A satire of dysfunctional government and economic disparity.
Chapter IV: Day/Page 33 CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY. . . . “But how can we be certain what is real, what is true?” Sofia asks. “I believe this beer to be real because I can see it, I can hold it, and I can taste it; but that is merely my senses and my brain telling me so. If my senses or my brain were stimulated differently, then I might not perceive it at all, or my perception might be completely different.”
“You’re right, but our ability to perceive something is not what makes it real. What makes something real is whether life is capable of acting upon that reality, and whether that reality is capable of acting upon life. Any life-form that has the competence to perceive that something is real, but chooses to believe it is not, will suffer consequences for that denial, be the consequences great or small. A deer that chooses to believe that wolves are not real, and blinds itself to their existence while wandering amongst wolves, will eventually be acted upon by a wolf. Objective reality will be the judge of what is true—not one’s perception, or lack thereof.”
“But,” Sofia says, “there may also be things which, even though we do not actively choose to deny them, we still cannot perceive them because our senses are not able to, like infrared light, so we end up denying those things exist, even though they objectively do.”
“Clearly infrared light, ultrasound, microwaves, and so on, are real, even though we cannot perceive them—at least not without the aid of some device. But there’s a big difference between denying that something real exists, and being ignorant of something real existing. The former is dangerous, because it involves an active act of abnegation, a refusal to acknowledge truth; while the latter is merely ignorance, which, if desired, can generally be remedied through effort, reason, and diligent inquiry.”
“Ok, but what about when someone chooses to believe in something which may or may not exist, yet there is no evidence that it does? That person, even without evidence, is convinced that the thing exists—they are certain of it. To them, objective reality is irrelevant.”
“No! Objective reality is always relevant; but it may be more so, or less so, depending on the extent to which it affects one’s survival. For example, if one believes that god exists, but does not depend upon god to make choices for them, then the consequences of that belief—at least as far as survival—will be slight. Contrarily, if one’s convictions about god lead them to abnegate their choices to god, then they are likely to suffer consequences for that act of abnegation. So objective reality does in fact always matter; it just may matter only a little, or quite a lot.”
“But that’s not exactly what I mean. . . .
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW. . . .
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2013 by Gregory James
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