How Do We Know Something?
By Richard Salbato
is a book review of a great scientific book called, THE SCIENCE BEFORE SCIENCE
by the distinguished Physicist, Anthony Rizzi. His
achievements in the field of general relativity, gravity wave research and
detection, has made him famous throughout the scientific world. He has now
opened The Institute of Advanced Physics www.IAPweb.org to show how we should do science and even how
we should think. I am going to try and put some of Rizzi's
thinking into my own words but highly suggest that you buy and read his book. It
will not only change the way you see things, it will change the way you think. While
reading this book, another Catholic asked me if my book was more important than
his. He was reading a book by a saint on
how to be holy. I thought about this for a few minutes and realized that Rizzi's book should be the first book any person seeking
truth or religion should read, since if you do not KNOW HOW TO THINK and have a
firm and sound faith that there is a God, all our faith is built on sand. If I
was to open a
First: How to Think Properly
Did you ever stop to think that most of your knowledge is based on trust or faith? We know, not because we can feel it with our senses or have run the scientific tests ourselves, but because some person, called a teacher or scientist, said so, or because we read it in a book. We know that we are moving 67,000 miles an hour around the sun, but we cannot feel or sense that movement, so how do we know it? The fact is that we know it by faith, faith in some book, some teacher, some graphic made by Discovery or Nova. But is this real first hand knowledge? In the end, it is not proper knowledge, but faith based on authority, people with degrees or titles.
Because people are so easily fooled into mistaking trust in authority (faith) for truth, nations have been built on lies presented as truth wrapped in fancy words and presented by distinguished "scholars" - Nazism, Communism, and false sciences and false religions. I might call some of the sciences and some of the religions as both religions because both are based on a very well sold faith.
The problem with much science today is that the scientists studied their choice of science without studying the "first principles of knowledge" and therefore reduce all their conclusions to their particular channeled vision, say mathematics, which is only the study of quantity. A physicist channeled only in quantity would see an atom as mostly nothing (99.9%) because the distance between the center and the outside is (as far as we know so far) just space. Since he deals with measurements only, he sees only measurements, weight, distances, time, space between things.
An improper knowledge is nothing more than a belief obtained from the culture around us that we trust. All true knowledge comes though the senses. The senses are the means by which we know everything and yet even the senses are not trustworthy. Therefore, prudence makes us take care to put all our trusts in knowledge in proper order. I trust this most of all, and that a little less, and that less, and this least of all. Nonetheless, we must trust our senses first of all because that is how we come to all knowledge.
In fact, we do not even know ourselves first. We first become aware of feelings, touch, hunger, thirst, cold, warmth. Then we become aware of other things that we see or touch. We become aware of other people, probably first our mother. And last we become aware of ourselves. As we grow our brain goes from feelings, to memory, to reasoning, to logic, and hopefully to wisdom, but it all starts and ends with the senses.
The truth is that "knowledge" is nothing more than a reasonable degree of certitude about something based on direct sensorial knowledge (the most certain) mixed with reason and logic. How we use this sensorial knowledge may be even a higher form of knowledge but it has to start with the former. True knowledge comes from the senses, reasoning, logic and wisdom.
Improper knowledge (true or not) is based on the culture around us, such as the books we read, the television, the authorities, the teachers, etc. If we do not reason these things out with the logic of our brain, we end up just like the social structures you see all over the world. Most people are sheep. By that I mean that most people accept the so-called knowledge simply based on the culture around them without using the reasoning and logical part of the brain which is discernment of truths.
Without reasoning through improper knowledge we have the stupidity of sheep. For example, look at those who followed Hitler because he could sell his false ideas with power and style. We have the radical Islamists who believe blindly that if they die killing innocent people they will go directly to heaven. We have the Incas, who believed blindly that killing babies and offering them to the sun god would save them from the sun's anger. These stupidities are from culture influenced so-called knowledge without the use of reason and logic.
about Western Civilized Societies, the modern societies, like Europe,
First principles, (like all physical things are changing), must guide all true science. This act of changing is in some way the very essence of matter and energy and therefore all physical being. Not all knowledge is from the senses even if it starts there. Universal truths, like the principle of Contradiction, comes from a higher form of knowledge known as Ideas or imagination, something that animals do not have. This additional power of knowing is called the intellect, meaning to read between or within. Sensorial powers and intellectual powers are not two separate things but one unit of soul and body. One must understand that nothing comes before the act of being. Being (or existence) comes before Essence because Essence is its potential.
Another First principle is that being must have a reason. Everything must have a reason for being in itself or in another. The principle of sufficient reason is self evident because its opposite is not thinkable. From this principle we see that there must be "a being" that contains its own reason for existence, for otherwise there would be no intelligibility, and there is intelligibility, which is immaturial. This is to say, there must be a "Being" that contains the whole ground of its intelligibility. Such a Being must be completely understandable, having no shadow of unintelligibility, for any lack of intelligibility indicates a "reason", a relationship to another, in the Being that is not explained by the Being. This Being contains its reason for its act of being from which all other secondary reasons must emanate. Hence, such a being must be pure intelligibility, intelligibility in act. Intelligibility implies intelligibility in intellect. If a being is to contain the entire reason for its existence, then it must be pure intellection, intellect in pure act. A being that is pure intelligibility and pure act of intellection is God.
