Archive for generalizations

Verbal grapplage

Posted in academia, Buddhism, Christianity, Cults, death, martial arts, Mysticism, Philosophy, Reality Bites, Religion, society, Ultimate Reality with tags , , , , , , on January 29, 2009 by wizardsmoke

Although there might not be any ultimate goal or super high pinnacle, I do think there is a “great death” that one can undergo. How you get there beats the hell out of me, but I suspect it has to do with meditation. That’s my hunch. But then you could meditate on anything you want and not get there, so there must be some kind of specific instructions. Problem is, you’d need to make sure the person teaching you had already been “destroyed” by their awareness and experience, and it’s impossible to prove that empirically. Surprise!

I’ve known a few people who really loathe Christianity and all other religions. Their argument being that religions are the cause of mankind’s greatest evils (Crusades, Holocaust, etc). Any teenager will be glad to share their theory on this. And the logical response could simply be: (A) the evils committed under the influence of religion or religious differences were by people who did not follow the actual religious code (too literal, too loose), and therefore were not actually properly religious and (B) all organizations of all kinds are capable of, and have committed, some sinister practices. Religion is one of many such schemes, of which modern capitalism and consumer culture is quite similar.

Throwing away the idea of salvation, God, and everything else, it seems religion is just another way of socially separating groups and creating demographics; creating differences amongst people. People are separated from each other by their identifications, their labels, their distinctions. And you could attack any demographic of any type of linked assumed identities: sex, social strata, skin color, intelligence, religious association, athletic ability, the healthy, the technological saavy, those born with aggression and natural competitiveness, etc.

The first argument, that religious violence does not represent religion, is also very similar to the belief that systems of practice or belief, as well as tools, are neutral and devoid of moral principles in themselves — that it is the individual who decides the moral make-up of their systems and actions. I.e. the morality of guns, martial arts, religion, science and experimentation, is all explained by the individual approach and not the practice of the thing itself — that people do things for different reasons.

But if we say that the systems and tools of our civilization are neutral, but we set the moral grade, doesn’t that dismiss every practice? That means all large groups supposedly do not speak for the whole group should they behave in a socially unwholesome manner. And so it all comes back down to the politically correct mentality that we cannot make generalizations.

But everything is a generalization. Almost anything out of my mouth is a generalization. Or at the very least, an unscientifically provable assumption. The worst is when we describe a person. How can we do that without generalizing everything? We send off the thought processes of other people in wild directions because we cannot actually hone in a person’s “true” attributes and thusly convey them. The only true statement a person can make is a silent presence.

I do think that people make true statements all the time — statements true to their character. That is, the things we actually say, are not true. But anyway, my point was that social sciences are actually, at the end of the day, chopping stuff up in a very similar way as the actual physical sciences. No point — just more data to combine with lines of reasoning.