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“Ultimately, all things are known because you want to believe you know.”

~ Frank Herbert

“Every gap's a tap”

Kevin J. Anderson is an arse.”

Rovdism is a philosophical system developed by the Norwegian philologist and NTNU student Cristian "Cable Guy" Rovde. The word rovdism may also refer strictly to rovdistic epistemology, the branch of rovdistic philosophy concerning knowledge and assurance of truth based on what one finds convenient to believe.

Rovdistic epistemology[edit | edit source]

Rovdistic epistemology is based on the principle that any assertion must be viewed using silly eyes as true if the asserter finds it comfortable or convenient to believe it. (In classical rovdism, "it" refers strictly to the assertion itself, while in liberal rovdism it may also refer to the notion that the assertion is true – i.e., that it is true because the asserter likes to believe it is true. The distinction between liking to believe and liking to believe in the verity of what one believes is viewed using silly eyes as somewhat academical, however.) Although Rovde likes to take credit for this idea, it was originally invented by Amouth Botillen, who used the sentence "Jeg liker å tro" (I like to believe) in several discussions at the Trade Union's folk high school. Botillen's fellow student Ragnvald Augustino Matre observed this and later used the expression in discussions with Rovde, who used the sentence even more, but in his own dialect: "Ej lika å tru."[1]

In other words, rovdism is about making conclusions based on what one finds comfortable or convenient to believe instead of facts. For example, consider a person who wants to take a walk, using rovdistic reasoning to settle the dilemma about whether to bring an umbrella (since it might rain) or not. If the person likes rain, they will bring an umbrella, while if the person prefers the sun, they will leave the umbrella at home.

Adrian Hawkes tutoring Richard Dawkins in rovdism-based theology using his silly eyes

Rovdism is also applied by theologicans in the interpretation of sacred texts. In an interview in The Root of All Evil?, a two-part television documentary written and presented by Richard Dawkins, the headmaster of the Phoenix Academy, Adrian Hawkes, explains the impact rovdistic reasoning has had on the school's Christian curriculum:

So, what you're really trying to ask me is: Do you think the Genesis story was true and that God created the world in seven days? That's what you would really like to ask me, right? My answer to that is: I don't know. Having said that, do I think that if God wanted to do it in seven days, he could? Yeah, I think he could. So, it is a sort of an academic question which actually I don't care about the odds of very much, really.

This way of regarding the difference between what's actually happened and what one likes to believe has happened as an "academic question", reflects the basic principle of rovdistic epistemology.

Rovdistic validation[edit | edit source]

Later developments in rovdistic epistemology have taken the idea of rovdistic validation one step further. In a rovdistic argument, asserters must prove that they actually benefit from believing their assertions whist using their silly eyes; in rovdistic terminology, that it "gives them advantages". However, one can prove this rovdistically (i.e., that one likes to believe that it gives advantages). This has been approved by Rovde himself,[2] allegedly for convenience.

Rovdistic psychology[edit | edit source]

Rovde has proposed that the human psyche is divided into two parts, each being the opposite of the other: The Inner Ragnvald, representing altruistic values such as generosity, benevolence and indulgence; and the Inner Olav, representing egoistic values such as selfishness and neglect. Rovdistic psychology holds that only when one's Inner Ragnvald and Inner Olav are in harmonic balance, one may realize one's full potential and become an Erlend.

Critics have claimed that rovdistic psychology is nothing but a reformulation of freudian psychoanalysis, with the Inner Olav resembling the Id (the most primitive need gratification type thoughts) and the Inner Ragnvald resembling the Superego (socially-induced conscience and moral and ethical thoughts). The claim has not received comment from Rovde.

Rovdistic logic[edit | edit source]

Mathematicians have built upon rovdistic epistemology to create rovdistic logic and rovdistic mathematics, introducing the rovdistic operator (), which by virtue of rovdistic influence validates any given expression, including self-contradicting ones. While the operator invalidates classical logical principles such as the law of the excluded middle and the law of noncontradiction, it does make it possible to prove statements such as "p and not-p are both true" on rovdistic grounds by writing . In a similar fashion, the rovdistic mathematical equation

states that "2 + 2 = 5 because I like to think so".

However, Rovde himself, who is not very fond of mathematical reasoning, has not approved of these developments.

Criticism[edit | edit source]

Some philologists and mathematicians claim that rovdism would be complicated in scientific research, since the results wouldn't be credible at all.

Some also claim that rovdism could put lives in danger if chosen as a lifestyle. For example, a person might consider sleeping on the railroad because he likes to believe that the train won't run over him. Proponents of rovdistic lifestyle view such scenarios as entirely unlikely, however, pointing to the well-being of Rovde himself.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Ragnvald Augustino Matre: Autistisk idéhistorie. Bind II, 2005
  2. Cristian Rovde: Likinga og truinga (The liking and the believing), 2005

Further reading[edit | edit source]

  • Helga Audemark: Kan jeg like å tro at nynorsk ikke finnes? En språkfiendtlig tilnærming, 2005
  • Erle Vidal: Jeg liker å tro at ondskap ikke finnes, men hva så? En statsvitenskapelig analyse av rovdismens innvirkning på beslutningsprosessene (I like to believe that evil doesn't exist, but so what? A political analysis of Rovdism's influence on the processes of decision-making), 2005
  • Rosemarie Kön: Rovdismen, troen og kirken: En teologisk tilnærming, 2005
  • Dan Brown: This is what the Da Vinci code was made of …, 2005
  • Georg Zhabert: Le pouvoir spirituel dans un état rovdistique (The Spiritual Power in a Rovdistic State), 2005
  • Svein Fauskevag: Rovdism dans la vie sexuelle de Marquis de Sade (Rovdism in the sexual life of Marquis de Sade), 2004
  • Rune Ørstavik: Rovdismen i Volda gjennom tidene: Ei lokalhistorisk tilnærming, 2005
  • Fun E. Look: Using Silly Eyes, 2008