Friday, July 07, 2023

Of Cause and Causelessness - causality & its effects (c)

Whether the unfathomable outrage of the moment involves praising the burning down of cities as peaceful protests or ignoring those in order to spin up minor riots as horrific insurrections, or claiming that it takes a biologist to define what a woman is and yet any male from three years old on up can easily 'identify as' and become a woman and even become pregnant, you can be sure that some philosopher's thoughts on causation will be found to be at the 'root cause' of it. And of course 'Those who know best' are eager to assert those ideas as provable and even proven facts, to be passed on through media and wackademia as being the latest nuggets of wisdom that we're all supposed to accept as being beyond question, by people who believe they've captured the 'Wisdom' (the 'End of History') that 'uncritical' philosophers only pursue.

Causality & its effects parts a-g
pt a: A well rounded knowledge...
pt b: Causation of egg on our faces...
pt c: Cause and Causelessness...
pt d: Causation Squared...
pt e: Distracting you with...
pt f: Facts are only as stubborn as you...
pt g: Logical consequences of....
That alone should be cause enough for you to be wary as to whether or not 'accepted truths' come to your ears from the lips of Sophia, or someone very different. In an earlier post I'd mentioned the Turtle Lady, as an example of a sophist who (sincerely or not) defends their unquestionable claims against reasonable questions, with some variation upon:
"... I know what you're doing, but it's no use, it's turtles all the way down!..."
, and it's in that format that is and always has been the trademark 'Tell' of sophistry - sincere or (more often) not - where, in lieu of knowledge we're offered only an endless regression of 'what ifs', whose only substantial purpose is to undermine people's confidence in what they know, so as to sway their audience towards whichever ideology it is that the sophist's 'critical commentary' is promoting as the real (usually hidden and 'smarter') 'truth' - which they never actually identify, or explain, but endlessly promise to deliver... eventually.

"Let me make you feel a little less comfortable. This ground is not solid..."
One popular form of these age-old sophisms today, is favored by the most deplorable of people (AKA: the Marxist inclined), who proclaim their paradoxes as materialistic revelations, such as that what we experience as solid ground, is 'akshually' riddled with fissures below, "Let me make you feel a little less comfortable. This ground is not solid...", or even that what we take as being a hard surface, is 'nothing but space on the atomic level', with the point being that since you can't really trust your senses when they tell you something appears to be solid, which is 'actually' mostly empty space, then 'logically' you must agree that you cannot be certain of anything at all, and any claim that 'They!' use to convince you that you can, is just a lie that serves the ruling class, the capitalists, etc., etc., etc.,

The truth about such 'paradoxes' though, is that they are dis-ordered truths which vanish once they're put in the proper order & context, in that the supposed 'empty space' is a necessary feature of how solidity is achieved - when molecules, atoms, and particles are arranged so as to form a solid object, they are configured in such a way that, taken out of context, can be portrayed as 'empty space', but that arrangement on the sub-atomic level, is what creates what we experience 'up here' as solidity on the human level! The fact is that we are better able to understand the world around us, by using all those philosophic principles of science, techne, and wisdom, so long as they are properly ordered and aligned, to establish sound knowledge of what is real and true. So far from their supposed 'paradox' being a cause for you to doubt what you know, it is a confirmation of our knowledge and ability to understand what is real and true, which should heighten your wariness of the dangers of accepting baseless doubts, as actual knowledge.

It is by artfully equivocating between very different forms of knowledge, again, as those like deGrasse-Tyson do, that the shallowest of observations are rhetorically transformed through a semblance of logical proofs, so that such unexamined sophistries that might have seemed foolish to those who knew better, are revealed to be a very practical means of nudging popular opinion along into accepting a set of assumptions based loosely upon physical causes and vague aspirations, which encourages one or two or both extremes of thinking, as:
'We need order, and as one thing is as meaningless as the next, we will impose our collective ideal upon all!'
, or,
'If nothing causes anything, then anything goes!'
, which cause dissension and unrest amongst society, and though they may appear different, they're no more different than two sides of the same sophistical coin: demanding order be imposed, requires believing that Right & Wrong are the weakest of illusions which must be replaced by those who're able to impose power, just as those who believe that since nothing can be known, there can be no right or wrong, only a series of material causes & effects that are popular with 'those who know best' - the only significant point they differ on is who is 'the best', you, or an 'expert' - which is a distinction without any fundamental difference.

Notice also that what both sides of that sophistical coin ignore, beginning and end, corresponds to Identity & Telos. In Aristotle's system, you begin at the beginning by identifying what you're dealing with, and following where that leads, much like 'character is destiny', sets the direction of your thinking, and without those two formulations of beginning and end, you can easily, not to mention carelessly, construe what you will with what remains between them. To escape this modernist muddle of materialistic Cause & Effect, requires recovering those discarded aspects of Causation - beginning and end, and much more of what lies in between - and with that interest in looking honestly at reality, we're brought back around to Aristotle and his conception of 'The Four Causes'.

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