Archive for January, 2013

What I Do Believe (0/3)

Posted in Uncategorized on January 9, 2013 by Patrick

Now that I’ve been all negative and talked about what I don’t believe, I think it’d be good to cover what I do believe, and why.  

Belief is such a strange thing.  Plato analogizes beliefs as statues, that are so life-like that they might get up and run away.  We can enjoy those statues only if we chain them down. And we chain them down by testing them, again and again, and never letting up.  We forge the chains that bind our beliefs, that strengthen them and solidify them, through the process of self-elenchos, of self-questioning.  

Some things we know with such solidity that to call them “beliefs” would be odd.  I like anchovies.  I don’t believe that; I know it, with absolute certainty.  But you don’t know that’s true: what I experience, you only hear about.  I experience enjoying the salty little buggers.  You, though, only believe that I like them because I have told you so and you have no reason, I hope, to distrust me.  

There are few things that I believe with enough certainty to assert them.  And usually, my belief in them comes back eventually to a grounding in experience and elenchos.  But here are three of them, in the coming days.