Natural science has claimed victory over religion since Darwin, but philosophy is still the queen of the sciences.
Facts aside, how we live is still paramount.
Dinosaurs are real. God is not. So says modern science.
What do dinosaurs, however, have to do with our daily lives and our happiness?
What does God have to do with our daily lives and our happiness?
So what is more important?
The fact or the symbol?
The science of dinosaurs? Or the philosophy of what does this all mean and what am I here for?
None of us can deny the truth of what is not real. Not Grayling, not Sartre, not Bentham.
We’re all religious nuts—whether we want to be, or not.
The reason why philosophy bleeds into science, and why the two were once the same is because the fact of a thing is never as important as why does this thing exist?
Socrates, the greatest philosopher of his day, was also the greatest scientist of his day. Yea, the guy in the toga. He was a philosopher—and a scientist—because he asked questions.
Fact-collectors are great. But first you need to ask why. And before you know the facts, you need to guess. Only then do you know what facts to look for, and see if the facts agree with your guess.
A guess without facts is worthless, true. And yet, the very act of guessing before the facts have arrived shows a philosophical impulse—and this is probably the most important thing of all, when it comes to happiness and knowledge.
And facts that don’t agree with a guess are equally worthless.
A fact that knocks you on the head becomes more than a fact the moment it knocks you on the head and makes you go: huh? why did that happen? Until you start guessing, facts will only hurt you, make you frustrated and unhappy, and give you a headache. People who only care about facts are like eyes without brains.
People who only care about facts are like an endless list of words which never becomes a poem.
To be a scientist or a poet, is to be wary of facts, not embrace them.
To the poet, jumping to conclusions is a good thing—because that’s what you have to do to be a poet.
The “jumping” part? That’s what poetry and science and philosophy is.
Well, the “jumping” isn’t everything. And we all know that in social situations, jumping to conclusions out loud can be social death. And poetry is worthless to the degree it is nothing but a lot of jumping to false conclusions.
But without the jumping, there is nothing. No philosophy. No poetry. No thought.
A belief in God is a concession to the facts—the fact that we will never have all the facts we need, and that facts are not finally the answer, but only a partial guide. Not because facts as facts are not trusted. But because there is more to science and philosophy and happiness than facts. This itself is a fact that is difficult to prove. Because facts are needed to prove something. Fact and proof are synonymous.
But facts never tell you when there is enough of them.
Something else tells us that.
If you jump to a conclusion, and are wrong, well, that will happen all the time.
But that doesn’t mean you should never jump.
To jump (to a conclusion) is to think.
When it comes to introverts, natural science, the pride of Darwin, may have made a grave error.
When it comes to the personality trait of the person who values privacy, natural—or what has come to be known as social or psychological—science may have made a terrible mistake.
Human interaction, as we all know, is crucial to happiness, and everyone is always trying to categorize and track the phenomenon formally and informally, scientifically or not.
A common method is dividing people into personality types, and two of the most common are 1) Left brain/Right brain and 2) Extrovert/Introvert.
Left brain/Right brain “science” neglects the complexity of the brain and is about as accurate as phrenology. This “expertise” claims that left brain people are good at “math” and right brain people are good at “poetry.” Everyone knows that a good poet is good at math.
Such categories are useless, and about as scientific as horoscopes. Everyone has a birthday—therefore everyone has a horoscope. And “horoscope experts” can provide tons of information on anyone’s horoscope (the facts of who they are).
Astrology provides endless interest to millions, but has no scientific basis, except that it makes us aware of certain extremes—and cautions us to stay within those extremes—within a middle area of wiggle-room. Be aggressive, but not too aggressive. Be content, but not too content. And so on. ‘Golden mean’ advice is sound—but hardly qualifies as science.
Psychological types, such as Left brain/Right brain or Extrovert/Introvert, may appear scientific, but only to the credulous—for this “science” plays with the same deck of cards that astrology plays with. This includes Enneagram, Myers-Briggs, and all the rest. It’s the same zero-sum card game.
Everyone has likes and dislikes, and so everyone has a personality trait—which conveniently informs a type.
Creating a scale of tendencies upon which every person “fits” (surprise!) belongs to neither philosophy nor science. Nor poetry.
Taking a lump of humanity and breaking it into various extremes of extrovert and introvert is a worthless exercise—unless we find a reason for splitting the lump into these two (normal) types.
We need to understand why extroverts and introverts exist to have any understanding of these categories.
Male and female do not simply exist; they exist for a reason, and only because of this reason are the categories, male and female, valid.
Can anyone say why extroverts and introverts, these two categories exist, or should exist?
Or, can anyone say with any certainty what percentage of extroversion a person will exhibit in various stages of life-development, or in different life situations?
If you see someone shouting, will you know, simply by observing a person shouting, whether that person is an extrovert or an introvert? Of course not. Because it always depends on the circumstances, not the “science.”
The categories are worthless—not because we cannot detect the outgoing person from the withdrawn person. Of course we can.
If someone is constantly withdrawn, we do not come to the scientific conclusion that they are introverted. This is about as scientific as saying a person with a fever is warm.
And this is exactly how the pretense of “science,” the “science” of normalizing a whole scale of psychological types, leads us astray.
The withdrawn person is a depressed person. To call them an introvert is a misnomer.
And if someone is extremely outgoing in situations completely inappropriate to outgoing behavior, that person, too, has something wrong with them, and to call them an “extrovert” is completely beside the point.
One hears all the time these days how “introverts” value their “privacy” and “need space.” The general population has taken upon itself the error of psychology’s false science—to condone all sorts of highly antisocial behavior.
This is bad for both the “introvert” who has something wrong with them, but stubbornly, and even proudly, pursues their life of “privacy,” making themselves even more miserable, and for all those who watch their introverted friend sink into greater and greater depression.
Withdrawal is a natural defense mechanism. We are not talking about this. We are talking about acute introverted behavior by a depressed person who prides themselves on being a socially accepted “introvert.”
Women who don’t have children and hold grudges against those who do.
People who don’t speak up.
People who don’t want to get to the bottom of anything, or get to the truth of anything, and crawl off into their holes.
People satisfied to be shallow and surly.
And all of this accepted toxic behavior allows what? It allows the aggressive, shallow extroverts to get their way, and make things increasingly worse—creating even more resentful, depressed introverts, as society sinks further and further into an unjust morass of quiet suffering.
A long list of pathological behaviors—which are termed normal, and which go on every day, and allow all sorts of injustices, big and small, to fester and grow—are enhanced by the false science of extrovert/introvert.
We are talking about a whole population turning into zombies, in which poor communication and timid, unfriendly behavior crushes all the best impulses of human interaction.
There is nothing wrong with introverted tendencies, and everyone—who is not insane—has them.
The truth of the whole matter is this (and all of us have observed this):
An extrovert is an introvert who feels comfortable. An introvert is an extrovert who feels uncomfortable.
The categories, then, do not exist.
The “real” introvert? The one we have created? That’s just an asshole.