Exploring QUFD Principles,
from the QUFD website,
By Father Jerome
"A statement is true when it conforms to the way things are. Truth is in the mind when the mind agrees with reality!"
the renown Philosopher, Mortimer J. Adler
"...the way things are......reality!" Hey, what IS, the way things are? What IS, reality? How do we determine what is truth and reality today, in order to judge the "rightness" or "wrongness" of something, on which we, inevitably, have to ultimately make an important decision about? In other words, what are the BASIC CRITERIA upon which we make our judgements and decisions and upon which we ultimately LIVE OUR LIVES?
Well, that is what I am going to talk about today. Truth, Reality, Right/Wrong, Good/Bad......I guess we can say that those are some of the most basic things of our lives, whether we realize it or not, and even whether we think about it or not! But then, that's one of the problems we all seem to have - not thinking about those things that are important to our lives. We get distracted, by Life itself, or rather, Life as we ourselves have created it. We don't even know what the basics, or fundamentals, of Life are, 'cuz we're too busy running that "rat-race" that we have created for ourselves. And that "rat-race" is nothing more than the pseudo-realities - the false realities, the maya, or illusions/delusions - which we think are important to us, but really are not!
I asked a friend the other day, right out of the blue, what she thought was the most important thing in her life. Well, after a few moments hesitation, she replied, "Peace in the world." "Well," I replied, "Is that the most important thing, really, to you personally?" She had to say that she just didn't have time to worry about much else. When I asked why, she said she was "just trying to survive". She'd had all kinds of medical problems and surgeries, and was merely trying to exist under those "realities" which life had dealt to her. And so it is with most of us. We talk about those "realities" that life has dealt us, without realizing, really, that we have created those realities ourselves, merely by the fact of "playing the game". Yes! Participating in the "game" of Life, the day-to-day living of our lives, with all of the daily judgements and decisions that we do, and have, make/made, over our Lifespans, consciously and unconsciously, is one of the biggest reasons for the myriad of
problems/troubles that we usually do have. In fact, as the hero of the classic novel by the Frenchman Vercors, the character D. M. Templemore, in "You Shall Know Them", said, "All man's troubles arise from the fact that we do not know what we are and do not agree on what we want to be!" Of course, Vercors/"Templemore" was referring to Darwinian Evolution and the fact that mankind, having exactly and specifically defined just about everything else on the planet, had, in reality, yet to come up with a satisfactory definition of that one remaining enigma - "man" him/herself! But his (Vercors) literalism does certainly apply to our discussion here, as we shall see further herein.
When we are "playing the Game of Life", just like any other competitive "game", we are "playing" under the rules and regulations, the situations and venues, CREATED BY OTHERS, mostly, rather than by ourselves individually, even though we probably had/have something to do with the "play-by-play" instantaneous "realities" of the game ourselves. Either way, we are "creating" our Lives, NOT at the rational, reasonable instigation of ourselves, as a KNOWING person, knowing of that which we are, BUT INSTEAD, at the instigation of OTHERS, who are directly and indirectly influencing our Lives - who are, or have, in effect, telling/told us "what to do!" We DO NOT listen to ourselves - our inner Self, or Soul, that which is really and truly US - but instead, we listen to everyone else, who might "tell us what to do", because we have given them authority to do so, OR for whatever other reason(s), that we do so. AS the "Logical Song", by SuperTramp, in it's lyrics says, "Won't you please, please
tell me what we've learned? I know it sounds absurd, but please tell me who I am!"
And when someone else tells us "who I am", YOU CAN BE SURE that such a "telling" IS FROM THE PERSPECTIVE, or interests, OF that/those other person(s)......NOT from the perspective of knowing, or knowledge, of or about OURSELVES! SO, let me here and now, perhaps ask the first relevant question - a question we should, in turn, really be asking ourselves!
In fact, before continuing this thought and this paragraph, I'm going to insert here some QUFD Philosophical Thoughts RELATING TO that very "question" which we should be asking ourselves. In fact, herein follows the ENTIRE QUFD PHILOSOPHY, as quoted from the Main QUFD Document:
"Consciousness is what consciousness does. And what does it do? It performs
a dual role in the universe. In the world of the quantum, it is both the
awareness and the creation of experience. It is the Being and
the Knowing of experience. With the stroke of the
twentieth-century quantum eraser, the dividing line between Ontology [the
theory of Being] and Epistemology [the theory of Knowing] is rubbed out."
"By Remembering itself, a character known as the
self arises as if it pops out of the vacuum like a magician's
rabbit from an empty hat. The Soul-reality creates the
self-illusion. The character takes on a life of its own. The
story applies to every one of us. The writer of the play vanishes as his or
her characters speak their lines pouring from the writer's fingertips.
Everything seems okay if the writer and his characters remember their
connection: Who they really are! We are like the characters in a
play written by God. The danger in the confusion of the story of our lives is
that we forget the Soul. We tell and sell
ourselves to the world. We separate self from Soul. We become
Theoretical Physicist Fred Alan Wolf
[A paraphrased, up-dated and re-interpreted quotation from PLATO]:
"Art imitates Life, therefore Art, as a mere copy of Life, is not real at all
but is, in fact, an illusion - a "corrupted copy" of Life, corrupted by the
illusion-delusions of Satan's Veil of Separation. Art is a "representation" of
Life, and as a representation, it is suspect of not only the truth but of
reality itself. Thusly, we can say that, in fact, Art is "pseudo-reality". As
such, we can include such "arts" as politics, management and on and on."
SOCRATES taught that ANY answer to any question, to any KNOWING, was
within our memory banks, within our Souls, already. That such KNOWING
did already exist within us, Socrates inferred that such knowledge as we did
need to realize at any time did already exist within us. All we had to do in
order to KNOW was to look within ourSelves. In such a way, both Socrates and
Plato did espouse the fact that the Soul is immortal and lives on
Consciousness, Spirit, the Soul and incorporeality ARE objective, as
object-realities, but one must "go-into" the Mind, into consciousness, into
Spirit, in order to objectively perceive these realities. THEN, all corporeal
subjectivity, when viewed from the incorporeal side of the Mind, becomes
objective and definitely REAL! This can ONLY be accomplished within the human
entity BY one who so possesses that hallmark of the evolutionarily mature
human being - that of our innately human birthright, MATURITY of the HUMAN
MIND! That birthright is called KNOWING, for with it in active operation, one
so possessed can "know" All That Is, in the Universe and beyond, including
that ultimate Source of consciousness, Infinite Consciousness (God). THEN one
can say, as Carl Jung reportedly did once say, when asked whether he believed
in God, did so reply, "I don't need to believe in God. I KNOW Him!"
KNOWING - knowledge, objectivity (corporeal AND incorporeal) IS the
"observer", the observation, in Quantum Physics, which resolves any and all
issues of uncertainty, as to BOTH/AND EITHER/OR possibilities of any and
everything. KNOWING "creates" REALITY! And, in this quantum mechanical world,
"reality" CAN BE corporeal OR incorporeal! Reality IS what "reality" does, or
is that which is "created", HOWEVER and in whatever manner. Thusly, the fact
of the matter - "Just the facts, ma'am!" - is that, in Quantum Physics AND
QUFD, that reality which is "created" IS REAL and OBJECTIVE, in its actuality,
existence, factuality and REALITY! And this is all the result of the MIND -
the conscious Mind. When knowledge - KNOWING - occurs, the "buck stops", right
then and there, and consciousness - KNOWING - has now "created" REALITY, BOTH
corporeal AND incorporeal, EITHER corporeal OR incorporeal. The facts, the
realities, MAY BE "any of the above"! Thusly, subjectivity BECOMES, and "is",
objectivity. What IS, "is"! No question about it! Corporeal OR incorporeal,
what "is" is REAL! As the old C&W (Country & Western) song goes, "Ah'm
a walkin' contradiction, a study in opposites...". KNOWING does that, because
KNOWING is INDIVIDUALISTIC - no one Mind can ever KNOW that which is fully
"known" by any other Mind. We (humanity) are all individual and unique Minds -
each one of us KNOWING that which one "knows". And that is the beauty, and the
UNITY, and the wholeness, of all of us - that "jig-saw puzzle" which I have
written about - meaning that we, humanity, can ONLY be "whole" and complete
WHEN we are individually THAT WHICH we are, and were so "born to be". The
REALITY of Life is that each piece thereof (the "jig-saw puzzle"), in acting
together and in UNITY - as ONE - maximizes, and utilizes, with utmost
efficiency, that individuality which has been so consecrated into each one of
us and our individual consciousness.
