Tuesday 27 July 2021

Truth-seeking and truth-speaking... Why does anybody ever do it?

The theme and conclusion of my 2012 book Not Even Trying was that real science (which is almost extinct now) was 'simply' the dedication of a group of people to seek the truth about some-thing, and to communicate honestly about it. 

That is all that can be said - as a generalization - about so-called 'scientific method'. 

But even to say this is to say a great deal - and to describe a situation that has been extremely rare in world history - and is extremely rare now. It was really only from approximately the middle 1600s to the middle 1900s in Britain and some parts of Europe (and their diaspora) that this situation prevailed to a significant degree. 

The thing it; to be a 'truthful' person is extremely rare; and to be a truthful person who is sufficiently interested in some particular 'thing' that one will work, over a significant period of time, to discover the reality of it - is much rarer still. And to have a society that values such an activity is so rare that - as I said - it perhaps only grew and survived in one place for a few hundred years. 

Anyone who is really concerned by the truth of a particular thing will rapidly realize that hardly anybody else is interested enough to make their opinion of any value. Furthermore, he will realize that few people are interested in truth at all

Truth is, at best, a low-ranked priority for most people, most of the time. Most people are orientated towards other people (whether real people, or nowadays virtual). 

Most people believe that 'truth' is just something rhetorical; something manufactured (expediently, for short term use) to support their current views of how inter-human affairs ought to proceed - or simply to support what they themselves happen to want to do. 

If you are a real scientist; you soon realize not only that extremely few other real scientists share your dedication to the truth of your particular thing; but also that few people care about truth at all

One of the most striking aspects of the leftist (political correctness) witch hunts that have been such a feature of the West since the late 1960s (and I have personally been involved in several of these; both as subject and an active participant) is the complete indifference to truth of almost everybody involved. Nobody cares what is true; only what effect a belief might have (and they always claim to be able to predict what effect a belief will have). 

Indeed, indifference is not accurate - there is a hostility to truth, and even more than this a hostility to the idea of truth. The idea that there is a true and real reality is what is the cause of such venom on the left. The left regards reality as relativistic, and something created by consensus (including 'peer review') and imposed by power.  

Yet, it must be acknowledged that there is something valid in the leftist critique - because the traditional idea of a single objective truth 'out there' waiting to be discovered, is also wrong. Science is necessarily a human activity, and real scientific truth does depend on the evaluations and judgments of people - albeit of truth-seeking and truth-seeking people. 

But then 'who decides' - and on what grounds - which people are the real scientists - especially in a world of professional science.

You cannot get away from people, from human minds, form personal judgments... Except by dishonestly disguising these with committees, votes, protocols etc - which themselves are merely either arbitrary or derived from human minds/ judgements etc as to 'what counts as' true...

At first it seems like we have a choice of just two wrong ideas. One is the idea that scientific truth does not depend on people, the other that it depends only on people. 

My answer is that the possibility of real science depends on Christian assumptions concerning the fundamental nature of reality. These include that there is a God who is creator of reality, and who loves Men - who are God's  children and made 'in God's image'.  

These assumptions must be in place for a scientist to seek and speak truth in a particular domain, for a human endeavor to seek truth to be possibly successful; and common enough that he can find other whose interest is the same. 

The assumptions can survive the loss of Christian faith in a person - for a while; or may occur in an individual of another religion (e.g. Judaism) who has absorbed, assimilated and endorsed sufficient of these assumptions from a Christian society. 

But the assumptions necessary for science cannot survive the comprehensive replacement of Christianity in a society's ways of thinking and behaving. Such a society has no reason to seek truth; and (consequently) insufficient desire to do so. 

This framework sees the scientific search for truth as being an impulse to know the reality of God's creation. The scientific impulse in Men shares in the divine creative impulse - therefore it is Good.

But to know the reality of creation (i.e. to seek and speak truth) entails aligning oneself with God's creative purposes. 

From this perspective, we can see that science is a potentially creative activity (one of many; including, but not restricted to; the arts, music, literature, philosophy, scholarship) in which Men may lend their minds and efforts to understanding the divine creative project in one particular area, and with the hope of participating in God's creation. 

The above model explains why science (as a social activity) once existed; and why science has not existed in most times and places. 

Leftist relativistic anti-science (which nw rules the world of public discourse) functions to oppose God and creation; and instead to assert that reality (ie. divine creation) does not exist/ does not matter - and that we have no obligation to seek or live-by creation.

