Terence McKenna denounces Relativism in 5 minutes (with subtitles)

The great evil, in my humble opinion, which haunts our enterprise, and I say this realizing I’m setting the fox.


The great evil, in my humble opinion, which
haunts our enterprise, and I say this realizing I’m setting the fox among the chickens…
The great evil that has been allowed to flourish in the absence of mathematical understanding
is relativism. And what is relativism?
It’s the idea that there is no distinction between shit and Shinola, that all ideas are
somehow operating on equal footing. So one person is a Chaos Theorist, another
is a follower of the revelations of this or that New Age guru, someone else is channeling
information from the Pleiades, and we have been taught that political correctness demands
that we treat all these things with equal weight. Because we have no mathematical ability,
no logical ability, we don’t know how to ask the questions that expose some positions as
preposterous, trivial, insulting to the intelligence, and unworthy of repetition. We all are very comfortable bashing science and
flailing away at that, but that isn’t our enemy. Science is capable of undertaking
its own reformation and critique, and has been engaged in that
fairly vigorously for some time. The enemy that will really subvert the enterprise
of building a world based on clarity is the belief that we cannot point out the pernicious
forms of idiocy that flourish in our own community. And this problem is growing worse all the time. Just pick up a copy of Magical Blend or
Shaman’s Drum and you’ll discover an appeal to the level of intellect that makes what’s
going on with television advertising look like a meeting of the
Princeton Institute of Advanced Study. We have tolerated too many loose heads
in our community. We are not willing to take on the karma involved
in argument and discourse that actually gores somebody’s ox, so that at the end of the day
iridology or Mormonism or some other form of institutionally supported foolishness lies
in shreads on the floor. We consider this politically incorrect.
I can feel the tension in this room because people sense I might gore their
particular ox. If we had learned mathematical logic, or reason,
or rules of evidence, when someone approaches us, excited to inform us that the ruins of Lemuria
have been spotted in the deep sea off Big Sur or something like that, we would be able to
respond to that with the contempt it deserves. I had a conversation about this recently with
someone who, if I had to describe their job category, I would describe them as mafiosa, and I said,
“What do you think of the abduction phenomenon?” and without hesitation this person said, “There
are just so many foolish people in the world.” And to me, all of these things are intelligence tests,
and the people who pass the intelligence test are not worrying about pro bono proctologists from other star
systems showing up unannounced in their bedrooms. We have perfected politeness, we have perfected
the ability to listen to damn foolishness, without betraying by so much as the flick of an eyebrow
that we realize what we’re in the presence of. Now I think it’s time to refine our mathematical skills,
learn to think straight, and not be afraid to denounce the pernicious forms of foolishness, which are
vitiating the energies of our community and making us appear marginal and absurd in the
discourse about truly transforming society.

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