I had the wonderful privilege of talking to a fellow human being who seemed to share my miserably hopeless sentiment toward the direction humanity is taking. During my insightful conversation with this person, I was able to find peace in the fact that there exist other people, possibly, who share a similar externalized existential crisis wherein one becomes hopeless, not by what’s happening to their immediate selves, but to their society as a whole. After all, to these kinds of enlightened individuals, it is not their personal legacy that they want secured when they are inevitably met with by the grim reaper, but rather the future directions and prospects of humanity as a whole. Because for what is all this hedonism good for, of wanting to make scientific discoveries, write papers and a longing to be recognized for it if all this is destined to go to waste. What if the people who are to come no more in virtue, of no more substance to their character than those who walk this planet today? With this, I concede that most people are very narrow, they only concern themselves enough to secure their own personal legacy. They might put their names on buildings, build structures that draw awe and signal grandeur – and these are just some of the many manifestations of ‘immortality projects’ these unenlightened men may take upon themselves.
I’m in no spirit to pen a detailed and cohesive post on my reflections upon the Stoic life philosophy, but I will save you the essence of what I’d like to be known.
Part I: Metaphysical reflections
The biggest corrupting influences I can think of, in order, are: Continue reading
In today’s installment, I wish to present my arguments against a sexually-liberated society as it is observed in the progressive parts of the Western world. I want to explicitly state for the record that I don’t contest it personally, and that I still hold sexually-liberated societies, when maintained within healthy bounds, to be a driver toward the general well-being of the population. With that said, what is it about sexual liberation that got me all worked up?
the central doctrine of utilitarianism is to do only what feels good when it is accepted by society
By definition, a sexually-liberated society is one where men and women partake in sexual encounters, notably in a casual setting, without the looming threat of being disowned by one’s society or judged for that matter. Sexually liberated societies are not new by any means. Perhaps a notable parallel to our present-day society can be observed in the Roman empire at its epitome of civilization. I often like to define the peak of any civilization as such time when it allows its members to indulge without moral restraint in the many pleasures derived from food, drink and sex. This may be fueled by prosperity – and may be used in some regards as a measure of how well a civilization has flourished to be able to cater so needlessly to its members. The Romans in other words, during the time before they fell, were over-indulging in their own virtues – and they did it for too long and without restraint. Continue reading
In this post, I will assume a methodological flow beginning from the establishment of what should ideally constitute the dialectical process, and using our knowledge of the female cognitive process and decision-making correlates in developing a dialectical manipulation theory suited for females. With that said, it is obvious that this post is assuming key differences between the cognitive structures between men and women, at the neurological level. I will also hypothesize some cognitive routines men and women might use foundational to their decisions, regressing from some obvious economic and social behaviors. The analysis assumed will be post hoc, as I will try to theorize the underlying sociological, psychological and anthropological mechanisms from correlations that manifest superficially.
With the epistemology set straight, I want to shed light on the dialectic method of discourse. Dialectics differ from logic-oriented debate in two key domains – one, in the fact that it’s premises aren’t necessarily rational and two, in its ability to constrict the logical flow to one direction only i.e., deductively. This has prompted some people to dub dialectics as the “corruption of deductive reasoning” – I agree wholly to this notion. While the contemporary dialectic has been attributed largely to Hegel, the foundations for this sort of epistemological discourse was laid by Kant in his Critiques. The popular attribution to Hegel might stem from the fact that this method, of corrupting the reasoning of the subject, has been politically weaponized by later philosophers like Marx and its frequent use among conspiracy theorists. The Hegelian dialectic, or more abstractly, the Kantian dialectic, when weaponized, provides the illusion of freedom of choice while simultaneously convincing the subject of the apparent rationality of their conclusions. In other words, the subject whose reasoning is reduced to a dialectic one may be easily manipulated. But there still exists a vulnerability in this seemingly fool-proof technique.
Individuals who are in high possession of rational faculties will see through the irrational premises easily. The premises often used in the dialectical method, or more accurately, the thesis and anti-thesis, are rhetorical. They appeal to the emotional faculties of the subject. I, for instance, who considers myself to be a rational individual prefers to avoid employing rhetorical devices in my speech and writing. Why? Because rhetorics are innately fallacious in their appeals to emotions and they leave a lot of information open to interpretation. They do this by reconciling with the cultural system operating around the subject. A mastery of rhetorical dialectic might only be accomplished through a post hoc analysis of the target cultural system.
dialectical thinking is the corruption of deductive reasoning…
Stoicism, to me, is far from being the pursuit of happiness. It is instead self-sufficiency attained by absolving the emotional imperative in life through an extensive and rational evaluation of oneself, which neither brings happiness nor sadness. It is equanimity.
