Lately, I have been studying logic systems and where it comes from.
Aristotle has had an amazingly abundant influence on the thinking of Western culture in the past 2500 years, including the time of the establishment of Christianity and well through to today. It was modified somewhat in the 19th century, according what what I’ve read but it is quite similar to how it was from way back when.
It has stood the test of time because it works well in many cases and has influence the educations and societies of hundreds of generations.
That being said, it has a few strong flaws I believe, and one of them is this:
The law of excluded middle.
In short, something can be true or false but not both. Anything inbetween true and false can be excluded – thrown away as irrelevant.
It’s my belief that this has led to thousands of years of believing in either/or thinking. Either this, or that but not both. Either right or wrong.
Yet if you think about your own life, aren’t we always somewhere inbetween the two? In the / between either/or ?
In the uncomfortable middle?
But I don’t think it needs to be an uncomfortable place. I don’t know if there is a God or not. In my worldview, I am ok with there being those who believe there is no God, those who do believe and those who are not sure.
There are so many perspectives on the same things; so many viewpoints are possible – that perhaps agreement itself is over-rated as a criteria for establishing truth. Repeatability might not even be a proper criteria for truth but simply a byproduct of physical systems happening to have a form of hysteresis, where the past affects the present, allowing for things like mathematics to behave the same way, or the physical world to appear to have some regularity.
As for me, I’m a hypocrite. I talk a good talk but don’t walk a good walk. I would like to not be one, but I know that I am at times – perhaps more than I like to admit – perhaps all of the time.
But I do try to be decent while also protecting myself as need be, especially when it comes to my core beliefs.
My core beliefs are simple. I believe I can make a difference in someone’s life. I believe that I’m making the best decisions I can at the moment I make them, even if they might, in retrospect with more information, seem to have been wrong. I’m comfortable with that.
In a sense, I prefer being wrong for that is when I learn. And I would say that if there was a religious model I came closest to, it would be that of the Holy Fools; I’m not afraid to appear foolish, if it can help someone else with their own thinking.#
[my response in a recent discussion about Science and Religion. I love typing to people online in debates that are more or less friendly; they help me sharpen my thinking and I get some of my best writing done through the interaction.]