Saturday, April 12, 2014

Worldviews 101, Part 4

Continuing our differentiation between Type 1 and Type 2 people (which I realize is very general and subject to much qualification and many exceptions and variations),

Type 1 people tend to be more willing to submit to authority, even to the point of mistaking an equation between legality and morality.
Type 2 people tend to resist authority, and many times confuse the difference between authority and authoritarianism.

Type 1 people sing "Humble Yourself in the Sight of the Lord" when they drive to work.
Type 2 people sing "I Did It My Way" when they drive to work.

Type 1 people often keep their opinions to themselves, because Type 2 people are often so much more aggressive and vocal about their views.

Type 1 people believe that language, as imprecise as it is, is an ordering and structuring tool, a tool for understanding. Without this use of abstract symbols, we would find it almost impossible to share our beliefs about the structure of the universe, to analyze our perceptions of the external world, and to draw conclusions about the reality beneath it all.

Type 2 people, especially the postmodernists among them,  reject "totalizing narratives" (claims of absolute truth and objective reality), just as they dismiss reason and "privileged interpretations" of texts.

So. to an extent, the so-called culture wars represent a battle between authority and the self, or in starkest relief, between pride and humility, where humility is defined as the recognition of a higher authority than oneself. The message of classical Western philosophy is that happiness comes through the submission of personal desire and appetite to reason, a reason informed by transcendent, objective reality and absolute truth. In other words, self control for the sake of personal happiness and the social contract is the path to the Good.

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