The Common Misconception of Bias

B

The Common Misconception of Bias
Sexism and Racism

FALLACY1

Particularly in the past few decades, the surge in tolerance and legality of ethnicity, gender and homosexuality has lead to a rather huge shift in moral standpoints. It is generally accepted that discrimination, including ethnic bias (racism) and gender bias (sexism), is largely immoral, and the explanation as to why it is immoral is almost universally understood; because distinction in skin colour, or sexual physiology, are not valid justifications of peoples’ intrinsic value. Unfortunately, this moral standpoint has caused a huge confusion in identifying bias situations – leaving people to be ostracized when they do not deserve it.

A Lady's False Accusation of Racism on Facebook

A Lady’s False Accusation of Racism on Facebook

I had just recently saw an image (portrayed above) of a woman complaining about a certain image’s racist remarks on Facebook, despite the fact that no racism nor negative stereotype was even remotely conveyed in the image. She gave a further explanation as to why she considered it racist, suggesting that the descriptive words used (slackass etc.) were inherently targeted towards black people, but her justification was nonetheless refutable, and simply misunderstood. Although some people agreed with her, I felt compelled to send the lady, whose anonymity remains, a message explaining in detail as to why the image in question was not biased at all. While the message* (below) was directed at her comment specifically, it still relates to any situation in which people’s comments are inaccurately accused of having biased undertones – something which I see far too often. Hopefully, the following message will give some clarity in identifying discrimination.

Original Image, Accused of Racist Pretense

Original Image, Accused of Racist Pretense

Facebook Message

I saw an image which showed you accusing an image of having racist pretense, and I’m going to tell you why that post isn’t racist:

     Firstly, the post wasn’t relative to black people at all.There were no suggestions that black people are lazy/slack etc. and the adjectives were attributed to the person in the picture, who was wearing ridiculously baggy pants. The mockery was targeted towards the clothing style. Just because you associated baggy clothing and laziness to black people, it doesn’t mean that the post associates its comments to black people.

     In fact, if you claim that those adjectives were typical of a black person, then you’re not only falsely interpreting the original post, but you’re the one perpetuating the negative stereotype on black people.
Secondly, even if it did claim that black people wear ridiculously out-of-proportion clothing, it still doesn’t constitute as racism, or any bias for that matter. See the definition of racism below;

racism: Noun
Prejudice or discrimination directed against someone of a different race based on such a belief.” – Google result, definition

Just because the concept of black people wearing baggy clothing is considered stereotypical, it doesn’t mean that black people are marginalised or discriminated against; a stereotype can have truth to it, and that exempts it from racism. If somebody said that black people predominantly live in the housing Projects, which is true, then it would be a stereotype – not racism, because the comment is based on statistical evidence and it’s not suggesting that black people live in the projects BECAUSE they’re black. It didn’t claim that people vary in intelligence/character according to their skin-colour – it didn’t even remotely portray a stereotype about anybody.

If you’re ever confronted by anything which people deem as racist, then remember the fallacy: correlation does not imply causation.

If black people are statistically more likely to live in poverty, then it’s suggesting that black people correlate with poverty. It doesn’t, however, suggest that black people are the cause of poverty. In this case, if somebody ever suggested that black people wear baggy clothing, then they’re giving a correlation between baggy clothing and black people – not a causation.

Morgan

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Personal Analysis of “All Along the Watchtower”

Updated:
13/03/2013

[1]     “There must be some way out of here” said the joker to the thief
     “There’s too much confusion”, I can’t get no relief
     Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth
     None of them along the line know what any of it is worth.

[5]     “No reason to get excited”, the thief he kindly spoke
     “There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke
     But you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate
     So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late”.

     All along the watchtower, princes kept the view
[10]     While all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too.

     Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl
     Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl.

Bob Dylan Portrait

Bob Dylan Portrait

Personal Analysis of All Along the Watchtower
by
Bob Dylan

During the surge of music proceeding the Beatles, Bob Dylan stood out as a profoundly influential musician of his time, and perhaps for future generations as well. Bob Dylan was considered the pioneer of lyrical writing, as he integrated riveting story-telling into musical passion. Songs such as Like a Rolling Stone and Hurricane were prime examples of Dylan’s story-telling genius, and other songs such as Mr Tambourine Man and All Along the Watch Tower were a testament to his avant-garde, poetic side.

