I won’t be diving into the mess of the flat earth theory, or the enigma surrounding the Antarctic, however the two will be playing a great role in your realisation of the lie that is your mother. We all have certain conclusions about reality, a fine warm state of life is yearning in everyone; careers, prolongation of youth, an impact on society before we die off. Upcoming is an effort to put into the limelight the importance of being consistent in conclusions of the worldview you hold. However, there will be not an elaboration of rules of logic and else in rationality, your own due diligence on matters creating confusion is appreciative. This article is a continuation of my previous piece of writing titled Today or Tomorrow, but Never Never, which’s reading is essential to understand the underpinnings of this particular composition. I mentioned in the aforementioned title that consistency is key in ascertaining a paradigm as logical and true and which would in turn render its forthcoming resultants as properly pragmatic to take oneself out of any impending illusion. I will be expanding on that note, with certain thought experiments, to in brief give an idea of how staying honest with the answers to then reach its branching conclusions would lead to the truth or falsity of a trait of a conclusion.
To be or not to be
… a logical positivist is the question, which most of us are or have been, or in some way accept as a corner stone for reaching Truth. “Don’t believe what you don’t see”, we’ve heard this a lot, in pop-culture, in advertisements, even are taught the same by our teachers while growing up. That statement is a seeping resultant of the logical positivism movement, a movement of (you could say) hardcore empiricists. There was a time when the Western civilisation thought that they had reached a striking revelation through mankind, something that was brighter than all thinking, rationality, and modes of reaching truth about the world. The movement had a quite a simple slogan, which’s existence in many minds of those who read this text I am sure of; “all statements that can’t be empirically verified are meaningless.” With the machete of ‘science’, of this godly slogan, screaming in every philosophers ear, they ran and butchered their notions, victorious for a fair while but now considered a joke.
There is a vast history behind the “fall” of logical positivists and their movement, which I don’t have time to discuss – as previously mentioned – too busy being an anvil. But I want you really think about that statement; it’s familiar, it’s popular, it’s flawed. It was successful for a fair few decades, and the reason was the same as is today for its success in many minds; scientism. There is a an academic paper written on scientism by Susan Haack titled Six Signs of Scientism however I want to focus on more of a sociological aspect of the term which is also relating to Haack’s very first point in the mentioned paper i.e. ‘the honorific use of “science” and its cognates.’ Have you ever found yourself while in arguments or discussions talking in sense of “scientifically”, “science has shown”, “science tells us” and so on? Now, although the phrases are true in of themselves, but there’s a certain ‘honorific’, or how I classify it a ‘worthiness’ in your statement the moment you utter that phrase or term. This is in no way a jab at science, but rather a stew that I am preparing to serve, a stew filled with the mushrooms from the scientific world that which science itself couldn’t take on.
I have no desire to explain the wonders and blunders of science, but rather I want to establish the lab in which you shall be conducting experiments. The failure of the logical positivists and their movement, although an incredibly popular statement that still rots many minds, was hand-in-hand with the honorific status of science as the know all and end all for the exploration of truths about the world, without ever caring to stop and think about the resultants of the conclusions they landed themselves on i.e. scientism. To spill the beans, the movement and their slogan fell flat on its face when philosophers uncovered the resultants i.e. that positivism’s notion that “all statements that can’t be empirically verified are meaningless” was itself meaningless because it itself can’t be empirically verified. The point is not that there can be, or are not statements that should be or can be empirically verified to be meaningful, but that the notion of “all” created a paradox and an absurdist effect on empiricism itself. Unfortunately though, neither is this text viable to elaborate more on epistemology and ontology nor do many care enough to realise the logical extents of their conclusions about the world; in this case empiricism as the sole driver for the true conclusions of the world.
The Flat Earth
The theory is laughable, however will be of interest to unpack the significance of logical consistency in search of Truth. If someone has derived senses as the sole route to knowledge i.e. empiricism, the logical extent via consistency would render them impotent in validating their already conceived notion that the earth is not flat. To reiterate, all of us know (I hope) that the earth is a sphere, but holding onto the doctrine of empiricism would render that belief as not true, because most of us have not been to space to observe the roundness of the world. Sure you can climb up the tallest of mountains, or get on a plane but what you’ll see is somewhat of a curvature of the planet, but not that the Earth itself is a sphere or round. You currently believing that the Earth is round is not from an empiricist point of view (assuming that you hold empiricism as the only route to knowledge) but from epistemology of testimony, which is another route of knowledge.
You haven’t seen it, neither have I, me not being an empiricist, and you (assuming) being one would create two different scenarios. One, that I as a person am (in this case) holding onto a belief that is true and consistent with my paradigm (details later) and secondly that you as an empiricist hold onto that value while claiming knowledge to be coming solely from empirically verified data i.e. I will not accept that which cannot be proven to my eyes (so to speak). You can say that you can go visit the continent, but how do you know that it even is a continent and not just all made up? The difference between you as a person and a tinfoil hat theorist is getting narrower as you dive deeper into the rabbit hole of empiricism, which’s example I have taken very carefully, because I know most people hold on to it without second thoughts. I don’t exist till you’ve seen me, my DNA, my photo is fake, made up, Japan doesn’t exist, North Korea is a hoax, Trump and the Queen are reptile shape-shifting aliens. All of these claims are meaningless, neither true nor false, although more towards false, until you empirically verify them, for thyself. You claiming knowledge to the existence of anything that you haven’t empirically verified yourself, is you being inconsistent in your paradigm, rendering its falsity.
Your motherless self
The Queen of Narnia is your mother, not the one you have had on your school diary. You might have known your mother since forever, she might have breastfed you, scolded you, smiled at you, cooked for you, changed your nappies, but you didn’t see her give birth to you. Your claim to anything as false, as an empiricist, will always be weaker than a claim that your mother isn’t your real mother – you were adopted – in the sense of the weight of your belief that that person is in fact your real mother. Now my claim that you are adopted as we speak, holds the exact same value as your claim that the person in your house in your real mother, both are currently equally true and equally false. You are living a motherless, regional, tiny-area-covered, painful illusory existence. Which is true, if you hold on to the paradigm of empiricism or logical positivism. Your claims to anything in the world is meaningless until you’ve sat down with a microscope to check the “evidence” and verify it.
The idea behind the experiments is to show the contradictions, paradoxes, dilemmas and absurdities that can arise when consistency isn’t checked for, when holding onto a paradigm. I can go on about the importance of logical consistency for a long time, but I am counting on the readers to explore the paradigms carefully and note their consistency value. I mentioned it a lot of times in the previous article, so saw it fit to elaborate and emphasize its necessity. You don’t need to worry, your mother is the real one, Earth is not flat, Antarctic exists, so do I, but I am saying all this as not an empiricist, what about you?