Intellectual Hubris

Intellectual Hubris

An idea is not a complete or whole thing. It is a small snapshot, a tiny window, a snippet of a complex whole thing.

I believe this to be true.

This is why I believe that any idea or theory or dogma or thesis, or any other worded, thought based structure, is unequal, in and of itself, to the task of successfully guiding human behaviour.

This is why I believe that isms are small sparks in the much larger fire and passion of life.

This is why I believe that our current “philosophically” [e.g. democracy, communism, fascism] structured social systems will not sustain a healthy existence for each of its members. Because ideas are partial, social systems that adhere to ideology of any kind are partial, and therefore can only provide humane conditions for a part of the whole.

So, are we doomed?

I think not, but I also feel not. I do not know if human social structures will ever rid themselves of the disease of their own intellectual hubris, which lends itself so well to greed, but I do believe and feel it could happen. And I do not think that any idea or theory or dogma or thesis will lead humans forward to reach our social potential.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 8:08 AM EDT Tuesday 15 July 2014
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 100.7 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 14.8°C
Dewpoint: 13.5°C
Humidity: 92%
Wind: W 13 km/h


“Always be ready to speak your mind and a base man will avoid you.”
William Blake
1757 – 1827


  1. Bex

    What’s going on Maggie? What has happened to spur your words here today? I would have to go back to college and study more to be able to converse on your topics here, as I am hopelessly ignorant of such deep subjects as you raise. But I figure something must have gone on in your life to prompt these thoughts… and I’m just wondering what. I hope all is well, that Mist is well.. and you and Attila are, as well, well.

    Well, well, well… I’ve written that word way too many times here!


  2. Bex, nothing in particular is going on! Mist is fine, I am fine, Attila is fine, relatives are fine, the friends are fine. I am just describing reality as I am observing it.

    What prompts these thoughts? Well, I was just sitting here working on a jigsaw puzzle this morning, a Charles Wisockis image, quite pleasant, and these thoughts came into my head. It might have been the idealized village he portrayed that triggered my thoughts. Spending time looking at a village where there is no poverty, no violence, no people of colour, no people with disabilities, everything spic and span and sparkling. The image is so far from the experience of the average North American that the contrast with reality must have inspired my thought processes.

  3. Hmmmm. Is “I think, therefore I am” a whole idea, or just a part of an idea? Certainly, it has ramifications beyond the simple statement but is that the same as only being part of an idea?

    I think that you’re right in that it would take more than we’re currently capable of to correct “the human condition”, but we’re still capable of taking steps in that direction. The problem is so large that there’s really no way to fix it all in one fell swoop, we will have to eat the elephant one bite at a time – and that’s okay, because at least then we can point and say there’s been some progress.

    Will there be steps back too? Or areas of the world that fall behind and need prodding or help? Inevitably. But each positive step we take, each positive step we encourage, is another bite of the elephant. I think that compared to what we were 2000 years ago, for example – even with all the great philosophers that have gone before us during those times – that we human beings as a whole are still better off than we were 2000 years ago.

  4. I agree TopsyTurvey, nothing for it but to plug away at the manageable bits.

    I know I am better off than humans were 2000 years ago, most of them anyway. I think the top 1% back then had it a lot better than I do now.

    As for others, well I am not so sure that most humans are better off than they were 2000 years ago. There is a huge proportion of the human race, probably the majority of the human race, that experiences hunger, want, violence… we see some of it in the news, it is hard to say if they re better off than humans were 2000 years ago.

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