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. The analogy goes like this: Imagine several prisoners who have been chained up in a cave for all of their lives. They have never been outside the cave. They face a wall in the cave and they can never look at the entrance of the cave. Sometimes animals, birds, people, or other objects pass by the entrance of the cave casting a shadow on the wall inside the cave. The prisoners see the shadows on the wall and mistakenly view the shadows as reality. However, one man breaks free from his chains and runs out of the cave. For the first time, he sees the real world and now knows that it is far beyond the shadows he had been seeing. He sees real birds and animals, not just shadows of birds and animals. This man is excited about what he sees and he goes back to his fellow prisoners in the cave to tell them about the real world. But to his astonishment, they don’t believe him. In fact, they are angry with him. They say the shadows are reality and that the escaped prisoner is crazy for saying otherwise. POInT OF THE CAVE ANALOGY: According to Plato, the world outside the cave represents the world of forms while the shadows on the wall represent objects in the physical world. The escape of the prisoner represents philosophical enlightenment and the realization that forms are the true reality. Most people are like the prisoners in the cave. They think the shadows are reality. Philosophers, though, are like the man who escapes the cave and sees the real world. They have true knowledge. The Allegory of the Cave 1. Plato realizes that the general run of humankind can think, and speak, etc., without (so far as they acknowledge) any awareness of his realm of Forms. 2. The allegory of the cave is supposed to explain this. 3. In the allegory, Plato likens people untutored in the Theory of Forms to prisoners chained in a cave, unable to turn their heads. All they can see is the wall of the cave. Behind them burns a fire. Between the fire and the prisoners there is a parapet, along which puppeteers can walk. The puppeteers, who are behind the prisoners, hold up puppets that cast shadows on the wall of the cave. The prisoners are unable to see these puppets, the real objects, that pass behind them. What the prisoners see and hear are shadows and echoes cast by objects that they do not see. Here is an illustration of Plato’s Cave:
From Great Dialogues of Plato: Complete Texts of the Republic, Apology, Crito Phaido, Ion, and Meno, Vol. 1. (Warmington and Rouse, eds.) New York, Signet Classics: 1999. p. 316. 4. Such prisoners would mistake appearance for reality. They would think the things they see on the wall (the shadows) were real; they would know nothing of the real causes of the shadows. 5. So when the prisoners talk, what are they talking about? If an object (a book, let us say) is carried past behind them, and it casts a shadow on the wall, and a prisoner says “I see a book,” what is he talking about? He thinks he is talking about a book, but he is really talking about a shadow. But he uses the word “book.” What does that refer to? 6. Plato gives his answer at line (515b2). The text here has puzzled many editors, and it has been frequently emended. The translation in Grube/Reeve gets the point correctly: “And if they could talk to one another, don’t you think they’d suppose that the names they used applied to the things they see passing before them?” 7. Plato’s point is that the prisoners would be mistaken. For they would be taking the terms in their language to refer to the shadows that pass before their eyes, rather than (as is correct, in Plato’s view) to the real things that cast the shadows. If a prisoner says “That’s a book” he thinks that the word “book” refers to the very thing he is looking at. But he would be wrong. He’s only looking at a shadow. The real referent of the word “book” he cannot see. To see it, he would have to turn his head around. 8. Plato’s point: the general terms of our language are not “names” of the physical objects that we can see. They are actually names of things that we cannot see, things that we can only grasp with the mind. 9. When the prisoners are released, they can turn their heads and see the real objects. Then they realize their error. What can we do that is analogous to turning our heads and seeing the causes of the shadows? We can come to grasp the Forms with our minds. 10. Plato’s aim in the Republic is to describe what is necessary for us to achieve this reflective understanding. But even without it, it remains true that our very ability to think and to speak