In order to KNOW what one IS, one must BE. In order to BE what one knows,
one must KNOW. Total questioning in our living is the key to being. The
responsibility of man is to question himself on the meaning of his being. What
really defines and shows us a MAN is his RESPONSE and RESPONSIBILITY to his
existence. RESPONSIBILITY properly means to respond, to answer, the questions
that one asks of oneself in order to BE. (And response, and responsiveness, to
ANY existential input does NOT imply, or relate to, ANY such "formal" response
as may be evinced by, or from, any "programming". In other words, TRUE
response is free and natural, and IN THE MOMENT, being the singular result of
our awareness and ATTENTION TO that moment). We must be FREE IN and OF
CONSCIENCE enough that our consciousness shall KNOW that its purpose in being
is NOT to forever ANSWER the questions of others, but instead to answer one's
own questioning. In such a way can one come to KNOW oneself and THEN to KNOW
HOW, WHY and WHOM to Serve, in order to truly Serve those others who DO need
one's Services. Arising from BEING, such Service and the one who does thusly
truly GIVE, has asked the question and then answered it FROM, and THROUGH,
one's BEING. And thusly do we ask that ONE question throughout our Lifetimes -
from our first question to our last - "WHO AM I?" And in the end, there can be
but one answer - "I AM THAT I AM!"
There will come a day in the near future when the first criteria of any
medical or psychological diagnosis, as to whether any individual is of sound
mind or not, will be whether that individual does present MATURITY OF THE
MIND, no matter what the age of the individual may be. And such criteria shall
certainly be predicated upon whether the individual can see REALITY BEYOND the
corporeal entities of materiality and the human body, which we shall define
here as the mark of a MATURE HUMAN MIND.
Okay, resuming our previous thought, let's continue with that thought about what kind of question or questions we should be asking ourselves. IF we, ourselves, individually, ARE the ONLY persons who actually know all there is to "know" about ourselves - as a result of the ACTUAL living of our Lives OURSELVES......THEN WHY IN HELL are we asking, and seeking, THE ADVICE OF SOMEONE ELSE, who doesn't - in NO WAY "know" Who and What we ARE?"
But then, on the other hand, DO we actually "know" Who and What we are, or do we merely think we do? As D. M. Templemore has said, apparently such is the root of all man's troubles!
Well I, Jerome, am surely not one to tell you what to do! In fact, in all of my writings, I have usually said, "Do NOT listen to me! Find YOURSELF!" And that is merely what I do intend to give the Reader hereof the opportunity to do - to FIND oneself - AS ONLY YOU might so define, and KNOW, oneSelf! And in doing so, I hope that I might give unto you the opportunity to KNOW YOURSELF, and to KNOW, exactly, what the TRUTH and the REALITY "is", about any and everything in one's Life!
Now, in order to do so (such a "mission", as I have just described), what I shall do, herein this Report, is to, first of all, give the Reader an OVERVIEW, of my personal perspective, as to what I can do and as to what I CANNOT DO, that the Reader might have some basis upon which to judge my words RELATIVE to oneSelf! Then I shall give some background ON the very ideas of TRUTH and REALITY, from that great American Philosopher Mortimer J. Adler. (I've already presented, as a review for comparison, the QUFD Philosophy.) And THEN I will impart my own further scientific, philosophic and Spiritual DEFINITIONS OF those two ideas (Truth and Reality), that the Reader might, with a more fuller understanding of the BASICS, the FUNDAMENTALS, of exactly WHAT TRUTH and REALITY "are", finally be able to apply such KNOWING in one's Life!
First, the OVERVIEW of my own perspective. I think it has been sufficiently summed up in a recent hand-out flyer/brochure for participants in the "Warm Summer Nites with Jerome" Community Event. Here is what the flyer/brochure says: "Jerome, in QUFD, has detailed and defined, in absolutely modern scientific law, principle and known fact, the SOUL and SPIRIT of man, that mankind might finally KNOW - Who and What he/she IS, as a human being and as a part of All That Is in the Cosmos!"
Now NOTE - and this is most important! I DID NOT say that I was, IN ANY WAY, "telling" the Reader Who and What he/she "is"! I, in effect, said that I was giving the Reader the MEANS, whereby to KNOW Who and What one "is"! And what are those MEANS?
By SCIENTIFICALLY detailing, and explaining, exactly what SOUL and SPIRIT are, so that, WITH such KNOWING, or understanding, of such basic, fundamental aspects of Life and Reality, the individual Reader MIGHT THEN, with such KNOWING, DO something - whatever one might so do - in order to EFFECT the necessary CHANGE(S), as required, IN one's individual Life, in one's society, and, ultimately, in the Cosmos and in All That Is! Because, in reality, until one KNOWS what SOUL and SPIRIT are, one cannot find oneSelf, one cannot KNOW oneSelf, one cannot "know" Who and What one "is", and one cannot make any changes in one's Life! BUT, when one DOES KNOW such fundamentals or basics, as to "the way things are"......THEN, utilizing such known facts, such Truths, one can CHANGE one's reality, one's existence, for the better! IT IS UP TO YOU! Only you know the realities, of one's Life and existence, and, based upon that individual knowing, AND taking in the now known underlying basics of one's Life situation,
one MIGHT "figure out", rationally and reasonably, how to improve and change that situation. In other words, it's all up to you! All I can do is to point out the BASICS, of all our Lives, and it is then further up to you, and all of us, to somehow change that existential situation for the better!
So, that is my perspective, as to what I can and cannot do. Now I will give the Reader some official background on Truth and Reality. And this comes, by way of quotation and inference, from that great American Philosopher, Mortimer J. Adler. (The Reader can review these thoughts and ideas and more, in Adler's recent book, "How To Think About the Great Ideas", as edited by his longtime friend, Dr. Max Weismann, co-founder of The Institute for the Study of the Great Ideas, in Chicago and on the Web!) Let's get on with it!
I'm going to give a number of relevant quotations and inferences here, as a background. But I want the Reader to keep in mind that these are mostly Adler's thoughts and facts, about that which he discusses or comments thereupon. In the Summary Section of this Report (to follow), I will explain exactly where I differ on certain of these issues, and I will distinguish as to why I differ and as to why such different facts do, or should, bear upon our basic issues of Truth and Reality. As the Reader should therefor realize, all such differences are, in fact, true fact, or Truth, but it is merely in the CONTEXT of the situation/issue, or Reality, that the differences may lie.
Okay, TRUTH! Adler says:
"To know" is to have in one's mind the truth about that which one is trying to know.
To know is to have the truth.
Relativistic Truth - True may be true at one time, but not another; for one person, but not another; etc.
Absolutist Truth - Always the same, never different.
Pragmatic Truth - Those things are true that work or otherwise exist.
Non-verified Truth - That may be true which is unverifiable and unprovable.
What is true and not true? (Implies judgement).
Truth is a correspondence between what one thinks and what one says.
Truth of understanding is when there is correspondence between two minds relating to that discussed.
Truth of communication is when two minds think the same.
Truth is a correspondence between our words, our speech, our thoughts and reality (or our minds and reality).
The Truth of our ideas consists of their agreement with Reality.
Now, I'm going to interject here, momentarily, a question, which I want the Reader to keep in mind, as one continues. The question is, "How can the Truth, as defined by the correspondence of one thing with another, be verified when the two things are not objective but are subjective instead, as the Truth of one mind corresponding with the Truth of another mind, WHEN the individual REALITIES of each mind are different?"
I have no way of getting ahold of reality except by knowing it.
Here we have the mind and here we have reality and the mind is trying to know reality. In the mind is thought. Reality consists of existences. And those existences are things to be apprehended or known. But the thought - "Is that reality in my mind? - that thought is the reality that is apprehended. I don't have in my mind two things, my thought and the object of my thought. Whatever is in my mind is in my mind and I can't know any "grasp of reality". I have no way of getting ahold of reality except by knowing it. But then I can't test whether I know it or not by comparing what I know with what I am trying to know. Don't you see that in this case you can't make the comparison? There is no way of making a direct test between two things that are supposed to correspond.
Let me put it to you another way. I express my thoughts in statements or propositions. Reality consists of the facts about which I am trying to make the propositions. And the propositions are true if they correspond with the facts. And the facts are the things to be known. The facts not as known, but to be known. The propositions are the facts as I think I know them. It isn't as if I had in one hand the propositions and the other hand the facts and could look at them and say, "Oh, I see. My propositions correspond to the facts.", because I have no grasp of the facts except in my own propositions about them. Hence I have no way of making a direct comparison between my propositions and the facts they are trying to state. So there is no direct or even indirect way of telling what I think, what I say, my propositions and judgements, correspond with the way things are.
And there is not even an indirect way of doing this because I can't ask "reality" questions the way I can ask another person questions and find out whether what I think agrees with what he thinks. I can't ask reality questions. Or, I can ask the questions, but I can't get any answers. Reality won't speak back to me. And so there is no way of getting by communication the direct or indirect test of whether what I think, what is in my mind, corresponds with reality and the way things are. That is the problem of Truth. It's not the problem of knowing what Truth is, but the problem of telling whether what I think is true is really true, if Truth consists in the correspondence of my mind with reality.
