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Assaults on Reality and Knowledge

There are two perennial assaults on the human mind that once again dominate those aspects of human society generally associated with intellectual pursuits, academia, philosophy, and literature. These assaults take many forms but are always directed against the two things necessary to human reason and sanity, reality and knowledge.

The first assault is a repudiation of reality itself which declares the world, or universe, we are conscious of is not "real," but is only an illusion, or impression, or has a nature that is completely different from the nature it seems to have. The other assault claims that whatever reality is, it is impossible for us to know it.

Religionists of very stripe, from Hinduism to Christianity, have promoted these views to some extent, but the worst of these assaults have come from the field of philosophy, and is much more dangerous and destructive than any of the mystic or superstitious ideas coming from religion.

I have no intention of recording the history of these assaults, but will mentioned some of the sources that still infect philosophy, and have actually come to dominate that field today. Such ideas began with the sophists, and the chief sophist was Plato who argued that the world we perceive is only a "shadow" world (like shadows cast on a cave wall) and unlike the real world in any way. He did for knowledge the same kind of hatchet job, declaring that our "ideas" were only reflections of "real" universal ideas existing somewhere. This abomination was given the obscene name, "realism."

In various forms, the notion that reality has some nature different from the one we are conscious of, and that it is impossible for us to have any real or certain knowledge about it was reiterated in various forms throughout history, most notoriously by Hume, and Kant, and most famously and recently, the post modernists.

There have been a few philosophers who attempted to counter these assaults on reality and knowledge, but only a handful, such as Aristotle, Abelard, William of Occom, Bacon, Locke, and most recently Ayn Rand.

One purpose of my own philosophy is to establish unequivocally the certainty that the world we are conscious of is reality and it is exactly as we perceive it to be, and that we can know this real world and use that knowledge to live happily and successfully in it.

Minds of Mush

Many people are bewildered today by almost everything they see, hear, and read. For those without an academic or philosophical background, the policies of their governments, what is being taught in the schools, the "explanations" of news events, as well as the events themselves, do not make any sense at all. They conclude that either the world has gone completely insane, or they have some kind of mental defect that makes them unable to fathom any of these things. Let me assure those people, their first estimate is the correct one, the world has gone insane, because it's intellectual's brains have been turned to mush.

The following are gleanings from a long discussion on a forum, discussing the nature of reason and knowledge. The first two paragraphs are a summation I posted to some earlier comments. Following that are some of the actual conversations. If you are unfamiliar with what is being taught in universities and almost universally held by intellectuals in every field today, you may be shocked.

At the end I'll explain just how evil these assaults are, and why this is the real intellectual battle-ground of the day.

Some Comments

One purpose of language is communication, but it is not the first or primary purpose. Before we can communicate anything we must know something. That is the primary purpose of language. It is the means by which we make concepts something we can use.

For example, suppose some idiot claims he can think without language. Well, if that is true, he ought to be able to explain to us how he does it, without using language. Now, if he cannot explain it to us without using language, how did he explain it to himself. That is, after all, what thinking really is.

Some people think there is no point in being careful about how their mind works or how they use them. What difference does it make if one does not bother to distinguish between, percepts, feelings, concepts (thoughts), or imaginations. Well, if your mind is a mush, I guess it doesn't matter.

Some of that mushiness is the direct consequence of people's very loose use of language, such as equating just anything that goes on in people's heads with "thinking," and just anything one is conscious of as "knowledge." This confusion reigns throughout this conversation.

Some Discussions

[Note: In the following, comments to me are italicized. My comments are in plain text.]

I think what we do at night when we're sleeping ---the dreams and nightmares are an example of thinking without words.

You have well explained what people mean when they say they "think without words." Those who do it in the daytime are those who have never quite figured out the difference between their dream state and the awake state. This goes a long way toward explaining the bizarre and absurd things such people believe.

...dreams and nightmares are symbolic but they are our way of making sense of everything ...

This is no doubt true of the psychotic whose consciousness consists of unexplained and causeless feelings and desires, mystical experiences, and the constant sense of terror that the world is a mysterious and unpredictable nightmare and he is inadequate to deal with it.

For the rational, study and reason are used to comprehend the nature of the world and their own nature. This comprehension is called knowledge. The product of this process is a non-contradictory hierarchy by which rational people "make sense of everything."

