A criticism of my early views that laws are a common compromise of people who can take responsibility for their acts: To explain this better, I’ll explain my early views on morality and human freedom. I believed that they don’t co-exist. A moral judgement is a judgement of an act. An act done by a human in any emotional state is done with a rush to do it. Is it justified then? No! Does it need to be judged? Of course! But why? Why do actions of other people bother us? Why should we even live together?

Humans are condemned to be free. There is no way out. Is there a common essence for all of us? No. Is there a common purpose? No. Can we have objective morals? No. But we have understood that we can survive if we lived in groups. And it worked. Thus, we built civilizations, kingdoms, states and now nations. Now, do we need objective rules that repress us?

We need to understand that there is no supernatural judgement waiting to judge our actions. If we have to survive better, living in groups is the better way. And for that, we do need rules that don’t destroy society. We need society alive and functioning. So regardless of our opinion towards it, there is a forced common goal for all of us. That is to maintain harmony to live together intending no harm. Thus, we need objective rules that will however cause repression, but it should be a common compromise. “Humans are condemned to live together”

These rules should be applied in the best interest of maintaining harmony. Anarchy is amazing? Of course, it is. Imagine being able to live your own life independently, governing yourselves. But humans are beasts in nature; like any other animal. We have tried to refuse our true nature for a long time now. We have to accept that we all are predators, hunters, killers and thieves. Given certain pressure, everyone can break the threshold and can commit any treacherous act just to survive. It is there in all of us. That is our true nature, the true essence — we are animals.

Rather than judging our true nature to be filthy from the fixed-moral perspective, we should accept it. We should embrace the fact that we are all by birth predators and contribute to the common goal of harmony voluntarily. If it’s a rule book of God that condemns us to act accordingly to the rules, it causes repression. If it’s a spiritual guide, it causes repression too. You are suppressing your true nature rather than embracing it.

End of the day, rules, morals and laws only exist to maintain harmony. Why don’t we all contribute to it voluntarily? Rather than being suppressed by an unknown or a third-party-source (government), we can do it on our own. And the only third-party judge, the law should indeed exist, even though it suppresses our true nature, it is the necessary suppression we need to balance the harmony.

It won’t work if we ask people to create morals themselves. We can not blame the irresponsible for not taking the responsibility of creating their values. Again, it is natural. We are the beasts that we need to tame. And the taming; not because of a holy purpose. Or a moral judgement of a good/bad. But just what needs for society to exist. There is no objective good/bad, but just accepted/not accepted. Killing is not bad, it is just not acceptable. It is still natural for humans to kill, but we don’t need it now if we want to exist together.

I had this view that people who took responsibility to create their own values to not harm the other have compromised to create laws to control the irresponsible. I saw it in two perspectives. One being an unselfish contribution to the society. That is, that the law exists because the irresponsible cannot create their own values. The other being, a selfish act to preserve oneself. That is, that the responsible understand that we need harmony and thus to protect themselves from the irresponsible they have created these rules.

On further introspection, that might sound true, but such is not the case. There exists some common and objectively accepted thing in all of us. That is the idea of living together. This idea is the agent that causes morals, laws and values. People who don’t have these ideas of harmony are called ‘anti-social’ or sociopaths. According to what is not-accepted (bad) by all of us (those who wish harmony), a sociopath is bad (not-accepted), because a sociopath destroys the fundamentals of living together.

What is objectively bad is that which does not value or disregards the balance of the society. What is objectively good is that which does add to or does not break the fundamentals of society, at least. Thus, even though objectivity is a human construct, that is much needed. And as ironic as it may sound, it takes a person who is individual and independent to form a better society — so independent that one’s growth does not even depend on the decline of other people.

Argument isn’t such a bad word. There is a negative term ‘bad argument’ which has now somehow become synonymous for very ‘argument’ itself. But such is not the case in reality. There indeed is a ‘good argument’. In fact, it is the arguments that have advanced humans philosophically and scientifically!

For many years, people have claimed ‘arguments’ as the source where all the knowledge had begun. But later, we understood that there wouldn’t have an argument if we never thought, so it must be thinking where the source of all knowledge is. But the later existentialism pushes existence prior to anything. It is only logical to credit existence as the source. 

But initially, arguments were thought to be the source, and such is the value of an argument. And it is not necessarily a bad one. It is through arguments that you would know new things. But there is a form- a structure to it. You can not argue blandly with random utterances. So, what is this form? How to argue in the right way?

Arguments and its components

The sentences you use in arguments, are not mere sentences but propositions. And these propositions consist of terms and not mere words! It might appear to be philosophical mumbo-jumbo, but it isn’t. Arguments are where linguistics, philosophy and mathematics begin their hopeless romance. To begin with, let’s hop on and dive into defining these weird words or should I say, terms?

