Tagged: truth

Writing for the Age: Three Questions

Should I try to write more comfortingly? But I am of a nature to find comfort only in reality, and indeed to find the greatest comfort there. The kind of comfort that masks what is immediately unappealing to face, or that simplifies what is inherently difficult to comprehend, is false comfort, and therefore the most dangerous obstacle to learning and freedom — that...

Reflections on Belief, Intelligence, and Evil

A thing is no more likely to be true because its truth would be very convenient. Conversely, a thing is no more likely to be false because its truth would be inconvenient. In general, truth and falsity have no intrinsic relation whatsoever to what would make things feel easier or more accommodating to you, in your conditions, with your associations, subject to your...

Activism, Progress, and Thought

A young man should speak only in the form of questions, at least in public, while issuing his opinionated outbursts in private, preferably alone. To be perfectly clear, this is not to say that he should form no opinions, but only that he should be discouraged in every possible way, including through a well-honed sense of secrecy, from expressing them to anyone, let...

Two Reflections On Knowledge and Ignorance

The honest answer.– If I knew the answer to all the world’s problems…would it make any difference? For in order for this answer to actually solve the world’s problems, the world would have to understand what the world’s problems were, and care about solving them. Furthermore, the world would have to pursue the answer to its problems in a relatively universal but also...

On Nihilistic Certainty

A convenient naïveté.– What if the great modern certainty, namely that the cosmos has no purpose (which is another way of saying that there is no cosmos), is, like most certainties, merely a matter of faith, answering to a deeply felt need? In that case, the great modern certainty would be an ingeniously subtle expression of underlying purpose — and not just a...

Religion Causes War, Part One

One of the most wearisome bromides of our dogmatic scientific atheists is the claim that religious belief — which they conveniently weave together with the question of the existence of God — causes wars and oppression. This is used as a rhetorical argument to undercut belief in a divine being, on the grounds that the extremes of religious enthusiasm cause men to fight...

Materialism’s Vested Interests

People with an inclination to rule are always keen to control and delimit the thoughts and attitudes of others as a means of protecting the exclusivity of their right to rule. Just as our tyrannical advocates of “lockdowns” and “stay-at-home orders” like to declare exceptions for “essential workers,” as this allows them to set the terms for all mankind regarding which work is...

Culture vs. Self-Knowledge

The word “culture,” as used with reference to human societies or societal customs, has been one of the key theoretical constructs in late modernity’s assault on being. I never use it, except in the most casual conversational context, without the qualification that the term is artificial, names an idea that is not only ill-defined but perhaps indefinable, and runs counter to the basic...

Letting Go

The need to believe, once detached from all rational hope, becomes a dangerous breeding ground for many vicious and growth-stunting spiritual traps: confirmation bias, idolatry, paranoia, moral compromise, intellectual dependency — and ultimately cynicism, nihilism, and despair, as the disparity between what one needs to believe and what one increasingly realizes will never materialize becomes overwhelmingly obvious. Here is the solution to this...

The 2020 United States Presidential Election

I gave this post its very formal, impressive title as a simple bit of irony. If you are an American voter, and you wish to vote for someone who might actually have a chance of winning the 2020 United States Presidential Election, you must vote for Republican Donald Trump, a lifelong world famous crap merchant, or Joe Biden, a babbling fool who has...