Sometimes, popular debates and commenters can put their fingers on a key issue, almost in passing.
In this case, in addressing the cognitive dissonance issue triggering many reactions to the rise of Donald Trump to US President-Elect (I confess, my own surprise* . . . ) Dilbert’s Scott Adams has dropped a real clanger of a wake-up call:
Here is a money-shot clip from his current blog article, “The Cognitive Dissonance Cluster Bomb”:
>>As I often tell you, we all live in our own movies inside our heads. Humans did not evolve with the capability to understand their reality because it was not important to survival. Any illusion that keeps us alive long enough to procreate is good enough.
That’s why the protestors live in a movie in which they are fighting against a monster called Trump and you live in a movie where you got the president you wanted for the changes you prefer. Same planet, different realities . . . >>
See the problem?
Yup, Scott Adams just inadvertently exposed the inherent self-referential incoherence of evolutionary materialism; and, he does not even exhibit awareness of the implied cognitive self-destruct, self-falsification button he pushed.
Cognitive dissonance, on steroids.
As DI’s Nancy Pearcey notes in her Finding Truth:
>>A major way to test a philosophy or worldview is to ask: Is it logically consistent? Internal contradictions are fatal to any worldview because contradictory statements are necessarily false. “This circle is square” is contradictory, so it has to be false. An especially damaging form of contradiction is self-referential absurdity — which means a theory sets up a definition of truth that it itself fails to meet. Therefore it refutes itself . . . .
An example of self-referential absurdity is a theory called evolutionary epistemology, a naturalistic approach that applies evolution to the process of knowing. The theory proposes that the human mind is a product of natural selection. The implication is that the ideas in our minds were selected for their survival value, not for their truth-value.
But what if we apply that theory to itself? Then it, too, was selected for survival, not truth — which discredits its own claim to truth. Evolutionary epistemology commits suicide.
Astonishingly, many prominent thinkers have embraced the theory without detecting the logical contradiction. Philosopher John Gray writes, “If Darwin’s theory of natural selection is true,… the human mind serves evolutionary success, not truth.” What is the contradiction in that statement?
Gray has essentially said, if Darwin’s theory is true, then it “serves evolutionary success, not truth.” In other words, if Darwin’s theory is true, then it is not true . . . >>
So, now, how can we find our way back to safer cognitive footing? END
*PS: While UD is not endorsing or opposing any given candidates, it is appropriate to note astonishment. And, to pause for a note on civics and history. The US’ Founders and Framers were, for cause, very suspicious of the inherent instability and too often suicidal nature of democratic polities, with Athens, Alcibiades, the Silician Expedition and the wider, utterly ruinous Peloponnesian War as exhibit no. 1. Besides, they were very concerned to balance the various local and particular interests; as the Connecticut compromise on Representatives (popular balance) vs. Senators (two per state) shows. The Electoral College system also created a way for a far-flung electorate under C18 conditions to have multiple local elections that sent chosen delegates to the college of electors that would finally elect the President (who as originally envisioned had rather limited powers). The practical effect today, is to force 50 elections in parallel; so that no narrow cluster of cities and big population states can form an interest that dominates the system as a whole. This forces checks, balances, and compromises so that on the whole a President must be widely acceptable to be elected. As a result, when there is a polarised era with concentrated urban interests, Presidents may be elected who do not hold the overall majority of counted ballots; this is similar to parliamentary systems with seat by seat, first past the post constituencies, where also proportional representation systems are clearly less stable and tend to coalition Cabinets, often with an implicit transfer of power to the permanent government — the electorally unaccountable senior civil servants. (I gather, but stand to be corrected regarding the US: if absentee and military ballots are too small in number to change the result for some states, while cast, they are not actually counted. (Or, is that just on the first pass, which grabs the early headlines?) Such ballots apparently . . . largely, due to the military factor . . . trend strongly Republican, and so the balance on cast ballots may be different again from counted ones. [Note, summary of results.])