Internet Goosing the Antithesis

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Truth-Seeking, Truth-Generation, Truth-Affirmation

What does it mean for a person or system to be truth-seeking, truth-generating, truth-affirming ? There are many different types of truth-seeking. There is the obvious kind, the one scientists and researchers do, truth-generation. Science after all is precisely a method that, in the long run, generates systematic truths about natural law. So does someone who uses empiricism to arrive at some conclusion about the world around him. If I look at the clock to check the time, that's trivial truth-seeking. If I press someone to reveal something I need to know, that's also truth-seeking, of a somewhat less trivial kind.

But truth reflects on all aspects of life. There is the truth-affirmation of the moral kind, wherein one acts in accordance with the facts of reality. When we act in a certain way instead of another in a principled manner, we affirm truths about reality. Distantly contained within my decision to write this post is the truth about atheism, capitalism, and truth itself. Proximately contained with the decision is the truth about my motivation for writing here : because I want to share my ideas and help other people out there to understand or progress on a given subject.

There is also not truth-seeking or truth-generating itself but a sort of doctrine-knocking which frees the individual's potential for truth-seeking or truth-generating. This is the province of atheism and capitalism/libertarianism. We can basically formulate both positions in a truth-seeking way :

Atheism is - a lack of belief in the existence of God or gods which nullifies the stullifying effects of collectivist religious doctrines, and lets personal values come to the fore, letting the individual free to choose rational truth-seeking.
Capitalism is - a lack of belief in the power of the state which nullifies the stullifying effects of collectivist political doctrines, and lets personal values be expressed in action, letting the individual free to choose rational truth-seeking in his actions.

Atheism and capitalism are radically different from religious and political belief systems, in that they are not fundamentally a system but rather the elimination of a doctrinal, collectivist way of thinking (God is the answer/the state is the answer) in which the individual and his values are constrained. So, insofar as atheism and capitalism are both individualist positions which let the individual express his own values, they are a support for truth-seeking. Without some form of atheism and capitalism, there is no truth-seeking possible.

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At 8/15/2005 12:09 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

I love this post. Good job!

So why the hell did the religious people in America embrace capitalism?

And why the hell did the secular people in Europe embrace socialism?

Eventually America will lose its religion too. And finally there will be a country of secular capitalists.

At 8/15/2005 12:29 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

1. The right-wing is not capitalist.
2. Politics fulfills many religious functions (and in some extreme cases, all - as in the Nazis), and there is a natural contrast between the two.

At 8/16/2005 8:02 AM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

So why the hell did the religious people in America embrace capitalism?

You know, back in the day when I liked to listen to "bible prophecy" [you can find these guys @] Irvin Baxtor was asked if there were bible verses that backed up his views on capitalism. He ratled out a scripture which was totaly convoluted. I wish I could remember what it was. Anyway... yea... some of them seem to think they can create an entire capitalist system from one verse in the Bible....



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