It is very sad that in this age people can believe their deepest form of thinking is dreams and nightmares. You did choose the right word, "deep," however. The "highest" kind of thinking, is that clear, lucid, and cognitive reason that ruthlessly demands truth which can only be understood by means of explicit concepts which are comprehended by means of words, that is, language.

To promote a non-linguistic form of consciousness is to promote a kind of insanity. A non-linguistic consciousness is appropriate to the irrational animals, in human beings, it is sickness.

As you likely know, reason/logic requires the subject to be limited, in order to apply the rules of logic. In other words, it can only be used to "know" a subset of reality.

It is true, reason does not make one omniscient. But, if we are to know anything about reality (which I define as all that is, the way it is), reason is the method we must use, because the ability reason is the only faculty human beings have to understand things and make jusdgements about what is true and what is not true.

...more than we can know by using pure sense data/empiricism, but less than we can know of reality in total.

This is a little confusing to me, but what I think you mean is that we can be conscious of a great deal (for example, we can see a vast universe at night) but by reason can only reach a partial understanding of all that we are conscious of. If this is what you mean, I think it is a mistake to use the word "know" for that which we are only conscious of. I understand it is a common use of the word, but in an epistemological sense, we only know what we have conceptually non-contradictorily identified and integrated with everything else we know.

First, perception, is an inaccurate sense instrument. If I see and feel snakes crawling inside me eating their way to my heart - and no one believed me or would help, cutting open my body to get them out, to save myself, would be a perfectly logical deduction: I'm being killed, only I can stop them, I must stop them to survive…

Still I'm insane, psychotic. Not by a broken instrument of reasoning, but by a broken instrument of perception.

That is incorrect. The percepts are never wrong. What we perceive, we perceive. If we are deceived by perception, the deception is caused by our reasoning about what we perceive. If I see a stick in water that appears "bent" because of the way water refracts the light, if I conclude the stick is indeed bent, I have made a mistake in my reasoning, because I am ignorant about the refraction of light, for example. The stick really does appear bent, and the appearance is good information (about water and the refraction of light). It's my reasoning that is faulty if I believe it is actually bent.

In your example, if a person has feelings, however sophisticated they are, the feelings do not explain their own cause. We learn a lot about our internal feelings and can usually identify the difference between a gas pain and something more serious, but not always.

The identification of internal feelings is at the conceptual level of consciousness. If one identifies some internal feelings as, "snakes crawling inside them," and has even gone so far as to identify their intention, "to eat their way to the heart," that is a great deal of reasoning about the feeling. Someone who could reason correctly would make every attempt to carefully analyze and ensure his interpretation of the feelings was correct, before taking some kind of rash action. An xray ought to do it.

Second, you neglect value-knowledge. If I know that my personal sense pleasure is the highest and only value, then rape, drugs, stealing, killing… become logical actions ...

Good grief, man, I know you have not thought this through. Do you think people do not have a specific kind of nature, that they can do just anything, and what they do has no consequences, to their minds, to their bodies, and to their lives?

Even if you are hedonist, which is what you call someone who believes, "personal sense pleasure is the highest and only value," (a philosophy both evil and absurd), rape, drugs, stealing, and killing, could not possibly be the, "logically," correct course, because they would surely cause the opposite of what you seek, that is, pain, suffering, and fear, not pleasure.

But of course, pleasure is not the ultimate human objective. The ultimate human objective, like the objective of all living creature, is to live in whatever way their nature requires them to live successfully and to enjoy their lives. It takes all of philosophy, of course, to answer all the question here.

A concept is a subset by definition.

What definition would that be. I have never read such a definition, and it is certainly not mine. What would a concept be a subset of? (Certainly, some concepts are subsets of other concepts, but not all are.)

It abstracts something from the thing itself.

No, a concept does not actually "do" anything. It is the means of comprehending the non-contradictory identification of an existent or a class or category of existents.

The formation of concepts involves both the process of abstraction and integration.

Perhaps we would both agree, this necessary limits "knowable" reality to a subset.

No, I do not agree with this at all.

... we have a great deal of non-conceptual knowledge. Simple examples: We can, and early on do, know that the sun warms us - without knowing the word or concept for sun or warm. We can know what being cleansed is without knowing the word or concept for water. To me, the requirement of a concept for this is like saying if I use "aqua" and you say "water," we don't know the same thing. We know by direct personal experience, whether we conceptualize the experience or not. ...

