When people can’t be bothered to think through their own bullshit, it pisses me off. I will freely admit this fact.

One of the links John subjected me to during in an attempt to “defend” his poorly-reasoned claim about how “the universe as a whole responds to music and stories”, was a philosophical thread debating whether or not fire should be considered as a “life-form”.

Now, I could respect that — if it had gotten anywhere near being relevant to the discussion — but it didn’t.

EVEN IF somehow, you were to manage to re-classify “fire” as a “life form” (because it “grows” when it consumes fuel, and “reproduces”, in that it can spawn other fires, etc.), that would still demonstrate nothing about the initial truth-claim:

“The universe as a whole responds to music and stories”.

Here’s why:

  1. If he didn’t really mean “the Universe as a whole” — then he shouldn’t have used that term.  The only two (plausible) justifications for having done so are mere hyperbole (IE: “Wow!  I must have eaten like, a billion cookies!”), or mere incoherence (Uh, I have no idea how many cookies I ate, but I’m going to just pull a random number out of my ass”.)
  2. IF what he really meant was that a significant number of entities WITHIN “the universe as a whole” somehow “respond to music and stories” — then that doesn’t even qualify  as “animism”, in that it tacitly acknowledge at least the possibility that some entities don’t “respond to music and stories”.

The whole discussion hinged on John’s claim that the above statement was merely an expression of the “fact” that he considers himself to be “an Animist”.

The problem with that is, “Animism” is an exceedingly slovenly term, in many ways.

According to one dictionary definition:

an·i·mism
ˈanəˌmizəm/
noun
noun: animism
  1. 1.
    the attribution of a soul to plants, inanimate objects, and natural phenomena.
  2. 2.
    the belief in a supernatural power that organizes and animates the material universe.
Origin
mid 19th century: from Latin anima ‘life, soul’ + -ism.

Now, as (mis)used by John, the term itself relies on a gross equivocation between the above two definitions.  (Hint: by definition #2, any “supernaturalist” religion — including all variants of Christianity — become mere sub-types of “Animism”).

At any rate, it is a hell of a long (and utterly unjustified) leap from “some research suggests that some types of plant-life might be more ‘responsive’ to certain stimuli than previously thought’, to “fire should be re-classified as a form of life” (in which case your local volunteer fire-fighters become AGENTS OF GENOCIDE, btw) , to “The Cosmos-as-such is a conscious entity”, to “the Cosmos-as-such is a conscious entity which responds to ‘music and stories’.

THE ENTIRE CHAIN IS SPECIOUS, AND WAS ESSENTIALLY PULLED OUT OF jOHN’S ASS, IN AN ATTEMPT TO EVADE THE FACT THAT HIS INITIAL STATEMENT WAS UTTERLY INANE.

I cannot respect bullshit-artistry of that sort.  NOT from Deepak Chopra.  NOT from Gary Zhukav, and definitely not from an overgrown toddler whose wife has to cut up his food for him, whenever they go to restaurants.

 

 

 

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