IV Revision Journal, Part 2
More comments on rewriting the text of my philosophy:
Cultural Values and Ethics section: This is one of my favorite sections. I can’t think of a better way to show that value is internal than asking “Can the worth of truth and wisdom be validated or invalidated by other people?” This section is also supposed to emphasize the fact that a belief is not a value just because it comes from culture. That is, saying “I believe (whatever) because that’s what I was taught!” is not an effective way to know goodness or reality. Thanks to the Kohlberg article, I’ve begun to view people not as simple victims of culture, but as resigned participants. So where I used to say something to the point of “Culture tricked/forced/taught children to believe or do (whatever),” I now put something closer to “Children feel the need to be accepted, and therefore tend to believe or do (whatever) the same as their families.” I also deleted some ranting; eliminating the hostile tone of some sections was a priority in revising.
Epistemology/Metaphysics section: Not many changes here. It might seem trivial, but I changed the opening conjunction from “while” to “as” to show that I think ethics and metaphysics should relate to one another. One of my biggest challenges here is to properly define the term “natural universe.” Basically, I’m referring to the existence we commonly know, the totality of matter and energy that exists in space and conforms to physical laws. The difficulty lies in how it is impossible to know whether this place really is “real,” whether it exists objectively, whether its physical laws are immutable and omnipresent, whether I even correctly understand such laws, whether it contains more than just matter and energy, etc. Anyways, the point is just to do the best you can. Believing in unscientific views of the universe is likely to be as productive as believing that you’re living in The Matrix. As a side note, I really like the closing phrase, “reality of causality.” I should make that a prominent slogan. It means that things happen in the way that they’re caused to happen. It’s really something people could use. Thinking of cheating on your diet? Poor eating habits will hurt your fitness goals! That’s the reality of causality. In an accident with massive blood loss, will a transfusion or a prayer be more helpful? Reality of causality. Will a good luck charm help your random spin at the roulette table? Reality of causality.
Religion section: Didn’t need much revision. Still trying to remove the hostile tone, so one paragraph was thrown out.
Group Dynamics section: Only a few wording changes.
Reciprocity section: Few changes.
Government section: Few changes.
Equality at Birth section: Cleared up and merged the first two paragraphs. Also merged the third paragraph with the first part of the fourth and deleted the rest of the fourth.