One of the problems is our loose way of using language. In every day speech we use words differently, more generally, then when attempting to understand things philosophically. For example, on this thread, many people are using the word, "thinking," for anything that goes on in their heads, from imagination to dreams, just as you are using the world "know" to mean just anything one is conscious of. In every day language, that might be OK.

In a philosophical discussion, thinking pertains only to the use of reason, by means of concepts, to answer question, to attempt to understand things, and to make judgments and decisions. Knowledge means that which one has, by means of reason, come to understand, and includes all that one comprehends by means of concepts. Epistemology pertains only to knowledge in this sense.

You have badly confused perception with knowledge. Certainly any animal is aware of being warmed by the sun, just as child would be, but that is now knowledge. Not until what one is aware is identified by a concept is it knowledge, which among other things, makes it possible to think about things we are not directly perceiving. A child or an animal might appreciate the warmth of the sun while it is feeling, but neither can think later that evening, "boy that warm sun felt good today."

You are using the word "know" to mean whatever one experiences, that is, is conscious of. In the philosophical sense, that is not knowledge, it is not cognitive, it is nothing more than any conscious animal does. The kind of knowledge philosophy deals with is the kind that only human beings are capable of and requires language.

So, I'd like to ask a few obviously loaded questions: Does absolute truth exist (in reality)? Can you know of one? Can you use logic to know it, i.e., prove it is an absolute truth using the tools of logic alone?

I do not know what people mean by "absolute truth." Truth is a quality. It pertains to statements or propositions. It is the quality of all statements which say something correctly about some aspect of reality. Every statement about any aspect of reality which is correct is true. Every statement about any aspect of reality which is incorrect, is false.

If you mean by, "absolute truth," is there anything that can be said about any aspect of reality which is absolutely true, there are an infinite number of absolute truths. If you mean, "absolute truth," in any other sense, there is no such thing; it has no meaning.

As for knowing an absolute truth, not only I, but you, and almost all people know many absolute truths. Every "fact," if known is an absolute truth. If there are trees in your back yard and you know it, "there are trees in my back yard," is an absolute truth. If you expect "absolute truth" to be some mystic thing, which I think most people do, it is just superstition, and very bad philosophy.

I also have difficulty knowing what other people mean when they say, "can you prove," something. Especially when they add, "using only logic." In the first place, the purpose of proof is not to settle arguments, except possibly in a court of law. Otherwise, the only purpose of proof is to insure our own thinking is correct. We ought to be able to prove the methods of reason we use in coming to our own conclusions are correct, to insure what we know is true.

But most people mean by, "can you prove," such'n'such, "can you prove it to me." Well, in most cases, the answer is no, and the reasons are generally one of the following: 1. this particular thing requires years of study to understand and it cannot be "proved" to anyone not willing to make the effort to understand it, 2. it is too difficult; while the calculus is obviously a correct mathematical method for solving certain kinds of problems, it could not be proved to most people who are incapable of comprehending it, and 3. most people really do not want to understand the truth and their demand for "proof" is really a means of obfuscating or evading the truth.

Ihe mind has no alternative but to think in symbols. You can't stuff real objects in there. And yes, symbols are "reductionist" because they represent things to the mind that never are the things themselves. Reality is always richer than the abstractions we draw from it. I don't see any irony or hypocrisy here, it's just the way things are. If you doubt this, try thinking without using symbols and see how far you get.

No, no, no. This is all wrong!

First, it confuses words (symbols) for concepts. Words only represent concepts.

It is only by concepts that we know anything of the richness of reality. The mistake you have made and that most people make when they think language is limiting, is a misunderstanding of what concepts are.

You said: Reality is always richer than the abstractions we draw from it. The process of forming concepts, however, is both abstraction and integration, which those who do not have a sound epistemology almost always misunderstand. A concept is not a little abstraction from some more solid and rich concrete. The concept of "bird" for example, is not a mental line drawing of a bird.

A word is a symbol which represents a concept. A definition serves to indicate what concept a symbol represents. Neither of these, however, is the meaning of a concept.

Except for "particular" concepts (Joe, this dog, my wife), the meaning of a concept is every possible, past, present or future, particular or unit subsumed by that concept. For example, bird means, any bird of any kind that has ever been or ever will be. The process by which the concept is formed is both abstraction and integration. It first integrates all birds into a single concept by means of those qualities which are common to all birds, without which they would not be birds. These are the essential qualities which every unit of the concept will have. It abstracts all those qualities of birds which differentiate them in the real world, like size, shape, color, habit, habitat, diet, but includes them as possible qualities of any unit of the concept. [The ancients called the possible qualities "accidentals."] The meaning of a concept is every possible unit, with all the actual qualities and characteristics (both essential and accidental) of each actual unit.

