(read it and weep) (a graduate education in philosophy in one lesson)
Q&A: —“Curt Doolittle, is christian mysticism a functional or structural approach to things?”—
[W]ell, now that’s an interesting question.
1) “Functional”, “Structural” and “Approach to Things” are problematic terms. If we clarify the terms – which is the purpose of analytic philosophy – then I am pretty sure that (as usual) the question will all but answer itself.
2) The Grammar of Description: The subset of internal consistency: observer (narrator) consistency.
There are at least three points of view that we can use do describe observations: (a) the experience of being subjected to stimuli, (b) the experience of acting to cause change in state, (c) the observer of the actor and/or the experiencer, (d) the description of the constituent parts as a series of operations.
In other words, all description of observation that we can use for reconstruction of observation (communication) of relies upon a grammar, and that grammar includes the point of view.
In general the most problematic use of this grammar originates in the ‘cost’ of consistency in construction of our descriptions. The verb to-be functions as an obscurant technique with which to conflate multiple points of view, (use bad grammar of description) thereby either alleviating the burden of logical consistency from the speaker, OR worse, through obscurantism, allowing the speaker to state a falsehood undetected by the audience.
3) “Functional” methodology is more correctly stated as an attempt at descriptive consistency using the experiential observer’s point of view, and the behavior (incentives?) that these experiences produce.
Since humans act according to their experiences, this is somewhat difficult to argue with.
To convey mere ‘meaning’ any method can be used to serve the speaker’s interests.
Certainly the experiential point of view requires the least knowledge, and relies upon mere introspection. But experiential description is also the most susceptible to error, bias, wishful thinking, deception, because it is the easiest means of suggestion. It is the easiest means of suggestion because it is the most subject to loading, framing, overloading, and it invokes our desire to empathize with the speaker, leading to easy abuse of our altruism. (Which is why people use it).
Hence why the discipline of science speaks operationally: to best ostracize error, bias, wishful thinking, deceit, suggestion, and abuse of altruism.
And hence why, in my work, I use amoral operational language to prevent error caused by experiential, intentional, and observational methods of description.
To convey “truth”, meaning that we have done due diligence to launder error, bias, wishful thinking, deceit, loading, framing, and suggestion would require that we test that all four descriptive models of a process are consistent with one another, such that we convey no error, bias, wishful thinking, or deceit in our description.
4) Structuralism, or more honestly stated “social constructivism”, suggests that people throw symbols around at one another, and that their reality is socially constructed.
Now this may be true at some popular level, but it was the western tradition to teach grammar, rhetoric, logic, and philosophy for a very long time. And we can see from the disciplined use of grammar, rhetoric, logic, performative truth, the discipline of testimony, natural law, and physical law, that it is quite possible to learn to speak with the same discipline as any of the logics. We just have industrialized education mass consumption and no longer teach these skills.
The structuralist movement was created by some of the greatest ‘liars’ of the past century, in what I would argue represents an attempt to impose false skepticism on the use of language, in an effort to circumvent the constraint that consistent grammar, rhetoric, logic, performative truth, the discipline of testimony, natural law, and physical law
So just as the 19th century saw the first wave of pseudoscientific liars: Boaz (anthropology), Marx (economics and sociology), Freud (psychology), and Cantor(mathematical platonism), Mises (economics and philosophy) the 20th century saw the subsequent wave of philosophical liars, Michel Foucault, the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss (1908 – ), the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan (1901 – 1981), the developmental psychologist Jean Piaget (1896 – 1980), the linguists Roman Jakobson (1896 – 1982) and Noam Chomsky (1928 – ), the literary critic Roland Barthes (1915 – 1980) and the Marxist theorists Louis Althusser (1918 – 1990) and Nicos Poulantzas (1936 – 1979).
5) Christian mysticism makes use of analogy to invoke experience (the extension of kinship love through appeals to altruism and the pack response in exchange for self-generated status signals).
It makes use of any and all methods to suit its purpose. Christian mysticism is at best an allegorical literary and rhetorical art for constructing myths parables and outright lies, for the purpose of creating experiences, that produce behaviors.
Some of these behaviors are objectively beneficial (the extension of kinship love). And some of them are not (too many to list).
But what the data suggests is that this method works, particularly on the young, the vulnerable, the hopeful, and those with lower intelligence, and even those with average intelligence and above average moral instincts (purity, sanctity, hierarchy).
(But the church also has a long tradition of natural law as well.)
6) Humans can cooperate, communicate, and understand ethical moral and political statements by a spectrum of tools. And with some confidence we can say that Ethics can be taught using a spectrum of methods, from the most primitive and requiring the LEAST knowledge, to the most sophisticated and requiring the MOST knowledge:
a) Myth and Mysticism
b) Virtue ethics and imitation.
c) Rule ethics and adherence to law
d) Outcome ethics and the practice of science.
We can separate the promise of a narrative, from the truth content of it, from the behavior produced by it (ie: Islam’s nonsensical ‘religion of peace’ claims which fail all three tests.).
I would say that the truth content of christian mysticism is higher than the truth content of Structuralism. I would say that the outcome of christian mysticism is objectively more beneficial than the outcome of structuralism. I would say that the intention of structuralists was fraud and deception (parasitism). I would say that christian mysticism is not as bad as structuralism or social constructivism – which are themselves an argumentative innovation on mysticism (deceit). I would say that as long as we have a method of laundering error, bias, wishful thinking, and deceit from any and all arguments, and that we can teach this method by grammar, rhetoric, logic, performative truth, testimonial skill, natural law and physical law, that we can counter every one of these falsehoods.
[C]hristian mysticism consists of allegorical conveyance of meaning, using a mixture of truth and falsehood to try to produce high trust on one end, and dependency on the other.
functionalism consists of an internally consistent and grammatically consistent method of argument, but it is insufficient in the scope of due diligence it includes to ensure it is not used as a vehicle for error,bias, wishful thinking, and deceit.
Structuralism is a literary and narrative attempt to circumvent a demand for truth, testimony, natural law and physical law.
Christianity (monotheism) was the first great lie to successfully infect the west.
19th century pseudoscience as the second great lie to successfully infect the west.
20th century verbal ‘new mysticism of language’ was the third great lie to successfully infect the west.
None of these subjects merit discussion since christian supernatural mysticism, cosmopolitan pseudoscience, and cosmopolitan verbal mysticism, are nothing but the same technique applied in three different waves, in order to defeat the west’s central competitive strategy:
The creation of competitive commons through the use of truth, testimony, natural law and physical law.
In other words: correspondence.
The Propertarian Institute