Possibly the most revealing sentiment about the lyrics of All Along the Watchtower is extracted from the final verse;

[11]   ” Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl
          Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl

The lines paint an introductory scene for the listener, suggesting that the song’s chronology is reversed. This revelation was established by English Literature professor Christopher Ricks, saying that “at the conclusion of the last verse, it is as if the song bizarrely begins at last, and as if the myth began again.

From Christopher’s finding, the lyrics tell quite an interesting, almost Biblical, tale of both a Thief and a Joker (1). Throughout the first lines, the Joker talks of a matter of freedom to his companion, the Thief. The Joker’s tone seems rather stressful as he claims that “there must be some way out of here.” Obviously, the two are both retained in some form of imprisonment. Unlike the fellow prisoner, the Thief’s tone is particularly firm as he says;

[6]     “There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke
           But you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate
           So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late.”

The thief’s comment gives value to the scene as it suggests that the two strangers have apparently known each other for quite some time, almost as though they’re inseparable friends. The response also gives clarity to the two protagonists’ philosophical perspective: that life is contrarily a divine experience. A traditional middle-aged castle with Princes, sprawling crowds of women and “Foot servants, too” is presented in the lines preceding the final verse (9, 10). The picture of the Castle, or more specifically a Watchtower, in the relevant lines gives the perspective of seeing the forest for the trees. While the expansive Castle is visualised as being magnificent, the community within its gates is very hierarchical in social status. The Princes who “kept the view” (9) are established first as the wealthy class, following with the women, who are the middle-class, and poverty-stricken foot servants being presented last. The social Hierarchy is a blatant reference to Western culture’s burden of wealth distinction.

watchtower_quoteYet, with both the characters’ Philosophical values, imprisonment and the social Hierarchy are evident, how do the three correlate? When evaluated from its reversed structure, it becomes clear that the two characters were, in fact, the riders approaching the watch tower. Their subsequent imprisonment is not necessarily justified, however the assumption is made that the two were wanted thieves, or bandits, judging from the mysterious aura shrouded around their identity; it certainly explains why the protagonist is referred to as the Thief.

Naturally, the Joker’s pseudonym implies that the character is comedic and light-hearted, as though life is “but a joke” (6). However, the identity of the Joker is unmasked when the Thief expresses their Philosophical belief that life is quite serious, and divine in nature. It seems that, in light of being in abandonment, the two characters express their genuine identity, as opposed to what the titles convey.

Along the Watchtower, however, the general population goes about their day free from imprisonment. Their identities (i.e. the Princes, the women & the foot servants) are never expressed differently throughout the entire lyrics. Instead, their pseudonym remains the same – the Princes are wealthy, the women are maids, and the foot servants are poor. As such, lines 9 & 10 are directly communicating the political dilemma of class distinction and the negative impact of a mass society which judges people based on their social status and popularity. In this sense, the Joker and the Thief are positioned as people who are direct victims of demanding social expectations. This is further emphasized in the following lines, “Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth
     None of them along the line know what any of it is worth” (3), as it suggests that monetary value of objects, particularly retail prices, don’t testify to their intrinsic value. The mentioning of Businessmen validates the concept of class distinction, and it gives a more accurate detail as to what privileges the wealthy have lost to the poor. According to the song; the poor, as William Blake said, “see a world in a grain of sand”, while the businessmen find 5 dollars in a bag of sand.

Perhaps their imprisonment is metaphorical in the sense that it shows the consequences of revealing one’s independent identity. The Joker is sentenced to abandonment from the populace as the song reveals that his beliefs contradict his pseudonym. The Thief serves as a close companion to the Joker, being the only one who has remained in the cell of confinement with his friend. In this sense, a genuine friendship goes beyond the confines of social abandonment, and the masks of everyday life are not  just worn over the face, but rather the soul.

The lyrics pose an unusual stance, making it rather difficult to interpret the meaning for some. Like many pieces of literature, however, the texts are entirely open to a myriad of different interpretations. Nobody quite knew what Shakespeare was expressing in his sonnets, and Chaucer never did leave behind cliff notes for his writings. In some respects this is the beauty of literature – one text may have no meaning to one person, yet it may offer profound relevance to the human condition for another person. All Along the Watchtower is considered the latter for me. It expresses a great political and social turmoils in youth culture with typical Dylan song-writing, and it serves as a quintessential example of how literature is endlessly open to interpretation.