In my previous post about coping strategies for emotional suffering and trauma, I had postulated that being narcissistic is one excellent and fool-proof way – and this was back when my knowledge in this wonderful Hellenistic school was at its infancy. Now that I can safely regard myself as a practicing Stoic, how did I tie that in with my past subscription to narcissism? The form of narcissism I’d advocated had its premises not in the reluctance to uphold virtue, in holding an ignorant and over-inflated ego but rather in the autonomy from society. Most people are evolutionary conditioned to predicate their social, economic and life decisions upon the repercussions it might have on one’s social standing. Women are particularly susceptible to this sort of social behavior. Men are too, but only to a lesser degree. Narcissism, in the context of social autonomy, refers to the individual’s ability to operate autonomously, or without the influence, from the many dictates of society. This lack of social autonomy is regarded in my philosophy as a massive hindrance to self-actualization and personal enlightenment.
internalize, internalize everything!
Throughout history and in parallels observable in the present-day, there are keen differences in the many institutions of culture, economy and polity between civilizations. But these differences, when abstracted, generally seem to share one common premise somewhere in the garbled causality links. The premise is the philosophy of Romanticism.
To give you a little historical insight, Romanticism is the philosophical movement that shaped up in a post-industrial Western Europe in the mid-18th century. It is believed to have been instigated by the poets, artists and philosophers in response to the paradigm shifts brought on by industrialization and the intimidating perplexities of modern civilization. These artists and poets thought that Romantic ideas were inherently what held the sanctity of the individual together, in attachment with their free and creative and spiritual side. Note that I use the words free and spiritual freely here – our discussion here pertains to a life philosophy, not one of epistemology or metaphysics. This idealism prompted the romantically-distraught to wage a war against the industrial establishment in their passionately-worded literature, paintings and philosophy. The cultural movement that manifested out of this collective ambition is then believed to have vastly set apart the post-industrial Western civilization from all others that were falling steadfastly into the age of industrialization.
Regressing through almost every civilization, excluding the West, one can distinctly see how the institutions of culture are designed to benefit the collective ambition of their peoples. Some markers may include those belonging to markets and society, for instance. Marriage is an apt contender to gain a deeper perspective on the lack of Romantic ideas in Eastern and Islamic cultures. I say this because the idea of wedlock adapted for the modern, post-industrial society calls upon a monogamous relationship on the part of the male subject and a hypergamous practice on the part of the female that draws upon a system of meritocratic honor. In the East, parents and extended family members are tasked with marrying off their children. This system, however contradictory to our evolutionary conditioning, orients the individual’s life decisions toward the greater prosperity of their family, and ultimately, society. Education isn’t much farther either, with much of what students learn aligning with the prevailing market scene. To these cultures, it is not the individual that is important, but the collective ambition and sustenance of their peoples. To them, the individual’s welfare is contained in their collective prosperity, rendering an ego-centric culture obsolete.
the cultural doctrine that one should live a life they want and do as they desire is unique to the West
Education is believed to be the liberation of the mind, but is it anymore? Or was it ever? We are constantly fed with these age-old preconceived notions about education from society. And sometimes directly from the people who are meant to be educating us, almost creating a moral paradox! They tell us that school will enrich our creativity. They tell us how the intrinsic, natural creativity of the human mind is a speckles’ worth in contrast to the mind that has endured years of methodological indoctrination and testing. But are these notions valid? Or are we (they) confusing one thing for another? What are the drivers of education? How is it intertwined with the prevailing cultural and economical scene? These are some of the pressing questions that surfaces when one fundamentally re-examines the very concept of education that much of civilization has held on to dearly for decades, if not centuries. After years of school and college, it’s about time for us to step away from the tradition of receiving grades to being the ones to grade our education system.
Like every other endeavor of human civilization, education is one that has had its movements and reforms. From the early attempts at systematic indoctrination in religious and philosophical schools to the modern system consisting of graduated learning levels from elementary to graduate school, there are unmistakable commonalities to the keen eyes. From the times of the ancient Greek civilization, the Platonic academy and the two men, Socrates and Aristotle who surrounded his legacy to the Huehuetlatolli of the Aztecs to the madrasas of the Islamic world to the Vedic teachings of Indus Valley civilization – the earliest attempts of systematic indoctrination were based on the moral code essential to the functioning of early society. Their teachings were subjective to each civilization and time period, and very further subjective to the teacher or master leading the congregation. Education was simply restricted geographically and lost its relevance with the natural progression of civilization and the spread of ideas. Perhaps one of the most notable cultural exchange of the early days happened with the Silk Route, in a time when education was still in its infancy.
