You tried to destroy me, to pull me down
to make me cry, to make me frown.
You tried to make me not care
give me hassle I could not bear.
All for nothing, simply that I was aware
of your ways, of your weakness
you thought I would take advantage
you did not realise I had no interest
my motives were not as low as yours
I would never stoop to that game
I would rather die in burning flames
to me it is all the same.
Please refrain from assumming I am like you
as I now bid you farewell forever, as I bid you adieu
It is all too easy in this era of grandiose technology and knowledge, dwarfing the corresponding acheivements of previous societies, to get carried away with it all. To get drawn in to high flung speculations of “theories of everything”, cosmologies explaining the creation of the universe, and at the other end of the scale, to immerse oneself in the intricate details of chains of genetic code and quantum probabilities . As a result, the process of reasoning itself becomes a hierarchy of knowledgeable experts dictating truths to lower levels of amateurs and lay people.
The problem with this, as important as specialisation is, is that it is a basic and common error in philosophical reasoning to use arguments from authority: to appeal to ones reputation in an argument for a particular field, rather than the content of what you are arguing for. Now this error can proliferate throughout society on all levels, downwards from the high level scientific experts, infecting all our day to day reasonings with each other. Anyone, who has gotten into arguments on You Tube, will be aware of the low levels to which people will stoop to get the upper hand with absolutely no thought and little care for the content of the subject matter under discussion.
They are just imitating a process that has trickled down to them from higher level experts, a process they have come to identify with success at allowing one to make ones way up the hierarchy of authoritative knowledge, and so feel a little bit superior to some other people in a debate, at least for a few minutes.
This wholesale process of people competing with each other in arguments to gain the higher ground, has took on almost sinister Darwinian undertones. The people good at this process, make their way up the echelons, and so further promote and justify this whole misguided process of reasoning. A form of selection certainly, but a selection that is deletorious and disadvantageous to the promotion and continuance of good reasoning and arguing skills.
For what is being passed on is a natural selection of argument forms of arguing from authority. A form of logical fallacy that I mentioned just before.
It is well and good to push on, on the frontiers of scientific exploration. But if we become so far-sighted and specialised that we become blind to the things most close to us: the ability to reason fairly and logically in our day to day debates with other people. Then the loss in knowledge will be substantially greater, for the skill and art of spreading reason freely and naturally among consenting individuals will be gone, to be replaced by a gradually more and more coercive approach of enforcing consent.
Of course many would argue this process of enforcing consent is already in full swing. The peer pressure within many scientific academia to toe the line of the standard theories and models, or face ridcule and loss of professional standing and reputation being a prime example.
We need, then, to get back in touch with the art of reasoning and debate. This is what good philosophy is about at the core. It is what can promote equality and democracy in our relationships with other people, as we then strive to appeal to the content of our arguments, rather than the authority or expert status of our position. Much philosophy has become misguided by, bamboozled, starstruck, by recent scientific and technological advances. It has mistook its task as that of supplementing this success, of trying to get a piece of this pie while it is still being divided up. And so it lost touch with its true home, promoting good reasoning in all areas of life and on all levels of life. Not just on levels permitted by current scientific standards under fear of ridicule and peer-enforced social exclusion. This latter is not a rational process, but the giving in to an emotional and personal need. We need to overcome this tendency. It is difficult to put into practice. But that is what the art of reasoning and philosophising is about. And we owe it to our forebears and to future generations, to maintain a level of respectability in our debates and reasoning, and to advance further here, rather than taking backwards steps.
The busy-body, scurrying back and forth,
doesn’t know which way is south and which is north.
He knows only to keep moving away from reflection
away from the self and calm introspection.
A distraction here and a distraction there
provide new traps in which to self-ensare.
Clinging to the after, and running from the before
oblivious to the centered state, from which it all pours.
No rest, except in habit, in customary action
no mind left to grip the world with any traction.
flitting, backwards, forwards, and to and fro
getting nowhere, yet always knowing where to go.
A predictable hamster spinning on a wheel
the cage is accepted, as part of the deal.
Another victory won, for the world’s order and peace.
The mind is silenced, the spirit is deceased.
Through the desolate landscape, we press on stoically
scenes of violence and sin, we grin and bear heroically
We raise arms up to quell the world around
we fire the gun ending all peaceful sound.
No responsiblity do we shirk from
Bravely we set off the god-bomb.
Bow down to our techno power
with a smiling face, never sour.
Lap it up till it turns you inside out
leaving minds no longer capable of introspective doubt
Whiz around, rush from one fix to another
nothing new on heaven or earth to discover
Let the experts tell you what is what
let the reason for it all be forgot.
Put down our burden, our moral strife
let it be, just live and let life
take its own determined natural course
driven by supra normal force.
All is for the best, and for the worst,
Lay it all to rest: our blessed curse.
Floating on the surface, festering away
lies the slurping, slivering, slimey scum
without direction, purpose, morally gray.
The monotonous beat of the drum
marks the close of another day.
My head begins to swell and to thrum.
A fog descends around the dreary pool
I inhale its venomous toxins.
I begin to dance and play like a fool.
Pulled by strings, in shiny moccasins.
A wide smile, too wide, pervades my face
A mark of dishonour and disgrace.
I am lured in to the darkening mud.
I stumble and fall soundlessly without a thud.
Tear up this straight-jacketed land
Pulverise it to a fine grain of sand
Depart from this comfortable lie
No more will I turn a blind eye.
For fate puts destruction in my hands
So shake off the dust and disband
Away from this sham world, say goodbye
For the new leaf to grow, the old must die.
All the ways have been surveyed and scanned
Round the wide horizon, my view has panned
No creation here can ever truly begin,
No ground is gained without some guilt and sin.
So I must destroy, and I must deny
Sweep the ground low, to later fly high.
The end of ideas, imagination and vision
In favor of fear, jealousy and derision
A dearth of high values and beliefs
in favor of food and aid relief.
Thinking people unsure in their opinions and divided
While our doom is by the thoughtless decided.
A victory for empty-headedness
and for elitist inbrededness
A plethora of wealth, privilege and right
A paucity of health, values and delight.
The economy onwards, like deadweight is tugged
The Atlas of a hopeful world, dismissed, shrugged.