mob-destroying a city after a championship, but I think we need more respect, culturally, for the competent contrarian. Seems the American way.

If I for one, owned a company in a highly competitive business, I'd make sure I had a designated devils advocate to keep all my yesmen on their toes. I've worked for companies where all the yesmen blindly followed the owner off some foolish cliff. Four times is enough for me.

But this contrarianism needs to be done carefully. I have a story. I'll call this one "Gordon and Employee Dan". Hey don't leave yet! This could be educational.

Now Gordan was our boss at a large brand name multinational. He was past retirement age and besides having Parkinsons, was also quite senile. He'd ramble on at group meetings about a variety of odd and disjointed topics. One day, after an unusually odd and disjointed Gordon speech, Employee Dan (who openly disliked Gordon) shouted from the back: "Gordon, are you aware that nothing you said makes and sense or has anything to do with anything going on around here?"

Gordon flustered his answer before finally implying that Employee Dan to sit down. Personally, I admired Employee Dan for his honesty. But Dan soon disappeared, never to be seen again.

My lesson for you all here today, is that Cancel Culture does work. but only works for the powerful, though at least temporarily. That unit was soon disbanded for unprofitability reasons and Gordon had to retire early. I had to take a mental health sabbatical.

julie said...

Now, both of these can't be true. And yet, let's assume they are. How can this be?

Horizontal & vertical, or maybe (as our old Hermit friend might say), two seeming opposites that come together in a higher unity?

Anonymous said...

Hello anonymous, I enjoyed the story and point well taken. Dan stood up for common sense when no one else would.

The lesson here is if you want to do the right thing, you must proceed with caution. You would have to have private meetings with the right people about Gordon and have him quietly removed. In the meantime, you have to look out for number one and cultivate productive relationships with the people who pull the strings. One mistake and fffftttt, out you go. But, get in good with the head honchos, and you could be riding the gravy train with a golden parachute on your back.

Corporate culture is crazy-making. It is not for everyone. Some thrive in it, others find it unbearable.

There are manipulative, power hungry people who love, LOVE getting into corporate situations where they can gain at others' expense. These people would not be happy anywhere else.

Then you have Elon Musk. He is the demi-god, the visionary, today's "ideal man." Try to get into orbit around someone like Elon. That would be for the best.

Cancel culture is flat-out warfare; it has to be countered by "counter-canceling;" the only defense against it is a vigorous offence. Trump is a master of reactive offensiveness. As a result he is "Teflon." Trump will cast damaging aspersions towards anyone or any group that gives him trouble at the drop of a hat. He keeps these aspersions ready to go at a moments notice. Extremely effective, after nearly 4 years nobody has gotten the upper hand. It is inspiring and also instructive. The moral is: be like Trump.

Anonymous said...

Dialectical Materialism: The Marxist theory (adopted as the official philosophy of the Soviet communists) that political and historical events result from the conflict of social forces and are interpretable as a series of contradictions and their solutions. The conflict is believed to be caused by material needs.

So, Bob will be trying out some dialectical spiritualism. Why not?

-Hermaphrodite Soccer Mom, aka the Kommie Mommie

Petey said...

Trialectical.

Doug Saxum said...

Resolving life and death ��
See what is unseen.
Unseen are the generations of people that have perished before us.
Would these people number in the billions?
Without consciousness of technology and advances in ability, I think we would have stripped the world of the most basic of resources.

But we can be colonists in space,the last frontier, to borrow a phrase.
We can do this ��

Anonymous said...

anon @ 9/21/2020 03:38:00 PM,

I appreciated your adding to my lessons for all.

I’m not so sure that Trump is made of Teflon. There’s too many comedians making a good living off jokes about Trumpian folly. And MSNBC rolls anti-Trump 24/7. But Trump sure knows how to pick a good power base. I see these power basers being interviewed all the time. One Trumper says that Obama was the cause of 911. Another said that a Trump-led military police are needed to go door to door to find and imprison, and then exterminate Antifa for their fascist ways. Still another said that any Biden victory would absolutely mean that the Marxists and their media henchmen have taken over American democracy. The only way is to have Trump win even if he loses. I wish I had such a dedicated power base. I think for reactive offensiveness to work you have to have an army of qualified zombie supplicants.

