Category: Revision


> From this.

Science is basically composed of definitions, which build on other definitions, which ultimately has some basis in reality (in as accurate measurements as can be observed). Reason uses science to understand things. For its part, mathematics has been used as a prime method of modeling things, but any logic may be used for the definitions of the forms that we study (though none have generally been found as useful as mathematics). But in any scientific endeavor, we must start with trust. For what science can be trusted whose basis is not things that are in turn trusted by it? One does not lay down a foundation for an edifice on the shifting sands (of whim, of fancy, of want).

Scientists do not usually think of this: we trust that logic which determines things to be true will itself stay true. Yes, they rely on past findings to be true, but they generally don’t think they need to trust that truth will be true. But without this basic trust, science is impossible. That trust also allows one definition to be a basis for another, that the logical connective, if it is itself well defined, will hold for the time required to relate things. In science, we have basis to believe these fundamental things may be trusted; after much observation and study, we can say that it is well tested. Those unfamiliar with its methods should know: science does not exist in a vacuum, but has a great and storied history of being consistent with how things really are.

Now, if we can arm ourselves with science, one might try to start with nothing and end up with something. We will not really be able to, but we may find you can get close to such an ideal of creation ex nihilo. If we trust in the basic foundations of existence itself, which gives us a certain logic to form and function, we may start with the Cogito, and trust that we ourselves must exist. Then once we trust in our own existence, by that foundational logic again, one can trust that we sense things, and that these senses are consistent with a reality that exists for you and other people. Thus we may start building structures in our minds, from the foundations the first level of basic reasoning, on and on higher, once we find what we currently hold is sound.

This is what comes about with science: once we start to trust, we may carry that trust, build on that trust, so that we might better observe the world, and find more to build. Science is basically an architecture of architectures, not for buildings, but for knowledge. It is the means by which we know what exactly it takes to build a rocket, send it off into space, and drop off a satellite in orbit. It is by what we can make that satellite draw its power from the sun, and be of use to carry signals from one part of the world to another. But it is the beginning of the science of things when we start with the science of ourselves, once we have doubted all things — to find that in the doubt, there is a leap we may take that allows us to believe in something. We can trust, when we doubt all things. What better magic is there than this?


> From this.

It comes down to trust. We trust that the Cogito, “I think therefore I am,” is something that must be true because we have verified that substantive logic is sure, it is secure. To deny the Cogito is nonsense. We trust that interlocking gears will turn each the other by the experience we have in contact mixed with motion, and in solidity and containment. Nothing in our whole observable universe contradicts the very notion that something like that could ever fail. But if we choose to take stock of such things, to notice what we take as given, we find there is a lot that we trust in to get us through the simplest days, to get through the very act of getting up in the morning.

How far does the trust go? Science works through reason and observation, and reason we have a lot of trust in, by its very nature. Observation we trust, that which we can hold in our hands, figuratively speaking. Logic explains itself to us, if we examine it closely enough. Such is the beauty of the world. And all of that, we have really learned to take for granted. (If we did not, perhaps we would all be frozen in wonderment at it all. Perhaps.) But behold: other matters of trust, of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: are these immune to science? I think not. Because we have seen the Son, we have seen the Father, and if we have seen the Father, then we may believe in His Spirit. That’s how things work. Have you not seen the Son? By Whom we number our very years? It is no sin of science to also believe.


> From this.

How in the interlocking of gears, one turns another: that is magic. How gravity pulls a thing that is dropped, without fail: that is magic. I merely spot the teacup on the table: just that is twice magic, if not more. There are things that are magic within magic within magic. There is such spectacular magic in all things it is a blessing we are blind to all but the barest scratches of the miracles transpiring. Whenever you google something, those are magics in force, eldritch incantations being spoken by machine, machines which are levels upon levels of magic of themselves in arcane operation. For even that we do not notice these, the miracles of even the simplest forms of work: that in itself is magic.

