It’s Wednesday morning and the house is quiet save for the squeaks and beeps I cannot seem to find. I have only one ear that works so sound ranging and directional finding are at a grave disadvantage. But turn on the television or stereo and they all disappear in a haze of new sounds, all competing for my attention. Perhaps I should be grateful to be the center of attention, experience tells me I’m not so sure. What’s that we used to say in Uncle Sam’s merry band of miscreants? The sound gets loudest just before the projectile hits, or something like that. War turns us all into instant philosophers discussing the existence of god and the meaning of death. So why study philosophy, to relive my youth, which wasn’t all that great? Warp factor negative ten Mr Sulu, let us all return to the womb. Then came the reset button, the control-alt-delete keys, and never have so many confused science fiction with scientism. Ah, but I prattle on.
The punched card read: “Do not fold, spindle, or mutilate.” I’m fairly sure that the directions were written by a programmer so that we would not confuse the “or” function with the “nor” function, the two being entirely different logic operations. Well, what’s a language for if not to obfuscate? Maybe that is why we so so many angels dancing around the point on the head of a pin. Theology is a useful science for determining such first principles. The Greeks gave Western Civilization the first tools of philosophy. Now I have read a bit of Chinese and Hindu philosophies but I am educated in their distinctions of life, death, and the hereafter. Like that old joke about the dirty old man who asks the sweet young thing if she believes in the “hereafter”. She replies: “Yes, I do.” He then says: “Then you know what I am here after.” A little mendacity goes a long way, Big Daddy.
The Greeks asked the big questions. What is beauty, what is the good, how should a man or woman conduct him or herself? The God and gods (major and minor ones) were a given. If man hate a fate by which he lived his life then it was up to the gods to give him that fate. Fate could be an ordinary and uneventful life or it could be filled with adventure and tragedy. Sort of if wishes were horses, beggars would ride, but given a quick end, I’ll think I’ll walk just to prolong my fateful life and long as possible. The reality of wishful thinking is a bitch on steroids. Ride that oximoron to market. But the fun of Greek philosophy could not last long. Once you invent forms then someone invents formal religion, and the christians did with great glee. Now if you think about it, any religion may be the creation of a god, but its formulization is built by and on the committee process. And lord how that christian committee has been building that religion ever since. I don’t think God would even recognize what has been done in his name. Well, it is the natural human progress to screw up every good idea given to them over the millenia, from evolution to whirled peas.
So the church convened many scholars over many centuries and started the science of god, metaphysics. Ah, those good old first principles. What is god, who is god, how can we detect and prove that god exists? Once we have done that then maybe we’ll find a place for mankind and the rest of the earth, as flat as it is. But remember, it’s turtles all the way down. This great scholarship went on for a millenia and a half, then some scholar got the bright idea to short cut the process and go for the throat. I mean, if the purpose of metaphysics was the programer’s attempt to find the correct algorithm that would make mankind work then let’s see what nature has to say on that subject. After all, god created nature, meaning the world without mankind, and it works quite well, save the odd disaster or two every now and again. Well study physics and find the answer to relativity, or at least our relatives. We will find the secret of life by atomizing everything. Reduce everything to its lowest common denominator, And while we’re at it, maybe divide by zero because we are so smart. It’s only been five or six hundred years, it’s not like the world was made in six days, you know. Science marches on in the jack boots of the new technologies of death disguised as progress and the salvation of humankind. “Barkeep, two more wines and another gin. oh god, it’s AOC, just bring me the bottle and let me get permanently lost in the ozone again. I can’t remember, it is republican or democrat? Oh shit, it’s a purple haze…..