Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Giant Heart at the Center of the Universe

Reason, isn't so much a truth detector, but a potential falsehood detector. I say *potential*, because a falsehood may be reasonable under certain presuppositions.

You might ask, why can't we measure those presuppositions with reason? Many times you can, but there is a depth beyond reason's reach. This depth, reaches into the metaphysical. A paradigm is very difficult to evaluate if it is built upon metaphysical presuppositions. Sure, you can use reason to determine whether the paradigm is consistent, but you can't validate metaphysical presuppositions with certainty.

Let me give an example. It is probably too simplistic but generally, you can say that there are at least two assumptions that one can build a worldview upon. One says that man's most natural inclination is to do good, while the other says his natural inclination is to do evil.

A worldview built upon the former says that crime and socially malevolent behavior are caused by environmental and sociological factors. This worldview therefore emphasizes rehabilitation over punishment.

A worldview built upon the latter says that crime and socially malevolent behavior are natural to man. He therefore needs a deterrent and incentive system (the popular focus incorrectly tends to be more on deterring then incenting in my view) to 'do the right thing'.

How does one test which view on man's nature is correct? Although I do believe that induction and deduction can be used to give credibility to one over the other (as a Christian, I believe in man's sin nature), ultimately these two assumptions are metaphysical in nature because they can not ultimately be proven via a 'smoking gun' litmus test.

Unfortunately, we can't avoid building paradigms upon metaphysical presuppositions. And by metaphysical, I don't simply mean "religious", I am referring to any belief that is beyond empiricism's reach.

So how do we choose a paradigm when our only choices are metaphysical? Metaphysical choices require nothing less than faith.

Faith is volitional. In other words, we believe what we want to believe.

So why are left in such a predicament? Why are the answers to life's ultimate and most important questions left to the subjectivity of our volition instead of the meticulous scrutiny of empiricism? It seems that there is something in life that
is testing our hearts more than our minds. And since things can't ask questions, that "thing" is a being...

At the center of the universe is a giant heart...