In 1644, Rene Descarte (Big Betty to his Transvestite friends) wrote a book called the Principles of Philosophy. He included the belief that disciplined inquiry required doubt as a tool. After all, how could we understand anything new, unless we doubted something. After all, if we take something to be fact, we don't doubt it, if we don't doubt it, we wouldn't question it. Rene raced down to his local street corner and spoke to his mates, Bertha 'the Hairy bellied' and Joanie 'I can't shave my legs, it hurts'. Rene: Hey, Guys. Joanie: Please, Rene, we're dresed up, please call us ladies. Rene: Oh, sorry guys! I mean, sorry ladies. I just had this amazing break through. Bertha: You been watching 'The Crying Game' again? Rene: No, no, nothing like that. I've had this thought. We all doubt, don't we. Joanie: Well yeah, of course we do. Rene: Therefore, isn't it true, that we don't doubt that we doubt. Bertha: Wot you gettin' at? Rene: Well, if we doubt, but we don't doubt that we doubt, then we must be thinking. Joanie: Well, I already knew that I think. Rene: Yes, but if we're thinking, that proves we exist. Bertha: If I kick ya in da head, that'd prove you exist. Rene: Not really. Think about it Bertha. What if I didnt' exist, and you only think you are kicking me in the head? Bertha: Wot? Like in da Matrix. Rene: Yeah, like in the Matrix. Joanie: I've already seen that movie. Rene: Yes, but what you are experiencing isn't real. You only think you are kicking someone in the head. Bertha: Like this! ***WHACK*** *Rene is spralled out on a Paris street* Joanie: But that didn't prove Rene exists at all. Bertha: No, but it proved I existed to me, cause I think I kicked him in the head. Joonie: Oh, I see. So if I kick him in the head, then that proves to me that I am thinking and therefore exist. Bertha: That's right. Joanie: Kewl. Can you lift his head for me? I don't want to get my skirt dirty. Bertha: Sure. ***WHACK*** Joanie: Kewl. Now that proves I exist. Bertha: Only to you though. Joanie: And to Rene, provided that he actually exists. Bertha: How do you figure that? Joanie: Well, if Rene does actually exist, then he thinks we've kicked him in the head, so therefore, that proves he exists, at least from his perspective. Bertha: That's very insiteful. Joanie: You think he'll have a headache when he wakes up? Bertha: I hope so. The pain will make him more alive and existential than ever. Joanie: Existential? Is that a good thing? Bertha: How would I know? I'm a fishmonger not a philosopher.
AddendumIf you're wondering how/why I wrote this post today, what I did was went to Wikipedia and clicked on 'Random Article' with the intent of writing something on whatever article it landed on. I just thought I'd chuck this out as the Dabido Challenge. Go to Wikipedia and click on the Random Article thing and see if you can write something interesting with what comes up. I did! You can too! :-) Not that you have to ... and if you don't like the article you get, then click on it till you get one you like. I might even add a 'Dabido Challenge' button for it later. ;-)