Sunday, 8 April 2018

Aspiration


I aspire to political agnosticism - political nirvanah and enlightenment - a letting go of ideology and political dogma. Buddha said; "Believe nothing merely because you have been told it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be kind, conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings -- that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide."


Ideology, which isn't falsifiable, pervades politics. Whole areas of political thought are fact-free zones. You've probably heard of mindfulness - well, it's about time to develop something called factfulness, which is the ability to criticise daft, dogmatic ideas, no matter which party espouses them - and even if all tout them.

The problem a lot of people get into is that they will dogmatically follow a particular party, which inevitably ends with them having to defend some policy which is manifestly idiotic. You can always identify the partizan - just throw them a stupid party policy, bereft of any evidential support, and watch them tie themselves in knots trying to defend the indefensible. I've been guilty of this myself in the past, but have made a concerted effort to overcome the urge and divorce myself from any party and vote only on policies and trustworthiness to implement such policies.  I consider myself neither right nor left and more of the middling sort.

Politics, like religion, becomes enmeshed in your view of yourself and it's hard not be become biased once a decision to support a particular party is made. Essentially it's a form of tribalism. Once the untrained mind has made a formal commitment to a philosophy - and it does not matter whether that philosophy is generally reasonable and high-minded or utterly bizarre and irrational - the powers of reason are surprisingly ineffective in changing the believer's mind.

Giordano Bruno, a 17th C. Italian philosopher once said; "It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people."

Auguste Comte, a 19th C. French philosopher said; "All good intellects have repeated, since Bacon's time, that there can be no real knowledge but which is based on observed facts."

Some political philosophies are nothing more than opinion, and no opinion is right or wrong. I may like blue cheese, but you hate it. It's an opinion and opinions can be ignored, in my opinion...

I see Boris Johnson is defending his ineptitude by accusing Jeremy Corbyn of peddling an 'avalanche of lies and disinformation' over the Skripal affair. A bit like Boris' Brexit 'avalanche of lies and disinformation' then. All I see Corbyn (who I have no particular like for) doing is standing up for British principles in relation to accusations, evidence and condemnation. Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye (the Bible is full of this kind of handy stuff). It would have been far better for Boris to say; "I understand where Corbyn is coming from, but....."

There seems to be a narrative on the right of the political spectrum that it was wrong to arrest the pensioner who stabbed and killed a burglar. I was under the impression that the police had the task of ascertaining the facts before reaching a conclusion. Part of ascertaining the facts is to arrest someone who has killed someone else, no matter the circumstances, or am I missing something? Kill someone in a road accident, even if obviously not your fault, and you will be arrested - it is simply the procedure.

It may seem I'm repeatedly attacking the right, but it's simply that it's those on the right who keep putting themselves in the firing line through pure stupidity.


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