Friday, February 26, 2010

Evolution and Identism

The Real Metaphysics of Evolution:
The Primacy of Identity




This writing was inspired by the articles “The Metaphysics of Evolution” and “Evolutionary Psychology, Sort Of” by Fred Reed. It is also to some degree a response to those critiques. It is written with some amount of humor. Nonetheless, the profound seriousness of the axiom, to what it refers, and its importance to any claim to knowledge or even justified opinion, can not be over stated.

The purpose of this article is not to present the claim that the primacy of identity is the metaphysical ground of evolution. It is to state the claim that it should be. At present evolution and all science has no foundation. The present state of philosophy has left it without a first philosophy leaving it in a state of metaphysical and epistemological confusion. It is this environment that is breeding corruption, and is degenerating science into mysticism, dogma and belief.

This brief presentation of the primacy thesis will begin as it should with the modest, but yet, profoundly powerful assertion that sends mystics into convulsions. It is a statement that refers to the thing to which we owe all existence and yet it is the most hated thing in the world. It is a statement that asserts something that many spend the majority of there life’s energy in a pathetic attempt to deny and evade. It is the supreme law of existence.

All A is A!

Knowledge begins when the axiom is formulated, acknowledged as immutable and also recognized that it refers to something in reality, self-sameness. If one does not acknowledge that all A is A, then one has relinquish the claim of any knowledge. Even first hand perception becomes ambiguous when the axiom is not acknowledged as certain and all embracing. Furthermore, it is not just knowledge in the absolute sense that will fall. Any claim of likelihood will sink into this bog of uncertainty. What this describes is precisely the state of the human intellectual condition. The failure to acknowledge that the axiom is ontological, not just a principle of reason, is also indispensable to its role as the foundation of knowledge. The postmodern nihilist mystic is fully aware of this when reason is described as “the weighing of notions against imaginary ideas”. This is an attack on human knowledge of deadly sophistication aimed at the very heart of reason.

The metaphysical implications of the existence of identity, nonetheless is the main focus of this article because its recognition leads unavoidably to the primacy of self-sameness, a provable solution to philosophy’s first question and a explicit and incontrovertible foundation for science.

There are an incalculable number of ways of expressing identity, but there is one basic axiom, the law of identity. Axioms are assertions of identity, of self-sameness. All true axioms and indeed all logical truths assert identity; this is the monistic view of axioms. The shallow notion that axioms are somehow true but meaningless, stating nothing about existence, is false and contradictory. The statement “A is A” states nothing of “A” which can distinguish it from anything else because that which it states of “A” is true of all things. The axiom describes, asserts and proves the existence of self-sameness. In and of itself, all that axioms assert is the existence of self-sameness and self-sameness is the only thing for which it accounts. Identity is the thing which exists from axiomatic necessity; it cannot not exist. Everything must possess identity; it is uniquely basic. Self-sameness is the thing to which all things can, in principle, be reduced. It is the only given, the only first cause and prerequisite for the existence of all else. Everything else that exists is derived from identity. To try to postulate anything else as primary is to assert that thing as not possessing identity and to violate the axiom. Not water, not air, not gods, not consciousness, not matter, identity is the absolute ground of existence, causeless first cause and the distilled essence of everything. Self-sameness is causeless, but exists only as a part and indeed, is only conceivable as a part of something else. Everything else that exists owes its existence to the fact that identity is reliant on the existence of a multifaceted universe.

As certainly as the fact of identity and its primacy provide an irrefutable ground for science, it also provides a monumental challenge. The fact of identity’s primacy proves that Einstein’s ambitious goal of an ultimate natural philosophy that not only describes, but explains why the essential attributes of the physical universe are such as they are, is a reasonable goal of science. It also provides a powerful foundation for the theory of evolution and the quest for a natural explanation of the presence of life. (More on this thesis can be found at: www.identism.blogspot.com/2005/07/primacy-of-identity.html )

Although not completely accurate, the best argument for evolution is handed to us by creationist themselves when they proclaim that creation is the only alterative to evolution. There is however, also the alterative provided by the old steady state cosmology which holds that the universe and life such as it is today was always here and always will be. Nonetheless, the infinite regression that this implies can not be reconciled with fact of identity. While the impossibility of infinity is an important matter which science needs to come to acknowledge, as an explanation of life there remain very few steady state proponents. (Finality is actually synonymous with identity. Finality is self-sameness acknowledged as a part of quantity. Quantity is existence acknowledged as being multifaceted.)

It may never be proven conclusively that life on earth started in a prehistoric ocean, but the principle of natural selection is a logical truth that refers to an observable fact. This logical truth is simple and can be reduced to an assertion of identity. (i.e., an axiom) For this reason it has been condemned as being “just tautology.” Only in a world and age dominated by belief and nihilism, the two sides of the same mystic coin, could a principle be condemned for being simple logic. It is precisely this atmosphere that is turning scientist into dogmatic believers. Darwinian natural selection is actually a reflection of a more basic cosmic principle, the natural evolution of stability. They can both be reduced to the same axiom; that which endures over time, endures over time.