And instead to take a this-worldly attitude of life - as being only about inter-human relationships of (for example) power and pleasure; to which considerations of truth and reality ought to be subordinated. For instance; such (common, officially-endorsed) ideas as that 'science' properly exists to increase human happiness, to alleviate suffering, to sustain a world of social justice, or to preserve the environment. 

Yet when 'science' serves such goals - instead of being truth-seeking/ speaking, then it simply becomes a part of the Establishment System, as now; and un-truthful and dishonest from top to bottom; in great and in small matters.  

Thus real science (which has always been rare, and is now all-but extinct) is a creative act of some Men which - if it is Good - will be aligned with God's plans. Real science cannot exist in a genuinely atheistic and materialistic society, where Christian beliefs have been displaced by The System. 

Monday 26 July 2021

Imagination has become social reality

We tend to assume - following decades of mass media propaganda - that 'imagination' is always a good thing. Probably, that was the case in the past, when imagination was used to 'to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature' - that is, to imagine variants based-upon the natural

But since the Romantic era, imagination has extended beyond nature, and from the early 20th century has become autonomous. From the early 20th century, with modernism, surrealism, Dadaism etc - imagination became often a parody, subversion or inversion of the natural. 

Furthermore, as modern Man became alienated from the divine and spiritual (that is; at first able to ignore, then unable to perceive, the divine and spiritual realms) this cut-off imagination became reality.

So that in the modern, official and mass media, legal and corporate world - un-real, aspirational, asserted and enforced ideas very rapidly become normalized, accepted and then (to all intents and purposes) 'real'. 

In other words, humans now - as a matter of mundane everyday practice - imagine and make their own reality. The world is convulsed and organized according to these imagined and made realities such as the birdemic, antiracism, climate emergency and the trans-agenda. 

Apparently any-thing - any statement, any morality, any imperative, can be made-real now, and generally accepted as real - with little or no strain or sense of dissonance - even when it is a complete fabrication or an inversion of the natural. 

Indeed; that official-reality is a total invention or an inversion of natural-reality is generally taken to indicate its moral superiority (consequently; to privilege the natural is termed 'fascism'; and is demonized and suppressed). 

From this we may see that modern Men are so constituted that they will believe what they imagine; and they can be induced to imagine almost anything - especially by means of the mass media with its combination of fake-news, gossip and ideologically-shaped entertainments. 

And people do not distinguish between sources of imaginations and assertions - and seldom recall or discern-between the provenance of 'knowledge' - so that beliefs are as likely to be shaped by overt fictions (a movie) as by supposed facts (taught at school).

(Although, with institutional convergence - all sources of imagination/ fact are being forcibly harmonized to the leftist, materialist, anti-Christian ideology.)

People are psychologically-made such as to privilege this media world as objective and primary, because it is widely-shared and enforced by the powerful - and they subordinate and ignore their own conscience, observations and reasoning, because these are (merely) private.

In sum - Modern Man imagines his reality; and his imagination is fed to him by the mass media; so, for modern Man; reality is whatever assumptions the mass media is currently operating on

(And by 'currently' I mean 'the last few days' - and today's mass media assumptions may be the opposite of last week's, or the assumptions may imply the opposite of the media interpretation - but none of this matters: today's assumptions rule whatever.) 

This is why the media can report as reality un-natural phenomena such as the imagined birdemic plague or climate catastrophe, can invert racial and sexual realities, can state that men and women are flexibly- and wholly-interconvertible - and will be believed; to an unrestricted degree... To the extent of structuring and administering the whole world policy and human micro-interactions alike. 

Life is made, and re-made, on the basis of these (and any other potential, equally arbitrary) imaginations.  

The capacity to make imagination into reality is thus a double-edged sword which pushes the world towards extremes of good or evil. Good imaginations can be made real - but so can evil imaginations; and indeed imagination can abolish or invert the distinction between good and evil. 

Armed with this power; Man is called-upon, each as an individual, to imagine the good - and to eschew the evil; to imagine the beautiful and true and coherent... 

But in practice, the opposite has happened. 

Man has refused to acknowledge or exercise his power to imagine God, good and divine creation; has refused to imagine a living and conscious universe in which each of us has an unique contribution to make...

And therefore has opened himself to become a passive conduit for the imaginations of the evil powers who have taken-over the public world .

And this remains un-recognized because of Man's capacity to imagine evil as Good; and undiscerned because of Man's willed self-subordination to external, evil-aligned, values. 

See Owen Barfield's book - Saving the Appearances (1957) for a source of the above ideas. 

