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Some Threats to Free Thinking

February 19, 2020

51g0-dcYfrLI recently created a revised edition of my second book and uploaded it onto Amazon. It includes a few small changes to help the narrative flow, and I wanted to also take the opportunity to discuss some important ideas in relation to it. One of my main motivations for writing the book was to show an appreciation for alternative ideas to the mainstream consensus.

A big problem in the 20th century was the developing institutionalisation of truth. People were coming less from the position of an independent interest in discovering truth, and more from a perspective of justifying their particular scientific area that they relied on for funding and for their careers. The way in which this process has now become ingrained in society has created an unfortunate situation where that old adage applied to lawyers, that they make their terms complicated as they don’t just want any old person to be able to do it, as a way of ensuring an elite and privileged status for their group, is now applicable to many in the sciences.

They have moved away in many cases from the discovery of truth, toward hiding the truth behind complicated theories and concepts that only a few adept members can understand. This all was brought home to me in a particular case recently reading a book about epigenetics. The recent developments in this science are showing that in some cases there can be inherited characteristics. The problem is that they don’t want to make a big public deal of this, and they certainly want to underplay any effect this has on Darwinian theories central place as the ultimate truth of biological evolution. As a result, they create this whole area of “epi” genetics, they create a whole extra subdivision of their subject so they can keep the Darwinian bit of the genetics free from these influences.

They wouldn’t want people to see that their central theory is not so water tight, as it still gives them much privilege as a science to hold to this dogma. Thus, they hide the truth behind layers and layers of what is effectively bureacracy, “legalese”, just like a lawyer may do.

It all goes to show how numerous and perpetual are the threats to genuine free thinking. There remain some who keep some independence of the social structures enabling them to have a voice and a career, and these are the ones we need to seek out and appreciate all the more. I, for one, am increasingly fed up of going into some book, reading and expecting an honest attempt to provide insights and ideas about something, and instead being presented with a veiled propaganda campaign to justify the importance of whatever social institution, faculty or science they happen to be dependent on for their career and funding.

If this basic trust breaks down between the speaker and the audience then the culture can only collapse. Propping it up with various contrived consensus stories to lull people to sleep may provide some temporary comfort to many, but in the long term the lack of open communication about truth, in line with genuinely free and independent thinking will bring the collapse of our civilisation.

It is for these reasons among many others, that it is important to remember that truth and free thinking are very precariously placed in our society. To preserve and honour those few remaining who have attempted to stick to it is a crucially important task, and it was to this purpose that I wrote this book about underground thinkers in the 20th century.

These thinkers can help to explode popular myths about what is the truth, and about what science actually knows about the world. They can also help to give us alternative ontological tools and concepts with which to grasp truth and reality, independently of the methods and keys that certain mainstream science tries to keep to itself.

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