The Logic of Logic

Reason is a mystical mystery to the secular mind.

One of the many ironies of the modern age is the triumph of unreason over reason in the name of reason; the skeptics have grown so gullible that they will now believe anything, no matter how openly  foolish, facetious and false.

This includes the idea that unreasoning nature implants reason in man, and that this faculty is reliable. A more foolish idea is that this faculty is not reliable. The first idea requires that reason arise from unreason; the second idea requires we rely on an unreliable faculty of reason to reach the conclusion not to trust our conclusions.

The ironies of the modern age spring from a central, reigning irony:  the glorification of Man over God has overthrown three foundations of the Western worldview.

First, instead of the Biblical teaching that man is little less than the angels, a glorious being fearfully and wonderfully made, granted dominion over the earth to subdue it, Darwin teaches man is a hairless ape, one beast among many, produced by blind accident.

Second, instead of the medieval teaching that man is an incarnate spirit led by the light of consciousness and conscience toward goodness and righteousness, Freud teaches man his mind is an hallucination controlled by dim, chthonic impulses issuing from an unconscious consciousness that seeks in eternal frustration to slay fathers and rape mothers. Freud teaches also that the whisper of conscience is not the still, small voice of heaven meant to lead the erring soul from wrong to right. To the contrary, this whisper is but the dead echo of whatever arbitrary norms or nonsense society imprinted, hence to obey one’s conscience leads to repression and madness.

Third, instead of the teaching from the self-proclaimed Age of Reason that all men are created equal, endowed by the Creator with inalienable rights, among them the right to the fruit of his own labor; and that to secure these rights laws are instituted among men by the consent of the governed, Marx teaches that laws offend the equality of man, and that property is theft, and that man neither has rights, nor any right to establish a government, nor any reasoning powers to enable him to do so. Rather, all history is controlled by mindless and inevitable economic forces leading toward socialism, when state and all legal apparatus, as well as the marketplace, and all scarcity of resources, softly and suddenly vanish away, and never be met with again; and in that same glorious hour, utopia descend from the clouds like a bride adorned for her wedding. Marx calls this mystical vision scientific, and says reason revealed it to him.

All three of these modern philosophies fall into the same paradox and trap, namely, by turning the instrument of skeptical reasoning against the phenomenon called man, the instrument itself is called into doubt.

If, as Marx says, all philosophy is merely the ideological superstructure programmed into man by the material circumstances of his means of production, meant only to offer false narratives and fake excuses to justify the social order in the minds of those benefitted by it; and if those means of production are brought forth by nonhuman historical and economic forces in action; then nothing in the mind of man is under human control. Men are merely the puppets of fate, reciting robotic falsehoods, jabbering of justice and virtue to mask venal self-interest.

Now, if all men are merely puppets of fate, mouthing falsehoods meant to support each man his self interest, this applies to Marx and his epigones as well, in which case, the conclusion that men are puppets of fate is false. Not only is Marx not able to reason, no man is.

Again, if, as Freud has it, human reason has no reason to exist, aside from acting as an instrument of self-deception to hide various parricidal and incestuous impulses innate in man from himself, and if the conscience is merely an imprint absorbed from social convention, then this applies to Freud equally as to all other men, and his conclusions are being mouthed for dark and tangled subconscious reasons other than high-minded scientific reverence for the naked truth.

If the conscience is not the whisper of God in man, but instead, as Freud would have it, is merely a convention of the “superego”, like the habit that makes a gentleman remove his hat in an elevator, then conscience has no authority. In the next country, next generation, or even the next elevator, if the consensus differs, so differs the conscience. If so, there is perhaps a utilitarian calculus of self interest involved in determining when and where and how much to obey the whisper of conscience, but there is no transcendental reason, no eternal reason, no ethical reason, no moral reason.

If Freud is right, the conscience is not the supernal yet silent voice of heaven but the crowd-murmur of conformity.

Yet, if so, we are left with no grounds to trust Freud reported his cases studies honestly, nor has Freud grounds to trust Freud. If each man is haunted by an unconscious mind that controls not only his actions but his thoughts, thoughts are unreliable, and it is unreasonable to place faith in reason.

If the instrument of reason cannot be trusted, reason draws no further conclusions. Logic stops. That includes whatever logic draws one to the conclusion that the instrument of reason cannot be trust.

If the cortex of man developed by unintentional evolution, it was not crafted purposefully with the aim of being an accurate reasoning instrument, but was instead an ancillary accident brought about by blind trial and error, whose only corrective, natural selection, selects for fertility and survival. Hence, the very instrument Darwin uses to concoct the theory of evolution is proven by that theory to be unreliable.

According to Darwin, human reason is an accident; the human reason was not designed to be reasonable, was not created to be reliable, because it was not designed at all; and there is no creator.

More to the point, no Darwinian can account for the rational faculty. It neither attracts mates nor secures survival in adversity. A shapely posterior is more useful for attracting a bridegroom than a degree  from Vassar College. Strength of limb and sharpness of eye and stoutness of heart is more useful on the hunting trail or on the warpath than an aptitude for spatial relations or precision of vocabulary.

Only in the crudest possible terms is reason useful to beast-men or to barbarians, namely, when employing the cunning of a fox to outwit fleeing game or outmaneuver approaching foes. The cleverness of Hermes, patron of tradesmen and prince of lawyers, is pointless in a world of endless tribal warfare, until there are trade goods to trade, or legal disputes to settle. Hermes must wait until Ares, and all his bloodthirsty children, Strife and Fear and Panic, have quelled the wars, and Demeter has taught the sons of Man how to sow and reap, and Vesta has hallowed the hearthstone and marriage bower, and heroes and demigods set the foundation stones of the town walls.

Reason is not useful to survival of progeny until the walled towns of civilization arise, and men make marks on clay tablets to measure the seasons to know the times of planting, and the time of the flood of the Nile or Euphrates. Then counting and ciphering, records of goods, legal claims and counterclaims, and all the apparatus of abstraction finds a use. Only then can Hermes or Loki, the cunning ones, find themselves to be useful to the city, rather than criminals and pests.

And, by that point, evolution ends. Civilized men, with the sole and horrific exception of Sparta, do not slay their unfit children, nor allow them to die. In civilization, the strong protect the weak, and running from lions is no longer a weekly or monthly track and field event, weeding out the slow of foot. Instead, to see anyone eaten by a lion, the civilized man must wait for Caesar to announce the games, and for great beasts to be captured and starved and trained to perform the task, for the amusement and edification of the Circus.

In sum, the Darwinian heresy made man a soulless beast; the Freudian made man’s soul a soulless snarl of self-deception; and the Marxist removed humanity from history, and made man, and all his philosophy, a helpless puppet determined by soulless historical forces.