If Hillary Clinton were to ask old Bill why he cheated on her and he responded by saying “a guys got to do what a guys got to do” this might be described as “just tautology,” although a more meaningful answer might be crueler. In the case of natural selection, however, is there not empirical evidence that some things remain over time and some things do not? Is there not empirical evidence that changes in the environment they are in may alter there chances of remaining over time? Certainly there is such evidence that we all can see.

What ever lesser god the creationist or intelligent design proponent may or may not have in mind, the god of the mystic is held as a contradictory being exempt from the principle of self-sameness. Identity and the principle that asserts it are given subservient status. Identity exists, if at all, at god’s whim. The law of identity is true, if true at all, only by gods command. Evolutionist may sometimes employ faulty logic as Fred Reed complains, but to call such a notion of god faulty logic is to give it a compliment it does not deserve. This is not faulty logic; it is a point black contradiction embraced as such. It is the essence of mysticism, the worshiping of non-identity. Speaking metaphorically here, what ever lesser god the primacy of identity may leave hypothetically possible, it is the God of reason, identity, which is the supreme ruler of the cosmos. To a worshiper of identity there is a measure of solace, transcendence, revenge and yet also forgiveness, in the knowledge that even identity’s little blasphemers, denying but never defying, can only be exactly what it made them.

Identity and the fact of its primacy can not prove that life on earth began in earth’s prehistoric sea nor can it show the degree to which natural selection has played a roll in crafting it. It does prove, nonetheless, that the presence of life is not the result of magic. One may speak of a house being a product of man and a mountain the product of nature, but in the ultimate metaphysical sense, man is not outside of nature and cannot be liberated from its forces and neither could some supposed god or mysterious intelligence. Identity is the ground of nature, there can be nothing outside of that nature and nothing exempt from the principle that asserts its foundation. It is the supreme law of existence, the supreme law of nature. Once the notion of the supernatural is debunked, the attempt to prove that the natural emergence of life is somehow a cosmic impossibility is as frivolous a pursuit as an attempt to prove that a flying bumble bee is a physical impossibility.

Whatever the shortcomings of evolution, what sort of alternative does intelligent design really provide? Once the primacy of self-sameness has dispensed with the notion of some god or primal consciousness somehow existing as a causeless given, the creationist mystic, or be it the rigorous intelligent design scientist, might be asked to account for this intelligence just as the evolutionist tries to account for life on earth. Except the evolutionist know that what he is trying to account for actually exists.

The notion of some disembodied intelligence existing outside the physical world, but yet able to affect it, is a horrendous idea from the start. With all the hocus pocus paranormal delusion and “flimflam” that James Randy has been debunking for years, not withstanding, all known awareness exist by virtue of some physical means. Consciousness does not exist detached from physical reality. Consciousness is the results and sum of the physics which constitute it. Consciousness is an effect; it comes late in the hierarchical structure of existence.

If it were discovered tomorrow that life on earth was planted and engineered by little green men from Planet X, it should in know way shake ones confidence that life is the result of natural forces and natural selection is an important component. Given there knowledge of genetic engineering, maybe these little green men were hired by the blue eyed devils, AKA the KKK, to try to frame O J Simpson by planting his DNA at the crime scene. Fortunately for O J the bumbling little twits left behind the wrong size gloves and even more fortunate for them that they did not dare steal his memorabilia. If this, the devious intelligent design defense, constitutes reasonable doubt, no one should ever be convicted of anything.

Nonetheless, perhaps the little green men were the intelligent design of little blue men from Andromeda, not to be mistaken with the blue eyed devils, and the little blue men were the intelligent design of little orange men from …

But this is starting to sound like steady state cosmology.

Maybe to avoid this infinite regression we could decide that we ourselves, through reverse causation, are the intelligent designers of life on earth. Perhaps life only exist by virtue of its potential to become so smart that it can build a time machine an send Arnold Schworzonegger, or a robot that looks like him, back in time to intelligently, or not so intelligently design life. If this were the case, however, one would think that we would all look like bodybuilders. On the other hand, perhaps we were supposed to look like bodybuilders but old Arnold decided to change the future to favor himself.

If intelligent design can not smuggle its way into the science class room, perhaps it can find a place in the creative writing class. However, the science classes are already filled with enough irrational notions that should not be there.

The fundamental defense of evolution should be unapologetically metaphysical, but not the dogma of a false intellectual elite. Evolution as an explanation of life on earth remains a tremendously ambitious work in progress. While Darwinian natural selection is logical and has enormous explanatory power, the theory of evolution may need to expand its theoretical base. Darwinian natural selection is one dimensional, specifically the dimension of time, but life exists in a four-dimensional universe. Life’s journey through space could be responsible for many evolutionary changes without time fitness, Darwinian natural selection, ever having to come into play. Driven by space fitness, a genetically caused capacity or behavioral proclivity for movement that can separate those with such traits from other individuals lacking such characteristics could cause such traits to become dominant in the new group. Adding space fitness as a secondary component to evolution’s theoretical base might better explain the vast diversity of life on earth, because in the case of this sort of evolution, the links in the chain of changes are not lost in the past. This would most certainly constitute a more romantic view of life, for life is not merely the result of a grime struggle to survive, but is also crafted by adventure. The fact that man is willing to risk his life and often die, to explore every inch of the earth and beyond, is sterling evidence that his most basic behavior is not the exclusive result of Darwinian evolution.

