If something new resides in the realm of the arts, say a novel, painting, poem, prose etc., typically even when it is shocking, it is difficult to label as right or wrong. In the arts, it is all about personal interpretation. So then, typically there is neither right nor wrong.
Outside of the arts, particularly in realm of Mathematics, there typically is right and wrong. Put diesel in a gas engine, and quickly, you find out there is right and there is wrong. Attempt to build a car without ensuring that the engine is mounted, such that it does not vibrate? Well, you quickly find out that there is right, and there is wrong. Make a mistake in calculations for a space shuttle, and you can embarrass an entire nation. Set up a factory belt that is designed to run at no more than a mile of movement per hour, to operate at 2 miles of movement per hour, and you probably lose an entire shipment of products. If you keep your job, you probably are the owner’s nephew, boyfriend, or girlfriend.
In realm of Mathematics, and Applied Mathematics, such as Engineering, there is right, and there is wrong.
So then, in realms within which there is right and there is wrong, when something totally new arrives, how exactly do we infer rightness, or wrongness?
Well, first we attempt to integrate the new knowledge with what it is exactly that we already know. The problem that can arise, of course, is the reality that what we think we already know just might not be true.
When scientists articulated that the earth was the center of the universe, this was based on an observational fallacy, a fallacy of speed, movement, and size, a fallacy which creates the appearance that it is the sun that orbits the earth.
There was Mathematics involved, but the Mathematics sought to establish what already was assumed to be true.
When Kepler and Galileo would overturn the error, they would rely, in entirety, on Mathematics, would discard the observation, would allow the Mathematics speak for itself. It was not religion that was the problem, both Kepler and Galileo were linked with the same Church which had accepted that the sun revolves around the earth. Rather, it was the assumption that what was observed was truth. While the Church of the time initially was reluctant — as most societies are whenever radical change is demanded of them — eventually the Church of the time would come to accept that Kepler and Galileo were right.
Whenever Mathematics does not rely on a preset story, that is, does not assume rightness of what it seeks to investigate, typically Mathematics don’t lie.
We arrive then at one of the singular problems that has plagued mankind, which is, the reality that sometimes scientists assume the story; that is, ever before they apply tools of Mathematics, decide what it is exactly that they seek the Mathematics to produce.
Whenever scientists already assume a story, it always is easy to find a Mathematical process that supports, such a story.
If a preset story is linear, in Mathematics, there exist linear processes. If a preset story is convex, there exist convex processes. If a preset story is concave, such as diminishing returns to production, there exist lots of processes that fit concave stories. You see then that whenever the story already is assumed, a tool that ought to protect, that is, Mathematics, is, in entirety, rendered useless, becomes no more than a collaborator on a story that was preset.
What then is an important principle for detecting rightness or wrongness of things that are new?
Refusal to premise assessments of rightness or wrongness on a preset story.
So then, what are some examples of preset stories? Well, ‘I am a Republican’ is a preset story; same as ‘I am a Democrat’. But once elected, is the President of a Country, first and foremost, a Democrat, or a Republican? And if no one disagreed that the President Elect was the best candidate at timing of the elections, would such a country be declared a Democracy?
‘I am male’, and ‘I am female’ are preset stories. But truth or right is neither male nor female. When you go to the bank to withdraw money, your gender does not have any effect on the transaction. If a person were to jump out of a window on the 40th floor of a building, the outcome does not depend on their preset story as male or female.
‘I am Christian’, and ‘I am Buddhist’ are preset stories. Last I checked, however, neither Christians nor Buddhists are happy to see their houses burgled. When it comes to losing jobs, neither Christians nor Buddhists are different, neither like to lose jobs. There may be exceptions, but typically and normally, each of Christian or Buddhist couples seek to find happiness in their marital unions.
The essence of the illustrations?
If we sat down and listed all of the truths that we hold in common, relative to the things that are not truths, there is more that we hold in common than otherwise.
