I had a friend named Gabriel back in late elementary and middle school. He was obsessed with Sparta and knew the answer to any question about it you could think of. He had long blond hair, green eyes, and square glasses. He was muscular, and feared nothing that I knew of. I was better at math than he was. I once asked him why he didn’t care much about his C in algebra, and he responded with “It’s a letter on a piece of paper.” He wasn’t wrong. Another time when we were talking, I can’t remember about what, he repeatedly asked me if I could prove what I had said. It may sound like the equivalent of a toddler asking “Why?” until you wanted to rip your hair out, but it was a tad more intelligent than that. I had a friend Gabriel. What proof of that do you have? I could show you his facebook. What proof do you have you were friends with him? He friended me on facebook. How does that prove he was your friend? And so on and so forth until you realize that it all hinges on the definition of the word friend, trusting that we both have the same definition of the word friend, trust that certain proof inherently proves the original assumption. Logic requires fundamental assumptions. From the information given, you can deduce the next step, then from that step and another staircase you can deduce the next, and so on and so forth. What is the bottom of the staircase of assumptions? In Mrs. Connolly’s class, she compared philosophy to a well of assumptions that has no bottom. Each of us must decide at what point we say that we cannot go further down the well because we cannot live without the assumptions we stopped at. At this point in my life, I know where I sit in the well.

 

1/19/2017