Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Post-modernist fallacy number 13 is in: the Master of the Universe!

Today I can proudly announce that we have found our post-modern fallacy (PMF) number 13! A lucky number and so central to our research into the fatal pseudo-philosophy of relativism.

Have you ever wondered about the ego inflation going on in the bl*#%y blegosphere and elsewhere in the post-modern world? Antwerp's city poet Ramsey Nasr once remarked of Dutch young men that they are arrogant little blighters whom somehow have learnt they are important (or words to that effect). Now we know why (and it isn't just their mothers that are to blame, and it surely isn't just Dutch young men! Here goes:

13. Relativist pseudo-philosophy causes ego-centrism and pompousness

It's the fallacy that denies objective truth that lurks at the very bottom of the fatal mistake (I should have known!). A young lay philosopher The Barefoot Bum summed it up as follows:

"Statements about ethics have an absolute truth-value if and only if they are stated relative to some subjective entity or property. 'Killing people for fun is wrong,' has no truth-value. 'The Barefoot Bum violently disapproves of killing people for fun.' does have truth-value (as is in fact true)."
It's the error of which Albert Einstein famously said, "do you really think the world isn't there when you aren't looking at it?". Antony Rizzi has devoted an entire book to the subject, Science before Science, a guide to thinking in the 21st century. The problem with modern science is that students don't do proper natural philosophy - think it beneath them, and for Middle Agers, Aquinas (St Thomas, a Scholastic and only one of the finest minds in history) and such - hence the basic errors and the laughable results in theoretical physics, that comes up with an unlimited amounts of parallel universes and what else have you (two membranes, I believe?).

Now that we know where that self-importance and ego-centrism stems from - each person literally the Master of the Universe - we can concentrate on two remaining mysteries: on the one hand what is with the present obsession with the trivial, and on the other the habitual and disproportionate terms of force directed at all and sundry.

When I started out with this blog I had one huge question mark: whatever has gotten into people these days. But bit by bit I find the answers to my query - thirteen of them to date - and all can be traced back to the relativist blunder as per above. George Weigel often states that ideas have consequences: well, here's your proof if there ever was one!

A small thing, huge consequences.

3 comments:

The Barefoot Bum said...

The "quotation" you use appears to be a paraphrase of my own work.

I am neither anonymous nor even only pseudonymous, the reference should be properly cited, and quotations should be copied precisely as written, not paraphrased:

Statements about ethics have an absolute truth-value if and only if they are stated relative to some subjective entity or property.

"Killing people for fun is wrong," has no truth-value. "The Barefoot Bum violently disapproves of killing people for fun." does have truth-value (as is in fact true).

I will desperately cling to the charitable notion that your paraphrase and lack of attribution are merely oversights, even though we've communicated directly via comments at Stephen Law's blog, Thinking Big and I've sent you at least one email.

Worse, though, is your blatant misrepresentation of the plain sense of the "quotation", without regard to any of the above. Perhaps English is not your first language, but the plain interpretation of the quotation refers only to moral statements; the inference that the speaker denies objective truth in general is fallacious and, in my case, actually false.

-- Larry Hamelin (my real name)
The Barefoot Bum

Cassandra said...

Dear Barefoot Bum,
Adjustments as per above have been made. Thanks for the comment and the issue.
Cassandra.

The Barefoot Bum said...

I'm pleased that the lack of attribution was indeed an oversight and has been corrected.

My comment asserting a commitment to physical realism still stands.