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Welcome - Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Welcome – dichotomy - a natural occurring phenomenon dividing nearly all things that exist in half. Dichotomy exists in nearly every corner of life. Right/wrong, good/evil, fair/unfair even men and women. One of the biggest dichotomies our culture faces today is liberalism verses conservatism. Both fine personal and political views, but views that have grown wildly out of context.

Liberalism is basically the view that cultural practices need to be reviewed, evaluated and changed if changing the practice is beneficial to the well being of everyone in society. Conservatism is the preservation of existing cultural practices in support of beliefs and rituals already in place. One of the oldest dichotomies, custom verses change.

Both views have lost their intent. Liberals want everything changed and conservatives are critical of anything being modified. The truth is neither view can exist without the other. Change allows us to review what’s in place and determine if it’s the best we can be and be better if we need to. Custom gives us a foundation, identifies us, preserves our way of life and gives us a foothold for future decisions.

Dichotomy is a fact of life . . . . one side cannot exist without the other, maybe our culture is way overdue for a reasonable common ground?
Quis Id Est (what it is)
Law of Non-Contradiction
Posted: Friday, February 07, 2014
When Aristotle wrote his fourth book on Metaphysics he introduced the Law of Non-Contradiction. Basically this states that things cannot be and not be at the same time. The law isn’t concerned with how we know what we know but with how we know what it is that we know. So the Law of Non-Contradiction isn’t to be confused with epistemology. It doesn’t make a difference how one came to know something, what matters is how one knows what it is that they know.

How does someone know what it is that they know? Well first off one would have to prove it. Most likely they would use an argument to prove what it is they are talking about. This is where Aristotle comes up with the axiom. An axiom is a statement that is true and needs no further proof, qualification or quantification. This doesn’t mean there isn’t more proof that the statement is true, it just means it’s not needed. The statement is true on its own in the form it is in.

To present an axiom to someone, Aristotle created the syllogism. This is a form of argument that, when presented correctly, is a stated axiom. So the syllogism is the way of expressing the true statement, but because the statement is non-falsifiable and needs no other proof to be true it is also an axiom. This is what Aristotle felt was the key to proving what it is that one knows – making a simple, true statement that could not be falsified and needed no other proof to be true.

The syllogism has two parts, the premise and the conclusion. The premise is broken up into three parts: the major premise (the predicate or assertion of the conclusion), the minor premise (the subject of the conclusion) and the middle premise (major and minor premise supporting facts). An example of this form of argument would be: all A’s are B’s; all B’s are C’s; since A’s and B’s are identical and since B’s and C’s are identical it is not possible for A’s and C’s to be different; therefore all A’s are C’s.

The middle premise is always excluded from a syllogism. The middle premise is a supporting statement to the major and minor premises and is not needed to quantify the statement any further. So the correct form of this argument would be: all A’s are B’s; all B’s are C’s; therefore all A’s are C’s. This is a statement in a true form that, even though it can be proven more, it doesn’t need to be.

This whole process is called deductive reasoning. Deductive logic is taking something from a general form to a precise form. This is not to be confused with inductive reasoning, which is logic that starts with something precise and expands it into something general. The most famous of all syllogisms, which Aristotle came up with to prove his development of the axiom and the syllogism, was: “All men are mortal; Socrates is a man; therefore Socrates is mortal”.

Avant-garde
Zeno of Elea
499 BCE - BCE 5th Century

Zeno of Elea, 5th c. B.C. thinker, is known exclusively for propounding a number of ingenious paradoxes. The most famous of these purport to show that motion is impossible by bringing to light apparent or latent contradictions in ordinary assumptions regarding its occurrence. Zeno also argued against the commonsense assumption that there are many things by showing in various ways how it, too, leads to contradiction. We may never know just what led Zeno to develop his famous paradoxes.
Tat Tvam Asi
Fulla (full-ah)
Norse
Fulla was one of the Ladies in Waiting for Frigga - Queen of the Norse Gods. She was also referred to as the Norse Goddess of the toilet. This responsibility meant she was tasked with attending to all of Frigga's services and needs. Fulla was the sister, or in some accounts just a close friend, of Frejya - the Norse Goddess of fertility. Fulla not only served Frigga, but was also responsible for Frigga's valuables and carried them in a coffer for her. Fully was Frigga's favorite attendant not just for her service, but for her loyalty as well. She once protected Frigga from Odin's intense anger by enlisting a dwarf to pull down a statue Odin himself had erected - thus distracting him.
Tore (tor)
Pygmy of Africa
Tore was the God of Thunderstorms. Fire was stolen from him by the Pygmies that first inhabited Africa. They ran away and hid with the fire to use it for themselves - but Tore pursued them. He used a giant swing to go over the hills and into the valleys to catch them, but could not find the Pygmies that stole the fire. Since this was still the golden age, everyone lived forever, but as a punishment for stealing fire from him, Tore decided that living people should die as do other living creatures on the Earth. This is both an etymological tale detailing how fire was created and an explanation as to why people die. For this reason Tore was also known as the God of the Dead.
Kami (kah-mee)
Japan
Kami are the supreme force in the universe. They were created by Izanagi - the Male Who Invites and Izanami - the Female Who Invites. Both of these deities were created by the triad that came from chaos - or darkness (Ama-no-minaka-nushi (Supreme Diety), Taka-mimusubi (High Producing) and Kamu-mimusubi (Divine or Mysterious Producer). Izanagi and Izanami were tasked with creating earthly manifestations. Kami represent all things produced - this includes everything from the lowest to the highest forms of life and forces of nature. Kami means "beings more highly placed" and applies to everything this is revered. Kami is very similar in nature to the Tao.
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Liberty
Posted: Thursday, March 27, 2014
Many times liberty is identified as freedom or personal rights. Where the terms, by definition, are interchangeable with one another they really have different meanings. Liberty is a relationship between a government and its citizens. The idea is the governing authority will impose restrictions on everyone so everything is equal for all. So stealing, as an example, is illegal in the hopes that it will deter the strong from preying on the weak.

Freedom and personal rights are directly related to liberty. The more liberty the government affords its citizens the more personal freedom one has. So now, as an example, say stealing is illegal but only if the theft is greater than a certain value? This has expanded everyone’s freedoms and personal rights. They can steal so long as they don’t take too much. So we see in this example the more liberty we are afforded the more freedom we have, which of course makes the opposite true as well.
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