Can anyone think of any examples of "ideological burdens"?

I came across the phrase “ideological burden” when I read “Uncle Petros and Goldbach’s conjecture” about a man who help’s his uncle try to solve a complicated math problem known as Goldbach’s conjecture.There was a part that described how the man’s uncle left Nazi Germany (something to the effect of either because he would’nt like to have or have his work subjected to what he called) an “ideological burden” (by which I think Nazi ideology is meant).That scenerio reminds me of how I’ve heard that when the Soviet Union was still around certain scientific and mathematical breakthroughs did’nt spread easily because they apparently conflicted with Soviet ideology.I know of two one scientific and the other mathematical but I cant “put a name on them right now”.That phrase has really caught my attention ever since and I guess that,that example is a context where something is an "ideological burden.'m also curious as to what people think about the phrase “ideological burden”.The way I interpret it,it means to always do things out of an ideoloigcal basis.For instance I guess that politicians can say that certain people have religion as an “ideological burden” and that’s why they cant agree with politicians on the decsion and/or make a choice and I guess that religiously observant people can kind of say vice-versa in that,that politician only arrives at that conclusion because of an “ideological burden” like advocating leftism.However I’ve got a feeling that it can mean more then that.Any replies on this?.Thank you very much for your time.

An outstanding example is the scientific Establishment - which rejects on principle any hypothesis which throws doubt on physicalism. The Gaia hypothesis formulated by James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis was initially met with a hostile reception but now it is studied in geophysiology and Earth system science while some of its principles have been adopted in fields like biogeochemistry and systems ecology.

Of course the slightest mention of Intelligent Design leads to raised eyebrows and a cynical smile…

On the Gaia hypothesis, I went to just about the most hippieish environmental college out there, and while some students liked the idea any professor I spoke to about it or heard lecture on it (with the exception of an aging hippie who taught a class called “Literature of Nature” and was not any kind of scientist) laughingly dismissed the Gaia hypothesis and insisted on a sort of modified Gleasonian world. Views on physicalism, as much as I was able to gather, varied greatly- much more so than the rejection of the Gaia hypothesis. This is as of about 2 years ago.

That said, one professor who studied honey bees offered an interesting comparison between how science works and how bees communicate. Basically, (from memory of a single lecture I heard a few years ago, and simplified for the sake of length) when a group of bees needs a new location to build a hive, scouts will go out and try to find a new suitable location. When a scout locates a possibly suitable spot, she goes back to the hive and does their little bee dance, communicating the location of the potential new home and also her own enthusiasm for it, based on how good the location really is. If she is enthusiastic enough about the place’s suitability she will make “converts” who will begin to advocate for the same location, even though they’ve never been there. The mood spreads until either the whole hive is convinced and move to the location, or a new, even more enthusiastic bee arrives and manages to convert the hive from supporting the former bee’s location to the new location it discovered. The original bee who discovered the former location is never converted though; she’ll keep on advocating for her one even after her position has become hopelessly passé.

In a similar way scientists, at least once they’ve reached middle or old age, generally don’t accept the positions of newcomers who contradict the basic paradigms they had come to accept in their relative youth, but if the newcomer advances his new ideas well enough to convince the science-laymen and students of his time then a new generation can arise that accepts the new ideas and rejects the old.

The human brain is a kind of computer, vastly different structurally from your PC or a Cray, but with this in common: Brains and computers run programs.

There are big programs in your computer, and little programs. When running, they control the computer entirely.

An example of a big program is your PC’s version of Windoze, or, if you are more technologically adept, Linux. Such programs are called the “OS,” meaning, Operating System. The OS is the computer’s equivalent of a human’s religious belief system, in that each determines which other programs are allowed to run. If you try to install a program written to run under Linux, Windoze won’t allow it. And, vice versa.

Similarly, a devout Catholic’s brain will not permit the entry of other religions, or atheism, or ideas like mine, into it. The OS is what intellectuals call the “ideological burden,” because they need arcane terminology to garner credibility. Unfortunately they have misnamed it, as is the way with pinheaded intellectuals, because they do not understand it. The OS is necessary. Neither your computer nor your mind will function well without one.