Terms and Proposition

What is a word? A group of letters that define something is a word. A ‘bottle’ is a word. A ‘word’ is a word! In day-to-day life, we use the words, ‘word’ and ‘term’ interchangeably, but it is a logical blunder to do so. Terms are specific and refer to something particular unlike words which just define and express but not refer! Terms have precise meaning and you know what it refers to just by listening to it or reading it. All the terms are words, but all the words are not terms. 

Terms can have multiple words in them. “The legendary filmmaker of 2001: Space Odyssey”, this sentence has many words in them. But the entire sentence is a single term, as it is referring towards a single person. In that way, we can differentiate words and terms. The group of words form sentences. Now what do the group of terms form? A proposition! And not many, but two terms in specific form a proposition.

Propositions are to sentences like terms are to words. Sentences are groups of words that form a meaning altogether. While propositions are sentences that are specific and assert some value! Propositions are not random but have an opinion to them. “Mr.Nobody is a masterpiece”, this sentence is a proposition as it asserts an opinion towards some subject. And those two, subject and the opinion are two terms that exist in a proposition. A subject term is ‘about what the proposition is’ and a predicate term (opinion) is ‘what is the matter told about the subject’. Together a subject term and a predicate term form a proposition.

In the above example “Mr.Nobody is a masterpiece”, the subject term here is ‘Mr.Nobody’ and the predicate term is ‘masterpiece’.

The argument!

Now as we are forming a pattern here, you must be guessing how terms and propositions are linked to an argument? And a bunch of propositions form an argument! But again, there is a form to do it in the logical way. An argument consists of two sets of propositions. The first set is (are) called Premise(s) and the other as Conclusion. The premise is the logical support (data) you give to make your conclusion stand. They are baseless without each other.

You can not have an argument without both premises and conclusion. You can have many premises but there is only one conclusion. Regardless of the truth or falsity of the conclusion, a valid argument is something that follows this form. The conclusion can be false, but if it is in the form, it is indeed a valid argument.

Example:

Premise 1: All X are Z

Premise 2: All Z are Y

Conclusion: All X are Y

Here, in premise 1, X is the subject and Z is the predicate term. 

In premise 2, Z is the subject and Y is the predicate term.

This is how you argue in a logical way, by giving out premises, making a conclusion out of it! Or you draw a conclusion and form enough premises to support your conclusion. Without this form, your argument is a bad argument and it leads nowhere. To argue, is to be logical! To be logical, be formal. Let’s get back into finding out the validity of arguments and truth and falsity of propositions next week!

What a moral is more than just an outfit? It is as simple as changing a dress. The randomness of events allow you to justify any reason and make it look right. You can even gain support for your justification if it is done right. Because all justification needs is form. Put it in the right form, you can even write articles justifying Hitler’s horrific acts. That’s how sensitive and easy to manipulate events are. If you can fabricate anything into anything how valid do you think your morals are?

You believe certain things, you stand out for them. You believe it harder and through belief you begin justifying them. You might fail, but you will try. You might be laughed at but you will become more stubborn towards your belief. One fine day, you will have enough words and proper form to place your belief in a logical way. Once you justify your beliefs in the proper form, the form enough attracts support from people with similar minds.

People with different minds begin to think of it as it sounds justified. Now a new perspective occurs. That’s how easy it is to change one’s morals. How funny it is to believe in a particular thing and stand for it? You believe that you are an animal lover, you are against captivating animals in pet stores. Hence you choose not to buy a pet. But times have passed, you had to buy a pet, now you have to fight with your belief that you are an animal lover.

Would you rather give up on your belief and adapt to buying the pet or will you justify yourself still as an animal lover? You can do both. You can tell yourself that you are liberating the animal from captivity. You can still be the hero you believe. Because it is everything about what you believe. Tell someone enough that they are a narcissist, maybe they will become one.

Having any belief can be justified. I’m not trying to say that everything is true, in contrast, nothing is true. I like how Assassin’s Creed uses “Nothing is true, everything is permitted”. Yes, indeed it is true. And it forms a truth paradox if it is true of what is true if nothing is true? Is the statement nothing is true false? If it is false? Is everything true, then again, if everything is true, then the statement becomes true too.

If not ‘everything is true’ and not ‘nothing is true’, then there is just something that is true and something that is not. What is the quantitative measure of truth and how do you judge it? If you judge it by mere feeling, it is irrational and not objective. If you judge it by form, well, as discussed above, everything can be fit into form. So the very notion of true and false belief is an invalid and self contradicting theory constructed psychologically. 

When what you strongly believe and justify becomes true/untrue why do we even bother with such a judgement? Why do we worry constantly about what belief is true and what is not? What does it matter if it isn’t true as long as you can change your beliefs as quickly as you change clothes.

I witnessed a change in my body
I see that I don’t fit in my dress anymore
I go back to my room
I found a new costume in my closet
Just waiting for me to wear it
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