Reason, Faith and Gnosticism as Epistemology - James Lindsay

Recommended Posts

29 minutes ago, tmj said:

My point was , those that are currently sympathetic to the argument that 'AR-15' s should be banned are not logically consistent.


You are talking about the logic of the dictators?


Well, not all of them are gnostics. Some just want power. 


Besides, in the abstract --> negative --> to concrete formulation, the negative does not have to be logical or consistent in order to help the ultimate truth (the dialectic) appear. It just has to invalidate the original value (the abstract) to some extent and it has done its work.

It don't need no stinkin' logical consistency. If a folly works, use it.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Peter said:

Objectivists are by no means immune to this rage. On the contrary, I find it to be increasingly prevalent among Objectivists. We see everywhere—particularly on the Internet—the spectacle of supposed supporters of reason and free inquiry erupting in fury at the least provocation and hurling abuse at anyone who opposes—even questions—their convictions.

But what I call “Objectivist Rage” has a peculiar twist to it, unlikely to be found anywhere else except, paradoxically, in religion. It is almost always morally tinged. Those who question our ideas and those who oppose them, we are told, are not merely unintelligent, ignorant, uninformed; they are evil, they are moral monsters to be cast out and forever damned.


There is a lot here. And you have certainly been the butt of one person in particular who was filled with this rage (one I had to ban).

However, I find this rage description to be an oversimplification that hides reality.

To start with, hatred and rage always stem from fear at root. We do have rage circuits in the brain, but they are closely tied to the amygdala, the Center Of Fear for humans.

Whenever you see a fanatical hater, you are also looking at a person who is afraid underneath. And what is he or she afraid of? I believe it is one of the foundational fears from evolution, the fear of predators.

All humans fear being killed by predators that want to eat them or otherwise dispose of them.


But there is another component. Humans also evolved as predators. So way back in the primitive ages, when they saw weak animals and they were hungry, they went into killing mode. It is reasonable to presume this looked like rage way back when because most predators look like that all the way up to now when they go in for the kill. Not always, but mostly.

As humans evolved from small bands of survivors to competing bands of resource producers, nature kept the hunter-predator emotional wiring in their brains. So they hunted each other in groups to get their goodies and to avoid being hunted. That is the source of rage against other tribes that has bedeviled humanity since before recorded history.

What's more, this emotional wiring from evolution is still with us. This is what our brains look like when reason is grafted on from the cortex.

In the morally-tinged rage you mentioned, somehow you (if you are the butt), or something you represent, has become connected in that person's adopted morality with a savage and deadly predator, or a savage and deadly predator group of humans who prey on people like the hater.


In the case of a mass shooting, people who see the surface view see this. An armed maniac enters a school and shoots up innocents (which they know could have been them had they been there). They get scared of the shooter, and lash out. They believe, using their fear and a cognitive bias called the availability bias, if you just make it impossible for a maniac to get armed, he will not be able to shoot up innocents. So they go for what they can see at the moment. Get rid of all guns and you have solved the problem, the one they are afraid of. And anyone who disagrees is a monster who doesn't mind a school of dead children filled with bullets.

Reality is more complex than the situation their fear is identifying, but try to tell that to anyone who is in the throes of panic. They don't even hear you. :) 

On the other hand, in the warring tribes mindset, people mostly use their morality as a signal of their group. They go through motions like "think for yourself" in Objectivism or "care for the weak" in other moralities, but they only tend to do this when the result of such thinking favors their (superior) group and trashes the (inferior) group or groups they fear. When they see a killer go into a school and shoot up kids, they see signals of the "inferior group" all over the situation.

Why were armed guards not in the school? Who was around to defend the kids? Nobody was there because the ones running the school believe in the bleeding heart liberal bullshit about big scary guns being the problem while ignoring the criminals. Hell, anyone who preaches that shit is a monster who doesn't mind a school of dead children filled with bullets. Whet's more, they use this crap to get political power.

And once again, reality is more complex than the situation they fear. And once again, try to tell that to a person in full moral superior outrage. They won't hear you either. Not a word.


I think the people who use the dialectical form of rhetoric use this emotional dichotomy for the "negative" (in the abstract to negative to concrete thing). Notice that fear-based dilemmas are normally a "negative" struggle that never gets better. The same arguments are presented over and over as if they were new. The same name-calling happens. The same feelings of fear and moral superiority occur in the people arguing.