In the analogy Socrates explain that mankind as being chained in a cave with their backs to the blazing fire of Reality.depends on the Forms. The prisoners may learn what a book is by their experience with shadows of books. The ascent out of the cave into the upper world represents what Socrates calls the “upward journey of the soul into the region of Absolute Intelligence. however pervertedly. But once their sight is accustomed to the sight of the upper world. is a process of moving out the cave. The puppet pantomimes perceived on the wall of the cave represent other living entities and the various objects the soul perceives while in the body. but being attracted to the cave(the illusory material world) and the things of the cave they left the environment of light and plunged into the darkness of the body where they sit shackled by desire. Inbetween the prisoners and the fire is a road along which men are carrying carved wooden figures of people and animals. for they are bound by their passions. which is Krishna. and by so doing turn from the shadow to the substance. for they are used to the cave and require to grow accustomed to the upper world.” Once a prisoner has reached the heights of the upper worlds and has become accustomed to them. Later. is a shadow of the real universe and every particle of this universe. It is interesting that he refers to the essential form of goodness. Because he has come in out of the daylight. Our process. lust and anger. Therefore Socrates says that those who have attained the upper world are reluctant to become involved in the . Although the prisoners are seated next to one another and although they exchange opinions about the show they are watching. thrown on the wall of the cave. Silhouettes or shadows of these figures are reflected on the cave wall from the light of a fire. is able to turn and see first the objects casting the shadows and then the source of the light. This phenomenal universe. He makes his way out of the cave. Behind them and outside of the cave is a burning fire. we may acquire concepts by our perceptual experience of physical objects. which he calls “the essential Form of goodness. When at first confronted with the blazing light of Reality. Each imprisoned soul takes the shadows of these puppets to be the real objects of the universe. In the cave. The fire within the cave corresponds to the sun that is perceived within the material world. The shadows. painfully blinded at first by the brightness of the sunlight beyond the entrance to the cave. The prisoners in the cave argue that his visit beyond the cave has ruined his eyesight and that they would kill anyone who tried to release them and lead them out. not accustomed to it.” he says. in the spiritualization of energy. the chambers of the cave correspond to the region revealed to us through the sense of sight and other gross material senses. his eyes are temporarily blinded by the darkness. He further states. But they would be mistaken if they thought that the word “book” refers to something that any of them has ever seen. The analogy tell us "everything" about reality. That is to say he does not accept the impersonal light as the ultimate but indicates a source of this light which has form. and recognises the shadows below for what they were. But we would be mistaken if we thought that the concepts that we grasp were on the same level as the things we perceive. The light of the upper world is His superior energy. it would be very strange indeed if he wanted to return to the cave. “Without having had a vision of this Form. Indeed. Socrates is talking about the absolute source of all light and goodness. no one can act with wisdom either in his own life or in matters of state. while it is itself sovereign in the world of intelligence and is the parent of intelligence and truth. One prisoner. 11. turn away. they mistake these images for reality and think that this is all there is to life. only capable of making out shadows of one another which the fire throws on the opposite wall of the cave. It is easy to see that the prisoners in the cave are conditioned souls bound by material desires. it gives birth to light and to the lord of light.” Here.” Once in the realms of Absolute Intelligence. They have no substantiality. their real bodies are there hidden in darkness. men. becoming free from his shackles. These are but flicks and specks that come and go. the escaped prisoner returns to the cave. their eyes dazzled. Originally these souls sported in the clear daylight outside. prisoners are forced to look only in one direction at the shadows on the walls. of turning from maya(illusion) to the spiritual light of the Imperishable.” “Once this form is perceived. reflects a bit of Himself. in the visible world. He now sees reality. but we need spiritual knowledge to see it. are analogous to the illusory energy of Krishna. Likewise. For the terms of the language we use get their meaning by “naming” the Forms that the objects we perceive participate in. they neither see themselves nor one another. As the prisoners have never known anything else. “the conclusion must follow that for all things this is the cause of whatever is right and good. they would disdain returning to their prior condition. just as the spiritual body is hidden to one who can perceive only through the material senses. being creation of the Supreme Lord. Socrates says that the soul has the most difficulty perceiving the source of light itself. From this shadow of Reality we may briefly deduce the substance.
