The Puzzle of Life 5 : What is True?

One thing that I am pretty sure of is that Mickey has no idea what is really, fundamentally true. Is it possible that nothing actually is?

Of course, I have to acknowledge this weird old foofy guy. It is true that I am thinking right now, in spite of what my critics may tell you. And as I am aware that there is thinking going on, then I can be fairly certain that I do, in fact, exist.

So, since I exist, this is probably not a soap-bubble universe that could go “Pop!” at any second. But I can’t be sure. My eyes repeatedly lie to me. That has to be what my repeated sightings of the ghost dog in our house is all about. All of my senses lie to me in various ways. The world could all be a dream that I am having as some kind of Olympic-level super-sleeper. Apparently I am such a talented sleeper I can even dream about sleeping.

Of course, since I am willing to pretend that reality is real, there are some things I can do to help myself detect what is most probably true.

Any statement presented as truth needs to be backed up by evidence in the form of verifiable facts, reported and repeatable experimental results, reliable corroborating testimony from verifiable experts, or other scientifically significant correlations with proven facts. For example, “Mickey knows a lot of big words.” This is proven by the first sentence in this foofy paragraph.

But even science doesn’t yield perfect truth. In fact, science operates completely through distrust of the facts and trying to the extreme-est degree to disprove everything it already knows. Back when gravity was understood to be a process where demons invisibly flit around sticking people’s feet to the ground, an angry little antisocial pervert named Isaac was sitting under the apple tree. An apple fell and nearly hit the dyspeptic little caffeine addict on the head. He grumbled a bit about future generations probably defaming him by retelling the story with the apple bouncing off his large-brained nerd-head. So, he determined that if they were going to tell it that way anyway, he would link it with his discovery of a mathematical description of gravity. He sat down at his work table and invented calculus so that he could describe in mathematical precision how the moon was constantly falling towards the earth at the same rate as it moved around the globe of the Earth thus keeping it in orbit. And he proved as well that the apple falling to the earth and missing his head was subject to the very same equations.

But Newtonian mechanics and gravity were only theories. That means that it accounted for the visible effects of gravity, but did not completely answer every associated anomaly. So, then there was this goofy little Germanic guy named Albert who fled the Nazis and had extremely bad hair days and liked to stick out his tongue when photographers pointed their cameras at him. He was well-known for having lots of thought experiments involving fast-moving street cars and their headlights, associated somehow with shrinking rulers and mismatching alarm clocks. And he designed an Astronomy experiment that proved the planet Earth could bend starlight. And then he showed the world how his slowing clocks and speed-of-light street cars actually gave a more thorough description of how the theory of gravity works and called it Relativity.

So, scientific truth is always changing. In fact, it is always moving upward as one scientist stands on the shoulders of the previous scientist, and then another scientist climbs up on his shoulders to reach even higher. Stephen Hawking even climbed up on Albert’s shoulders in his wheelchair.

So, what is actually true in the puzzle of life? Nothing at all that the little liar named Mickey can tell you. You really need to decide what is true for yourself,

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Filed under humor, Paffooney, philosophy, strange and wonderful ideas about life

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