Because Modern Science left the first principle of science and looked at things purely from an Empiriometric point of view (explaining the physical though mathematical principles) or through a purely Empirioschematic point of view (explaining the physical only though schemes and formulas), it lost the first principle of science, how and why. Not how does it work but how did it come to be and why did it come to be.
From these narrow visions of science we get a great deal of stupidity, like quantum mechanics, where it is thought that the observer creates the reality simply because it is the only way to measure it (Empiriometiric). But things exist even when we do not. Modern Science admits that nothing changes itself, but requires other outside forces to change it, but since it lost the soul of science it no longer thinks back to the cause. What was the first cause of change, that is unchangeable. Science can make things from other things, but science cannot create anything, because the very word, create, means to make from nothing.
What do you know with a great deal of certainty? Do you know what atoms are, or electrons, protons, neutrons, quarks, etc. No one has ever seen them or even sensed them in any way. Electrons may have a high degree of probability but we do not even know if they are a small particle or a big wave. Since most Physicists are rooted in changeless mathematics, how then can they explain change?
What do you know about Inertia? Inertia is 1. the tendency of a body to remain in its state of rest or uniform motion unless acted on by an outside force. 2. Nothing is ever lost or gained, because energy remains the same and matter remains the same but changes from one to another. 3. Nothing new is created, not matter or energy. 4. Nothing is at rest, everything is in motion, but from a measurement point of view things seem at rest in relation to other things. I may be at rest in relation to the chair I am sitting in, but I am moving at 67,000 miles an hour around the sun and maybe the sun is moving around something else.
What is Special Relativity? Special Relativity really only gives us another way to measure motion, but does not explain it. It tries to mix time, space and motion into a mathematical formula. Yes! We can only measure time by change, and we can only measure speed by its relation to other things, but simply because we cannot measure it does not mean anything. This implies that time and motion are absolutely related to each other because it is the only way we can measure them, but the truth may be that time moves on even if all motion stops. Special Relativity does not care about truth but only about a method of measurement.
Why does motion have to move in a fixed time. Maybe motion can move in an inconsistent time. But then we could not measure it, and it would not fit into mathematical physics. Time (as we know it) is nothing more than numbered motion. Absolute time, divorced from motion, cannot be seen by science but must exist even without motion or change.
What is Space? Space is what there is outside of matter and motion (the distance between matter). Like space, which exists without matter or motion, so time exists without motion even if we cannot measure it. We cannot measure space except between matter but if we cannot find matter, we cannot measure space. Same with time, it cannot be measured except with change. The lack of change does not mean the lack of time, only the lack of ways to measure it. Can we really go back in time as Special Relativity predicts, of course not. What is past is past. But if we only measure time by motion and only use mathematical physics, we come up with this ridiculous conclusion. Even change is a guess, we can measure change now and then assume that change is consistent (without any proof) and then calculate the probable change of things past.
Space and time are not the only things that cannot be measured except in reference to other things. Now cannot be measured. We know that now is the sum of all that exists at a given moment, but it cannot be measured, just as zero is a useful tool in mathematics, it cannot be found. Before and after, plus and minus can be found, but zero cannot. We know that zero and now exist only from reasoning and logic but not from experience and measurements. Zero is a great example of reasoning that only humans have. Without it, science is dead but we cannot really find it. Using purely mathematical thinking everything can be divided and if your brain only thinks this way, there is no beginning or end. But using logic and reasoning we know that this cannot be. There has to be a beginning of everything physical and of everything that can be measured in any way. General relativity only works in a measurement way but not in a real way.
What is the Big Bang Theory? Really the big bang theory comes out of acceptance of Einstein's general relativity. Einstein, using only mathematical measurements could not take time and space independent of matter, a pure assumption based on nothing except that in no other way could it be measured. Basing everything on mathematics you are forced to believe in the big bang theory because there has to be matter to measure. But because all matter is moving and in fact, expanding, it forces you to go backwards to a beginning of the movement but not the beginning of matter. By eliminating creation (it cannot be measured) and knowing that the total of all matter remains the same and that the total of all energy remains the same, we are forced to conclude that all was condensed into some unimaginable small dot that we imagine as Zero. This is all based on our refusal to accept creation, something out of nothing. Based on its own nature (without an outside force) matter and energy neither being created or destroyed one must conclude that the universe has no beginning or end, no zero. The beginning of beginning cannot be measured.