Once you see this through the lens of predator-prey, you can see the fear that is behind it.

And that is a big step toward thinking independently and rationally at a deeper foundation than before. That is identifying reality before you judge it.


Objectivism should never be a philosophy of fear. Neither should Christianity, for that matter. And so on. But that's the way lots of people use it.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

btw - I am 100% for the Second Amendment.

I don't trust those who disarm people once they get power.

This is more than fear.

This comes from looking at history and using reason.

No matter what philosophical principle or emotional frame I use, I can't get past the piles of corpses of innocents.

When people can't shoot back, that happens a lot.

When people can shoot back, that doesn't happen.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

This video is more about tactics than theory and identification of fundaments, but man is it as clear as a crystal bell.


Here is just one strategy they discussed. It falls in line with the abstract--> negative--> concrete rhetorical system.

It goes like this (the example and paraphrase are mine).

1. The woke brigade shows up to, say, a meat packing plant and starts asking questions, making surveys, analyzing statistics until they find a thing that makes the owners and leaders uncomfortable, maybe feeling guilty. Usually it is some form of bigotry.

2. Then they latch onto grossly unequal situations that are examples of this. For instance, men mostly work in meat packing plants. So they come up with studies and a lot of noise about how that meat packing plant is mysogynistic.

3. To give the leaders an out, they start saying that the responsible thing is to look at the meat-packing industry as a whole to see what the root causes of misogyny in it are, what makes structural misogyny possible. Blah blah blah.

4. From that point on, you get pure sanction of the victim (James and Vivek did not use that term, but that is what they described).

5. Then they go to town with demand after demand that the leaders are only too happy to fund and to obey. 

(This following comment is from me. The unspoken part is they sweeten a lot of their cancerous growth when it gets too heavy with corrupt deals, protections, exceptions, etc., for the plant insiders.)


There are a bunch of ideas of that quality and clarity in that video.

This is one of those videos where you have to watch it over and over and each time you will learn something new.

As to Vivek, I'm loving his way of thinking.

He's not MAGA (yet), but I easily see him as the successor of Trump down the line.



  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For James Lindsay fans (like me), Steve Bannon interviewed him.

Once again, intellectual clarity is the flavor of his ideas. Those who prefer the taste of blurred and fuzzy thought have to go to other places.


Dr. James Lindsay: ‘Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion’ Officers Have Been Installed Like Political Commissars In All Levels Of Education.



Dr. James Lindsay: We Are In A Maoist Cultural Revolution, Need To ‘Clean House’ Of Radicals.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I just watched another James Lindsay lecture.

Each time I watch one of these things, I realize how much I still don't know.

But through watching one after another after another, I am beginning to grow a vocabulary and familiarity with the core concepts.

In fact, if this overwhelms you, I suggest you watch these videos in a kind of "sit back and absorb what you can" mode. If you try to look up everything he references, you will go nuts because it would take 10 years for one lecture alone. However, he repeats many things from one lecture to the next. And he puts it all in layman's language.

As he said, his method is simple. He reads the original books, then believes the authors mean what they say.


By going through these lectures, when I open Kant or Hegel or Marx or Marcuse or any philosopher using a gnostic approach, I now have a frame (albeit an elementary one so far) for what to expect going in. So when the density emerges as it always does, I can at least consult that frame and see if the dense part fits.

So get a cup of coffee or tea or whatever else you like, sit back and just become a sponge.



As I have an artistic side, I really like a phrase mentioned by Lindsay that is used by gnostics when employing dialectic rhetoric. And this cuts to the heart of their epistemology, which allows for a static idea only at the end of a universal "becoming" process. Up to that point, all is becoming and never is.

The phrase (or better, my paraphrase) is the following.

You shatter the mundane to release the divine.

In other words, you cannot grow into the divine, or in earthy terms, grow into maturity, or even develop knowledge through learning. You have to shatter the infant to get the adult, which in turn must be shattered to get the god.

That's messed up.

(I almost used a curse word.)


But that's the reason this kind of thinking always results in piles of bodies. In this thinking, this goes beyond collectivism. In fact, collectivism is merely one stage to a higher one for gnostics. In this thinking, individuals are not only expendable, they have to be shattered for the dialectic, the divine, the utopia, to emerge,


For me, just watching this stuff and absorbing it is a fantastic complement to what I have learned in Rand's works. One fun part for me is when I keep hearing Lindsay refer to reality. At those times, he almost sounds like Ayn Rand. 