Forbes’ List of the World’s Billionaires

Forbes’ List of the World’s Billionaires

http://www.forbes.com/sites/luisakroll/2013/03/04/inside-the-2013-billionaires-list-facts-and-figures/

Carlos Slim

Forbes’ lists has just recently released a controversial document listing the wealthy men throughout the world who have the sole value of over a Billion dollars. The whole list is rather insightful, especially when seen in comparison to previous lists. There are more Billionaires now than ever before, and it’s not entirely because of inflation. As well as that, the Billionaires listed both previously and now are gradually becoming more valuable – as the expression goes, Nothing makes money faster than money.

This is certainly true when looking at the value of some of the richest men on the planet, with the man coming first, Carlos Slim, having a Net Worth of $73 billion. Not only does this list give startling evidence of democratic society’s opportunities for material success, but it also shows the increase in the Billionaires’ philanthropy particularly for the less fortunate. Warren Buffett, ranked as the 4th Wealthiest man, has exceeded the expectations of many by donating an astounding amount of nearly $41 Billion in his life-time. The Forbes’ list certainly shows a future of generous wealth.

Rationalising the Ethics of Justice: Theft and Murder

Justice is Blind

Justice is Blind

A common question which is asked by the general public when it comes to Ethics is; “How do our Laws really determine what’s right and wrong?”

Such a question is the quintessential starting point for most Ethical debates, and it’s quite alarming as to how many people do not understand why the most essential ethical codes are in place today. Two of the most essential ethical codes which are governed in laws are theft and murder. While being accepted as insidious acts of immorality, most people during their youth years question as to why they are so unjust. The points made here will hopefully establish why these two common acts of injustice are implemented in the laws today. The distinction between morality and Ethics is established below as well in a concise, informative manner.

While the words “Moral” and Ethics” both derive from the Greek word “Mos”, meaning custom, the two are different in terms of Philosophy. Ethics, in terms of Philosophy, are the codes of what we personally believe in right and wrong. Ethics are the thoughts. Morality, however, is that which is objectively right, and it determines that which is objectively wrong. Morality is the ACT of right, while Ethics are the thoughts of right. That’s why the laws which the Government implements are considered ethical codes, because they’re laws which the people of the government think govern justice.

If one were to take candy from a baby, then they’re using force to retrieve something which was originally in rightful ownership of the baby. The baby earned the candy through non authoritarian methods, and it was unlawfully taken by somebody who exploited the governing system in exchange for nothing. In the movie, “The Gods must be Crazy”, the narrator suggests that ownership is something which is determined by the Governing system of justice in order to maintain a sense of equality and freedom for people. For example, to “own” a mars bar legally you have to exchange something for it. This trading of ownership is a fundamental part of western society, as it tries to equalize the privileges among society. If you take a candy from the baby, then the baby has lost ownership of an object and gained nothing else in ownership. The only case in which this is ethical is if the baby warranted for you to have the candy in exchange for nothing, otherwise the baby has essentially lost something and the scales of equality are skewed.

The case of murder being immoral can be rationally justified as well, similarly to theft. If you murder somebody with a gun, for example, then you’re using certain mechanics to propel a certain object into the victim’s body, with the intention of killing them. When the trajectory hits the brain, in this case, and the victim has been killed, then you have essentially exploited the laws of physics in order to make somebody lose their right of life without their consent. When somebody loses their life, they lose every possible freedom that they originally had: they lose the freedom of buying an object, like a croissant, and eating the croissant. Once the victim loses consciousness, they have lost the capability of doing, or even experiencing, anything. Upon murdering somebody, you have essentially destroyed every freedom of the victim in order for your own purpose (whether it’s for monetary gain or just pleasure). Unlike theft, where you take away the freedom of a baby to enjoy a candy, you literally take away every possible freedom, and every memory, from that person. That’s why murder is widely considered as the most immoral, revolting act against equality and freedom that anybody can commit.

God and Morality

God is Great

There is a question proposed by a lot of people in regards to God’s morality, and it is often left unanswered by some. Often as a result of a personal or national tragedy occurs, people are left asking the notorious question; “How could God let this happen?”

For the sake of argument the existence of God is unquestionable  and assuming that the God is naturally supposed to radiate justice, then the question is begged by yet another question; how is it the God’s responsibility for tragic events which are a result of human (or perhaps natural) manipulation and alteration?

The God merely created the Universe, its components and laws of nature, and it shouldn’t be his responsibility when you exploit the laws of nature and the Universe’s components in order to injure somebody. For example, if I shoot somebody, then I am using certain mechanics with a device with my own intention of sending an object at rapid speeds to penetrate somebody else; why should it be the God’s fault if I were the one who solely committed the act?

