Archive for the ‘Ethics’ Category

Why God Is Evil

March 24, 2015

The Victorian philosopher and mathematician W. K. Clifford’s following admonition is at the core of the moral call of the “New Atheists”, a few mini philosophers who make the Anglo-American divine plutocratic order tremble: “It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.”

An academic philosopher appropriately called “Ruse” concludes his article “Why God Is A Moral Issue” with: “[Clifford’s] universal claim may be too strong. But too often religious believers seem oblivious to Clifford’s admonition and accept things with way too little evidence. That I much suspect is what motivates the New Atheists and in fact expresses the deepest and most powerful moral objection to theism.”

Difference Between Us & Grizzlies? Not Much Greater Love, But Much Greater Smarts.

Difference Between Us & Grizzlies? Not Much Greater Love, But Much Greater Smarts.

[Smarts is what religions kill, and humanity with it, as I will pound below.]

Clifford was a great mathematician. He pushed further the idea of Riemann that force and curvature are roughly the same (this is the core intuition in the Theory of Gravitation commonly attributed to Einstein).

I agree with Clifford, sort of, but I am going to go much further.

Is it wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence?

Sure. However, it is unavoidable. And this is not really the problem with “isms” such as Christianism and Islamism.

The distinction between guessing and believing is, in general, not too clear, and insufficient evidence is more frequent that certainty (that’s called science).

But clearly believing something important with insufficient evidence can be a maximum moral wrong, when it is about life and death of entire populations.

What Superstition Based Religions Kill.

Some religions have actually orders, in their sacred texts, not just to tax, or punish, but even to kill various “unbelievers” if they are “culprit” of some behaviors. This is all over the Qur’an, as I generously documented in “Violence In The Holy Qur’an“. Yet the Qur’an was following the Old Testament by  11 centuries, and the new one (where Christ also recommends to kill unbelievers) by 6 centuries or so.

The nature and consequences of the evidence supporting a “belief” is of the utmost importance. If one believes that jumping from the fourth floor will have adverse consequences, it’s good, especially for passerby.

Yet, precisely, some religions have been organized so as to make one believe completely incredible feats (one son of god walked on water, came back from the dead, another “messenger” flew on the back of a winged horse from Mecca to Jerusalem, etc.).

These unbelievable details are not there by accident. They are there to dull the sense of critique people learn to exert in early childhood.

Learning to believe in unbelievable, absurd details is a preparation for the ultimate sin:

“It is the highest criminality always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything potentially capable of oppressing, exploiting, stealing, abusing, invading, threatening, torturing and killing millions for insufficient or flimsy reasons.”

Seven Jewish children just died in New York. It was Shabbat, a sort of Jewish sorcery day. The order then, from the god of the Jews, is that no work ought to be done. Including turning off the hot plate. So the hot plate, or god, whatever, set the house on fire. God is great! Alleluia!

(This sort, of we-shall-do-nothing, Inch Allah (god wills it), dieu-le-veut, led to millions killed, the latest major example in sight being the holocaust of the Jews at the hands of the Nazis: Jews did not resist as much as they could have, but, instead, the “Judenraten” collaborated with Hitler. The simplest way to stop Hitler was just to tell all Germans what the Nazis were truly doing, assassinating the Jews, and add that they were all responsible, and would be punished accordingly. That could have been done with little pieces of paper dropped from planes at the same time as the bombs.)

Both Islam and Christianity have in their sacred texts, “verses of the sword” where holly script recommend to “kill unbelievers”. (Yes, as already said many times, Christ too; one good enough reason for crucifixion!)

Once one has become so morally inferior as to be ready to do such terrible things to millions, for so little cause, one is ready for even much worse.

Religions based on knowing god, and giving their followers deadly recommendations on how to deal with “unbelievers” incite human beings to the ultimate inhumanity.

Not just because of the potential, theoretical, experimental, and historical mayhem they are prone to.

How could one do something worse than being willing to kill millions for little cause?

Not simply by transforming human beings into vicious human beings. But into even worse creatures.

How could that be?

It is as monstrous as it gets. What is the definition of the human species? Intelligence.

What does dulling human beings’ sense of critique to the point that one would kill for a drawing, or for looking at ancient art, or listening to music?

It is very simple: religions that extreme in light of the lethal consequences their beliefs may bring, makes human beings into stupid beasts.

In case you don’t believe me, look at Abraham tying up his son, so he can stab him.

See my “Follies That Bind.” Where you can see the great Judeo-Christiano-Muslim hero stabbing a child. (Hey, His boSS told him to! You know, you should always obey the boss, both the Qur’an, S 4, v 59, and its parrot, Hitler, said so.)

So Abraham stabs children, and Christians lick his toes. Precisely because he stabs children. Then Catholics and other mentality untalented sinkers, claim to be surprised that priests rape children and the like. Well, but, of course! Those good Judeo-Christo-Islamists are following Abraham, the most cruel, and thus adored beast in the known universe!

And that, willful beastly stupidity of the most criminal type, is the ultimate sin, because it is the ultimate denial of morality.

This is no coincidence: both Christianism and Islamism have been imposed by war chiefs (Constantine, Jovian, Theodosius and other emperors for Christianism; Muhammad and the four initial Caliphs). They had a vested interest to make the people they ruled over credulous, immoral, subdued, and not smart.

They were highly successful.

And this is why American plutocracy reintroduced god massively to the USA in the 1930s (as even the New York Times recently explained), and why then it made a pact with Ibn Saud to push the ideology of Islamism in the Middle East, in 1945 (See the “Great Bitter Lake Conspiracy“).

Not that this was an accident: the USA made deals with Egypt “Muslim Brotherhood” in the late 1940s, and Khomeini’s Shiites in Iran in 1953, to organize a coup against Parliamentary Democracy (and then proceeded to back stab both of them, of course). Same in Pakistan.

You reap what you sowed. Plutocracy sowed superstitious religion and stupidity, it is reaping the best plutocracy in a century. What could go wrong, when wrong has been defined as good, and, even, divine?

If it is good to kill your son, as Abraham and his robotic followers claim, how could things ever get worse? How dumber can one get?

Patrice Ayme’

Emotional Thinking Is Superior Thinking

March 11, 2015

By claiming that emotional thinking is superior, I do not mean that “logical” thinking ought to be rejected, and replaced by passions running wild. I am just saying what I am saying, and no more. Not, just the opposite, “logical” thinking ought to be embraced. However, there are many “logical” types of thought in existence (as Pascal already pointed out). Including the emotional type. They are entangled.

Emotional and logical thinking can be physiologically distinguished in the brain (the latter is mostly about axons; the former about the rest).

Any “logical” thinking is literally, a chain made of points. (And there are no points in nature, said a Quantum Angel who passed by; let’s ignore her, for now!)

Elliptic Geometry In Action: Greeks, 240 BCE, Understood The Difference Between Latitude & Geodesic (Great Circle)

Elliptic Geometry In Action: Greeks, 240 BCE, Understood The Difference Between Latitude & Geodesic (Great Circle). (Traditionally, one quotes Eratosthenes. However, it’s Pytheas of Marseilles who first did this elliptic geometry computation… A century earlier. Pytheas also discovered the Polar Circle, sea ice, and maybe Iceland, among other things boreal…) Whether to develop, or not, this sort of mathematics and physics was, fundamentally, an emotional decision. Involving in particular the emotional worth of the axioms involved.

Some say that hard logic, and mathematics is how to implement “correct thinking”. Those who say this, do not know modern logic, as practiced in logic departments of the most prestigious universities.

In truth, overall, logicians spent their careers proposing putative, potential foundations for logic. Ergo, there is no overall agreement, from the specialists of the field themselves, about what constitute acceptable foundations for “logic”.

It is the same situation in mathematics.

Actually dozens of prestigious mathematicians (mostly French) launched themselves, in the 1950s into a project to make mathematics rigorous. They called their effort “Bourbaki”.

Meanwhile some even more prestigious mathematicians, or at least the best of them all, Grothendieck, splendidly ignored their efforts, and, instead, founded mathematics on Category Theory.

Many mathematicians were aghast, because they had no idea whatsoever what Category Theory could be about. They derided it as “Abstract Nonsense”.

Instead it was rather “Abstract Sense”.

But let’s take a better known example: Euclid.

There are two types of fallacies in Euclid.

The simplest one is the logical fallacy of deducing, from emotion, what the axioms did not imply. Euclid felt that two circles which looked like they should intersect, did intersect. Emotionally seductive, but not a consequence of his axioms.