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a short Lindsay video giving an excellent tactic we all can do to gum up the march toward centralized authoritarianism.

James says just opt out.

It worked with the Vax Passports.

It worked with Biden's Unity push.

It will work with the CBDC that's coming. (This is cryptocurrency central-bank style.)

These programs, due to the way the world is right now, have to start as voluntary. You have to opt in. You have to agree to let them take a bit of your rights for a benefit or privilege.

If you refuse to participate, you don't have to form a majority to kill an authoritarian program. These programs work--after the initial splash and opt-in onboard period--ONLY if the government can "mandate" you or force you to go along with them.

If only 17% or so of the people refuse, it's hard as hell for the government to pass laws making it mandatory.

So if you don't have time to get involved with social issues, refusing to participate doesn't take much effort and it costs nothing. It is something you can do to move with others in the right direction and help things get better, all while living your life and pursuing your own values.

This video is short.

Watch it.

His tactic works.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/23/2023 at 7:06 AM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

One fun part for me is when I keep hearing Lindsay refer to reality. At those times, he almost sounds like Ayn Rand. 

No sooner then I posted this, James Lindsay came out with the following:

The Negation of the Real


I only started watching it just now.


I love his approach where much of philosophy (Hegel and the like) is ancient religions (hermeticism and gnosticism) dressed up to look like philosophy. So I was looking to see more of that. And he did start off hinting at that vein.

Then right near the beginning, he came out with this statement, which could have been written by Rand herself (my paraphrase since I changed "we" to "you" to make it clearer in this context):

You have to destroy the real if you want to install something fake.


James got me and I immediately posted this video here.


I sure will.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm just now finishing up the last video and there might be something that could confuse people in O-Land, or even cause kneejerks.

James Lindsay's way of saying a universal truth is that faith and reason have to work in harmony. Reason keeps faith delimited by reality, and faith keeps reason from going hog-wild and creating monsters. I'm paraphrasing, but that is the essence. When one of the two gets in so much control, the other is not considered essential, dead human bodies always pile up.

However, what is not clear is what Lindsay means by faith. He is not talking about a Flying Spaghetti Monster kind of thing, nor even historical truth of everything in the Bible because it is divinely inspired. (Lindsay is an atheist, even though he doesn't sound like it.)

In other words, Lindsay is not talking about faith in the same way Rand was using the term. 


I know what he means because I had to think this through on my own when I got out of my addictions, especially drugs. I had to go back to the beginning of everything I knew and start over thinking about it.

Back then, starting over, I decided that everything I knew was limited to human knowledge, meaning human size, both physical and metaphorical. I am a human, after all. :) In other words, I concluded that the universe was both bigger and smaller than I had the capacity to know simply because I could not observe things after a certain point. What's more, there's the time thing and my own time on earth is limited.

So I became serene on questions like who or what created the universe. I don't know and I can't know, at least not in my lifetime. I'm either good with that or I suffer doubts and anxiety. I embraced being good with that and got to the business of living.

There is a corollary to this posture, too. This implies that there are higher powers in the universe than human power. I don't know what they are and how they are, but I am pretty sure that they are, simply because I can see the product of them all around me.

This certainty comes from faith. Not believing in miracles kind of faith, but believing that there is so much I don't and can't know, I have to throw it somewhere in my mind so I can free up my mind to deal with the parts of reality I can know.


The gnostic view of faith is to tell a story about a fake reality in big words, then call that reason. A good example is Kant's categorical imperatives. That's a story he speculated or made up, and then posited as reason.


Lindsay calls such "received wisdom"--or innate vision of a real reality that transcends reality as we know it--sorcery. He openly calls Hegel a sorcerer. Probably Kant, too, based on his arguments, but I did not see him specifically say Kant.

But this kind of innate vision of a real reality that transcends reality is what Rand was talking about when she said "faith." In fact, most religious people think of God in this manner, although they de-prioritize it, then use that as permission to not think about it so they can deal with living in reality.

People with a gnostic view do not de-prioritize it or admit there are things they do not know. They believe they are the holders of the true truth and must mold the world to that vision. And when they get power, the bodies of innocent humans pile up.


In a weird way, when Lindsay says faith and reason must work in harmony, he is a lot closer to Rand's meaning of reason than many O-Land people I have read and interacted with.

