Wednesday 12 August 2020

APICHATID - A Priori It Cannot Happen And Therefore It Didn't

It is inferred motivation that organises our experience. The motivation we impute is what takes individual 'facts' or observations, and makes sense of them.

If we do not conceive an organising motivation, then there is no rhyme or reason to what-happens: our life is intrinsically experienced as chaos - just one damned thing after another.

And 'damned' is appropriate - because this is a hellish way of living: hellish in terms of how it feels, and hellish because it is one of the strategies of hell to try and convince people that there is no shape nor story to their lives.

Without motivation, life is always and everywhere chaos. And when a wrong motivation is imputed; this distorts experience in a way that can seldom be corrected by further experience; because whatever happens is simply fitted-into the pre-existing (wrong) explanatory framework. 

The lesson is that we need to be more careful about choosing our explanatory framework, because it is the explanatory framework which chooses which 'facts' we will believe (not least because the explanatory framework decides what counts as a fact). 

This can be illustrated by the common device of APICHATID - which stands for A Priori It Cannot Happen, And Therefore It Didn't*.

APICHATID is most commonly seen in relation to 'supernatural' phenomena, such as miracles. Most mainstream modern people have the 'a priori' assumption that miracles cannot happen; therefore when asked to evaluate any specific claimed-miracle, the facts are irrelevant; because they will inevitably conclude that it was Not a miracle - but had some other explanation. 'Evidence' has no bearing on this outcome.

We see APICHATID in relation to the 'recent changes' of 2020. Most mainstream modern people have adopted the Official explanatory framework that everything/ anything which happens is due to a deadly plague.

No other explanation of motivation is considered respectable - anything else is either a 'conspiracy theory' and therefore By Definition untrue, and/or supernatural, woo-woo nonsense.

Therefore it does not matter when diametrically opposed claims are made from one week to the next. It does not matter when the Establishment (including media, by whom people get their official info) are caught lying again and again. It does not matter that the official-narrative is incoherent - at both micro- and macro-levels...

If I am, let us suppose, correct that the true motivation behind 'recent events' is really-and-truly supernatural and demonically-evil; then naturally the great mass of people are not going to understand it at even the most basic level of comprehension.

Because I am saying that the truth is recent events make a narrative, a story - and they are strategically aimed at human damnation; whereas for the mass majority this motivation is a case of APACHITID - and for them there is no narrative, story, strategy or meaning to whatever has-happened or will-happen.

Indeed, the concept of APACHITID applies (with modified words) to the here-and-now. On a daiy basis people are in the grip of something like: a priori this cannot be-happening, and therefore it isn't. As they live their lives, experience events, observe phenomena - none of it matters, the Official Account remains true: because this cannot be happening... 

Whatever 'this' is', it is all-and-always just a response to a natural disaster; and all possible (as well as actuall) dishonesty, incoherence, contradiction must-be merely down to individual human incompetence or greed - or the lies of our own eyes, our lives, our memories.

Hence the ultra-weird reverse psychosis of these times. Whereas the normal psychotic believes his own deluded experience and ignores everybody else's; we are living in an era when normal people believe the delusions of 'everybody else' (ie. government and the media), and ignore their own experience.  

The moral is clear: You need to be-damned-sure that your inferred motivations are correct, or you will surely-be-damned.

*APICHATID is slightly-adapted from an idea by Stanley Messenger


Jacob Gittes said...

Thank you for this one.
This reminds me of an amazing story a materialist/atheist friend has told - more than once.
His mother, numerous times, knew when he was injured in some other part of the nation.
In one case, she didn't even know what state he was working in when he got hurt.
She somehow tracked him down in the hospital emergency room. The phone rang, and it was her.
She had divined what state he was in, dialed the phone directory service, and then guessed what town he was in by having the directory assistance person read off a list of towns until she heard the right one.
My friend told me that this happened, but that he could not accept that such things were possible, or that "action at a distance" is possible.
In general, this friend seems to be in a mild psychotic state of state of shock about the world. He's quite high IQ - probably very high IQ - but he can't accept that the world is not based on determinism and/or materialism. I don't think he can accept that a good God would allow suffering, which seems to be a bugaboo for a lot of very smart people I know.

In truth, we are surrounded by miracles and amazingness everday. I need to focus more on opening myself to the miracles and beings that surround us.

Stephen Macdonald said...

Of course, Creation is itself a Miracle. All of the "natural explanations" of phenomena axiomatically depend on God. The peacock's plume, supernovae, colours -- all are miraculous. What many mean by "miracle" is something that happens which appears to defy natural law as we currently understand it. I suspect God uses such "exceptions" to get important points across, but we need not witness "breaking the laws of physics" in order to experience the miraculous. We need merely gaze into the eyes of our first-born for that.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Nova - As I've said elsewhere on this blog that (because of APICHATID, tho' I didn't use the term) public miracles (like Fatima) are useless/ counter-productive *nowadays* (especially in the atheist West) - they merely invite an avalanche of explaining-away, and harden the hearts of the faith-less.

