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Anti Theory

Anti movements are movements against something. They are destructive, not constructive. To be true, they must oppose a false idea. However, few false ideas are worth the effort of opposing, because false ideas rarely get highly popular or influential. Thus, all anti movements are inherently suspect.

There are two main ways to be against something. One can hate it, and be focussed on getting rid of it. This kind of person, upon success, will find life (or that bit of her/his life) empty. The other approach is to only be against something incidentally. This kind of person only hates, say, the voting age, not because "it's unfair" but because s/he wants to vote and it's in the way.

Real life anti movements are made up predominantly of anti people of the first, bad variety. Because they are based on poor motives, they tend to be corrupt, which is a word I'm using loosely. This applies even to true anti movements.

An example of a true, corrupt anti movement is atheism in the USA. Most US atheists are disillusioned theists; most are still mystics; most cannot even conceive of morality without God. Most vigorously oppose anything religious on principle, without any regard to its actual merit. Most cannot agree about very much -- this should be expected in the same way a group of people who rejected the theory "smoking is good for you" aren't likely to agree about much. "Agree about much" is relative to a control group of purely random people, and means they wouldn't agree about much more than this control. This no-agreement effect is because there are a zillion bad, false theories out there. Rejecting them may be true, but it's boring. We could spend our whole lives thinking of false theories to not hold, and we wouldn't get anywhere. What's far more telling about a person is which positive (I use positive/negative synonymous with constructive/destructive in this context) theories one holds.

More later. (mwahahaha, now you have to come back!)

Elliot Temple on February 2, 2003

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