Literary Terms and Definitions R
Perhaps the next most common reaction for those not denying that FE is possible is (they may outnumber those who will gladly accept FE delivered to their homes and labs). Their fears are usually stated to be around weaponizing FE or using it to destroy Earth’s remaining ecosystems. Both fears seem misplaced, and a close reading of history does not support them. All , so the would disappear if economic abundance existed. When there was economic abundance, people lived in peace in their . Raping Earth with FE , because there would not be any good reason to and very good reasons to not. The solar system could easily meet all of humanity's material needs, , and there would be no need to rape Earth. kill, rape, and plunder for the sheer joy of it, but everybody else does due to scarcity. Those who fear misuse believe that people will not wake up if the means of abundance are delivered to them, or that the vast majority who quickly would could not police those slow to understand (or the psychopaths who might never). That fear reflects a negative view of humanity that I do not share. I doubt that the masses , but they wake up when it is. I doubt that humanity is that stupid, and I am willing to take the chance that humanity can become a . The , and Earth is still intact. After witnessing that fear reaction many times, it seemed to me to camouflage other, deeper fears. I have never succeeded in engaging such people in a rational conversation regarding those fears. I eventually suspected that they really feared abundance and seemed . They built their entire lives around surviving in a world of scarcity and saw abundance as a threat to their existence. Such reactions are , and for similar reasons. They know that the world as they know it will end with FE, they are afraid that their role in that new world will be diminished, and prefer the devil they know. In some cases, they that devil. I have rather than question their beliefs and indoctrination, and that phenomenon seems related to that knee-jerk fear that people express when FE is even .
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§ 22. To conclude: some ideas forwardly offer themselves to all men’s understandings; some sorts of truth result from any ideas, as soon as the mind puts them into propositions; other truths require a train of ideas placed in order, a due comparing of them, and deductions made with attention, before they can be discovered and assented to. Some of the first sort, because of their general and easy reception, have been mistaken for innate; but the truth is, ideas and notions are no more born with us than arts and sciences, though some of them indeed offer themselves to our faculties more readily than others, and therefore are more generally received: though that too be according as the organs of our bodies and powers of our minds happen to be employed: God having fitted men with faculties and means to discover, receive, and retain truths, according as they are employed. The great difference that is to be found in the notions of mankind is from the different use they put their faculties to; whilst some (and those the most) taking things upon trust, misemploy their power of assent, by lazily enslaving their minds to the dictates and dominion of others in doctrines, which it is their duty carefully to examine, and not blindly, with an implicit faith, to swallow. Others, employing their thoughts only about some few things, grow acquainted sufficiently with them, attain great degrees of knowledge in them, and are ignorant of all other, having never let their thoughts loose in the search of other inquiries. Thus, that the three angles of a triangle are equal to two right ones, is a truth as certain as any thing can be, and I think more evident than many of those propositions that go for principles; and yet there are millions, however expert in other things, who know not this at all, because they never set their thoughts on work about such angles; and he that certainly knows this proposition, may yet be utterly ignorant of the truth of other propositions, in mathematicks itself, which are as clear and evident as this: because, in his search of those mathematical truths, he stopped his thoughts short, and went not so far. The same may happen concerning the notions we have of the being of a deity: for though there be no truth which a man may more evidently make out to himself than the existence of a God, yet he that shall content himself with things as he finds them in this world, as they minister to his pleasures and passions, and not make inquiry a little farther into their causes, ends, and admirable contrivances, and pursue the thoughts thereof with diligence and attention; may live long without any notion of such a being. And if any person hath by talk put such a notion into his head, he may perhaps believe it; but if he hath never examined it, his knowledge of it will be no perfecter than his, who having been told, that the three angles of a triangle are equal to two right ones, takes it upon trust, without examining the demonstration; and may yield his assent as a probable opinion, but hath no knowledge of the truth of it: which yet his faculties, if carefully employed, were able to make clear and evident to him. But this only by the by, to shew how much our knowledge depends upon the right use of those powers nature hath bestowed upon us, and how little upon such innate principles, as are in vain supposed to be in all mankind for their direction; which all men could not but know, if they were there, or else they would be there to no purpose: and which since all men do not know, nor can distinguish from other adventitious truths, we may well conclude there are no such.
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§ 18. Some such wrong and unnatural combinations of ideas will be found to establish the irreconcilable opposition between different sects of philosophy and religion; for we cannot imagine every one of their followers to impose wilfully on himself, and knowingly refuse truth offered by plain reason. Interest, though it does a great deal in the case, yet cannot be thought to work whole societies of men to so universal a perverseness, as that every one of them to a man should knowingly maintain falsehood: some at least must be allowed to do what all pretend to, i. e. to pursue truth sincerely; and therefore there must be something that blinds their understandings, and makes them not see the falsehood of what they embrace for real truth. That which thus captivates their reasons, and leads men of sincerity blindfold from common sense, will, when examined, be found to be what we are speaking of: some independent ideas, of no alliance to one another, are by education, custom, and the constant din of their party, so coupled in their minds, that they always appear there together; and they can no more separate them in their thoughts, than if there were but one idea, and they operate as if they were so. This gives sense to jargon, demonstration to absurdities, and consistency to nonsense, and is the foundation of the greatest, I had almost said of all the errours in the world; or if it does not reach so far, it is at least the most dangerous one, since so far as it obtains, it hinders men from seeing and examining. When two things in themselves disjoined, appear to the sight constantly united; if the eye sees these things riveted, which are loose, where will you begin to rectify the mistakes that follow in two ideas, that they have been accustomed so to join in their minds, as to substitute one for the other, and, as I am apt to think, often without perceiving it themselves? This, whilst they are under the deceit of it, makes them incapable of conviction, and they applaud themselves as zealous champions for truth, when indeed they are contending for errour; and the confusion of two different ideas, which a customary connexion of them in their minds hath to them made in effect but one, fills their heads with false views, and their reasonings with false consequences.