Though I am convinced all ideologies are wrong and every "-ism," is mistaken, I believe every individual must use their own mind and reason to choose what to believe and that however wrong someone else might be, it is no one else's business to save them from what someone else thinks is, "the errors of their way."|
Nevertheless, I am profoundly interested in ideas, because I believe nothing but the truth that describes reality as it actually is can possibly guide one in choosing how to live successfully as a human being in this world. The significance of what I am about to say only pertains to an idea. I make no judgment of any individual who might hold such an idea, only what is wrong with the idea, which is not only very wrong but dangerous to the individuals who hold it.
What Is Religion
One cannot have their eyes open in this world without being aware that most of mankind embraces some form of religion. By religion, I only mean whatever those who claim a religion mean by it whenever they fill out a form or answer the question, "what is your religion?"
I do not have a religion so have no opinion about what religion is. In a recent forum discussion, however, one individual provided this description of what they mean by the, "religious mindset," which I take to mean what the religious have in mind when they say they are religious:
Simply, the intuitive recognition that Reality is not morally inert, that Reality has a Creator, that it is possible to know this Creator.|
As a definition or description of those religions that are generally classified as theistic, this is probably as good as any definition can be, and, sans the, "Creator," reference, probably describes any religion. The description actually includes fours significant points that rightly characterize all religions, in reverse order: First, there is a deity, (which only pertains to theistic religions—the rest pertain to all religions), Second, reality is contingent, Third, values (moral) are intrinsic, and Fourth, there is knowledge that requires neither evidence or reason. All of these points are mistaken views of reality, but the most dangerous is the last and the one on which all the others rest.
The, "religious mindset," is, I think, perfectly described as an, "intuitive recognition," of what is believed. "Intuition," is obviously the basis of all religious views.
Intuition is anything one can supposedly know without evidence and without reason. I call it, "magic knowledge," because it is knowledge one supposedly has without any explanation of how they acquired it—it is supposedly knowledge one, "just has."
So-called, "intuitive knowledge," goes by other names as well, such as, "inspiration," "revelation," "instinct," "mystic insight," "a priori," "hunches," "divination," "faith," and, "gut feelings." No matter what name it is given, the meaning is always the same: something one knows by some means that does not require demonstrable evidence or reasoning from such evidence. The last of these examples, "gut feeling," actually admits what all the others imply, that it is, "feeling," one substitutes for reasoning and evidence as the basis for one's beliefs.
It is, in fact, "feeling," one substitutes for, "evidence," when claiming intuitive knowledge. If there were real evidence for what one believes, no, "intuition," would be required. No one claims to believe in the moon, or the stars, or in rocks, rivers, trees, oceans, animals, or other people, the news, science, or anything else they can learn of or about from what anyone can see, hear, feel, smell, or taste, by intuition. It's only what one believes without any evidence that one claims, "intuition," as the basis for what they believe; but their intuition always turns out to be some, "impression," one has that, "though they have no evidence for that knowledge and no explanation based on such evidence, they, "just feel it must be so."
[NOTE: Pleas see the articles, "Feelings," and "Feelings And Emotions—Their Nature, Significance, And Importance," to understand why any knowledge or reasoning based on feelings is always deceptive.]
The Intolerance Of Intuition
One peculiar aspect of most so-called intuitive knowledge is it's almost universal intolerance of any other variety of intuitive knowledge. Every religion claims its intuitive beliefs, perhaps using one of the other terms for that belief such as, "inspiration," "revelation," "mystic insight," or "faith," is the only true one. They are not only certain their intuition is right, but that anyone else's intuition, if not in agreement with there own, is wrong; and not just wrong, but, "morally," wrong.
The idea that anyone who does not hold the same intuitive views as one's own is not only wrong but immoral is based on the third point in the description of the religious mindset, that so-called "moral" values are intrinsic. As such, good, bad, right, and wrong are not determined by anything that can be learned or explained by reason from evidence, and must, like intuitive knowledge itself, simply be accepted.
No Magic Values
The most common example of this is the notion of, "conscience," which, like intuition itself, supposes one just knows what is right and wrong, because they, "feel," guilty when when they think or do something wrong.
