A fresh look at circular reasoning-
by Douglas Eckert
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Science, or what the word comes from, "Episteme" is a philosophicalÂ termÂ derived from theÂ Ancient Greek wordÂ á¼Ï€Î¹ÏƒÏ„Î®Î¼Î· epistÄ“mÄ“, which can refer to knowledge, science or understanding, and which comes from the verb á¼Ï€Î¯ÏƒÏ„Î±ÏƒÎ¸Î±Î¹,Â meaningÂ "to know, to understand, or to be acquainted with"*.
In the most basic sense, "our knowing", is based on asking two quite simple questions, and then getting the answers. The two questions are "WHY does something happen? " And " HOW does something happen?" The process of Science itself always strives to generate answers to those questions.
Science, or "What we know" goes in two directions. One, I'll call the "microscopic direction" that gets into what we'd call gaining understanding and knowledge of smaller and smaller things. It answers the "HOW" and the "WHY" for each decreasing component. For example, moving in understanding from the earth, to the creatures it contains, to that creature's organ systems, to its organs, to its tissues, to its cells, to its cell parts, to the biochemistry of the functions within these cell's parts, to the electro -chemistry of the enzymes and other substances that make cells do what they do...on and on it can go, getting smaller and smaller. With every answered question spurring on the next unanswered question...well why is THAT? And how is THAT? ... it seems it can go on forever until... it hits a "brick wall", of sorts. (Back to this in a bit)
But then, science also moves in the other direction, I'll call it the "Telescopic direction". Both of these directions , I propose are actually moving along a "Circle of our knowing". But the telescopic direction is where science and its questions and answers, pertain to things that get larger and larger. Going from gaining knowledge of the Earth, for example, to its atmosphere, to outer space, to our solar system and the planets in our solar system, to other galaxies and what they may contain, and then, finally to the universe...always getting bigger and bigger. ALWAYS answering (Or at least trying to answer) the "WHY" and the "HOW" questions.
But then, when scientific inquiry gets to questions about the universe ... The "WHY is it here?" And the "HOW did it come into being?" Science (Or at least, its scientists), suddenly become stone-walled or stymied over it. Not wanting any more, or at least not daring to admit that they want any more explanation. Suddenly, "The universe is what it is", or "Everything came from nothing", seems to satisfy them ... (Because they no longer like the non-materialistic answers) this abrupt cessation in the gaining of knowledge, because it could cause some kind of intellectual "mess" , is kind of like a "scientific coitus interruptus". But we'll get back to that idea as well.
Everything that we know about our world is based upon our ability to reason. We are here, undeniably, for whatever explanation, as reasonable beings. We also can observe and reason everything being a circle, of sorts, and as circles within circles. For example, the electron circling around an atom's nucleus, in the microscopic direction. And the earth and planets circling around the sun, in the telescopic direction. These circles exist in both the material (physical) realm, and the non material realm.
To illustrate these circles, on the physical level, we know about "The circle of life" :
We live, we have children, we die. And our children live on, to keep going around and around that circle. Within THAT circle, is another circle that includes our physical bodies, or the science (what we know) of the sexual response (How we carry on, or "perpetuate", within the circle of life) ... we become sexually aroused, we fulfill that arousal, we climax with life perpetuating seed, to perpetuate more life, and then we resolve, to wait for the next opportunity to do our part again in the circle of life.
But, us humans, being rational and observant beings , we also scientifically "know" that there also exists in our reality, non physical , or non material things. We can, and we do study those things as well. Asking the same two questions, and then getting the answers. One of these probing sets of questions would certainly include, "WHY are there non material things?" And, "HOW did they come into being?"
In the non physical parts of our reality, we have circles too. We ask questions. We then get answers that cause more questions that demand more answers. And this "Circle of our knowing", that I propose, is in fact, a non material one.
Now, back to that material science, and its "coitus interruptus", (Or, that scientifica interruptus) that I just mentioned. In the same way that there are life perpetuating circles within life perpetuating circles, that I just mentioned about the physical or material realm ; there are also life perpetuating circles within life perpetuating circles in the non material realm as well.
This is where it all gets very interesting, I think.(And very hard to articulate clearly, I am afraid, lol. Hence, the coming very long sentences)
THAT spot along the continuum (that is actually a circle) where the science that travels in the telescopic direction, (with its materialistic scientific body of knowledge that hits that "scientifica interruptus" place, with its seeming potentially "messy", "unexplainable" universe.) It intersects with that exact same spot in the circle, where the science travelling in the microscopic direction (With its scientific body of knowledge that seemingly hits that "brick wall", of the unexplainable. Where materialistic science would ALSO no longer desire, or be interested in pursuing the "messy" non- material answers.)
That IS the EXACT
same spot where the non material, knowledge of God steps in. That spot where the life perpetuating circle of the NON-material things we know, meets with the life perpetuating circle of the material things we know. That one and only knowable spot where us, rational, questioning and answering creatures, NO LONGER HAVE TO have an intellectual and reasoning "scientifica interruptus" against the unstoppable process of "us knowing".
That spot is where the unanswerable questions get answered . The spot where the "WHY?" The universe was Created and the "HOW?" Did it come into being? Get answered.
To put it another, very related way:
In the same way that a groom and his bride graduate from the theoretical, yet material "circle of life" , to an inner circle, by putting the theoretical into real action by physically performing the sexual act and pushing past the coitus interruptus, to actually potentially, and messily perpetuate physical life. In that same way, a bride, and her Groom (The Biblical Christian believer and Jesus) can also put the SPIRITUAL theoretical into action and graduate to an inner circle of the spiritual, (or non material) by pushing past the "scientifica interruptus", to potentially perpetuate the non- material soul. This, by spiritually, (or non materially) "knowing" where the physical, (or material) knowing leaves off.
This realization of God actually existing IS the most important part of the non material circle within the circle .
This is the circle of perpetuating the non-material, that our reasoning minds know to exist through our science. This is how our non-material souls get to perpetuate. THAT IS very exciting . Praise the Lord! Praise the reasoning, loving, eternally perpetuating, and creative Lord that made us ALL in HIS image.
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