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General Epistemology        Chapter I-8       

 

Chapter I-8 IS QUADRIPOLAR LOGIC RATIONNAL?

 

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Many will have noticed that, until now, I thoroughly avoided to use words like «objective» or «rational», that however many were expecting. There is a reason for this, and this chapter is to explain this in details.

Indeed our modern Aristotelian and scientific world claims to have developed the notion of rationality: to make exact logical reasonings starting from verified facts, and to concretely apply the resulting conclusions. This modern world also claims to have developed the notion of objectivity: to draw exact conclusions, which really describe reality, and not ideological or cultural a priori, personal attachment or aversion. If we dispute the very ground of these intentions, then it is useless to speak about logic, nor of reasoning and not even of truth. Useless to criticize modern science, and even useless to further read this book.

 

However we are forced to note that words such as «rational» or «objective» are often used to label things which are at the opposite of them. The typical case was, in the 1970 years, that nuclear power would be «rational», while ecology would be «irrational». Since (or before) many other blatant propaganda used the same trick: anti-ecology, atheism, materialism, capitalism, marxism, utilitarianism, technocracy, egocentricity, anti-morals, etc. all claim to be «objective», «rational», «realistic»! Similar lies are about defending war or bull fights as «realistic», while the arguments against them would be «sentimentality»... not to speak of all the morals or spiritual domain, rejected as a whole as «subjective», thus opening a free path for all kinds of exploitation and abuses!

Of course I am not the first to note this bias. However we have to admit that the opposite bias also exists: pseudo-science theories, astrology, cults, fanatic groups, immoral people, often claim some sort of «a right to subjectivity», placing arbitrary beliefs, desires and personal interests at an equal, see higher level than objectively proved facts. Must we, for this reason, reject all the ethics and spiritual values which are the basis of our societies?

 

But we have now four points, two being right, and two being false. So that it is enough to give a quadripolar diagram, and place these words in, so that all their definitions appear clearly:

Quadripolar Diagram of rationality and intuition

We have in (1) an attitude based on reasoning and verifiable facts. Especially we have here the classical science, which uses exact reasoning (mostly Aristotelian) and material observation, to discover the physical world as it is. This brought us the technical progress, but also organized societies.

We have in (2) an attitude based on sensitivity to basic human needs and feelings, in order to discover our inner world as it is. This brings us the basic values funding an humanly and socially fair behaviour, such as the human rights. We could build here a true spiritual science (often non-Aristotelian). Psychology, and some spiritual teachings (especially buddhist) can, with some cautions, be considered as starting points of such a spiritual science.

 

In (4) we have the arbitrary beliefs, or dogmatism which claim to be human, but which are not based on an observation of consciousness, even not on intuition or sensitivity. Many social, political and religious statements are in this case, and all the cults.

In (3) at last we have scientific or rational looking speech, but which do arbitrary statements (4) into the domain of consciousness, such as the negation of ethics or happiness. This is the scientistism, deviation of classical science, but which in fact serves ideological ends or private interests.This is also called «rationalism» or «scientism», but both are used for naming (1) as well as (3). This is why I preferred the rare «Scientistism», which is the only one clearly pejorative. So I use it strictly in this meaning.

 

This quadripolar diagram is very interesting, as it enlightens many ongoing disputes. For instance, in the 1970 years, science was often opposed to environment. It was in facts scientistism (3) opposed to a sane conduct (2). Ecology as a science is obviously in (1), when environmentalism as a social or political action is the collaboration of (1) and (2). However today (2010) climate deniers (4) are directly attacking (1). This is a serious threat to our organized societies, but at least they force science to move away from (3). A Similar opposition is found into all the sadomasochistic «budget cuts» and other «economy constrains» (3) which directly attack human values (2), for the only purpose of allowing personal interests (4) to grow fat. Pseudo-sciences are theoretically in (4), but we need to carefully think in a case by case basis: sometimes the scientistism (3) rejects true issues which are in (1) or (2). For instance there are serious UFO studiers in (1), while all the noisy conspiracy morons are obviously in (4). At last the recent noisy debate «evolution versus creation» is obviously a dogmatic (4) attack against knowledge (1), although we need to reply with care: many scientists lowered themselves to an atheist crusade (3), and this is definitively not needed. Further in this book, this will be discussed correctly: in a (1) AND (2) synergy.

 

As for me, I follow the opinion of the Century of Enlightenment, or of great scientists like Einstein, who were dreaming of an universal science which would study physics (1) and mind (2) as well. They were unable to do so, from the lack of suitable tools in their epoch (or because of the bias (3) of classical science, that we shall see this in the second part on epistemology). Symmetrically, the exact spiritual science (2) of ancient India was unable to study material realities (1), and it comes today encumbered with cosmological or astrological beliefs (4), that His Holiness the Dalai Lama demands to abandon if they do not match the discoveries of physics or astronomy (1). This synthesis is the stake of an universal science which is still to be created.

Non-Aristotelian logics are as worthy as others

(Permalink) So it is a mistake, and often a purposeful manipulation, to confuse rationality with the only Aristotelian reasoning, or with the only materialistic ideologies, anti-life or anti-morals.