The idols of the tribe are certain intellectual faults that are universal to mankind. Insofar as skepticism involves doubts about deductive reasoning. another on the totality. Their souls simply long to spend all their time in that upper world. to dispute about the shadows of justice or the images that cast those s The four idols distinguished by Francis Bacon are the idols of the tribe. the transient. and theatre. with eyes still dazed and not yet accustomed to the darkness.affairs of men. nominalistically. Those liberated souls who descend out of the upper regions into the cave of the material universe are called avataras. But language. Humanists were really anti-philosophers who not unreasonably turned their attention to nonphilosophical matters because of the apparent inability of philosophers to arrive at conclusions that were either generally agreed upon or useful. that is. (iv) Idols of the theatre are the errors introduced by theories: the abstract schemata of Aristotelianism. or main varieties of proneness to error. like later critics of language. One may fasten on detail. very common. toward supposing. It has always been a distinguishing feature of English philosophy to emphasize the unreliable nature of language. in which it embraces all beliefs of any degree of generality. den. inspiring a long tradition of skeptical rationalism. He speaks. another on the differences. at any rate. or “those who descend. that is to say mistaken systems of philosophy in the broadest. Bacon was particularly concerned with the superficiality of distinctions drawn in everyday language. images of things. as a human improvisation. with the capacity of words to embroil men in the discussion of the meaningless (as. Bacon distinguishes four idols. and therefore fantastical. but they were not a very apt subject for his criticism. that there exists more order in a field of inquiry than there actually is. One person may concentrate on the likenesses. he has no quarrel with it. from the Enlightenment to Comtian positivism of the 19th and logical positivism of the 20th centuries. and therefore to Bacon erroneous. Nominalists argue that even if the power of speech is given by God. Bacon does have something to say about the skeptical philosophy to which humanists appealed when they felt the need for it. demons. it was Adam who named the beasts and thereby gave that power its concrete realization. between things. This aspect of Bacon's thought has been almost as influential as his account of natural knowledge. the corrective is to remember that whatever our mind ‘seizes and dwells upon with peculiar satisfaction is to be held in suspicion’. market. The idols of the marketplace are the kinds of error for which language is responsible. inherent in our nature as human beings. in discussions of the deity Fortune). Indeed. by which things fundamentally different are classed together (whales and fishes as fish. and the introduction of theological notions into science. Another is a propensity to be overly influenced by particularly sudden or exciting occurrences that are in fact unrepresentative. Baconian sense of the term.” When an avatara does descend into the cave and mingles in the darkness with blind . literally “those opposed to light. like other human achievements. (iii) Idols of the market-place are errors that come in the course of communication with others: misunderstandings arising through abuses of words. (i) Idols of the tribe are general tendencies to be deceived. and steam). One. for example.” he may often encounter unpleasant situations. for the sake of tidiness. Bacon here compared philosophical and religious systems to theatrical. Bacon's critical polemic in discussing the idols of the theatre is lively but not very penetrating philosophically. of the vain affectations of the humanists. But he was also concerned. Those who are in Krishna consciousness are reluctant to become politicians or fruitive laborers of any sort. Insofar as it is applied not to reason . which is seen. for example) and things fundamentally similar are distinguished (ice. or. in a law court or elsewhere. what rewards could the cave offer them. (ii) Idols of the den are distortions arising from our particular perspectives (the metaphor is that of Plato's myth of the cave). representations of the world. They include uncritical reliance on sense perception. and tendencies to overgeneralize or jump to conclusions and ignore countervailing evidence against our views. water. The idols of the cave are the intellectual peculiarities of individuals. is a tendency toward oversimplification. The fourth and final group of idols is that of the idols of the theatre. for example. Idols in this sense are eidola. for example. and how could they become absorbed again in the pantomime of puppets once they have seen the reality of the upper world? A man would sooner return to the toys of his childhood and try to play with them. partakes of human imperfections. he is compelled. Socrates notes this: “Nor again is it all strange that one who comes from the contemplation of the Divine to the miseries of human life should appear awkward and ridiculous when.