Incidentally, as a point of reference here, I will merely mention that there is such a thing as nomothetics, or the nomothetical sciences, which are sciences based upon law, or a science of general or universal law, which does definitely include that ultimate "Law", God's Law of One! I will refer to this eventually with respect to the context of Adler's perspective, that of a Newtonian or Classical Physics basis for his perspectives, versus the context of mine (Jerome), which shall be shown to be of a nomothetical and Quantum Mechanical context.
There is the beginning of a solution to this problem. Staying within my own mind, let's suppose I make two statements. Let me call one of them Proposition P and the other Proposition Q. These are two separate statements. Anything you want to say. Suppose these two statements are contradictory. Suppose they are like the statements, "A is B and A is not B", or "Two plus two equal four and two plus two does not equal four." Now we know, don't we, that both can't be true? In fact, one must be true and one must be false. And this test of contradictor or non-contradiction, or consistency, is the beginning of a sign within our own minds, just staying within our own minds and having nothing but the things we think ourselves, our own thoughts; we know that if we contradict ourselves or if we think contradictory things, we are missing the truth somewhere. And this is an interesting point, because for consistency or coherence or the absence of contradiction to be a sign of truth or falsity,
or a difficulty about truth and falsity, it self-presupposes that there can be a correspondence between the mind and reality. For if reality were full of contradictions, then the presence of contradictions in the mind would not be a test or a sign of truth or falsity. Only if reality is non-contradictory, if there are in the world of existences no contradictions, are we committed to thinking that when we find a contradiction in our own minds, we have at least come into contact with one thing which is true and one which is false.
Most philosophers are not satisfied with this sign of truth. I say most, there are some exceptions; some philosophers think this is quite sufficient. For example, Descartes takes the view that when our own ideas are quite clear and distinct, when they are so clear and distinct that they are free from all contradiction, then we know we have the truth, then we are sure, we are certain of our possession of the truth. And Spinoza says, for example, "What can be clearer or more certain than a true idea as the standard of truth? Just as light reveals both itself and the darkness, so truth is the standard of itself and of the thoughts."
But this is not sufficient, I think. And I would like to show you why it is not. Suppose these two propositions are contradictory. What we know then is that one must be true and one must be false. But which? Either one could be true, either one could be false; we don't know which is true or false from knowing that their being contradictory makes one of them true and one false. How do we solve that problem? We could solve that problem only if in our mind there are some propositions or principles which are given as true, which we are certain about as true; so that these can be used as the measure or standard of the truth in other propositions. If for example, we were absolutely sure that proposition P is true, then we would know that if proposition Q contradicts it, Q is false. But we have to know first that P is true. And we can't know that simply from the fact that P contradicts Q. To solve this problem fully we must have some assurance about certain propositions as true and use
them to measure truth or falsity in others.
Aristotle makes this point, I think, very clearly when he says, "The human mind uses two kinds of principles. There are the unquestionable truths of the understanding which are axioms or self-evident truths and there are the truths of perception, truths which we know, which we possess, when we perceive matters of fact, such as, "Here is a piece of paper in my hand", or "Here is a book, I see a book, I observe a book." That is a matter of fact I can't have any doubt about, just as the self-evident truth that the whole is greater than the part is a truth of my understanding about which I can have no doubt.
Now all that moderns have added to this is an elaborate, carefully worked out logic of the methods of empirical verification. But all the truth can be tested by finding out whether or not anything else agrees with the facts we know by observation or agrees with the principles which are self-evident to our understanding. With these two at either extreme, we can tell whether anything else we think is true by seeing that it doesn't contradict this or that. I think if you will reflect about what I have said, you will see that it begins to solve the problem of how we tell whether a given statement is true or false in terms of the way the statement accords or disagrees with self-evident truths or truths of immediate perception of matters of fact.
THE IMMUTABILITY OF TRUTH
I would like to spend a moment more on that very interesting problem about the mutability of truth. Is Truth eternal or does it change? There's no question that people change their minds, that the human race in the course of centuries passes from knowledge to error or from error to knowledge in the opinions that it holds. But this is a change in the human mind and not a change in the truth or in what is true. For example, the opinion that the earth was flat, if it ever was false, is always false. And the opposite opinion, that the earth in which we live is round, if it ever was true, is always true. The fact that people have changed their minds about whether the earth is flat or round doesn't make the truth of the matter itself change at all. But you may say to me, "Suppose that the earth tomorrow or next year were to change itself and suddenly become flat or oblong or something else, wouldn't the proposition that the earth is round become false? No, because if I were careful and exact
enough, I would say that from the beginning until this year, the earth has been round. So that if next year the earth changed its shape, my proposition still would be true, because it would always remain true that up to this year the earth had been round. Hence I think it is fair to say that truth itself is immutable, even if we as humans in our thinking do not possess the truth immutably.
Now next, Adler gets into discussion of that great perpetrator of our divisiveness and troubles - OPINION. Here is what he says:
(theoretical significance) The great problem of the distinction between certainty and probability (QUANTUM) is connected with this distinction between knowledge and opinion. When human beings tried to assess the goodness or worth of opinions, what made one opinion better than another, they developed the theory of probability. And by the way, this theory had its first applications in games of chance, in gambling where men were betting on their opinions.
Then I think we ought to remember that opinion is the great weapon of the skeptic. The skeptic is the man who claims that we do not know anything, or not very much, that we only have opinions. In fact, the first principle of skepticism is to say that everything is a matter of opinion. The skeptic often goes to the extreme of saying that one opinion is as good as another, that there is no way of making one appear preferable to another, that opinions are all relative, subjective, each a matter of taste.
And then, opinion is connected with the great theoretical problem of the agreement and disagreement among human beings, their conflict and diversity on almost every fundamental question. And anyone who faces this phenomenon of human disagreement must be interested in considering the nature of opinion and the causes of why people hold the opinions that they do.
Another practical aspect of opinion is connected with the whole business of majority rule. Majority rule is one of the basic principles of democracy. (However, in a PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY......Hey, could we have NO opinion?)
(Business/Industry significance) - Corporations, manufacturing, selling, public relations, advertising, all utilize lawyers forming opinions favorable to clients and unfavorable to opponents. (ADVERSARIAL RELATIONSHIPS! Just what humanity does NOT NEED!)
TRUTH, KNOWLEDGE and OPINION
A statement is true if it says that that which is is, or if it says that that which is not is not; and a statement is false if it says that that which is not is, or that that which is is not.
Knowledge consists in having the truth and KNOWING THAT YOU HAVE IT, because you know WHY what you think is true IS TRUE. Whereas opinion consists in not being sure that you have the truth, not being sure whether what you say is true or false. And even if what you say happens to be true, you aren't sure because you don't know why it is true. (SCIENCE is needed for the explanation, for the WHY!) This, I think, explains a difference all of us feel in the way of the words we use when we say, "I know that" or a person says, "I don't know that; I only think that", meaning I opine that, I don't know it.
Opinions can be right or wrong. However, knowledge cannot be right or wrong. It is always right, the Truth.
(Another criteria for distinguishing between knowledge and opinion) The criteria is whether or not something is universally agreed to or perhaps I should say whether or not something must be agreed to, because sometimes OPINIONS ARE UNIVERSALLY AGREED TO! But here the point is, MUST everyone agree to this. IF everyone must agree, then it isn't opinion but knowledge.
Doubt and belief are relative only to opinion, never to knowledge.
Here is a statement of knowledge, that there is always a state of war, EITHER A COLD OR HOT WAR BETWEEN SOVEREIGN NATIONS. Anyone who thinks for a moment will see that this is true, and that everyone understands it to be true.
We say in matters of opinion that everyone has a right to their own opinion. Or I say that I have a right to have an opinion on that subject, but no one ever says this about knowledge. (WHY? Perhaps we SHOULD?) I may say that I have a right to know something, but I would never use the words "my own" in the expression, "I have a right to my own knowledge." (On the contrary, for Truth to prevail, one MUST have a right to their own KNOWING, or facts of knowledge!)
Now this right to have an opinion on a subject or the right to have MY OWN opinion on a subject is, I think, one of our basic civil rights. (And also the cause of all our societal and individual troubles!) It is a right we talk about all the time these days in terms of freedom of thought and liberty of conscience. This right is a right that I think perhaps is MORE CONTESTED in the contemporary world than any other right we have. (ADVERSARIAL RELATIONSHIPS, right?)
(Question) "You said we can have freedom of thought only about matters of opinion. Are you saying that all religious beliefs are merely matters of opinion?" (Sure are!)