To be «rationnal» or «objective» don't mean that we are pronuclear, broker or vivisector. The exact meaning of these words is that we want to understand reality, whatever it is material or about consciousness, starting from observation of facts, using reasoning, whatever they are Aristotelian, Yin-Yang, non duality or quadripolar, and that those reasoning are exact, on objects for which they are valid.

 

So all the logics are rational and objective, in the exact meaning of these words, explained in this chapter: understand that they always are means to reason on objects, and discover things into real situations.

 

Physics does not have a monopoly on reason. Material science has no right to edict moral rules, neither to dispute our motivations or our hopes. It is nor its role, neither its domain.

The aspirations of human beings, or ethics, are not beliefs. They are the realities of the domain of consciousness, which have as much relevance, and even more, than technical realisations. I shall even state that it is the technical realizations which are void of any meaning if they are not into the service of consciousness.

 

We shall correct in chapter III-7 and further, the astounding statement of some materialistic scientistists as what consciousness would not exist, and when we shall create ethic in chapter V-5 we shall nab the incredible fascist pretention of scientistism as what consciousness would be irrelevant or worthless.

Sane vocabulary and ambiguous vocabulary

(Permalink) Rational (1) is the fact of using reasoning, on every subject, with any relevant logic, and, in the case of a given subject, to accept to correctly apply the valid logic rules, to consciously accept their result and if requested to accept to accomplish the corresponding actions in our lives. (Even if we don't like them. At the expense of our lives? And even at the expense of OUR PRIDE???).

 

Logic is universal, it applies to every subject, and I, at will, in this part on logic, considered examples in physics, ethics, politics, religion, sometimes rather polemical. All these subjects can be legitimately examined as soon as we find a valuable premise to do Aristotelian reasoning, or a problem which can be put into a quadripolar diagram.

 

Especially a really rational person will accept as well to think about topics of the experience of the world (1) or about topics of the inner experience (2). But this word was dishonestly used for a rationalist, (3) who limits his study to the material world (1) and refuses the world of consciousness (2).

 

A difficulty here is that the words «rational» and «rationalism» are used as well for the legitimate meaning and for the perverted meaning. They are two homonymous situations, as seen in chapter I-5, and confusing them always leads to serious mistakes.

In this book, I use «rational» for the legitimate meaning, and «rationalism» for the perverted meaning. But there is no consensus on this. Inevitably.

 

Intuitive (2) is the fact of using the human sensitivity we are ALL gifted with, in order to know the facts of the inner life (2).

An immediate application of (1) working with (2) is to use compassion (2) to understand human suffering and build an ethics, and even laws (1) which protect us from this suffering. A shameless mind control trick (3) is to say that ethics has no «rational» basement, by persons who simply refuse to see its foundation from their own inner experience (2).

The word «intuition» sometimes refers to an extrasensory perception. This is however not the case in this first part.

We shall study intuition more in details in the fifth part on consciousness, and its role in the building of a scientific ethics in the sixth part.

 

Objective (1) is a person who does not try to make false statements look like true, to his eyes or to the eyes of others, whereas he has the elements (information on the objects which he speaks, logical reasonings) which would enable him to deduce the truth (or at least to recognise his ignorance).

This word is often dishonestly used to mean a person who rejects the inner experience (2), and more generally for all the sadistic politicians who find their pleasure at imposing us budget restrictions, pollutions, destruction of nature, wars, useless work, etc.

 

Science is traditionally known as the fact of studying objectively (1) material facts (physics). I say (it is the main claim of this book, see part 2 on epistemology) that science can also study human/spiritual facts (2) such as ethics or spirituality.

 

Irrational (4) is a confused mind who accepts like truths assertions proven nor by observation neither by reasoning. But this word was dishonestly used to name the inner experience (2) so that we cannot use it without precautions.

 

Rationalism (3) is an irrational mind (4) who dishonestly claims for a material basis (1) or so-called rational motives.

 

Subjective is even more tricky, as this word is often used to nab a person (4) who does not satisfy the criterion of objectivity. But the legitimate meaning would rather be (2), for the inner experience: dreams, consciousness, emotions, feelings, desires, which are legitimate experiences of life, but not errors. This is a newspeak type mind control attempt, to elude (2) an confuse it with (4). Thus this word is now too pejorative to use it in its legitimate meaning.

 

The meaning of these words, their tendentious nuances and interpretations, cannot be completely discussed here, without referring to the epistemology. Therefore this discussion will be supplemented in the second part on epistemology, in chapter II-6. For now I shall avoid to use these words, to remove any confusion with the distorted or newspeak meaning. For instance I shall say «world experience» (1) or «inner experience» (2) to avoid the confusions attached to «objective» or «subjective». But if I say «this newspaper is not objective», the meaning is clear: they are liars!

Psychological bias

(Permalink) But now, we can say of a person who endeavours in every domain to find reality by avoiding reasoning mistakes and false presuppositions, hey, quite simply that this person is sincere. Sincere here means that the person reasons sincerely, that he looks for truth sincerely, excerting for this a methodical attention and honesty. This is of course not the self-apologising «sincerity» that some criminals use for their defence!

