Philosophy is for Thinkers; Ideology is for Stinkers

This article is adapted from an earlier posting on Al Fin, the Next Level

Philosophy encourages participation in discussions in order to strengthen their theories and explanations. On the other hand, ideology does not encourage discussions of any sort that do not agree with their beliefs. _Difference Between Philosophy and Ideology

Young children come into the world needing to learn to think for themselves, in the face of a nearly incomprehensible flood of stimuli, ideas, and information. Instead, they are typically taught:

  1. what to think
  2. what not to think
  3. and how to “think” like authority figures tell them they should think.

There are very fundamental differences between philosophy and ideology. Ideology refers to a set of beliefs, doctrines that back a certain social institution or a particular organization. Philosophy refers to looking at life in a pragmatic manner and attempting to understand why life is as it is and the principles governing behind it.

…philosophy and ideology, if measured on a scale, would occupy two extreme ends of the scale. The purpose of any philosopher is to seek knowledge for the sake of wisdom and truth whereas an ideologue’s sole aim is to advocate and enforce his or her ideology wherever he can. _Differences

It was once the purpose of universities to teach students how to reason, by teaching the great thinkers and great ideas in all their variations — from the earliest to more recent.

These days, universities are more the province of ideologues, whose purpose is to indoctrinate young minds into “proper” and “politically correct” modes of thought and action.

Popper’s famous distinction between science and pseudo-science (or ideology) depends on his equally famous principle of falsification. Quite simply, he argues that if a theory is in principle open to being disproved or ‘falsified’ by the facts of the world, then it is scientific. If it is not open to being falsified by the facts of the world, then it is pseudo-science, ideology. For example, the claim “Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light”, on which the Special Theory of Relativity crucially depends, can in principle be falsified by observing something in the actual world that does travel faster than the speed of light. But the statement “God’s in His Heaven” cannot be scientific, because it’s unclear what sort of evidence in the world would count as falsifying it. Therefore it must be pseudo-science or ideology. _Philosophy Now

Similarly, theories of anthropogenic climate catastrophe are being put to the test by real world data which show a divergence between steadily rising atmospheric CO2 levels, and global temperatures which have plateaued. The alarmist branch of climate science is flirting dangerously close to pseudo-science in its over-dependence on computer modeling and its willingness to avoid possible falsification of its hypotheses.

Very few people today have learned to think on the basis of first principles, which is why classical philosophy is not a very popular subject, at least not as popular as it was during the 40s, the 50s, and the 60s. Ideological thinking has more appeal to some because it involves less work. One does not have to spend years reading the great works of the great thinkers. All one has to do is buy the ideological package and one has something by which to make sense out of the world. It is quick and easy, like instant Oatmeal or a McDonald’s Drive Thru….

…An ideological construct comes as a package that contains all sorts of things, such as starting points, assumptions, premises, conclusions, prejudices, etc., and it is through this package that the world can be interpreted. The problem, however, is that if one does not know how to think on the basis of primary principles (principled thinking), one will be unable to critically evaluate the ideological superstructure through which one interprets data. Rather, one will be critical of things on the basis of the ideological package, and thus feel as if one is a free and critical thinker, but one isn’t quite sure whether the ideological package contains some rotten items that should be discarded. _Ideology vs Philosophy

The willingness of modern universities to discard classical philosophy and classical reasoning in favour of politically correct ideological indoctrination, constitutes a dark omen for the future. When even the educated elite can no longer interpret data from the real world in a valid manner, society will be drifting more rudderless and out of control than it is at present — which is more than bad enough as it is.

In conclusion, here is a summary of differences between philosophy and ideology.

1.Philosophy refers to a pragmatic approach of looking and analyzing life. Ideology refers to a set of beliefs and rules belonging to a particular group or set of people

2.Philosophy aims at understand the world as it exists whereas ideology is born out of a vision for the future and aims at changing the current state to that particular vision

3.Philosophy is objective whereas ideology is dogmatic and refuses to participate in any discussion that does not agree with that ideology

4.Philosophy does not have as much impact as an ideology would have on the world ‘“ for ideology aims at spreading the beliefs and imposing them on the rest of the society irrespective of its relevance

5.All ideologies have some underlying philosophy but it is not vice versa.
_Philosophy vs Ideology

Religions are ideologies, as are political “isms,” most mass movements, and almost all “advocacy” groups and movements. Almost all “non-profit” organisations are actually ideologically driven, as are most tax-exempt foundations.

Ideologies may sometimes have a “good” impact — as in immediate post-disaster relief, for example. But any ideology that aims to institute forced redistribution, is no better than a criminal organisation. If you see such an ideologue on the road, kill him. [Apologies to the zen koan: “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.”]

It is clear that a world that is driven by ideology is an impoverished world in terms of innovation, exploration, and discovery.

Which points out the growing importance of training children — and yourselves — to be truly dangerous. Dangerous children are slaves to no one and to no idea.

This entry was posted in Philosophy. Bookmark the permalink.