We say that matters of opinion are subject to conflict, that we are acquainted with the conflict of opinions, the diversity of opinions on many subjects. But when we are dealing with any subject about which there is knowledge, we do not speak of the conflict of knowledge. (No point in it!) WE don't say there is a conflict of knowledges on this point as we say there is a conflict of opinions on this point. Because it is the very nature of what it is that we have an opinion about to be subject to conflict and that is not true of things that we can know. (Right on!)
Now the significance of this conflict of opinion that we are so aware of is that on matters of opinion, REASONABLE MEN can disagree and still remain quite reasonable. This is a very important thing to remember because of what opinion is. Where there is a conflict of opinion usually it is the case that reasonable men can disagree and, though they disagree, still remain quite reasonable. (VESTED INTERESTS, LEGISLATORS, and so on! As Darwin said, in referring to Man, the difference between Man and animals is a matter of DEGREE. Well, so it is with "reasonable men" and opinions - a matter of degree, that is! And yet, no matter what level of degree of reasonableness results, the result is yet divisiveness - majority versus minority - and animosities, and negativity, at the least!)
All of us are aware that it is only with respect to opinion that we talk about taking a consensus (poll). In fact, we say a consensus of opinion. Or we speak of a majority opinion as opposed to the minority opinion. Or we speak of expert opinion as opposed to inexpert opinion. But notice that we never say a consensus of knowledge. (MAYBE WE SHOULD!) We never say the majority knowledge as opposed to the minority knowledge. We never say expert knowledge as opposed to inexpert knowledge, because there isn't any inexpert knowledge. (HEY! So IF we eliminate opinion, and there is no inexpert knowledge, or differing knowledge, but only knowledge, in any shape or form......surely we shall have eliminated the very source of our conflicts, if all conflict is but differences of opinion!)
Aristotle said, "In arguments dealing with matters of opinion, we should base our reasoning on the opinions held by all." (BETTER YET, HOW ABOUT ON THE KNOWLEDGE HELD BY ALL, TO FOREGO ANY "ARGUMENTS", WARS, ANIMOSITIES, ETC.?)
Now, in this matter of the consensus of opinion, we seldom have unanimity, though every now and then, in the rare case, the consensus of opinion will approach unanimity.
Plato had the position that only about things that are permanent or eternal, only things which are UNCHANGING, the world of fixed being, is it possible to have knowledge; whereas about the whole world in flux, the world as becoming, the most we can have is opinion, unstable opinion.
Aristotle held that it was possible to have knowledge about the physical world as well as about the world of eternal ideas. (THE THOUGHT "DYNAMICS" OF THE GROUND-STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS!)
The processes of thought might look the same in both knowing and opining. We make judgements, we infer, we reason, and yet there is a deep psychological difference between the act of knowing and the act of opining. (OPINING IS NOT BASED ON TRUTH!)
Can we have knowledge and opinion about the same thing? Is it possible for a person to hold at one and the same time something - a state of mind which is knowledge of something and at the same time regard himself as holding only an opinion about that? Is it possible for one person to know something which another person has only an opinion about? Can there be two individuals, one having knowledge and the other opinion, on the same point?
How much knowledge do we have? To what extent are the things we suppose we know really things we know as opposed to things that we only opine? Socrates took the position THAT ONLY GOD KNOWS; for the most part men have nothing better than opinion. To know this is wisdom! (BUT INCORPOREALITY IS PART OF GOD! And come the day when we should base our KNOWING on INCORPOREALITY rather than corporeality, THEN we shall have TRUTH!))
Next Adler launches into OPINION versus KNOWLEDGE:
When you have Truth through knowledge, you not only have the Truth but you also understand why it is true. But when you have the truth through having only a right opinion, you may have the truth in fact but you will not understand why it is true.
The person who is in error not only lacks the truth, but does not know that he does not know. On the contrary, he supposes that he does know; whereas the person who is ignorant lacks the truth and in addition knows that he does not know. (Quoting somebody anonymous; "It is better to KNOW than to be ignorant, for any KNOWING, or any factual knowledge, is trebly and more worth it's salt compared to ignorance. When one is ignorant, one is merely open to "programming", and being "told what to do", rather than any form of KNOWING!")
Plato tells us that knowledge and only knowledge is TEACHABLE; right (true) opinion is not teachable because it is not founded in reasons, it has no principles, it has no roots or grounds (or ground-states) in things for which it can be DEMONSTRATED.
Most of the things that children learn in school are right opinion, not knowledge. (And therefore subject to adversity and conflict! Oh, the troubles that we "teach" to our children!) All one has to do, I suppose, is to recall how one learns history or geography. These things, being right opinions, can only be learned by a kind of memorization. Compare that with the teaching or learning of geometry, which really can be taught and learned in a rational manner because such truth as is there rests in principles and in the demonstration of conclusions.
In other words, if there are no principles involved, it is not truth but merely right (true) opinion. Thus the "facts" of history and geography, not based on principles, ARE MERELY OPINION, albeit right opinion.
Aristotle's insight on this subject is that one man can opine about what another man knows. They may be thinking of the same things, but whereas one man merely has an opinion, the other man can have knowledge on that very same subject.
In other words, one man understands why, therefore his knowledge is Truth. With no understanding (of the basics, the fundamentals, or the subject), all is opinion/conjecture!
What this tells us is that when anyone argues from authority, when anyone holds an opinion or holds a position, and says something is true, on authority and authority alone, he is holding it as a matter of opinion. And when a teacher appeals to his authority to persuade the students to believe some thing, that teacher isn't teaching; he's really only indoctrinating them; he is forming right opinions in their minds.
We OPINE when the assent of our minds is VOLUNTARY; we KNOW when the assent which we give to something is INVOLUNTARY!
If a statement does not compel you to say yes or no; you can say either yes or no; the statement leaves you quite free to make up your mind. And because it leaves you quite free, either on authority or because of your desires or your interests or your emotions or your passions, anything to make up your mind, this is psychologically an act of opinion on your part, not an act of knowledge. (AND the cause of much divisiveness in the world!)
A statement expresses knowledge when our assent to it is involuntary, when our assent to it is compelled or necessitated by the object we are talking about, as in the case of 2+2=4. But a statement expresses opinion, not knowledge, when our assent to it is voluntary, when the object leaves us quite free to make up our own minds, to think this way or that way about the object, to think about the object exactly as we please.
David Hume gave two statements relative to this issue: "Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number?", i.e., mathematics; and, "Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matters of fact or existence?", that is, is it a work of experimental science (which includes philosophy)? If the answer to both these questions is no, it is not knowledge, but merely sophistry and illusion. He is saying that only in mathematics, and only when we are thinking about the relations between OUR OWN IDEAS, OUR OWN CONCEPTS, do we have certitude of knowledge.
(On the matter of perceptual illusion, or MAYA). If we know that they are illusions, we can only know it because we REGARD SOME SENSE PERCEPTIONS AS ACCURATE. If we could not have some perceptions verified as clear and acceptable perceptions, we couldn't know these others were illusions.
If this perception were not knowledge, I couldn't call the wrong perception an illusion. Hence, to even discover that there are perceptual illusions, I have to rely upon perceptions, I have to know by perceiving.
BUT WHERE? Where ARE the "perceptions", that one can rely upon AS THE TRUTH? Why, in INCORPOREALITY, of course. In that POSITIVE ground-state of consciousness, of which the mind is a part thereof. (And IF we are talking about a part of NEGATIVE CONSCIOUSNESS......well then, we are NOT talking about TRUTH, but instead about FALSITY! Negative consciousness is always that other side of the Cosmic duality which is always in opposition to the positivity of knowledge and Truth.)
Mathematics, metaphysics, philosophy are knowledge because they are based not only on assumptions, but also upon axioms and self-evident truths.
It is interesting that the modern-day name or scientific term for the Quantum Unit of Consciousness is "axion particle", which comes mighty close to explaining itself as the self-evident Truth of itself, an "axiom", or fact, or Law, as of the Cosmic Law of One!
(Adler speaking) As for history and experimental science, these subjects are not knowledge, but highly probable opinion. In fact, we might say that experimental science is a kind of conditional knowledge, conditional upon the state of the evidence at a given time. (The variability of factual KNOWING, where facts are facts, no matter whether they are contradictory or not! This is contrary to Adler, who sees only corporeal "facts", NOT incorporeal facts, which could be anything, EVEN CONTRADICTORY! Remember, in incorporeality, the facts, the KNOWING, reside in either incorporeality/Spirit ITSELF, OR in a temporal dimensionality OR DIMENSIONALITIES!)
QUFD Principle: Reality exists IN THE MOMENT, in the instant of its "creation", at the instant of time/temporality WHEN all the possibilities/probabilities OF PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE are "observed", or brought into "existence", and Quantum REALITY!
