Whatever exists has already been named,
and what humanity is has been known;
no one can contend
with someone who is stronger.
The more the words,
the less the meaning,
and how does that profit anyone?
For who knows what is good for a person in life, during the few and meaningless days they pass through like a shadow? Who can tell them what will happen under the sun after they are gone?
- Ecclesiastes 6:10-12
All this I tested by wisdom and I said,
“I am determined to be wise”—
but this was beyond me.
Whatever exists is far off and most profound—
who can discover it?
So I turned my mind to understand,
to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things
and to understand the stupidity of wickedness
and the madness of folly.
- Ecclesiastes 7:23-25
“Bacon considered the practical applications of scientific discoveries to be their whole purpose and point, whereas Descartes was more fascinated by the project of extending knowledge and understanding of the world.
“During the Renaissance – the preceding historical era – people had become more skeptical about science and the possibility of genuine knowledge in general, and this view continued to exert an influence in Descartes’ time. So a major motivation of his ‘project of pure enquiry’, as his work has been known, was the desire to rid the sciences of the annoyance of skepticism once and for all.
“In the ‘Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes’ most accomplished and rigorous work on metaphysics (the study of being and reality) and epistemology (the study of the nature and the limits of knowledge), he seeks to demonstrate the possibility of knowledge even from the most skeptical of positions, and from this, to establish a firm foundation for the sciences. The Meditations is written in the first-person form – ‘I think…’ – because he is not presenting arguments in order to prove or disprove certain statements, but instead wishes to lead the reader along the path that he himself has taken. In this way the reader is forced to adopt the standpoint of the meditator, thinking things through and discovering the truth just as Descartes had done. This approach is reminiscent of the Socratic method, in which the philosopher gradually draws out a person’s understanding rather than presenting it already packaged and ready to take away.”
- Sam Atkinson (senior editor), The Philosophy Book, Big Ideas Simply Explained
Could it be that Rene Descartes (1596-1650) was simply restating Ecclesiastes 7:24 when he said, “I think, therefore, I am?” I doubt it. It is not coincidence that wise thinkers can travel different paths and come to the same conclusion. Descartes regarded himself as a devout Catholic although others see anything from Deism to atheism in his ideas. Descartes felt that all should have at least a short moment of doubt in their lives, but through his method of Skepticism that doubt should be put to rest. As the book of James states, there is no room for being double-minded.
Last week, we discussed Francis Bacon and the scientific method. Bacon wanted to free science from the church, but also from academia. Erasmus probably could care less in that he was quite content in having little knowledge. Now, Descartes wishes to think in order to prove his own existence, returning science to the academic. Descartes rationally goes through the process of trying to prove that he has a body and fails in the attempt. Yet, he comes up with the idea that thinking and existing are synonymous.
Yet, if Descartes and Solomon are correct, and they are, for us to exist, we need the ability to think. Yet, the secular progressive world wants to establish thought as fixed and all thought that differs from the established thought to be aberrant and thus, cancelled. This leaves us with the puppet masters who sit inside their gated communities with plenty of armed guards as the only people who exist. They allow themselves the ability to think, but no one else. To think and thus to exist there must be freedom to follow the evidence where it leads us. As Bacon stated, without a preconceived notion of the outcome. If we stuck to Bacon’s scientific method, evolution would have be dismissed decades ago.
Yet, for those who want to control us, they must outlaw the entire concept of free thought. It seems billions of people on earth are ready for someone else to think, and they are willing to give up their existence in the process.
And rational thought should lead to God. And spiritual awakening to Jesus Christ. For someone who freely thinks, God must exist, and once God touches your soul, the only means to fill the void in your life is through Jesus Christ.
If you like these Tuesday morning essays about philosophy and other “heavy topics,” but you think you missed a few, you can use this LINK. I have set up a page off the home page for links to these Tuesday morning posts. I will continue to modify the page as I add more.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.