Philosophy - Part 11 - I am, therefore I think.

Philosophy – Part 11 – I am, therefore I think – by P.K.Odendaal – July 2012.
We ended our last part by realising that the philosophy of old was finally written off as a waste of time and words, because it was proven false time and time again. But, there was something else going on in the offspring of Philosophy, namely Science. The axioms which were being used to base Science on, was not being proved true or false, mainly because it was intuitively correct and generally accepted, without any scientific proof.
Some of the oldest axioms comes from Euclid (300 BC) in the form of postulates. His method consists in assuming a small set of intuitively appealing axioms, and deducing many other propositions (theorems) from these. He was the first to show how these propositions could fit into a comprehensive deductive and logical system. He was so successful with this that we still today believe his postulates to be true.

Euclidean geometry is more concrete than many modern axiomatic systems such as Set Theory. Here are a few of his axioms :
Axiom 1 : Things that are equal to the same thing are equal to each other.
Axiom 2 : If in a triangle, two angles equal one another, then the sides opposite the equal angles also equal one another.
Axiom 3 : The whole is greater than the part.
Axiom 4 : The two points of a straight line, if extended, can never meet again.

And this is exactly how we are going to proceed on our set of philosophical postulates. We will take intuitive notions, which is obviously true and which has never been proved untrue, as our axioms. In fact, as an example, if we take Descartes, we can show the folly of an untrue statement. Descartes said that 'I think therefore I am'. This says nothing and is obviously false. One cannot think before one exists, so the true axiom is : I am, therefore I think.
We will also base our axioms on the philosophy of the Bible, as no one has ever been able to prove it false for over three millennia. Read my previous article, Part 10, on The Best Book, the obvious source for our philosophic system.

And here they are :
1.    God created the Universe. Nobody has ever proved that he did not. And by implication we refer to God as the God who created the Universe. No other god can be a God, as he must of necessity be inferior to the God who created the Universe, because if it was not so, then God would have created this inferior god.
      Aristotle posited that the universe was never created, but existed from eternity. Moses on the other hand had posited a thousand years earlier, that God created the Universe, and it was only proven in the previous century that the Universe was created and did not exist from eternity. How could Moses know this more than three millennia ago, if God did not show it to him - which is another proof of the authenticity of the Bible.
2.    There is a law of Cause and Effect. Nobody has ever proven this to be false. From this law we deduce that there was a first or ultimate cause, which is God.
      There are two views or interpretations of this law.
      The first is that the whole Universe is deterministic, as each cause has its effect, and each effect is the source of a new cause. The effect of this view is that Free Will does not exist. The second part of this view is intuitively false, as an effect does not have to be a cause, it only opens up the world to new causes which may not be triggered by Free Will.
      The second view, that if Sartre, is that there is no cause binding us to decide in a certain way, and that we can decide anything anytime, due to our free will. In his words : Every time I am confronted by whatever my temptation, I discover that I am free, that yesterday's resolution does not determine what I do now, that now I must choose again. Just as my past does not determine what I am now, so what I am now does not determine my future. I am condemned to free will.
      Of course neither of these views are true. The truth is that we can decide what we will, but we are influenced by what we and other people decided and did in the past, and we refine our choices every day to steer our lives along a path of conventional wisdom, and sometimes even along a path of folly.
      The proof of free will, if we accept our axiom 1 above, is easy to deduce from there, and it goes like this : I make mistakes. God cannot make a mistake. So it was my free will and my free choice which resulted in me making a mistake. QED.
3.    If God, who has free will, is the Ultimate cause of Prime mover, then I, who was created in the image of God, with free will, is an intermediate cause or intermediate mover. I can therefore change myself, my circumstances, that of people around me whom I influence and hence the way of this World, but I am partially restricted in this, as I am potent but not  omnipotent, like God.
      The real axiom is 'I am, therefore I think'. And I can think anything I wish to think of at any time, and that is a simple and sure demonstration of free will.
      I have free will, but I will not exercise that unduly, because fools rush in where angels fear to tread. I will take all factors, wisdom and experience in consideration when I take a decision, and I will only veer off the trodden path when I find an exciting innovative alternative, as variation on a theme is the crux of creativity. I was born to be creative, and I will not upset the muse by treading on the trodden path when I know new and exciting adventures await me on the less travelled road.

These three are the main postulates which I posit now, but if you read it carefully, it opens up a world and domain as vast and diverse and exciting as the one we now live in. Nobody could live with the philosophy of philosophers like Nietzsche, Hume, Marx and others. Theirs was a wage we could not live on. Most people could not live on or even understand what they said, and most people knew they were wrong. Theirs was mostly a philosophy of destruction.

Hundreds of deductions and corollaries exist for the above three postulates and I only list a few.
4.    If God is the creator of everything, then He created Himself, and He is then part of His creation – and part of us who are part of creation. He then also maintains His creation. If God is dead as many would have Him to be, then the whole of creation would be dead too, because it only lives as part of Him. He is also responsible for what He created and tends it.
5.    God is love. There is love in the world, and where would it come from if God did not create it. No other creature could have created love. Nobody have ever been able to prove that God is not love or that God acts loveless. The grief in this world comes from us and the angels as intermediate movers and intermediate creators, who are able and willing and prone to create grief, sin and death through our actions driven by jealousy, hate and vengefulness. If we think we can act without love and not cause devastation to ourselves and others and our planet, we do not believe in the immutable law of Cause and Effect.
6.    We are gods. No, not in the sense of Karl Marx. We are gods because we create. It follows from our first postulate that a god can create and God is the Prime Creator. If we create, like the parable of the talents in the Bible, we are exercising our godliness which we are expected to do for the benefit of mankind. However, if we break down like many people in this world do, then we are agents of evil and not gods.
7.    If we are gods and have a free will, then we are responsible for what we think and do. Our favourite pastime as mankind is to shift this responsibility to someone else, and especially to God, saying that we did not cause the chaos that we know we have sown. We must tend what we have created, and not let it rot in our or someone else's backyard, or the backyard of our or their souls. If we caused havoc or pain or grief, we should fix that by whatever means are available to us. We should be good neighbours to other members of mankind, and also tend to their needs because we are responsible and thoughtful – I am, therefore I think.
8.    Our lives are what we make of it. God has given us Life, and we can do with it what we will. He has given us directions on how to live this life, but he has also given us free will to do with this life what we want to, even destroy it. If we destroy our lives or that of someone else, we cannot blame God, a thing we are so good at doing.

And I conclude with the Sunset Limited, with which I started. The futility of the arguments of White has so upset me, being drawn from the lies of the philosophers, that I was going to discuss it in detail, but on reflection that would be as futile as his arguments. Black on the other hand was constantly giving him good and sound advice taken from the Fount of Life, but he heeded it not, whilst it cried out in the streets.
That is a pity and the course of life as lived out by the most destructive and loveless of all creation – mankind.

The End.