Sunday, May 24, 2009

Preface

Before we take up our task of question and answers, or more accurately the trials and subsequent refinements of question and answers we must agree on a small matter. This matter is a potential obstacle that certain minds will bring to difficult questions. This matter is a shrinking or retreat into abdication of responsibility to understand. This matter is a giving up of hope in knowing and abdicating to a power outside our mutual sphere of understanding. These responses often reference gods but there is no reason that they must. Many people reference experts, historical figures or other authorities they feel sufficiently removed from. This matter of dropping our individual responsibility to understand, to think through questions, to untie knots, to explore unknown spaces must be set aside before we begin as unworthy of our nature and faculties. We can not answer all questions that we can pose, of course not, but we can try. We can work them out to the fullest extent of our ability and never once consult an oracle or sign in the heavens. We can fully explore the best arguments we have, so that we are ready when new evidence comes to light or new ways of living or understanding clear the way before us and we can answer what was before unavailable to our comprehension. This does not preclude answers that may depend on agents of cause that are unknown in an empirical sense. It does however say that any answer must only be enumerated with its fellows as a possible answer and that the matter before us is not an answer unwanted but an answer unsought. Resolution of this matter is critical for our productive discussion and as easily accomplished: We must each admit of and commit to the seeking of truth, that it needs seeking, and that we benefit in the finding. This admission and subsequent agreement free us to take up our task without reserve.

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