Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Defending our Civilization

L&FP, 68: Cognitive Dissonance and fallacies of projection etc

It is a sub-study of logic, to address fallacies. Accordingly, as it has come up, it seems helpful to highlight cognitive dissonance and certain associated fallacies. First, [HT: Montecinos et al, fair use] here is a recent framework for cognitive dissonance: This is a simple but powerful model. As an example, it has been argued that certain free trial period software, by involving the user in considerable effort to register and use the product, then shifts attitudes towards reluctance to give up the product. Of course, many attitude, thought, belief or behaviour changes can be influenced by the need to reduce inner pain, and some of these are more justifiable in the cold light of day than others. However, some Read More ›

Os Guinness: The Magna Carta of Humanity — our civilisation’s roots lie in Jerusalem/Mt Sinai too (not just Athens and Rome)

A video discussion with Eric Metaxas: After telling of his experiences in China where he was born in the 1940’s, Guinness speaks of a moment when a civilisation loses touch with its roots. He suggests, there then are three alternatives: renewal, replacement or decline. As the modern jacobins rise up again, our civilisation faces that choice, at kairos; with lawful, ordered freedom in the stakes as 1776 [not, 1619 — a toxic slander driven distraction] clashes with 1789, so, too, frankly, 1917 – 49. And we need to recall the challenge to not throw out the baby with the bath water. END PS, ponder

Origenes on the self-defeating incoherence of the [hyper-]skeptic

Origenes is on fire these days, so let’s headline: [Origenes, emergence play thread, 57:] The skeptic wants to criticize, but he doesn’t want to be criticized himself. We all make statements of belief, skeptics included. But the skeptic posits a closed circle in which no beliefs are justified. Yet at the same time, he arrogates to himself a position outside of this circle by which he can judge the beliefs of others, a move he denies to his opponents. Since the raison d’être of his thesis is that there is no outside of the circle, he does not have the epistemic right to assume a position independent of it, and so his belief about the unjustifiability of beliefs or reasoning Read More ›

That inconvenient US State Dept memo on mass correspondence voting — in Ukraine

Yes, they had to know the fire they were playing with — notice, testimony to congress: Now, you try to tell me that this time and place it’s different. All you will do is raise the question whether you are an empty headed talking point parrot or something worse. Much worse. END PS, here is my basic political analysis, for those willing to learn from hard bought history: F/N Oct 26: In for a penny, in for a pound. Here — for reference — is my 2020 analysis of dirty, McFaul style colour revolutions vs the SOCOM insurgency escalator: Where, here is the Russian Chief of General Staff’s view on dirty colour revolution games as 4th gen war operations: Also, Read More ›

L&FP, 61: Learning about Agit Prop from the H G Wells, War of the Worlds broadcast (and from the modified JoHari Window)

Notoriously, on the evening of October 30, 1938, many people missed the opening remarks for Orson Welles’ radio dramatisation of H G Wells’ War of the Worlds. As History dot com recounts: Millions of Americans, as they were every night, huddled around their radios, but relatively few of them were listening to CBS when it was announced that Welles and his fellow cast members were presenting an original dramatization of the 1898 H.G. Wells science-fiction novel “The War of the Worlds.” Instead, most of the country was tuned in to NBC’s popular “Chase and Sanborn Hour,” which featured ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his dummy, Charlie McCarthy . . . . disoriented listeners who stumbled onto the “Mercury Theatre on the Read More ›

L&FP, 59: Building a body of knowledge in a hyperskeptical, ideologically polarised era that often dismisses truth and objectivity

It’s not hard to recognise that we are in a hyperskeptical, ideologically polarised warped thinking age at war with objective truth and knowledge. Fundamentally, our academics have betrayed us, starting with putting the inferior substitute, skepticism, in the place of prudence. Once that was done, there is no firewal on skepticism so it spiralled into selective hyperskepticism that promotes favoured narratives while finding any excuse to dismiss the despised other. Inevitably, knowledge has fractured. So, let us again turn to the JoHari window to see how it can help us build a responsible, and often counter-narrative body of knowledge: Now, steps of thought (adapted from an earlier comment): 1: We must properly understand what knowledge is, including its subtleties, limitations Read More ›

L&FP, 57: What is naturalism? Is it a viable — or even the only viable — worldview and approach to knowledge?

What is naturalism? (And why do some speak in terms of evolutionary materialistic scientism?) While everything touched on by philosophy is of course open to disagreements and seemingly endless debate, we can find a good enough point of reference through AmHD: 3. Philosophy The system of thought holding that all phenomena can be explained in terms of natural causes and laws.4. Theology The doctrine that all religious truths are derived from nature and natural causes and not from revelation. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy suggests: The term “naturalism” has no very precise meaning in contemporary philosophy. Its current usage derives from debates in America in the first half of the last century. The self-proclaimed “naturalists” from that period included John Read More ›

AI promotional vid — is the AI future realistic? Is it utopia emerging? Or, dystopian?

