Every time I think about the implications of my Universal Humanism, I find support constantly. I understand people of the past, and present, and it becomes easy to see morality as it is, and as it should be. The relations between ideas do not become certain to an instant, but, you come to an understanding that they are not supposed to be. You take the step forward that allows you to see that metaphysical ideas grow out of duration, proportional comparison, and consequencialism. There is a simple idea that stands out to me, and it has to do with linguistics, objective material priority, and the growth of complexity out of simplicity. In this essay I would like to discuss some ideas presented by: George H. Smith in, Atheism, The Case Against God; and G.E. Moore’s naturalistic fallacy. I would like to discuss these ideas as the relate to ideas like Atheism, and Theism, but also ideas like Deism, Sadism, Pantheism, and any other kind of “ism”. Let’s roll!
So, in Atheism, The Case Against God, Smith attempts to come up with what I would describe as a pedantic linguistic view of what it means to be an Atheist. He breaks down the word “Atheism”, and gives a solid definition of essentially, “without God (god)”. Therefore, the way he describes it, an infant is an Atheist because an infant is without God. Anyone who has never heard of the concept God is an Atheist, but also the people who consciously fight with Theists, they are Atheists also. This seemed ridiculous to me that you would extend out a concept to a person who has no idea of that concept, in order to fit them in some group. While Smith advocates Atheism, he gives the biggest win of all to the Theist by agreeing that Theism itself, whether it be Theism or Atheism, demands that a person picks a category, and if they do not, then they are “rightly” labeled, by the Theist and, from what I can tell from Smith’s position, the linguist which implicates the Atheist if he is also a pedant, I guess. Anyway, I am not so kind as to give Theism the merit that if one has no idea about God, that they are automatically an Atheist, and I think it a glaring inconsistency of logic that Smith is so haughty about his pedantry that he would essentially give the battle over to the theist over issues of etymology. So, let me make some distinctions before I talk about the naturalistic fallacy.
A person is an object in some sense. In other ways, a person is a changing autonomous collective. The only object name that a person can be is “Human”, and I have the name “Thomas” for everything that is not objective. The object “Human” is the only complete object category a person can be. Definitions are created not only by what a thing is, but distinctions articulating what it is not. The distinction “human” is by no stretch of the imagination the most reasonable object name distinction for those of the most highly evolved simian species on planet earth, so I’m going to belligerently foist this idea on to you. After all, it would be ridiculous to refer to someone as “Where is that intestine with the hula shirt?”, or, “How about that red neck with the gun rack?” See, it’s even derogatory. The part is included in the whole. The part cannot exist entirely without the whole. The whole is more than the sum of its parts. And the whole is fundamentally different than the part. In this case, the whole is human. Human is the object orientation Homo sapiens are referred to as. Any other designation talks about a part of the Human, or what a Human is like. So, there is no Atheist, there is only atheistic. “Atheistic” is the adjective of what a certain Human is like. A person cannot be an Atheist, when a person is already a Human. A person cannot be a Theist, when a person is a Human. The most important priority that a Human has, is the objective orientation that I am Human, and all these other objects like me are Human. So you can say, “He is an Islamic, environmental, mathematical enthusiast.”, but you cannot say, “He is a Muslim, an Environmentalist, and a Doctor.” These latter are three object orientations other than Human and subvert the first necessary distinction of Universal Humanism, that all Humans are Human objects. In that hierarchy when one becomes a “Doctor”, they do not then cease to be a Human. One is the “Human, who is certified in medicine.”, but out of convenience and ease we use linguistics in a muddling fast food drive thru sense, and we unconsciously subvert the Human object, which indirectly subverts universality, and from what I can see elevates appearances to necessity over actual existent designation. This is the fundamental flip flop that allows people to kill for what is unnecessary, because they fail to grasp the egalitarian imposition that is given a priori, before experience, before birth, before theism.
G.E. Moore talks about this in great length in his Principia Ethica, and to any experts on the subject, I apologize if I butcher it. The idea is, if you mix up what a thing is like, with what a thing is you have committed the most common of all fallacies, the naturalistic fallacy. Instead of God as the object, and theism, he uses “good” as the object, and the study of ethics, which is the proper station for a philosopher. If you say, “That person is good.”, then, you have committed the naturalist fallacy because then you are committed to defining “good”. To define “good” is a bit like defining “yellow”. It is a fundamental property, therefore it cannot be explained, except by description. Therefore, you either resort to tautology, and meaninglessness, or you end up in an infinite regression. The only way to avoid this says Moore, is to say , “….that a thing is “like” the good.” If we say a thing is “good”, then we make the assumption that “good” can be known as a definable thing, when in fact the only concept that is certain about “good” is its uncertainty.
So, to conclude, clearly nobody is going to change the way they speak because of this essay, but the point is to be aware that some of the most important philosophical concepts of today are deeply rooted in linguistics, and major conflicts around the world are perpetuated by necessarily meaningless distinctions given maximum importance in their arbitrariness because they are mistaken in a hierarchical sense with that which is most objectively important, the idea that we are all Human. We are all the object called Human, with the necessary characteristics that are entailed by that. No other designation shall subvert this, not Doctor, Teacher, Fighter, Theist, Humanist, Atheist, or Victim. Human always has the highest designation, and those that are anti-Human, are “hypocrite like” in the most necessary definition of “hypocrite-ness” by standing against themselves in their essence