Tuesday, March 01, 2011

A Special Way of Knowing

I have a special way of knowing things.

This special way of knowing is not subject to proof of any kind. These facts exist outside of any realm touched by reason or demonstration. I simply know them. God must have planted the knowledge of these things into my head directly. Since God would not deceive me, I trust these facts beyond all reason. I can trust God because this is one of the unquestionable facts that God has placed in my head.

These facts that I know that are beyond all reason are moral facts. They are facts about who I may kill, who I may maim, who I may imprison, and who I may enslave. They are facts about what I may do to women, what I may do to homosexuals, and what I may do to those who do not believe.

When I come to kill or maim or imprison or enslave you, do not ask me to justify my actions. My actions are self-justified. They come from my special way of knowing that is beyond inquiry - beyond reason.

If you deny that I have this special way of knowing, if you deny that I may kill, maim, imprison, or enslave those that I know I may kill, maim, imprison, or enslave, then you are insulting my beliefs - and that is something I will not tolerate. I do not have to tolerate your insults because my special way of knowing tells me that I do not have to tolerate your insults.

Do not question how I treat women, because in doing so you insult my beliefs.

Do not question my attitude towards or treatment of homosexuals, because that is also an insult to my beliefs.

Do not question my distrust of those who do not believe as I do, because by their mere existence they insult my beliefs.

Do not question me in any way, because to question me is to insult me.

In case you have not figured it out, my special way of knowing also tells me who you may kill, maim, imprison, or enslave. It tells me what you may wear, who you may be alone with, what you may say, and who you may have sex with. If you disobey any of these rules that my special way of knowing gives me, then you have insulted me and my beliefs.

Of course, my special way of knowing tells me what you may say with respect to questioning the facts that I know beyond all reason through my special way of knowing. You should be clear on that matter by now. I will expect you to comply and I will respond in a way that my special way if knowing tells me is appropriate if you do not.

Everything above this point is satire. But, I hold that it represents a very common way of thinking - and a very dangerous way of thinking. While not everybody thinks this way (obviously) we clearly have a lot of people who are far too close to this way of thinking - even if they do not put it exactly this way.

9 comments:

marcellus said...

This special way of knowing is embodied in what George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, in Philosophy in the Flesh, call 'The Strict Father' metaphor. People who live by this metaphor see God, and themselves, as a Strict Father who is doing it 'for your own good'.

The alternative is the Nurturing Parent metaphor. People who live by this metaphor are the ones believe God is a loving presence, and who take their nurturing responsibilities seriously.

Personally, I can't see a role for the God concept. I guess those who do are the people still need a father figure, i.e. those who haven't grown up yet.

marcellus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gingerbaker said...

Perhaps also:

* I demand that you respect my special way of knowing. And questioning the rational basis of my special way knowing demonstrates the height of disrespect.

* I demand that my special way of knowing is to be respected so much by society that not only should it be Constitutionally protected, but that, when I practice my special way of knowing for financial gain, I should be exempt from reporting or paying taxes on properties or certain profits to local, State, or Federal governments.

* I demand that my special way of knowing entitles me to exemption from local, State, and Federal laws that constrain citizens from criminally mistreating other persons.

TGP said...

Nobel Peace Prize to anyone who can figure out how to reliably counter the 'special way of knowing' without violence.

Michael said...

Nice...
This is all that I can add to such a wonderful presentation.
I cannot, at this point, imagine a counter to it; I certainly do not.

As to the Nobel 'reward', if I were to offer a counter of any kind, I would do so in my heart... Where, perhaps all battles should be fought.

My special way suggests You give me the Prize... Or else!
(Only joking, of course. This presentation is, again, wonderful).

NAL said...

How does one determine that their "special way of knowing" isn't a product of their imagination?

Alonzo Fyfe said...

NAL

How does one determine that their "special way of knowing" isn't a product of their imagination?

Obviously, their special way of knowing tells them this.

TGP said...

My special way of knowing is 'chemical imbalance!'

My special way of knowing is
'my dog talks to me!'

My special way of knowing is
'aliens probed me!'

My special way of knowing is
'peyote!'

My special way of knowing is
'Jesus!'

My special way of knowing is
'pyrotechnics and shrubbery!'

My special way of knowing is
'inductive reasoning forms a hypothesis, followed by exhaustive observation and experimentation to generate data which is analyzed to form a theory, and then peer review!'

One of these things is not like the others...

The Heterodox Homosexual said...

Your "special way of knowing" is a delusion. My special way of knowing, which is the only true one, tells me so.

Seriously, you've perfectly summed up the thought processes of many people I've known, from the fundamentalist right to the P.C. left.