Thursday, December 22, 2011

Honesty

Honesty is a Precious Thing.

Not only do I value honesty, I presuppose it in people. While I know that is an error, I still commit it. Honesty is a subset of truth, and truth is a subset of the absolutes. For Atheism there are no absolutes, so by the time we get back down the chain from absolutes to honesty, there is none in the MaterialWorld of Atheism.

Now honesty might necessarily be feigned as a pragmatic effort to convince others of trustworthiness. So it not only is not a characteristic that is valued under Atheism, it is a tool to be exploited, used as far as it will go to the Atheist’s advantage.

Atheism is largely pragmatic. The main Atheist claim regarding morality is just that: behaving in a certain way is pragmatic and that is morality for the Atheist. The term for this is Consequentialism, where any goal which one desires should be pursued with whatever tactics are required to achieve it. Atheists might protest that this is a distortion, yet that in itself is a tactic being used.

The issue of honesty vs. Consequentialist pragmatism is why Atheists are not seen as trustworthy. There is no such thing as honesty which is attached to the concept of Atheism. That includes intellectual honesty.

Intellectual honesty requires humbling oneself before logic first, and material factoids last. But there is a strain of Atheism that refuses humility as an abrogation of “free thought”, which is just thoughts without anchors in anything meaningful. Free Thought, Atheism, and Philosophical Materialism are the keys to total freedom, unencumbered by the need for humility in the face of anything which is undeniable, such as incorrigible truth.

Thus logic becomes not a disciplined refection of a path to rationality, it becomes a malleable weapon which is to be tuned to the needs of the wielder. The Atheist assertion of “logic” is thus tautological, not actual: they define whatever they say to be “logical”. There is no urge to study logic as a discipline, nor to follow actual logical procedures. Whenever a fallacy in their “logic” is pointed to, they pull out as many Red Herrings as necessary to divert the conversation. I say this as a general principle because inductively, that is the case; there might be exceptions, and I hope to come across them in order to find out how they justify the logical chasms in their worldviews. But so far, not much luck.

There is no feasible Atheist defense against this observation. “Good without God” is transparently a relativist matching of a temporary “ethics” statement to whatever behavior the Atheist is currently fond of. Any possible Atheist protest of “personal integrity” is transparently just another tactic in the pragmatist’s toolbox. In fact, no matter what an Atheist says, it can be seen as a “tactic”, toward some objective, some agenda, which only s/he sees and knows. There is no possible way to encounter Atheists without suspicion, unless one is na├»ve to this characteristic.

So I should not be caught off guard while in discussions with Atheists. There is no reason to suppose that their arguments are sincere, that their facts match any actuality, or that their approach to their fallacies will help them learn anything. Atheists in general do not intend to learn anything, especially logic, which they have already redefined to be whatever they say. On the contrary, Atheists seem to have another objective, which is to preserve their total freedom so as not to have to be humble in the face of truths which they are powerless to change. In other words, "free" thoughts without grounding in anything but agenda.

So, there are no truths in AtheistWorld, and there is no truthfulness. So there cannot be any honesty, or for that matter, dishonesty. And that characteristic makes every Atheist suspect.

I, personally, value honesty. But it cannot be presupposed in people.

I need to take more care.


ADDENDUM:
This issue extends to the concept of “absurdity” also. Logical absurdity is a specific thing; it refers to a proposition which is logically non-coherent, or cannot be shown to be coherent, and this is found using Reductio Ad Absurdum, which takes the converse and hopes to show that it is contradictory (absurd). If the converse of a proposition is absurd, then the proposition itself is not. Clearly, logically inconsistent premises or logically unsubstantiable claims fit this category of determination of logical validity, including those propositions or premises which fail Boolean categorization.

The convenient but ungrounded and transient nature of the logic of Atheism is subject to producing statements which are logically absurd, but which seem perfectly logical under the transient processes of non-absolutist Atheism. In fact, linear logical discipline fails the transient processes of non-absolutist Atheism, and appears – I am instructed – absurd to the Atheist.

This is a serious fork in the ability to communicate, a dichotomy between those who choose logical dictates to rule their processes, vs. those who eschew any absolutist control over their free thought. For this reason, I have in the past taken the conversation to a point where an obvious fallacy is in play, and then stopped the conversation from progressing beyond that fallacy, and insisting on its recognition. This has produced considerable tension and sometimes behavior which resulted in banishment. But it is the right thing to do. No conversation should proceed when it is based on a fallacy or is logically absurd. Kindly remind me of that next time.

4 comments:

Francis Hornby said...

Hello Stan,
I'm revisiting your site after it partly inspired me to do some soul-searching of my own. This is my first letter to a website. I thought an old dog couldn't learn new tricks but I made up my mind to examine my beliefs and to only believe what is true. After all, if I don't value truth then what did I value? I studied logic then philosophy and found myself changing my mind on many things - even politically. I fought tooth and nail to hold on to my theism even after I discarded my Christianity but it too fell.
I don't call myself an atheist but I no longer believe in any deities. This is unlikely to be the outcome you wished for your readers but I truly feel as if a weight has been lifted and scales removed from my eyes. I must have read four dozen of your articles on this website, I used them as beginnings for research. I want to thank you.

Francis Hornby

Stan said...

Francis,
I am actually delighted that you have taken the approach that you have. It is my recommendation that every person who wishes for truth in their worldview should pursue every path, and you seem to be on your way. If there is truth, the intellectually honest will ultimately drag it out, test it, and accept it, whatever it is.

Congratulations, and don't stop.

Thanks for your letter!
Stan

Fred said...

Stan,

Excellent post.

Re your addendum. I wonder, when dealing with Atheists, is not the fallacy in play from the very beginning?

Stan said...

Fred,
Commenters can start with reasonable statements, and appear to be interested in different approaches. So it can take some time to determine whether a particular individual is trying to understand, or whether s/he is trying to find a point to grab ahold and assert ideology. If it is the latter, then the first fallacy in the ideology needs to be cleared up before the conversation is allowed to proceed. And many times it just stops there, and some times chaos ensues. I've observed that it is quite rare for an ideologically driven commenter to admit to committing a fallacy.