It is a time when a mythological and provably false view of anthropology has achieved the status of a state religion. It is a time when politically motivated phony “science” is being used to steal what remains of man’s freedom. It is a time when only a few search with integrity and dare to grope in a darkness, caused by the intellectual elite’s manufactured eclipse of the light of reason, and look for answers to questions that may decide human survival. One can only hope the theory of evolution, science and the very mind of man can finally discover its proper footing, the primacy of identity.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Faith and Terrorism

This is a letter sent to the editors of the Ft. Worth star-telegram in response to the article "A Terrible Glimpse" by Jonathan Gurwitz.

Mr. Gurwitz is mistaken when he states that there is no enlightenment to be gained in understanding the terrorist by examining there religion. To gain this illumination one must look at the underpinnings of religion, of belief. One must look at its epistemology, at the philosophy of how one acquires knowledge. In his article Gurwitz states "you will no more find the answer to suicide bombers and beheadings in the Quran than you will find the answer to burning crosses and lynchings in the Gospels." Does not, however, the gospel and the Quran demand acceptance without reason or evidence. Is it not even proclaimed a virtue to do so and is this not what is called "faith?" But, also, is this not the epistemological premise of the lynch mobber and the suicide bomber?

"What is it that is transforming those decent young men into homicidal fanatics?" Bouyeri (a terrorist murderer) has told us; it is "faith." No matter how strongly one has faith in humanity and compassion, beliefs, those ungrounded claims to knowledge, leave us intellectually disarmed against the terrorist who claims quit a different "faith."

On 9/11 we witnessed religions highest virtue, total sacrifice to an unknowable contradiction, and yet we sank in horror and then arose in outrage. It is unlikely that this will be acknowledged (or readers will even see this letter) because it would require the rejection of much more than just "an ideological subset of Islam." It casts a shadow of condemnation on all religion and all belief. It would require facing nihilism or rediscovering the principle on which all knowledge must be grounded and to finally recognize what that law asserts.

Things are what they are, and legitimate knowledge must be grounded on this law of identity. The thing which this principle asserts is self-sameness. The call for faith is the attempt to evade this simple incontrovertible truth. Faith in itself violates this law; it embraces the contradiction, "unknown is known." The failure to embrace the axiom as an absolute is to loose all claim to it. This is why faith sabotages all claims to any knowledge!

Groundless, we are domed to fight the "holly wars" and the sacrifice will continue.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Primacy of Identity

THE FIRST PRINCIPLE
It is an incontrovertible truth that A is A. Things are what they are. Everything else that exists must possess self-sameness.

This, the law of identity, is the most basic axiom. An axiom is a self-evident truth; (i.e., it proves itself). Axioms are also sometimes referred to as necessary truths because it is rationally inconceivable that they could be false.

In addition to being the first principle of reason and foundation of knowledge, the law of identity is a description of something that exists; it describes self-sameness. Since all A is A, all other things that exist are, in principle, reducible, (i.e., can be subdivided down) to identity and identity is a prerequisite for the existence of all else; (i.e., it is the first cause). Identity is the only primary thing; it is the only given. This thesis is referred to as the primacy of identity.

There are an incalculable number of necessary truths, but there is only one basic axiom, the law of identity. Many commonsense assumptions are thought to be necessary truths but may, in fact, not be true at all. The failure to distinguish between self-evident truth and commonsense assumptions has contributed to the erosion of man’s intellectual confidence while, conversely; his world view has become more sophisticated. The axiom is not an assumption; but when widely held commonsense assumptions turn out to be false, as they often have, the axiom is seen to have fallen.

Self-evidence declares identity. Any axiom, if indeed it is a true axiom, is such because it asserts self-sameness. This is the monistic view of axioms. The law of non-contradiction simply states the law of identity in the negative. It states that there can be no non-identity. A contradiction is the assertion of non-identity. The most basic example of a contradiction may be expressed as A is not A. It is by no means trivial to point out that this is also a most basic example of a lie. It is, therefore, poetic irony when the critics of non-contradiction fall back on a childish puzzle fittingly called the liar's paradox.

Objectivity is rooted in the fact that the axiom is the most supreme law of existence. The first principle can provide us with a simple provable concept of objective reality. The objectivity of reality simply means that things, primarily, are what they are. Things may or may not concur with what one thinks they are and things certainly do not always agree with what one hopes they are, but always, things are what they are. Even the existence of subjectivity is objective. One's thoughts, hopes, or prejudices, while they may not represent the exercise of objective reasoning, are part of reality and possess identity. Whatever affect they may have on other parts of reality, the existence of subjectivity and its effects can only be so because they concur with the primary objective fact; A is A.

