‘Critical thinking’ and ‘rationality’, notorious weapon words of fake skepticism, merely serve to exploit the ignorance of one’s existing knowledge, coupled with the natural human proclivity to seek a resolution of dissonance as quickly and easily as possible. Ignorance serves goals of predatory power in ways which an ethically discerning population would never tolerate.
A corollary principle we broached in one of our latest articles, The Distinction Between Comprehension and Understanding (The Problem of Abduction), contended that the purpose of comprehension, is not to increase one’s understanding by means of the familiar and simple. As well, we observed that the purpose of comprehension is not to necessarily resolve the discomfort incumbent with the dissonance over paradox or not knowing. Our entire universe is crafted to challenge us by means of dissonance in the first place. Whether by mere happenstance, intent, or design is uncertain – and one must tolerate dissonance over that uncertainty as well. Nonetheless, the reality remains – we face the necessity of learning to surf the tempestuous froth, the disquieting anomie, and the abject discomfort, of dissonance.
Adissonance – the natural human desire or state of escape from the discomfort of dissonance.
Adissonance is a form of skeptical intoxication. Dissonance in contrast, is the learning person’s fuel. Never allow a debunker or fake skeptic to dilute your fuel with simplicity and comfort. In my life I have failed more times at business startups, than I have succeeded. Yes these instances were painful. These processes would not have been improved in the least by a clueless outsider contending, ‘it’ll likely fail’, even if they happened to turn out to be correct in the end. Such a process adds no value in terms of actual knowing. During my experiences, the lessons learned therein pertained not to balance sheets nor technical system constraints, but rather to the reality around business verticals, the financial world, and the nature of humanity. I also honed those new talents under difficult circumstances, developing skills which constituted more than simply the base of ability I started with out of college. Now influential and powerful people pay me well for my insight and startup implementation abilities. But I have also learned that my purpose in life is no longer to make the rich, even richer.
It’s not what you are capable of, it’s what you are willing to do.~ Mike Tomlin, NFL head coach
The most brilliant of person is the one who has, through proactive and constructive method, found themself to be wrong, again and again until they encountered success. The most ignorant among us, knew the answers from day one – enjoying their role as the smartest person in the room, stumbling their way through life on scripted obviousness, privilege, and luck. Burying their credential in the ground, whipping it out as their main basis of credibility, or upon being challenged as to the value of their contribution. Often the threat is not ‘being (found) wrong’ per se, as being wrong is an element which serves to inform; rather, our challenge is the comfort of wallowing in and cultivating ignorance – passed off as rationality.
And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’~ New Testament (ESV), Matthew 25: 20
Beware of those who peddle lists of commonly-taught fallacies as wares of the huckster, and as if this somehow demonstrates prowess on their part. “You can believe me, because I published this list of canned rationality I copied off the internet.” Such philosophers have never really done anything in their life. What you will find through a successful and engaging career, is that contrary to what fake skeptics might suggest, the purpose of their malicious misrepresentation is to cultivate ignorance – not address irrationality. A trading cartel does not seek to make everyone ‘bad at business’, rather only to render them ignorant of how to circumvent their lock on specific industry advantages. The tricks of developing a buyer letter of credit overseas, driving the right combination of x-factory terms yet still efficient as to freight consolidation, how to insure both product and at-risk money, and finally get it all serviced through one of the big accredited global banks despite the reality that they may ignore even a properly developed transaction submitted by a no-name entity – such skills are not outlined in textbooks for a reason.
The Tradecraft of the Huckster – Debunker and Fake Skeptic
Along the same line of principle, your suddenly becoming a ‘rational’ or ‘critical thinker’ will not serve to resolve one’s ignorance in the least. Sitting in a pub drinking pale ales with other critical thinkers, although fun and flush with exciting group-think, will not alleviate this condition as well. Mere failures in formal and informal logic can be detected and resolved, but as one will eventually discover, ignorance is a much more difficult challenge in dispelling. If your formal theory, serves also to decrease the level of information – then you are the problem, no matter how many formal fallacies you have memorized to impress others.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Stay hungry. Stay foolish.~ Steven Jobs, commencement speech to Stanford University 2005 graduating class
What one learns after leaving academia is that it is not simply fallacy which you have to watch for inside scientific, or even daily communication. Rather, the astute successful researcher, executive, scientist, or businessperson need perceive the full array of crooked, manipulative, smoke and mirrors, and narrative-ninny agency which seeks to cultivate ignorance. A focus on just ‘fallacies’ indicates one has never really done anything, as such lists are circulated commonly throughout academia to stand in as substitute for actual competence.
Thus, when we in ethical skepticism speak of ‘Huckster Tradecraft’, we refer to a learned and broad set of cognitive tricks and misrepresentations which are habitually exploited to lead the quarry into the comfortable ignorance of adissonance. Such techniques are outlined here (click on The Tree thumbnail to open the header page):
The Tree of Knowledge Obfuscation
Over 3,000 Fallacies, Errors, and Methods of Crooked Thinking Grouped by Category of Misrepresentation
As one may observe in the two-axis chart to the upper right hand side of this article, the purpose of ethical skepticism is to displace a person from out of the comfort of ignorance and through the process of comprehension. Such an ethic eschews any process which seeks to capitalize upon the familiar and simple, as a means to static and abductive understanding. ‘Critical thinking’ and ‘rationality’, notorious weapon words of fake skepticism as it turns out, merely serve to exploit the ignorance of one’s existing knowledge, coupled with the natural human proclivity to seek a resolution of dissonance as quickly and easily as possible. We all naturally seek a state of adissonance. Fake skeptics realize this, and exploit such a human foible in order to peddle whatever religion it is they are selling.
The role of the narrative ninny and fake skeptic is to mislead you into substituting the state of comfort, simplicity, and familiarity – in lieu of the uncomfortable process of comprehension. One still wallows in ignorance, however no longer bears the dissonance to even detect that sad reality. The purpose of ethical skepticism is to challenge the mind to break such a habit or spell.
The Ethical Skeptic, “Breaking the Spell of Adissonance”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 19 Jan 2022; Web, https://theethicalskeptic.com/?p=60678