Thursday, November 02, 2017

an ad hoc fallacy

I have a long history of mining the world's spiritual masters and wisdom traditions for any insights I might be able to use as excuses, distractions from, or alibis for my past and future treachery and skullduggery. This is how I come to be working through Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment at the moment.

Unfortunately Robert Wright, the author, seems to conclude that Buddhism is true because it is echoes the insights of evolutionary psychology, and evolutionary psychology has always struck me as Panglossian gobbledygook. In brief I object as follows; if so much of our mental make up can be explained as Darwinian adaptations to help us live in small bands of hunter-gatherers, why don't we live in small bands of hunter-gatherers?
On the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.
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