Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Saints and Sinners



There is no reason for anybody to contradict themselves; therefore we all do and say what we believe to be right. In order to resolve any contradictions between each other, reality, and our beliefs, we must resort to another standard other than our beliefs; such as scientific objectivity. The quick fix alternative to science would be to divine our sense of belief through the ‘received wisdom’ of a cult.

You can think of as many things as you like, but what you believe will be measured against reality and logic. A thing is either real or not real; an idea is either true or not true; if we split our standards of reasoning so that we can make a subject both true and not true, then we lose integrity; like 'running with the hare and running with the hounds'.

Science and faith are two non-compatible standards, each refutes the other by virtue of the requirement of a unique fiducial reference, such as the demarcation symbolized by Occam’s razor: if you have two razor cuts that are not identical, then you have a region between the two, which is to the right of one, and to the left of the other. Hence anybody claiming two or more standards at the same time will risk contradicting themselves when occupying the middle ground; truth abhors a compromise.

A society infected with a cult, will show those symptoms characteristic of divided communities. When a cult imposes its ethos on the populace, and creates saints and sinners, according to its standards, then it has jeopardized the people’s morale twice over: the latter are condemned as pariahs, and the former are doomed to the disappointment of unfulfilled conceit. To survive such demoralizing effects whilst the cult persists, one has to oppose the cult’s ideals, or risk losing ones sense of reality, and the corruption of aspirations. Alas our psychological need to believe we are right, may undermine our intellectual virtues by acquiescing with the cult as our new found fiducial point; analogous to the Stockholm syndrome suffered by hostages; an expedient if your society is ruled by said cult.

When flattered beyond truth, the ‘victim’ may acquiesce via the saint syndrome, by losing their sense of reality; they may subsequently react against truth as an imposing threat, clinging to the notion of praise, and shunning the reality of objective truth as though it were a personal attack. Like riding the tiger, the saint sits upon the sinner, they dare not get off or they will be devoured by their own hubris; for everyone that is not a saint must be a sinner; the cult abhors a compromise.

Do the sinners ‘throw the helve after the hatchet’? To do so would be to renege on aspiration due to a set back. Only in mythology would the pariah persist to a pointless end when conscious of the futility; a real life Sisyphus or Tantalus would have to be yoked to their torment by either a fear of worse consequence upon defaulting, or being unconscious regarding the irrationality inherent of any hope of redemption; they have to believe to continue, and so acquiesce in their own misery via the sinner syndrome, as a new virtue; hope abhors a compromise.

Conclusion

If two or more ideals prove true on all the same aspects, then they must be the same ideal. But if these ideals differ, then there must be discord, else they were never ideals, and compromise is abhorrent.

In a society which espouses both equality and diversity, we should expect an inevitable conflagration; as diversity generates division, equality generates expectation, and the belief in both, generates saints and sinners. Since nobody believes they are wrong, our only hope for peace would come from objective scientific thinking; to help arbitrate between our ‘differences of equality’. Alas science is being castrated by the same agencies that promote equality and diversity, because truth and belief are incongruent; whilst cults are left to run rife through our lives via government initiatives and edict of law.

Science could have saved our society from the nature of itself; but by abandoning objective truth for belief, we have opened the floodgates of unconscionable nature. Over millions of years we have evolved through strife, where diversity was a strategic boon regarding survival in conflict and change; but now in times of ease, under the edict of equality, diversity is the bane of peace; and nature abhors a compromise.

3 comments:

SellCivilizationShort said...

I respect your notion that science and faith are incompatible, but I tend to frame the question differently.

Science, even at its best, is a social process that arrives at truths that can be expressed discursively (in the sense that Plotinus used "discursively").

Religion can be discursive or non-discursive. If one allows purely discursive religions, one might define science to be a religion with faith in its axioms and "self-evident" starting points.

Anonymous said...

Jimmy, there were enough false premises in your first two paragraphs to persuade me that the rest wouldn't be worth reading. Thoughful of you to order it that way. Thank you.

JimmyGiro said...

sellcivilizationshort, of course the very concept of 'axiom' does require some degree of faith; but the physical sciences strive to minimize the requirements for axioms, making them a base sufficiency. They then utilize these axioms in developing theories that truly account for observation.

Once a theory, based on axioms, is proven via observation, then the axiom becomes less of an article of faith.

Example: the two postulates of Einstein's special relativity, began as articles of faith for the convenience of the theory; but once the theory's predictions were verified through observations, then they became articles of truth rather than mere belief. In other words they did not necessarily start out as self evident truth, but mere conveniences for the hypotheses; but the full process of the scientific method subsequently established the truth via objective proof.

This may also refute the notion that science is a social construct, as there is no requirement for democracy for a theory to be observed as true, it need only be self consistent via logic, and congruent with observation.