Digging at the confluence of culture and everything else
Monthly Archives: November 2013
11/27/2013Posted by on
You may have noticed I chose a controversial topic to start a blog with. This may concern you, and for good reason. Bear with me, and you may find something a bit more interesting as you go. I chose to begin blogging with this topic for a few reasons, some good, some terrible. 1
One of my guiding principles in writing this blog is to avoid making arguments that end in telling you that, by power of superior logic, this is what to believe.2 Not only is learning what someone else wants you to believe profoundly boring, it is underpinned by bad understandings of the nature of belief and the utility of arguments. An argument is an exploration of an idea in a forum – or an act of forensics. A debate is a crucible where arguments are tested and with a little luck, truth emerges. The best sorts of arguments are like an archaeological dig of the soul; through painstaking effort, belief is discovered.
So instead of telling you what to believe, I’m much more interested in helping people discover what they believe. The deeper foundations, moral instincts, gut feelings, and deeply held beliefs in the heart of hearts, far and away from the theoretical superstructures and ideological tribes we think define us. Labels are good tools but poor masters. And in order to get to that point, we must cut you adrift from the day to day context of controversial issues. It is too easy to simply choose by figuring out what side is that of the oppressor, or the barbarian, or the coercer and to act accordingly. To discover, to grow, you must be alone with your thoughts and your intuitions, with no clear markers to guide you. To do that I turn to thought experimentation, to the hypothetical.