Posts Tagged ‘Wittgenstein’

Ignore Moods, Ignore Minds.

January 4, 2019


It seems to me that some of Wittgenstein’s views on religion boil down to him trying to say: There is an emotional logic which accompanies “religion”, but it doesn’t reduce to geometric logic(Compare with Pascal, three centuries earlier: “Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison n’a point”… Heart has its reasons, that reason does not have.)

One has to talk precisely, and with discernment: religious beliefs come in two different types: secular and superstitious.

Football is a religion for its fanatics, so is patriotism (doing like one’s fathers), so is the Republic (consider Republican Rome and the heroes who gave their lives for it)… Then there are beliefs like monarchism, or Confucianism, nearly a superstition. Then there are outright superstitions. Superstitions believe extraordinary things, which, as their label denotes, stand above (reality), like blind love for the god who wants to kill children, or the prophet who flew on a winged horse to Jerusalem, or the hummingbird god, etc.

So one should distinguish between superstition based religions and religions based on tying up together again (re-ligare)… without any superstitious element… call the latter secular religions.  

There is a huge difference, an unfathomable abyss, between superstitious religions and secular religions. The latter has a reference: the genus Homo. The former, superstition, refer to the inhuman: god. Superstition based religion asks to believe, all the same, in something unbelievable: it asks to commit to a faith in… irrationality. Once one has left irrationality at the door, one has committed the greatest fraud and sacrifice against human nature. Then everything else is permitted, such as killing the innocents. It’s no accident: that was the aim. Consider the Tangut empire, a Buddhist empire (destroyed by Genghis Khan). There the slightest fault was punished by death.

This is the main interest of superstitious religions for potentates: teaching the subjects to leave reason at the door, robbing them of their free will. In the Tangut empire, the top dogs had the right to have sex with all and any brides (Genghis Khan didn’t like that).

Wittgenstein seems to have suggested that logical expression in different groups can be connected to different emotions. For example “God is Great” means “the universe is great” for the followers of the Abrahamist cults. Indeed.

But Abrahamist emotions at their peak were much stronger and nefarious: when in full control, the Abrahamist cults killed dozens of millions or more, burned libraries, 99.9% of books, eradicated most science, terrorized populations and thinkers for many centuries, throwing civilization off its tracks.

For example in the Thirteenth Century 4 to 5 millions Cathars  got exterminated by the Papacy, in several countries, down to the last person. And all their books. The reason to mention the Cathars is that they were hyper pacifist, to the point of vegetarianism (some of them ate fish, though…) Cathars rejected all wealth and materialism. There were Cathars all the way to Constantinople, where the faith got established long before it was in France. There were female Cathar bishops (“parfaites”). Many were tortured, burned alive by the sexist Catholic male chauvinist pigs. (Cathars were “Christians”… but not Catholic, thus exterminable according to Roman emperor Theodosius’ decrees of 380 CE…)

Cathar Parfaite (a Cathar bishop) flogged prior to being burned alive. Thirteenth Century Catholic amusement. Catholics, who detested women from the start, hated the gender equality of the Cathars. The Cathar ,

The holocaust of the gentle Cathars by Catholicism illustrates perfectly the insane cruelty and power obsession of the Catholic sect.

So the Abrahamists  don’t just mean “the universe is great”, when they say “god is great“. They mean: “I have decided that my god is so great He gave me a reason to kill you, if you don’t submit to me”. One can see this logical emotion at work in Arabia and the Middle East, to this day. One saw this logical emotion at work in the Americas.

One of the conquistadores ordered the massacre of the nation west of the Aztecs, which was at always been at peace with Spain. He thoroughly explained his cynical usage of religion. He said, his true aim was not at all to impose “Christ”, but not to leave a free, strong, fully armed, technologically advanced, smart Native American state in Mexico. Religion was just a pretext, he shrugged, when he wrote his justifications in his old age.

Believing in nonsensical stuff fabricates neurohormones and a way to use the brain in common: it fabricates inhuman robots all programmed the same, subscribing to the defense of the organization (the “faith”).

Jesus rose from the grave” is not just fake news, it is a way to have similarly twisted brains in common. It is goose stepping in a common robotization of the mind, the most basic way to build a human community. It can be efficient. Hence the Catholic Church is the world’s oldest institution.

What Wittgenstein may have tried to say, is that there is emotional logic, and humanity crucially depends on it. Logic is not just all about the games languages play.

The evidence is strong: axons are the wormholes of the brain, carrying information far away and speedily. They incarnate geometrical logic. However they are built from neurohormonal topology… the emotional logic! The emotions, the moods!

One can ignore moods, but they rule minds.

Patrice Ayme



Note 1: the preceding was a comment on a murky essay in Aeon: “Wittgenstein and religion In the case atheists vs religious belief, Ludwig Wittgenstein is called to the stand. Whose side does his testimony serve?” The title says it all: Wittgenstein was full of mumbo-jumbo. However, his family was one of the top plutocratic families in Austria-Hungary, so he was like god to English plutocrats, Bertrand Russell and his ilk. And, generally, in the plutophile Anglosphere, Wittgenstein and his rocky wit still has divine status….


Note 2: The essay made a big deal of an old Christian quandary: trying to deny the existence of god by pointing at evil is only a problem if one believes that “god” is a good god. But assuredly, the god of the old testament is worse than the worst human tyrants, so it’s both devil and the good lord. Building on this, Islam postulates that Satan and Jinns exist… apparently independently of Allah. In the Qur’an, Allah is asked why, and He replies: mind your own business, understanding this is beyond you, humans.