paradox and reason

Lifes vicissitude’s are the only source of hope. The Heracleitean argues the irrefutable law of non contradiction held by Parmenideans. How can there be no change? As the philosopher of antiquity said “You cannot step into the same river twice”. How can we maintain a rational perspective if the very foundations of logic are undermined by the plain observation of change?

Paraphrasing from Robert Fogelin’s “Walking the Tightrope of Reason”:
The law of noncontradiction states: It is not the case that something is both the case and not the case. Or… to simplify… ‘if we let “~” mean “it is not the case that” and if we let “&” mean, reasonably enough, “and” than:
~(p&~p)
Substitute whatever you like for the proposition, you will still have a true statement- even if the propositional value is false.
This seems so trivial that one asks what is the point? Ofcourse something cannot be and not be at the same time. Yet, if this law is true, the whole world would be static and unchanging. Nietzsche said it best in ‘Will to Power’ #584:
The Law of Noncontradiction [tells us that] the true world… cannot contradict itself, cannot change, cannot become, has no beginning and no end. This is the greatest error that has ever been committed.

Can something be and not be, simaltaneously? Do we not live in an ever changing world? One cannot be rational and reject the law of noncontradiction. You would think in circles and never establish a point. Following any assertion or denial, one must ask if it matters whether we interpret it as an assertion or a denial. Aristotle handled those rejecting the law of noncontradiction in the following way: In interpreting what I say, you may add the phrase ” It is not the case that” to the front of any senence I utter. Do this as you please, for it will in no way alter the significance of my discourse.

This life of ours is lived simply on faith. We use the law of noncontradiction to establish the law of noncontradiction. We have no foundation on which this logic ultimately rests. There is no demonstration or proof which delineates the law- it is taken on faith.

Reality is a paradox. We live life as rational, logical beings, yet we drift among a sea of flux. Some argue on the side of Heracleitus , as Nietzsche, Emerson, Whitman and others did, rejecting the notion that there are absolutes in life. Even modern philosophers, try as they might, and as rediculous as they seem, to reject science as a dialectical illusion-ironically enough as they type on thier computers.

To me, this justifies that there is a God. For such paradoxes to exist, in which my rational and logical processes are found to be hallow and misguided, would cause me to break down. My faith, ultimately, must turn to God. That higher power, the infinite consciousness transcending supermetaphysical contraints, is my only source of guidance. Rejecting him and my world begins to literally fall apart. Placing my faith in Him produces an unparalelled fecundity in life. That is where my faith is planted.

Write more later…

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