The law of identity is the most basic premise of reason. It is this modest unassuming but certain truth that elevates man's notions about the world to the lofty status of knowledge, ( i.e., truth held with justifiable certainty). All our knowledge, even first hand perceptions, is ultimately validated by this first principle. The profound importance of the axiom’s relationship to knowledge is stated in metaphoric eloquence with the expression: ‘the "buck" stops here.' In order to supply an unwavering foundation for knowledge, or even justified opinion, the axiom must be uncompromisingly acknowledged as an all-inclusive immutable absolute. The ultimate implication of just one adulterous fling with absurdity is the abdication of any legitimate claim to knowledge. Even the concept of truth itself is obliterated when the identity principle is betrayed. If one imagined a fantasy domain of non-identity, logic and mathematics would be nothing but mind games with completely arbitrary rules, but also, seeing would by no means justify believing. When embracing the delusion of embellished contradictions, often peddled as limitless possibilities, one possibility that must be surrendered is knowledge.

The foundation of man's greatest achievements and the accomplishments of Western culture is the first principle and identity philosophy, (i.e., philosophy which acknowledges the axiom as absolute truth and profoundly important). Without this foundation, man's potential is limited. It is no coincidence that one directly proceeds the other in history. Apparently, explicit identity philosophy emerged from implicit commonsense that was temporarily liberated from religious superstition. The most influential proponent of identity philosophy was, of course, Aristotle. Regardless of the fact that the influence of identity philosophy has been relatively brief and latent weighed against the domination of mysticism, (i.e., the embracing of contradictions), its effects have been profound. From identity philosophy sprang forth the creation and exercise of logic, mathematics, scientific method, technology and the ideology of freedom.

Will the loftiness of such achievement make it less likely that we are willing to return to the existence of the primitive, the brute and the mystic, even if it means casting aside cherished vices? Or similar to a building that lacks a sound foundation, does the very heights of our achievement make the structure all the more precarious? Where will the "buck" stop when the theoretical promissory notes of reason must "float" against the currencies of irrationality, the most base of human emotions, in the blood drenched financial market of history? It is, forebodingly, those same figures, the primitive, the brute and the mystic, that are now idealized by the most conforming, feeble minded and self loathing among our youth. If what remains of identity philosophy is lost, the grand structure of this culture will collapse because the rational beings it was constructed by and for will be gone.

It is with the reminiscence of class hatred that the enemies of reason speak of the immutable status of the axiom. They have boasted that they would literally strike the word "identity" from the English language. It appears they may be succeeding. But it is a word that refers to a law and concept that is desperately needed if reason and freedom are to prevail. Identity philosophy is the only true premise of reason and reason is the only sound basis for the advocacy of a free society. It is because man is a rational being and reason is competent and potent that a free society is appropriate for man. Reason does not function in an atmosphere of force and coercion. If man’s claim to knowledge falls, however, so to does his claim to freedom.

Just as a society that rejects a legitimate concept of rights finds itself choosing between the tyranny of statism and law of the jungle anarchy, the mind that lacks a comprehension of necessary truth must choose between baseless intellectual bigotry, (i.e., dogmatism) and the chaos of perpetual uncertainty, (i.e., nihilism).

In both political and intellectual realms we can now witness the peculiar and sickening spectacle of each of these dismal choices coming to play in the defense of the others. In these four expressions of irrationality there are parallels to be encountered. Statism contrives arbitrary laws of society to suppress man’s actions; dogmatism manufactures arbitrary laws of nature to stifle man’s mind. The anarchist fails to distinguish between a slave-state ruled by a tyrant and a nation governed impartially by a bill of rights. The nihilist acknowledges no difference between contradictory notions accepted by blind faith and consistent convictions confidently held because they are supported by evidence. Dogmatic nihilism, the notion that the impossibility of knowledge can be proven, is the saddest example of intellectual hypocrisy, but it exemplifies the fact that dogmatism and nihilism are partners in absurdity. Both fail to recognize the identity principle as the only justifiable foundation for knowledge just as totalitarianism and anarchy fail to acknowledge the principle of rights as a prerequisite for the beneficial and prosperous interaction of rational beings. Freedom requires more than finding the middle ground between totalitarianism and anarchy; knowledge is not unearthed in a balance between dogmatism and nihilism. While the political and intellectual pendulums may swing between these extremes, they are all groundless and, therefore, all the points in the hypothetical continuums between them are also groundless. The results of such grim shallow alternatives can only lead to social and intellectual impotence.

The law of identity, and the axioms that mirror this first principle, are the true source of our "empowerment."

IDENTITY AS THE PRIMARY PART

Today with ambiguous "logic" serving as blinders, abstinence from serious metaphysical inquiry is practiced with religious commitment. At a time when most of what is regarded as philosophy consists of a cynical critique of the conceptual faculty and trivial examination of "language" detached from reality, it is necessary to point out very explicitly that the primacy of identity is an idea that pertains to metaphysics.

Epistemologically speaking, existence, not identity, comes first in the formation of concepts; (i.e., "a thing" comes before "a thing is itself"). But this epistemological fact is not a valid argument against the primacy of identity. Such a contention is the equivalent of deciding that since we are aware that we can see before we are aware that we have eyes, then the reason we have eyes is because we can see.

