I'm bored right now, so I've decided to ramble on a bit about postmodernism. This isn't supposed to be a Treatise or anything, I'm just exploring my own thoughts. There could be (there probably are) a huge number of things in this post that are horribly wrong. "There's no such thing as smurb."
Smurb is a word I've just invented. I've invented it because it's incredibly difficult to have a conversation about knowledge, objectivity, reality, or anything of the like, because people tend to come in with their own assumptions about what those words mean, and their assumptions tend to change faster than they can keep track of them.
Smurb means the experience, that humans have, where we experience actual insight into the unadulterated truth about reality. For an experience to qualify as smurb, it has to constitute an acquisition or unveiling of both (a.) truth and (b.) knowledge, it has to be verifiable -- that is, the person who experienced smurb must honestly know for sure that the thing they experienced was smurb, and smurb must be about a truth that Is, which means there can be no version of reality in which the subject of smurb might not Be.
Lots of people think they experience smurb. Plato's Idealism is entirely based on smurb. The notion of transcendence or numinous experience are notions of smurb. Some scientists believe that the process of experimentation is a mechanism for generating smurb -- and even more non-scientists think that's what scientists think they're doing.
When I say there's no such thing as smurb, I don't mean that the reality into which smurb provides insight doesn't exist. What I mean is, there's nothing in humans that makes us capable of having that experience, and there's nothing in the Reality outside humans that can penetrate into us to create that experience.
I've often heard people who've taken a lot of LSD explain to me that you can't truly know what color is until you've seen the colors LSD can show you. Personally, I've never seen colors that made me doubt the colors I see when I'm sober. In a casual sense, I'd say I know what colors are. These friends of mine would say that my experience of colors is inadequate, and that they know what colors are in a way that I fail to. Both of us could say that what we know of colors is smurb. Both of us would be lying, since color is nothing to do with the world outside people -- it's just a system our brains use for sorting visual data by light's wavelength. (Well, maybe not lying, but wrong. That's a different can of worms that I'd rather avoid today.)
I want to make it very clear: smurb is not the stuff outside people. Smurb is not the same thing as the noumenal world, or Plato's Forms, or Qualia. Smurb is humans' access to those things. To follow Plato's Allegory of the Cave, when I say there's no such thing as Smurb, I'm not saying there's no such thing as the sun -- I'm saying there's no way out of the cave. (There are more problems with that allegory that I'm not in the mood for right now.)
The reason it's important to address this question is because, if there's no such thing as smurb, and people believe there is such a thing as smurb, people will take whatever experiences they happen to have decided are verified by smurb and bend the whole of their whole worldview around them.
I had about 350 more words after this point, but I think this idea is getting a little out of hand. I'm going to call it here. I may continue to use the word smurb in the future.