But personal mircales still happen - and I myself experienced three just at the time when I was converting. These events were answered prayers, and were entirely aimed at me - and I have never discussed them with anyone else. The point was they convinced me at the time, and again, and again - which was just exactrly what I needed at that stage.

Of course, God's Plan A is that we should do as much for ourselves as possible, because that is the best (sometimes the only) way to learn - but miracles are there whenever they are likely to be helpful in the ultimate aim: which is aimed at eternal resurrected Heavenly life.

God can step in and act directly when necessary - but absolutely does Not want to undermine our personal agency.

Miracles are Not (as so many people mistakenly assume - usually without thinking) aiming towards temporary alleviations of our temporary mortal lives. Our actual mortal life - including miracles - is intended for our personal, ultimate and everlasting benefit.

AnteB said...

I think you are on to something very important, an explanation why people can´t (or don´t want) to learn from their experiences.

A similar thing might explain why so much of modern Christianity have become indistinguishable from mainstream, secular leftism. Much can of course be attributed to infiltration, subversion and corruption (both human and demonic).

But beyond that maybe most self-proclaimed modern Christians, whether they believe in God or not, simply share the fundamental assumptions of mainstream, secular leftism. If a moral or ethical question is debated some variation of the viewpoint of the leftist will first be accepted and then required. No alternative viewpoint will be accepted, or even considered. This is noticeable because evidence, so to speak, from the Scripture or from how more or less all Christians in the past would have believed can be simply ignored or disregarded. Sometimes it does not even "register".

Sean G. said...

Adding APICHATID to my glossary, though it doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. I'll just offer this alternative: TINPASIDO— Theoretically It's Not Possible, And So It Didn't Occur.

I was called out on this very thing shortly before my conversion. I had no logical response so I tried praying instead. What could be the harm? And I figured it wasn't as if I'd magically start believing in this nonsense...

Francis Berger said...

"You need to be-damned-sure that your inferred motivations are correct, or you will surely-be-damned."

I like the touch of antimetabole here - a very memorable turn of phrase.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Frank - Bruce Charlton's Notions: Your one-stop-shop for clever turns-of-phrase (hyphenated-inappropriately)...

Ingemar said...

Appy chatted!
Maybe we can make this a meme.

APICHATID undergirds all Biblical scholarship in secular academia.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

Apichatid is not irrational. We all use it every day. It's really just another way of expressing Sherlock Holmes's celebrated maxim, "Once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." What's the difference between the impossible and the highly improbable? A priori assumption.

Plutarch reports that when some Roman women erected a statue of the goddess Fortuna, the statue spoke -- twice, with multiple witnesses -- saying "Blessed of the gods, O women, is your gift." Did the statue really speak? Would you like to examine all the available historical evidence before reaching a tentative conclusion on the question? Of course not -- Apichatid! (Plutarch's own view was that, although a talking statue "seems pretty nearly an impossibility," in this case "history seems . . . to force our assent by the concurrence of numerous and credible witnesses.")

Ingemar writes that Apichatid undergirds all Biblical scholarship -- but adds, needlessly, the qualifier "in secular academia." In fact everyone, from the secular scholar who assummes a priori that there can be no miracles to the inerrantist who assumes a priori that the text is always right and never contradicts itself, uses Apichatid in interpreting the Bible.

Bruce has himself invoked Apichatid, for example, here: "I have pondered your point about these particular detailed precognitive dreams, that are also seemingly meaningless. I conclude that insofar as they cannot be explained by telepathic means or coincidences, then I just don’t believe them. In effect, because I can’t make any sense of of them, I don’t believe they happened!"

The problem is not the Apichatid principle itself, but rather the specific assumptions that underlie certain applications of it.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Wm. Yes of course! This is what I've been ranting for years - it's metaphysics. The point is that people refuse to acknowledge what they are doing, which is applying assumptions they have unconsciously and passively absorbed; and these unexamined assumptions absolutely control their knowledge.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

Bruce, of course I know your position on this. It's just that this post taken in isolation could be misunderstood as saying that Apichatid itself -- the principle of ignoring or reinterpreting evidence for things you consider to be impossible -- is wrong or irrational, and it seems to me that some of the other commenters have read it that way.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Wm - I am quite relaxed about this 'any post taken in isolation' thing - because it is impossible Not to be misunderstood. If I were to write long posts explaining all my terms and closing off all possible misunderstandings, then 1. nobody could read them and 2. I couldn't be bothered to write them.

Likewise I have no patience for Gotcha! comments when people accuse me of not stating my terms clearly, or 'concealing' my other views on stuff e.g. unpublished comments used to include that I was dishonestly 'concealing' my heretical Mormon sympathies; because I didn't state them in every post, as a kind of 'warning'... The same could be said of my belief that God is a dyad.

And there is such a thing as creative misunderstanding - which, in a sense, I do a lot wwith Steiner - I (quite consciously) take bits and pieces, and develop them in directions Steiner would not agree-with - while rejecting the system from which they were drawn.

Sean G. said...

@Wm "Apichatid is not irrational"

Hyper-rationality is the problem with APICHATID, especially when unexamined, as is so often the case.