How does anything at all work, at all? Is that not the fundamental of magic? The cause and the effect, the most trivial of physics: we should not assume that these all are guaranteed, for free, from some manner of how things somehow naturally are. “Natural”: that says nothing. What if there is source and purpose and meticulous the detail scripted and built, all with loving and infinite hand, to all of every of the simplest of function? That nothing came “for free”? What if on top of the effort to make of it, these all had to be fought for, tooth and nail, wing and halo? And if we see thusly, what is the triumph of the barest of function, we gain one glimmer of what it must be, what Einstein desired to glean: to know the mind of God.


> From this.

Doubt is not a sin. As the Bible says, “Test all things; hold fast what is good.” For it may be that by faith we are saved, but it is by doubt that we learn. And if we hold that the one inclination does not kill the other, another quote comes to mind: “To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity of reflection.” (That’s Henri Poincare.) Thusly do I say to all the saints to try and doubt some of the things you hear, to all the scientists to try and believe some of the things you are told. For sometimes the lesson of doubt is merely that we should have had faith in the first place. Yes, faith can (often) be wrong, but there is a certain nobility in many of its failures.

It must be said, however, that it is better to question everything than to question nothing. Some of us are born with a particular certainty that allows that individual to understand many things, and allow for experiments that work on the first try; the rest of us go by trial and error (and repeat), and it is doubt that is more a friend to us than faith. Let us rather doubt that there is a God at all than believe in a God that is wrong, a God who is not love. On nobility’s flipside, there is virtue in this exact righteousness of unbelief, and I ask you to believe that it indeed is righteous. For you believe in less than nothing if you believe in a God who is not love. Thou callest good, evil, and thou callest evil, good: more hope be there for one born blind, deaf, and dumb than thee, for whatever understandest thou to be true in the world.


> From this, and this.

Descartes said that it is useful at some point in the history of our minds to doubt all things. He actually didn’t go far enough, in that “I think therefore I am” lends, for its own purpose, a certainty to basic logic. Logically, if I were not, then I could not be thinking. Substantively, as far as we are used to very fundamental things behaving, it is irrefutable. One might think someone daft, in fact, if he were to say that such a reliance on logic is in any way deficient. But if we do not hold that this is sure, that things could possibly behave in ways they never have, even if not in any case we have studied, we come upon a very interesting viewpoint. It is to say that we do not notice that miracles happen every day, simply because they happen every day.

Let me explain. If we do not take for granted things holding together: solidity, cause and effect, time itself: we may begin to see how awesome is the most common of things. Try it. Look at the basic building blocks that you may perceive about the universe. Things we do not in any case doubt that they could fail. It may be difficult: these miracles happen every day, they sustain us hour by hour, second by second. How magnificent the verymost mundane. If you begin to perceive how awesome are the most common experiences, you begin to spy the mystery of the God who is love. The very fact that there is such a thing as quality that may be felt: that there is feeling at all! We may begin here finally to make sense of things. And therefore, to wonder.

For we are born wired in the ways of space and distance, and the ordering and passage of time. We are born knowing an astounding number of things. How is it we first grasp at anything with our hand? The knowledge of sending out the correct signal from the mind, we are given. How is it that we imitate a sound we hear? Such correlation is an amazing thing, not one to simply take as standard issue. To think of one thing as tasting different from another, to look and to comprehend size, more than one vs. the one; spectacular is such faculty.

Now this is beyond astounding, too: we are born knowing how to learn. Anyone who knows what it takes to teach our machines to do the most rudimentiary form of learning will tell you that it is no small thing. No, indeed. And in that vein, pleasure and pain we are born knowing, too, born comprehending, no less. It doesn’t even require the learning, the tools we need to learn other things. Play and boredom, too: how we understand what to pursue in the courses we take; also given us, a higher form of pleasure and pain. They are a higher form of abstraction, like existence itself, known only by the things that exist: play only in terms of the games that invoke that sensation, “fun”. All these are given you.