Just because God created an environment in which beings die it doesn’t mean that he is at fault, as the Universe’s components and laws, particularly our manipulation of them, are what result in injuries and deaths (two of the most atrocious acts of immorality). Besides, you’re suggesting that divine beings have the capability of seeing human morality. Perhaps they can understand ethical codes, but the objective sense of morality which humans, not animals, possess is basically synthetic.

Is God Responsible for the World's Turmoil?

Is God Responsible for the World’s Turmoil?

A proportionally popular response to the question of God’s morality is particularly expressed by theists and faithful, and that is; “God works in mysterious ways.”
Such a response is usually expressed in good spirit, and, in some respects, it does have some validity. Mankind’s grasp or morality, a supposedly objective and external truth, goes only as far as our ethical perspective, and our ethical standpoint is often subjected to cultural/individual relativism. For example, somebody in Western society may have strong beliefs against physical assault – so much so that any form of physical assault is subhuman and never justified unless used as a form of defense. However, in country’s riddled with religious extremism and political madness, people may find that physical assault is perfectly justifiable in seemingly unjustifiable situations. Perhaps God only knows that which is truly moral, as opposed to ethical, and the failure to grasp this leads us to beg that notorious question.

Or, contrary to trying to rationalise the madness that God apparently allows in this world, perhaps God is immoral. After all, God in essence is defined as the creator of the Universe, and to create something does not necessarily mean that one respects their moral obligation to keep their creation intact. Maybe the gift of life itself is a privilege so profound that God’s lack of moral sense of forgivable.

Atheist and Theist Mistakes in Argument

God and Adam from Garden of Eden

Common Atheist and Theist mistakes in argument

1.

I’ll start by saying that, in controversial argument of atheism vs theism, there is no definitively correct answer – so long as the opposition remains unproved, then the theory is valid, however speculative it may be. Causing a scene and claiming that your opposition is just “wrong” or “retarded” doesn’t support your argument, it just further permeates a negative stereotype of your own beliefs.

2.

Theism is not a religion, and religions are not necessarily theism. Religion usually constitutes not only the belief of God, but sacred texts, rules and ethical codes, ontology, cosmology, epistemology and many other beliefs. Just because Christianity or Islam believes in a God, it does not mean that theism is essentially the same. IIf an atheist is to argue against theism, then they are to argue the belief (that is that God exists), and not Christianity, creationism, or Mormonism etc.

3. (and the most important)

Fallacies are abundant in both the arguments regarding theism and atheism. The primary fallacy in this case is known as the straw man fallacy. The straw man fallacy is when the opposition (often intentionally) misinterprets one’s argument, and rearranges it so that it sounds absurd, yet vastly inaccurate. A prime example given which is in this Thread is by the following gentleman;

“Believing in a God is just the same as believing that a cheese sandwhich made the Universe.”

As you can see, the person has employed a comparison of believing in a God, a founder of the Universe and divine being, to that of a Cheese sandwhich being the sole architect of the Universe. This attempt at reductio ad absurdum, while being hilarious, is a straw-man fallacy, as it gives a blatantly ridiculous comparison in the hopes of drawing people to believe their argument based on social convention. Clearly, it is insane in our society to believe that a cheese sandwhich created the Universe, therefore it must be insane for one to believe in a God, right? No, this is not true. There is a lot more to the belief of God than this cruel attempt of sophism, such as sacred texts, reports and general philosophical reasoning.

4.

Atheism is not supported by science.
Many atheists, and people in general regardless of their beliefs, somehow believe that the field of science gives evidence supporting atheism or, in extreme cases, “proves” it to be true. However, science doesn’t support atheism at all. One might say “but after all of this space exploration, there has been no sighting of God – so there musn’t be a God?”
This is certainly a good question, however many theists believe that God does not even reside on the natural Universe, but instead in the divine realm (i.e. Heaven). If God supposedly resides in the divine realm, then there is no possible way for one to employ empiricism (the fundamental ploy of evidence in science) to support their atheist beliefs. An atheist could argue, however, how absurd it is to believe that a God resides in the divine realm, as one could possibly not evaluate any hard, legitimate evidence supporting the belief.
Personally, I believe the discoveries made by science does the contrary to supporting atheism, for if one looks at how intricate the Universe and even their own body can be, then they might become very compelled in believing that some divine being is behind it all.
As for the Big Bang theory, many theists could argue that a God was the force behind the initial “big bang”.

5.