There are two views of religious faith. One, held by William James, is that religious faith is an act of the will to believe and this act of the will to believe takes place when we are beyond the evidence or the evidence is insufficient. And so, according to James, religious faith is strictly opinion. On the other hand, there is the position of Aquinas, that religious belief or faith is an act of the will. He agrees with James so far. But it is an act of the will wherein the will is itself moved by a supernatural gift or grace from God. Faith is a gift of grace and therefore, according to Aquinas, FAITH ISN'T KNOWLEDGE but neither is it opinion; it is something in between knowledge and opinion.
(Aquinas): "The intellect assents to a thing in two ways: First, through being moved to assent by its very object which is known either by itself, as in the case of FIRST PRINCIPLES or axioms or through something else already known as in the case of demonstrated conclusions. In either case, you have knowledge, not opinion. Secondly, the intellect assents to something not through being sufficiently moved to assent by its proper object, but through an act of choice, whereby it voluntarily turns to one side rather than the other (as when POSITIVE free will "chooses" positivity over negativity!) And if this be accompanied by doubt and fear, of the opposite, then you have opinion. When there is certainty and no fear of the opposite (as MAY BE possible in the body polis of civilization!), then there will be faith. And this certainty of faith results from the fact that it is supernatural (or INCORPOREAL!) It is the gift of God, since man, by assenting to matters of faith is raised
above his nature (his corporeality!), this must needs accrue to him for some SUPERNATURAL PRINCIPLE (or QUFD principle!), moving him inwardly (Look WITHIN!), and this is God (of which man is a part thereof!) Therefore faith, with regard to the assent which is the chief act (ACTIVISM, another QUFD principle!) of faith, is from God, MOVING MAN INWARDLY by grace. That is why Aquinas says that faith is neither knowledge nor opinion, but something intermediate between them, like them in both respects. Faith is like opinion in that it is an act of will rather than an act based upon the thing in its own terms. Saint Paul defines faith as the evidence of things unseen, not seen directly on their own terms (INCORPOREALITY!) On the other hand faith is like knowledge because of the certitude it has, a certitude that is even greater than the certitude of ordinary knowledge, because it rests upon the supernatural gift of grace.
Next, Adler has some further comments on OPINION and HUMAN FREEDOM:
Human freedom includes, presently, all opinions in regard to action, as such particular, practical judgements we make about whether to do something or not to do something, whether to adopt a certain policy or not to adopt it, whether to follow a course of action or not to follow a course of action.
Whenever we act voluntarily, that is, when we are not constrained or coerced to act, but act of our own will - we act in terms of our own judgement concerning what we should do, what we want to do, or what we ought to do. In fact, one might say that our actions are voluntary simply because they execute, they carry out our own judgements.
The second point (of freedom) applies to our practical judgements about what to do or not to do, about doing this or doing that, our opinion about what is good or bad, right or wrong, in the particular case. Let's remember the nature of opinion in general, the nature of opinion which is the same for practical judgements or for theoretical judgements, opinions in the practical order or opinions in the theoretical order. Whenever we opine about practical matters or theoretical matters WE ARE FREE TO MAKE UP OUR OWN MINDS. The thing we are thinking about doesn't compel or necessitate us to think one way or another. The thing we are thinking about leaves us free to think this way or that. Summing this up, we can see the fact that our practical judgements are judgements about how to act, what to do. The fact that these judgements are opinions makes them also free judgements. In other words, not only is our action voluntary in the sense that it follows from our own judgements, but those
very judgements are our own, because we form them voluntarily; because being opinions, we are free to adopt them or to reject them as we see fit. That is why I think the traditional Latin phrase which we translate in English as "free will", if it were to be literally translated, would mean not "free will" but a "free judgement" of the MIND! The phrase is "librium arbitrium". And it means just that, "a free judgement". It is in such a free judgement of the mind, which every opinion is, that we have our freedom.
My own comment here is that we do not have to stay "locked-in" to such ancient Roman concepts. Today, with modern understanding (based on QUFD), "Free Will" CAN truly BE Free Will, based on KNOWING, and NOT opinions!
This, I think, indicates what I mean by saying that our voluntary action is doubly free, free because it follows from our judgements and free because our judgements themselves are free, since what we're thinking about in matters of action are objects about which we can only form opinions, and form them quite freely.
Now there is another way of seeing this connection between opinion and our freedom. The other way is by supposing the very opposite. Suppose with me for a moment, what is quite contrary to the nature of the case, what is not real, but try to suppose that with regard to matters of action WE REALLY COULD KNOW what was good, or right for us to do in every particular situation.
(SO WHAT makes one think that they CANNOT?)
Well, in that case, on that supposition, our action MIGHT still be voluntary in the sense that our actions follow from our own judgements, but it would not be FREE in that ultimate sense, because in that case our judgements themselves would not be free! (Okay, let's review a basic nomothetical Rule, which is: "Judge not, lest ye be judged, but judge ONLY for thineself alone!" So, judging for oneSelf, on the basis of KNOWING and fact, I'd say our "judgements" were certainly FREE!)
Let there be no judgements, upon others, as shall affect those others no more than in one's personal actions thereupon!
(A fallacy) A colleague thought that if I could demonstrate that democracy was the best form of government, then that would not leave men free in their thinking about democracy; they would have to accept democracy; they could not choose freely between democracy and some other form of government. In other words, to be free and democratic about democracy, a person must be free and open to make up their own mind and opinion on the subject.
In my view, the proposition that democracy is the best form of government is a matter of knowledge, not opinion. And this fact that it is a matter of knowledge, not opinion, does not destroy freedom one little bit; for it is a freedom on the level of detail, not on a level of so high a principle as the general principle that democracy is the best form of government.
Men cannot live together in society, cannot live together peacefully and harmoniously, unless there is some settled rule of action to which they all can agree and to which they all can give their assent. And usually there must be SOME AUTHORITY, something to make this settled rule of action binding on them all. (WHY NOT rely upon the KNOWING of nomothetical Law and principle instead?) Now here I say that opinion in regard to action is not merely one source of our need for authority; it is THE source, the thing that creates our need for authority! (So then get rid of opinion!)
Let me tell you WHY this is so. First, in matters of opinion, human beings are free to make up their own minds, are they not? And reasonable persons can disagree with one another and still remain quite reasonable. Now, since individuals ALWAYS ACT IN THE LIGHT OF OPINION, they NEVER ACT IN TERMS OF KNOWLEDGE, (AND THIS MUST CHANGE!) it follows that they can always disagree about matters of action. But they cannot act together, as they must act together if they are going to live together in society, they cannot act for a common goal, unless they can resolve their differences, unless they can find some way of agreeing about a single course of action or a single policy they can all adopt or pursue.
Now then, how is this agreement to be reached on matters of opinion concerning actions to be taken? It cannot be reached by reasoning, because IF it COULD be reached by reasoning, it would be a matter of knowledge, not a matter of opinion. And since it IS a matter of opinion, the debate could go on endlessly and action would never be taken. How then is the debate to be resolved and action taken? So far as I know, there are only two answers. It is either to be resolved by superior force used against the parties with inferior force to which the parties without such force must submit OR it is resolved by some authority to which they willingly accept.
Opinion about action is really the source of our need for either authority (to remain free) or the use of force (not free).
This problem about majority rule emerges from the fact that our practical judgements, being opinions, being the basis on the one hand of our freedom and on the other hand of our need for authority, leads to majority rule as the only way to reconcile that freedom with our need for authority.
In the practical order, in the sphere of action, we have knowledge ONLY about the most universal principles in ethics or jurisprudence or politics, underlying all our practical judgements in detail. (A MATURE MIND, one which is able to "get in touch" with the incorporeality of one's Soul, however, ALWAYS has KNOWING, and TRUTH, of ALL issues!)
Our freedom of choice with regard to action stems, in part at least, from the fact that our practical judgements are opinions, that they are free judgements, judgements about which we are free to make up our own minds, judgements about matters concerning which reasonable persons can disagree and still remain quite reasonable.
This very freedom of judgement raises the problem of how men can act together in society peacefully and harmoniously, since such concerted action requires them to agree on some single decision or policy or course of action. What can produce agreement about matters of opinion concerning action?
(Force or Authority) Force is opposed to freedom and I would think that any authority except the kind that involves majority rule would also be inconsistent with freedom.
Okay, now Adler comments upon OPINION and MAJORITY RULE (I say, with regard to majority rule, "You call that REALITY - majority rule, that is?"):
Matters of knowledge can be settled by reasoning.
Individuals should be free to disagree about questions of policy or political action, because these are matters of opinion. Because they are matters of opinion, differences cannot be resolved by reasoning or proof. (But differences of FACT, of KNOWING, can be reasonably resolved BY A MATURE MIND!)
