9. Absurdity of Applied Philosophy
There are as many definitions of philosophy as there are philosophers. The common element between all definitions is "the claimed search for truth".
The following definitions appear to be commonly accepted:
- doctrine: a belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school of thought
- (Greek, "Love of wisdom"): The methodical and systematic exploration of what we know, how we know it, and why it is important that we know it. Too frequently, students use the term somewhat nebulously. They often mistakenly state, "My philosophy about X is . . ." when they really mean, "My opinion about X is . . ." or "My attitude toward X is . . ."
- Applied Philosophy (author´s definition): Opinion, not necessarily truth backed by force or "Opinion with Teeth"
In the grand scheme of things are all adrift in infinity. Space and time is endless. We are restricted to planet earth. A few lucky ones have and can leave the planet to travel small distances in cramped environmental prisons. All of us have a finite period of time available for life. We speculate, but cannot know what, if anything we were doing before conception or what happens after death. In terms of space and time, our lives are finite.
We do have a large number of possible choices in the span of our lives. Every single choice and non choice opens up a whole new range and closes another range of future choice possibilities.
Unconstrained by the laws of nature acting in your environment, the number of possible choices at any instant in time is infinite (no end of possibilities). The laws of nature allow only a fraction of choices from all possibilities. Even if this fraction is one allowable choice in a billion possibilities, when you take a percentage of infinity, the answer is still infinity. Therefore, at any instant in time, there are an infinite number of possible choices available for all of us. Our uniqueness as individuals is because we are the product of all of our past choices and experiences which forms our philosophy which is our world view. Our philosophy is the intellectual paradigm which determines how we react to events in life (choose) and therefore determines consequence.
As an example of this, consider career choice. There are many possible careers, including none. If the choice of none is made, you have excluded all possibility of a career in a field requiring a degree. If you choose to get a degree in a particular field, this will require a large investment in time, energy and money. This choice also precludes careers in other fields requiring different degrees. Thus, this one choice has eliminated some other possible choices and opened up new ones in the direction chosen.
Applied philosophy is absurd for the simple reason that life, choice, number of possible environments and worldviews are infinite. Any presumed knowledge in the area of mankind must, by definition be incomplete since it is a product of the experiences and opinions of the finite number of people who claim it is knowledge, describing a very small slice of their reality from an infinity of possibilities. Philosophies are the opinions of groups of blind men attempting to describe an elephant where the elephant is constantly adapting and changing its nature. Philosophies are, by definition, generalizations and, when they are applied outside of the scope of their validity, always fail to explain or determine anything.
What I am reiterating here is that the only thing we can call absolute truth is what is true for all environments. In the area of man, absolute truth is what is true for all men in all environments. Truth is environmental and cannot be expressed without exactly specifying the environmental conditions to which it applies.
Perceptual truth is also environmental, an opinion regarding the relationship between action and consequence in an environment. The factors which determines the relationship between action and consequence is knowledge, the how relating action to consequence. If you are floating in space, the law of gravity is not a perceptual truth, but is an absolute truth.
Consider the philosophy of law. It is claimed to be mankind´s knowledge in the area of social organization and supposedly determines what we (and the law) can, must and cannot do. Law is the exercise of organized force against citizens. Having proven above that the choice possibilities in life are infinite and law presumes to control choice, is it any surprise that the number of laws, a collection of past opinions and precedents is also tending towards infinity as it attempts to describe and control infinity? Current law is and must be, by its basic absurdity in attempting to control infinity both false and incomprehensible, even to the practitioners. The law is attempting to limit mans choices to create a very limited reality which means it is limiting mankind´s ability to adapt and survive.
Bottom line is that any applied philosophy which strays outside absolute truth (true for all environments) or does not exactly specify the conditions under which it has been proven to be true is a lie. If such a philosophy is used to enforce rules in the affairs of man, the only way it can be tolerated is if the education, perceptions and environments of man are limited such that all experience a common, limited reality or all face a life threatening force, should they disagree. In other words, mankind must be lobotomized or diversity of viewpoint destroyed or perceptions controlled and disagreement forcefully suppressed for any imposed opinion (except absolute truth) of social/economic organization (civilization) to be successfully forced on mankind. Control therefore requires the reduction of mankind´s ability to choose and thus, to survive.