“Atheism is its own religion.”
Atheism is a belief, not a religion. A religion, as said earlier in my second (2) point, constitutes for a way of life, codes of ethics and cosmology. If one claims to be an atheist, then they merely believe that a God does not exist, but it does not constitute for a particular way of life or how the Universe works. Just because an atheist may support science and empiricism, it does not mean the two are relevant to each other (see point 4 for more details regarding science and atheism).
Atheism is not a set of beliefs – it is one belief.

There are variations of atheism, and many atheists strongly condone and follow scientific and empirical foundations; but this does not mean that atheism, by default, also takes into consideration these foundations as a way of life.
Your argument is just a matter of semantics. Consider your argument as something which is like the claim that we are living in the Matrix; we may be living in the Matrix, this may not even be the “real” reality, but it does not matter for we still perceive something external, and we can still gather knowledge of the external “something’s” truths, and we still refer to it as “reality”, whether or not it is “real” by somebody’s standards is entirely irrelevant.

In your (the atheist’s) case, you’re claiming that atheism is a religion, but it’s just a matter of semantics. It doesn’t matter what your interpretation of the words “atheism” or “religion” are, because the former is not, by definition and current meaning, categorised into the former. If you’re claiming that atheism does, by default, carry a system and way of life, and cosmology. etc. then you’re wrong. It’s similar to a cause and effect fallacy – you seem to think that just because atheists are more than often empiricists, that means atheism is empiricism.

Some people speculate that atheism is a LACK of a belief. This has some truth to it, but it still co-exists with the fact that atheism is a belief. Atheism is, indeed, the lack of a belief in God; but the lack of a belief in God is, by all means, just the belief that no God exists. It’s a silly matter of semantics to really argue this point, as the only factor between this argument is how to express it properly – which is redundant considering that both presentations are equally unbiased and respectively right.

6. (and final point)

Atheism does not automatically mean one is safe from attack. Many people mistake atheism as a belief in which they hold a skeptical stance, and subsequently are resistant to a lot, if not every, attack supporting theism. However, if one were to take a more skeptical, yet appropriate stance, then agnostic atheism (or just agnosticism) is the most preferable path. An agnostic person essentially believes that a God most probably does not exist, considering the substantial lack of evidence, but the possibility of theism as being truthful remains so long as more evidence is presented. Agnosticism is a very skeptical stance, and it’s more than often the most rational stance in the great debate between atheism vs theism. Unfortunately, many people aren’t aware of this belief.

Works Cited

Works Cited

  • Alcoff, Linda M., ed. Epistemology: The Big Questions. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers

Ltd, 1998. Print.

  • Burnyeat, Myles; Levett, M. J. The Theaetetus of Plato. Indianapolis: Hackett

Publishing Company, 1990. Print.

  • Plato; Jowett, Benjamin. Theaetetus. N.p.: Dodo Press, 2007. Digital file.
  • Bostock, David. Plato’s Theaetetus. N.p: Oxford Scholarship Online, 1991. Digital

file.

  •  Plato; Jowett, B. (Trans.) The Dialogues of Plato (4th ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press,

1964, pg. 163 – 196

Epistemology II

Epistemology II

Ancients and Modernists

The majority of philosophical beliefs an individual holds onto are often due to the current philosophical movements and practices in their time. In contemporary times, the recent domination and success of science has resulted in a particularly realistic monist, empirical philosophy, and current epistemic beliefs openly reject the traditional faith from the rise of Christianity and theism. Regardless of the recent rejection of traditional epistemology, the western history of philosophy is imperative for founding modern science and culture.

Plato and Aristotle were dominant figures of flaying Epistemology into shape an Ancient Greece (~200ac – 200bc). The two philosophers agreed that knowledge is prior to senses, and sensory perception is not directly responsible for knowledge. Instead, in classical philosophy, the mind was responsible for recognising knowledge, while the senses were simply a means for the mind to obtain knowledge. The ancients founded the belief of intelligibility and the flux and contingency of the cosmos. Sensory perception was believed that it could not establish knowledge for time causes the objects in the external world to be in a constant state of becoming, rather than being. The mind recognises the intelligibility of objects in their state of being, despite their state of constant becoming.

While the ancients believed that reason, or logos, is the intrinsic method of obtaining knowledge, their epistemic beliefs were essentially based on faith that it is true. A large amount of perceptively unjustified trust was placed in their belief that the world inherently possessed intelligibility (opportunity for knowledge), as well as the idea that the mind evaluated knowledge. This recognition of faith in ancient epistemic values can be rightfully applied to a substantial amount of post-modern realist philosophy.

