The Triumph of Claptrappery

I confess my indifference to the modern program in philosophy, that is, the attempt to replace philosophy with nihilism, snark, nonsense, and hysteria, has grown into a steady and steadfast determination that it must be opposed at all costs. I will not call my mood hatred, since hate has no part of this: but if you see the flood waters rising, and you know they will not stop, your duty is to shore up the dike, or, failing that, build an ark.

The modern claptrap has passed beyond the threshold of toleration. My Latin is rusty, so someone help me translate this correctly:

Stultiloquentio Delenda Est. 

CLAPTRAP MUST BE DESTROYED.

It is a new motto perfect for the Age of Trump, the era when Political Correctness and the Mainstream Media alike shall be obliterated from the minds of men, and the West awaken from a long, sick, feverish nightmare the blaring, blithering stupidity.

Why do I adopt this motto? Because we live in an age that is almost entirely free from the last traces of reason. Loyalty to reality is a thing of the past. Most youths these days have never heard a logical statement issue from the mouth of an adult at any point in their lives.

Do I exaggerate? Three examples will do.

  1. Someone asked me if there is a way to validate reason?
    My answer was in the form of a quote:
    When one of his audience said, `Convince me that logic is useful,’ he said, ‘Would you have me demonstrate it?’

    `Yes.’

    ‘Well, then, must I not use a demonstrative argument?’

    And, when the other agreed, he said, ‘How then shall you know if I impose upon you?’ And when the man had no answer, he said, ‘You see how you yourself admit that logic is necessary, if without it you are not even able to learn this much – whether it is necessary or not.’

    Discourses of Epictetus, BkII, Chap XXV (2nd Century)

    Note this hails from the Second Century. This is a question that has been answered and settled definitively for nearly two thousand years. I do not blame the man for asking: I am glad he did. But I wonder what his teachers were doing instead of teaching him.

  2. The same someone asked me my view of the Cartesian Circle? (For those of you unfamiliar with this, allow me to quote Wikipedia: The Cartesian circle is a criticism that Descartes’ proof of the reliability of clear and distinct perceptions takes as a premise God’s existence as a non-deceiver. Descartes’ proofs of God’s existence presuppose the reliability of clear and distinct perceptions.

    Like on Jeopardy, my answer is in the form of a question:Does the man who utters this proof believe that a circular argument is invalid? Is this belief based on a clear and distinct and reliable perception? If the laws of logic, including the law which says a circular argument cannot hold, are not reliable, then no syllogism can be certainly known to be valid or invalid, hence the whole discussion is moot. But if the laws of logic are reliable, then here is a clear and distinct and reliable perception on which we rely, even for this: to investigate whether clear and distinct perceptions are reliable.

    In other words, the critic in both questions assumes the very thing he is arguing to disprove. That is the definition of self-evident: a proposition is called self-evident when the doubter himself must adopt even in the act of forming a question to doubt it.

    Again, the question was honestly asked and I applaud the young gentleman for having the curiosity and humility to ask.

    But where are his teachers?

    Teachers? Where is his culture? Why didn’t he see this on a Star Trek show or in a stand-up comedy routine, or a patriotic musical about the truths we all hold to be self-evident?

  3. A student at my Alma Mater, St. John’s College in Annapolis, which, at one time, I magnified as the last bastion and last remnant of a solid, classical, honest education available in America, is showing signs of decay and corruption.

    In seminar, a student opined that all things are merely a matter of opinion, and there there is no truth, et cetera. The typical postmodern nihilist claptrap.

    No stance is easier to show false: merely the speaker whether his statement is true? If he says yes, he contradicts himself, and if he says no, he repudiates himself.

    But this time, the childishly simple bit of formal logic was answered with a childishly insane answer: the student decreed that any reasoned opposition to her statements was oppression caused by hate, that she felt threatened, that her rights were being violated, et cetera et ad nauseam.

    If the simplest basics of self-evident propositions are not taught to the questioner above, and if the simplest willingness to use logic is not present in the soul of the satanic little brat below, then civilization is surely damned.

 

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