The question is not, “what do we know?”, but “what can we forget?” Can we truly forget the notions of time and space? Can we forget being? For if we truly wish to do as Descartes advised, we must forget these things. Let us to forget functioning of any sort: can we do that? Perhaps that is the key. This is to doubt the logic of the very of mundane, that logic which allows one to be certain that when one says, “I am”, he cannot be refuted. Let us then be able to refute that, to think in a situation where nothing makes sense, and maybe we can go deeper down the rabbit hole than Descartes himself thought it went. And then perhaps we may worthily approach that lesson that Jesus Christ told me, while I was in the pit: “Work is magic.”


> From this.

Don’t ever think at any period in your life that you believe(d) nothing. That is impossible. We are walking around in the everyday world with a thousand assumptions at any given time. Some are useful, some are not, some are true, some are false. Believe it or not, most of them are true, contrary to what a cynic might think. If you think about it, this must be the case, or you’d be doing the equivalent of running into glass doors more often than not. The assumptions you operate under actually don’t have to be true to be useful, but generally, you’re better off believing in things that have verisimilitude. But it is pretty much inevitable that a bunch of the things you think you know are not, in fact, true. In both faith and science: in faith, especially, it is hard to know when you in fact have any of it down. A lot of times we can only have faith in our own faith.

Science, on the other hand, is a way to organize beliefs in such a way that one is able to weigh them according to evidence. Science also believes things, some things useful, some not, etc., etc. There is an art to science, and many who believe in science miss this. And there are times that science gets something really wrong. But one piece of advice: believe in something that is of science over something that is of faith, if the target about what they speak is basically the same thing. This is prudence. Because faith in faith is not on as sure a ground as the science of science. And finally, if you want a challenge, try to believe nothing, and end up with something. This is the most basic desire of science.


> From this.

There is no such thing as “have to”. What is your ground(s) for saying that something “has to” be the case? We do come upon in this world where things work a certain way, and we continue on the basis that at least some of those functionings don’t change, and will continue to work in that manner. And you may ask, why do they work like that? One theory is that this might be the only way in which things can work: it “has to” be this way. There is no way to prove this is true. Nothing “has to” be as it has been; as it seems, sometimes, how things must be. Yes, it might be a facet of taking things for granted yet again. For one understands that given a circumstance, things have been observed to act in thusly. But what is the matrix for that circumstance, the matrix for that matrix, and on, and on? What ground(s) do you ultimately walk, along that path of (meta)logic?

Just because it doesn’t seem to make sense if, for instance, logic itself weren’t always logical, doesn’t mean logic “has to” be logical. Why does anything have to make sense to you? That’s inductive thinking, as is all logic or metalogic, when it comes down to it. Because it’s seemed to work a certain way from as far back as it has been recorded, doesn’t mean it “had to” be that way, nor that it “has to” be that way. But what if there is a purpose to all things, and how these things came to be? What if there is a Ground? Without such, we only have the logic of the “has to” to fall back on: it is because it is. (That actually may sound deep in some contexts. It isn’t.) One might turn to materialism as an escape, but this ends up invoking the anthropic principle: it is because, since we are here to observe it, it must be therefore so. This is trying to fill our stomachs up on the husk part of all the ears of corn.

The only way out of a chain of why’s without resorting to a meaningless solipsism is to believe in a transcendent Purpose. Otherwise, what we end up is a house of cards floating in space. And all that we can do is add more cards to that house, models building upon models, reasons relying on reasons. Yes, the material world can be taken “as is”, as some people purport is the highest of observation: to experience fully the moment. But without a why, how is person more than just an animal? Not that such experience is meaningless, per se. But what if we’re meant for something greater? We miss ourselves, then, if we look not to Purpose. It may not always make sense, at least not completely, and that is where faith comes in. Allows us to go in the way we should go.

Also, we can say that it is another astounding “coincidence” that things make sense at all. That we can rationally conceive of theories that model how certain things have worked, and continue to work. Astounding, because the models are not exact copies of what they model. Explain the concurrency of the theory and the reality and you have possibly the meaning of meaning. It is not a problem I have struggled much with, but I wager that it has to do with quality, or how things are perceived by us: if things did not make sense, quality could not, functionally, exist. Einstein said, “The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.” I think he may have understood what I’m talking about, even before we met in the HALOSPACE.


The Great Blasphemy