Skittles

I don’t ascribe to any belief.

Or rather a more accurate articulation of my position is that I neither belief nor disbelief anything. I pretend to believe something for a bit to have a little play around with it.

You know explore the world through that lens. Then when I grow bored of that perspective I pretend to belief something else and so on.

I created a game as a means of doing this. I call it the “If-Then-Or-If-Then” game.

For example: if proposition A is true then propositions B,C,D,E are true and propositions F,G,H,I are not true.

Or if Proposition A is not true then propositions B,C,D,E are not true and propositions F,G,H,I are true.

Which has led me to the question: “How do I get from proposition A being true to proposition B being true?”

I mean it seems self-evident but that’s not an answer that’s just another way of saying “I don’t know”.

I think this is the problem that the logical positivists hit against.

Of course we are using the rules we’ve noticed in experience to make these leaps. But as Hume shows we can discover that A causes B but we cannot discover why A causes B.

When ever we think we have discovered why A causes B we have just produced an answer that has the same problem. We just come up with another A causes B which requires an explanation as much as the original A causes B.

I think it’s because language is relational and any explanation of any relation is just another – often more complex – relation or set of relations that require as much explanation as what they are meant to be explaining.

It’s a bit like that skittles advert where everything the guy touches turns into loads of skittles except when he touches a skittle it turns into loads of skittles as well.

It’s funny to think that concept through! He’d end up surrounded by a constantly expanding sphere of skittles. He’d fall to the centre of the earth, the earth would eventually explode scattering skittles everywhere and there’d be this poor man left at the centre of it all with nothing to do but eat skittles. Ha Ha.

Really all we can do is describe relations.

We cannot explain them.

But that’s fine because all we need to do in order to act upon the world is describe the relations. Language is just a tool that enables us to interact with our environment.

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3 thoughts on “Skittles

  1. Just a comment on the first half of the post.

    I think having the ability to explore different beliefs and see what they amount to, without having any overriding emotional attachment to them, is a hard-gained and not often seen virtue in intelligent thinkers. The master at playing with ideas to see what realisations would come from them is Jorge Luis Borges, the wonderful short story writer.

    The antinomy of this flexible thinking is fundamentalism. Too much hassle is caused in this world due to fundamentalism, which is primarily anchored to by overriding emotional concerns. I do not mean to suggest this fundamentalism is primarily religious, there are many others, in which even mentioning their names or their “buzz words” causes a paroxysm of emotion that closes down dialogue, rational debate or any discussion whatsoever.

    I guess, then, the real fun when pretending to believe in something is the realisations that come from doubting cherished beliefs and fundamentalism of other people, society and history. I’m not suggesting these doubts in some of these cases are true (some might be, some not), but having the ability to play around and test it does provide real insights.

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