It's a pleasant thing to find a purpose, and over the last few months the Armchair Collective has landed its own. A year of reflection on the core question being asked has finally unearthed a philosophy that is not new, in the sense that the site has always reflected this idea in one form or another. Rather it is a philosophy that is clear. Let me share it:
The word ideology is drenched with dark meaning. And yet, we are saturated with them. Beliefs, philosophies, and cognitive rituals thrust upon us by the tiny sliver of the world we inhabit and the people with whom we have shared ideas. These are protective—graceful solutions to an impossibly complex world. Yet, ideologies are remarkably dangerous left unexamined. Ideologies should be an architecture of thought—a set of beliefs we can trust to at least point our errors in the right direction. Ones we have examined and accepted. The credenda we adopt should be the ones that we have chosen.
The Armchair Collective is about ideologies you choose.
So please forgive a couple months of reflective silence, and enjoy the articles that emerged in the process. I hope I can help you discover your own ideologies, just as I have discovered my own.
Emotions and the Mind: Emotions are a messy thing, and defining them is a tricky business. Philosophical thought has concerned itself with the messiness of emotions since philosophical thoughts have been preservable. The primary concern is how to control these emotions. Unfortunately, the same instrument that would be responsible for controlling our messy emotions might be the reason emotions are so messy to begin with.
Full article at bottom of email
The Scientific Ritual: One might say we have acquired something of an obsession with the scientific method. News articles enthusiastically tell us what the science says and secular culture scoffs at the myths of the spiritual. In this we are mistaken. The scientific method is a belief system, a ritual, subject to errors of application like any other.
The Value of the Sacred: At the top of Maslow's hierarchy of needs lies the spiritual ones—to connect with the world, and something greater than ourselves. He describes, in this space, the kinds of 'peak' experiences many of us are familiar with—a feeling of euphoria or bliss when encountering an awe-inspiring piece of art or natural vista. If we are familiar with Maslow's states of transcendence, it implies we are capable of fulfilling our spiritual needs. One then wonders why we are in the midst of a spiritual crisis. I suspect a reason lies in a corruption of the concept of the sacred.
In Praise of the Sage: Knowledge is a peculiar concept. It's a form of belief, really. We believe in things and some things that we believe in, we feel so sure about that we call it knowledge. This begs the question, of course, what kinds of things make us so certain? Why do we accept the scientific method, but shun tradition and experience?
Nuance in Maslow's Hierarchy to include mention of his 'high plateau' experiences.
You can find links to all my previous emails to you here.
That's all from me! Enjoy.
This week's article selection: Emotion and the Mind
You're reading this on the site, so you can just go to the article.
Ideologies you choose at btrmt.