While post-modern practices (i.e. science) excel in discovering universal truths, its grounds are still based on realist and empirical beliefs. Science and other relative practices largely rely on its trust in empiricism; in a sense, this substantial trust is, to some extent, a faith. The difference between the faithful grounds of Modernity and faithful theism is the fact that the latter is particularly dogmatic. The reason as to why science cannot definitively support its claim is because the method of validating their claim is refuted. For example, one can not give evidence supporting their empirical beliefs because the opposition rejects empirical evidence.

The ancient sceptics, despite being a minority, were also important for the following philosophical and theological movements. The sceptics believed that, if senses can often fool the mind with auditory and visual delirium, then subsequently the mind can result in having a false judgement, despite a supposedly fair sensory account. The sceptics often asked the question;

“If the senses are the only method of understanding the external world, and the external world is intelligible, then how is it possible to have universal knowledge and truth?”

Divine Illumination and Language

Illumination and Language

all-seeing-eye

It is almost universally understood that language and words are representations, or signs, of objects or states of objects (i.e. “if” represents a state of mind), yet interestingly enough we define these signs with other signs, or words. It is, by all means, a loop in language. If words are signs used to define objects and states of objects, then how can we ultimately define a sign without proceeding to enter into this twist? One could identify a sign with a sign, naturally, but it is rather contradictory. Consider the example wherein one man is asked to define what the term “ball” means: the man responds by defining the word as a circular object, but then how did the man establish what the word “object” means etc. etc.?

It is also understood that language is merely the verbal or written expression of thoughts, and that we intuitively give meaning to particular words when we are born. No man could have thought of verbalising an object, for neither thought nor producing sound via the vocal cords are instinctive mechanics; so there must have already been an intuitive understanding of the language of thoughts in order to be capable of expressing it via verbal/written language. Then how is it that we were given this understanding of our thoughts without any input by the external world? Could there be a divine being illuminating predisposed knowledge on us?

One could argue that, when one observes an object, one is naturally compelled to express a nonsensical word which is then given familiarity to the object at hand. For example, if a child’s first words were “Mom”, then the word, in the child’s mind, would essentially have no meaning unless their mind intuitively familiarises the enunciation “Mom” to their female parent, who is their Mother. But how is it that such a thing could be expressed mechanically? Surely the mind is distinguishable from bodily functions in the sense that the latter possesses an actual will to do. Just as the mind has no hold over what the body processes, the body has no will to control the mind.

In this sense meaning itself could be the epitome of Christ, divine nature or divine knowledge. Perhaps man is intuitively granted knowledge of the world, and merely recognises it when provoked by the external world. For example, a child could attend school and already know language and mathematics by predisposed illumination, and when they claim to have learned something at school from the Teacher, it was merely the Teacher evoking recognition of the subject in the Child’s mind. This theory essentially claims that intelligibility is already known by man before he perceives the world, and the actual interaction of the external world provokes recognition of the predisposed knowledge embedded in their minds, and subsequently provoking a firm memory of the knowledge. Essentially, man merely recollects and recognises, rather than learning. This paradoxical fallacy of language is currently only known to be logically resolved by such a theory. It is presumed that, in this theory, a God of sorts is responsible for illuminating the mind of man with this knowledge before they incarnate into the world.

“What parents would be so foolish as to send [their child] to school to learn what the teacher thinks?”

-Augustine

Scepticism

Scepticism

“…it seems plausible that the truth can’t be found, whereas to me it seems plausible that the truth can be found.”

            -Augustine

The philosophy of scepticism, particularly ancient scepticism, is a way of life which appeals to my philosophical interests. The modern definition of scepticism takes no significant relevance to ancient scepticism. In contemporary English language, a sceptic is man who questions the validity of whichever subject. Yet an ancient sceptic is cautious to approach anything, holding to the belief that no religious or philosophical belief can be legitimately proven. In most sporting games, such as football or cricket, there is a goal which the players reach to achieve. The average player plays hard to reach that goal, just like the average man reaches for divine truth or validation to their belief. However, an ancient sceptic firmly claims that the goal is unreachable, giving them the privilege of being free from knowing anything which is untrue.

Of course one questions how the ancient sceptic would make a good player in the field if they hold the belief that the goal is unobtainable. But one must understand that any well respected sceptic will reach for the goal regardless of their philosophical perspective. Just as playing on the field exercises their muscles and playing skill, so does studying philosophy exercise the soul.