A Question of Societal Delusions
Every age has its misunderstandings, its irrationalities, its delusions, which are often accorded by those harboring them as profound truths.
Maybe it’s the latest popular fad masquerading as science to an unsuspecting, and uninformed public. Maybe it’s some religious doctrine whose advocates wish it to be given ‘equal time’ in public school science classes.
Perhaps it’s a national government flirting with pseudoscience, spending millions on classified ‘human enhancement’ programs that turn out to be fruitless, or legislators with conservative religious leanings who feel offended or nervous about the implications and their own misconceptions of some new and promising medical technique.
It could even be some new permutation of an old occult or New Age doctrine, or perhaps something entirely new, entirely divorced from even a superficial connection with science, despite using its own obscurantist jargon.
These irrationalities ebb and flow throughout history, sometimes waxing with the ascension of extremist ideological movements and waning in proportion to the public understanding and acceptance of science when its pretenders stand exposed to their adherents…and sometimes victims…as the cranks, quacks and charlatans they are.
Note that it’s only possible for a belief to be a delusion – an objectively false belief – if it is also possible for things to be objectively true…and THAT requires an objective reality for that truth to exist.
My personal view is that the idea of an objective reality cannot be a delusion even if all ideas are considered to have equal truth value, which is itself an idea, for one cannot argue for the equal validity of all ideas and then consistently argue that the idea of a subjective conscious observer-created reality is any more valid than that of an objective observer-dependent reality, one in which in which the term ‘observer’ need have nothing to do with consciousness or even if the observer has a mind at all.
Unless, of course, the equal validity of all ideas means the validity of none of them. Arrrgh! The logical somersaults melt my brain…*ahem*
And so, my ever-perspicacious readers, do I ask: