Sunday, 28 March 2010

Things I know and things I believe

It's harder than I thought to try to distill down to absolute fundamentals those things that I can say that I know and those things that I think but cannot know.  This is an attempt to express them.  I will undoubtedly add to and modify them as I think further on this, but here's a first stab at it:

Things I know:

1. I exist.
2. My knowledge is imperfect.
3. There are things I can never know.
4. I do not know myself as others know me.
5. My existence will affect the future but not the past.
6. I experience time in a one-way linear fashion.
7. I need only food, water, and a means to control my temperature to live.
8. I will die.

Things I think but cannot know:

1. There is no supernatural God.  Our natural environment is all there is.
2. My behaviour is rational.
3. The environment is exactly as I perceive it.
4. Humans perceive their physical environment in the exactly the same way.

But here's an interesting quote from the Wikipedia discussion of epistemology, (the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope and limitations of knowledge),  which causes one to wonder if it is really possible to "know" anything:

Suppose we make a point of asking for a justification for every belief. Any given justification will itself depend on another belief for its justification, so one can also reasonably ask for this to be justified, and so forth. This appears to lead to an infinite regress, with each belief justified by some further belief. The apparent impossibility of completing an infinite chain of reasoning is thought by some to support scepticism. The sceptic will argue that since no one can complete such a chain, ultimately no beliefs are justified and, therefore, no one knows anything.

"The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing ." (Plato)

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Through the needle's eye...

Extraordinary micro-sculpture by Willard Wigan shown on BBC.
One of my Grandfather's favourite quotes was the one about it being easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdon of Heaven.
Willard's sculpture has shown wittily that it is indeed possible for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle after all (in fact several camels at the same time!)
Wish I'd been able to show him this!  :-)


Click on the title for a wonderful slideshow of gazillions of treehouses! Why treehouses? Well, I guess we all have an escapist within us, and I just love the idea of a tree house. Always have! I challenge you not to get transported away to another World if you just sit back and watch the slideshow.... :) It starts out with quite tame ones but gradually gets more weird and wonderful...)

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Back to Reality

It's hard sometimes to readjust to normal daily life after a great holiday. I think I'm going through that phase at the moment. I feel very displaced and not quite here!
Anyway, it's been intersting to get back to the real world. I'm also surprised at how much I looked forward to getting back to contributing to the "eChurch" blog (at )
It's fascinating to witness the huge range of views held within the Christian Church, and the contributors range from incredibly intelligent and well read thinkers to those who can barely construct a sentence. It has reminded me that the latter type is a far more challenging person with whom to debate, but it's all good fun, and hopefully we are all thereby encouraged to become more tolerant of difference.