But should we call this intelligence? or is master-minding wars, plotting for power, manipulating masses, something else entirely?
A good question (that altough has quite a simple answer, it is probably one of the most clear confusions that seem to create an air of divinity within people who are enlightened).
And the simple answer is, Bias. As I stated early in my post, self-discipline is one of the greatest things that separates pure thinkers from wishy washy thinkers. This self-discipline is geared towards one concept and on concept only: the removal of bias.
The removal of bias creates the most accurate and clear sub-conscious thought patterns. These operate in quick flashes and bursts, linking information, analyzing information, and creating new information. If certain areas are closed off because you are greedy, or angry, or guilty, you cannot access information in there. This is the core detractor to bias.
That isn't to say emotion is a bad thing. But logic and critical thought must coincide with it, or there must be sufficient proof that it is not based on bias.
Hitler, for example, was a very smart man. And the reason he rose up and succeeded with the rest of Germans was extremely legitimate: The Germans were being socially and economically raped by the winners of World War 1. Okay... there's the premise for revolution. But his personal biases then entered the picture, distorting the "truth" - creating false enemies, projecting anger unto the world... the result of an abused girlfriend cutting her boyfriend's dick off.
The Bush administration is similar... they have been sitting down picking their asses for 8 years while Clinton is in power - the second they come into power, they take what they can. Similarly, like abused children getting their share.
As Leftwood so aptly states (and to paraphrase), "A little intelligence is far more dangerous than none at all". This is wholeheartedly true - the application of every little bit of intelligence is far more important than becomming smarter (unless getting smarter improves your ability to apply what you already know).
But how in principle is this different from the notion of God?
Depending on your definition of "God", there is absolutely no difference. This actually explains why very intelligent (and therefore humanitarian) people are worshipped. This is why a Christian God, and a Muslim God, and a Jewish God, and any God based on the Abrahamian religions cannot exist - it defies pure mathematical logic. It defies intelligence, which as I believe, is the base definition of what God is. This is because Abrahamian Gods all force the members to serve through guilt - not through true love. And when one thinks hard and long enough, one realizes that (as Buddha, Jesus, and anyone intelligent would) Guilt opposes free will
, for you operate from a debt you can never repay (born sinners). If intelligence is all roughly based on some form of dedication towards pure individual freedoms, then clearly, being a born sinner is an obvious violation of this principle.
In regards to the university comment - I agree with you in an idealistic manner, but university does not do this. Along with the fact that most people don't go there to learn, but to get a piece of paper, there is so much conditioning appropriated to the pursuit of a degree that it almost entirely destroys the individual ability to think. In other words, it conditions you to be biased in the exact manner employers want you to be. It teaches you to fight for the team, to deathly oppose other teams, to be competitive, and to cheat if you can't win legitimately. Also, it teaches you to despise yourself if you are not up to par. I personally detest university, as what I have observed so far is what I describe as a "spirit crushing experience".
That is to say, either morality is purposed to align man with how he ought to be, without reference to how he is; or, alternatively, we might rend the distinction asunder and assert that acting morally is simply acting in accordance with our true nature. Which one do you favour?
It's actually a clear mergence of the two - taking into account who man is, who man was, what a dog is, what a plant is, what a whale is etc., you determine how man ought to be right now, with absolute clarity given to man's abilities. Meaning that the universal truth discovered individually by so many people always, at it's base, begins with the question "What is man supposed to do, given what man can do?".
You see man's nature is changing... we have wisdom teeth but do not require them anymore. There are many genetic traits we do not need. Therefore, similarly, mentally we have the capacity to behave in manners that are traditional... but just like the removal of wisdom teeth, vestigial concepts like violence, monarchy, masochism - they are all just as necessary and useful in this world as wisdom teeth are (which exist because cavemen used to lose their teeth far more often due to their lifestyle).
The universal truth takes into account what man was, and what man can, realistically, be, to optimize all the factors that make up reality.
1) Libertarianism â€' you say that the state is permitted to intervene only insofar as it is needed to secure basic human rights or (2) Anti-aggression, what I might call an anti-political approach, where we effect a sort of self-abnegation from worldly affairs, eschewing the internecine battle for political power and pre-eminence, and retiring into ascetic self-sufficiency.
This is something I think casually about, but do not spend too much time analyzing. The reason is that although there certainly is the best answer to that question, it is of little relevance - the relevance right now is based in such simplistic terms that the entire effort and revolution of thought must take place within the confines of the society we live in now. Therefore, concerning oneself with the utopian form of social structure isn't, and won't be important for some time to come.
Also, i feel such things will fall into place once people, as an organism, operate in a more intelligent and non-destructive manner. You could idolize the concept of the Star Trek universe, but still, there is a clear lack of freedom even there.
I certainly do subscribe to the idea of Libertarianism as the closest
, most describable form of change that must take place in our current structure - that is that gays should marry, people should fuck each other in any way they want, abortions should be legal, euthanasia should definitely be legal, drugs should be legal etc. But then various minor issues arise - what if there arises a drug that, once injected, renders the victim void of free will? Should they be permitted to take it again? Should this be legalized?
Such questions are very difficult to determine, and I denote such difficulties to a lack of technology. Therefore, I further suggest that worrying about the form of government and the specific rules is irrelevent - once resources are devoted towards technology that actually helps people, not kill them, the answer to when a baby in the womb is finally an individual and not under the jurisdiction of the mother will be more clearly answered.
In regards to your specific two choices, I do not think the universal truth includes the segregation of man - it specifies the unity. Therefore, self-sufficiency should be irrelevent - everyone is our brother, and we affect everyone else. Therefore, we must, as a unit, optimize all our existences, and choose to do so of our free will. And worldly affairs are certainly of relevance to everyone and anyone... or they should be.
how do you answer the communitarian objection that it is impossible to detach morality and the social and political order in which they originate?
I don't think I fully understand your question... but I will try. If there is a universal truth, and underlying mathematical logic to morality and humans, then they "originate" from, in essence, the universe. There is no political or social order to them.
Also, there is no ongoing discourse - that isn't to say it is not an ongoing purification process, but already determined truths will not be questions in the same manner twice. The base definition and ideology behind any scientific pursuit (and determining morals scientifically is certainly what people like Jesus and Buddha did) is questioning premises with as open a mind as possible. If the removal of personal biases exists, then there is no ongoing argument - it is settled, and humans re-examine them as a unit, with absolutely no personal interests or egos.
I think you are asking for very specific answers to questions relating to the exact nature of this "universal truth" and how it answers certain questions. This is certainly a valid discussion, but I think the purpose of this post, initially, was to propose the idea that there indeed is a universal truth, it is based on logic, and it is accessible within completely isloated societies as its premises are based in the consistency of human nature, and the sciences of the universe, both extremely consistent premises.