The order of our awareness is not germane to the fact that we can see because we have eyes and neither is this order relevant to the primacy of identity.

Only a corrupt mind that is divorced from reason will fail to acknowledge that the law of identity must be universally true and all embracing, (i.e., all A is A). This fact is not a meaningless truth. Among the historical tragedies of philosophy is the failure to recognize that meaningless truth, (i.e., truth with no reference to reality) is a contradiction. Perceptions and ideas are true in the respect that they are in agreement with the parts of reality to which they refer. Meaning, (i.e., reference to reality) is a prerequisite for truth. The notion that the axiom, A is A, does not state anything about A is false. It does not assert anything about A that distinguishes it from anything else, because what it declares of A is true of all things. The identity principle asserts identity; self-sameness is what the axiom refers to in reality.

Once the contradiction of meaningless truth is exposed and dispensed with, it becomes clear that the identity principle proves the existence of identity. The fact of identity’s existence is the fact that hinges reason to reality. The result of not acknowledging this fact is the detachment of logical truth from reality and rendering reason mute without ever having to deny its "truth." This is mysticism’s most devious and corrupting achievement.

The identist concept of identity, however, differs from the conventional meaning.

According to the classical interpretation, A is the identity of A. A thing's identity is all of those things which constitute its objective reality. According to this view, the concepts existence and identity are synonymous. Existence and identity, however, are not synonymous. Existence refers to the totality of everything. Identity refers to the most basic part of this totality, but other things exist besides identity.

In the identists view A is the existence of A, but its identity is that basic part of its existence described by the law of identity, i.e., described by the statement A is A. This idea holds simply that identity is an existent thing, that the law of identity describes the most basic thing that exists.

Newton's law of gravity is a description of something that exists; it describes gravity. Whether it is warped space, gravitons, or something else, his law, nonetheless, refers to something that exists, and so to does the law of identity. But while Newton's theory may be a flawed description of something that is complex and conditional, the law of identity is a perfect description of something which is absolutely simple and unconditional.

The axiom, A is A, does not describe and prove A. It describes and proves identity. It is undeniably true that unicorns are unicorns; but yet, there are no unicorns. The statement, nevertheless, is in some way in agreement with reality, it tells us something about the world; (i.e., it describes and proves the existence of self-sameness).

It has been suggested that holding identity as part of existence is seeing identity much as a coat of paint applied over a house. This is not a good analogy at all for the primacy of identity. Identity is not afterthought. It is not a product of the things that possess it. The things that possess it are ultimately a product of identity.

Referring back to the house, a better analogy would be to compare identity to the atoms that comprise the house. One could strip away the paint, yet you still would have a house. If on the other hand you took away the paint or removed a door or window, whatever parts you took away, the house would still contain atoms and the parts you removed would also contain atoms.

Identity is even more fundamental and all-inclusive than atoms. Its removal is rationally inconceivable. Since all of the other parts of existence are reducible to identity, identity must constitute the most basic part.

Matter, regardless of how small, is multi-faceted. It possesses extension. The great metaphysical philosopher, G.W. Leibniz, brilliantly reasoned that physical objects must be, in principle, reducible to something more fundamental than matter.

Leibniz failed, however, to recognize what these "monads" were. The most fundamental constituent of existence is not spirit. It is identity. There is no other thing that it could be. While there may seem to be a significant parallel between the monadology of Leibniz and the primacy of identity, even the metaphysical points of Leibniz and the points of references in space/time hypothesized by modern physics are overstatements of the most basic thing that exists. To give primary status to monistic points is, perhaps, to also give initial status to space and time because a point of reference derives its existence from a reciprocal relationship with a greater whole. This may be the true metaphysical lesson that will emerge from quantum physics.

If one resists the temptation to imagine identity as an utterly immense number of fundamental points, it is not necessary to conceive of it as existing in plural quantities at all. From the singularity of identity, it would follow that all the other things that exist are not just reducible to the same type of fundamental substances, but rather, are ultimately reducible to the same monistic part. The idea that seemingly separate objects share the same single primary part runs contrary to a commonsense understanding of what constitutes a piece or component of a greater whole. Nevertheless, it does not counter the all embracing and monistic quality of identity.

IDENTITY AS THE FIRST CAUSE

Just as the law of identity is a necessary truth containing within itself its own proof, identity is a necessary existent thing that requires no cause. It cannot not exist. Identity must be everywhere in everything. Its absence would contradict the necessary truth. Once identity is seen as an existent part, it can be seen as the causeless first cause.

Everything that exists comes from this metaphysical force, identity. Because of the primary status of identity, it must be a sufficient cause for all else. Since everything must possess identity, everything is contingent on the existence of identity. Identity must be first in the order of contingency. It is the only causeless cause from which all other things derive their contingent existence.

Identity must be the only causeless cause. It is the only thing that exists from axiomatic necessity. To assert anything but identity as causeless is to assert that thing as not possessing identity and to violate the axiom. Nothing that identity does not cause can exist because there would be no basis for its existence. There can be no causeless effect, nor any inexplicable first cause. There are no parts in all the vastness of reality that have been conjured. This simple, but imposing, logic stands in contraposition with such notions as indetermanism and the prevailing metaphysical interpretation of quantum level uncertainty.