Controversy is good. Not controversy based upon differences of opinion but, instead, differences of fact! Until everyone who has a different fact has been able to present it, in that all men do not know each and every fact of knowledge, as each individual usually only knows those facts or that fact which it behooves him/her to know.
I regard this as one of the saddest facts about the human race. If we could only do something about this, if we could only find a way to have children profit somehow by the experiences of their parents (LEARNING THE LESSONS OF HISTORY!), of accepting somehow the wisdom that is in their parent's opinions as a result of that experience (IF BASED ON KNOWING INSTEAD OF OPINION, IT WOULD BE!). I think we could change the course of human history overnite. Progress could be made to move with much greater speed than it ever has in the whole course of human history.
Can it be said that all differences, in both kind and degree, are but differences in knowing, or knowledge, or, in reality, in the ordering of a ground-state? Knowing, and thusly the ground-state of life and existence, of any and all species, is based upon those intimate and innate differences in the organizational (ordered) knowing or knowledge of that condensate force-field ground-state which comprises the sentient life of any species or kind of existence, i.e., that of dimensionality. And what are the components of any dimensionality? Temperature (only as to the corporeal interface with the incorporeal ground-state), density (as defined for each dimension of existence) and Spirit (including sentience and Essence). And what are the kinds of dimensions? Human (Collective, group and individual), plant (with differences of kind and degree), animal (likewise of kind and degree), rock (likewise of kind and degree), planetary (kind/degree), star, galaxial, cosmic and on and on.
DARWINIAN EVOLUTION vs CREATIONISM vs HUMAN EVOLUTION
Okay, I'm also going to include here a few of Adler's comments on Darwinism, or Darwinian Evolution, in that such commentary does, contextually and in reference to QUFD and the genesis (therein given) of HUMAN EVOLUTION, which does have some relevance to the issues of Truth and Reality, when viewed from opposing perspectives of CORPOREALITY versus INCORPOREALITY!
Incidentally, speaking of Darwin, here's a website that has an excellent riposte to Darwinism, in the form of "Darwin's Ape: The Three Monkeys Speak!". Also, I might quote a joke from the Web (compliments of 123India.com Jokes), to wit:
A man visited a zoo and was surprised as he passed the ape exhibit. The ape had two books. In one hand he had Darwin's "Origin of Species" and in the other he had the Bible. The ape kept looking from one to the other with a puzzled expression.
Fascinated, the man called out to the ape, "Say there, can you actually read that?"
The ape replied, "Of course, I'm not stupid, but I am a bit confused. You see this book says that I am my brother's keeper and this one says that I am my keeper's brother!"
ADLER's ANSWER TO DARWIN
(Three things only humans do):
Only humans make artistically, from the use of reason, not instinct. The power of reasoning is man's alone; i.e., animals use only instinct.
(Opposing point) Has mankind ever perceived the reasoning of animals, plants, rocks, stars, galaxies, etc.? NO!
Variability, from generation to generation, in what humans create, makes for artistic improvement
Also, though, the context of the situation applies to any species! If the context/situation has not changed, then there is no reason (Hey, the use of reason, here?) to change that which is created. Thusly a spider has no reason to change its web spinning technique and artistry.
There IS an "unbridgeable difference between man and animal or any other species", but it is not evolutionary but dimensional!
"Man is the only animal that makes machine tools". WHOA! CONTEXT AGAIN! If ants needed machine tools, they would to!
Man has highly variable reasoning. (So do sentient beings of other dimensions!)
Man has a grasp of the universality of things. (All species DO!)
Only humans think discursively.
Men think about problems other than survival problems, i.e. mathematics, philosophy or the problems of any theoretical/speculative science.
The manner in which man thinks about such is INTENSE BODILY INACTIVITY! Only man sits down to think about what is important and not urgent.
Only men think in words that are abstract.
Human language is the only language that is syntactical, i.e. has parts of speech and sentences.
Only humans associate politically.
Humans form BY REASON the conventions, the constitutions, the laws, the rules, the polis, unto which they live. This is the evidence of his reason and freedom.
Humans have the power, or potential, of reason, albeit in certain individuals such potential may not as yet have matured (as in babies) or may be existing under a PATHOLOGICAL IMPEDIMENT (an imbecile, OR even all of humanity, extant under the Veil of Separation!)
To say that man is a rational animal IS NOT to say that humans are always reasonable or that they always act rationally. Only man is ever unreasonable, only man is irrational, only man goes insane or becomes neurotic.
Only humans have a history, and keep records, and pass on, not only biological inheritance but also cultural inheritance (ideas, institutions, etc.)
Only humans merely subsist or live well. All other animals are relatively successful in their struggle for existence (because they can take what is offered to them by nature!) (Man is not "successful" because he exists under the Veil of Separation/Unknowing! Remove that barrier, allow regeneration of Maturity of the Human Mind, and Man WILL BE successful, in anything he might do!)
Quoting Alfred North Whitehead: "Nothing is more curious than the self-satisfied dogmatism with which mankind at each period of its history cherishes the delusion of finality of its existing beliefs. Skeptics and believers are all alike. At this moment, scientists and skeptics are the leading dogmatists. Such dogmatism is the death of philosophic adventure. The argument on any basic issue is never closed."
Regarding Newton, Darwin and all modern dogmatic philosopher-scientists, who are "locked-in" to the corporeal world......it is a wonder, what just a little bit of KNOWING, of SPIRIT, and of incorporeality, would create!
Evolution (the theory of) is one of the things which has emancipated man from religion, from the belief that God created man in His own image WITH A SPECIAL DIGNITY AND A SPECIAL DESTINY, including divine rewards and punishments. (Speaking of Darwinian Evolution, NOT Human Evolution! See QUFD, for the three "Geneses" of Mankind; i.e., Creationism, Darwinian Evolution, and Human Evolution!)
Man is a person, or has personality, and is not a thing (as an ant). Now this is a distinction between man as a rational animal, distinct in kind, not degree, from all other animals as brutes. NOTICE THE BASIC OR FUNDAMENTAL PROPERTIES which follow from man's possession of personality, from the fact that man is a person, not a thing.
If man were not a person, he would not have special dignity or special status, social or political status in the world. Things do not have this dignity nor status. Moreover, all the rights and liberties which we demand for human beings, their natural and legal rights and liberties, these belong to human beings as persons. They do not belong to things. Only persons have moral responsibility. (HOWEVER, see the next statement.) We do not hold things morally responsible. And personality is the ESSENCE of human equality and of man's superiority to other animals.
However, it is to be noted that the United States IS NOT a "signatory" to the International Berne Convention on MORAL RIGHTS. See Section 31 of Apologia.
When the Declaration of Independence says all men are equal, what that means in its deepest understanding is that all human beings equally or alike have the quality, the character, of being persons. Their equality is the equality of persons and all the rights and privileges and liberties that go with being a person. Not only is human equality to be understood in the fact that all men are persons, but the superiority of men over animals is also in terms of humans being persons and animals being things.
Hey, MAYBE IF we treated ALL SPECIES EQUALLY - IF we recognized, and respected, and appreciated THEIR CONSCIOUSNESS, their "equality", to us, in the Cosmos, in All That Is......just maybe, there might be less negativity, of any sort, in the Cosmos! IF we treated ALL SPECIES, and ALL of Creation, as our equals......WOW! Who knows what a wonderful Life we would have?
Justice requires us to treat equals equally and unequals unequally. And when unequals are regarded as unequal in kind because one is a superior kind and the other is an inferior kind (BY MANKIND'S DEFINITION, and by his unknowing!), justice requires us to treat that inequality different from the inequality which is merely an inequality in degree. Now I say that if man is not superior in kind to other animals (as Darwin did say, that man is different from the animals ONLY IN DEGREE!), then the rules of justice, in terms of which we treat men one way and animals another way, would be all wrong. (RIGHT!) We would have to revise all our standards in the treatment of humans and animals (AND ALL OTHER SPECIES TOO, perhaps?)
Now we regard humans as superior in KIND and that justifies us in regarding humans as ends, to be treated as ends, whereas brute animals and other things to be treated as means, can be used. Because all humans are equal in kind with one another, because all are persons and as persons equal in kind, one human being must treat another human being as an end.
But suppose that humans were superior to other animals only in degree (ala Darwin), that humans were higher animals and other animals were lower animals. Then if humans being higher animals and other animals being lower justifies humans in treating other animals as means, then by the same principle of justice, if there are superior races of humans they would be justified by that difference in degree in treating inferior races as things, exploiting them, enslaving them, even killing them. In fact, if man differs from man only in degree and man from animal in degree, then by the principles of justice we have no defense against Hitler's doctrine of superior and inferior races and the justification he would give for the superior to exploit, enslave and kill the inferior.