Here is just one example so this can be clear. (And no, I will not name names because who needs that hassle? :) )

It is very popular in O-Land to say that the universe is finite. But when you use Objectivist epistemology, which is based on observation and abstraction and an algebra-like process, there is no way to get to the proposition that the universe is finite--or infinite for that matter--and call that truth. There is no way to observe the edges of the universe, nor the beginning and end.

So why not just say we don't know?

Duh and fucking duh...


But nooooooooo. These disciples of Rand go about snarking at people as if they held the real reality truth in their skulls while the rest of mankind is stupid and immoral.


Lindsay never makes that mistake. He allows for this overflow of the unknown and the unknowable into what he calls faith. And that frees up reason to work within reality for the good of human individuals and the human race here on earth.

That, to me, is closer to Rand's view than these other knuckleheads.



You don't have to agree with me, but I hope that is clear.

And be careful with jerking your knee just because others jerk their knees. You might jerk it out of joint.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's another one by James.

This is a continuation of The Negation of the Real.


I haven't finished this yet, I'm about halfway through, but as I was watching it, I had a huge epiphany.

James is doing what Rand tried to do in For The New Intellectual.

He is giving an overview of how philosophy has affected society throughout human history--and naming names as he goes along.

Except where Rand did not read the original works for the most part (she did read a few), James has read them in abundance and quotes from them often. Not only that, he has done a brilliant job of integrating them into their fundamentals and showing how they are similar or different at the root.

In Rand's own words, there is only faith (or mysticism) and reason as thinking systems in epistemology. However, she also scratches at something more at times when she says there is whim. In her view, faith deals with not-reality, reason deals with reality, and whims deal with... er... something random that comes from humans, that is when looking from the context of philosophy. Often whim is faith in her meaning, but just as often, it is something more like random shit.

James uses faith and reason as epistemological forms of dealing with reality and gnosticism/hermeticism (small g and small h) as ancient forms that still exist today of people making shit up, attacking reality to replace it with what they made up, and seeking power to transform reality into that made up shit.

So where Rand said there are two essential forms of epistemology (or two and a half if you throw in whim), James says there are three.

It's not just faith and reason (Rand). It's faith and reason and gnosticism (Lindsay). And there is a difference of meaning for faith between Lindsay and Rand.


I had another part of that epiphany. Maybe even a second epiphany. Rand herself had a gnostic side. It hurts to say that (and it does hurt), but let me say it again.

Rand herself had a gnostic side. 

Her goal in writing was to present the ideal man, in other words, the perfect man. And how do you know what such an ideal man is in detail? Well you have to be Rand. Or an Objectiivst. Except it's really hard to be an Objectivist. You have to be a "student of Objectivism" and that's the best you will get for most aspirants. So to see what she means by an ideal man, just read her books, and sit down and shut up about it until you understand it and accept it.

That is a pure gnostic approach.

Her adoption of reason, though, brought her constantly into conflict with that approach as she discussed social issues in her nonfiction. She often quoted Galt in analyzing these issues, but she rarely pointed to his "ideal perfection" as the cure for the problems she was discussing. Instead, she mostly relied on phrases Galt said where reality was to be accepted above everything else.

I have seen glimpses of this truth for a long time, but only now put it into words.

These glimpses form the main reason I did not make OL into a place where we preach Objectivism and form disciples. But instead it is a place where we start with an interest in Objectivism and each person applies his or her best independent thinking.


For now, let's just say that, if you want to understand ideas in the best manner possible, you can do like James Lindsay and read the original works of the people who wrote about ideas and take them at their word, or you can hold to a super-aggrandized vision of Rand and take her critique of people who wrote about people who wrote about ideas as the best way to find out what the original authors meant. After all, if you know her works, you know she did that with many of the thinkers she wrote about. Kant and Rawls immediately come to mind.

I am not diminishing Rand by saying this. Objectivism has informed my worldview ever since I read Atlas Shrugged. It still does. It is a good worldview (albeit incomplete). But I do want to identify the gnostic elements in Rand's works in order to separate the wheat from the chaff. What's more, there is this. Rand has a right to be a human being and make her own mistakes. I can't think of a better way to respect her than to grant her that reality as a premise in the way I look at her. Because I accept that she not only made mistakes, she came up with a hell of a lot of truth.


To me, personally, this James Lindsay thread is turning out to be far more important than what I imagined when I made it.

