[Update 26 Feb 2009: For whatever it is worth, I withdraw my recommendation. K.M. was right; I was wrong (see comments below). The reason? The comments on this post.]
I wrote a post on ethics a couple of days back, and WordPress’ Sphere-based “related posts” technology displayed a link to Francois Tremblay’s blog – Check Your Premises. I am not very good at names or faces, but the name sounded familiar. Then I realized that its the same person who wrote an article arguing “The Case for Objective Morality” at strongatheism.net. And its an article I had linked to in one of my comments on a post on morality that I had written about six months back.
This is the first entry of Check Your Premises, so I should explain what I’m doing here exactly. This is, more or less, a philosophical blog, but only in the general sense.
Why should we care about such a sterile, pointless field as philosophy? My blog name, I think, gives the answer. Philosophy, at its best (most of philosophy is useless junk), forces us to acknowledge and reconsider our premises.
There is a huge gap between intelligence and wisdom. Intelligence is the capacity to build and understand a field, assuming a number of premises. Wisdom is our capacity to acknowledge and correct those premises when they are wrong. Both are crucial capacities in order to live a happy and productive life. People who have both are rare (and I do not hold to the pretension of being one of them).
Virtually everyone is a delusional wreck, not by ignorance, but by conditioning. If everyone reconsidered all of their premises, there is no doubt in my mind that people’s thinking would change in a rather drastic way, and so would the world. But doing such a thing requires tremendous energy, capacity to adapt, and education. And most people are hopeless. This is not pessimism but simply the grim reality of things as they stand under the once again ever-tightening noose of collectivism and irrationalism.
Are these assumptions valid? Are my assumptions any more valid than the ones in the examples? How can we know?
The answer is very simple, but at the same time very involved and demanding:
Check your premises.
I have omitted major portions. So read the complete post.
Needless to say, I haven’t read everything he’s written. But I intend to do that over a period of time. Do visit the blog.