[FoRK] What is Reason?
<albert.scherbinsky at rogers.com> on
Sun May 6 22:28:27 PDT 2007
I like your exposition on the political implications
of accusing others of non-reason. Relevant to
happenings on this list and to the world at large.
Also, it showed some moxie, bravo.
However, I have some trouble with the dimensions along
which you choose to divide people, which I explain in
--- Lion Kimbro <lionkimbro at gmail.com> wrote:
> == Is Reason Terra-Firma? ==
> Perhaps I should add, "Earth is not Terra Firma,"
> because it floats in
> I'll speculatively divide people on two axis:
> * terra-firma & space-cases
> * heavy-weight & light-weight
> "terra-firma" is the idea that people are will be
> inerrant, if only
> they reason.
It is easy to show that no one should be a
Terra-firmist as you have defined them. This makes the
Terra-firma category a straw man. Reasoning from false
premises will lead to errors every time. A more
meaningful definition of a Terra-firmist would be one
who believes that people will be successful, if only
they act rationally.
> "space-cases" deny Terra-firma. I used a
> pejorative, to hasten the
Now a Space-caser is somebody who believes you can be
successful by acting irrationally. If wealth is your
definition of success, you could just buy a lottery
ticket. By pure, highly improbable chance you have
achieved your success. The point is not about wealth
as success, the point is Space-casers are completely
at the mercy of chance.
> "heavy-weight" think that the distinction has
> profound consequences on
> the nature of the world. (For example, X-Men is
> because ideological notions have sweeping and
> profound influence over
> the world.)
> "light-weight" think that ideas don't really
> matter so much, and the
> world proceeds more or less independent of the
> development of ideas.
> Perhaps a naughty religion or idea or two needs to
> be culled here or
> there, but for the most part, ideas (barring
> technical developments)
> don't really play much influence over the world,
> nor should they.
The light-weight/heavy-weight distinction is a better
one. However, you may be mistaking levity displayed on
this list as evidence for a lack of seriousness by the
authors in other matters, when levity is just part of
the culture of this particular spot in cyberspace.
Another dimension which I think may be worthy of some
thought is the "ends justifies the means" vs "the
means are the ends" distinction.
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