Bacon's attack on Scholastic orthodoxy is surprisingly rhetorical. Thus men gazing at the stars perceive the order of the world. idols of the Cave. "Idols of the Mind" by showing the reader that exploration. "Let all compounds be dissolved. In this respect he anticipated modern psychology. It reads. Francis Bacon opens his essay. not because I get enjoyment from trying to find ways to deny the existence of a God. and I certainly feel like there are ways to justify the existence of God. Idols of the Marketplace arise from the interactions of men with one another. only so much as the laws of nature are obeyed. and argues that the apparently obvious axioms are neither clear nor indisputable. whereas idols of the cave are of each individual man. Bacon did not regard idols as symbols. This mind is symbolically a cavern. but are not content merely to contemplate or record that which is seen. It may be that he supposed it to be already sufficiently discredited by its incurably contentious or disputatious character. investing the starry heavens with innumerable imaginary qualities. Idols of the Tribe are deceptive beliefs inherent in the mind of man. but because it represents a great and fundamental problem with organized religion that is always quickly blown off as not being faithful. and accident. and disproportion. Each person is entitled to his or her own religious believes. Crusade like reasoning that is still shoved down the throats of the unassuming masses that really bothers me. according to Bacon. especially since men are emotionally predisposed to credit the interestingly strange. This may explain Bacon's epitaph which is said to be a summary of his whole method. or not truly believing. He argued for a cooperative and methodical procedure and against individualism and intuition. Hall In the Novum Organum (the new instrumentality for the acquisition of knowledge) Francis Bacon classified the intellectual fallacies of his time under four headings which he called idols. Bacon asserts that idols of the tribe are in the very basis of human nature. not of conservation. in this case held in the mind. and interprets all other learning according to the colors of his own devotion. environment. and the courtier ever present at the rituals of the court unduly emphasizes the significance of kings and princes. testing. a process of discovery. The thoughts of the individual roam about in this dark cave and are variously modified by temperament. that ridiculous. he brushes it aside too easily. Karl Marx said "religion is the opiate of the masses" and that allegory is a perfect example of the laughable arguments that are used by the massive organized religions to keep the people who are less apt to question what they are told inline and awe inspire. Thus an individual who dedicates his mind to some particular branch of learning becomes possessed by his own peculiar interest." Idols of the Cave are those which arise within the mind of the individual. it is that mindset. however. habit. but rather as fixations. . He has some awareness of the central weakness of Aristotelian science. The chemist sees chemistry in all things. He responded by asking to see the picture of the people who had drowned after praying for rescue. The man was asked how he could deny the power of God in light of such evidence. cave. and therefore belonging to the whole of the human race. and theatre. and idols of the theatre are ideas perceived through the theatre of false scientific axioms as they stand now. and why each of these keeps humans from true understanding. Against the fantastic learning of the occultists Bacon argued that individual reports are insufficient. The New Instrument of Knowledge by Manly P. I liked this piece. They are abstractions in error arising from common tendencies to exaggeration. distortion. In his view it was a largely verbal technique for the indefinite prolongation of inconclusive argument by the drawing of artificial distinctions. They extend their opinions. idols of the Marketplace and idols of the Theater. education. he was able to free himself from the view that everything men needed to know had already been revealed in the Bible or by Aristotle. An idol is an image. He proceeds to introduce each of the four "idols of the mind": the tribe. namely its attempt to derive substantial conclusions from premises that are intuitively evident. which receives veneration but is without substance in itself. Bacon defended the study of nature against those who considered it as either base or dangerous. Observations worthy to substantiate theories must be repeatable.but to the ability of the senses to supply the reason with reliable premises to work from. One part of this essay that I particularly enjoyed was the anecdote of the shipwreck survivors. Perhaps Bacon's most fruitful disagreement with Scholasticism is his belief that natural knowledge is cumulative. and reason combined is the only way to truly gain knowledge. Living in a time when new worlds were being found on Earth. He distinguished them as idols of the Tribe. marketplace. In a short time these imaginings gain dignity and are mingled with the facts until the compounds become inseparable. A man was shown a picture in the temple of people paying vows to God after having escaped a shipwreck.