Euclid’s worst fallacy was to exclude most of geometry, namely what’s not in a plane. It’s all the more striking as “Non-Euclidean” geometry had been considered just prior. So Euclid closed minds, and that’s as incorrect as incorrect can be.

To come back to logic as studied by logicians: the logicS considered therein, are much general than those used in mathematics. Yet, as no conclusion was reached, this implies that mathematics itself is illogical. That, of course, is a conclusion mathematicians detest. And the proof of their pudding is found in physics, computer science, engineering.

So what to do, to determine correct arguments? Well, direct towards any argument an abrasive, offensive malevolence, trying to poke holes, just as a mountain lion canines try to pass between vertebras to dislocate a spine.

That’s one approach. The other, more constructive, but less safe, is to hope for the best, and launched logical chains in the multiverses of unchained axiomatics.

Given the proper axioms, (most of) an argument can generally be saved. The best arguments often deserve better axiomatics (so it was with Leibnitz’s infinitesimals).

So, de facto, people have longed been using not just “inverse probability”, but “inverse logic”. In “inverse logic”, axioms are derived from what one FEELS ought to be a correct argument.

Emotions driving axiomatics is more metalogical, than axiomatics driving emotions.

***

To the preceding philosophy professor Massimo Pigliucci replied (in part) that:

“Patrice, 

“…Hence, to think critically, one needs enough facts. Namely all relevant facts.”

Enough facts is not the same as all the relevant facts, as incorrectly implied by the use of “namely.” 

“It is arrogant to think that other people are prone to “logical fallacies”.”

It is an observation, and facts are not arrogant. 

“A Quantum Wave evaluates the entirety of possible outcomes, then computes how probable they are.”

Are you presenting quantum waves as agents? They don’t evaluate and compute, they just behave according to the laws of physics.

“just as with the Quantum, this means to think teleologically, no holds barred”

The quantum doesn’t think, as far as I know. 

“Emotional Thinking Is Superior Thinking” 

I have no idea what you mean by that. Superior in what sense? And where’s the bright line between reason and emotion?

“Any “logical” thinking is literally, a chain made of points”

No, definitely not “literally.” 

It may not follow from the axioms, but I am having a hard time being emotionally seductive by intersecting circles. 

“Euclid’s worst fallacy was to exclude most of geometry, namely what’s not in a plane.”

That’s an historically bizarre claim to make. Like saying that Newton’s worst fallacy was to exclude considerations of general relativity. C’mon. 

“as no conclusion was reached, this implies that mathematics itself is illogical” 

Uhm, no. 

“to hope for the best, and launch logical chains in the multiverses of unchained axiomatics” 

Very poetic, I have no idea what that means, though.”

***

Massimo Pigliucci is professor of philosophy at CUNY in New York, and has doctorates both in biology and philosophy. However, truth does not care about having one, or two thousands doctorates. It would take too long to address all of Massimo’s errors (basically all of his retorts above). Let me just consider two points where he clings to Common Wisdom like a barnacle to a rock. The question of Non-Euclidean geometry, and of the Quantum. He published most of the answer below on his site:

Dear Massimo:

Impertinence and amusement help thought. Thank you for providing both. Unmotivated thought is not worth having.

The Greeks discovered Non-Euclidean geometry. It’s hidden in plain sight. It is a wonder that, to this day, so many intellectuals repeat Gauss’ self-serving absurdities on the subject (Gauss disingenuously claimed that he had discovered it all before Janos Bolyai, but did not publish it because he feared the “cries of the Beotians”… aka the peasants; Gauss does not tell you that a professor of jurisprudence had sketched to him how Non-Euclidean geometry worked… in 1818! We have the correspondence.).

The truth is simpler: Gauss did not think of the possibility of Non-Euclidean geometry (although he strongly suspected Euclidean geometry was not logical). Such a fame greedster could not apparently resist the allure of claiming the greatest prize…

It is pretty abysmal that most mathematicians are not thinking enough, and honest enough, to be publicly aware of Gauss’ shenanigans (Gauss is one of the few Muhammads of mathematics). But that fits the fact that they want mathematics to be an ethereal church, the immense priests of which they are. To admit Gauss got some of his ideas from a vulgar lawyers, is, assuredly, too painful.

That would be too admit the “Prince of Mathematics” was corrupt, thus, all mathematicians too (and, indeed, most of them are! Always that power thing; to recognize ideas have come out of the hierarchy in mathematics is injurious to the hierarchy… And by extension to Massimo.)

So why do I claim the Greeks invented Non-Euclidean geometry? Because they did; it’s a fact. It is like having the tallest mountain in the world in one’s garden, and not having noticed it: priests, and princes, are good at this, thus, most mathematicians.

The Greek astronomer Ptolemy wrote in his Geography (circa 150 CE):

“It has been demonstrated by mathematics that the surface of the land and water is in its entirety a sphere…and that any plane which passes through the centre makes at its surface, that is, at the surface of the Earth and of the sky, great circles.”

Not just this, but, nearly 400 years earlier, Eratosthenes had determined the size of Earth (missing by just 15%).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eratosthenes

How? The Greeks used spherical geometry.

Great circles are the “straight lines” of spherical geometry. This is a consequence of the properties of a sphere, in which the shortest distances on the surface are great circle routes. Such curves are said to be “intrinsically” straight.

Better: Eusebius of Caesarea proposed 149 million kilometers for the distance of the Sun! (Exactly the modern value.)

Gauss, should he be around, would whine that the Greeks did not know what they were doing. But the Greeks were no fools. They knew what they were doing.

Socrates killed enemies in battle. Contemporary mathematicians were not afraid of the Beotians, contrarily to Gauss.

Aristotle (384-322 BC) was keen to demonstrate that logic could be many things. Aristotle was concerned upon the dependency of logic on the axioms one used. Thus Aristotle’s Non-Euclidean work is contained in his works on Ethics.

A thoroughly modern approach.

The philosopher Imre Toth observed the blatant presence of Non-Euclidean geometry in the “Corpus Aristotelicum” in 1967.

Aristotle exposed the existence of geometries different from plane geometry. The approach is found in no less than SIX different parts of Aristotle’s works. Aristotle outright says that, in a general geometry, the sum of the angles of a triangle can be equal to, or more than, or less than, two right angles.

One cannot be any clearer about the existence on Non-Euclidean geometry.

Actually Aristotle introduced an axiom, Aristotle’s Axiom, a theorem in Euclidean and Hyperbolic geometry (it is false in Elliptic geometry, thus false on a sphere).

Related to Aristotle’s Axiom is Archimedes’ Axiom (which belongs to modern Model Theory).

One actually finds non trivial, beautiful NON-Euclidean theorems in Aristotle (one of my preferred frienemies).

Non-Euclidean geometry was most natural: look at a sphere, look at a saddle, look at a pillow. In Ethika ad Eudemum, Aristotle rolls out the spectacular example of a quadrangle with the maximum eight right angles sum for its interior angles.

Do Quantum Wave think? Good question, I have been asking it to myself for all too many decades.

Agent: from Latin “agentem”, what sets in motion. Quantum waves are the laws of physics: given a space, they evaluate, compute. This is the whole idea of the Quantum Computer. So far, they have been uncooperative. Insulting them, won’t help.

Patrice Ayme’

In Today’s USA, Losers Are Sinners

January 25, 2015

In: WHERE IS THE EMPATHY?

Kristof in the New York Times relates the loss of a childhood friend, and Kristof accuses a MOOD: the lack of empathy. This story is highly evocative of the general mood in the USA (and its significant difference with the ‘welfare’, institutionalized empathy in Europe).

This sort of story points at importance of systems of moods. Those are off the radar of conventional sociology and philosophy.

“YAMHILL, Ore. — THE funeral for my high school buddy Kevin Green is Saturday, near this town where we both grew up. The doctors say he died at age 54 of multiple organ failure, but in a deeper sense he died of inequality and a lack of good jobs.

Lots of Americans would have seen Kevin — obese with a huge gray beard, surviving on disability and food stamps — as a moocher. They would have been harshly judgmental: Why don’t you look after your health? Why did you father two kids outside of marriage?

That acerbic condescension reflects one of this country’s fundamental problems: an empathy gap. It reflects the delusion on the part of many affluent Americans that those like Kevin are lazy or living cushy lives. A poll released this month by the Pew Research Center found that wealthy Americans mostly agree that “poor people today have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return.””

But, says Kristof, the problem with people like Kevin (of which there are tens of millions in the USA), is not that they are lazy, but that there are no decent, well-paying jobs:

“Lazy? Easy? Kevin used to set out with his bicycle and a little trailer to collect cans by the roadside. He would make about $20 a day.”

