Thursday, September 30, 2010

The spirit of infancy

Finally, one step ahead, one realizes that truth for the modern day westerner is on the one hand what makes a consensus and on the other hand what no one can deny, this second point implying the first. There exists in effect a primacy of negation: is considered to be true what one cannot deny. Moreover, in a certain number of cases, one cannot deny an assertion or its contrary. For example one cannot deny the existence of God or Gods non-existence. We consequently conclude that "It is not important to know whether God exists or not, what is important is the manner in which one believes or disbelieves".

It is also for this reason that mathematics seduce so much, are omnipresent and impose themselves as wisdom, for they prop themselves up on an aspect of intelligence and on a logic with a universal countenance. Can we demonstrate that 1+1=2? I don't think we can, but we cannot demonstrate the contrary. Therefore it is of little importance whether it is true or false, but what we can do with it, statistics, marketing etc.

I know a little chap who got an F in algebra because to the question "how much are 1 and 1", he would obstinately answer "1". So his mother, a bit bewildered and asking herself if he was not a bit slow, turned to him holding a tennis ball, then a second one, and asked him: "So now, this ball plus this ball, how many balls in the hands?, and he answered : "Two, of course! But that was not the question that the teacher asked! She did not say how much are 1 plus 1, she asked how much are 1 and 1! Yet 1 and 1 is 1 mom, just like you and you is you, and moreover, you and you doesn't mean anything since it is already all of you in you! The little chap had already understood what One is and what a transcendental is! In fact, I have oft noticed that children are much better metaphysicians than many adults who are perverted in their intelligence. This is the spirit of youth which we hear of here and there, which is not infantilism. The child always seeks the "why" of things, and he is right to do so, for that's really all that is interesting, whereas the adult does not cease to bog himself down in the "how" of things. It is the adult who is infantile!

Now then, what is worrying is that negation is at the heart of what is considered by the modern westerner as true. One should imo scratch quite a bit around that spot.

16 comments:

  1. Does the raspberry chewing gum lose its flavour on the bedpost overnight, or have I been lied to?

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  2. Excellent post. Some say mathematics is not a science but merely a system for reckoning. To the question what are 1 and 2 the child's answer would be 1 and 2. 1 is merely a symbol for a single object. It has no life of its own. For many years we had no symbol for nothing, 0. Before something can be denied or not denied musn't it be stated or thought. We can deny the existence of God by disbelief, but can we deny the existence of nothing,0?

    DB

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  3. We can quite simply, deny the existence of nothing by not denying it Then we are left with the defining what is. Or, of course, not defining it thus dispensing with the need to define it. Did we invent mathematics or merely discover them. Do they exist or are simply means for having a common language. The Romans had no zero concept. They were relieved of the problem of denying the existence of................

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  4. I still say something must be defined, or at least labeled, before it can be denied. We can deny the sum zero, but can we deny what 0 represents; nothing?

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  5. I have read this post before...how does that add up?

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  6. I am more interested in the second part of the post.

    I always believed that children are nothing less than "little adults". They are as smart as you and me, only see the world from a totally different angle.

    During school years, most of them become one of "us", others manage to pull through and still stay themselves.

    Numbers are great, but I vote for individuality.

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  7. Over from cool bloggers, :o) Anyhow, good post! The math part reminds me of when my sister was little. The problem was explained to her as "What is 4 'take-away' 3" Her firm and constant answer was "FOUR!" and she was absolutely right! lol... in the manner the question was asked.

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