A careful reading of the Novum Organum will show. According to him it is the popular belief that men form their thoughts into words in order to communicate their opinions to others. which is learning. This he called Instauratio Magna (the encyclopedia of all knowledge). which is intelligence. He realized the importance of a balanced viewpoint. Idols of the Theater are those which are due to sophistry and false learning. Words often betray their own purpose. Knowledge was not to be acquired merely for its own sake. ************* After summarizing the faults which distinguish the learning of his time. The very diversity of his achievements contributed to the unity of his thinking. No theory is important until it has been proved by method. he was an exponent of utility. which is the end of the work. Bacon offered his solution. The winged figure of Father Time is shown lifting a female figure from a dark cave. By this definition alone his position in the Platonic descent is clearly revealed. and like Diogenes a sworn enemy of sophistry. Knowledge might arise from inspiration and the internal illumination of the consciousness. Thus Bacon set up the machinery of control which has since become almost the fetish of science. however. The principal end of philosophy is to improve the state of man. The philosophy of Francis Bacon reflects not only the genius of his own mind but the experiences which result from full and distinguished living. philosophy. He left enough. The Four Idols of Sir Francis Bacon by Ben Chambers and Zeb Dahl. but often words arise as substitutes for thoughts and men think they have won an argument because they have out talked their opponents. and he built his patterns by combining the idealism of Plato with the practical method of Aristotle. but it must be proved and established by experimentation. From Plato he derived a breadth of vision. but this illumination is not knowledge until. Knowledge alone can preserve and perfect human life. In spite of his scientific approach. and is a large influence on an individual's perception of the world around them. False superstructures are raised on false foundations. etc. It might even be profitable to examine the Shakespearean plays with this viewpoint in mind. It was Bacon's intention to gather into one monumental work his program for the renewal of the sciences. Knowledge may be gathered from the past through tradition. so that other men could perfect the work. Had he chosen Aristotle as his mentor the definition would have been reversed. Like Socrates. and in the end systems barren of merit parade their grandeur on the stage of the world. as distinguished from that which is believed. obscuring the very thoughts they are designed to express. He defined physics as the science of variable causes. Bacon used the theater with its curtain and its properties as a symbol of the world stage. Discuss how each of the following can distort what is real to the understanding: (with EXAMPLES!) Idols of the Tribe: A person's education: Education falls into the "nurture" side of the "nature-nurture" equation. The books a person reads: . Unfortunately. but for its use. When false philosophies have been cultivated and have attained a wide sphere of dominion in the world of the intellect they are no longer questioned. and metaphysics as the science of fixed causes. trained minds can build toward universal knowing. say.) Idols of the Marketplace are errors arising from the false significance bestowed upon words. Upon the solid foundation of the known. the false realities of the educators. Bacon in no way discounted the spiritual content in the world. and in this classification Bacon anticipated the modern science of semantics. It may be accumulated and augmented by observation.(The title page of Bacon's New Atlantis (London 1626) is ornamented with a curious design or printer's device. through experimentation. can get passed on to the student. books. if a particular history teacher had a dislike of. This attitude he seems to have borrowed from Paracelsus and shared with Descartes. The constant impact of words variously used without attention to their true meaning only in turn condition the understanding and breed fallacies. the merit of all learning is to be determined by its measure of usefulness. but unfortunately the project was never completed. Bacon believed that the first step was to make a comprehensive survey of that which is known. and from Aristotle a depth of penetration. thus coloring their clear understanding. the student might well get false impressions of how that system works and its implications for society. and science. These idols are built up in the field of theology. communism. and because they are defended by learned groups are accepted without question by the masses. To him true knowledge was the knowledge of causes. the truth is physically established. This represents truth resurrected from the cavern of the intellect. For example.
