Tuesday, 29 November 2011

First blind the people...(advice from Screwtape).


First blind the people by teaching them to disregard their own experience, the evidence of their senses and observations; then tell them what they ought to know.

Tell them what they ought to know by the authority of specialists and professionals; then tell them that there is no reality, only sensation; and 'therefore' they should collude in their own manipulation by viewing life through the mass media - or rather, to be more accurate, their subjective 'life' becomes a thing wholly-constructed by the mass media.

Once people have ceased to be rooted in experience, your work is done; it matters little what specific brand of nonsense you feed them via the mass media. It is the un-realism of this content which is key.

Once the centrality of experience is abandoned, the scope for error, distortion and partiality is indeed infinite in all directions. There is just one way of being right, but no end of ways for being wrong.

Best of all, although there are a few temporary beneficiaries, everybody loses in the long term.



Wm Jas said...

When people unthinkingly swallow the bien-pensant party line without fact-checking it against their own direct experience, doesn't the problem boil down to a lack of the "spirit of questioning" you so recently denounced?

Faith is faith and doubt is doubt, regardless of whether its object is revealed truth or PC gobbledygook. People who uncritically accept PC are thinking and behaving in an essentially religious way; they just happen to have grown up in a society dominated by a baloney religion.

This is what I was trying to get at when I said that it was nonsense to condemn the spirit of questioning as such. The question cannot be simply whether it is better to be trusting or critical in a general sense; rather, it is whom to trust and whom to doubt.

Bruce Charlton said...

WmJas - "it is whom to trust and whom to doubt." - Indeed. But that is not the spirit of questioning. QUite the opposite. The S of Q avoids the question of whom to trust and why, and covertly imposes its sacred assumptions as the background to the S of Q.

It's not as if we don't know all about about the S of Q. It has worked its way through several disciplines - initially philosophy (from Descartes) leading to professionalized nonsense which utterly refuses to discuss its own assumptions.

It is shocking to see how philosophers have gotten away with this for so long - making absolute statements while refusing to discuss their assumptions. Yet invoking the S of Q against Christianity to reject it as the childish and/ or evil - simply because its assumptions are clear.

Ive seen it again and again - a black box of assumptions used to reject honest metaphysics. It is also the basis of bureaucracy - that (black box) committee decision is asserted superior and objective to the subjective partiality of individual judgment.

The Continental Op said...

A colloquial way of putting this: they tell us, "who're you going to believe, us or your lying eyes?"

I assume our overlords are all liars, ministers of the devil doing the devil's work.

There's no spirit of questioning at work. I know my master's voice, and our overlords do not speak with it.