This is unfortunately not an absolute warranty that inattention errors will not happen, errors made sincerely in spite of all the necessary precautions taken. This is why sciences recognizes a result only if it is checked by several teams.

However this sincerity is efficient only if there is not another kind of unconscious error I want to point at now, such as an aversion which makes us more or less consciously refuse a true result from our reasoning, in spite of the evidences we possess. Or that an attachment makes us adhere to a false result, in spite of the troubles which will result from this. If such things happen, then we simply have to recognise that it is our mind which played us a trick, that its operation betrayed our will. Then let us call this with the name of psychological bias©.

 

There is of course a gradation between sincerity and psychological bias:

-A very sincere, meticulous and concentrated person should not make any error. We can only approach this ideal, especially in subtle or hardly known fields. Here we find the great scientists and the great mystics.

-A sincere but little motivated person will allow errors like not to accept a small observation which does not match with his ideas, or to neglect non-Aristotelian subtleties. It is often the case of the nowadays scientists.

-A halfway person will tend to believe what is said to him without reflection. The majority of persons share between this case and the previous.

-A person who thinks without sincerity, but with still an appearance of honesty, will invent stories and will have improbable speeches.

-Finally at the other end of the spectrum, we deal with scientific frauds, sects, mind control... sometimes accompanied with speeches on the absence of absolute truth or morals, sometimes in silence, without being discovered for years. The dishonesty is here conscious and deliberated, but it is only the extreme case of an omnipresent process, usually unconscious.

Psychological bias can appear many ways and for many reasons, because human mind is vast and with many disturbances. Also see the chapter V-12 and chapter V-13, about mind control methods.

 

The psychological bias is not a reasoning mistake; it is a much more profound defect of our mind itself, an unconscious process which makes us lie to ourselves, and this far before we start to consciously lie to others. The causes of psychological bias are not to be searched for into logics, but in psychology: the unfortunately ill working of our minds, which makes us prefer false conclusions despite the evidences, despite the suffering they will produce.

 

Science was able to completely eliminate psychological bias from mathematics, and to efficiently limit its effects in physics, with various methods (This is all the scientific methodology and epistemology, see the second part. But these methods are inoperant when the studied object is interior, for example the human mind (politics, economy, morals, spirituality...). So there is no other alternative than to become sincere to build a spiritual science, and to control our psychological bias, therefore to control our mind. It is foreseeable that for this we must undertake a suitable spiritual training, so that our mind really obeys our will, without being taken away by psychological stuff. But it is also obvious that this initially and first of all requires that this will make the good choice of really seeking truth! There too this discussion will be continued in the second part on epistemology, in chapter II-4 and further when we try to establish an ethics (chapter V-5).

Discussions

(Permalink) Historically, the rational and non-dualistic minds appeared gradually, in different places. In particular rationality is the result of a slow ripening process; it did not appeared abruptly with modern science, but it was already a little present in ancient civilisations on the whole Earth. Its ripening passed through antic Greece, but we can also trace it in India. More subtle logics as Yin-Yang dialectics or non-duality were to appear especially in China, but they did not missed completely among other peoples, for example the North America Indians.

No more than Aristotelian logic, the quadripolar logic, applied correctly to objects for which it is valid, does not allow to draw conclusions which depend on our mood, of the direction of the wind, the age of the captain, the bust measurement of our interlocutress, our race, our genes, our religion, our financial interests... What is really a lie or a confusion, even for Aristotelian logic, is to arbitrarily make statements according to personal preferences or other psychological biases, as practise all together dogmatic religious leaders, partisans of a clan, egocentric persons and other perverse sensualists, financial interests, some members of New age, and all those who, in the name of rationality, bawl against ecology, for nuclear power and «rational Western civilisation».

Let us remind here, independently of the psychological bias problem, in order to be efficiently used, quadripolar logic, just like Aristotelian logic, requires a special training of the mind. Aristotelian logic requires to develop analytic reasoning. Quadripolar logic requires to master meditation, synthetic thought, and especially non-duality (chapter I-3), which is more subtle. Both require to be sincere and honest. And things must be done in the right order. In traditional Buddhist monastic studies, even if the purpose is essentially meditation, an important part of the training is about Aristotelian logic, dialectics, debate, epistemology. Symmetrically, western universities should feature basic training in meditation and non-dual thinking, besides matters such as mathematics, physics, economy, law, computer programming. To master only one of the two produces unbalanced individuals, unable to completely understand reality. When meditation sessions in civil servant high schools?

One could be tempted to think that science would be based on Aristotelian reasoning, while non-Aristotelian reasoning would be art. However a non-Aristotelian reasoning is still objective, while art is not necessarily objective. And how to refer to art in a world where one can state without being punished that rap and tags are art?

 

With my opinion, if the interest of quadripolar logic is confirmed, then everyone has right to learn it for example at school, together with some bases of Eastern philosophy which are now part of the stock of general knowledge for the gentleman of the third millennium. All that is within reach for secondary school pupils, and can be introduced as soon as primary school. Just like maths.

 

 

 

 

 

 

General Epistemology        Chapter I-8       

 

 

 

 

 

 

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