" Often. such as the results of psychological experiments. you might admire someone for some reason. Clearly. Of course. but find yourself picking up a bad habit of theirs. Our tendency to see personal truths as universal: This boils down to opinion. Again. (For example. and Chaos theory are only recently changing this view. For example. band y has two good songs. (It is know known that many such phenomena cannot be predicted. and himself as well. psychic phenomena. in the area of personal taste around music. In addition people believe that if they can't sense something. say.") This has slowed the discovery over time of such things as germs. chases after the offending driver and vehicle. For example. Our tendency to let emotions rule reason: Simply put. And the senses are inherently unreliable. Our need to seek more and more regularity in the world than there really is: This is a tendency people have which may well arise from convenience of thought: we tend to think that things ought to be simple. the points of view in books will tend to distort an understanding and thus a person can be greatly influenced by their reading material. a chemist who is asked about a certain phenomenon (say. Our belief in empirical data: The problem with empirical data is it is reliant upon the senses. there is the potential for them to pick up their "herd's" false perceptions. these opinions are treated as reality without any realization of their very personal. the person's understanding and reaction to the issue could be completely clouded. the human's difficulty in separating emotions from observations and understanding can give us false impressions of the truth based on our feelings at the time. Idols of the Cave: People see things in light of their own special knowledge and opinions: People tend to look at things through the eyes of their favorite science or theology. This is especially problematic in the analysis of "soft" data." Science faces this problem all the time: in the attempts to find scientific evidence for.) A person's experiences: A person's experiences can also distort their understanding. you might (even subconsciously associate that type of person with the experience and come to the conclusion that that type of person is bad. whether or not it was the most accurate analysis of data. we become attached to them and collect evidence that supports them while throwing out that which contradicts them. cuts them off. ("I'll believe it when I see it. For example. it isn't there. Clearly. religion in schools) in a negative manner. electromagnetic phenomena. This can give impressions that are incorrect. if you were robbed by a certain race or type of person. loses it. thus distorting the understanding of the both the person he is talking to. and yet most people consider them to be so and will often argue them vehemently with little thought to their real value. your opinion (just one of your little false realities) is far from universal. For example. etc. and this can cause distortion of the truth. very likely. Science has been under this delusion for some time. this will lead us to false conclusions if we have accidentally embraced a false "truth. especially if they attempt to draw too many conclusions from them.Books work similarly to education. initial absence of empirical data has no bearing on its existence. assuming there was a simple explanation for most physical phenomena (such as weather). scientists often tend to find data that fits whatever conclusions they were expecting. stops his vehicle and yells at the person (I'm not making this up) clearly has let emotion cloud their better judgment and understanding. if a person were to read a book portraying a particular subject (say. the nature of electromagnetic radiation) might delve into a particle-based explanation of it while neglecting a more broad view. Relativity.) Our tendency to seek out evidence of that which we already believe to be true: This arises perhaps from affection we begin to give to ideas we have found and carried with us for some time. and if a person holds another in too high esteem. I hear it said often that "musical group X sucks" or "yeah. QM. opinionbased nature. The people a person admires: All people have their own idols and false understandings. the man who gets cut off by someone in traffic. For example. . being very much a relative measure of things. and perhaps are in fact a somewhat less intense version of education.