Resident Reagan had the following idiotic retort: there are no despicable jobs. All are equally honorable.

However, a country is only as rich as the sum of all the added value of the products its jobs provide with. If a country, such as Saudi Arabia, Australia, or the USA has immense mineral wealth, it can be rich, or at least not dirt poor (Venezuela, Russia) with few people working.

Right now the USA is rich for quite a few reasons that are unique, thanks to its geography, and its history (dollar as reserve currency, and the buying of complicit elites in tens of countries, worldwide).

“Kevin’s dad had only a third-grade education and couldn’t read. But he had a good union job as a cement finisher, paying far above the minimum wage, and he worked hard and made sure his kids did, too. He had no trouble with the law.

Kevin and his big sister, Cindy — one of the sweetest girls in school — both earned high school diplomas. Kevin was sunny, cheerful and astonishingly helpful: Any hint that something needed fixing, and he was there with a wrench. But then the dream began to disintegrate.

The local glove factory and feed store closed, and other blue-collar employers cut back. Good union jobs became hard to find.”

[Kevin became a] “manager making trailer homes. He fell in love and had twin boys that he doted on. But because he and his girlfriend struggled financially, they never married.

Then, about 15 years ago, Kevin hurt his back and was laid off. Soon afterward, his girlfriend moved out, took the kids and asked for child support…. [Kevin] was far behind in child support and was punished by losing his driver’s license — which made it pretty much impossible to get a job in a rural area… ”

And so on: poor nutrition, 350 pounds, diabetes, heart attack, death…

Loss of hope. Loss of faith in a society drifting towards ignobility.

The mood, in the USA, as in all countries, is organized by the ruling elite. The USA is turning away from the equal opportunity society (for the whites) post World War Two. (Or the one that existed for centuries prior, by just going west!)

Instead, democracy is slowly strangled by plutocracy. So the mood is all about the Law of the Jungle being the normal law of the land. Thus lack of empathy is part of the system. Only the “philanthropists” (another name for the plutocrats) are supposed to have empathy. Others can get lost.

Universities make millions each from “college sports”. Players are basically not paid. However, they get good grades, although they don’t need to attend classes (or then purely formally, occasionally!) Professors are supposed to be part of the plot (and better be, if they want their departments to keep on existing!)

To justify the superiority of those who have it all, and often inherited it all, one has to be able to punish those who are not playing the game. The more those who look as if they deserved to be low lives, suffer, the better. So the society is actually organized to create misery, and punish it. Losers are sinners. Thus winners are philanthropists.

By not taking care of those who deserve empathy, resources are freed to protect and expand the empire of those who have it all, and want more. The resulting might insure the success of the USA as the greatest nation on Earth.

It may be all very perverse, but it sure works very well. As a blossoming plutocracy. Watch the GDP expanding at a 5% rate. Of course, mostly because wealth is expanding at an even higher rate.

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/state-of-the-bunion/

However, common people work hard in the USA. Harder than in most other places. Why? Because there is a lack of empathy. Common citizens know that, if they fail, not only will they be punished, but they will be viewed as sinners.

Google earns 50 billion dollars a month. And pays no significant tax. When crime gets big enough, it is divine: this is a mood the Bible and the Qur’an imparts.

Meanwhile, in Germany one German out of ten never heard of Auschwitz. I saw a group of full grown high school students facing a panel with names. None seemed to know what it was. When the instructor of the Jewish Museum asked if a name told them something, there was giggling. Ravensbruck, Dachau, Auschwitz… None knew a single name of extermination camps.

Let Germany not get in a mood of forgetfulness. German orderliness, and discipline are wonderful moods, in the service of goodness, but not in the service of forgetfulness.

Moods are deeper and more pervasive than systems of thought.

That is why religions cannot be separated from society, let alone civilization. Only secular humanism is compatible with today’s civilization. But humanism has always been about having sufficient empathy.

The USA is riding high on fracking at this point, and similar plots. And Germany used to ride high enough to feel optimistic about attacking the world. But only sustainable moods are wise.

In a superiorly intelligent species, intelligence can only born from empathy. So empathy, not profit, is at the center of civilization. Let Greece show the way!

Patrice Ayme’

Against Emotional Shrinkage

December 29, 2014

Is Rejecting The Human Condition Wise? Or Simply Inhuman?

In Against Invulnerability, philosophy professor Todd May has walked some of my way, and I will help him with some of the rest (empathy in action!). Here is Todd, in the New York Times, for “The Stone”, a succession of rather stony essays in philosophy:

“Like many of us, I am often troubled. I am distressed by my failure to be more than I am: a better philosopher, a better family member, a better person. And I know that if I could take a little more distance on the daily goings-on in my world that trouble me, I would probably be better in many if not all of these ways. This knowledge leads me to think of those philosophies that counsel rising above the things that disturb me so that I may arrive at a tranquil state of mind. Philosophies like Buddhism, Stoicism, Taoism, and possibly Epicureanism (the ancient philosophy, not its modern association with pleasures of the flesh) offer different ways of achieving such a tranquil state, and so they are tempting. I believe, however, that for most of us they are a false if beguiling path.”

Chameleons Are Not Stoic, They Anticipate The World

Chameleons Are Not Stoic, They Anticipate The World

[Chameleons are found in the Namibian desert, not just tropical rain forest; there they have to cover huge distances in search of prey… while avoiding to become dinner, so they change colors just as fast as they run across. The chameleonic way of life is not Buddhist, just begging inertly for crumbs from the rich, dressed in bright orange.]

Let me applaud Todd May. There was some predictable screaming on the Internet from Stoics and Buddhists, claiming for both that they do not shun emotions, but bears them.

However, that’s somewhat besides the point. Indeed, not enough is, in crucial situations, the equivalent of not at all: if a plane tries to fly, and it does not have enough speed, it crashes.

Stoicism and Buddhism, and the sort of Fatalism connected to Christianism (Dieu le veut!) or Islam (Inch Allah) have crashed civilization repeatedly (at some point, before a crash, Buddhism controlled most of India).

Here is more of what the heroic (by academic standards) Todd says:

“Buddhism, at least in its official doctrine, argues that if we abandon our desires by coming to understand the true nature of the cosmos and follow the Noble Eightfold Path, the end of suffering will follow. Stoicism similarly (but distinctly) counsels that we rid ourselves of emotion, and similarly (but again distinctly) offers a path of recognition of our place in the universe to help us get there. I do not wish to claim that either or both of these or related doctrines are mistaken. Instead, I want to say that most of us, when we really reflect upon our lives, would not want what is officially on offer, but instead something else.”

But the author is right on target on his main point, the excellent notion of “invulnerability“:

“In their official guise, these doctrines are examples of what I am going to label “invulnerabilism.” They say that we can, and we should, make ourselves immune to the world’s vicissitudes. What is central to invulnerabilist views is the belief that we can extricate ourselves from the world’s contingencies so that they do not affect us. We are capable of making ourselves immune to the fortunes of our bodies, our thoughts, and our environment, and we will live better or happier or more pure lives if we do so. Whether the task involves the abolition of desire, the elimination of emotion or the recognition of the ultimate oneness of all things, the guiding idea is that we can and ought to make ourselves invulnerable to the world’s vagaries.”

Todd makes implicitly the point that, fundamentally, the invulnerabilists deny the human condition:

“For invulnerabilist views, what matters is only the present. After all, as they argue, the present is all there is, and therefore the only thing we can have an effect upon. Moreover, we can only be assured of having an effect upon ourselves in the present. Our effects upon the world are always uncertain. The task of invulnerabilism, then, is for us to inhabit the present fully and without reserve, letting go of the grip of our past and our desires for the future. Only if we do this can we render ourselves immune to the predations of our psychological tendencies, tendencies tied up with hope, regret, expectation and mourning.

Invulnerabilism recommends that we secrete a distance between ourselves and the world so that ultimately it cannot touch us.”

This is all very true. Its major defect is that it denies what the brain is made for. The brain is made for predicting the future. Even a chameleon’s brain anticipates the future, as it focuses, and prepares its tongue. Stoics, Buddhism and the like, want to have no tongue, and no focus on anticipation. They want to amputate us, please help! Are they why there is so much plutocracy, and nobody is doing anything about it?

As I have argued for years, that, by reducing emotions, one reduces the human condition, and, thus, the very ability to reduce pain. Invulnerabilists are self-defeating. Todd touches upon that:

“Most of us want to feel caught up in the world. We want to feel gripped by what we do and those we care about, involved with them, taken up by them. The price of this involvement is our vulnerability. We must stand prepared to feel the loss of what we care about, because that is part of what it means to care. Caring requires desiring for the sake of others, which in an uncertain world entails that that desiring can be frustrated.”

