"Think for yourself"

A very nice essay by Adam Gurri has some gems:

"individual responsibility – like liberty – is itself a concept that emerged within a tradition that had particular groups as its caretakers. Not only do I think that individual responsibility, properly understood, is compatible with the notion that groups can choose; I think that individual responsibility has only ever existed within a space framed by groups."

And:

"It often amazes me how the most committed individualists will speak of 'thinking for yourself' and then will draw on ideas that they learned entirely from other people."

The second quote reminds me of an online conversation I had recently. I encountered an online friend claiming that some physicist had "proved" that time was an illusion.When I mentioned this was nonsense, and that the physicist had confused mathematics with metaphysics, I was met with cries, by him and his buddy, of, "But this guy we are citing knows mathematics!" (And "Metaphysics is a bad word!" -- that sort of thing is used constantly by people who don't want to be challenged on their bad metaphysics.)

And then I asked them if either of them could explain to me how, "mathematically," we can show time doesn't exist. Oops, nothing.

This pair are like primitive tribesmen deferring to a witch doctor: "Ooh, scary mathematical physicist says time no exist! We must accept this!"

And yet, I am sure they praise themselves for "thinking for themselves" on a point where they take for truth a ridiculous assertion that they admit they can't understand at all on the level upon which it is supposedly "proven."

4 comments:

  1. I have a proof time does not exist. I'll post it later.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Thinking for yourself" is overrated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. The point here was how often those who would pride themselves on doing this are simply repeating what they have heard (without understanding) from others.

      Delete
  3. "I think that individual responsibility has only ever existed within a space framed by groups."

    Way?

    "When I mentioned this was nonsense, and that the physicist had confused mathematics with metaphysics, I was met with cries, by him and his buddy, of, "But this guy we are citing knows mathematics!" (And "Metaphysics is a bad word!" -- that sort of thing is used constantly by people who don't want to be challenged on their bad metaphysics.)"

    One physicist gets it when it comes philosophy.

    ReplyDelete