Finally I come to my last point of practical significance, the validity of the three great religions of the West: Judaism, Islam and Christianity, in both its Catholic and Protestant forms. The validity of these three great religions depends on the truth of the proposition that man is created by God in His own image, with a special dignity and a special destiny. If this proposition is not true, then in honesty and frankness and clarity of mind, we ought to repudiate Judaism, Islam and Christianity as idle myths, as deeply and essentially false.
I'm not asking you to accept my view that the tenets of Western moral, political, legal and religious beliefs are true and that Darwin's view of man's origin and nature is false. But, I am saying that you must decide between these two views. Both cannot be true. You cannot have it both ways. You cannot keep your religious, your political, your moral beliefs and, with another part of your mind, hold Darwin's view of man's origin and nature to be true.
Let me be sure that I've got this point clear. Our ACTIONS, I think, should be consistent with our beliefs. A letter from Mrs. McLord raises three points that I would like to consider finally. She said, "Why do I consider it important to take sides on the issue about man's origin and nature? And how does taking sides influence one's behavior? And why isn't it enough merely to be informed about such opposite views?"
I think I have answered these questions, but to be sure let me repeat these two basic points. I think one's ACTIONS should be consistent with one's beliefs. We are all guilty of hypocrisy if we believe that Darwin is right and that, at the same time, we go on acting as if he were wrong, enjoying the privileges of human dignity, even demanding those privileges but at the same time denying the very facts on which that dignity and its privileges are based.
Okay, here I will just mention a few other thoughts that Adler has concerning such Great Ideas as our issues of Truth and Reality:
A free man is one who lives according to the dictates of reason alone. Human freedom insists then in the life of reason and its purely rational life as possible for man to live. (AND let Reason replace opinion!)
(Aristotle): "When men are friends there is no need for JUSTICE among them or between them. As between friends, there is no need of justice. Of course, there are no human societies that have ever existed which are based on Love and Friendship instead of Law and Justice. Almost all, in fact all historic societies (SINCE 9644 BC!) are of a negative sort. They are societies in which justice prevents discord rather than societies in which Love produces concord. (WHICH IS WHAT WE NEED!)
There are two ways in which men possess things: physically and spiritually. We possess them physically when we consume or use them; we possess them spiritually when we behold or KNOW them. LOVING is like knowing. Love is like knowledge. The things we love we possess in the same way as we possess them when we KNOW them. But LOVE, though it is like knowledge and is united to its object as the knower is to the known IS MUCH BETTER THAN ALL THE FORMS OF INTELLECTUAL KNOWLEDGE! It is a much deeper union than that. That, I think, is why Saint Thomas, speaking of man's relationship to God, says, It is better to Love God than to Know Him, and it is better to know things than to love them."
We, because we are social persons, want, deeply want, to share one another's lives. How can this be done? Only in one way. One word gives the answer, CONVERSATION. Love and the union of Love is impossible without conversation. Each of us is alone. Each of us is quite lonely. Without the communication of Love, without the conversations, the heart-to-heart talks, which are Love's way of achieving Union, each of us would be as isolated, as shut out from one another as animals are, even when they are herding together physically, most closely. Only the Communion of Love, produced by the conversations of Lovers, overcomes our human isolation and our human aloneness or loneliness.
The love of money distorts and impedes the Love of persons. And one should Love persons.
When we say something is good, when we call something bad, is that judgement we make an expression of knowledge on our part or just our personal opinion?
A statement is true when it conforms to the way things are. Truth is in the mind when the mind agrees with Reality!"
When we know something we don't consume or destroy it. Knowing, unlike eating and other desires, leaves its object untouched.
BEAUTY exists in the object of an intuitive knowledge and an intuitive apprehension of the individual thing as a whole. The knowledge involved in the experience of beauty consists in comprehending, almost embracing, its object. That is why we ordinarily speak of the experience of the beautiful as involving an aesthetic intuition and use the word intuition to mean this special kind of knowledge which can't be expressed in statements or in words. But it is an almost immediate experience, grasping the individual object in front of you, beholding it, possessing it through KNOWING IT IN THE HERE AND NOW (IN THE MOMENT!) The beautiful thing, that which is beautiful, is an object of contemplation (OF THE MIND!) It is never an object of scientific knowledge in which truth is involved or an object of action in which goodness is involved.
(Thomas Aquinas): "BEAUTIFUL IS THAT WHICH SATISFIES OUR DESIRES SIMPLY BY OUR INTUITIVE KNOWLEDGE OF IT!"
What is it in a thing of beauty which makes it beautiful regardless of our experience of it? UNITY, ORDER AND CLARITY! (Shades of QUFD principles themselves!) An object is beautiful if it has UNITY, and ORDER, and a clearness or CLARITY of its structure. (According to QUFD principles, this applies to most everything in the Cosmos!) Unity, Order and Clarity, in a thing, are the elements of its beauty, of its objective beauty.
(Regarding something which is WELL-FORMED, as a theory, etc., i.e., QUFD!) What we mean by well-formed is that its Unity is clear, its parts are well-ordered to one another, and its structure is orderly and apparent.
(Regarding FREEDOM of ALL SPECIES in the Cosmos) Adler says, "Stones don't have conscious and deliberate desire, [and thusly cannot seek Freedom, as the human does.]" I say that is a fallacy. When one can get into the particular dimensionality (and temporality) of a stone or another species, one certainly finds their consciousness and desires alike with man's in every way!
(Plato): "The realm of BEING is the realm of things which are PURELY INTELLIGIBLE, or IMMATERIAL, which consists of the IDEAS or ESSENCES (INcorporeality!) or the FORMS, which is the realm of unchanging REALITY! (YEAH!) The realm of BECOMING or CHANGE is the world of things which are merely sensible, or physical, or the realm of FLUX OF APPEARANCES."
Change is temporal/time, is physical process, has potential, is mutable or changeable. Anything else is immutable! (or INCORPOREAL!)
(Aristotle): "Change is not an intelligible thing, if it is mutable."
(Descartes): A universal mechanics, the mechanics of the motion of bodies changing position in space (change/temporality) accounts for a phenomena of the PHYSICAL universe. He (Descartes) regarded all living things EXCEPT MAN, as being like automata, like machines. He even regarded man's BODY in this way, BUT NOT MAN'S MIND (NOT PHYSICAL!) (i.e., corporeality - the brain - versus INcorporeality - the Mind!)
The Philosophical Sciences are: LOGIC, the science of thought; METAPHYSICS, the science of being or existence; PHYSICS, the science of becoming or change; EPISTEMOLOGY, the theory of knowledge, or the science of how we know and what knowledge is, or the science of the true (Truth); ONTOLOGY: the science of Being; ETHICS, the science of conduct, or of the good; AESTHETICS, the science of art, or of the beautiful; POLITICS, the science of society and of government; plus other minor philosophical sciences.
Philosophy is the rational discussion of basic ideas, the basics or fundamentals of human life and society and existence.
If the use of SCIENCE through technology is to give us power over Nature, is to give us the means to our end or goal, then the use of PHILOSOPHY consists in giving us not the means, but the direction to the end, pointing out the goal, the things we should see, the things we ought to do, giving us the standards by which we can control our use of the means.
The scientist, the philosopher, the religionist, KNOWS SOMETHING DIFFERENT, has a different sort or kind of knowledge, or has, in effect, some other reason for factual knowing or knowledge.
Education IS NOT learning! Human learning is an insignificant part of Education today, when it should be the most important. Human learning is: emotional/cultural learning, moral learning (character development), and intellectual learning (our mind!)
Philosophy is the rational reflection about the common everyday experiences of mankind. Adler says, "Any Philosopher worth his salt knows better than to ever get out of his armchair. In order to think about the Great Ideas of humanity, reality and existence, the philosophical thinker must engage in most serious concentration and work, work that is defined by very serious physical inactivity!"
(Lord Bertrand Russell) "The methods of science cannot solve a single, basic moral question, or a question of value."
Philosophy is knowledge; philosophy as knowledge is independent of science; as knowledge solving ultimate problems, philosophy is superior to science both theoretically and practically.
In philosophy, we do not necessarily get more knowledge; instead we get more understanding of that which we already know!
(Aristotle): "The investigation of the truth is in one way hard, in another easy. An indication of this is found in the fact that no one is able to attain the truth adequately, while on the other hand we do not collectively fail. Everyone says something true (INDIVIDUAL FACTS) about the nature of things, while individually we contribute little or nothing to the truth. So by the union of all, a considerable amount (of the truth) is amassed."
The first condition of philosophical progress is that of dialectical clarification, which gives us a deeper understanding of the basic issues.
The one major problem of philosophy today is that the contributions of a philosophical genius making an advance with a new insight (QUFD?) cannot be achieved in the milieu of today.