The primacy of identity is not an affirmation of all the classic assumptions made about causality, (e.g., such as the assumption that all causes precede the effect in time). There are many questions regarding causality, which may remain open. In a complex, commingled world, it seems apparent that as well as contingent lineage, there exists fundamentally reciprocal relationship. In such a dependency, a thing may exist only because of the presence of another and visa-versa. The existence of one, nonetheless, is not derived from the other in the respect that one is not more basic than the other.

If one fails to acknowledge the monistic nature of axioms, one might assume that identity exists in reciprocal relationship with something else that is equally basic. Once it is acknowledged, however, that all axioms assert the existence of identity, it becomes clear that identity is the only thing that exists from axiomatic necessity and is a pre-requisite for the existence of everything else. Within the context of the primacy of identity, this is what is meant by the term "first cause." As such, it provides a simple explanation of causality at its most fundamental beginning. It also demonstrates that true causality is metaphysical and not a creation of the mind. Once identity is acknowledged as the primary part of existence, this is provable from the axiom.


Everything that identity causes must exist for its absence would be a contradiction of identity. Identity's existence is causeless but it does not exist independent of other things. The complex diverse world owes its existence to this fact.

Note that identity can only be expressed as part of the greater whole. A world of just identity cannot be conceived. It is rationally inconceivable that identity can be anything but a reliant part. Identity is reliant in the respect that a cause is reliant on its effect because absence of the effect would deny the cause.

This does not contradict identity's status as first in the order of contingency. It is a fundamental explanation of why identity is a cause.

EXPLANATION OF EVERYTHING

One may hold with the most supreme confidence that this idea explains existence at its most fundamental ground. It answers a most basic and valid metaphysical question – 'What is the given?' This, apparently, is the very inquiry which begot philosophy. It was the central concern of pre-Socratic philosophy. The primacy of identity stands as the ultimate validation of this question by providing a provable answer. Most other historical attempts to deal with this question and explain the world from some primary source did not constitute a true metaphysical theory derived from a metaphysical premise. They were, at best, speculative natural philosophy based on what proved to be quite limited information. Other metaphysical cosmology such as what is found in religion, are not based on anything factual at all. While contemporary thinking may consider all metaphysical cosmology as impossible or meaningless, the identist concept of identity can make such thinking as obsolete as Thales' primacy of water.

There can be nothing outside of existence. It is a necessary truth that existence is an all-inclusive totality. The totality of existence cannot be derived from something apart from that totality. This thesis is not an attempt to explain existence from non-existence. The primacy of identity recognizes that identity is the most basic part of existence and establishes that it must be first in the order of contingency. It explains the ultimate origin of all contingent things that exist. It recognizes that identity must be the only causeless non-contingent part of reality.

Because identity is conceivable only as the primary part of a greater whole, the primacy of identity provides us with an incomplete but nonetheless deep and meaningful explanation of why such things as causality and space/time exist. It gives a reason why there exists a world with contingent effects and multi-faceted extension, two essential components of physical dimensions, (i.e., space/time). Causality, (i.e., the order of contingency) refers to the hierarchical structure of existence. Its most basic foundation is identity. The totality of existence, this order of contingency, is finite, yet unchanging and eternal.

At present, of course, there is no explanation as to how identity is a "sufficient cause" of everything else. Nevertheless, a natural philosophy that explains the physical universe from identity may someday emerge, especially if mysticism fails to repress identity philosophy. In the meantime, because of the uniquely basic status of identity, it is not necessary to know how identity causes everything else in order to be certain that it must be the only causeless first cause. Lacking an explicit and detailed natural philosophy, a loose explanation of why causality and physical extension (i.e. space/time) exist is still possible. The existence of just identity cannot be conceived and as a matter of fact we know that other things exist. If identity is the only causeless first cause and other things exist then there is causality. If things exist in quantity then there should be extension. This would certainly seem to imply material objects existing in space/time.

Conceptual reasoning guided by a relentless devotion to the first principle will be needed if the primacy of identity is to be united with a detailed and explanatory theory of the physical universe. Purging concepts and underlying assumptions that are incompatible with the first principle and the primacy of identity could go a long way in achieving a legitimate "Theory of Everything." The most intriguing and challenging implication of the primacy of identity, nonetheless, is that the basic characteristics of the physical universe must ultimately be explainable from the first principle, (i.e., an elucidation and detailed account of the means by which identity caused the existence of the physical universe). While it is foolish to predict with certainty the yet to be discovered, such an explanation is clearly a reasonable goal of science. Without a metaphysical foundation, however, science can only grope for explicatory principles and science unattached from necessary truth has no real reason to assume that reality is orderly and knowable. Reality itself becomes an ambiguous notion when the axiom is ignored. If an ultimate natural philosophy does emerge, the primacy of identity will supply its foundation and matrix. Perhaps, in addition, it can also supply its inspiration, because such a metaphysical view explicitly affirms an orderly knowable unified world.