You may come to agree or disagree with me, but if you are a "student of Objectivism" and ever had a wish to check your Objectivist premises, do it here (I mean by looking at Lindsay's stuff). You will not regret it. At the very worst, it will make you think through--on your own--Randian issues you would normally accept on faith. What better benefit could you ask for?



  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had heard of James through his exploits in embarrassing and exposing of the peer review system of the social sciences and their institutions and systems of publications. I started seeing his videos and lectures on big G and H and small g and h right around the time this thread was made. And just as MSK says once you hear James' arguments and conclusions you can't 'stop seeing' real world examples of them!

I knew or thought I would find out what aspects of Rand and O'ism would or could fall under the small g frame. She created the universe in which Atlas Shrugged 'plays out' , so in that sense I already had a clue as to how fiction or novel writing in particular places the author in the role of 'Creator' and not 'just' the one who created , the 'creater'.

For me at least, AS gives the moral basis for capitalism that was seemingly missing for so long in western culture. In a gnostic mechanism the story, plot and theme present a universe that needs to be smashed so that a new universe, reality can be instantiated. But I think an apologist argument can be made that her conception of whim as much as a ghost in the machine, is also a 'saving grace' in that the conception of whim in O'ism is not a force with existential potency. In Lindsay's frame the gnostics' version of whim is potent, reality can and will be made over in accordance with whims of the 'expositioners', the sorcerers.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites


You see it.

Actually, we are watching James develop his faith, reason and gnosticism idea more or less in real time.

I first noticed this when he did his recent first video on gnosticism (this one), but also saw glimpses when I saw his much earlier video on Hegel (this one).




EDIT: In the gnostic parasite video above, Lindsay goes deeper into faith. At the 50:00 mark, he says, quoting Hebrews 11:1 in the Bible, "faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." Faith is not certainty. It is confidence and assurance in the unknown, but hoped for.

This is different than the gnostics, who claim certainty in their bullshit vision of what reality is and why the current reality needs to be destroyed in order to let it come into being (usually be uncovered). Kill one so the other can emerge.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Michael, I think maybe you linked me to this before but I didn't watch the vid, I just read some of your comments.  This time I took the hour to watch his 2hr talk at double speed.

My tldr of the first video:

Tldr: critical race theory, being "woke", gender redefine: its all "gnostic" training/methods to deny reality, claim what we are doing is bad, and attempt their authoritative demands of what we should do since "what we are doing is bad".

In college I tried to deconstruct another's religion to at the time try to "help" the other adopt my "superior" skeptical philosophy and morality...  which today I look back upon and regret my naivety.  Eventually I realized being skeptic, although being logically infallible, left a life without meaning/purpose. I denied ideas, but I had nothing satisfying to offer in their place.

It seems to me a gnostic took the path from there to manipulate/control others and encourage hedonistic behavior.

I searched for years for what was real, and what I should do with myself.  I eventually concluded that we should live in a manner where we would be invited into a superior being's resourceful domain in a world where there is finite resources and the potential for violence, like ours...  thats in my other thread.

I think I'm understanding this guy correctly. Michael I appreciate your reference so I can more easily recognize this method of manipulation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Here is a simple version formatted for someone steeped in Objectivism.

Rand said a critical issue in epistemology was faith against reason. She said faith did not deal with reality and reason did.

Lindsay says it is faith+reason against esoteric certainty (this is my term since it all gets confusing right now due to lots of the same words being used for different concepts). He claims that faith and reason deal with reality while esoteric certainty deals with things that are not reality. (I now use the technical term: "made up shit." :) )

I was shocked when I first heard Lindsay talk about this, but the more I think on it, the more I agree with him.


This is partly because I have been studying Angus Fletcher and his concept of storythinking. Angus is a neuroscientist at Ohio State University and works at DARPA on weaponizing story. (Soldiers have to go into unknown situations and come out alive. Storythinking helps them do that better than any other form.)

The gist of Angus's thinking is that there are two basic kinds of neurons the brain uses for awareness and thought. One kind is sensory input neurons (my term, Angus says these are neurons the grew from the visual cortex over evolution) and the other kind is motor neurons.

Story emerged from motor neurons, not the sensory input ones. At least according to the time standards Angus uses.