(Regarding First Cause) If all existence and beings are "contingent beings" (contingent upon "creation" - i.e., may or may not exist), therefore there is the necessity of a "necessary being" (God), who DOES EXIST - the very nature of which it is to exist, whereas, for a contingent being, such does require the cause (in time/space) of its existence to cause its existence at EVERY MOMENT of its existence, i.e., every contingent being needs a cause of its existence every moment of its existence. (AS EXPLAINED BY QUFD!)
No contingent being can cause the existence of another.
(Regarding cause and effect) Whenever the effect exists, the cause required for the existence of the effect must also exist.
If the existence of an effect implies the existence of its required cause; if contingent things exist; if everything contingent must have a cause of its existence at every moment of its existence; no contingent thing can cause the existence of any other contingent thing, therefore a necessary being must exist as the cause of All That Is AT EVERY MOMENT! (QUFD PRINCIPLE!)
Okay, so much for Adler's commentary, as a background to further discussion here on Truth, Reality and such. And I want you to keep most of Adler's points in mind (AS WELL AS MY OWN INTERJECTED COMMENTS THEREON SPECIFIC ISSUES!), because I am, in this final section, going to distinguish Truth and Reality relative to both Adler's perspective and the QUFD perspective.
Actually Adler did not emphasize or define directly one of our two issues, that of REALITY, which he described only in relation to his other issues. (This is sort of like, in the French novelist Vercors' novel, "You Shall Know Them", where his main character, the hero of his book, D. M. Templemore, determines that science, in all of its classifications and descriptions of all the fauna and flora and genera of life on this planet Earth, had failed [science, or really humanity] to render an adequate description of MANKIND HIMSELF; i.e., WHAT is man?, as a question, CANNOT BE ANSWERED, in any scientific or legal rendering.) In like manner, Adler, in exploring the REALITY of TRUTH, has, in effect, "beat around the bush", in defining EVERYTHING ELSE BUT TRUTH ITSELF! However, QUFD, in variance thereto, takes exceptional interest in REALITY because, as this report is about, it is most certainly at the basis, or foundation, of just about everything that "IS"! But, in order to distinguish what
QUFD means when it makes the statement (as QUFD principle!), "INCORPOREALITY (Spirit) is the basis of ALL corporeality (physicality/materiality!", we will have to explore the Truth and Reality OF both corporeality and INcorporeality! So, let's do that.
Okay, let's start with the human brain and the human mind, as a means of distinguishing between Adler's concepts and QUFD realities. The absolute reality (a nomotheticism) IS, that the Mind supervises and controls each and every function and dynamic of the human brain. Nothing, in the electro-chemical operation of the human brain, would function without the supervision and overall higher guidance of the incorporeal human Mind, which reposes in and has its reality in......SPIRIT! So let's continue on here, in examination of the incorporeality of both TRUTH and SPIRIT!
And this is where Adler's concepts, relating as they do, all Truth and Reality to MERE CORPOREALITY, actually fail the test OF Truth and Reality, because what is being ignored and not recognized, is the very basis, the very fundamentals, OF Truth and Reality - that of INCORPOREALITY, or SPIRIT! Actually, Adler does, separately and indirectly, invoke Spirit, as the ultimate cause of All That Is. He does this in his separate commentaries and books (other than in his recent book, "How to Think About the Great Ideas"). Especially in his commentary on Science, Philosophy and Religion, where he invokes Religion as man's closest coming to Spirit, in addressing any question that may be beyond the purview of either Science or Philosophy. But, in doing so, Adler involves himself in mankind's distortions and corruptions of Spirit, in the interpretations by which ALL RELIGION does derive FROM SPIRIT through the individual "interpretations" OF Spirit by the
individual founders and prophets of each religion. In other words, putting "faith" in religion (and remember Adler's quotes hereinbefore about faith, as being somewhere between ultimate KNOWING and true "opinion"), instead of actually knowing the Truth and Reality of SPIRIT, is the same thing as what we have today in Medicine, where drugs, surgery, and all kinds of medical "treatments", do actually (IN REALITY!) "treat" the SYMPTOMS of any dis-ease or medical problem, rather than getting to the actual cause of the dis-ease, as PREVENTATIVE MEDICINE would so do!
On the other hand, QUFD goes "directly to the Source", in detailing and defining, scientifically AND philosophically, exactly WHAT SPIRIT IS, and WHY it is at the basis OF All That Is, in mankind and in the Cosmos. So Adler IS correct, when he says that one does not KNOW, one does not have "a grasp on" the Truth, UNTIL one has an UNDERSTANDING OF exactly what does constitute that Reality, until one can "see", in one's Mind, the "connection" WITH the Reality OF the way such "IS", or the way things are!
In other words, this is Adler's means of VERIFYING......THAT TRUTH IS in the Mind! And since the Mind itself is a part of that SPIRIT which is the incorporeality of Truth, therefore Adler is merely verifying that the BASIS of ALL TRUTH, of ALL KNOWING, is INCORPOREALITY, or SPIRIT! Now what I mean here is that what Adler has done, in his commentaries, is to directly relate his philosophical conceptualizations TO MERE CORPOREALITY, which fails the test of Truth and Reality by ignoring Spirit! But, in such commentaries, he DOES, unconsciously and indirectly, relate the Truthfulness and Reality of his commentaries TO SPIRIT INDIRECTLY, unconsciously verifying the incorporeal reality OF Spirit!
As I have said many times, TRUTH and REALITY CAN BE FOUND, however usually unconsciously, WITHIN each and every one of us, WHEN WE LOOK WITHIN (consciously OR unconsciously!), to that SPIRIT of ourselves, to that incorporeal ground-state WHICH IS the actual reality OF our very Being - our actual "connection" TO All That Is and TO that Infinite Ground-State of Consciousness wherefrom we all did come - God, or Infinite Consciousness! We can do, as Adler did, in realizing, however indirectly and unconsciously, that there was SPIRIT, as the BASIS, or at the root, of any and everything, which he attributed to "Religion", as his way of expressing that magnificient incorporeality!
BUT, the TRUTH IS......and the REALITY IS, that incorporeality, or SPIRIT, IS THE BASIS of EVERYTHING! So, to get to the point, WHEN we can "go into the Mind", and CONNECT anything which we are concerned about, TO INCORPOREALITY......THEN we will have the TRUTH, we will be able to "see", IN OUR OWN MIND, the TRUTH, and the REALITY, of whatever it is that we are concerned about, BY realizing the nomothetical fact THAT such TRUTH does exist ONLY IN SPIRIT! IF it exists in corporeality, IN ANY WAY, it is mere OPINION, as Adler has so pointed out, but it is NOT TRUTH! TRUTH and REALITY are based ONLY in SPIRIT, in the incorporeality of Consciousness, in the Mind, and of the ground-state dimensionality which is the scientific and actual BASIS OF that reality of which we are concerned with!
So, I've said that Truth is based upon Spirit, which is perceived IN THE MIND! Well, how do we verify that, in the corporeal world? Guess what? WE DON'T! The corporeal dimension - any corporeal dimension - IS THE RESULT OF INCORPOREALITY (Remember Adler's previous comments about Cause and Effect and First Cause? Or the Reader hereof might also read my Lecture on "The Quantum Physics of Time!"), and can we VERIFY RESULTS when the "source", the cause, is incorporeality, is actually of ANOTHER DIMENSION, or, in reality, of NO DIMENSION, but is EVERYWHERE AT ONCE? In other words, Spirit! The ground-state of Consciousness, which is Spirit, IS INFINITE, therefore IT CANNOT BE VERIFIED! (Of course, this is not to say that some day, perhaps, such MAY BE, that something MAY BE "verifiable", but as of now, such is not the case.)
So, where does that leave us? Actually, right back where we started, with all of Adler's aphorisms, in which he adroitly describes Truth and Reality, WITHOUT INVOKING INCORPOREALITY! So, to "see" the actual Truth - in our Minds, of course - all we have to do is UNDERSTAND the WHY of that which IS - that such Truth does reside IN SPIRIT, which can ONLY be invoked IN OUR MINDS! So, when we forget about trying to "prove anything" (for now), THEN we can start invoking one more very essential and important factor, which goes along with the recognition (IN the Mind!) that TRUTH resides ONLY IN SPIRIT......and that additional factor is TRUST! When mankind can BASE ALL his Truths and Realities ON SPIRIT......THEN we shall be able to TRUST each other and one another! (And with ONLY TRUTH, and fact, NOT OPINION, in our lives......) WOW! THEN, we will have a WHOLE NEW WORLD - of Truth, of Reality, of Rightness, of Goodness, of Positivity, of Happiness, and much more - ALL BASED ON TRUST! May such BE!