Residual Unresolved Leftism

It is a feature of the spiritual war nowadays that The Enemy (i.e. those on the side of Satan, against God) are dispersed in many places, deny any self-definition; and indeed are just part of normal, mainstream 'public opinion' as revealed in officialdom, institutions and the media, 

It is sometimes said that this makes evil difficult to discern - on the assumption that the evil is hidden among the good, in many and changing forms, under many and changing names and deceptive rhetoric...

But the truth is that evil is very easy to discern nowadays; indeed evil has never been easier to discern IF the line dividing good from evil is drawn in the right place. 

The problem that many people have in discerning evil is that they are retaining too much evil in their own assumptions, in their own world view. 

They are (in effect) trying to use a line between good and evil, when that line has been positioned such as to include evil; therefore they find the discernment to be difficult and unsure. 

This is seen, for example, in what Owen Barfield termed RUP - Residual Unresolved Positivism - something to which everyone brought up in The West is prone. 

RUP is a matter of retaining 'materialist', 'scientistic', 'reductionistic' assumptions that were unconsciously absorbed in childhood and adolescence, are invisible to normal introspection, and which have become habitual framers of thinking. 

This happens when we consciously oppose positivism, wish for a fully-spiritual life, yet keep un-consciously falling back into positivistic ways of regarding the world; therefore we sometimes fail to detect (and may end-up supporting) positivism when it is being deployed by the powers of evil. 

Another - just as common and related - problem is RUL - Residual Unresolved Leftism

The assumptions of Leftism (e.g. Leftist concepts of equality, social justice, diversity, environmentalism, antiracism, feminism, sexual revolution, the mainstream hedonic utilitarian morality etc) is pervasive in public discourse as background assumptions. 

Very few people in The West are altogether free of these false, tendentious, evil-tending ideas - and Christians, as much as most, often cherish such ideals - or try to do so. 

RUL therefore confuses our discernment of evil; since Leftism has been a major (probably The major) strategy of evil in the modern world. 

Thus there is evil at work in the world and impinging upon our personal lives, yet because some evil in our-selves matches that external evil, we fail to recognize its true nature. 

With RUL, the line has been drawn wrongly; too close to evil - not including all of evil; with some evils left-over on the side of good; so discernment begins to seem difficult, complex... 

We become confused, disorientated, unsure of what to do and what to reject. 

But the difficulties and complexities are an artefact of the line being drawn in the wrong place - due to Residual Unresolved Leftism. If we can identify and repent all of our Leftist assumptions, the task of discernment is revealed as simple - indeed it has probably never been simpler than Now! 

But another difficulty is that when the line between good and evil has been drawn correctly, and discernment is swift and decisive - it will be found that most of the world, and pretty much all of officialdom, major institutions, and the mass media - are on the side of evil

It will also be found, more disturbingly, that most people are on the side of evil; which means that most individual persons we encounter will support the side of evil - will be cooperating-with and probably defending/ advocating/ working-for the powers of evil. 

And this applies even in Christian churches and among the leadership of Christian churches; because being on the side of evil is not about one's majority or average beliefs. 

Even one Leftist belief or assumption suffices to corrupt; because (as of 2020) the tendency of institutions and their choice between good and evil sides may be dictated by a single Leftist belief (such as the Litmus Tests). 

This may be disturbing, unfamiliar, and often demoralizing. 

Yet we should remember that with normal Christianity; any single unrepented sin - no matter how 'small' - is sufficient to cause damnation; because we only truly desire Heaven when we are prepared to give-up all sin for it. Heaven is a place without sin; and nobody can enter it who has not repudiated sin. 

Here on earth, something analogous applies to the sins of Leftism. To be on the side of God, persons and institutions must reject the devil and all his works. 

This does not mean any kind of impossibly perfect standard of behaviour - but repentance - which is the correct detection and identification of sin as sin -and the 'in principle' willingness to discard it. 

Perfection of thoughts and values is impossible in this mortal earthly life; but repentance is always and everywhere open to any person or institution. 

Residual Unresolved Leftism is a serious problem because sin is unrecognized, is indeed defended and advocated; and the consequence is that perception of discernment as difficult and uncertain - in a world where in fact evil is more naked and extreme than ever before. 

So, if you are confused, and find evil difficult to discern; look within for those unrepented sins which are probably the source of the problem. 

One great and immediate advantage of eliminating Residual Unresolved Leftism is that we attain clarity about the spiritual war of this world; and can set-to on the task of fighting that war instead of being enmeshed in confusion. 

Such clarity of discernment is liberating, exciting, and motivating! Which is just what most-people most-need in a world such as this.