Sensory input neurons aim at truth and truth is timeless, meaning it is always in the present. A is A. It is a binary concept. Something is or is not. There is no way for A to be non-A, and there is no way to process A was A and is becoming A and will be A according to the way sensory input neurons operate because of their binary nature. (This gets complicated when we add in that neurons are electrical and chemical in nature, but you have to go to Angus for that. It is way off point here. :) )

That binary nature is what makes these sensory input neurons so good at processing math and measurements and things like that. But they are data-heavy. Without data, they don't process.

A motor neuron processes movement, meaning it automatically processes the past, the present and a speculated future at the foundational level. Causality arises from motor neurons in addition to story. Motor neurons depend on being aware of causality to prompt a living being to move. I eat X. Y eats me. I fuck Z. :) 

These neurons often operate--and operate well--with very little data. The purpose of motor neurons to the human being is not to arrive at a timeless truth, but to move in a way that works for a desired end. And especially move in a way to survive the unknown. (And when the notion of causality goes haywire, you get dogs humping the legs of people. :) )

So a motor neuron can have an indeterminate outcome and it is still processing things perfectly according to its nature. A sensory input neuron cannot have a truth and nontruth about the same thing because it only has a binary process to work with. Binary is timeless. 0 is 0 and 1 is 1. Always.


When you look with a wider view than specific myths and religions (like Christianity), it's easy to see that rational thought plus faith is a good combination to make use of the two kinds of neurons. (I am switching to "ratonal thought" instead of "reason" here as it seems clearer to me to describe the concepts involved.)

It's a matter of which is in charge in a specific situation, not either-or. One does not negate the other. Reality comes with parts that can be known and parts that can't be (like the future). 

One thing is for certain. One without the other often results in tragedy. With only rational thought, nuclear power is the same, whether it is used to illuminate a city or blow it up. If there is no faith (a story) that we will have a future, that we can improve and live in peace and so on with nuclear energy, both outcomes are the same because they only use the true-not-true standard when dealing with nuclear fission. Or, as Angus always says, Aristotle's three syllogistic rules, And/Or/Not. These are binary processes at root. But if there is only story (or faith) with no rationality, people won't take care of their basic needs. So both are needed and they temper each other for human good.

Once again, in this way of thinking, both rational thought and faith deal with reality at root. Rational thought deals with reality that can be known and pegged to timelessness and faith (in this sense) deals with reality where it is not possible to know something in a timeless sense. That's why faith (or storythinking to use Angus's term) works so much with trial and error. Rationality is truth-oriented, faith is pragmatic-oriented. 

Even when faith says there is an afterlife, the people who say that are hoping. They don't know. They are not saying an afterlife exists in the same manner they say a leaf is green. They are looking (using their senses) at the reality of death, not at a reality (using their senses) of an afterlife. They observe death. They do not observe an afterlife. They only get stories about that. So, story being all there is for that idea, they use story to deal with it in a way that works to keep their morale (their psychology) going and themselves wanting to get up day after day rather than sink into depression and despair.


With esoteric certainty, there is always a presumption that the reality we live is not really real. That real reality (or, maybe, a superior reality) is something else, something only known through transcendence or by a special form of enlightenment. (Note that this is different than the Christian Hell and Heaven and Earth, which are all different places or realities in the own right. For Christians, they are not all the same thing with one or the other being the false form. Also, I am into transcendence, but not to achieve an end state. I use it to achieve better growth of my mind.)

Unfortunately, Rand fell off into this trap at times by saying man is perfectible. To use her own way of arguing, we can ask: Perfectible according to what standard? According to what she observes in reality, or perfectible according to an ideal reality that is a real reality or superior reality above what we all live?

I don't fault her for this. She had a great mind and greater minds than hers have fallen off into silliness. (Also, my worldview was shaped by her works and it is a good worldview as a foundation to grow on.) I do believe she did the best with what she had and what she got in the culture. Also, I have stopped the game of "defending her honor."


The fact is Rand was not right or wrong on this point. She was both. If you look at her works, you will find inconsistencies all over the place about perfection.

Here is one. According to esoteric certainty, an enlightened soul can create reality. According to Rand, and she specifically said this, creation is not making something from nothing (creating reality). It is rearranging reality into new forms. Yet she took volition (which is wonderful to use for self-improvement and growth) to mean that there is a perfect end state--or a lamentable woeful immoral imperfect and unchangeable end state. She said man is a being of self-made soul. She made it binary, praising one end state and condemning the other. And the kicker is, neither end state exists. Life doesn't work according to moral end states. It works according to biological end states.

