Worked out last night. I was thinking about what to say about that that didn’t make me sound like an idiot and gave up. I mean, more gormless than normal. Katie joined me and Paul. So this morning I would like to talk about language, since actually using language to tell a short story seems to be beyond me.
I think I believe that everything we -can- see is somehow a gloss for a book or a piece of communication that we -can’t- see. The alphabet of the universe is the periodic table, and the grammar is the set of rules that govern how all those atoms interact. But there is a deeper grammar than that, a grammar that makes people believe in things they can’t see.
News Flash ! !
Gravity just got weirder.
Sorry, just had to throw that in. If it’s true about superstrings – and we’re just as a species starting to assemble the math to be able to come up with a question to prove it, or at least not be able to prove it untrue – then all that New Age horse puckey about vibrations, and some people vibrating on a higher plane, may just turn out to be true. Oh how the folks who worship at the concrete slab, wherein hides the spirit of reason, will wail and gnash their teeth. For I think the great moment of history is creeping up to us in dirty great rubber soled shoes, when enquiry will irrevocably prove itself the final pillar of faith. The Muslims – Muslims who have actually read the Koran instead of memorizing it – believe there is no question a human being can ask which does not lead one to a higher and more worshipful and awestruck appreciation of the creator. You cannot diminish God by trying to find out how the world is put together. It’s just not possible. I have dispensed with a personal creator as being rather untidy, although I believe you can’t diminish the creator by asking questions. There’s nothing in the Koran against science. There’s a lot of directions about how to behave, including the most sensible approach to money of all the world religions. Believe me, the world would be a better place damned near instantly if we actually followed the strictures of the Koran about money. Fat chance, of course. And like all the world’s religious tomes, the Koran suffers terribly from not having been able to predict the discovery of Ohm’s law and the invention of birth control, but that’s another issue.
The Hindus believe that there could be a billion billion people, and each worshipping a different face of the divine, and different faces yet would obtain.
Devout Christians believe that bats are birds, because the Bible tells them so. And when they are asked why the New Testament goes into Joseph’s ancestry in such great detail when he had nothing to do with Jesus in a biological sense, they all look like they’ve hit a door, and then tell me they’ll have to ask the pastor about that one. I’m mean – I send them to a website called Biblical Errancy and say that can’t properly call themselves Christians until they’ve worked through all the logical objections to the Bible. Really, if you’ve swallowed a heffalump, why strain at a tobacco horn worm? I think I’d RATHER eat a heffalump, they’re imaginary. Can’t possibly give you heartburn. Wonder what the caloric and food value of a tobacco horn worm is? Truly, my mind is a wonderful thing, and it always leads back to questions no sane human would see fit to ask. I mean, could I live on tobacco horn worms? Never Cry Hornworm, next up on the Discovery Channel.
My pOp, may the spirit of enquiry truly bless him, will be rolling his eyes at all this and wishing he’d never taken philosophy. It’s not that philosophy is a bad thing; it’s a very good thing, an intrinsically powerful tool in the Baloney Detection Kit without which modern life is difficult to navigate, and investigate. It’s just that philosophy renders one unfit for public life, because there’s nobody left around who can keep up with your arguments or is willing to fix the grounds for the argument long enough to make the whole foray into the tilting ground of reasoned argument worthwhile. It’s as if everybody wants the trumpets, the silken banners, the Byzantine silver armour with blue egret plumes, the tender maidens going ooo and aaaa, the jingling of spurs and harnesses, the snorting of horses and the ting of the jester’s bells, the flap of the great canopies in the summer breeze, the delicious fragrances from the hawker’s stalls…. but nobody wants to get out and fight ’cause it’s too bloody hard. Okay, everybody go home, nothing to see here. Move along. You want an argument? I have a night stick…. I didn’t think you wanted to argue with me. That’s where reasoned discourse has gone. It’s hiding, like the last Pilipino rail. Not quite mythical, but nearly extinct.