A Treatise on Negationism

Negationism is a philosophy of my own creation, for my own purposes.

The axioms are numbered, and the conclusions are lettered.

1. Human achievement is inexorable and continuous, and will perpetuate so long as human minds exist.

1a. Given the exponential rate of growth of the human population, and the inability to know when the end of human consciousness will occur, the limit of human achievement is effectively infinite.

2.  Human achievement is the sum of all individual achievement.

2a. Since the limit of human achievement is infinite, and is the sum of individual achievements, the limit value of a single individual achievement is infinitesimally small.

3. Individuals are fundamentally similar – chemically, physically, genetically.

3a. Because individuals are fundamentally similar, an individual achievement has the potential to come from any individual.

Given these axioms and conclusions, negationism arises. Negationism is an intrinsically optimistic view of human achievement; we will achieve effectively forever, by the first axiom and conclusion. Note that the end of human consciousness will mean the end of human thought; for all intents and purposes, the universe will end for us when the human consciousness does. This strengthens the first conclusion; since nothing will exist for humans after humans no longer exist, time ceases to exist, rendering the effective infinity even more so.

However, negationism is an intrinsically pessimistic view of individual achievement. Whatever any one individual accomplishes contributes to the whole; however, given the effective infinity of achievement, this contribution is negligible. Additionally, by the third axiom, this contribution is very likely redundant, even if it is a precedent; since individuals are fundamentally similar, it is very likely, even guaranteed, that the same knowledge or idea could have been contributed by any other individual.

This is not an existential philosophy, but an ideological one, made intentionally vague. Negationism holds no contradictions; it cannot disprove itself, because it exists.

That being said, my writing of this post is negligible, since it already exists, because of some other individual, in some other time. #



5 responses to “A Treatise on Negationism

  1. Rather interesting. I cannot find any glaring problems with either the axioms or the conclusions, and I believe that such a philosophy is a non-negligible contribution addition to the body of human philosophy. However, I am curious; what question(s) does this philosophy answer? The nature of philosophy is to answer questions, and negationism, while interesting, does not have any apparent answers.

    Also, why call this idea negationism?

    just my thoughts.

  2. Thank you for your comment. It’s not really meant to answer any questions; it’s just self-justification, an exercise in thought, if you will, just a way of looking at accomplishments.

    As to the name, it’s called negationism because I interpreted it as medium for negation of individual events as negligible; it’s not the most fitting name, but nothing else came to mind, and I couldn’t really think of anything better.


  3. Your first premise is false and your conclusion drawn from that premise are false. There is no particular reason to believe that the human population can continue to grow at ever increasing rates; historically there have been periods of population contraction. There also could be a cataclysmic event that would permanently extinguish the human race as a great force. This could occur tomorrow. The limit of human achievement therefore would be non-infinite. Indeed, it is almost certain that eventually the human race will go extinct.

    Also the word “achievement” is not well defined.

    Your third point seems to be a crude formulation of certain arguments against the Great Man Theory of History. Yes, it could well be that if you removed an individual from the historical equation someone would inevitably rise to fill that individual’s spot due to the work of historical forces, but that does not mean that any individual could fill that role.

    All philosophies are fundamentally ideological.

  4. As far as i understand this philosophy, it does not matter if there is a population contraction, as this will only slow the rate of human achievement. In addition, this philosophy appears to treat the end of humanity, cataclysm, as the end of time. Also, as a somewhat mathematically described philosophy, it treats the limit, not the actual ‘ending’ value, of human achievement as infinite.

    ‘achievement’ does need definition

    Given the undefined nature of ‘achievement’, and the lack of information as to how this philosophy is meant to be used in analyzing history, it is difficult to determine if the third point is relevant to the great man theory.

    Adh, if I misinterpreted anything I read, please correct me.

    William, could you elaborate on the idea that a philosophy is fundamentally ideological? I don’t necessarily disagree, but I’m not certain I understand what you mean by that.

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