Growth and decay are not static and neither is life. Death is the end point of an individual's life from the human view, not perfection. (I don't want to get into reproduction, but there is a discussion there within this context.)


On another point, Lindsay came across an ancient text on Hermeticism that is lacking a few chapters. (I think 14 of 17 chapters survived.) He is now comparing this to the work of Karl Marx and is discovering that Marx essentially ripped off this work, even in details. :) According to what he has been saying, Marx merely updated it for his times, changed all the jargon, put the rest into his own words, threw in society instead of some god or other, and let 'er rip. 

How's them apples for the commies? :) 


I have become convinced Lindsay's way of epistemology in studying philosophy is the one I prefer as it corresponds so well to reality and to all kinds of different works from the past. Lindsy's method has been to read the works of others and take the authors at their word. I hate to say it about Rand, but I find that a far superior method to criticizing what someone else wrote about a philosopher's work. Rand did that a lot.


Anyway, I hope my explanation (as I understand it) has not been too garbled and you can see what I see. If not, no problem. I'm fine either way. We are what we are and so long as good will is glue holding the interaction environment together, that is always the best foundation for all the rest.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just an added thought.

Many religions have groups within them that run their religions with esoteric certainty. Many scientific groups have the same. Many philosophies have the same.

My discussion is about ways of thinking, not about which school of thought or religion or ideology or whatever is superior or inferior.

The only inferior one--among all ways of thinking--is making shit up and saying that is the real or "higher" reality. Then laughing at the rest of us out here for making do with what we've got (reality as it is).

They are the school of reified dorkism. 



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've talked to a number of people in my life who say without their faith they are a depressed nothing.  I get it.  Without the worldview including some kind of everlasting purpose, why do anything?  Hence the brain that lacks faith does nothing and dies.  The one that has faith takes living actions and continues.  Evolution prefers those with some kind of belief in an everlasting purpose to work towards fulfilling.  Whether it includes dogma for an individual depends on how susceptible they are to peer pressure, go with the flow, or independent minded they are.  The dogma isn't necessarily impactful on decision making.

So you say... "esoteric certainty" practitioners claim we are in a bad matrix movie world... and that with their red pill they can be Neo.  Something like that.

Versus when I watched the Matrix... I was thinking the bad world is what the powers that be try to trick all the slaves to live within.  Neo was able to see through the tricks, break their rules, and do all that is possible within our reality. The slave world we live in is so, because the slaves are ignoring reality and drinking the snake oil cool aid.  Snake oil world = a "esoteric certainty" trap. Most sheeple prefer the safety nets offered by the snake oil salesmen.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I watched this video kinda against my own will because the title sucks.

I mean it really sucks.

But the video is massively good. It is a mini Atlas Shrugged in lecture form.




James goes into a document that is governing what England will be doing for climate change for the next 30 years. The organization that created it is far more secret, powerful and effective that Agenda 30 and the like. It's got a weird name, UK Fires. I bet the name is designed that way to keep it low key.

If you want to take a stroll back through Atlas Shrugged without opening that book, this lecture goes there. Big time.

James reads from the document, reads the actual words they printed, then shows what that would look like in the real world.

And society falls apart just like in Atlas Shrugged.

The idiots who did this document (from all the major universities in England and paid for by the UK government) even say the trains have to run slower on purpose because of "muh climate change" and "muh net zero emissions."

The document proposes the extinction of commercial airlines (for real).

It proposes only recycled steel from now on and the elimination of concrete.


It says there is a lot of unexplored value in clay. (Seriously.)

It proposes the abolishment of most shipping of goods.

You read that right.



The main difference between this and the way Rand laid it out in AS is that these people want the world to fall apart. They know this will happen and they want it. They want the mass deaths to cull the population.

They are not doing it because they are held in by a bad philosophy, altruism. They use altruism as an excuse at times, but they are mostly interested in changing your lifestyle, should you survive their purges, to suit their ideas.

Don't worry. Nothing drastic. They only want you to have 40% less of everything right now, and they promise things will get better after that...

Uh huh...

They even say for you to cut back on heating and start using warm clothes instead.

Like I said, this could have come right out of Atlas Shrugged.


James's opinion is worth mentioning. Here is an exact quote:


You all are fucking crazy and gonna kill people. Stop it.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now