Are they already emerging as conscious as complexity rises? Vid: Or, do we need to ask pointed questions about limitations of computation, oracle machines and Smithian cybernetic loops with two tier controllers [can we have an oracle there?]? Does a fancy Si Rubber face — like those used for many years in Sci Fi flicks — make a difference? Smith: Or, Well, do rocks . . . even sophisticated, doped Si rocks . . . dream? And, what does all of this tell us about the potential for design? END

DEVELOPING, the US Supreme Court reverses Roe v Wade (is it cry havoc?)

Having returned from a shopping trip to Junction, Jamaica [here for 4x bereavement reasons], I noticed news as captioned. I clip: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2022/06/24/supreme-court-overrules-roe-v-wade-in-dobbs/ Supreme Court Overrules Roe v. Wade in Dobbs Decision – Returns Abortion to State Lawmakers WASHINGTON, DC – The Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade on Friday, holding in the Dobbs case that the Constitution does not include a right to abortion and returning the issue of abortion laws and regulations to state legislatures. Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the Supreme Court in Friday’s 5-4 [–> 6-3] decision: >>Abortion presents a profound moral question. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule Read More ›

Is China seriously contemplating [imminent?] invasion of Taiwan?

In 1958, full orbed hot war threatened to break out after dogfights over the Taiwan straights that saw a breakthrough use of Sidewinder missiles that brought down several Red Chinese Migs. We may be contemplating that brink again, if a current report on a claimed, leaked audiotape of discussions by Chinese authorities is credible. (The audiotape is in a Chinese dialect, likely Mandarin but possibly Cantonese.) As the first linked reports: In the past week, in response to the instruction of the “Central Military Commission of the State Council” in Beijing on “transitioning to a war time system,” a meeting took place involving senior officers of the People Liberation Army’s Guangdong Military Region of the Southern Command and the principal Read More ›

UK Spectator: “Why is Canada euthanising the poor?” (Slippery slopes dept.)

April 30: Since last year, Canadian law, in all its majesty, has allowed both the rich as well as the poor to kill themselves if they are too poor to continue living with dignity. In fact, the ever-generous Canadian state will even pay for their deaths. What it will not do is spend money to allow them to live instead of killing themselves. As with most slippery slopes, it all began with a strongly worded denial that it exists. In 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada reversed 22 years of its own jurisprudence by striking down the country’s ban on assisted suicide as unconstitutional, blithely dismissing fears that the ruling would ‘initiate a descent down a slippery slope into homicide’ Read More ›

BREAKING: Leaked US Supreme Court Draft that would overturn the rulings that have led to 63+ million abortion deaths in the US since 1973

This, seems worth pondering on the state of the US’s ongoing 4th generation civil war as a civilisation level issue: A draft Supreme Court opinion overruling Roe v. Wade has been leaked to the press in one of the greatest scandals to ever hit the nation’s highest court and a possible attempt to intimidate one or more justices to reverse their vote or to ignite a liberal brushfire to pack the Supreme Court before Democrats lose Congress in November. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives,” the possible draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito reads, making the case that where the Constitution is silent, the American people govern themselves Read More ›

Francis Schaeffer’s “line of despair” model of our civilisation’s intellectual history:

We can adapt Francis Schaeffer’s themes, looking back to the Christian Synthesis of the heritage of Jerusalem, Greece and Rome, and the onward flow of ideas and cultural agendas since Paul of Tarsus: Schaeffer thought that once there was an upper/lower storey approach that in effect gave up on solving the problem of the one and the many, the lower storey would eat up the upper one, unity and coherence would disintegrate: Schaeffer and others also thought in terms of the seven mountains picture of the span of culture, how the dominant view sets the agenda and how cultures therefore change. This has been championed by Wallnau and others in recent years. I adapt: We may carry this onward to Read More ›

To get change, create or exploit a crisis . . .

to control the change, set the agenda and control thought to a thesis, an antithesis and your desired synthesis. So, we see, in a cartoon: Where, let us recall the change challenge: . . . thus the fallacy of the false dilemma pushing a simplistic dichotomy of choices: . . . and the Overton Window context, where one has to open up space to pull policy, likely incrementally — thus we see a slippery slope ratchet: so, we see how a slippery slope slide into lawless oligarchy can be created: Are we facing a march of the Lemmings? Food for thought as we contemplate technoplutocracy. END