Here Boy

All of human history has thrown up three philosophers worth noting. For positive reasons, that is. With no entirely similar features in terms of style, or even subject area they nevertheless evince one key quality: a lack of dogmatism.

There is little point in dogmatism. Anyone imagining that individual people are so sublimely varied they must shackle their thoughts and passions into lines based on whatever matrix of reasons they have recently confused for truth is ignoring the colossal drag factor of personality. Over any medium time period a majority of thoughts and beliefs will show similitude. Or, if thought and beliefs are cascading and switching between states much faster, one has greater local difficulties than philosophical hexis.

And there is such good reason to reject dogmatism as far as possible. Yes, preparing the flexibility involved reduces the trauma when you inevitably find out so much of what you believe is false. Yes, you can witness the insincere look in the eye, and expression in voice, of those who recognise what a noble and personally difficult route you have taken. And yes, you can take manic (if hidden) glee in the cognitive rings you can run around those who have chosen not just to shackle themselves in morality, but in thought as well.

But largely there is good reason to reject dogmatism because we have precious little concept of what drives us, and even why we believe what we believe. To the extent that we are likely to end up believing something closer to the true nature of reality, or ourselves, by simply changing our minds. Just as by casting a stone into a seething mob we’re likely to hit someone much less annoying than ourselves.

In fact we should uproot and throw away almost everything we believe, as much as we can, as often as we can. You will never uproot enough to paralyse yourself. And just look at the world and the people around you, which shaped you, that has formed the very inverted pearls rotting within your oblivious and malformed shells. Would you kill and die for such things? Without questioning? Sadly, of course you would. It is what the world around you imposes upon you. And the less developed, less understood, less defensible the notion, thought, belief, the swifter and more enthusiastic will be the hideous action taken on its behalf. Does not conviction make true? Is not conviction in what cannot be seen, touched or proved in any way holy?

In dogmatism you ultimately revenge yourself upon the world you failed to question.


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