posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 02:45 PM
Maybe the reader has heard something like this—“Reality is comprised of coconut-cream and chocolate. How do I know, you ask? I’ve tasted it,
I’ve experienced it. If you haven’t, you are doing something wrong. Something something fractals, something something super powers, something
something spirit, and the obligatory As above, so below.“
Something like what you’ve just read is the going rate in the Philosophy & Metaphysics forum here at ATS, yet as you may have noticed, it reads
nothing like philosophy and metaphysics. Rather, it reads like dogmatism and sophistry, differing only in subtle degrees from religion & faith. In
other words, there is very little in terms of philosophy and metaphysics occurring here at all, and the tried and true standards of reason and
evidence have given way to faith and a charlatan’s desires for obsequious underlings.
As I read through the threads on this board I find the typical anti-philosophy—the mysticism, arbitrary symbolism, “laws” of attraction,
spirituality, neo-hinduism, empathic guesswork, western buddhism, quantum woo and new age spirituality, which demand no more than your keen and
diligent attention as opposed to rational thought, the sycophants always craving attention more so than truth.
In order to tell the difference between the pseudo-philosopher and the philosopher, we might apply something like Plato’s distinction. The
philosopher philosophizes to learn; the sophist philosophizes for less-than-virtuous reasons such as fame, advantage and most of all, power. The
philosopher utilizes the universal tools anyone can use, keeping truth in the public domain; the sophist hides his toolbox in the inner-realm of his
subjectivity and play-acting. Behind the philosopher is a breadcrumb trail to his conclusions, whereupon anyone can criticize. Behind the pseudo
philosopher lies no such trail, and criticism is strictly forbidden.
It would be sophistical of me to provide a definition of philosophy—and you'll be quick to raise that objection—but knowing the company I keep
here, I do not feel all that bad about it. We’ll keep the definitions economical: philosophy is the love of wisdom and pseudo-philosophy is the love
of one’s own wisdom. Philosophy is the use of wisdom to arrive at truth. Pseudo-philosophy is the use of wisdom to arrive at personal advantage.
I suggest we return to philosophy and metaphysics, or we band together and advocate for a new board, Pseudo-Philosophy and Mysticism, at least so we
can refrain from trampling all over human history.