A blupete Essay

Things That Are and Things That Ought to Be, Part 3 to blupete's Essay
"On The Nature Of Man"

If we are to get anywhere with this topic we must avoid metaphysical statements, statements that bring us beyond the real world, beyond the facts. To do this one must be able to distinguish between a statement which is a value judgment (where one says what ought to be the case) from a statement of fact (where one says and is able to demonstrate what is the case). We must restrict ourselves to genuine assertions about the facts. We must stick to empirical statements, statements that can be shaken or supported by the investigations of an objective observer.

Certain scientific theories make claims about matter we cannot perceive, whether because it is too far away in space, or in the distant past, or too small for any of the human senses to detect; these scientific theories must be tested indirectly, they usually have consequences that can be observed. As is the case with scientific theories, philosophic statements can only be put as hypotheses, propositions, which can never be known as certain, but which can be deliberately put to the test of observation and experiment, and revised or rejected if their predictions get falsified.3

You can believe God made you, and, thus, with this belief, it is to Him you must turn -- this is Religion; or, you can believe we are determined by society, and to remake ourselves we must remake the men in whose society we find ourselves -- this is socialism. Both are examples of theories that incapacitate men; these are examples of irrational theories. These irrational theories appeal, simply, to the emotions of irrational people; they are easy to accept; and, like any closed system, impregnable to rational criticism, difficult to dislodge. Man as has been scientifically demonstrated has evolved, individual by individual; he did not come about through the design of anyone, supernatural or otherwise. As an evolved individual, man is a being who instinctually knows that he must rely on himself and his own powers.4

What makes men unique in the animal kingdom is that he, as an individual, has evolved the faculty to observe, to plan ahead, to think, and to judge for himself. It is this rational capacity which is at the center of each man's life; it is how he survives, day to day.


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[Essays, First Series]
[Essays, Second Series]
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[Subject Index]
Peter Landry

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