As for Elon Musk, I’ve learned that people aren’t always what they seem, all shiny and chrome on the surface. Captain Kirk used to heroically fight fascist Romulans, and now he fights transy SJWs on twitter. Community activist and socialist Obama owns a huge expensive property right next to the rising seas. He appears to have no intention whatsoever of turning it into a commune which studies climate change. With my luck I’d stumble upon Musk doing something nasty with one of his gold-digging supplicants. And then I’d be the one to get fired. I can’t have that happen. Not again.

Anonymous said...

Hello Anonymous 3:38

I hear you about not letting yourself get fired again. At a certain age life becomes very precarious. If you are not young anymore, there is no time to get back on the bull every time it throws you off. At some point, that will be the final fall and you will lie broken in the dust.

Our culture is not kind to the aged. We don't like the way they look, fear their physical frailty, and do not think old people are wise. We are more likely to call them demented and foolish, mawkish, maudlin, sentimental and impractical. Out of touch and out of style.

The trouble with the demented thing is that it might be true. A lot of us older people do boneheaded things and forget stuff. A percentage of us will actually progress to dementia. A large percentage.

As we trudge wearily towards 70 or 80 years old, there is precious little to look forward to. We best have our religion clearly defined and working for us towards the end. We're going to need it.

So as we duke it out with the youngsters for the corporate dollar in the halls of power, there is sense it is Custer's last stand. Can we just hold out to retirement? Please God.

So yes, we cannot be fired again. Not acceptable.

Regards, Old Man Sticketty

Anonymous said...

Hey there Doug 2:27 PM:

I like your stoned musings about the untold billions that perished before us.

This question perplexed the ancients. They asked, "Are these ancestors all holed up in some vast Valhalla? How big would it have to be to hold them all?"

Other ancients said "No, each soul lives many, many times. The ancestors were none other than our own past incarnated selves. Therefore Heaven is not over-crowded. We come back here."

Elon Musk says we will be colonists in space. And the reason for this is, there is easy money to be made out there. And we all love money.

-Kooty Katcher

Anonymous said...

We'll be mining asteroids and sending the raw resource packets back to earth orbit with huge maglev launchers.

At least that's what Popular Mechanics from the 1970's used to say. I thought I'd be flying around in a jet pack and vacationing on the moon by now. Yet here we are still doing pretty much the same old stuff, except without the heroism of commonly shared community values. But at least we got bread and circuses in the form of flat screen TVs and IPhones.

I never ever saw a tent city back then. Everywhere today. Could that be where all the BLM protesters came from? The plot thickens. My solution to the homeless crisis is to give them all free bread (drugs) and circuses (IPad entertainments) provided they walk for 4 hours a day on a gigantic electrical power generation treadmill. Or it could look like that heavy merry go round thingy seen in Ahnolds Conan movie. One gets very strong that way. But I'd keep them chained up just in case.

My question is this. Why isn't it "bread and circuses and religion"? In my ideal solution utopia world, the homeless would also have to live as monks and nuns for 4 other hours a day.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of BLM, I’m thinking everybody will be interested in my quest for a name change. My attempt at legally changing my name to Latravius Lemonois (pronounced lemon-wah) has failed.

It seems that no matter how I want to spell it somebody else has already taken the name. I even saw it on the TV covering a BLM protest/riot/church burning event. That name seems to be everywhere.

So I was watching the news and apparently there’s this John Hickenlooper (pronounced with a slight yodel in the voice) trying to do something with a supreme court justice or something. I don’t care about any of that, since most government these days is all about making rich people richer and poor people dead. It was the name that I found interesting.

I’ve known people with those fun German names before, stuff like Offenburger and Overholser. I’m wondering how Latravius Hickenlooper might sound to you.