Amerika

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As Brett Stevens wrote in his latest post:

That would allow me to cut back on information overload a little bit by saying, “Here, here’s my reality. These are the things I read to stay informed. You don’t need the rest; it’s just repeating what these guys are telling you, but in a less accurate form.”
-Brett Stevens, Amerika, June 2011

Personally I’m not interested in anyone’s reality. I am only interested in the reality that encompasses all objects and people regardless of what they perceive reality to be. As a matter of fact I would prefer to familiarize myself not with the positions of the opponent but with the grounds upon which his reasoning rests. Once I have a proper understanding of his grounds, then I can at last be victorious! For it will allow me to do this intellectual equivalent of this:

[If you watch this movie from 4:40 to 4:45, you should get the idea of how I envision it (if it’s at that point not yet clear, you can also watch it from 1:37 to 1:42).]

Simply put, what’s the point of postulating one’s own perception of reality next to that of another? As if there was a point in having a point of view. Maybe it will be hard for the reader to understand what I mean. To clarify this, imagine you had read one of my previous articles on amerika.org, and told me: “Thanks to what you brought forward, I could see the problem from a new perspective.”

Comically speaking, I would be extremely disappointed by such a statement. What’s the point in having a perspective? Each possible perspective will allow you to see one side of let’s say a house, but won’t enable you to see the house from all sides at the same time. So then what’s the point of switching one of those viewpoints for another, if we can’t compare any of them to the complete picture of the house? What’s the point in opening a new perspective? We can’t compare perspective A with the complete house, and we can’t compare perspective B with the complete house. There’s no point in changing perspective unless it would be possible to see the house in full. What could ‘a perspective’ possibly be other than an incomplete understanding of reality as it is? So I thankfully pass for being made part of other people’s perspectives. 

Instead I seek to transcend any perspectives. I want to see the house in full. As Brett Stevens once said: “We can’t compete with contemporary politicians - they are merely interested in dividing slices of the same cake. We, on the other hand, possess the ingenuity of mind to bake a whole new cake altogether.” Likewise, I want to open up a new path with this post - I won’t settle for anything but complete, full comprehension of reality. I want to see the house in full and I want the reader to see the house in full. And when I come across a question of which I must admit that mankind does not yet possess the means required to answer it, then I will be as loyal to reality as to admit that.  

We must do away with the picture of competing paradigms – a Postmodern continuation of the Medieval scholastic struggles between ‘schools’. But at least the ‘schools’ could understand one another because they could understand each other’s arguments, whereas the paradigms are held to be wholly irreconcilable – but who cares.

Those who see reality as it is are not necessarily ready to fight for propagating their understanding to others. Whereas those who see illusions are often prepared to fight relentlessly to propagate their ideologies. Therefore, we must draw a sharp distinction between those who already grasp the facts as they are, and those who do not. And we must do whatever we can to win the debate by rational arguments. Through reasoning, we must not just seek to overcome our opposition but most importantly ourselves! And we have no choice but to mark those who cannot be persuaded by Reason as our enemies. What alms do we have for tolerance?

I have elaborated above here that I do not want to postulate a possible perspective to rival with those of others. And that, instead, I want to see whatever truthful arguments and facts can be retained from them, and after that completely sweep them away, dismantle their footing so that they tip over into oblivion. For this reason, I have spent a lot of my youth studying a broad range of philosophic traditions. This allowed me to trace down the 4 diseases of contemporary thought. I think nothing will serve save the history of ideas – as the patient needs to relive his past to deal with his trauma, so philosophy needs to dig back into its roots as well:

  1. That there is a God who watches over Earth and ensures that good and evil behaviour are rewarded and punished in one way or the other by the cosmic order. “Ignore the people who hurt you. Let them go. One day they will come to understand the pain they have caused you, and their own guilt and regret will punish them.” (St. Augustine)
  2. That ideas about what’s best for the human being are ultimately but constructions resting on personal preference. And that therefore the best we can settle for is a compromise which defines the behaviours that are to be punished and to be tolerated. We could only raise the question: “Is this in accordance to the procedure, or is this not in accordance to the procedure?” The question “does one act in accordance to the spirit of Justice?” becomes inexpressible, since this question asks for the grounds beneath the compromise, which were declared as personal and subjective constructions. (Hobbes)
  3. That ultimate certainty is unreachable for mankind, because from a finite number of observations one can never draw conclusions which are valid for the whole. (Hume)
  4. That it is in mankinds’ best interest for everyone to adopt the maxim that he should strive to produce as much pleasure/happiness as possible for the greatest amount of people possible. (J. S. Mill)

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