The Anti-Week

This blog is about doubt. It is not about any set of beliefs or about knowledge, but about questioning absolutely everything. Sometimes it may not give that impression, since in most of my articles I’m trying to defend some view. But I do that because the only way to take a certain idea to its final consequences is to take it seriously.

Even I myself forget it sometimes, though. So, in order to set things straight, I have decided to start the Anti-Week. During this week I will write a blog post defending exactly the opposite of what I’ve been saying so far about a number of issues.

English: Deepak Chopra speaks to the Microsoft...

Deepak Chopra. He cheats. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now, I don’t want this to turn into outright mockery. I want to force myself to fully embrace a different point of view. I want to take this seriously and not just deliver a caricature of an argument. Because of this, I have set some ground rules for myself:

  1. No cheating. By that I mean I can’t do a Deepak Chopra and start using mathematical or scientific concepts to woo my audience without giving them the chance to reply. This doesn’t mean I can’t use physics: what it means is I can’t use wrong physics and that, when I make reference to some scientific principle, I have to explain it. This would be an example of cheating:
    “Quantum superposition shows that consciousness can inhabit a separate plane of entanglement thanks to the holographic nature of the AdS/CfT correspondence.” Any physicist will be able to tell this sentence is complete nonsense. But many non-physicists will feel intimidated by it and therefore won’t dare to argue.
  2. Rational discussion. Even though I am willing to defend conflicting viewpoints, I think the tools shouldn’t change. That is, I can’t say “anything goes” and then start arguing things from there. I have to defend things from a rational perspective. Even if I end up defending irrationality, I have to rationally explain why I’m doing so, so that people can rationally attack my motives. Maybe not abandoning rationality could be seen as an unwillingness to fully embrace other points of view, but I believe the disadvantages of shedding rational thought altogether fully outweigh the advantages.
  3. No name-throwing. I need to defend the points myself. I can’t simply say “this guy is really smart and believes this so it must be true.” This is not an argument (well, it is, it’s the argument from authority, but the argument from authority is not an argument in any sense.)

Now, it is very likely that during the Anti-Week I will give opinions which may seem reactionary or plain stupid to some. That’s fine. The point is not to convince anyone, but to encourage dissension, as always. When you comment, you can of course opt to be a part of the Anti-Week and defend the opposite of what you normally would or to attack the viewpoints expressed in the article. It’s up to you.

Here’s a list of the articles I’m planning to write (though I may change my mind depending on my mood and general state of well-being):

  1. There Is a God and a Heaven
  2. Morality Is Objective
  3. Immortality Is Not Possible or Desirable
  4. Personal Identity is Real
  5. Free Will is Real

There are only five because Saturday is my day off.

Let the fun begin!

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20 thoughts on “The Anti-Week

    1. David Yerle Post author

      Thanks. I am not as excited because my brain is sludge. So I’m afraid my brilliant idea will be turned into a bunch of sub-par posts. Though I really hope not…

      Reply
  1. livelysceptic

    What a brilliant idea. I can hardly wait to see what you come up with. Maybe we should all have an anti-post every now and again. Also, your rules make a lot of sense. It would be too easy to invoke Deepak Chopra and the Dalai Lama every five minutes.

    Reply
    1. David Yerle Post author

      Yes, I didn’t want it to sound like I was echoing mystics like a parrot. The idea is to use my own tools. Let’s see if I manage. Maybe I am more biased than I thought…

      Reply
  2. sunofmysoul

    How very Pyrrhonist of you!~
    (I learned that Pyrrhonists attempted to make both sides of the argument as strong as possible ) And LOVE this idea.

    I shall look forward to them eagerly. (and bring the popcorn) 😉

    Reply
    1. David Yerle Post author

      I see you’ve been reading bloggingisaresponsibility. Yes, it’s a little Sophistic now that I think about it. Maybe I’ll find the middle way and reach enlightenment…

      Reply
    1. David Yerle Post author

      I was possessed by his spirit. It’s the magic of the quantum entanglement trans-conscious experience of the double-slit condensation of spirit with mushrooms.

      Reply
    1. David Yerle Post author

      Coffee did make me shake. Until my doctor told me to stop having it. Then I had a headache for two weeks and now I’m fine. Apparently it has some pretty screwed up physical withdrawal symptoms… now I only take decaf. I do miss the shakes, though. It was kind of maniacal. I liked that.

      Reply
  3. Pingback: My anti-post: Why I’m not a feminist | livelysceptic

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