Without concepts, we would be able to see birds, just as any animal does, but we would never be able to identify that the robin we just saw and the hawk overhead are both birds. We would never know that the birds we saw yesterday are the same kind we are seeing today. We would never be able to study how birds fly, and learn from that how to fly ourselves.

The real world without concepts is very rich. I'm sure my kitty's world is interesting to her. Without concepts, that is the only world we could know, however. To understand the connection between things, to know there are relationships between the stars in the heavens and the objects of the everyday world below, to know that what I do today has consequences tomorrow is only possible by means of concepts, and concepts are only possible if we have some concrete way of grasping, remembering, and referring to them, and that way is symbols, words, or language.

The only way we know there is a rich reality is by means of concepts, and the only way we have for representing concepts is words. Without words, there would be no language, no poetry, no literature, no science, no theater, nothing which makes human life rich. Without words, the mind would be concrete bound, able only to apprehend one's immediate experience, never able to make a connection to anything else. Without words, there would be no meaning.

To deplore words is to deplore the only means to a rich and meaningful existence.

You say that concepts are not just abstractions from reality, but integrations of various aspects of it. That is, they are good things that "add value."

This is an example of what is wrong with attempting to discuss very broad subjects, like epistemology, in a piecemeal fashion like this. I did not say concepts are either or both abstractions or integrations, but the process of forming them uses abstraction and integration. The result of the process is the concept, but a concept is an identification, in most cases, of a class or category existents. But a concept does not just identify them as a random collection of things, but means something specific about them, that is, their nature which is what makes them members of the same class or category, which is what the essential qualities do.

A concept does not "add" anything, it only identifies what is already so in reality, but could not be apprehended otherwise.

What a concept does is enable us to identify things, like birds, the to distinguish between variations of them, like song birds and hawks, which we could not do without them.

Concepts as such are limited in that regard; they tend to focus on the generic, but are fairly useless when it comes to dealing with the particularity of things they putatively describe or apply to.

No, concepts focus on the actual nature of existents so their similarity, differences, and relationships (their real qualities) can be identified. This is all we can know about any aspect of reality. Concepts enable us to do it.

To try to put it another way, if you resist the idea that "reality is always richer than the concepts that can be derived (or abstracted) from it ..."

But concepts are not "abstracted" from it, they identify it, so we can know it, which otherwise we cannot...

then the only alternative argument I see is that concepts are reductions of reality intending to stand in for it.

But what is this word you keep using, "reality." Does it mean anything? Does it just "stand in" for what you mean, or does it represent a concept, a concept for what you mean by "reality?"

Fair enough as far as it goes, Regi. But this treatment of the issue loses the idea that reality is not at all dependent on my (or your) conceptualization of it in language.

Of course it doesn't lose the idea "that reality is not at all dependent on my (or your) conceptualization of it in language." Before a concept can be formed, it must first recognize that what it identifies is what it is, and its existence and nature is independent of anyone's observation or comprehension of it. This is necessary because a concept identifies what is, as it is, independent of anyone's whim's, wishes, desires, thoughts, or concepts. The concept doesn't do anything to any aspect of reality, it enables us to identify and recognize it.

[Concerning a color-blind person.] You saw grey, your perception was in error ...

How can it be in error? For the kind of physiological "eyes" the color blind person has, grey is the correct information. When you see "red," for example, your actual perception might be the same as my "blue," but both of us would agree when pointing to something of that color that it is red. It is not the subjective experience that is "right" or "wrong." It can be neither, because it is whatever it is. Perceptions make no judgment or interpretation, they just are. Right and wrong, true and false pertain only to judgments or statements.

I think I know where our problem is. It is obvious reason cannot reason about nothing. But existence and consciousness are axiomatic to me. Existence is that which I am directly conscious of, however I am conscious of it, and all my reasoning is about that. Of course we must be conscious of something before we can reason about it.

Now, blind people, deaf people, and people with any other kinds of perceptual handicaps are able to learn everything about the material world that those without the handicaps are able to learn. If differences in perception were erroneous information about the world, only those with perfect perception would be able to learn science, for example, or history or anything else.

