Every intelligent and motivated human being on this planet wants to know more about his life, the life of the humans that surround him and the future of the planets with all its living beings.
I say “Motivated” because there are a large number of “Intelligent” human beings, but very few are “Motivated”. “Motivation”, like all human characteristics, is a genetic endowment.
One may be highly intelligent is diverse areas, such as math or physics or music or graphics or language, yet, have little desire to expand their knowledge in their talented area. In particular, they may have little desire to understand the complexities of the interrelationships between any or all the areas of the dynamic systems that make up the living universe.
Part of that desire emanates from their inability to see through their language to arrive at the ultimate reality of the universe. This problem derives from the structure of language itself.
Languages evolved as tools for the communication of ideas and concepts of the individual who wished to convey his mental picture to one or many other different individuals.
Since there are millions of other individuals, languages were compelled by the analytic weakness of the group to be sub-standard as descriptors.
Over two thousand years ago, Aristotle, the most intelligent man who ever lived, wrote a treatise on how conversation could accurately convey ideas. We call this treatise ‘Aristotelian Logic.’
One must thoroughly understand “Aristotelian Logic” or any serious conversation will convey nothing more than emotions.
Language is quite similar to mathematics. It follows rigorous rules that determine the meaning of any sequence of phrased ideas. Lawyers and Judges spend their entire lives trying to analyze the phrases and verbiage that was used and thereby try to make a “Logical” conclusion as to the meaning and intent of the conclusions.
All Law is based on the interpretations of arguments or dictums made by previous jurists concerning events that have taken place in repetition.
Simply by acknowledging that events in the universe are always singularly unique, we must conclude that all laws or other interpretations are, a priori, false.
Arguments based on the wordage of famous Legal Documents, such as the American Constitution or the Magna Carta or even religious texts such as the Christian Bible or the Book of Mohammad are all interpreted differently by “experts” in these areas.
WHY DO WE INTERPRET WORDS DIFFERENTLY?
I am sure every human being, conversing with a friend or relative, has gone through the experience of asking or hearing the question: “What do you mean by that?”
Every word uttered is spoken with innumerable sound inflections, expressing certainty, uncertainty, doubt and an infinite degree of inferences or implications.
Arguments and emotional reactions are interjected constantly as each person tries to convey his understanding of the meanings of the words being used.
This confabulation is so strong that we pay experts, men or women trained in the interpretation of words and their meanings, (lawyers) for their opinions, which, in turn, are generally scoffed at by their opposing lawyers.
The Legal System, in every country in the world, spends incredible amounts of time and financial resources trying to reach at “Agreements of the Mind.”
Entire populations may spend many lifetimes behaving in a way that they ultimately conclude was wrong, and, frequently, injurious to other citizens.
ALFRED KORZYBSKI AND GENERAL SEMANTICS
A brilliant Polish mathematician and philosopher saw the futility of trying to interpret documents in the normal fashion of referring to collective ideation of what words meant.
Here is an excellent description of this Pole, Alfred Korzybski from Wikipedia:
“Korzybski was born in Warsaw, Poland which at that time was part of the Russian Empire. He was part of an aristocratic Polish family whose members had worked as mathematicians, scientists, and engineers for generations. He learned the Polish language at home and the Russian language in schools; and having a French governess and a German governess, he became fluent in these four languages as a child.
Korzybski was educated at the Warsaw University of Technology in engineering. During the First World War Korzybski served as an intelligence officer in the Russian Army. After being wounded in a leg and suffering other injuries, he came to North America in 1916 (first to Canada, then the United States) to coordinate the shipment of artillery to Russia. He also lectured to Polish-American audiences about the conflict, promoting the sale of war bonds.
After the War, he decided to remain in the United States, becoming a naturalized citizen in 1940. His first book, Manhood of Humanity, was published in 1921. In the book, he proposed and explained in detail a new theory of humankind: mankind as a “time-binding” class of life (humans perform time binding by the transmission of knowledge and abstractions through time which are accreted in cultures).”
In 1933, Korzybski published his most famous book: SCIENCE AND SANITY.
When I was a pre-med student in Clark University one of my professors in philosophy asked me if I had read Korzybski. I told him “No.” He immediately replied: “Read it!”
I bought the book, (a used one)(800 plus pages of clear descriptions) and I read it intensely, between the other books I was required to read to become a Doctor of Medicine.
It was, to me, a fascinating narration. I could see that Korzybski wanted to make people understand “Understanding.” When I was finished I came to the conclusion that all words were simply “symbols” that “pointed” to “areas of life” that were real and unknowable in the complete sense.
Korzybski’s ideas were taken up by a large number of people who were interested in EPISTEMOLOGY, or the Science of Knowing. These people developed “Non-Aristotelian Systems” and “General Semantics.”
Simultaneously, philosophers and mathematicians were developing “Non-Semantic Logic”, “Symbolic Logic” which included areas such as “Fuzzy Logic.”
One could easily conclude that the type of arguments that refer to classes (citizens) or adjectives (such as “Free”) were hopelessly impossible to support with words or arguments; and, that ultimately, whomever had the power to decide would decide in his favor and present a long and obfuscating list of reasons that no mathematician could ever prove with even the slightest degree of certainty.
I had to conclude that the Law was just confusing rhetoric, designed to fool and bedevil a public into granting government whatever it wished.
Like all living species, humans, in order to survive and procreate, must communicate with each other and their surrounding groups.
Like all living creatures, our genetic systems only allow us to think in a rudimentary fashion and communicate with sounds and spellings and phraseology that are extremely weak representations of reality.
As a consequence, humans, individually or in groups, make horrendous errors through communication, frequently ending in some form of disaster, social, economic, or, unfortunately, personal.
If we try to remember that words are not “real”, but simply “pointers” to an external reality that impinges on our existence, we have a greater chance of achieving that goal that we call: “Happiness.”