Stoicism, as defined by Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius is centered on trying to achieve emotional detachment from what one cannot change.

Of course the problem is that one finds out what one cannot change from thinking, and thinking arises from emoting. So, if you don’t emote right, or not enough, you won’t think right.

By insisting that acceptance and tranquility are the most important, somehow most noble moods, invulnerability theories shrink the imagination, and mental reach.

Thus making acceptance and tranquility into a religion dwarves the human spirit into a shadow of its former self..

Are we going to accept infamy, too, because we cannot change it?

Marcus Aurelius is exhibit number one. Somehow he decided that he could not change the old way to select an emperor, and it had to be simply the son of himself. Thus he named his own son Commodus on a whole succession of honors by the age of 12, then made that boy a Consul, and finally co-emperor by the age of sixteen (16).

The son was Commodus, one of the most atrocious Roman emperors, and certainly the worst one (he gave up huge chunks of the empire, next to its core).

Marcus Aurelius, and the four emperors before him had been selected on merit. But merit and performance, selecting the best, were apparently antagonistic to Marcus Aurelius’ acceptance and tranquility.

Marcus Aurelius ought to have cracked down on plutocrats who did not pay enough taxes to sustain the army, then engaged in desperate defense. There, again, Marcus opted for acceptance (of infamy) and tranquility.

Stoicism is comfort, but duty is not always comfortable.

Moods and emotions are at the root of thinking. Cancelling the former would cancel the later, and turn us into beasts. That would be counterproductive to the oftentimes loudly advocated aim, reducing human suffering (people behaving like beasts do not live optimal lives in the complicated civilization we have).

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2014/12/26/moods-rule-thoughts/

Trying to reduce pain through invulnerability theories is a bit hypocritical, because one could swallow a great quantity of sleeping pills, or take other drastic measures, to achieve a pain-free coma… Or death, surely an end to suffering in this allegedly terrible world.

So why are these theories arise so popular? Two viewpoints, as usual: those of the masters, and those of the slaves.

A meta question ponders who pushed, and pushes these theories on the masses? The mechanism is obvious: it is easier to domesticate the emotion-deprived, and thus thought-deprived ones, than fully intelligent human beings.

Thus invulnerability theories and religions are actually optimal for great masters who want to have many emotion-less, inhuman little slaves, with reduced intelligence.

That’s why the masters love Buddhism and company. But then why do the small people love this mood which serves to oppress them too?

Acceptance and tranquility should not be the end-all, be-all. Except, of course, for people with frayed nerves living in denial. Or then people who wants to live gloriously.

Anger is crucial to crush infamy. Absolutely excluding anger is absolutely accepting infamy as a matter of principle. Instead one should follow Voltaire’s advice: “Il faut ecraser l’infame!”. One ought to crush infamy.

Some specialists of Asian sociology believe that a lot of the problems in Asia (for example the holocaust in Cambodia) originated with too much tranquility and acceptance for the intolerable.

Obsessively focusing on acceptance and tranquility is self-serving, as it persuades the beholders, and those who look at them, that they are good, elevated people. And yes, it gets hot and passionate, where civilization is progressing. Yes, as with a kitchen, it gets hot there. But those who stay out ought not to get the respect they crave for.

Get angry, expand thinking, crush infamy!

Patrice Ayme’

MOODS RULE THOUGHTS

December 26, 2014

Systems Of Moods Overwhelm Systems of Thought.

MOODS MAKE UP THE GENETICS OF LOGIC:

Are we born with “instincts” such as “care”, and the like? Or do we learn? I believe we learn (much of this being fast learning, and, mostly, subconscious). How does that work? Well, it would work from General Topology informing neurogenesis.

French philosopher Foucault baptized himself historian of systems of thought, when he got a professorship at the prestigious Collège de France in 1970. (Collège de France, the ultimate think institution, is five centuries old.)

I have gone one further, by introducing Systems of Moods. Why moods? Emotion Primes Reason. However, rarely does one emotion rule alone, but for ravenous hunger, abject terror, and other animalistic crazes. Instead, when we meditate ponderously, we are usually ruled by moods.

What’s a mood? It’s a cocktail of emotions. Systems of Moods are articulated with their own logic. Pascal discovered this, when he said “Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison n’a pas”.

Why and how does the “heart” have its own logic? The answer has to do with where does logic come from? Logic is basically about arrows, implications: ’if A, then B’.

Where do these “thens”, these implications, come from? When one says:’I have a bad feeling about this’, one reasons out of a mood: the forest is suddenly too quiet, or a bird made an alarm sound… And suddenly all of one’s senses are in full alert.

Sets of moods will tend to topological relations. Instead of the one to one relations of logic or category theory. Topology, the logic of places, can bring to bear relationships that are much more general than ‘if A then B’. Relations such as: ’if A is close to B while C is close to D, when closer to A than B, then…’

This topo-logic can be embodied by neurohormones, neurotransmitters, and the neighborhoods they create (neighborhood is here used in the exact mathematical, General Topological sense). This no idle theory: it’s known that dendrites, and other neuronal structures, tend to grow in some directions, depending upon these chemicals. That means that the neurological relations of linear logic are built from the emotional and neurohormonal calculus.

***

AN EXAMPLE WHERE MOODS DOMINATE, AND LOGIC IS SECONDARY:

I am going to use an example that arose from my adventures at a philosophy website. It’s rather complex, so let me give an abstract first: a philosophy professor drew a correct conclusion, yet the EXACT OPPOSITE conclusion is also valid. How is that possible? It is because, once some moods and emotions are rolled out, logic can go one way, or the other.

So much for the old hope that determinism and logic (in the conventional sense) rule all.

The example was extracted from Scientia Salon, a site run by university philosophers.

Philosophy professor Gregg Caruso considered polls on the behavior of USA citizens (that’s called “experimental philosophy”). Verdict? The relationship between believing in Free Will and believing that low lives dug their own fates, seems strong in the USA.

Gregg wrote: “juries — eager to preserve their belief in a just world — are already inclined to see the victim … as other than innocent… just one unfortunate example of the pernicious nature of belief in a just world… since, of course, if the world is just, then people must have brought these circumstances upon themselves. This blaming of victims (in defense of belief in a just world) has been established by numerous studies… the stronger the belief in a just world the greater the likelihood of blaming victims for their unfortunate fates.”

Any society rests on logic. The logic does not have to be all-embracing, it just has to be effective enough to support the social organization. Gregg’s general thesis is a good antidote to the present logic dominating the USA. Yet a USA social truth does not have to be a truth of human ethology.

And it is not, as egregious cases in non-USA based history and geography show.

The Nazis believed the less Free Will, the better: “society’s needs come before the individual’s needs” (Adolf Hitler). So did the followers of Stalin. So do, to a great extent some of the Muslim religions (so called “branches” of Islam). All believe(d) that individual Free Will had to be eradicated. Islam comes from aslama “he submitted”.

All believe(d) that the world could be made just through the application of strength, and the Will of God, the General Secretary, or the Guide.

Now, if I abstract the examples above (Stalinism, Nazism, Islamism), I can rephrase the grand conclusion of Gregg, into its complete contradiction. Below I just changed “Free Will” into “NON Free Will”:

…belief in NON free will, it was found, by studying the historical examples above, is associated with just world belief, authoritarianism, religiosity, punitiveness, and moralistic standards for judging self and other. While these considerations do not prove belief in NON free will is mistaken, they do indicate that the putative pragmatic benefits of believing in NON free will and desert-based moral responsibility are bogus.

Gregg showed that in the USA to doubt Free Will would allow society to progress. History, in many other places show that rejecting Free Will led to horrible societies.

How come Gregg’s informed logic and concrete polls can be turned on its head? What is going on?

The answer is from the theory of systems of moods. The reason that the logic can be turned on its head is that what truly matters are the mood and subjacent emotions.

Example. The Nazis posed themselves as victims of an unjust world (big, bad, rich, hypocritical, Indian exterminating America; Versailles Treaty). Germans, all over, were oppressed minorities. Only surrendering Free Will would be bring back justice and stop the punition they were submitted to.

Strong emotions, bound by strong logic, make strong medicine. Yet, the logic is secondary. It could go whichever way. This is what the apparent truth of both Free Will Skepticism, and the truth of its exact opposite, my pernicious anti-thesis (just an observation, too), demonstrate.