A few year ago some scientist asked some students to wear special glasses as part of an experiment. These glasses cause everything to appear upside down. Within a couple of days, the students wearing the glasses no longer saw things upside down.

In this case we know the sensory information reaching the brain was "incorrect," as you would put it. It did not matter. Even at the pre-cognitive level of consciousness, the data was "corrected."

You quoted me: "The ultimate human objective is to live in whatever way their nature requires them to live successfully and to enjoy their lives."

Then said: By "ultimate" do you mean highest/most developed/most significant (a qualitative value definition), or do you mean the "last" or final objective?

Both, I suppose. Any system of values is hierarchical in nature. Values define what things one should seek to achieve, gain, and keep, and what things one should shun, avoid, and eliminate, but such a system requires a primary or highest value, an "ideal" if you like, that all other values are directed toward.

It is this highest value or ideal that I meant by ultimate human objective. But, if one is successful, of course, at the conclusion of one's life, they will have achieved that ideal. So, it is both.

Next, of course, I'll ask for a proper logical proof of your statement's truth.

You could ask it, but I do not think you understand what is being said. It is not the kind of thing one proves. If I tell my child, learning the times tables will make all of mathematics easier, once you have learned them, it is not something I would or ought to attempt to prove, and he either will or won't learn the truth of it to his benefit or detriment.

Values pertain to only one class of existents, living organisms. Things can only be good or bad in relationship to some objective or purpose, and only living things have a purpose. The ultimate purpose or objective of any organism is its own existence. All of its behavior is directed toward that end.

Only one class or organisms requires a system of values. Human beings. The nature of all other organisms provides an automatic pattern of behavior appropriate to the requirements of their nature that guarantees, within the environment and conditions required, the survival of the organism. This automatic pattern of behavior is called instinct.

Human beings do not have an automatic pattern of behavior that guarantees they will behave in a way appropriate to the requirements of their nature. They must learn what the requirements of their nature are, and what kind of behavior, action, and choices are appropriate to that nature.

We mean by "enjoying one's life" that state in which a human being is doing what is appropriate to the requirements of their nature and they know it.

Since any more would require a complete exposition of my theory of ethics, I stop here.

It's untrue that the concept "doesn't do anything to any aspect of reality."

Except for the fact that our thoughts and knowledge are aspects of reality, and concepts are the means by which we think and know, concepts do nothing else to reality. Concepts only identify aspects of reality, and that is all they do.

When I say, "Bobby Bell is intelligent, patient, thoughtful, and little stubborn," I do not mean the word(s) "Bobby Bell" is intelligent, patient, etc. or that my concept of "Bobby Bell" is intelligent, patient, etc., but, that the real person that uses the screen name "Bobby Bell" is intelligent, patient, thoughtful, and little stubborn.

When I write "Bobby Bell," I am using it is a term (symbol) for my concept "Bobby Bell," but that concept means, the actual Bobby Bell, with all the qualities and characteristics Bobby Bell has, and all that I already know about Bobby Bell or will ever know, or could know but never will know. The meaning of the concept is the real and actual Bobby Bell and everything that is true about Bobby Bell, it means you.

The concept has no other purpose than to identify you, with all that is possible about you, whether anything other than what must be known to identify you is known or not.

(Illustration: The judge asks the witness, "is the guilty person in the court room." The witness answers, "yes." The judge asks, "which person is it." The witness answer, a), "it is Harry Witham," or b) the witness answers by pointing to the guilty party. Harry Witham is a concept used to identify a real existent. It does no more, however, than the pointing finger, and, in actuality that is all a concept ever does.) Concepts aren't pure mirrors, limpidly imaging reality without distortion.

Here is the misconception about what a concept is, no doubt the lingering influence of Plato and Hume. Concepts are not mirrors at all, pure or impure. They are not "miniature" pictures, or symbolic representations of anything. I repeat, they are only identifications of real things. (By the way, those real things are not only physical or material entities, they are also events, relationships, and qualities, and aspects of consciousness, and elements of language, such as verbs and prepositions. Certainly you wouldn't use the analogy of a mirror for the concept of a gerund. What is being reflected?

Here is a question I have for everyone that is certain our consciousness in any way is a distortion of reality, like an imperfect mirror. How could you possibly know what a distorted image was, if you did not already know what an undistorted image would be. If all you have is distorted images, how could you possibly know it? Well you couldn't, of course, so to make any claims of distortion presumes some knowledge of undistorted consciousness. That's pure mysticism.

