Know Nothings: A Short Contemplation

The more we extend and magnify our senses via technology, the more our context shifts. To the eye, unadorned or enhanced by gadgetry, the earth indeed seems to be the center of everything. The soil seems to be the fundamental unit of matter when we observe unaided by a microscope.

As we delve down into fundamental particles, and as we shoot our vision out into the galaxy, we must amend our ancestral view of reality; no doubt, our inheritors will dismiss much of what we take to be solid, obvious, and granted.

There is much we don’t know about the universe, but how much are we totally unaware of not knowing? In order to set a schema for reality we had to start out from somewhere; the history of science as a philosophical view, with metaphysical assumptions which are themselves the result of historical forces, is too lengthy to be discussed here. But it is indeed true, suffice to say, that all world-views require a miracle to get started. A causeless explosion of infinitely condensed matter seems to me as mysterious and miraculous as an unmoved mover.

What is the Truth? If ‘truth’ is historically contingent, reliant on accidents of birth and perspective, than Truth is out of bounds. I cannot even be sure that the past existed, and as Hume demonstrated, cause and effect is never perceived by our senses. Rather, we infer based on our observations–but this can never be more than a best guess.

It is freeing to let go of dogma. It requires some courage, since you’ll be going up against the tribe, and likely outcasted.

So be it. I would rather not manacle myself to mental chains; I would rather be open to experience and interpretation.

That’s the model set by Socrates, patron saint of Western philosophy.

%d bloggers like this: