[T]here’s a more insidious form of human-centric ontology, as found in many version of scientism. On the one hand, scientism insists that human consciousness is nothing special, and should be naturalized just like everything else. On the other hand, it also wants to preserve knowledge as a special kind of relation to the world quite different from the relations that raindrops and lizards have to the world. Another of putting it… for all their gloating over the fact that people are pieces of matter just like everything else, they also want to claim that the very status of that utterance is somehow special. For them, raindrops know nothing and lizards know very little, and some humans are more knowledgeable than others. This is only possible because thought is given a unique ability to negate and transcend immediate experience, which inanimate matter is never allowed to do in such theories, of course. In short, for all its noir claims that the human doesn’t exist, it elevates the structure of human thought to the ontological pinnacle.

Graham Harman (via josephhenrystaten)

Intellectual honesty is a special case of spirituality. It developed long before science, but after religion; it is a self-critical practice of epistemic action that is not bound to adaptive delusional systems. This practice includes the stance of the philosophical skeptic. After being accused of blasphemy and of corrupting the youths of Athens, Socrates said in his famous apology before the tribunal of 501 Athenians: “I neither know nor think that I know.” The philosophical virtue of skepticism is the ability to continually question the possibility of a secure, provable knowledge of truth, and to do so in a productive manner—the opposite of dogmatism. Skeptics are dangerous, because they are incorruptible.

Thomas Metzinger, Spirituality and Intellectual Honesty (via ludimagister)

Science, however, cannot create ends and, even less, instill them in human beings; science, at most, can supply the means by which to attain certain ends. But the ends themselves are conceived by personalities with lofty ethical ideals and—if these ends are not stillborn, but vital and vigorous—are adopted and carried forward by those many human beings who, half unconsciously, determine the slow evolution of society.
For these reasons, we should be on our guard not to overestimate science and scientific methods when it is a question of human problems; and we should not assume that experts are the only ones who have a right to express themselves on questions affecting the organization of society.

Albert Einstein, Why Socialism?

My boy Einstein telling it like it is.

(via pulstars)

In a culture of fear, we should expect the rise of new mechanisms of social control to deflect distrust, anxiety, and threat. Relying on the analysis of popular and academic texts, we examine one such mechanism, the label conspiracy theory, and explore how it works in public discourse to “go meta” by sidestepping the examination of evidence. Our findings suggest that authors use the conspiracy theorist label as (1) a routinized strategy of exclusion; (2) a reframing mechanism that deflects questions or concerns about power, corruption, and motive; and (3) an attack upon the personhood and competence of the questioner. This label becomes dangerous machinery at the transpersonal levels of media and academic discourse, symbolically stripping the claimant of the status of reasonable interlocutor—often to avoid the need to account for one’s own action or speech. We argue that this and similar mechanisms simultaneously control the flow of information and symbolically demobilize certain voices and issues in public discourse.

Husting et al. in their article ‘Dangerous Machinery: ‘Conspiracy Theorist’ as a Trans-personal Strategy of Exclusion’ 

"To realize that all your life, all your love, all your hate, all your memories, all your pain, it was all the same thing…

It was all the same dream, a dream that you had inside a locked room, a dream about being a person. And like a lot of dreams, there’s a monster at the end of it.”

-  Rust Cohle

  • Reblogged from (XO)

[David] Hume, who specialized in detaining his readers with obvious but unspoken realities, wrote in his Treatise of Human Nature (1739-40) that ‘reason is and ought to be the slave of the passions.’ To free reason of this slavery would mean our becoming rationalists without a cause… Without meaning-charged emotions keeping your brain on the straight and narrow, you would lose your balance and fall into an abyss of lucidity. And for a conscious being, lucidity is a cocktail without ingredients, a crystal clear concoction that will leave you hung over with reality. In perfect knowledge there is only perfect nothingness, which is perfectly painful if what you want is meaningful in your life… That is the great lesson the depressive learns: Nothing in the world is inherently compelling… Without the ever-clanking machinery of emotion, everything would come to a standstill. There would be nothing to do, nowhere to go, nothing to be, and no one to know. The alternatives are clear: to live falsely as pawns of affect, or to live factually as depressives, or as individuals who know what is known to the depressive… One look at human existence is proof enough that our species will not be released from the stranglehold of emotionalism that anchors it to hallucinations. That may be no way to live, but to opt for depression would be to opt out of existence as we consciously know it.

Thomas Ligotti, The Conspiracy Against the Human Race