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Thursday, April 14, 2011

What do we know, really ?

I wonder if we ever got to meet people from the future, how many of our Facts would sound like "flat-earth" concepts to their ears.
I've always been amazed by certainty. People live their lives surrounded by Facts. The earth is round and it rotates around the sun. That's a fact. Of course it used to be a Fact that the earth was flat, but that was a long time ago, we've come a long way since then.

I wonder if we ever got to meet people from the future, how many of our Facts would sound like "flat-earth" concepts to their ears. Would they look at us as we would upon the dark ages ?

As with all other things within our reach, most of our facts are justified by a physical logic. What I find even more fascinating, is spiritual certainty. I've spent a good portion of my life telling people I'm an atheist. Most of the time, I was lying. If I were to look at you straight in the eyes and tell you that the existence of God is not possible, as a Fact, I'd have to have the arrogance to claim that in that tiny little head of mine I've figured out and understood the mysteries of the world.

Do you realize what certainty implies in this case ? Imagine you're the size of an ant, and you've been placed in an unbelievably large room with all sorts of junk in it, except the room has no windows, and you're asked to describe what the building looks like from the outside, or even better, what the world outside of the building looks like.

It's easy to forget sometimes that we live in a world that's so unreal. We forget that no matter what happens everyday, we still live on a tiny piece of rock catapulted through space, stuck in rotation around a ball of fire. Worst thing is that this is not even half of the story.

I have a theory about the world. I believe the universe is a particle in a galactic cucumber seed in a garden belonging to seven hundred and seventy seven gods, and that at some point we will be eaten, but we won't have a clue because we're so tiny. I'm pretty sure you can't prove me wrong. Do I really believe that ? Probably not, but what I do believe in is that nothing is a matter of Fact.

Even Science is a matter of perception. I'm not saying it's subjective, far from it. What I'm saying is that the way we have studied science is through our senses and our perception of our three-dimensional world. But is the world actually three-dimensional or are we simply experiencing a projection of it ?

A few days ago there was a debate on a book review blog about the existence of guardian angels. As you would expect, some people believed in their existence while others explained the whole phenomenon as an intricate process going on inside our brains. I wonder how would one go about to find the truth ?

What I find fascinating about atheists and deists alike, is that they prove their arguments based on assumptions they've made themselves.

God is good, but then how come there is so much misery in the world ? God must therefore not exist.

What if God exists, but likes to mess around with us ? What if we are the ants to that little kid playing with a mirror in the sun ?

Needless to say, certainty drives me nuts. If I told you I'm an atheist today I'd be lying, and judging from the jabs I've taken at atheists in this post you probably believe me already. It doesn't mean I don't think religious people are equally arrogant and probably just as wrong. So what are my Facts ?

"I don't know"



Recommended media: The hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy (book / movie)

Special credit for inspiring this post goes to the lovely people over at The Cube for the reviews and the debates that followed (particularly on "Flatland" and "An Inquiry into the Existence of Guardian Angels").

comments

April 14, 2011 at 1:48 PM Sareen

Excellent job again Fadi! I guess ironically the only fact that really exists is blind Faith!

April 21, 2011 at 9:44 AM Liliane

I feel like I am reading myself...

This reminds me of a sentence Phoebe said to Ross in one of their "scientific" arguments in Friends. She said she didn't believe in Gravity. and everyone looked at her as she was retarded. and then i forgot how it went, but it is probably one of the smartest things i have seen on this show, she proved him that many times scientist believe something based on other things, that can be negated or dis-proven centuries later, how can he "ross" prove that this won't happen with their theory "gravity"...

people who are sure about a theory about this universe, are small minded :P that's the only theory I am sure about!

October 25, 2011 at 11:05 PM Jessy

I don't know why it took me so long to discover your blog, but it certainly has the best posts I've ever read. I love how you think.
More people should think the way you do. Thanks.

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