Like I have said somewhere, regardless of skin color, all have ‘White of the Eyes’.
If we seek to know whether something that is new is true or right, the first thing to do is set aside any related preset stories.
In this respect, consider Uber and Lyft. Somehow, people thought Uber and Lyft could help push the U.S. Economy forward. But they were adopting a preset story, a story that management of Uber and Lyft themselves would love to believe.
The truth of the matter is, while Uber and Lyft are disruptive companies that were needed, their major contribution is efficiency, and ease. Absent a thriving economy, however, people prefer inefficiency and unease to leisure, or other activities that benefit either of Uber or Lyft. Absent a thriving economy, neither of Uber nor Lyft can achieve any phenomenal growth.
It is impossible for an increase in number of people driving for Uber or Lyft to produce any new growth in the economy of the United States. The numbers just can’t fit. A demand driven business cannot ever be transformed into a supply push business.
Consider then Church. Ideally, what people ought to get out of Church is friendships. Ask yourself then? If you are a church goer, in your adult life, just how many friends have you made in Church? If you are not a churchgoer, but know someone who goes to Church pretty well, does it seem as if they make friends in Church?
What is the preset story about Church? People go to Church to receive encouragement from their pastors. So then, week in, week out, tithe in, tithe out, after 5 years, the only social contract they seem to have in Church is with the pastor.
But this exactly is antithesis of Church. Church is supposed to be about connecting people who all love Jesus Christ, such that there is arrival at vibrancy of friendships. Given people continue to accept the preset story of a contract that is primarily between themselves and their pastor, however, Church is devolving into a forum filled with strangers who all believe that their pastor loves them.
Yet with all of the love coming from the pulpit, people sit beside one another as total strangers; people tear up in Church in response to a good sermon as total strangers; people sing and pray as total strangers, and walk out of a Church Auditorium as total strangers. This, week in, week out, tithe in, tithe out.
Apostle Paul was, inarguably, the Apostle who spread Christianity to non-Jews. Do you know that Apostle Paul referred to a woman as a leader of himself, and of a local church in which he was the sitting Apostle (Romans 16:1–2)? Today, how many Christians are able to talk to their pastors as equals?
The reasonableness of the assertion by Apostle Paul? Apostles do not belong to local churches, so then, whenever they are in a local church, they complement the leadership, do not seek to take over leadership of the local church. If an Apostle who would leave a local church after say, two years, takes over leadership of the church, he does more harm than good, for when he leaves, the local church will fall apart.
Would it not be easier to find love in Church if the pastor was not the only person expected to love everyone else?
If Church ever is to become a vibrant forum for friendships, Christians will have to discard their preset stories, will have to come to believe that Church is about them loving each other, such that God is pleased, as opposed to only loving the pastor, who then prays for them, such that God is pleased.
If you seek to progress into things that not only are new, but also are truth, that is, which also are right, the first step is to abandon your preset stories, then apply whatever Mathematics you know, then trust the Mathematics.
Remember, 1+1=2 is as much Mathematics, as application of differential calculus towards solving of a problem.
Consider Cause and Effect. When you think through cause and effect, you do not think of it as Mathematics, but this in fact is exactly what it is, which is, Mathematics.
If there was not any sort of stable relationship between cause and effect, what good would it be to think through cause and effect?
The predictability of cause and effect is part essence of Mathematics. When you put your car key in the ignition, and switch on the engine, it is not the coming alive of the engine that can surprise, rather only a sputtering of the engine, a violation of the stability of cause and effect can induce a surprise.
The law of cause and effect is a law of Mathematics.
Whenever man attempts to mess with this law, to act as if the law of Cause and Effect can be violated with impunity, man acts on a preset story that is inconsistent with the facts, that is inconsistent with evidence from history. History is a wise attestor to validity of the Mathematical law of Cause and Effect.
When it comes to Mathematics, start with the much that you know, and either hope to God you know enough, or ask God that whenever you need to know more, you are able to receive more from Him.