The savage, like ourselves, feels the oppression of his impotence before the powers of Nature; but having in himself nothing that he respects more than Power, he is willing to prostrate himself before his gods, without inquiring whether they are worthy of his worship. Pathetic and very terrible is the long history of cruelty and torture, of degradation and human sacrifice, endured in the hope of placating the jealous gods. - Bertrand Russell, A Free Man's Worship (1903)
In thinking about information, knowledge, and people, their attitude towards truth and reality and their "religions" or belief systems, we can see that there are essentially three divisions of the first group–those that care–, according to how those persons relate to reality: the insane, the unsane and the sane.
(1) The insane can be characterized as somehow driven to obliterate, blur or obscure objective reality by projecting their personal concepts UPON it and actively trying to force it to fit their personal ideas. A simplistic example would be a person who is deluded into thinking they are Napoleon. They will want to reinforce their delusion by trying to be Napoleon, acting like Napoleon, wearing Napoleonic clothes, posing like Napoleon, etc. In practice, those that do this in a too troublesome way get ostracized or even locked up. Yet by no means are all who do so interred.
(2) The unsane comprise in my opinion the largest of these three groups. People in this group don't so much try to force objective reality to fit their internal beliefs, but rather they ignore it to some extent and smother it by clinging to an external authority–some combination of "sacred" writings, tradition, denomination, scientific majority, societal majority, peer pressure, career ambition, clergy or other formalized authority figures, those in power, etc. They filter information that comes to them through whatever belief system they are programmed with. They are insecure in their own self-conception and are emotionally attached to and necessarily dependent upon their authority/belief system for even their own identity and self-worth. They essentially embrace whatever information or concepts that come to them that "fit" their system and consciously or unconsciously set aside and ignore those that don't. It can be said of this group that they don't have a grip on their belief system, their belief system has a grip on them. These are the men that in one way or another can be wound up and pointed by others. Or in the words of Ernest Becker in his Pulitzer prize-winning book, The Denial of Death:
What we today call "inauthentic" men, men who...follow out the styles of automatic and uncritical living in which they were conditioned as children. They are "inauthentic" in that they do not act from their own center, do not see reality on its own terms; they are the one-dimensional men totally immersed in the fictional games being played in their society, unable to transcend their social conditioning: the corporation men in the west, the bureaucrats in the east, the tribal men locked up in tradition–man everywhere who doesn't understand what it means to think for himself and who, if he did, would shrink back at the idea of such audacity and exposure.
(3) The sane. In my experience, a very, very small fraction of the population, this group is composed of individuals that in one way or another have founded their self-identity and self-worth on internals instead of externals. This has allowed them to have the courage to internalize authority and take personal responsibility for their belief system, and they have learned to think critically for themselves. They have no need to deny or filter the facts and information from either internal OR objective, external reality, and thus can be rational (capable of apprehending the facts), logical (capable of drawing proper tentative conclusions from the facts), and reasonable (capable of aligning their values, conclusions, belief choices, agenda and action decisions in the context of some larger, humanely defensible purpose).
When it comes to knowledge, this group has the humility to be aware of how tenuous much of their knowledge really is and the members are not afraid to look for and do "reality checks". Where it comes to truth, they are not swayed by other people's psychological pressure, enthusiasm, charisma, popularity, power or "authority". Although they may be willing to die for themselves over certain fundamental principles, they understand that they personally are sovereign over and more valuable than their belief system. They can change their belief system as THEY see fit . They are in control of their belief system from their core or center, their "internal reference point", instead of being controlled by external authorities or someone else's system. A final description of this group is that they are very careful about what they accept as knowledge and/or belief.
If you understand and accept in general the theme of planetary astral catastrophe–especially the Saturn myth reconstruction–and the concomitant theme of the Golden Age ending in a major global disaster and resulting in a series of lesser Solar system shakeups, you now see that the implications and ramifications of this reconstruction become enormous and daunting, and also disquieting. One of the most meaningful deductions is that the human race is in a state of "collective denial and amnesia" and HAS been and STILL IS having a hard time coming to terms with this most dramatic and impactful aspect of its history. It is our contention that it is critical for us to understand as best we can the memories and mythology of the ancient people and the context and events in which these were formed. Only then can we begin to make sense out of a bewildering world of scientific and religious confusion.
One of the insidious aspects of intellectual irresponsibility that manifests in our culture today concerns the handling of important words, their definitions, and how these words are misused so as to blur or partially obscure their true meaning.
