[I’ve had a series of posts bubbling in my head for a while, and now seems like a good time to actually start the process of getting them out of my head. I don’t know how long it will take to fully layout my thoughts, but as my ability to go months without posting is well-established, feel free to poke me from time to time and say “Where’s your next post, you slacker?!”. But now to begin…]
Universal opinions are often mistaken for universal principles
– Seth Czerepak
You can’t change the fruit without changing the root.
– Stephen R Covey
I should start by describing what I mean by Paradigmatic Pluralism. As I have mentioned before, a paradigm is the set of metaphysical assumptions we hold to as we receive stimuli from the outside world. These assumptions are so fundamental that we can (and often do) go great stretches of our lives without even realising that we hold them. For example, the very idea that there is an outside world is a metaphysical assumption, but when was the last time you questioned whether there indeed was an outside world? Whenever you find yourself in a debate and you’re wondering how the person you are debating is so idiotic as to completely miss what you are saying, it is possibly because the paradigm that person has is so different that they think you are saying something quite different to what you think you are saying.
Pluralism is about having multiple things at the same time. Multiculturalism, for example, is a form of pluralism, where multiple cultures inhabit the same space.
Putting the two words together denotes having multiple views of what is real. In a ‘days gone by’ political context, this would be referred to as Religious Freedom, but I find that people are confused by the use of the word ‘Religious’ here. This is not simply about who, what, how or even whether to worship. This is about what we perceive to be reality itself and its meaning and how that relates to the structure of societies and governments.
Over the following posts I hope to explain how I think we have, as societies, destroyed the very ideals about pluralistic societies that we think we uphold, what we have determined to be universally true and the perils of the course on which such determinations take us.
Here’s a rough outline of where I’m planning to go with this, which will probably change as it goes on:
#1: Introduction & Overview (You are here!)
#2: Why Anarchism is False
#3: The Myth of Secular Neutrality
#4: The Modern State Religion
#5: The Wall of Separation
#6: Good Fences as a Federal Metaphor
#7: Summary & Conclusions