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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Aug > Aug 16

Re: The van Gogh Fallacy

From: Gerald O'Connell <gac.nul>
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2007 15:36:00 +0100
Archived: Thu, 16 Aug 2007 10:01:50 -0400
Subject: Re:  The van Gogh Fallacy

>From: Alfred Lehmberg <alienview.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2007 07:54:31 -0500
>Subject: Re: The van Gogh Fallacy

>>From: Gerald O'Connell <gac.nul>
>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2007 16:56:52 +0100
>>Subject: Re: The van Gogh Fallacy

>>>From: Cathy Reason <CathyM.nul>
>>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>>Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2007 15:52:59 +0100
>>>Subject: Re: The van Gogh Fallacy

>>>>From: Gerald O'Connell <gac.nul>
>>>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>>>Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2007 11:27:37 +0100
>>>>Subject: The van Gogh Fallacy [was: Olson's Final Statement]


>>>>The individuals named are all distinguished by an adherence to
>>>>empirical rationalism

>>>I have no wish to get involved in this particular discussion, but
>>>"empirical rationalism" is a contradiction in terms.

>>Looks like the fallacies are coming thick and fast!

>>Although rationalism and empiricism are often (more through
>>tradition than anything else) seen as contrasting schools of
>>epistemology, there is in fact nothing at all contradictory
>>about the term I have used. All rationalist thought must have
>>assumptions - more formally, any logical system must have its
>>axioms - and the empirical rationalist merely takes, wherever
>>possible, empirical data as the support for, or source of, those

>>The empirical rationalist typically requires logical consistency
>>to be satisfied as the test for any argument, but does not
>>extend this to an assertion that reason itself, independently of
>>empirical data, is the sole, or primary, source of secure

>>For what it's worth, and to lay my own cards on the table,
>>empirical rationalism, as I have described it, is, as far as
>>I've been able to work out, just about the only method of
>>thought that is worth anything in dealing with this world...

>Mmmm... love those assumptions, presumptions, codices,
>prescriptions, mores, and conventional wisdoms.

>But consider, Sir, you can't even get _that_ stuff to hop into a
>test tube for you. So, with regard to your "worth anything": it's
>a pretty narrow look when you measure all the space, time, and
>surface area you can hide behind a grain of sand held at arm's
>length, against 2000 years of logic... precipitating about 500
>years (and that's generous) of Cartesian pursuits, eh? 'Pales
>to insignificance' comes to mind.

>I would have thought we'd been a lot farther. You?

Me? Farther? Sorry to steal your neologistic banana, but I
merely conclude that despite the hubristic paeans we heap upon
ourselves in the orgy of self-congratulatory narcissism
celebrated as 'progress', and despite all the floridly baroque,
periphrastic verbosity that we muster as we chatter
electronically to each other and ourselves under the
circumlocutory rubric of 'communications', we are, after all is
said and undone, nothing more than a bunch of large, loud,
contentious, superstitious, fallacy-prone, dangerous and
extremely dumb monkeys.

 -- Gerald O'Connell

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