"There is no such way to gain admittance, or give defense to strange and
Evidently humans have a penchant for being cute with words, by developing slang, pushing the range of what words mean, so much so that some words actually eventually come to mean the opposite of what they originally meant. The intellectually responsible person strives to use words more carefully, staying close to their original meaning, Not to mention that words can be used to clarify OR obscure. Post Modernism is particularly nefarious because of its deconstruction of language and penchant for obscuring the truth or reality.
One egregious example is the definition of "time" Time is not some mystical overarching reality in which the universe exists, but is the sequence of events in the physical universe. One example of a nebulous and circular definition: "the measured or measurable period during which an action, process..." We don't measure time. we demarcate it by regulated events–such as the ticking of a clock or the vibration of and atom, etc., and then we COUNT–not measure–these segments.
Albert Einstein made one telling comment before he died in 1955, "For us believing physicists the distinction between past, present, and future is only an illusion, even if a stubborn one." Snow, C.B., 1991, Dreams of the Future, Aquaria Press. "Believing" physicists? Yes. Critical thinking physicists? NO! Einstein showed his mystical lunacy with this remark.
Given that there ARE paranormal experiences that many or most people have at some point during their life time, this subject should also be dealt with. Consider the mass hysteria or mass hallucinations that occur. See https://infogalactic.com/info/Mass_hysteria Consider the prophecies and visions of "our Lady" at Medjugorje, There IS a wide variety of vivid dreams, visions, compulsions and the hearing of voices, a spectrum that runs from the extremes of schizophrenia to partial complex seizure syndrome to speaking in tongues to the occasional mild hallucination that can occur while under a heightened emotional state or distress. The bicameral brain/mind paradigm lays a foundation for understanding how one brain/mind can concoct an "experience" and deliver it to the conscious or semiconscious mind.
Since every experience must involve SOME interpretation, the intellect must be empowered to watch over the interpretation, or override the false interpretation of these experiences, but rare is the person that can do this. What is at the core of ANY serious disagreement over the truth? Simply, it is that one or both minds are not understanding properly.
For that rare individual who somehow believes that he can know the truth and the truth will set him free, who commits to being intellectually responsibility, a word of warning: Don't expect widespread support or affirmation, because you will quickly be out of sync with many or most of those around you, and they will NOT appreciate it. Such is the fate of the intrepid spiritual warrior, but it is well worth it.
Being intellectually irresponsible is a form of what we can call low-grade evil. Let me quote Doug Casey:
It’s too bad the word “evil” has been so compromised, so discredited, by the people who use it all the time – bible-thumpers, hysterics, and religious fanatics. Evil shouldn’t be associated with horned demons and eternal perdition. It just means something destructive, or recklessly injurious.
There you have it! A meaningful, practical definition, and this is practically synonymous with intellectual irresponsibility.
The mob, the capita censi, the “head count” as
the Romans called them,
One last example of intellectual irresponsibility is reflected in how we think about natural law. Because of our experience and the prevailing thinking of scientism, we tend to think of "natural law" as ordinate or supreme, But IF intelligence and will ARE ordinate, the way the universe works has to be SUBORDINATE to this intelligence and will, and thus natural law being supreme is a fallacy. There cannot be a larger-than-"God" natural law. Our concept of natural law is just not only incomplete but is ONLY a limited extraction based on our current experience of it. We cannot arbitrarily override it; no one can, but if the material universe is under control of a deity, or say, in the premise of this site, a projection from the collective mind and will, that deity or mind/will in unison CAN override it when prudent, and even change it if that becomes so desired.
Even if we cannot believe in the traditional deity or creator, we should all hope that natural law is NOT the final or ultimate reality. If it were, then we would live in an impersonal, mechanical, intractable and uncaring universe. Even IF–and I don't subscribe to this–the universe is a living being and we are less than fleas on a dog, we have no leave to ASSUME that that being cannot change or evolve itself, and thus change the very nature and fabric of physical reality around us.
To my mind there is no intellectually responsible paradigm of reality that forces us to regard natural law as supreme over all other things. God help us if it is, for then we are just thralls to it, victims of it by being ONLY temporary emergent property meat sticks under its lack of mercy!
One final principle: For me, my intellect is supreme and inviolate, and CANNOT be overridden. I WILL NOT believe anything that violates my intellect. Any belief that violates our intellect is a leap in the dark, not a step in the light!
For self-evident epistemological principles to help evaluate ideas, paradigms, and belief systems in an intellectual responsible way, see: Axiomatic Philosophical Principles