Foucault suggested that power laid in discourses, more than anything else. I agree. Yet, beyond that, power lays in the raw emotions, and the moods they blossom into. The exact nature of the way they get organized is an afterthought.

Here is an explicit example: Christianism and love. Christ said that to love was the commanding commandment. Fine. However, read what he exactly said:

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

What’s the strongest emotion here? Jesus says it himself: loving obedience to “the Lord”. He puts it first. However, obedience is not the most prominent feature of human ethology (raw love probably is, next to the survival instinct). Thus the implied logic is the violence one has to exert to do something unnatural, obeying a so-called “Lord”.

In the end, Jesus’ primary emotion holds in just one word: “Lord”. Jesus is a plutophile: loving a “Lord” is the first law.

He, and others, can put whatever logic they want after that to embellish the ugliness, and comfort the horror. It does not really matter. The overall mood flows from there, one concept: “the Lord”. The rest is just rearranging the chairs on the sinking Titanic of Jesus’ make belief goodness.

Patrice Ayme’

DeKanting Philosophy:

October 21, 2014

Writing this essay made me sad. I had come across a group of self-assured philosophers, singing the praises of Kant. That was a moment of solitude. Sheep praising the wolf. When I brought up objections, pointing at the enormous connection between Kant and Nazism, I was haughtily told “We, in philosophy, do not judge thinkers on one sentence”.

This depicts how followers of Kant behaved in Nazi occupied Europe:

Dog Philosophy: Obey, Always To Obey The Mighty. Confucius, To Kant

Dog Philosophy: Obey, Always To Obey The Mighty. Confucius, To Kant

One Sentence, One Idea Can Move The World, And Not For The Best:

In the Twelfth Century, Saint Bernard (de Clairvaux; Abelard’s, and humanity’s, enemy) was asked how he, the saintliest and most influential Christian (he told Pope Urban II what to do), could defend homicide.

Saint Bernard haughtily replied: ”It is not homicide, but malecide, the killing of evil.” Bernard, one of the known universe’ most evil men, then launched the Second Crusade, the Cistercian order, the Knights Templars, the Inquisition, and the killing of millions, for centuries to come.

People who are viewed as philosophers, by a large following, have much more influence than is generally attributed to them.

Some are anti-philosophers, those who give guidance, honor and cover to the satanic minds who grab power and lead civilization to the abyss, driven only by the greedy instinct of the self-destructive predator.

Locke helped slavery. Rousseau, Kant, Herder etched in the stone of (pseudo) philosophy the erroneous systems of moods and thoughts which brought Nazism. Yet, they still have lots of cognitively impaired followers. Truly these guys are not philosophers, but plutocratic puppets. That makes them all the more dangerous.

How does one subjugate people? By making them feel wrong. Then it is easy to make them think wrong. In the end they believe it is smart to engage in whatever will and up oppressing, or even, could destroy them.

In the philosophy of the predator, destruction, whether means, or end, is an intrinsic good.

The archetype modern example here is Prussia, and the fascist, racist, anti-Judaic Nazi Germany it ended up creating… bringing the annihilation of Prussia.

The Germans, under the influence of a triumphing Prussia in the Eighteen, and Nineteenth Centuries Century, were led to believe it was smart to dislike, despise, hate, oppress, subjugate, exploit, dehumanize, Poles, Slavs and Jews. Superficially, it worked. Until September 10, 1914, when the all devouring Frankenstein of Prussian racial fascism had to beat a hasty retreat on the battlefield.

(Indeed, in parallel, and to be able to enforce all this oppression, subjugation, contempt, dehumanization, maximal force, that is, military force, had to be used. Thus, in Prussia and its admirers, militarism was inseparable with racism. Prussia had an army comparable in size to France, in the Seventeenth Century, with a tenth of the population. This militarization paid off handsomely: after coming close to total annihilation, under the gay aggressor Frederick II, Prussia grabbed immensely rich Silesia, its mines and industry, from Austria.)

Instead Of Reading Hitler, Read Kant, It Does Just As Well:

Thus a mood of exploitative racism and hungry military aggression was created by Prussia’s masters. All they needed were parrots to sing their praises. And they were many, the most prominent of these birds repeating songs of evil was Kant. Now for some comic relief. It turns out that Kant is still much admired, 70 years after his followers exterminated tens of millions of innocent civilians (they wanted to do more, but they were rudely interrupted by carpet bombing).

How was the mood created? In no small part by making people admire a pseudo-philosopher, Kant. Kant was racist, militarist, mechanical. A perfect philosopher for a racist militaristic regime.

“The reason a people has a duty to put up with even what is held to be an unbearable abuse of supreme authority is that its resistance to the highest legislator can never be regarded as other than contrary to law, and indeed as abolishing the entire legal constitution.” –Kant

In other words: dictators (=”highest legislators”) rule, disobeying them is immoral. That could only please Kant’s paymaster, the hereditary dictator of Prussia. Remark: This, that resisting the dictator is immoral, nothing new: I call that the Qur’an Fascist Principle (Sura IV, Verse 59).

“O Ye Who Believe! Obey Allah, and obey the messenger and OBEY THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE IN POWER.

This is the essence of Hitler’s Fuhrer Prinzip. Kant was just a guy who heard about the Qur’an. This makes Kant vastly inferior to Voltaire. Voltaire read the Qur’an, and dragged the emperor of Mecca, Muhammad his name, it in the mud, to the point that the Politically Correct censored him, in the Twenty-First Century (!) Voltaire was right, so he gets censored, Kant is a Nazi, so he gets lauded. In a world where human values are inverted, a plutocratic world, in other words, this all makes sense.

Not only Kant was a fanatical Jihadist of the worst type, but Kant was a racist, and could be said to have invented the (false) theory of scientific racism. Sometimes the idiocy gets even funny: Kant thinks Africans smell bad. But it’s all scientific. Says the pseudo-philosopher:

“We know now, for example, that human blood turns black (as is to be seen in blood coagulum) …. Now the strong body odor of the Negroes, not be avoided by any degree of cleanliness, gives reason to suppose that their skin absorbs a very large amount of phlogiston from the blood, and that nature must so have designed this skin that in them the blood can dephlogisticate …”

Negroes are of course born idiots, and in this Kant follows another of the Prussiano-Anglo-Saxon pantheon of evil philosophy, Hume:

“The Negroes of Africa have by nature no feeling that rises above the trifling. Mr. Hume challenges anyone to cite a single example in which a Negro has shown talents... So fundamental is the difference between these two races of man, and it appears to be as great in regard to mental capacities as in color.” -Kant

Kant is the first author of no racial mixing (later implemented by the Nazis). A new concept in Europe:

The mingling of stocks (due to great conquests), little by little erodes the character and it is not good for the human race in spite of any so-called philanthropy.”

For comparison, Rome had African (Libya), and Arab emperors (or “Augusta”). Rome happily mixed all races.

That racist principle was used by Kant with lots of direct impact. The Spanish Crown was encouraging a policy of interbreeding and had ordered the Mexican governor to comply. The governor had, however, opposed the order. Kant encouraged him (in contradiction to making obedience the highest principle; Kant acted as if racism was an even higher principle than obedience). In a letter to the governor of Mexico, Kant wrote:

“[Of the idea that] nature would develop new and better races of produce them through the commingling of two races there is little ground for hope in as much as nature has long since exhausted the forms appropriate to soil and climate, whilst cross-breeding (for example of the American with the European or of these with the Negro) has debased the good without raising proportionately the level of the worse — hence the governor of Mexico wisely rejected the order of the Spanish Court to encourage interbreeding.”

Heil Kant!

Kant’s account of race also includes the superiority of the white race and that the others will become extinct. For details, see Wulf D. Hund’s “The Racisms of Immanuel Kant,” a book which begins and ends with this quote from Kant:

“All races will become exterminated … except for the whites.”

Kant’s insults against Jews are too numerous to count. The Jews are by nature “sharp dealers” who are “bound together by superstition.” Their “immoral and vile” behavior in commerce shows that they “do not aspire to civic virtue,” for “the spirit of usury holds sway amongst them.” They are “a nation of swindlers” who benefit only “from deceiving their host’s culture.” Nicht so klar? Here it is, for the brin impaired. Kant: “THE EUTHANASIA OF JUDAISM IS THE PURE MORAL RELIGION.”

Johann Herder (1744-1803) quoted Kant’s lectures on practical philosophy: “Every coward is a liar; Jews, for example, not only in business, but also in common life.”… Nazis made a “hideous misinterpretation of Kant”? Or is it that some people are just hideous stupid?