philosophy came to be the grand unifying force for many culturally-divested schools of education
The dual inheritance theory, also known as the theory of coevolution states that individuals and groups evolve with their environment and their associated clan bound by their genetic predispositions. The clan may have its own language, culture and other societal characteristic that will influence the outcome of an individual in terms of his personality traits, thought patterns and instinctual habits, or implicit responses. The people, it can be inferred from this hypothesis, evolve as part and parcel of their societal constructs, such as culture, and its many underlying mechanisms of interactions and reciprocation with anthropological and biological constructs such as genetics. The underlying workings may be complex but the upper-level manifestations can be empirically observed and easily correlated with a certain clan. In such event a member be separated from his clan, he will naturally seek out to his ilk driven by his own reward system. Yes, you read that right, genetic factors differently predispose people to life experiences. Whether its abusing substance or love-making, your brain responds differently to the same neurotransmitters and chemicals in your bloodstream simply because genetics compels them to be utilized and reciprocated differently by the body.
the internal reward system supremely concedes any external factors
In this short opinion post, I will use anecdotes from my life to personally validate the coevolution theory. The internal, neurotransmitter-based reward system supremely concedes any external influences to behavior, and individuals predisposed with certain biological attributes from their clan will naturally, over the discourse of time, seek to his kind and companionship. While this is the vastly observed case, not all do this, like me for instance. This post is dedicated to understanding why some selective individuals may liberate completely from their roots leaving no fragment of their natural identity left with them. Continue reading
When former Google employee James Damore came out with his lengthy memo on the biological differences between the sexes in the context of the the workplace and the prevailing gender gap – what seemed like a seemingly harmless, scientifically-sound story morphed into one of the biggest controversies of 2017 from Silicon Valley after sexual allegations against ride-sharing giant Uber and Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. The left traditionally likes to throw opinions and even facts of such nature under the moral radar – often alienating the ideologically indifferent perpetrator or labelling them all sorts of nasty things in an attempt to subdue their voices – and very unfortunately for the most of us, the technological establishment has tremendously leaned left over the past couple years. This totalitarianism of an ideology is exactly what Damore and several conservative and centrist millennials like myself want to challenge and bring into limelight without the looming threat of disownment by society. Continue reading
I am a firm believer in the notion of culture existing as the practical realization of religion. Religion, in this context, may extend to other practical realizations of societal order such as the tribe-like settlements of the early day, empires, and modern political systems. Culture plays a vital role in religious indoctrination of its clan, and without it some pragmatic religions would become obsolete. Inbreeding and collectivism therefore emerged out of tribe-like settlements of early humans that went on to safeguard and transcend cultural doctrines and operatives through the generations. Some cultures moved past those conventions while others didn’t – this post will be dedicated to understanding the evolution of present-day cultures adapting to the ever-changing needs of man and the need for such culture.
[Also included in this section is a lengthy introduction that will be foundational to upcoming sections. I might seem to use culture and society interchangeably, but society should refer to a people’s culture, accounting for their demography while culture is an ideologically constituent part of a demography. Cultural ideology on a whole encompasses the theological and philosophical realms.]
An innate desire to creatively and artistically express oneself is among the fundamental of human wills. I’ve often emphasized my theory of cognition and religion and culture being as one closely woven net, almost like an inseparable fabric. As a result of my insistence of the mentioned, I’ve managed to offend many people. Culture encompasses the various demographic intricacies operating in one’s immediacy – these include popular theological and philosophical ideas, geography and race and complex environmental feedback mechanisms. Religion refers to the majority religion among a demography that influences their theological ideology as mentioned above. Cognition, in this context, is defined as an individual’s ability to perform tasks of reading and writing, comprehending and reproducing information effectively and efficiently with respect to some statistical benchmark. Like gravity, IQ and other metrics of cognitive ability are all relative – and it wouldn’t do justice to compare the IQ of a chimpanzee with a gorilla. Just like the animals, I believe every civilization, over time, with the aforementioned factors of complexity, developed a standard cognition among their people that we call today as average – like the international average IQ of 100. Inductively reasoning from present-day IQs of many civilizations might be key to understanding their culture and religions.
Metrics such as the popular IQ measure an individual’s ability to perform specialized tasks by narrowing down with the specifics at hand. It is iterative and systematic. You could train your brain with IQ tests for a couple weeks leading up to your counsellor’s appointment and pull off a few 10 or more points on your existing IQ. Such cognitive metrics measure how well your brain has specialized – from the time of birth, that is. I believe as one gets older and leaves childhood, IQ is no longer a complete and holistic measure of one’s cognition. Therefore, a fair measure of brain function would be accomplished through divergent reasoning. Divergent tests measure the collocially-called creativity metric – also a statistical measure of how well an individual’s brain is divisive. As one progresses in age with experience, this divergent and rather chaotic type of cognition manifests into convergent cognition. Everything from the simple essay prompts to analytical problem solving can be employed in the task of measuring this lesser-known type of cognition.