The organum is a new tool, as useful in the hand of a craftsman as it was to that of an alchemist. The hand must be steady and accurate; otherwise we are frustrated by our own false starts, or even worse, become discouraged when things don't work out quite the way we planned. There is no one path to truth: sometimes we have to go around obstacles; other times we may find our original route blocked. Sometimes there are shortcuts when what looks like a dead end turns out not to be so.
The organum is, however, a new tool for problem solving; it is not merely to be used as a handbook or reference guide. We must put it to use. In our hands that tool will become an extension of the mind.
If we properly understand the nature of the organum, we will be able to determine its utility and make use of it. We must learn what that tool is for, how to harness it and wield it. The first step in learning this skill is realizing that our goal is not merely discovery or mere invention.
The goal of learning is to better ourselves, so that we can be better in our daily lives. It is through a broad understanding of the world and human society that this benefit will come. The organum was set forth by Bacon with the intention of aiding us in such an endeavor.
The second step is to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of this tool. The organum was created with our limitations in mind; it was meant not to replace human reason, but rather to complement it.
Bacon's organum is not meant to deal with all situations. One of its greatest strengths, however, is that it can be adapted for application to a wide variety of subjects. It was an idea that inspired great thinkers in his day and continues to do so today.
We humans are by far the best specimens. We have developed a very good understanding of the external world and our place in it through science.
The problem is that we have not developed a good understanding of our own minds, and therefore we are in no position to accurately predict human behavior. This I believe explains why there has been so much violence and destruction throughout history.
I believe that the human mind is a machine like any other. It is capable of adapting to environmental change and it has evolved through natural selection, but it can be molded by environment in much the same way as physical organisms are.
Imagine an animal living in a hostile environment. If the animal cannot adapt to the environment, it will die out. But if it can adapt well enough, then its offspring may be able to mate and have more children.
The same is true with the human mind. Our environment consists of our social and physical surroundings, as well as the way we treat each other. If we cannot adapt to these conditions, then our society will be violent and destructive.
Our minds are the product of our social environment and we have been molded by it. This is why, for example, people in different countries tend to think differently about things.
Novum Organum. The double entendre of the title is not lost on me.
The new tool for knowledge, the method of logical deduction that Descartes had pioneered centuries ago is indeed a powerful one.
It is the task of this new tool to understand human nature, and then find a way to improve it. And yet today more than ever before humans are in need of improvement.
More than ever before, humans are the victims of their own nature. Because of the power they wield, humans can cause more damage to themselves than any other living organism on this planet.
The only reason humans have survived this long is because of their intelligence. And yet they are not using that intelligence in the right way.
Humans have the ability to destroy themselves. At least they can destroy this planet, and that is almost worse.
For a long time, humanity has been trapped within the confines of the Aristotelian paradigm. That is to say, humanity has generally understood nature as being comprised by the four elements: Earth, Fire, Water and Air (EFW) or what we could call 'The Material Realm'. This view was solidified with Aristotle's concept of "substance," which he took from Ancient Greek philosophy and applied to his own philosophical system. In other words, for many centuries philosophers have come up with complex theories that try to explain all phenomena in terms of just EFW.
For example: when it rains on earth then this is due to water vapour condensing upon air molecules which are carried high into the sky until they reach a certain temperature at which point they turn back into water droplets and precipitate downwards towards earth where they will eventually evaporate once again.
The reason philosophers have done this is because they are seeking to understand the fundamental nature of reality. This is a noble goal, but it's an impossible one as well. The problem with trying to explain everything in terms of just 4 elements is that it leaves out many important phenomena such as human consciousness (which I'll talk about more below), life itself and also most importantly: God.
For if God does exist as many religions claim, and I have no reason to believe that He/She doesn't since the evidence for His existence is quite strong in my opinion, then everything must be capable of being derived from Him. In other words: even reality itself might only be a shadow of its true self - which can only be found in God.
This is why I believe that it's time for humanity to move beyond the Aristotelian paradigm. We can no longer rely on EFW as a satisfactory explanation of all phenomena and instead we need to expand our horizons towards an epistemology which encompasses God.
This is not to say that EFW are no longer relevant. After all, as I mentioned earlier on: most of our understanding of the world comes from studying natural phenomena and so we need to be able to understand these phenomena before we can understand them better which means that we must first accept them - just because they're beyond our comprehension does not mean they shouldn't be studied.
In fact, in order to develop a more accurate view of reality we need to start by studying the world around us and accepting it for what it is. We must then try and find theories that explain these phenomena in terms of just EFW if we can.