The upshot is that the concept and its referent in the world are not identical things at all.

That is certainly true.

If we regard reality as the test of the true, then one of the pair is "true" (i.e., the "referent in the world") and the other, an approximation of truth (i.e., the "concept").

That is certainly untrue. Since a concept only identifies a "referent" in the real world, if there is such a referent, it is absolutely true, else it is merely a fiction. (Be careful here. Most concepts are not particular concepts, that is, most do not have a single ref errant. Most concepts are for classes or categories of referents.)

To then use the approximation to test the true seems like getting the problem backward. I have no idea what you would use then. If you want to use reality as the test of truth (which we must) we must have some way of identifying things in reality, and concepts are the only way we have of doing that.

But there may be another mistake here. Concepts, all by themselves, are neither true or false. Take the concept, "Santa Claus," for example. Is it true? Well, it is neither true or false until I say something about it. If I say "Santa Claus lives in the blue house at the corner of Main and Maple streets," it is untrue. If I say, "Santa Claus is a fiction used at the Christmas season to entertain children," it is true.

[that an animal is capable of making decisions] ...by making choices that might as easily be arrived at using the precepts of formal logic?

No. Except within very narrow parameters, if you change an animals environment, it cannot make adjustment to its behavior that will allow it to survive. It will perish.

It is the conceptual level of consciousness, that is, the rational/volitional mind, that enables human beings to not only change their behavior, but even to change their environment, to achieve whatever is required for them to enjoy their lives.

Just to try to be clear about this last question...may I, or may I not assume, that reactions to sensations are capable of providing survival behavior outside the reach of such formal precept-rich environments as grammar, symbolism, or logic?

. I have already answered this.

The debate about Platonism started long before our discussion and has been engaged by some of the most gifted minds of all time. We will not settle it here, ...

Just out of curiosity, what is a "gifted mind?" Most of the people others have pointed out to me as having, "gifted minds," I've discovered only have minds that did not work quite right.

For those who want to know more about Platonism, I can save them some trouble. It is an early attempt to answer some philosophical questions. The answers Plato arrived at were mostly wrong, just as alchemy and astrology were mostly wrong. But, just as alchemy and astrology were a beginning of inquiry into those things that became chemistry and astronomy, when real knowledge of these things was acquired. Platonism was a beginning (not the beginning) of inquiry into those things that became philosophy, when real knowledge of these things was acquired. Nevertheless, Plato formulated some ideas which are useful to embrace if one wants to justify certain mystic superstitions, and some people still believe in Platonism in the same way some people still believe in astrology.

As for the rest, of course, it does not matter, because, as you say, "we are incapable of comprehending Truth objectively and in fullness, therefore no language could suffice."

Since it is this "insufficient" language you have used to say what you have said, and you are incapable of comprehending truth objectively, what you have said cannot be either objectively comprehended truth or sufficiently expressed.

Please come back when you have discovered how to objectively comprehend truth and have a language that is sufficient for expressing it.

The Battleground

As is obvious from my last, I was beginning to lose patience with all these mushy minds bent on "proving" reality was not what I know it is, and that I could not know it. I had to remind myself that these were not minds I was dealing with, but what could have been minds, but which had been destroyed by the dominant anti-philosophy of the world.

The thread containing this discussion was in response to a posted article by the "philosopher," Dallas Willare, entitled, "Absurdity of 'Thinking in Language' (The)." That paper is obviously an assault on reason, itself, and inadvertently and assault on reality and our knowledge of it. The kinds of minds that could even find an interest in a paper like this are already hopelessly mushed, but the paper is just example of the kind poisonous "intellectual" food that is being fed children and adults in every academic or intellectual arena, from grade-school to graduate schools, and all the more prestigious ... institutions of study and research.

Some of the mush-heads on that thread referenced some of their favorite producers of this intellectual poison, like Eric Voegelin, Alfred Korzybski, and Merlin Donald. I've never been able to determine if men like these are truly evil, or simply have something wrong with their minds, but the consequences of what they do are the worst of evils, the destruction of human minds.

Now the battleground is not what most think it is. This is not a battle for other men's minds, but for our own. It is not ours to convert the world, it is for us to learn the truth and to defend our own minds against the assaults of the mystics and anti-mind pseudo-intellectuals.

—(01/28/10)