So why is Kant still popular? Adolf Eichmann, on trial in Jerusalem, found the explanation:

“Now that I look back, I realize that a life predicated on being obedient and taking orders is a very comfortable life indeed. Living in such a way reduces to a minimum one’s need to think.”

In other words, Kant is the perfect philosopher for weak-willed idiots. All the more as he invented a weird, pseudoscientific jargon which appeals to those who find too difficult to learn true science, the uneducated and unintelligent. Hence said jargon became wildly popular with philosophically inclined half-wits.

Tolerating Kant, is tolerating Nazism. Adulating Kant, is adulating the essence of Nazism. Time to get acquainted with those facts.

In other news, one of the world’s most powerful men died when his jet got flipped by a snow plough. In Moscow. He had just been plotting with one of the world’s dictators. Interesting how plutocrats live on the edge. (More on this later.)

Indeed, plutocrats do not have much too fear, besides snow storms, as long as those who view themselves as “philosophers” drink the cool Kant aid.

Patrice Ayme’

 

 

 

Religion, tribalism, Extermination

October 15, 2014

Ce sont des Mots Qui Vont Tres Bien Ensemble

This is a follow-up on the essay I wrote on the debauch of demons in Christo-Islamism. One of the reasons for which I do not like novels much, is that the human psychology therein represented is all too often a caricature, something all too simple. Why so trite? Because a novelist wants to sell books. Those who are successful, that is the most read, are most read precisely because they are familiar, and flattering, to the masses.

The Politically Correct (PC) is not just most followed, it’s what sells (and reciprocally). Nietzsche sold only a few hundred books when he was conscious.

A real philosopher does not caress, but stings the masses. Nietzsche sold books only after several famous intellectuals sang his praises.

I had a most curious upbringing, mostly, but not exclusively, in Africa. Although (it turned out) in “Muslim” lands, I was unaware of Islam. I grew up under the vast umbrella of what is called “Sufi” Islam.

In some ways that “Sufi” Islam was more secular and progressive than secularism in, say, Europe. (“Sufi” is a label which covers many completely different religions; yet they all tend to be less sexist: Kurdish females have been dying as soldiers in combat in Kobani).

Many of the religiously obsessed claim that elaborate religious rituals are innocent, because they represent a long tradition. The Jews, in particular, are prone to make this reasoning. That’s rather incongruous, after centuries of pogroms: any practice which brings lots of death to the practitioners ought to be viewed, clearly, as not innocent!

Others identify religion and civilization. For example they talk of the “Islamic” civilization. Really? As there is more than one hundred types of Shia “Islam”, does that mean there is more than a hundred Islamic civilizations?

How do the simplistic theory: Islam = Civilization… survives the war in Kobani? There, in a few miles, three versions of “Islam” are in an extermination fight: Wahhabis against Kurds against Turks. Clearly both non-Kurdish Turks, and Wahhabis want to exterminate the Kurds.

About 25% of the population of Turkey is Kurdish (but many are in hiding). That the government hates them is nothing special: in a full blown plutocracy, the 1% hate the 99% (aristocracy, in France’s old regime was 2% of the population).

I know Turks who hate Erdogan and his ilk: the ancestors of those “Turks” were Armenian (thus Christian), or Kurds (and some of the Turks I know are mixed Armenian-Kurdish). To save their children, they had to bring them up as the kind of Muslim Turks who are kosher in Ankara. So now they feel that their children are not really their children anymore. That’s the Australian method of genocide (bring up the children of Bushmen without their parents, or their culture).

Kurdistan is about 3,000 years old, and Armenia was the first Christian land. Saladin was a Kurd.

Too much respect for tradition is an error. Tradition to a great extent, is in opposition to “secular” (which means of the age). Hence tradition is a religion.

This meditation is about religion, it can only hurt those who feel it is right, it is their right, to feel very strongly about the metaphysics they believe in. But metaphysics is never innocent. After all, it’s about the foundations of minds one talks about. One can’t get more intimate than that. Or more penetrating and violating, should one get into metaphysics, that is, other people’s minds. Potentially.

Religions tie people together. (Re-ligare.) This is what religious means.

Religion does not have to have a metaphysical element. Some people practice an art or a sport, as if it were a religion. It is a religion. Many young people get tied together again by activities such as being soccer supporters… And only by them. And they seem ready to die for it.

Zen, Taoism, forms of Yoga, nationalism, tribalism, are all religious in character. After all, these bounds are often so strong, people are ready to die for them. The SS had: “Gott Mit Uns!” on their belts buckles (“God With Us”; that inspired the American Congress to follow suit and adopt a variant of that slogan for the entire USA.)

Yes, any nation worth its salt, is, to some extent, a religion.

In other words: Religions generate tribes. That’s what they do. It’s very important, because human beings are nothing, in nearly all ways, if not in a tribe. (Or then they are philosophers.) The religious instinct cannot be distinguished from the tribal instinct.

Nice tribes, or nasty tribes, that is the question. Inclusive tribes, and inclusive religions, are nice. (To conclude the “Social War”, Rome learn to become inclusive, and so are its descendant regimes.)

Religions, nations who exclude are nasty, and bring blood. Exclusivity, alienation, is always (ethologically perceived as) an aggression. That has been observed in chimpanzees.

Tribes are not just about being strong together, they are about group selection. Thus, so are religions. Deadly aggression, even war, was found to be “adaptive” in chimpanzees:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140917131816.htm

Religion is war according to the most fundamental means. The deepest ways of the minds. Maladaptive religions get exterminated: Rome and its descendant regimes annihilated all human sacrifices religions (starting with Rome’s, Carthage’s and then the Celts’).

It’s not a good sign, when a religion is full of demons (as Christianity and Wahhabi Islam are). Or when it’s so nasty, it needs a god of evil (Hades, Satan, etc.)

Another dichotomy is between rational religions, and irrational ones. That one is roughly equivalent to that between religions which are organized around superstition, and the supernatural, and those which are not.

Nasty has to do not just be about mistreating others directly, but how they lead others to react.

Often tribes get dressed in black, claiming to be somehow elected by god. Example: Catholic “men in black”, those monks of the Fourth Century destroying books and intellectuals. Jesuits followed suite (and suits!), a millennium later, and then, Orthodox Jews, themselves copied in more ways than one, by the Hugo Boss black tailored SS, etc… The alienation was deliberate: it became a hatred multiplier, and hatred was the goal.

Another way to alienate is by advertising wildly irrational beliefs, constituting a religion, defining a tribe. The more irrational, the more flaunted, the more alienating to other groups, the more it leads to hatred in reply, and the more hatred one is submitted to, the tighter the tribe that creates the alienation will be.

It’s this advanced calculus of hatred, fear and alienation which is at the root of all too many religions and their associated tribalizations.

Ever since men have roamed, religions have clashed. And the better ones have won. Time for the best, the most ethologically correct religion, the one ultimately granted by 50 million years of evolution: direct democracy.

Patrice Ayme’

Gluten, Poisons, Insuring the Stupidity of Crowds

October 12, 2014

I believe laws ought to be decided by We The People. The present governmental system with its oligarchic legislate and executive ought to be transitioned out of, and restricted to the details. (This is what Switzerland has been doing in the last 25 years, to immense social and economic success.)

When I propose this, skeptics often object that people are brazenly ignorant, turgidly stupid, and prone to fashionable madness. So my proposition would be worse than what we have now, they sneer.

There is some truth in all this. I will roll out an example: gluten. And explain why We The People indulge in this sort of hare-brained obsession. It’s actually a basic manipulation they are neutralized with, like a mouse by a piece of cheese deep in a trap.

This point of view, that the demos cannot be trusted, is nothing new, and why Aristotle proposed to the best to rule (Aristo-crat). In practice, he defined as the best were his personal buddies, and everybody who was seriously rich.

I will explain why We The People tend to be ignorant, stupid, and mad. Mostly, when People are treated as children, they compensate by leading with gusto where they can lead: in nowhere land, for nowhere men.

They are engaged in the mental equivalent of captive animals pacing back and forth in too small a cage.

The obsession with gluten, sodium benzoate all over foods, profits in foods, all help build a mental box in which to cage We The People.

It is fashionable to avoid gluten, a protein in wheat, rice, barley which makes them chewy. Many people claim that gluten makes them sick. The for-profit corporations created a non-gluten movement. They tend to replace gluten, a protein, by sugar(s). Never mind the well-established fact that those sugars make people sick with an impressive array of diseases.

Some studies claimed that gluten caused intestinal distress in some patients who did not truly have celiac disease.

The same scientists who suggested gluten sensitivity first, followed up with more rigorous studies… In which they found that non-celiac gluten sensitivity doesn’t exist.

