A question of an answer.
“Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-incurred immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one’s own understanding without the guidance of another. This immaturity is self-incurred if its cause is not lack of understanding, but lack of resolution and courage to use it without the guidance of another. The motto of enlightenment is therefore: Sapere aude! Have the courage to use your own understanding!”
[Immanual Kant: An Answer to the Question: “What is Enlightenment?”]
This essay was my inspiration for the title for Mixed Face – An Answer to the Question: Am I Autistic? I dared myself to use my own understanding of my own experience. In the spirit of enlightenment, I aim to share this knowledge to anyone who wishes to learn more, and help bring neuroequality.
My background knowledge of jurisprudence (philosophy of law) is very limited, but I do have an interesting perspective. Natural law and modern iterations of legality are comparable to a disposable rain poncho that theme parks sell. They may keep you dry, but do nothing to protect against the cold or prevent the rain from falling.
There are laws that determine conduct and set standards for the quality of life. In principle, the idea of having legal protection against being treated unfavourably, due to circumstances beyond control, is noble and desirable for any civilised society.
In practice, not only are equality laws difficult to implement, they are vague enough to not apply to most situations that they ought to protect against. The problem with interpretation is that each individual exists amongst a nexus of opposing views – who has the right to set the golden standard?
It is difficult to reconcile the idea that everyone is entitled to their own perspective, wisdom and understanding – yet some perspectives are ‘wrong’ or ‘offensive’ to others. I am currently experiencing this first hand. This is not the first situation I have encountered whereby I can see that the actions of others are discriminatory but I am unable to actually do anything about it.
If natural laws exist then we would all determine the same principles. Why do some people treat others unfairly due to how they present? I have long disagreed with the categorical imperative, that there is a set right and wrong category of actions. If the ontology of social reality is quantum-based then a single action can simultaneously be right and wrong. It only depends on whose perspective.
Most forms of intimidation go right over my head in the moment. Some I never recall, but other instances repeat until they are processed and understood. Once I have understood a situation, I can learn from it. Is this not what Kant envisioned when he urged to utilise reason? No two situations are alike in the social world. That is why it is so confusing for people with autism.
Would it ever be possible to learn all that is required to be able to navigate the perplexing social world? Who justified the existence of people who naturally acquire skills some of us have to work so hard for?
The true goal of enlightenment is that we do not need to rely on others to determine the morality of our existence.
Am I mind-blind or do I see too much?
I am short on social quantum and rich in sensory qualia.
Either way – no law can help me.