C. S. Lewis was informed about many things, and he cautiously but boldly spoke about how he thought it all went together.
What then do you and I know?
And how do we begin to find out “MORE“? First, we’ll offer
5 AXIOMS certainly to be believed.
For that often illusive MORE, you have to go through our DOOR.
First, let me point out that C. S. Lewis was ignorant of much of what we call modern science. Science fiction, of course, takes certain liberties (as all fiction does, but I’m not going there…). His adult fantasies, Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra bear this out.
And, of course too, we’re ignorant of much–because of when and where we live, or because of how we spend our time. Maybe you’ve thrown up your hands and said “I don’t know anything! Especially about the stuff you’re going on and on about…” Okay, at times we’ve felt that way, too…depending on who we’re hanging around with. So what!
As adults (no minimum age required) we’re going to build a bit.
First, we’re going start off with some things that we all can absolutely agree (or should agree) on.
Axiom #1: I EXIST.
This is not silly! Philosophers in the past have argued that all we see and think about is an illusion, not real. I’m not a scientist, but I’ve had too much science to even spend time going that way. I am real.
You are real. If you doubt this, pinch yourself. If you’re still doubt, drop a rock on your foot. Then yell, “I exist!” You and I are real, and that’s where we’ll start. If you think this sounds too much like a philosophy called Existentialism*, well…it’s true that we’re starting with “us” to open the knowledge pathway, and daring others to object, but real Existentialism–whether atheistic or Christian–usually minimizes typical proofs, and brainwashed as we are about the importance of science we aren’t going down that road.
For the record, I’ll continue in the (riskier) first person voice for a moment. What do I absolutely know about myself?
(1) I exist.
(2) My living body** did not exist before Dec. 1, 1939. It will not exist*** on Dec. 2050 (probably several years sooner than that). I could draw a time line for my life on Earth. It would look like this:
._______________________________________._ _ _ _ _.
A B C
A if you add a few days, is the highly probable date of my conception (since my birth was on Sept. 9, 1940****).
B is July 28, 2013, the day I’m punching keys to type this.
C is the day my body dies. (Fact: certain; date: uncertain)
AB is the 29,903 days my body has been alive.
BC is the number of days from now before my body dies.
AC is the lifespan of my living body.
Given a fudge factor for the moment of my conception and the number of days my living body has left, I’m pretty certain about this. I don’t have to argue, or make a case for it. This is the foundation on which I build, even though the other 4 axioms were in play as I presented this.
There’s also a corollary to this axiom: Corollary #1: I can move. Not only do I exist, but I am not like a tree. I can move my body and myself from here to there. Further, I eventually learn and become confident that I and my planet (with the trees this time) is continually moving in a series of curves: (1) as the Earth rotates on its axis, (2) as the Earth revolves around the sun, (3) as the sun revolves around the core of the Milky Way Galaxy, and (4) as the galaxies affect each other as they blast away from the ancient center point of space. But let’s not worry about all that…
In our next post we will list and describe 2 more of the 5 key axioms which we must certainly believe…
* A short definition of Existentialism is that it is a philosophical theory or approach that emphasizes individual freedom, often at the expense of scientific knowledge and the existence of objective values.
** Please note that when I start by focusing on my “living body,” I’m not erasing God, or the possibility of God, here. Or God, perhaps, supernaturally taking my body from Earth. Rather I am focusing on a “bottom up” understanding of reality. Religious issues will come later.
*** See the above note.
**** For the record, I am 4 days younger than Raquel Welch.