An informal apology (part 1)
So now here I am distraught with the realization of knowing that I cannot trust or can properly interpret anything. Logic and constantly challenging my perceptions, and experience was the only way I could seem to come to any kind of understanding of reality but the more I dealt with finding what is real the more apparent its challenges became.
Deciding that I had to start some where I took the most simple approach I could. What is real? Well.. this pencil I’m holding is real. Why? How do I know? Well.. because I’m looking at it. Humm… well no because it’s still real even if I’m not looking at it. So how do I know its real if I’m not looking at it? Ah! ha! Experience tells me that pencils do exist therefore they must exist.
So experience must be the defining measure of what is real. So this pencil exists because I have experience that they do so this one does as well. Well… not exactly Einstein remember the sign? I know that signs existed but Town in Meat Best wasn’t a true observation was it?
Ok so how do I know that I can observe the pencil for what it is and not what I perceive it to be? So lets Define it. Merriam-Webster: noun : an instrument used for writing and drawing that has a hard outer part and a black or colored center part….. Actually the definition of the word pencil and the object itself wound up being much longer and complex then I had initially thought.
One of the first things I came to realize is that my attempts of discernment here was subjective. I knew nothing that I didn’t know, farther more I could only interpret what I experienced or observed with my own experience on the matter. I could only think of things that I could think of.
After searching other opinions on the matter from books or other people there seemed to be two parts of the pencil. That which was definable and that which wasn’t. The actual and the conceptual.
The actual being what our senses could tell us about it when compared to the observations of others. Most people seem to agree what a pencil is. Now there is the conceptual aspect of it. To a student its a tool. To a pencil salesmen its his lively hood. Or maybe it was a home to some furry woodland creature at one point. The list goes on an on.
Now I could go on about the pencil but ill move on. Looking at ontology can be an enlightening experience on the matter if your interested.
Another problem I encountered besides being confined to my own experience was the realization that empiricism just doesn’t cut the cake. Sure its helpful for practical discovery about the world around me and certainly a nice counterbalance to rationalism.
But ultimately my own senses can’t properly interpret reality. Just because I see it doesn’t mean that its real. Nor do I know what the actual state of existence of any thing outside of my brains interpretation of what I’m experiencing.
Rationalism on the other hand can allow me to engage in conceptual things that the scientific method cant quantify. Let alone the empiricists failure to actually explain anything, it only shows what can be observed and measured. Albeit it lays the ground work that provides for attempts to explain things.
With out staying here too long I finally come to the conclusion that the two may be interdependent both giving a larger picture of what reality may be. An important discovery was that there may not be any certainty but probably just degrees of certainty.
Who am I
It may have been an advantage here, my moving around so much as a kid, that I wasn’t indoctrinated with any particular social paradigm out side of what is common In the nation as a whole. I lived in some in projects and was frequented by violence and hatred as well as nice middle class environments with the hello’s and how do you do’s. Lived in the country and the city. Was introduced to different languages, subcultures, ways of life, beliefs, and thinking.
The wide range of social exposure I think helped me to see that humans had a tendency to become what they knew.
So the natural question here is Who am I? Why am I? Can I know who I am? etc. At first glance it may seem I know who I am just by thinking about it, “I think their for I am,” but not quite it seems. Another possibility like the pencil is just that I have a concept of my self which may or may not be me. Lets not even try to define who I am as I couldn’t even couldn’t fully do so with a pencil.
Instead moving on I determined the likely hood that I was what I was without the possibility of really knowing what that was. But that there was also, the who I was to other people, myself, the conceptual and the physical that could be more explainable.
So the point here is that it seemed to me that there may not be any real reality. Perhaps reality is just relative. Well this answer didn’t suit me… there had to be something real, something true. So I set out to find something true and real.
I began by trying to determine what truth and reality where if they existed, then by finding a way to measure my ability to determine it if I found an example. Well this gets even more complicated and has been asked by men since the begging of time it seems. I doubt it possible that even a phd could know all the volumes on the subject. But I made and effort to read various philosophical and religious definitions and theories.
If life, the universe and everything is all random and relative then that probably means that we just have to try to find some way with getting by. I wanted to explore the possibility that maybe there was something absolute. It was looking pretty grim though, it seemed that no one could agree on what anything was.
An interest of mine was cosmology and in my post Unified Universe? I tried to come to some kind of universal constant. Something real and absolute that could explain things like why the proton theory says that the proton pulls the election which is a principle that makes cars work but he opposite electron theory that says that the electron pulls the proton is what makes computers work.
How can two opposing explanations both be true some times but not always? Shouldn’t one be correct and the other wrong? I wasn’t able to finish my theory of everything but I doubt It would have availed too much any way as it would just be another unprovable idea. I was looking for some thing more concrete but it gave me some ideas.
Truth it seemed must be both non paradoxical and true always. This leaves the possibility that one could find degrees of truth but not necessarily has to find the absolute truth. This could perhaps explain how quantum mechanics and general relativity could coexist both being true some times but not always. They were just parts of a whole.
So the task comes to finding non paradoxical and true always statements to see if any exist.
🙂 Comments and questions always welcome 🙂