Monday, October 13, 2008

Sir Francis Bacon

Today The Rainmaker received an email sent by Peter P. on behalf of his spouse Diana. The subject line was "Only For The Intellectually Curious."

The first reaction was "Yeah, right." But then The Rainmaker started to read. Even a blind squirrel can find a nut once every now and then. And The Rainmaker is grateful to be the squirrel that decided to read Diana's insightful thoughts, questions and observations. She might have been Socrates in a former life!

The Rainmaker is really happy to have invested the time to read and ponder Diana's observations on Bacon as well as her wise questions. Hopefully you won't be dissappointed that to have this material inflicted on yourselves.

The email begins by asking the question:

"As a thinking society, what can we learn about ourselves from assessing Sir Roger Bacon's 'Stumbling-Blocks to Truth?'"

All The Rainmaker really knows about Roger Bacon is that he was a pretty amazing dude who lived about the same time as a fellow named Shakespeare was alleged to have lived. There is an emerging consensus (although still significant doubt) that if Shakespeare didn't right his material Bacon is a very likely suspect to be ghost writer. The Rainmaker had never heard of these four stumbling-blocks to groking the truth. An Aside: "Grok" is a term from Robert Heinlein's "Stranger in a Strange Land," the first libertarian book I ever read (almost 40 years ago...ouch!) and the term "grok" means "to know completely." Obviously the definition of "grok" has been grossly simplified for brevity but any fundamentalist Heinlein fans will have to bear with this for now. It's still a great read after all these years.

Back on track: Here is what Peter's email for Diana said about them in full:

"Four very significant stumbling-blocks (are) in the way of grasping the truth, which hinder every man however learned, and scarcely allow anyone to win a clear title to wisdom and truth. (Circa 1214-1294)

They are:

1) submission to faulty and unworthy authority
2) long-standing continuance of custom
3) popular prejudice and regard to the opinion of the unlearned
4) concealment of ones own ignorance while exhibiting wisdom"

The foregoing was obviously, at least to me Bacon's material. The following is from Diana by way of her spouse Peter P.

"We seek truth to analyze problems and to avoid making similar mistakes in the future yet in our politically charged world we find intellectual dihonesty and purposeful chaos.

We ask ourselves:

1) Are these stumbling-blocks to truth and wisdom being used against us?
2) Who in government is telling us the truth?
3) Does the media use it's medium to keep us from obtaining the truth and wisdom?
4) How are the candidates using deception to sway our thinking?
5) How did we get into this economic crise?

Just something to ponder..."

The Rainmaker commented on the Bacon material and responded to Diana's thoughts and points to ponder. Rather than be a typical media outlet The Rainmaker will give you some time to ponder these points on your own before poluting your thought process with Rainmaker opinion, suposition and prejudice. In a day or two, perhaps longer another post will explore the already written observations, thoughts, conclusions, rants and, hopefully, provide the occasional insight.

Until then, hasta la vista!

1 comment:

wmmulligan said...

You have Roger Bacon confused with Francis Bacon - Roger wrote the 4 stumbling blocks in the 13th century, while Francis lived 4 centuries later