Yet, 30% of people want to eat less gluten (they have been so persuaded by industry). Sales of gluten-free products are projected to be $15 billion by 2016. Only 1% of Americans suffer from celiac disease, yet 18% of adults now buy gluten-free foods. (No wonder, it’s full of sugars, and obese Americans need all the sugar they can get, so they have enough fuel to move!)

In several follow-ups, some by the same authors who had found the apparent gluten sensitivity, subjects cycled through high-gluten, low-gluten, and no-gluten (placebo) diets, without knowing which diet plan they were on. In the end, all of the diets — even the placebo diet — caused pain, bloating, nausea, and gas to a similar degree. Thus there are problematic foods, but it didn’t matter if the diet contained gluten. Gluten sensitivity was found NOT to exist.

In contrast to our first study … we could find absolutely no specific response to gluten,” lead scientist Gibson wrote in his first follow-up paper. A third, larger study published this month has confirmed the findings.

However detailed studies found great sensitivity to FODMAPs.

So why people don’t worry about these? Because “Gluten-free” is an industry, and a new one, bringing new profits, whereas FODMAP avoidance would be a problem for industry.

I just saw one Monarch Butterfly. I used to see thousands, in just one day, on the same hill. Those Monarchs don’t go to Mexico, they migrate within the USA, from the Rockies, to California, back and forth. Why did they disappear? Insecticides, and, in particular those made from nicotine (a deadly poison in minute doses), or neonicotinoids. They are the same poisons which kill bees.

There again, this was scientifically established, but it’s ignored in the popular knowledge base, as it stands in the way of our masters.

In general one may wonder why poisons such as the mighty carcinogen benzene are deliberately introduced in food. My daughter has a very strong allergy to Sodium Benzoate, so she can be used as a Sodium Benzoate detector. When she turns all red, it means she was poisoned by the authorities.

Authorities? Well, after all, the FDA allows industrialists to put benzene in food, to kill the little beasties who would be otherwise found there. So, if you do not eat as much of that food as the little beasties, you will survive long enough to buy more, and more, and more, so it’s OK, with the FDA.

And it does not disrupt the Masters in the least, as they eat fresh food prepared by their chefs in their private jumbo jets, far above the minnows, while paying no tax, as the Google guys.

Why are people so gullible? Because the Masters made them gullible. Putin, a Master, made his population so stupid that it interprets its difficulties as caused by the West, and thus, the more Putin attacks, the more popular he gets (86% approval for Putin in Russia, latest polls).

This phenomenon has been seen before: after he killed millions of Ukrainians and Soviets, in obscure “purges”, Stalin was loved (especially by Western pseudo-intellectuals). Later Hitler became most popular as Germany met the apocalypse.

Conflict wakes up the fascist instinct, all becoming of one mind behind the leader. Uncertain, feeble Masters know this, so they create conflicts to get a following (whereas, as Ibn Khaldun pointed out, strong empires know peace inside).

Direct democracy would force We The People to become deciders, instead of stupidified followers in need of all-knowing leaders to make, or, rather, eschew, all the big decisions. Instead of believing obvious stupidities, We The People would examine them.

What we have now is an unexamined polis. Socrates famously, and stupidly, said that an unexamined life was not worth having (it’s stupid, as crocodiles, politicians and bankers demonstrate every day). What he should have said is that an unexamined polis is best not having.

If We The People was examining foods, it would find the following: the food industry uses massive, unsustainable amounts of antibiotics, pesticides, fungicides, poisons, and chemical fertilizers. They no doubt correlate with the multiplication of the occurrence of brain tumors by four since 1950. Parts of France, who supported agriculture for more than three millennia, are now so polluted, that the European Commission’s threatened sanctions have been approved by the Court of Justice of the European Union.

And why is that general poisoning going-on? Simple: the profiteers want to maximize profits. The food budget of We The People is a fixed amount. Beyond that we would be back in the pre-revolutionary mood of France (when a free market reform under Louis XIV’s PM Turgot allowed the price of bread to jump up).

So, to maximize profit margins, the profiteers have to reduce their costs, hence all the poisons, chemicals, etc. And gluten in all that? A red herring, a bone, the stupidified People can gnaw on, while augmenting the profiteers’ profits (there are state subventions for sugar). Their outrage and interest is carefully entertained: it’s a more sophisticated version of the panem et circenses (bread and circus) of the Romans.

All the silliness would disappear if We the People learned about the world enough to pretend to decide about its fate. Learning that the largest corporations avoid taxes, often completely, and that banks, which are truly agents of the state, are a state within the state, and a criminal one at that., would help to forget about imaginary celiac disease, or the one caused by too much sugars (FODMAPs).

And that’s exactly why the plutocrats will try their best to make sure this will not happen, by occupying the minds with the dumbest obsessions evil minds can find.

That was done for centuries in the Roman Empire, until all the mental energy of the Demos went to charioteers, culminating in the Nika Riots, an aborted revolution, in 532 CE, which burned half of Constantinople. The reason the Nika Riots were not a successful revolution is that We The People had become too dumb to understand what was truly happening. This is where we are headed now.

Patrice Ayme’

Philosophy Is Moody

October 7, 2014

Philosophy Is About Moods, Systems of Moods, Not Just Systems of Thoughts

Science creates extremely precise systems of thoughts. This is why it is obsessed with equations, which are, first of all, rigid structures.

Philosophy is the domain of guess work. That makes it crucial to all new fields of enquiry: they all have to start somewhere, most often with guesswork (although serendipity can play a role, as when Fleming discovered penicillin).

As it is rich with possibility, rather than been just tied to precise logic, new philosophy is more about vague emotion, per force, than the new science, or the new law, it will orient towards, and give rise to.

If philosophy cannot teach precise things, precise things comparable to Einstein’s gravitational equation, what does it teach?

Some have accused me of making the mistake of judging a philosophy by the philosopher who created it. However, I am not that naïve. Instead, I enlighten the former with the later.

Montaigne’s philosophy may sound plutocratic friendly to a sharp critic (much of his essays have to do with the lives of plutocrats, generally heaping praise on them for astounding prowess on the battlefield, or the fairness of their magnanimous rule). A look at Montaigne’s life confirms that here was a man of wealth and means, closest, and most obsequious, to the highest (such as his friend and accomplice Henri IV), and who knew how to advance himself that way. So Montaigne’s plutophile tendencies are confirmed by the considerable interest he had to wallop in the mud.

In striking contrast with the haughty objections of my critics, many hold that philosophies are ways of life, they are nothing without the examples of the lives of those who proposed them.

Some have tried to make philosophy scientific, thus throwing unwittingly, the stillborn baby with the bath.

Verily, science itself is often not that scientific, except in a very restricted sense. Much scientific progress is about finding that science one thought was well established, urbi et orbi, is actually false, in some circumstances.

On second inspection, Einstein’s equation is not that precise: as Einstein himself admitted, the right hand side of the equation, the mass-energy tensor, is junk. (Quantum Field Theory has confirmed this.)

But Einstein’s equation is at least very precise in a very restricted domain (say in Earth’s orbit).

Not so with philosophy.

Instead of building systems of thoughts with extremely pointed relevance, philosophies are more general: they build systems of mood. Perhaps, instead of just living inside neuronal networks, philosophy will be tied to more vague emotional structures: organs such as the amygdala, or glial networks.

Philosophers create moods. Philosophies are, to a great extent, moods.

What a better example than “Stoicism”? “Stoic”, initially a place, a portico, from which a philosopher taught, became an adjective, a noun, a concept. And certainly a mood.

Same for Mr. Sade, and Mr. Maso.

It ought to be obvious that nature did not wait for the guy from the portico, or Sade, or Maso, to invent stoicism, masochism, or sadism. All what the philosophers found was labels, distinctions, and the revelation of the moods to go with them. They did not replace 600 million years of evolution.

Creating a nefarious mood is how Heidegger helped to generate Nazism: in conjunction with the respect he was endowed with, as the young rector of his university, and his aura as master thinker, by writing an unreadable book, Heidegger sang the praises of Nazi philosophy.

Heidegger extolled the Führerprinzip, the exact core of Nazism. Thus Heidegger made many clear statements supporting Nazism before critical junctures. Such as a major referendum in Fall 1933.

Heidegger’s philosophy (love of Führerprinzip), and Heidegger himself, the philosopher, helped the establishment of Hitler’s dictatorship. Big time.

Similarly Aristotle celebrated what he celebrated as the “first and most divine“, and… “straightest” regime, kingship.

