Fallibility

Stephen C. Rose
Mar 18, 2015 · 4 min read

See Meaning — Medium http://buff.ly/1BTZTtA

Not long ago I launched an idea called Triadic Philosophy. It is summarized in Triadic Philosophy 100 Aphorisms available at the Kindle Store.. It grew into several more books. “Cybercommunity — A Handbook” seeks to lay out a community concept based on the values of tolerance, helpfulness, democracy and non-idolatry, integral and car-free.

My text for this section is from the great American philosopher Charles Sanders Pierce, who wrote as follows:

“Though infallibility in scientific matters seems to me irresistibly comical, I should be in a sad way if I could not retain a high respect for those who lay claim to it, for they comprise the greater part of the people who have any conversation at all. When I say they lay claim to it, I mean they assume the functions of it quite naturally and unconsciously. The full meaning of the adage Humanum est errare, they have never waked up to. In those sciences of measurement which are the least subject to error — metrology, geodesy, and metrical astronomy — no man of self-respect ever now states his result, without affixing to it its probable error; and if this practice is not followed in other sciences it is because in those the probable errors are too vast to be estimated.” Peirce: CP 1.10

In my other Kindle books on triadic philosophy, my debt to Peirce is made plain. Also, I subscribe entirely to a root premise of his pragmaticist philosophy: fallibility, the inevitability of error and inexactitude in determining experimental truth.

Let me add, as one trained in theology and otherwise a student of wide interests, I fully subscribe to scientific method. Fallible as it is, it is the only basis for determining the provisional truths of reality, insofar as that is possible.

All else remains mystery and supposition. Proving things out experimentally is the most satisfactory means of knowing what works and what does not. It is the basis of Triadic Philosophy.

The Revolution of Silence contends that war does not have positives to outweigh the harm it causes and that conflict can be replaced by triadic methods of arriving at workable expressions and actions.

Triadic Decision Making

The essential method can be explained in a few words.

Taking a problem or piece of a problem as the Sign to be considered (Reality), submit this to the following terms and briefly consider the encounter with each — Tolerance, Helpfulness, Democracy (Ethics).

Then:

Say to yourself Beauty is truth, truth beauty.

Then:

Consider the matter briefly in dialogue with the one you take to be universal and your guide (or none, if you choose, in which case, skip).

Finally:

Consider and state to yourself an expression that emerges from this.

Also consider if you wish an action that might follow from your consideration.

This is Triadic Meditation in half-a-nutshell.

Experimentally, this simple method can be shown to function remarkably with any and all considered realities.

But only the one who engages in it can so testify.

Fallibility Requires Forgiveness

The other aspect of dealing with our fallibility is the injection of forgiveness into the mix. If we acknowledge we are fallible, we are also acknowledging that we do harm, even if it is only the second-hand harm that rises from the second-hand things we all do, from making purchases, to investing, to paying taxes over whose effects we have scant control.

To deal with the need for forgiveness, I recommend the words below as a daily text you may wish to repeat silently.

If this does not work for you, I recommend anything that contains a request for forgiveness and a pledge to forgive others. Without this, as a universally acknowledged obligation, we are not going to achieve progress in light of our fallibility. And it is precisely this fact that must be acknowledged as part of the Revolution of Silence.

But it is unlikely that all participants in the Revolution of Silence will be versed in the way I propose: an existence informed by ontological values, that honors the core of religion and makes fallibility a partner in promoting change.

What is more likely is that these premises are already abroad. My work on Twitter encourages me to believe that I am not preaching to a choir. No. I am surmising a growing reality. It is an emerging zeitgeist.

Universality, fallibility, values — these are keywords that signal a sea change. And fallibility is, and will remain, central.

Pride is a wonderful thing. Alone it is disastrous. Marching hand in hand with fallibility, it is nearly impregnable.

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The three immediate predecessors of this text are in order of appearance

Universal Good and Evil: Parsing The Twenty Values We All Live By http://buff.ly/1aQ7ek0

Planning and Designing a Good Future: What to Strive for and What to Avoid http://buff.ly/1aQ7kIn

and

Reality Is All: Notes on the Mystery http://buff.ly/1aQ7xv6

Stephen C. Rose

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steverose@gmail.com Buy 99 cent Kindle books on practical spirituality at http://buff.ly/1ulPHlK Join KIVA https://buff.ly/2ZSAv83