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Thread: The Roots of American Polarization

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    The Roots of American Polarization

    The logical law of non-contradiction existed in philosophy right up until about Hegel, and his best-known follower Marx, who rejected it, and the postmoderns followed suit.

    The Roots of American Polarization

    ...No one desires the present unpleasantness. We sincerely wish that we could get along. However, most people want a quick fix....

    ...There is no quick fix. Something very profound needs to be sorted out, which makes our divisions difficult to resolve. Our postmodern times reject everything that takes effort and thought. They embrace all that is shallow and inconsequential. Many believe it is better to plod along cursing the polarization than light a candle of clarity that will require painful personal changes.

    Thus, we remain mired in our postmodern crisis. We do not desire the clarity and certainty that produces harmony and truth. Instead, we prefer the dark and lazy ambiguity that allows every error to flourish and every contradiction to co-exist.

    ...Indeed, one major reason we do not understand each other is that the principle of contradiction is collapsing in our society. Saint Thomas Aquinas says this indispensable philosophical principle is the foundation upon which all thinking, doing and desiring is based. Today, it is at the core of our social incompatibility.

    This principle of contradiction is the most universal of all judgments, and it can be stated simply as, “It is impossible for a thing to be and not be at the same time.” Another formulation says “that which is, cannot be that which is not.” It is also known as the law of non-contradiction.

    ...However, large sectors of the public have adopted an attitude that denies this principle. A climate of relativism pervades in which things are increasingly uncertain. It undermines ideas and concepts long accepted as true. It conspires against the permanency of our institutions.

    This relativism posits the mistaken belief that each person develops and determines his or her own truth. When a significant portion of the population holds this view, it creates tension since these different “truths” contradict one another. Moreover, these contrary positions are forced to co-exist, even when this blending denies evident reality. When everyone can be both right and wrong at the same time, rational debate become untenable.

    The more this relativism spreads, the more social life becomes difficult. For a long time, this relativism has eroded the social fabric of society and led to social disintegration. ...
    Edmund Burke: "In vain you tell me that Artificial Government is good, but that I fall out only with the Abuse. The Thing! the Thing itself is the Abuse!"

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    It was a decent read, and I get that by tearing down known contradictions, polarization can occur, but I'm not so sure the Bible is the method by which we should be judging society.

    I think some moral relativism is harmful, but not all. We know a transgender woman really shouldn't be competing in girl's sports, but there's no reason people of the same sex shouldn't marry. The first actually puts others at a disadvantage, while the second doesn't harm anyone.

    Contradictions will naturally fall away as we evolve, but those that are based in nature will (and should) prevail.
    "What happens is of little significance compared with the stories we tell ourselves about what happens. Events matter little, only stories of events
    affect us.”

    ~Rabih Alameddin


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    Chris (11-21-2019)

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    Quote Originally Posted by FindersKeepers View Post
    It was a decent read, and I get that by tearing down known contradictions, polarization can occur, but I'm not so sure the Bible is the method by which we should be judging society.

    I think some moral relativism is harmful, but not all. We know a transgender woman really shouldn't be competing in girl's sports, but there's no reason people of the same sex shouldn't marry. The first actually puts others at a disadvantage, while the second doesn't harm anyone.

    Contradictions will naturally fall away as we evolve, but those that are based in nature will (and should) prevail.

    Faith is, I suppose, one way to find non-contradictory consistency, but there are other ways. It requires an open mind, the openness that admits to your own contradictions when pointed out, rather than doggedly defending them.
    Edmund Burke: "In vain you tell me that Artificial Government is good, but that I fall out only with the Abuse. The Thing! the Thing itself is the Abuse!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Faith is, I suppose, one way to find non-contradictory consistency, but there are other ways. It requires an open mind, the openness that admits to your own contradictions when pointed out, rather than doggedly defending them.
    Faith in what? Moral evolution?
    Whoever criticizes capitalism, while approving immigration, whose working class is its first victim, had better shut up. Whoever criticizes immigration, while remaining silent about capitalism, should do the same.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister D View Post
    Faith in what? Moral evolution?
    FK was referring to the Bible, so I meant faith in God, Jesus.

    If there's moral evolution, it's in discovering morality.
    Edmund Burke: "In vain you tell me that Artificial Government is good, but that I fall out only with the Abuse. The Thing! the Thing itself is the Abuse!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    FK was referring to the Bible, so I meant faith in God, Jesus.

    If there's moral evolution, it's in discovering morality.
    True, I just brought it up because the author of the article advocated it at the bottom of the article. All in all, I think the subject is important for our time -- and I was really impressed by the author's observation that this is a philosophical issue in an era where we don't care much for philosophy.

    "Discovering morality" is a huge topic, but it's interesting that virtually every civilization had some teaching similar to the Golden Rule, which seems to underlie the basis for developing morality. The following rules and restrictions are heaped on to define and refine the moral rules, but we still understand that we should consider how what we're doing would feel if it were done to us. I think that's monumental in its simplicity - and it stands the test of time and surmounts organized religion.
    "What happens is of little significance compared with the stories we tell ourselves about what happens. Events matter little, only stories of events
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Faith is, I suppose, one way to find non-contradictory consistency, but there are other ways. It requires an open mind, the openness that admits to your own contradictions when pointed out, rather than doggedly defending them.
    Some contradictions in the ways of life can be put off to "a time for every purpose under the sun"

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    Quote Originally Posted by donttread View Post
    Some contradictions in the ways of life can be put off to "a time for every purpose under the sun"
    Does your garden grow in the winter?
    Edmund Burke: "In vain you tell me that Artificial Government is good, but that I fall out only with the Abuse. The Thing! the Thing itself is the Abuse!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Does your garden grow in the winter?
    No, which is in keeping with my point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    The logical law of non-contradiction existed in philosophy right up until about Hegel, and his best-known follower Marx, who rejected it, and the postmoderns followed suit.

    The Roots of American Polarization
    Moral relativism has existed since the concept of morality was given a name i.e. you must treat your own community well, but it's perfectly acceptable to take from, abuse or kill strangers. Our entire geopolitical landscape on the planet has been based on this morally relativistic concept while the most professed pious moralists have accepted and encouraged this cognitively dissonant behavior out of self-interest and still do to this day.

    There is nothing logical about the law of non-contradiction unless you believe that mankind has already discovered all knowable facts and that there can be no advancement in philosophical, ethical and moral theory. In 1616, Galileo was accused of being a heretic for suggesting that the earth revolved around the sun. That was just over 500 years ago. A moment in time for humanity. The law of non-contradiction would suggest that Galileo was wrong because the accepted 'truth' at the time is that the entire universe revolved around the earth. There was a time when the 'truth' was that man could not fly. There was a time when the 'truth' was that malaria was a result of bad air (that's literally what malaria means). We have contradicted thousands, if not millions of so-called truths as we have evolved and we will continue to do so.
    "The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.”
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