The Primacy of identity constitutes a monumental argument against the mystic faith in uncertainty, the peddlers of chaos and those who would insist that theoretical science has advanced as far as it can and will only leave us with irresolvable mysteries.

The primacy of identity is a necessary conclusion drawn from the basic axiom: A is A. It therefore most assuredly must be true. Once this idea is understood there is nothing to be found in the higher esoteric mysteries of contemporary science, philosophy or religion that can succeed in obscuring it. Some say that one cannot assume that everything fits within this order because there are things in existence about which we know nothing. This is the equivalent of telling a mathematician that he is unjustified in saying that 1 plus 1 equals 2, because he has not yet counted every pair of objects in the cosmos. As a means of understanding the state of philosophy and the importance of the axiom, one might consider what would happen to mathematics if mathematicians could not accept with conviction a simple provable fact. This "open-mindedness" would make mathematics impotent and therefor worthless. Numerical computation would decline and be abandoned. The confusion, nevertheless, would not alter the value and need for the discipline.

Identity philosophy asserts certainty of reasons most basic premise. This does not constitute a claim of infallibility or omniscience. We may certainly never hope to know everything. But if we grasp the law of identity, then we know something about everything. If we fail to acknowledge it, then we abdicate any honest claim to know anything.

Just as the law of identity is so obvious, its monumental significance is ignored, the thing that law refers to, identity, fails to be acknowledged not because of its subtlety or complexity, but because of its monistic simplicity and absolute bluntness. Its existence, nonetheless, is incontrovertibly "verified" by the axiom that describes it, and from this it is clear that the rest must follow.

Identism Confronts Mystic Epistemology

If a tree falls with no one around then there should be the presence of sound waves. Sound, nonetheless, is a product of the brain and a element of consciousness and would not be present if there is no one to hear. Perception is not the thing perceived. When dealing with the mystics claim of some alternate knowledge or truth, it is important to make the distinction and remember that while sound (i.e., the experience of hearing) is in the mind of the one who hears, it is still subject to objective standards (e.g., one should hear when sound waves are present and not when they are not).

Our awareness and understanding of existence is ultimately derived from perception. Neither perception nor reason are infallible. The delusional mystic may really hear a little voice in his head but this does not mean he is really talking to god or little green men. The presence of feeling, sensation, sight, sound etc. is self-evident proof of their existence. Sensation is, to the one who senses, self-evident proof of the existence of sensation. The existence of sensation is proof that something exists even of one assumes that sensation is all that exists. Sensation (i.e., sensory stimuli) becomes perception when it is acknowledged as information about existence. Commonsense assumes this (surely even in the mind of a child or an animal).

This commonsense is ascended to the status of knowledge (i.e., truth held with justified certainty) when the axiom is formulated, acknowledge and recognized as an immutable absolute (and this is what embracing mysticism steals from you). The formulation of the axiom is the product of creativity. The validity of all knowledge, no matter how it is obtained, ultimately rest on the axiom (i.e., the validity of perceptions and our minds interpretations of them is hinged in the law of identity). It is not necessary to know everything about the human mind and have an answer to every epistemological question in order to prove this. All that is required is an understanding of self-evidence and necessary truth.

Reason subsumes all human faculties. Reason refers to all the mental function that process perceptions into concepts and ideas or any mental constructs (e.g., thinking in pictures). The importance of creativity in humanities pursuit of truth is difficult to over state. Identism is in agreement with the gist of the statement “reason is the servant of creativity,” but the statement implies a concept of reason that must be rejected. It is better stated as “deduction is the servant of creativity, but both are faculties of reason.” The result of defining creativity outside of reason, if not the propose, is the exempting of creativity from the first principle and rendering it schizophrenic. It is significant, in this context, to consider how stagnant and uncreative, in any meaningful why, the contemporary intellectual and artistic environment has become. This is especially true in academic philosophy which is little more than a death rattle of “philosophy” along with the stuffy formality and pretentious snobbery of a disenfranchised aristocracy. While, conversely, in other fields of endeavor, especially technological, breathtaking demonstrations of creativity are still being produced by the participants of capitalism, the orphaned children of a betrayed and all but forgotten intellectual heritage.

It is incontrovertibly true that a dragon is a dragon. Denying this cannot be reduces to the absurd because it is already there, but yet, there are no dragons. Why then is the statement true? The term “dragon” is neither true nor false, because it does not assert anything. The statement “dragon is dragon” does not assert and prove the existence of dragon; it asserts and proves the existence of self-sameness (i.e., identity). Asserting “dragon is dragon” is not the same as asserting “dragons exist” and does not beg the question. As far as a complex statement (i.e., they make more than one assertion) such as the statement, “2+2=3 is 2+2=3”, it is true in the respect that it asserts identity and false in the respect that it asserts non-identity (i.e., it asserts 1+1+1+1 is 1+1+1). The statement “2+2=4” states essentially that 1+1+1+1 is 1+1+1+1, and this asserts a truth (even if your counting dragons). The truth it asserts is the truth of the existence of identity. It is the fact of the existence of self-sameness that grounds logical truth to reality. A true understanding of necessary truth and the claim to knowledge requires the acknowledgment that axioms assert the existence of self-sameness. The failure to acknowledge the existence of self-sameness will leave "knowledge" grounded on an assertion that is detached from reality.

