Categorized | Others, Religion

Three Primary Truths

three pansiesI stumbled upon this article and found this:

There are three truths which must be accepted at the beginning of any investigation into the problem of knowledge and truth:

  • The First Fact: The fact of our existence. “I exist.”
  • The First Principle: The principle of contradiction. “A thing cannot be and not-be at the same time in the same respect.”
  • The First Condition: The essential capability of the mind to know truth. “My intellect can reason and discover truth.”

These primary truths cannot be “proved” by a positive demonstration because they are presupposed and involved in every demonstration. They are so evident that any attempt to doubt or deny them would already mean they have been affirmed and accepted. They are, therefore, fully grounded in reason and no reasonable person can dispute them consistently.

To some it might sound like circular reasoning, but these truths are indeed self-evident in any logical discussion. Let’s see:

  • The First Fact: The fact of our existence. “I exist.”

The fact that we are able to read this proves the first fact. Now what more proof do we need in order to know that we are reading this indeed?

  • The First Principle: The principle of contradiction. “A thing cannot be and not-be at the same time in the same respect.”

Of course. Otherwise, something can be both true and false at the same time in the same respect. If that’s the case, then there is no longer any point in logical discussions because anything can be right and wrong at the same time, so everybody is just wasting time. And this goes hand in hand with:

  • The First Condition: The essential capability of the mind to know truth. “My intellect can reason and discover truth.”

And that’s why we are here at Filipino Freethinkers, to discover truth through Reason. (We appreciate theists who check their dogmas upon entering the site, because doctrine and ‘authority’ have no influence here. But those who don’t believe in reason are wasting their time here and it would be better spent praying for divine enlightenment.)

On the other hand, religion only subscribes to the First Fact (our existence), but not to the First Principle (contradiction) and the First Condition (intellect’s ability to discover truth). Religious dogmas have so many contradictions that are conveniently answered by “our minds are too finite to grasp God’s infinite wisdom”.

As freethinkers, we know that belief is no longer a matter of choice, but of conclusion; no matter how the religious (including our parents) try to proselytize, as long as what they preach is unscientific, illogical, or irrational, they cannot force us to believe. Well the most they could do is to make us (falsely) claim belief. We do not choose to be atheists, agnostics, or deists; we just become, most likely as a result of freethinking.

Now the question is, do we choose to become freethinkers? Is it a matter of choice when we base our beliefs on science, logic, and reason instead of authority, tradition, or dogma? Or is it a matter of conclusion (same with becoming atheists, agnostics, or deists)? I think it’s the latter, when we realize that science, logic, and reason are more reliable in terms of finding the truth than authority, tradition, or dogma, but I would like to hear other points of view. How do people become freethinkers in the first place?

And with this we invite everyone to write. We’ve been coming up with fewer articles lately but that’s probably because of the film fest, after which there will be a lot to write about. :)

 
DISCLAIMER: The opinions in this post do not necessarily represent the position of the Filipino Freethinkers.

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