Thursday, April 18, 2013

Two + Two Equals Five

"Death is a dogma. It can't be debated or explored rationally. Those who do, don't seem to return to quantify it."  --Simply thinking

Relatively speaking, in the realm of mathematics, preciseness can be relied upon, science too. There is the "scientific" method; we all have been more or less indoctrinated with it from our school years. That in the world which is measurable, quantifiable can be sure; it can be said to be true. So there are absolutes in life.

By mathematical, demonstrable methods, because we can see actual objects, count them, the sum of two and two is known. It can be argued for a "truth." The rising and the setting of the sun, the seasons of the earth, they too can be argued for as "truth." Many readers will quickly, instinctively argue that two and two is four! Why? Because it's true!

What is truth? Is it my way or your way?
Is truth what a powerful person says it is, or do I decide, choose my truths?
The Webster dictionary defines truth simply as: the state of being, the body of real things, events and facts. Its more archaic definition interestingly is: fidelity or constancy.

G.K. Chesterton who wrote on many philosophical subjects early in the last century reprises again in The Complete Thinker, the words and ideas of Chesterton edited by Dale Ahlquist. Alquist quotes Chesterton, “Thinking means connecting things.” He writes of Chesterton that 'he wants to know and to connect everything.'
 Instead today we, "want religion kept out of politics. We want it kept out of economics. Well, we want religion kept out of everything! But we have also separated meaning from art, and art from beauty. We have separated health from human dignity, and have separated the family from the home. We have separated the big questions from the little questions and neither is getting answered very well." Chesterton argues that it is today, 'the current failing of man to engage in thinking clearly.'

Things then aren't going very well for the "oneness" under this scenario, now are they? There is, instead, more and growing dichotomies, dualities and increasing egos to match. "You have yours and I have mine," is a prevalent mindset. When much of life is "relative," we, each of us, may fall into the notion that we are the dictators of ourselves, the centers of our own universes. Our feelings, transient as they may be, become the arbiters of existence in the worldly realm. If it feels good, makes us happy, well then--do it!

Without "natural law", the slippery slope that is life becomes entirely negotiable; there is no good or bad. So why isn't the sum of two and two five? How can anyone say that's wrong??
 "Every man has a different philosophy; this is my philosophy and it suits me" – the habit of saying this is mere ego. A universal philosophy is not constructed to fit a man; a universal philosophy is constructed to fit a universe. Each person can no more possess a private belief than one can possess the sun and moon privately." --Chesterton

*In other words,
John's truth is relative, while Bob's truth is absolute; therefore John accepts Bob's truth. Bob does not accept John's truth.
OR: It's true for everyone that nothing is true for everyone.
In logical/mathematical terms:
If A, then B.
If B, then not/negative A.
Therefore, if A, then not -A.
This form of argument is called a hypothetical syllogism, a statement of deductive logic which here proves false, because one cancels the other out, though many believe it in its simpler, verbal forms. To put it in mathematical symbols:
 x=y, y=z, therefore x=z.

Think about that.

*To review the truth or falseness of this type of statement, see the classic text on the subject, Copi's Logic.

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