The problem with conscience is that, like intuition, it is based on a, "feeling." One only suffers from conscience when thinking or doing what one already believes is wrong, but, "conscience," cannot determine what one ought to believe is right or wrong. One person's intuitive beliefs will cause him to suffer a guilty conscience when he doesn't do things he believes he ought to do, but another person's intuitive beliefs will cause him to suffer a guilty conscience when he does do those very same things.
One must already know what is right or wrong before experiencing any kind of feeling called conscience. No matter what one thinks or does, if they do not already believe it is wrong, they will suffer no discomfort of conscience. One's feelings cannot possibly be a guide to what is good, bad, right, or wrong.
What the intuitionist means by, "reality is not morally inert," is that what he calls, "moral values," are part of the nature of reality itself, built in, (or dictated) by whatever the, "cause," of reality is, and that those values are, "intrinsic."
The very idea of, "intrinsic," value is wrong. Nothing is just, "good," "bad," "right," or, "wrong." All value terms are terms of relationship.
Nothing can just have a value. Every value implies some purpose
(objective, end, or goal) relative to which anything has a value—a positive value if it furthers or achieves the purpose, a negative value if it inhibits or prevents the purpose from being achieved.
No Magic Existence
If reality is all that exists independent of any individual's awareness or knowledge of that existence and that reality has a specific unchanging nature that is not dependent on anything else, all true knowledge must be of and about that reality. The only possible source of knowledge of reality is that reality itself and whatever aspect of that reality human beings can be conscious of, that is, perceive (see, hear, feel, smell, taste, or experience internally as interoception). There is no other source of knowledge than that perceived evidence and one's objective reason based on that evidence.
Intuition is incompatible with that objective view of reality. If objective reality is what is and cannot be otherwise, and if all knowledge can be achieved by reason from the evidence of that perceived existence, there is no need of intuition as a means to knowledge, and any supposed knowledge not based on reasoning from evidence is simply false, made-up fiction.
If intuition were possible, reality could not have a specific unchanging nature that could be discovered objectively. If values are not based on the relationships between objectives and the means to those objectives, but are intrinsic, something must, "cause," those values to be there. For the intuitionist, reality must be contingent on something that makes it have the, "indiscoverable," nature it has, and those, "in-built," values that can only be known by intuition.
The reality of the intuitionist is as magical as intuition itself—something that exists by means of some, "cause," other than that existence itself.
The Almighty Magician
The non-theistic religions attribute the contingency of existence to some mystical ineffable, "cause." That would include all so-called, "Eastern Philosophy," which is not philosophy at all, and nothing more than mystic fantasy.
The theistic religions anthropomorphize that mystical, "cause," of existence, attributing to it such human characteristics as consciousness, knowledge, choice, love, hate, and almost every other human trait, (including some of the worst, like pettiness, fickleness, and vindictiveness), exaggerating those human traits to impossibility, like omniscience, infallibility, omnipotence, omnipresence, and eternity.
The, Creator magician is the source of all those other magic things that just exist, which, without that, "creator," would exist with no explanation at all. The, "creator," is the necessary invention to explain magic existence, magic values, and magic knowledge.
Intuition Is Hatred Of Reality, Reason, and Knowledge
By, "hate," I do not mean some kind of emotional, "feeling," or, "belligerent," attitude. I'm referring one's evaluation or reason and knowledge, which are despised because they contradict any possibility of magic knowledge.
Those who hold that knowledge does not require evidence or reason, that
thing are just good or bad and one can, "just know," them, with no explanation of why they are good or bad, despise any suggestion that what one believes, just because they believe it, is irrational.
What Is Intuition
Once one gets around all the verbal circumlocution, intuition is nothing more than another word meaning the same thing, "faith." No one has defined faith more accurately than Mark Twain:
"Faith is believing what you know ain't so!"
Intuition is only a little different. Intuition is nothing more than a defiant insistence that what one would like to be true, or hopes is true, or, "feels," is true, is true, but otherwise has no reason whatsoever for supposing it is true.
Rely on intuition if you choose to, but understand, every wrong thing anyone has ever believed, and every lie that has ever been put over has relied on, "intuition," of some kind.