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Saturday, November 25, 2017

Contra Relativism et Futility

 Is the universe, is reality in general, an utterly incomprehensible field of chaos in motion?

The answer is quite simply no.

There are many philosophers, however, writing books and teaching in universities who cling to the pretense that this is remains a relevant question.

Is there a universal order, are there universal truths, do we as human beings possess the ability to discern them?

The answer is yes, though many have argued that we do not.

Many have argued that the human intellect does not include the ability to arrive at any definite understanding of, or comprehensible answer for perennial philosophical questions such as these:

What is the meaning of life?

What is the nature of reality?

What is the purpose of existence?

Many people never even bother to grapple with these questions.

Many of those who do, find that their understanding of these matters changes over time, with experience, through dialogue.

Many others take the position that there are no answers to be had:

That the meaning of life is dependent on the narrative we weave around our experience, and nothing more.

It is relative.

That everything we perceive and think of as “reality,” is actually "maya," an illusion, and there is nothing more.

It is relative.

That given the inherent relativity in the structure and meaning of our lives there can be no purpose beyond the purposive force of the individual will.

It is relative

Among those who hold to these relativistic views, individuals are more and less adamant about the central proposition, that there is no truth.

Some would unequivocally deny that there is any universal truth at all, while others would admit to the possibility of such universals, and at the same time asserting they are beyond our comprehension, inexpressible in human language, and thereby moot.

Philosophical relativism endorses the notion that the quest for knowledge is a futile endeavor.

This is futilism, relativistic-futilism.

This school of thought suggests that nothing can be known, that there is no truth, and that to question anything is an exercise in futility.

The futilist demands that people do not analyze their lives.

The futilist does not believe that people are able to make common bonds based on a common understanding.

Relativistic-futilism permits any idea, permits all ideas, all thought processes, every emotional reaction, regardless of the way in which they might contradict one-another.

For the relativistic futilist, all social norms are equivalent, disregarding evidence, ignoring logic, reason, and scientific deduction.

There is the no truth, each person has their own reality, everything is false, our lives are illusions.

The futilist will state that the human mind is a vehicle, not bound by the laws of reality.

The futilist will reject logic, because logic has rules, dictating the use of inflexible parameters that govern thought.

These intellectuals will say that nothing can be known for certain, because no-thing can be proven.

It is true that the meanings and values ascribed to words and symbols are dependent upon the agreement of the parties in communication.

This is true, nothing can be taken for granted

We agree that 2 + 2 = 4 because we agree on the value assigned to the numerals two and four, and we agree on their value in relation to each other.

We are able to do arithmetic and speak to one another in the arithmetical language because of this.

Our ancestors were able to chart the progress of the planets and the stars in their movement across the night sky because of this.

Because of this, we are able to build skyscrapers and bridges, airplanes and rockets, to construct telescopes, draw maps, make charts and navigate.

We are able to split the atom, send and receive radio transmissions, digital communications, watch television, listen to music, write letters, send mail, send e-mail and all manner of other things that make up the fabric of our life in the 21st century.

When the relativistic-futilist states that no-thing can be known for certain, they have planted the seed of their argument's undoing

If knowledge of the truth is something impossible to arrive at, then no premise for any argument can be established, this includes the premises that support the arguments of the relativistic-futilist themselves

The relativistic-futilist must remain true to the principles of uncertainty that they adhere to, and because of this, the futilist should not speak or write, and afflict the rest of us with their non-sense.

A genuine belief in relativistic-futilism should manifest itself in the lives of its adherents as intellectual paralysis.

Sadly, this is not the case.

The relativistic-futilist commonly asserts their point of view as if it were the only universal truth that may be apprehended by the human mind, they will disallow logic, dismiss the constructions of reason, and berate intellect on every other front.

They will say that intellectualism is weak, limited, and subject to personal and societal conditioning.

They will say that all personal judgements are merely individual perceptions whose conclusions are dominated by the prevailing culture.

While those criticisms are reasonable, they are not ultimately determinative of anything.

The futilist will ignore those same factors when they assert that the validity of their own arguments, and thereby deny themselves, for nothing can be considered true, known or proven in the relativistic scheme.

How can any-thing, idea or concept be true if everything is uncertain?

Catch 22, nothing can…

The arguments of the relativistic-futilist amount to intellectual laziness, and should be rejected.

I exist, I know this. It is true. I do not require Descartes’ cogito to arrive at this conclusion.

It was never in doubt; my life, my breath, my hunger, my direct contact with reality confirms this for me.

I am real, that is true, and so are you. That much I know, if I know nothing else I do know that. The world around me is not a figment of imagination.

Reason allows me to extend this understanding to all of reality. As logic follows, I am required to acknowledge each thing, and each person in my experience, existing independently from my perception of it.

This is not to say that I understand them perfectly, that I am able to see them in the full spectrum of light, or that I know their story, and its antecedents.

That is not necessary.

The basic fact of their existence is not subject to a relativistic point of view.

That much is certain.

I will not except the idea that I am illusion, a figment of some other imagination. That is contrary to the health and well-being of my ego, and my experience contradicts it.

I will also not assume that everything I experience is a figment of my imagination, that the reality I witness is dependent on my perception, such a level of megalomaniacalism is ridiculous.

I am real, that is true, and so are you.