Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Advancing with certainty.

"Here, we not only show how the past, present and future hinge upon one unfolding plan,
but the relation of these things to eternity - the impact that the everlasting has upon us, imprisoned in this moment".

The Interpreter - A New Pilgrim's Progress by Geoffrey Bull.

Philosophy is the forum of questions about ourselves, and Science the arena of seeking to define certain physical realities, but neither field ever leaves us in a place of profound meaning regarding our moments here - they can hint or suggest, but every such notion can (probably) be countered by an alternative argument or view - not exactly a 'manufacturer's guide' then.

Philosophy deems knowledge as a 'justified true belief' (justified because there is some basis in what we deem reality to hold such a view). Science takes a similar approach - an idea (hypothesis) is tested to see if there are viable grounds for saying if something is so, an affirmation allowing the development of a theory about how something operates, but key too all of this accumulation is one thing - our perception of what we can understand of the world by means of our senses. The issue which both Philosophy and Science must face is that such an understanding (as provided by such means) fails to meet the most deepest questions we hold, for like the universe itself, the answer does not appear to be held in what is merely defined as 'fact' by such approaches (a word itself, which derives from a term which means, 'to fabricate').

Some years ago, I recall watching an intriguing and pretty disturbing conspiracy theory movie, The Parallax View. The film certainly has 'layers' regarding what is seen as 'reality', but the key scene (which I'll link to below), is when our 'hero' - a reporter played by Warren Beatty - seeks to infiltrate an organization that is involved in political destabilisation. He undergoes a fascinating 'programming' session using visual stimuli. The movie never tells us who they are working for, or even why, it merely seeks to challenge our acceptance of the 'status quo'.

Whether such 'games' of move and counter move actually occur is not the point. The Christian world-view is that we are all victims of a 'parallax' obscuring of the world when it comes to reality. We can assimilate all kinds of 'knowledge' (justified belief) about what goes on around us, and yet reach a totally wrong conclusion about who and what we are.

There are other ways to look... and that's what I'll touch on in my next blog.

Link: The Parallax View Scene.

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