Unbelievably, some philosophers assert that these political positions of Aristotle have nothing to do, and did not help the man closest to Aristotle, and also the worst king ever, Antipater, the single handed destroyer of all Greek civilization.

Aristotle clearly asserted that democracy was the “least bad of the deviant regimes”. Yes, deviant. Aristotle said democracy was the “rule of the indigent”.

Certainly those clear, stridently anti-democratic statements of Aristotle generated a mood of admiration for kings such as Aristotle’s closest souls, or aristocracy in general, (“straight” regimes), while heaping contempt on “devious” democracy.

Aristotle created a mood, as the Nazi philosopher Rosenberg created a mood. Rosenberg was, rightfully, hanged at Nuremberg. Heidegger should have been punished, at the very least, with a long prison sentence.

While Aristotle’s closest associates established “aristocracy”, and plutocracy, all over, Zeno was born.

Zeno was born in an age when stoicism was as far as one could disagree with what came to be known as the “Hellenistic” regimes. The mood was definitively to let kings and aristocrats rule.

And to view We The People as “indigent” (to call the master aristocrat, Aristotle). Was Aristotle the Rosenberg of the Greek world? Just asking.

“Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded in Athens by Zeno of Citium in the early 3rd century BC. (It’s named after the portico from which he taught.) The Stoics taught that destructive emotions resulted from errors in judgment, and that a sage, or person of “moral and intellectual perfection”, would not suffer such emotions.” (Per Wikipedia.)

What is a “destructive emotion”? Is anger a destructive emotion? Is anger towards a lion destructive? Is that bad? Shall we go on our four and bleat peacefully instead? Notice the naivety: persons of moral and intellectual description do not suffer “destructive emotions”.

So if you want to destroy Xerxes’ fleet at Salamis, are you imperfect?

Clearly Stoicism was the perfect emotion, the perfect mood, for the Hellenistic dictatorships. In the entire Greek world, youngsters who aspire to wisdom were taught that they should not destroy… their masters, the heirs of the closest friends of Aristotle, the heirs of the court which Aristotle knew as a child.

Naturally most Hellenistic regimes allied themselves with Carthage against the Republic. The one and only directly democratic republic in existence at the time. Rome.

The Roman Republic wiped out Aristotle’s insufferable children of greed.

We The People won then. But, before soon, the leading classes of Rome, including Cicero, were worshipping at the altar of Aristotle’s mood: kingship is “first and most divine”. Hence the Princeps (“First”) and most divine Augustus, soon to smother civilization below his family.

Time to learn something.

Aristotle put us in a very bad mood. And Zeno’s sulking did not help.

Patrice Ayme’

Virtue Ethics Devalued

September 25, 2014

Virtue ethics consists into worshipping abstractly defined virtues: wisdom, prudence, courage, temperance, justice, happiness (Eudaimonia)… I will explain why this is erroneous.

Virtue ethics was founded by Aristotle, who considered slavery to be necessary… (Let me add immediately that Greco-Roman slavery was apparently by far the worst of those suffered by the Middle Earth in the last 5,000 years; only the Muslim habit of impaling slaves who had attempted to flee compares: and look what Islam did with civilization; in other ways the Muslims did not treat their slaves as badly as the Greco-Romans; the fact both civilizations collapsed is no coincidence.)

By approving of slavery Aristotle contradicted several of the eight virtues he claimed to found ethics on. The fact that the founder of virtue ethics could not make virtue ethics work, is telling. Indeed the “virtues” are derivative, not absolute. I have, and will show, this in other essays. Let me offer just a few words here.

It was virtuous for Aristotle to enslave. Yet slavery is unnatural.

It was so unnatural that, arguably, it caused the fall of the Greco-Roman empire (by enabling Senatorial plutocracy, which undermined the Republic). A civilizational collapse is no way to survive.

The Franks, who took control of the West, soon outlawed slavery, thus contradicting Aristotle, and enabling a civilizational system which survives to this day. So debating the nature of ethics is all very practical: it’s about why, when, how, and for whom, or what, to go to war. Look towards the Middle East for practical applications.

Naturalist ethics is much better than abstractly defined “virtues”. If one thinks about deeply, surviving as a species (or group) is the fundamental purpose of moral behavior. Ethics, or “mores” comes from “habitual character”. What’s more “habitual” than what insures the survival of the species. True, wisdom, foresight, prudence, fortitude are necessary to insure survival. But they are consequences.

Some brandish “religion” as something natural ethicists ought to respect. But there is more than 10,000 “religions” known, each of them actually a set of superstitions to enable the rule of some oligarchy (who adores the Hummingbird god of the Aztecs, nowadays?).

“Religion” means to tie (the people) together. A secular set of beliefs can do this very well, as long as it embraces the Republic of Human Rights, and, thus, survival. Indeed, human rights are best to insure long term survival of the species. They define the virtues Aristotle extolled, but could not define properly enough to insure the survival of his civilization (which was soon destroyed by Alexander, Aristotle’s student and friend).

The Republic of Human Rights is the only religion upon which all human beings can agree on, and, thus, the only one to respect, and found ethics on.

To this the editor of Scientia Salon objected (September 25) that:

“This idea that because Aristotle lived in a society that condoned slavery therefore virtue ethics is bullocks keeps rearing its ugly head, but seems to me a total non sequitur. You might as well say that we should throw out Newtonian mechanics because, after all, Newton was also interested in alchemy and the Bible.”

My reply:

I was unaware that I was ambling down a well-trodden road. Thus I can only observe that the notion that virtue ethics was a personal sin of Aristotle, although admittedly ugly, is entirely natural (as a naïve, untutored, independent mind, such as mine, discovers it readily).

Slavery, as practiced in Athens’ silver mines, and, later, Roman ore mines, was the worst. It was quickly lethal. And it did not stop with treating foreigners as less than animals. Aristotle’s student, and others he was familiar with (senior Macedonian general Antipater) enslaved all of Greece, shortly thereafter.

When the mood is to enslave, it does not stop anywhere, short of the brute force of invaders (and that’s exactly what happened).

Greco-Roman slavery was particularly harsh. There were much milder forms of slavery in Babylon, a millennium earlier, and Egypt used no slavery (except for captured enemy armies).

Peter Do Smith claimed that I suffered from “presentism” by condemning slavery. I guess, in the USA, slavery is just yesterday, and condemning it, so today.

But the Germans, at the time, condemned slavery, at least to the industrial scale the Greco-Romans engaged into it. Archeology has confirmed that small German farms did not use slaves.

Resting all of society upon slavery was not cautious: as soon as the Greco-Romans ran out of conquest, they ran out of slaves, and the GDP collapsed (it peaked within a couple of decades from Augustus’ accession to permanent Princeps and censor status). Another problem was the rise of enormous slavery propelled latifundia, giant Senatorial farms which put most Romans out of employment, and fed plutocracy.

Newton’s researches in… shall we call it proto-chemistry? Or Biblical considerations, were not viewed by him, or any smart observer, as consequences of his mechanics.

Aristotle’s ethical shortcomings were not restricted to his opinion on slavery, and one can only assume that they were consequences of his general ethics. Whereas Demosthenes was a philosophical, and physical hero, ethically, Aristotle sounds like someone raised at the court of the fascist plutocrats, Philippe and Alexander of Macedonia. As, indeed, happened (his father was physician to the Macedonian crown).

There were consequences to Aristotle’s ethics. Alexander had ethical reasons to annihilate Thebes, and sell surviving women and children into slavery. It’s natural to wonder if he shared them with his teacher. Another example of even heavier import: Aristotle’s enormous influence on Rome’s first moralist, Cicero. Cicero, literally, invented the word “morality” by translating the Greek “ethics”.

Aristotle comforted important Romans, centuries later, into the comfortable mood that ethics was all about feeling virtuous.

When Consul Cicero repressed savagely the Conspiracy of Cataline, without bothering with proper judicial procedure, he felt himself to be the incarnation of the eight virtues.

Cicero’s enormous ethical breach helped demolish the democratic Republic.

At all times, tyrants have proclaimed themselves virtuous. That’s tyranny 101. Proclaiming that, from now on, virtue will dominate ethics, besides being self-evident, and thus empty, is just self-congratulatory. Self-congratulations lay at the evil end of the spectrum of the examined life.

Instead, as Demosthenes pointed out, ethics ought to rest on survival. If the aim was survival, the non-conflictual, disunited approach to Aristotle’s bankrollers (Philippe and Alexander) was suicide.

Greece recovered freedom 23 centuries later. Thanks to the European Union.

Patrice Ayme’


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www.grrrgraphics.com

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