Sometimes I like Latin.
In law, I found a strong principle could be very nicely short-hand referenced via a commonly-understood and cogent Latin phrase. And there was something more than just easily conveying the notion on which I wished to momentarily hang my argumentative hat. The mere fact of framing a principle via well-recognized Latin seems often to imbue it with an enhanced weightiness, a greater patina of worthiness.
Even outside of legal argument (in mere discussion of this and that), a reference to Latin sometimes adds power. Consider where someone has without good reason concluded Y must have been caused by X. In my software development business, I encounter this frequently. I’ve found it quite effective, in response, to utter the phrase: “post hoc ergo procter hoc.” Inevitably, my counterpart answers with a resounding “Huh?” This is great, for it gives me opportunity to explain what I just uttered is Latin, one of several phrases developed to recognize a set of logical fallacies. This one in particular translates as: “because after, therefore caused by,” and was developed to point out that such logic is faulty. Simply because a sequence exists, does not mean a preceding event caused the following. Generally, by the time I’ve explained this, my counterpart gets it, and has much more respect for the underlying concept (and acceptance of the fact Y may not have been caused by X, after all).
In recognition of this kind of power, I here propose some new Latin phrases. In particular, I want to propose a couple of phrases to distinguish genuistic from non-genuistic premises.
First, let’s describe the mainstream premise as held by majority-position theists. In a nutshell, such persons believe the pleasure as found in particular beliefs can be more important (will better lead to happiness and satisfaction in life) then anything regarding their underlying truth content. This view can be summarized as:
adicio primo, savitas sequor
(allure first, delight follows)
To emphasize, this is what most people seem to believe. As genuists, we think very otherwise. Indeed, we think the real result of making pleasure in belief one’s highest priority is as follows:
adicio primo, fraus sequor, dolor sequor
(allure first, fraud follows, sorrow follows)
In short, we believe the first phrase states a fallacy. We believe it’s a fallacy too many are erroneously (and tragically) convinced is true. The second phrase corrects the first, stating what we feel genuinely happens when pleasure-in-belief becomes one’s first priority.
A third phrase states what we believe is the true and correct path to happiness:
verity primo, verity sequor, tranquilitas sequor
(truth first, truth follows, peace follows)
In sum, I have suggested three phrases. One provides a succinct summation of what our counterparts believe, which we as genuists plaintively reject. The second succinctly summarizes what we think is the truth regarding a non-genuistic stance. The third describes our own stance. Our gospel. Our belief. Our religion.
We are genuists.
We are slaves to the evidence. It rules us, and never the opposite. In consequence, our conclusions are forever tentative, always malleable and never fixed.
Also because of the above, we are humble. Conceptions of reality must not yield to our personal preference. Personal preference cannot properly be so high and mighty. It’s reality that’s high. Not us. Nor do we hold high (nor must we allow to be held high) our own preference as to what we might wish was real.*
Again, we are genuists. We are the moral. We are the humble. We are the good. Perhaps, most of all, we are the authentically truthful. We are the genuine.
* What irony that it’s theists who so typically celebrate (and, yes, I would say “feign”) humility — where, in truth, it is hubris of a most breathtaking scale to suppose all of reality must yield to what I want. I wish to be the center of the universe (supposing that the greatest of beings made all of it just for me), so that is the reality I shall have. I wish to have that greatest thing in the universe (its god) be constantly at my beck and call, so that is the reality I shall have. I wish for it all to be about me, so that is (again) the reality I shall have. This is humility?
It is not mere irony, but paradox as well. Where the theist grovels before his self-manufactured deity (and somehow glories in this groveling, while repeating endlessly his fealty and obeisance), he simultaneously refuses even to respect (much less obey) that which the ever-present evidence constantly declares regarding what’s real. He spits upon the latter, spites against and agitates in its opposition.
And here is irony and paradox further. While the theist deprecates what’s real and instead chooses imprisonment to a phantom, he nevertheless (in fact and deed) reaps the wrath of what’s real. As but one example, un-medicated children sometimes die (the phantom ruler never having assisted). Epidemics spread. Wars rage. Families suffer schisms. Irreplaceable romances end. Though the phantom supposedly liberates, the results are very much the opposite. And, while all this is true for the non-genuistic theist, for the genuist (who by pure definition submits to what’s real, yielding with utter willingness to evidence as his unquestioned master), there is indeed liberation. There is, more fully, all the liberation modern science and the heightened standards of modern/Western morality have brought.
In short, theists are manifestly the non-humble, and non-free. Authentic and virtuous humility is the genuist domain. His is the only real humility, and only genuine path to authentic freedom.