Misbegotten Notions

Some ideas are wrong, but some are simply evil. Here we try to show why all of these ideas are at the least misbegotten.

An error in thinking tends to propagate through one's hierarchy of knowledge. An error in Metaphysics tends to lead to errors in Epistemology which lead to errors in Ethics, and so on.

Mystical MetaphysicsArbitrary explanations for the universe
Irrational EpistemologyConvenient or fraudulent evasions of reason
Evil EthicsDestruction of life and the good
Bloody PoliticsEnforcing evil at the point of a gun
Post-Modern EstheticsDestruction of meaning and beauty

A positive can not be proved by disproving every alternative. That is not the goal here. The purpose of this section is to highlight some of the more popular misbegotten notions which confuse people and lead them astray. It also illustrates the importance of a proper philosophy because of the tendency of people to develop silly ideas if they don't check them against reason.

It should be noted that many misbegotten notions tend to lead to death if one tries to apply them consistently. People's will to live usually forces them to be a little rational in order to survive. This is like the case of Communism under the Soviet Union. They didn't apply their theory consistently because the more they tried to, the more carnage it wreaked. Similarly a false epistemological view, when applied consistently, would make life unlivable. If someone believed the world was a figment of one's imagination, for instance, they could not provide themselves with the means to survive. They wouldn't even be able to eat. Death would follow.

The point is that people don't normally apply these misbegotten notions consistently. This should not be taken as a sign that they are not held at times, or are not held in regard to particular situations. To some extent, all of these notions are accepted by some people. The extent to which they are accepted and practiced is the extent to which their lives are impaired. Furthermore, just because an idea isn't practiced consistently doesn't mean we cannot tell what the results would be if they were applied consistently. The Law of Identity exists, and one need not shoot oneself in the head to know that it is fatal.

Copyright 2001 by Jeff Landauer and Joseph Rowlands