I introduced antinomies earlier this year. [I’ve actually been mistakenly calling them “antimony” which is a type of metal, but hopefully my thoughts weren’t lost in this spelling error] An antinomy is a mutual incompatibility, real or apparent, of two laws. Its akin to a parent saying “do as I say, not as I do”. The child is going to see their parent(s) as a hypocrite because of the mutually incompatible nature of doing something yourself (role model), then turning around and forbidding a child to do it.
Antinomies were a big part of 18th century philosopher/theologian Immanuel Kant’s beliefs about the universe, pure thought, and sensible perception. Dealing with things like free will versus causality, Kant went in depth about these irreconcilable problems with certain related laws.
As in customary with me, I have taken the concept of antinomy and applied them to other parts of life, mainly social and behavioral trends in an attempt to make sense of and communicate more efficiently with my fellow man. What I’ve come to see are a few antinomies within my own perception of the world. I’m going to try to make sense of them and use this particular blog posts as a philosophical/mental scratching post to really work my cognitive claws into.
“People don’t think like me” . This is a statement made by virtually every person I’ve ever known. Truthfully, no one thinks exactly like someone else, making that statement a virtually moot point. The idea of a social sphere is then to aggregate as many components of your mind as communicatively possible and attach like minded components to the corresponding components in others. These components of similarity increase in number and intensity of agreement with those you are closer to. However, the herd mentality is perfectly explained by this model. When we talk about mainstream America its easy to separate yourself via select sinews of cognition that deem you independent of the pack.However, depending on where you stand in that pack, you can do the exact same to others. In other words, a herd sufferer is rarely aware of the herd itself, usually speaking in subjective terms of happenstance when quizzed about their involvement in the herd.
The herd in a classical sense its a unified mind, but in the practical application its a bunch of people with a common cognitive penchant. Think of it as 10 people with 100 components to their mind. On each and every person there is a connection on component 80, therefore those people all watch reality TV. From their personal perspective there is nothing wrong, however, they can easily point out the herd mentality on component 65, America’s obsession with fastfood. Another can see component 18, men’s obsession with professional sports. And so on.
Furthermore, I have theorized that there is no such thing as truth outside of a conscious acceptance of wrong vs right system. Thus, leading me to my next antinomy, attempting to free someone of something I believe to be inefficient or bad by commenting on it. As a hypercritic I’ve used every escape statement there is when on the business end of criticism… “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion”. “That’s just you, not me”. “You do it your way, I’ll do it my own”. “Why are you so concerned with my methods? Get a life”. However, whenever I am preaching and posturing about freeing people from a mental system, I am directing criticisms that can be met with those same statements. I’m expecting someone to apply logic in such a way that my position makes more sense than theirs, forcing them to consciously accept my position. However, according to my “opinions are essentially worthless” belief, by comments or criticisms should mean nothing.
Circular reasoning. Cyclic confusion…
I’ll revisit this more in the next post.