... I. The Matrix ...

values paradoxes

"A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: to understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother; For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck." (Proverbs 1:5-9)

Chapter I - The Matrix

Maybe it is simply a fact: "most of us in the modern world know too much to have faith." Or at least we think we know to much to believe in the “silly traditions” of our parents and ancestors. I certainly find myself falling into this category more often than is pleasant to admit. After all, we each have access to more data, information, knowledge, and wisdom than has ever been available before, in all the history of mankind. Knowing all of this stuff means we don't need "faith," for we have access to "facts." And if we don't have access to a "fact," we know where we can look it up.

Or can we? Where do we go to find out: "Who am I?" Or: "What is my purpose for existence?" Or: "Why does the universe exists?" Or: "Where did I come from before my birth?" Or: "Where am I going after my death?" Or: "What Do I want?" Or: "Why do I ask such questions?" We look at others with answers to these hard questions - answers always based on faith, and not based on a sure knowledge, not on something tangible we can see, hear, touch, taste, smell, or otherwise experience - and they can seem naive, simple, too trusting, and sometimes absolutely irrational.

As a geoscientist, I certainly find myself reacting this way to words by those who talk about the creation of the earth in 7,000 years. And then I find some of my professional colleagues look at me with the jaundiced eye when I describe my faith in God, whom I believe created our earth and all of the other planets and moons and stars in all of the solar systems and universes and galaxies which exist. How can people coexist with such radically different views of reality? How do we reconcile the differences?

In other words: "How do we find truth?" And "How do we recognize the truth when we find it?" Some ask an even more basic question: "Is there truth?" Or "Is all truth relative to circumstances and perspective?"4 These questions remind me of a "Rose is Rose" cartoon from the Houston Chronicle Comic Pages1.1. In the first panel the boy says to his cat: "Objectively, there's no clear distinction between right and wrong in the universe." In the second panel he continues with, "Its impossible to say absolutely whether something is good or bad!" In the third panel the boy walks off and the cat contemplates his words. And in the last panel the cat thinks "You can always spot the ones who've never had their tail stepped on!"
timedex infinite grid