Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Secondhand Synthesis, with a Note on Islam


IF — you are like most people then you have no original opinions.

Most people form their opinions like this; they read or listen to a series of sources; CNN, NPR, Mother Jones, and John Oliver on the left, and maybe Fox Radio, Breitbart, and Facebook on the right. The sources vary, but regardless, they take the information they receive from their particular set of sources and synthesize them into their own "unique" opinion, which can be entirely predicted by a knowledge of their sources. In other words, they have a secondhand synthesis.

This synthesis feels like it is original even though it is not. That sense of originality comes from the fact that they used their own brain to create it. By synthesizing the information they tricked themselves into believing it was their own ideas. But no one actually thinks for themselves. Or in the words of our Supreme Dark Lord of the Sith;
"Two: we might say that whether they teach the truth or not, churches are just a bad idea, period. People should think for themselves. They should not have thoughts broadcast into a little antenna in the back of the skull. Therefore, the state should separate itself from the church, just because a good state should separate itself from all evil things.
But fortunately or unfortunately, there is no kingdom of philosophers. Most people do not think for themselves, should not think for themselves, and cannot be expected to think for themselves. They do exactly what they should be doing, and trust others to work out the large philosophical truths of the world for them. This trust may be well-placed or not, but surely this mechanism of delegation is an essential aspect of human society — at least with the humans we have now.
Three: we might believe that a government should not tell its subjects what to think. Since this is the only option I have left, it is the one I follow. I'd like to think you follow it as well."

Of course by repeating what Moldbug has said I am not thinking for myself. Oh well. . . One has to delegate eventually.

The point here is germane to many things. As an example; it is often asserted that Islam in it's sine qua non is an essentially totalitarian and violent faith. Of course many statistics can be produced to prove this assertion and there is much heated debate. On one side, left-wing people, who by nature are incapable of thought, call it racism, and on the other, right-wing people who mostly don't think answer in the affirmative, that yes, it is indeed inherently violent. But there is a much simpler way to answer this question by asking two questions of our own; one, do people believe what they are told? And two, does Islam tell them to do violent things?

You know the answer to both of these questions.




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