The new organum is the means to acquire, or at least develop, a truly scientific understanding of humans and human society. With it comes a proper conception of what it means to be human. It's important to realize that science itself must take on a much more fundamental role in our understanding of humanity; we need to navigate away from the muddy waters of philosophy and into the realm of hard science.
As I've said elsewhere, it is important to realize that science itself must take on a much more fundamental role in our understanding of humanity; we need to navigate away from the muddy waters of philosophy and into the realm of hard science. The new organum is therefore an attempt at both discovery and advancement.
For a long time, the development of human society has been stunted by an inadequate understanding of who we are. For example, yesterday I learned that one in eight people on Earth live under the poverty line.
This is an appalling statistic, of course. But it's not just a tragic number; it tells us something about what it means to be human and how we can improve our future.
The world's poor are humans, and we can conclude that there must be some reason for their poverty. Poverty is not simply a random state of affairs among humans, it has an underlying cause that all of us should care about.
Without the ability to understand these underlying causes, we have no hope of improving our society. Without a proper understanding of poverty and its effects on human society, we are doomed to repeat history over and over again.
Many times, I think about what it means to be human and how different are we from other creatures. It is easy to get a wrong impression of the world just by looking at a limited number of things. But if one thinks carefully, they will see that most of the time even animals make better decisions than humans do, because animals have developed instincts which tell them when something is good or bad for their species.
Humans on the other hand have evolved in such a way that many people do not know who they are anymore. They don't know where they come from or what their purpose is. Many religions try to answer these questions but mostly fail miserably in doing so because often those same religions contradict each-others' points of view although all claim to be true according with religious texts written by men thousands of years ago.
So, in a sense humans are like animals but without any instincts that tell them how they should behave. This is where evolution took a different path for us because our ancestors were once nomadic hunter-gatherers and to survive they had to make quick decisions that would allow them to get the most out of their environment and also protect themselves from dangers lurking around every corner.
Over time these decisions have become so much a part of our genetics that we are often unable to think clearly about them. This is why it takes so long for humans to realize what they should do or shouldn't, because the information necessary for making those decisions has been lost over generations. Nowadays many women don't know what their purpose in life actually is and as a result many of them struggle finding someone to marry.
One of the main reasons why people are unhappy is that they fail to realize what their purpose in life actually is. Instead, they search for happiness based on various short-term goals and desires which often leads to disappointment because it's impossible to be happy all the time.
A man's purpose in life is to create a loving family. If he succeeds in doing so he will be happier than anything else because this goal has become part of his genetics and produces chemicals in the brain that make him feel like everything is alright with the world.
He should not try to live up to the expectations of others. Instead, he should realize that no one can judge him for his actions more than himself.
Novum Organum states that there is no truth, only a whole bunch of opinions. The method in Novum organum is to consider how we come about our own knowledge, which eventually leads us to the realization that all knowldge comes from experience.
But to use experience to conclude things about the world, we need laws that can be applied again and again. For instance, if I want to know how much a cup of coffee costs in New York City, I will try some out and find out what they cost. But this is not enough; If there was one shop on the street where it cost $5 for a cup of coffee but every other place charged $8 for a cup of coffee then my observation would lead me astray.
Therefore, I need to find a single law that can explain why coffee costs $5 in one shop and $8 everywhere else.
The human brain works like this as well; it tries to find a law that explains why things happen and then applies the law whenever another situation arises. But humans, in their ignorance of greater laws, often mistake coincidence for cause.
A much better way to find the laws is by experimentation and then making predictions. If a law seems true in many cases, it will be more likely that we can use it again even if there is no apparent cause.
Now let's consider the claim that "There is no truth, only a whole bunch of opinions.
Let's start with some definitions of terms. A 'fact' is something that is true. An example would be the fact that I am typing on a laptop computer right now, another would be the fact that there are trees outside my window as well as several cars zooming by at high speeds.
An 'opinion' is something that someone believes to be true. An example would be the opinion I have of my laptop, which is that it has a nice keyboard and display.
A 'theory' is a set of facts and opinions that are strongly believed by the person who made up the theory. An example would be my theory on why I do not like eating eggs for breakfast: I do not like how eggs taste.
What we have been discussing is whether or not a theory can be deemed true, based on the opinions and facts presented in it. This question asks us to define 'truth' itself.
Here is my definition of 'truth': Truth is the product of a long evolution and development process, in which all facts have been tested for their validity. In this process not all theories are true, or they would already be laws.
An example of this would be the theory that the sun revolves around the Earth, which is clearly not true. However, theories such as Newton's gravitational law are generally considered to be true.