Rise Above The Dumbosity Of Others

Whenever anyone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach it.
– Rene Descartes, philosopher and mathematician (1596-1650)

This way of dealing with offences would be very difficult today because so many people act in offensive ways, by intention and by their neglect of commitments they have made.

Developer of the dualistic theory (or philosophy) of mind and matter–everything we know can be designated to one category or the other–Descartes fully believed that more exists than can be attributed to either matter or energy. Science today tries to teach us different from that, claiming that anything beyond matter and energy is pure fantasy or hallucination.

Using this theory of everything that is known, called materialism, science today encourages us to believe that anything that cannot be proven to exist or that at least doesn’t have the potential to be proven is nothing more than imagination. That includes the concept of God, which materialists believe is fantasy.

So believers in materialism have created their own god, known to some as manna, to others as money. They believe that any activity that has nothing to do with either the acquisition of money (including investing it) or the spending of money is worthless, time wasted. Money, they claim, has provable value.

One of the key problems of materialists attributing so much to human imagination is that imagination cannot be designated as either energy or matter. Imagination, itself, defies category in materialist terms. So does free will. So do ESP (extra-sensory perception), presentiment, telepathy, premonition, foreboding, precognition, the Evil Eye (some form of which exists in almost every culture on earth) and even the sense of being started at or watched from behind you. An abundance of both carefully conducted scientific experimentation and collected anecdotes exists to prove all of these.

As one Indian materialist scientist told me recently, “I like living in a world where I know that everything can be proven to exist.” As I have a great deal of respect for the intellect of this man, I held myself back from telling him that I refused to believe that he exists because he might be nothing more than a fraudulent persona on the Internet.

Sometimes we just have to rise above temptations that will serve no good to engage in. That’s the point Descartes was making. Sometimes the issues simply aren’t worth the trouble. Often the offender isn’t.

To have the ability to detach yourself from the temptation to engage in worthless debate or argument with no possibility of concluding satisfactorily because at least one party persists in intellectual blindness is one clear mark of wisdom.

Refusing to engage in debate or argument where you might lose, but gain knowledge in the process, does not qualify as wisdom. It qualifies as intellectual cowardice.

The world is filled with people who function barely above the level of retardedness. It doesn’t need any more people who are reticent about participating in discussion on topics other than work, the weather or sports for fear of being shown up as knowing very little.

It’s amazing how much you can learn by losing an argument you thought out well and presented with confidence. Or by listening with a critical ear.

Humankind did not get this far in its evolution by avoiding thinking. Though, to judge by many people we meet each day, you might wonder.

Bill Allin
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a book about how, when and what to teach children so that they can be lifelong learners who will not step back from fruitful discussion and learning or teaching opportunities.
Learn more at http://billallin.com

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4 thoughts on “Rise Above The Dumbosity Of Others

  1. If you believe that there is scientific proof or really any solid proof that ESP,telepathy and everything you mentioned..then you have an excellent chance to win a million dollars. Go to http://www.randi.org/joom/content/view/38/31/

    You’ll find an application and the rules which are very simple. You also find a list of more than 200 applicants who have already tried but never got past the preliminary test.

    The test is very simple, they just put you in a situation where you can’t fake it. You results then simply have to have a statistically significant result. (Beyond just guessing).

    Here’s an example of a test that I saw on PBS. A woman in Russia claimed she could tell all about someone from their picture. So for the test, they spread out about 50 pictures on the table and told her to select anyone and state anything significant about that person. When she tried to ask for information about any of the pictures, she wasn’t given any. So the picture she selected turned out to be a picture of Ted Bundy. In her description, she just missed that little incident about being one of the most notrious serial killers in history.

  2. In response to the previous comment. The Great Randi promotes himself as a great “skeptic,” but he really is not a true skeptic so much as he is simply a “dis-believer.” He will always find a way to not see evidence for what he has already decided is not possible. I am not suggesting such things are “real” or not. Just saying I doubt he would ever give away a million dollars, even if someone read every thought in his own mind. He wouldn’t be able to believe it actually happened.

  3. Materialists believe that anything related to telepathy that can’t be demonstrated in sterile, clinical conditions is fake. Heck, I can’t even get a valid blood pressure reading in those conditions.

    The objective of science in these tests is to make conditions so free of potentially sensitive data that the people being tested are more like guinea pigs in test tubes than like sentient human beings with possibly extraordinary powers.

    I wonder why people with extraordinary powers feel it necesary to subject themselves to such tests. Do they succumb to taunting from scientists and skeptics? Those people don’t have much to be proud of, usually. They get their cloak of authority by association with real scientists (who don’t give a damn about the paranormal because it’s not within their purview).

  4. I can see you’re a skeptic of skeptics. Here’s the point, without some reliable way of testing claims of extraordinary powers you couldn’t tell the difference between what’s real and what’s fake.

    What makes James Randi different from a scientist is his background as a magician. He knows how the trick is done. So what the tests really do is identify those who are faking it or simply getting the results you’d get from random chance.

    The tests are not sterile. They are agreed upon by both sides and can take place sitting across a kitchen table.

    Scientists are often the worst people to do these kinds of tests because they base their observations on their scientific experience and can be fooled with a little slight of hand.

    I suggest that you take a look at the rules of the contest and whose applied. By the way, you can get an accurate blood pressure readings in a doctors office and even the dentists chair.

    By the way, Siegfied and Roy actually don’t make the tiger dissappear…it’s a trick.

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