Words cannot be defined because we need words to define them: Definitely a circular reasoning problem. were mechanical physicists to ignore particle physics. slang. looking up the word "intelligent. those who attempt to know the "truth" by analyzing the past may understand much of what shaped where we are today. Names of things which do not exist confuse our understanding: Things which are supposed to be true with no evidence. thus obstructing their knowledge. Idols of the Marketplace: Words are misused or misunderstood: This is a large problem in the communication of ideas. However. which is "decaying matter on the floor of a forest.Some of us are governed by similarities. For example. For example. For example. which in turn must be defined causing a complete lack of exact understanding of the meaning of the words. They might be so distracted by this fact that they completely fail to get to know the other person. The idols of much religion is the reliance on these writings (too narrow a foundation) to the point that the philosophy is not itself examined very closely. they would have a thoroughly incomplete understanding of what's going on. Some of us see only the details and others see only the global: Failure to examine things on more than one level of "zoom" can cause serious gaps in our understanding of any subject of study. any definitions must use more words. and would obviously not be getting the same meaning. others by differences: Both of these extremes are easily mired in excess. the future is but a dream. Words have a true and a vulgar meaning: In a word. religion is supposed to espouse virtues such as forgiveness and not murdering. thinking one thing but saying another. the present. which is quite important. Common meaning might differ from true meaning. the moment. of which the English language is full. and the idea threw scientists off for some time. which are in turn defined by more words. a person might use the wrong word. an individual who meets someone they've never met before might notice that some mannerism of the person reminds them of their mother. which has long obscured its true meaning.) In any case. relying on scripture for its philosophical teachings. but they may well completely miss the thoughts of the day. Such an idea was that of ether. For example." Philosophers who concentrate too much on the past or the future miss the importance of the now. the existence of reality as it is now. even though they might be more important. Worse. and fail to define them. tending to miss the other half. which is the most important part. ad infinitum. the word "duff" has a general meaning in common conversation. Names of things which exist but which are defined or have contradictory meanings: (don't use "humid") Very simply. For instance. How do the following work well in demonstration but less well in reality separate from their control? Idols of the Theater: Religion: Religion is in a way domesticated philosophy. using the word "Sophistic" instead of "Sophisticated" will give the listener two very different impressions of whatever is being described. the experience. but on the other hand some of the worst atrocities of all time have been committed in . Many people come to use words simply by hearing them used. Or. The tendency to classify things by their common features or their distinctions can cause the observer to miss all other aspects of the things he is studying. Two people having a conversation might be using the same word but thinking of different meanings." (Seriously. Same as above. For example. Those who love the past and those who love the possibilities of the future obscure the knowledge of the present: "The past is but a memory. no such medium seems to exist. For example. more or less. one never gets to a non-word definition." one gets the definition "having quick mental capabilities. or even their own thoughts on things. the medium that light was supposed to move in. the only truth is now. words which have more than one meaning. simply from speculation." This requires looking up all of these words. and in fact common meaning can corrupt true meaning." which have very different meanings. confusion can ultimately arise from these differences. Even a simple word like "clever" can mean either "smart" or "tricky.
distancing the people from the political processes and draining much power out of the premise of the system. but in a large society. Many of its more prominent members (think bananas and lizards) seem to base most of their viewpoints on the above stated reasons. . the transferal of knowledge. however. (Holy wars are an especially good example of this. and it drains much of the validity of the positions of both parties. For example. idols of various kinds and limitations in the plans themselves may keep the political systems from functioning as they had been expected to in theory.): Political systems are created on the assumption that people will act and work in certain ways (communism especially is prone to this). or by the prejudices (idols) of the teacher. For example. democracy is supposed to have the "people" making all the decisions. BOTH political parties are guilty of this (in different directions). etc. Political parties: Political parties also base their "philosophies" on too narrow a base of knowledge and understanding.) Political systems (democracy. Education: The basic idea here is that education.the name of religion. communism. a certain political party (think elephants) tends to base much of its thought both on public opinion (which is a crock) and on religion (see "religion" above). leaving original thought out of the equation altogether. drawing on popular thought and opinion rather than true philosophy or science. In actuality. can too easily be corrupted by stagnant ideas. indirect representation is the only feasible route to go. with little thought to the moral issues of what is being done.
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