A marble bust of Pyrrho, the skeptical philosopher (Creative Commons photo, source.)
In this essay, essentially another discussion of maybe logic, RAW explains why uncertainty and doubt should often be considered the default position.
I was interested in his discussion about the real difference between cults and religions, i.e., his contention that there aren't any: "There are two clear-cut and empirical lines between a 'cult' and a 'religion' [a] membership (voters) and [b] bank account, [b] being a function of [a]. If a group has enough members to influence elections, it will also have a large bank account, and these two factors will guarantee that the politicians, the cops and the corporate media will treat it with respect, as a 'religion'."
While I think Wilson is on to something, it seems to me that the passage of time also seems to be a factor; if a cult lasts for generations, it acquires respectability and becomes a religion. But I'm having trouble thinking of any other criticisms of Wilson's suggestion. I was going to argue that cults don't take it well when someone tries to leave, but Islam is a religion that is famously hard on apostates.
Elsewhere in the piece, Wilson states that a batting average below .333 means that the hitter "missed more than two out of three times they swung." Did RAW really know so little about baseball? (A batting average is the number of hits divided by the number of at-bats; a batter with three hits in ten at bats has a .300 average. The number of times he or she swung and missed is irrelevant).
"... if our perceptions are somewhat uncertain, then all of our ideas, which are deductions or inferences from perception, must also remain somewhat uncertain."
Given RAW's interest in skepticism, I am surprised that I cannot remember any of his writings mention Pyrrho, the Greek philosopher who founded a school of skeptical philosophy, Pyrrhonism. According to the Wikipedia article, one of the sayings of Pyrrhonism is "Perhaps, it is possible, maybe." Can anyone contradict me and point to a passage where RAW mentions Pyrrho?'
The RAW Semantics blog has a piece about Pyrrhonism which says, "I don’t recall RAW referencing Pyrrho in his writings or talks (although he may well have done). But when searching for such references, I found this nice description (by Erik Davis) of RAW’s philosophical vision as 'a kind of psychedelicized Pyrrhonian skepticism'."
Pyrrho by the way traveled with Alexander the Great's army, which reached India, and supposedly was influenced by Indian philosophers.