Any system of intellectual thought, whether it be science, logic, religion or philosophy, is based on certain fundamental ideas or axioms which are assumed but which cannot be proven. This is the grave of all positivism. We assume but we do not know that there is a real and objective world outside our own mind. Ultimately we do not know what we are or what the world is. Further, if there is a real world apart from ourselves we cannot know what it really is; all we know is what we perceive it to be. All that we perceive is conveyed by our senses and interpreted by our brain. However fine, exact or delicate our scientific instruments may be, their data is still filtered through our senses and interpreted by our brain. However useful, spectacular or necessary our ideas and experiments may be, they still have little to do with absolute truth. Such a thing can only exist for the individual according to his whim or his inner perception of his own truth-in-being.
The witches and devils of the middle ages were real by our own standards; reputable and responsible persons believed in them. They were seen, their effects observed and they accounted for a large body of otherwise inexplicable phenomenon. Their existence was accepted without question by the majority of men, great and humble. From this majority there was not and still is not any appeal. Yet we do not believe in these things today. We believe in other things similarly explaining the same phenomenon. Tomorrow we will believe in still other things.
Et vigtigt korollar: “Every man has the right to his own opinion and his own way of life. There is no system of human thought which can successfully refute this thesis.” Se også min omtale af tegneserien over Parsons’ liv på den anden blog.