Philosophy is defined as the love of knowledge. In practice it consists of several areas of interest. All are however linked to epistemology or the study of what we can know. Even ethics can be interpreted as the study of what we can know about proper conduct. Science however seeks facts. A fact is defined by the process used to obtain it; referred to as the scientific method. If the scientific method was used to obtain a datum then it is considered by virtue of the process used to obtain it, a fact.

Philosophy is about meaning and the significance of what we know and do. Science treats all facts equally. Scientifically no fact is no more important than any other. Therefore it is not important what a scientists studies or what facts he or she seeks to discover. It is more about using the proper method than the result itself.

The method of science suggests a person or a machine that has access to a large number of facts has more knowledge than someone or something with access to fewer facts. Whether you wish to agree with this conclusion depends on how you define knowledge. Certainly a child is smarter than a computer. A child may have fewer facts to work with but is able to make use of what he or she knows.

The pursuit of truth or knowledge is different from the pursuit of fact accumulation. Science systemizes facts. Some facts may not be compatible with others. The importance of a fact and the degree to which it contributes to our knowledge does not alter its status as a fact. The value of a fact and its contribution to our store of information is left to philosophers to debate. Facts are one thing but truth requires facts to be interpreted and integrated with the rest of human knowledge.

Rationalism is the philosophy of choice or of mind. Rationalism is ultimately about consciousness, what it is, how it works and what we are aware of. Rationalism studies life from the perspective of the cost of the choices we make. Humanism subscribes to causality. Causality does not consider costs. Causality cannot comprehend the idea that a person’s behaviour creates costs he or she is responsible for. In the humanist worldview this is the same as saying a meteor is responsible for the costs it creates when it impacts earth.

There are two philosophies from which all other philosophies are derived. These in turn are two ways of looking at the world. Ultimately we are faced with the reality that there are two different minds or types of consciousness. Rationalism has labelled these two ways of looking at the world the elitist and the civilist. The former creates hierarchies and tyrannies and the latter civil society. Elitists  develop philosophies that promote individual freedom usually based on entitlement. Generally they downplay responsibility in favour of a robust libertarianism. Causality is an elitist philosophy though it argues for the universality of natural law which suggests predeterminism. However, as individuals elitists do not feel constrained by natural law. While he or she may declare the universe is locked in the immutable hand of causality they do not demonstrate any signs that this may be so.

Elitists are faced with an inconvenient contradiction. Freedom for the elite necessitates imposing order on everyone else. Elitists cannot logically countenance liberty for anyone but themselves. Elitists are generally not concerned with justice or equality. They disagree with any philosophy, belief or right that gives people the right to put constraints on them. Elitists are entitled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Philosophy