Concepts generally refer to given totalities (which could be one reason why the identist concept of identity may seem aloof). The construction of concepts is related to method, not metaphysics. There is only one entirety, the totality of existence; there is only one primary part, self-sameness. Do platonic terms such as chairness and tableness have reference to reality? Not in a platonic sense. A chair does not possess chairness. This peculiar term, correctly defined nonetheless, does have validity. The term “chairness” refers to chair as a part of a greater whole. A room with a chair possesses chairness. The one thing that this terminology loses its validity when applied to is existence. There is no such thing as beingness. Things do not possess being. Being possesses all other things that exist. The tragic and sordid history of philosophy is filled with the embracing if beingness and the denial of self-sameness.

The purging of contradictions (i.e., the assertions of non-identity) is not philosophical “McCarthyism.” The axiom is the only ultimate standard of knowledge and the only one which is absolute. Once this absolute is established identism endorses epistemological pragmatism. Much that is found in epistemological philosophy may be overly exclusive, embracing dogmatically what maybe, within a certain context, ideal methodology. Such methodology, nonetheless does not represent the only means of acquiring knowledge and may prove unsuited for some intellectual pursuits. When such methodology falters the mystic is waiting to provide an “alternative.” Rigid epistemology may have the effect of stifling and evicting unconventional (i.e., creative) thinking that is necessary for theoretical advancement. Mysticism usurps ideas, and often there creators, caste aside by “logic,” to corrupt and call there own. Thought, perception, any meaningful idea (i.e., with reference to reality) achieves validity, if to the best of our knowledge, it can be reconciled with the axiom, even of it violates some methodological standard.

The mystic claims of some other means of awareness or some other kind of truth incomprehensible to reason is an attempt to escape this absolute standard creating a perpetual circle of uncertainty. Failing to acknowledge necessary truth always leads to dogma (i.e., the ascension of the unproved to the status of “knowledge”) because half open eyes are better than blindness. Even the nihilist who contradicts himself by opening his mouth, will resort to dogma. Relativism’s superficial opposition to dogma does not create openness. Note the not so well hidden two faced hypocrisy of the statement “there are no absolutes.” It could be amended to exclude itself, but then it reveals itself as dogma supported by nothing and refutable by the axiom.

In contrast with rational conviction, to hold a “belief” as such, is to embrace contradiction and therefore untruth. A belief is the implied contradiction and untruth of asserting the unknown as known. If one decided to hold the belief that there are little green men in outer space, one has adopted the contradiction of claiming knowledge or opinion without the justification of supporting evidence. This would remain a contradiction and untruth even if it so happened that there really are little green men in outer space. Guilty or innocent, a man would receive an unfair trial if he was convicted by prejudice rather than evidence. This exemplifies the fact that having explicit justification for our convictions is no trivial matter. Mysticism is not exonerated by embracing (or usurping) a few ideas that happen to be true, just as a lynch mob is not excused if it hangs someone who happens to be guilty.

The workings of the mind are often latent and not completely understood. We often have hunches or insight and are not explicitly aware of the underlining reasons. It is important to note that mystics do not hold a ligament monopoly on this intuitive mode. Such insight is not some unknowable mystic awareness outside the realm of reason and perception. If one has a hunch or insight, it is important to acknowledge it as such. One should strive for the intellectual rigor necessary to uncover the hidden reason behind such insight. It is often by this means that one can determine if a hunch has any claim to legitimacy. Without such rigor, all one has is baseless prejudice.

Armed with the first principle, it is with the most supreme confidence that humanity can face a challenging but knowable world. In contraposition, without this “empowerment” we can only face the mystic’s “hell.” Such is the theme of human history.

Identity and God

Identism is a philosophy that is centered around the primacy of identity and the supremacy of the axiom. In a metaphoric sense, and only a metaphoric sense, identity is the God of the philosophy of Identism. Self-sameness is the primary thing from which all other things derive there existence and the law which asserts it, is the supreme law of existence. This mirrors the notion of god as creator and ultimate authority. In a literal sense, nonetheless, Identism is an atheistic philosophy. The gods of religion as they are generally defined (when a believer can be imposed upon for a definition) are contradictory non-identities which cannot be reconciled with the fact of self-sameness.

While the mystic mind would never be satisfied with a lesser god, because it is really non-identity that he worships, reason can dispense with the notion of the omnipotent being. Identism, however, does not provide an absolute refutation of a lesser god. It might also be claimed that the primacy of identity opens the door to the possibility of such a being because it demonstrates that identity is all that the axiom can account for and rejects the "lazy reason" which claims the basic components of the physical universe exists from axiomatic necessity. To argue for the existence of some sort of god in this manner, nonetheless, is much like using lost socks in the washing machine as evidence for gremlins in ones house.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Truth and Evasion