The first computer that I personally got to work with had no OS. Upon firing it up in the morning, it did nothing until I keyed in a program requiring 204 precise switch settings. You would not want to do that on your PC or Mac. Nor would you want to wake up each morning waiting for someone else to key in or verbalize your marching orders for the day.

Every program in your brain is an “ideological burden,” There are small burdens, such as, Chrysler makes the best cars, labor unions are good for America, Budweiser is great beer, and the Dallas Cowboys are “America’s Team.” But they matter little whether wrong or right. You can buy a Chrysler, support big labor, drive to Dallas and drink insipid beer while watching a Cowboys game. The economy rolls along and thanks you. Or, you can buy a Honda made by non-union workers and drive it to Green Bay to watch the Packers play, and meet friends for a wine and bratwurst tailgate party. The economy rolls along and thanks you.

Your brain is full of little programs which guide your life. Some were planted by others, some are there by your choice. Commercials are always trying to install their own programs in your brain. When your brain, and therefore you, are entirely controlled by these programs, they define you, and you become the intellectual burden. For example, President B.O. is a man run entirely by his brain’s programs, and now by his political overseers. Whatever mind he came into life with has been shoved off into a tiny corner of his brain by the “ideological burdens” which he allowed to take charge.

I happen to believe that fundamental programs, such as religious beliefs, are far more important than the little programs because they control a wider range of human activities. Chrysler owners generally do not blow up their neighbors’ Fords and Buicks, or their neighbors, simply because those neighbors chose to run a different program. Nonetheless, since all fundamental programs currently installed in human brains (from Hinduism through atheism) are equally absurd, while they are important in the moment, they make no difference in the larger scheme of things. Balance comes with difficulty and time. For now, violent Jihadists are promoting their favored I.B. (Ideological Burden) over a contrary I.B. which turns the other cheek. In the background, the heavy-duty OS programmers, Allah and God, have placed their bets, while long-dead philosophers admitted to the gaming space have placed side bets on none-of-the-above— atheism.

A devout Catholic can consider the likelihood of atheism or other ideologies being true and reject them as inadequate in the light of Christ’s teaching…

Every program in your brain is an “ideological burden” …

It is also a time-saving, energy-saving asset!

Your brain is full of little programs which guide your life. Some were planted by others, some are there by your choice.

I’m delighted you recognise the most significant fact of all. :slight_smile:

Nonetheless, since all fundamental programs currently installed in human brains (from Hinduism through atheism) are equally absurd, while they are important in the moment, they make no difference in the larger scheme of things.

They have made an immense difference to billions of people for thousands of years…

Balance comes with difficulty and time. For now, violent Jihadists are promoting their favored I.B. (Ideological Burden) over a contrary I.B. which turns the other cheek. In the background, the heavy-duty OS programmers, Allah and God, have placed their bets, while long-dead philosophers admitted to the gaming space have placed side bets on none-of-the-above— atheism.

The Christian God has given us the ability to programme ourselves with the power of choice you mentioned… :wink:

The key thing about this phrase is that it presents the ideology in a negative way, as a “burden”. One of the claims of relativism is that it rises above ideology. However, it is a false claim, since relativism is an ideology too. So the people who use this term also have their own ideological burdens. We could also speak of ideological guideposts, that help direct our decisions away from error. That phrase presents ideology in a positive way.

It’s easy to find examples of ideological burdens of relativism. One that comes to mind is that there are tremendous problems with substance abuse on northern Canadian native reserves. But the federal government, who has the authority over these reserves, is unable to help them with their problem because there is an ideological burden of relativism that prevents the government from behaving in a paternalistic way, especially to the first nations (natives). So this ideological “burden” causes a lot of needless misery. All that their ideology allows them to do is give them more money, which might actually exacerbate the problem. I would call that a burden, since the results are so wicked.

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