Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Difference Between a Hypothesis and a Theory

"...a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the most elemental — men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what they cannot understand." - H.L. Mencken.

Here's the difference:

"A hypothesis attempts to answer questions by putting forth a plausible explanation that has yet to be rigorously tested. A theory, on the other hand, has already undergone extensive testing by various scientists and is generally accepted as being an accurate explanation of an observation. This doesn’t mean the theory is correct; only that current testing has not yet been able to disprove it, and the evidence as it is understood, appears to support it."

A theory is what I sometimes called a "model." It is a description of reality. It is not reality. It is a map, not the terrain. It's related to a philosophical problem known as "concepts and their referents." Exactly how do the concepts in our heads refer to reality?

The closer our concepts, i.e., our theories, conform to reality, they better they work. We should always try to refine them to make them work better. The model, "Jumping out of an airplane without a parachute and living because I'll float like a soap bubble" does not conform to reality and is a very bad model.

Now we come to the hypotheses of the Manosphere, specifically the ideas of Alpha/Beta/Gamma,Sigma, Omega.

The naive believe these ideas really exist, i.e, the describe reality perfectly. (Actually, they think they are reality.) There is no such thing. No idea describes reality perfectly and no idea is reality. These theories are always open to refinement. What I call the Lost Boys of the Manosphere don't know this, because the don't know the difference between a hypothesis and a theory, between dialectic and rhetoric.

The ideas of the Manosphere are closer to hypothesizes than theories. They haven't been subjected to rigorous testing, although their supporters think they have. When it comes to ideas that are not hard sciences, one way of testing them is to criticize the flaws in them. Then the supporters have to successfully answer the flaws that have been noticed. They can't.

In answering, they have to use what Aristotle called "rhetoric" (emotion-based argument) as opposed to "dialectic" (reason-based argument). Which means they have no argument at all, even though they think what they believe cannot be proven false.

Here's an example: there are no Alphas. I've been told they are mass murderers, alcoholics, serial killers, unemployed drug addicts who live off of women, loveless, conscienceless psychopaths, and guys who devote their lives to seducing women. There are so many definitions that the word is worthless.

All of them aren't worth discussing except those who seduce women. The word for them, based on thousands of years of experience, is "cad." I have known several: every one of them has been a coward who has ruined his life in varying degrees. Unless they change. Sometimes they do.

The only kind of "Alpha" can be considered a true Alpha is a patriarch, i.e., a self-confident, competent man who is in charge of his own life and that of his family. He embodies the Four Cardinal Virtues: bravery, self-control, prudence, justice. The Romans called these men pater familias, and it was enforced by law. It no longer is, to the detriment of men, women and society.

This means there are two kinds of "Alphas" and both are the exact opposite of the other. That's why the word is worthless, and "Alphas" don't exist.

I've never run across anyone supporting the Manosphere concepts of "Alphas" who was able to defend it successfully. Mostly they engage in ad hominem attacks, such as "Cunt motherfucker Alphas do exist!" That's rhetoric, not dialectic.

I had one defender of the Manosphere tell me these concepts were discovered, just the way subatomic particles were discovered. This is stupidity of the most embarrassing kind. People thousands of years ago did not have the advanced technology to discover subatomic particles, but they did have the brains to observe and understand human nature. That is the difference between what is now considered a "hard" science and a "soft science."

By the way, Greek, Indian and Buddhist philosophers did discover atoms, by the virtue of rational thought. Keep subdividing matter and what do you come up with? "Atom" comes from the Greek word "atomos," which means "not divisible," although they are. The Buddhists thought atoms flashed in and out of existence, which is closer to reality. As I said, keep refining your concepts, or you'll never get to the truth.

When people believe anything and are incapable of accepting and answering criticisms of it, those people are imitative without the ability to analyze. What they believe gives them meaning and purpose to their lives, and don't want any refinement of their beliefs. That makes what they believe closer to a cult than anything else.

When men claim they are "Alphas" (which not surprisingly have not existed for the past several thousand years) it is an attempt to cover up feelings of humiliation and insecurity with grandiosity.

As Dr. Helen writes: "[The] new world order is a place where men are discriminated against, forced into a hostile environment in school and later in college, and held in contempt by society. Maybe there is no incentive to grow up anymore. It used to be that being a grown-up, responsible man was rewarded with respect, power and deference. Now, not so much."

What Dr. Helen wrote is why men's feelings of humiliation and insecurity were created by feminism, enshrined in law. That is why the Manosphere is a reaction to feminism. It doesn't mean all the ideas in the Manosphere are correct. Some of those ideas aren't merely wrong. They're dangerous.

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