Few things illustrate the sounded-like-a-good-idea fallacy better than car alarms.
Expressing that we like something is often well meant. But it can also be an unspoken claim to be the judge of the thing we complimented. This claim is all the more poignant because it is unspoken – hence the controversy.
The single most important standard by which to judge whether a philosophy is worthy of attention is to find out if it is condescending. If it is, it is wrong because people are not bad or immoral – they are conditional cooperators stuck in a perennial prisoner’s dilemma of whether the others would also behave …
In case you ever need to.
It is striking how heavily cults rely on the goodness in us. First generation cults are all about self-improvement and/or improving the world – and on the surface it looks like an innocent thing. But is it?
If we want to write a good female character, we have to take a script written for a male lead and gender-flip it. There will be no tediousness and hidden condescension and it will blow minds – even with a mediocre story.
No, you don’t want to be a pet
The ultimate goal of authoritarian control is to make people want what we want. In order to get there, first we must make them think what we want them to think and feel what we want them to feel. Cults all do that.
Making people to change how they feel is a cult staple. It is also ubiquitous in other parts of life. We will never be able to resist the lure of a cult if we constantly train ourselves to suppress our own feelings and replace them with the feelings we are supposed to have.
Arguably, every effort to define something starts with “I know it when I see it”. Then we proceed to draft a definition that includes what we want included but excludes what we don’t.