What is Quantum Mechanics? The outgrowth of the above unproven theories is Quantum Mechanics. It leaves behind the mathematical theories and concentrates on statistical theories or Empirioschematic. Statistics leaves out facts and details and settles for averages. It is an admission of lack of knowledge. Pushing statistics to absurdity requires an infinite number of possibilities, which in turn requires an infinite number of universes. But can there be an infinite number of anything? No!
What is Evolution? Evolution is the most unscientific science there is because it goes beyond statistics and simply says "I do not know and I do not want to know and I do not need to know." Because of cause and effect, there is no such thing as chance. Chance is just admitting that you do not know and do not want to know. If you hit a pool ball and it bounces of ten sides of the table and hits another pool ball, you say that it hit by chance because you to not want to bother figuring out the geometry of its flight that caused it to hit the other ball. But everything has a cause and effect, a reason. Chance, however, means that there is no reason, and that is not reasonable; it is irrational.
Evolution presupposes a beginning but does not explain it. It postulates things that it cannot support, for instance, there are material and immaterial things in the universe. Even though it cannot explain the material, it definitively cannot explain the immaterial, like intellect. In the material it cannot even explain how a proton flying around can get together with an electron through an electric field to form hydrogen. Even if God chose to create in an evolving way, He had to interfere in a super-forming way to create any form of nutritive life, a life that moves towards self-preservation compared to everything else that requires outside forces to change.
Evolution, as it is presented today, assumes a great many things that cannot be supported by fact. It assumes that our atmosphere has always remained the same, and yet we know that most of our atmosphere has changed a great deal in just the last hundred year, oxygen, ozone, carbon dioxide, etc. The magnetic poles are changing right before our eyes even now, and have flipped over many times. There is no evidence that how we measure time is correct or that it is constant. There is no evidence that the speed of light is constant. We cannot even measure what we see perfectly for when we see the sun we are seeing the sun in the past by nine minutes.
All dating methods, like carbon dating and Potassium Argon counting, depend on the above assumptions that cannot be supported. In fact, Carbon 12 and 14 dating requires a stable Ozone, which is never stable. There are measurements that can be supported by fact, like ocean sedimentation from rivers, reversal of the north and south poles, the rise of the ocean floor by 300 feet within the last 5000 years, the missing land and water masses, all that point to a young earth and even younger moon.
Astronomer and physicist, Dr. Hugh Ross, says that current data not only from paleontology and biology but also from astronomy, physics, geology, chemistry, biochemistry, genetics, and anthropology, supports creation and not evolution.
Biochemist Dr. Fazale ‘Fuz’ Rana said that we have produced a testable creation model that has greater explanatory power and predictive success than do the naturalistic models, including the Darwinian theory of biological evolution.
Dr. Richard Smalley, Nobel Prize winning chemist (1996), commented, "Evolution has just been dealt its death blow."
All the above just points out what we do not know for sure using proper thinking from the senses, observation, reasoning, logic and mental discernment. Logic and good thinking eliminates all that cannot be and then concentrates on what might be and then attempts to prove it. Using proper thinking, is there anything we can know for sure? Yes!
We can prove there is a God.
Since the highest form of true knowledge is reasoning and logic from what we gain through the senses, what can we know for sure? Let us reason together the way the past Philosophers did.
1. Change (or motion) is the process of reducing something from potentiality to act. Nothing can change itself. Everything we know directly is changing. One thing or a group of things changes another thing, which in turn changes something else. Now if we take this back to its original cause, we can look at three possible causes, infinity, a circle, or a beginning. Infinity only pushes the problem back to the beginning or where did it come from, these things that change. A circle would mean that change goes back to the beginning or changing itself. If we eliminate the two of the only three possibles, it leaves us with a first mover. If a first mover is really first, it must be immutable (unchangeable), for if it were changeable it would require an outside mover before it and it would not be first. The first mover must be pure act, pure being, on its own.
2. Everything that happens has a cause. Nothing that we know can be the cause of itself. There must be an uncaused, cause.
3. In nature there are things that are possible to be and not to be, since they are found to be generated, and to corrupt, and eventually are not. It is impossible for material things to always exist because what is possible to not be will at some time not be. Therefore, if at one time nothing was in existence, it would have been impossible for anything to have begun to exist. Nothing in the Universe is necessary, but for existence to be, there has to be some existence that is necessary in itself. It is its own necessity.
4. There really is no such thing as cold. Cold is just the lack of heat. This privation is the degree to which it is not perfect. Good is the absence of evil. We judge something as good, perfect, beautiful, in its lack of flaws. But nothing is flawless that we know. Lack implies a reference to something outside of itself. What perfection (lack of flaw or evil) something has, it received from something else but never perfectly. All this goodness, even though not perfect, has to come from something that has no privation at all, pure everything, perfection in itself. All being comes from other being and is less than the origin, so the origin has to be perfection, since goodness is a comparison to other things.
5. All science is based on the fact that the Universe is orderly, things happen in an orderly way. But things cannot act for an end unless there is an intelligence guiding them. Things cannot be foreordained -- that is, ordained before they happen, unless somewhere they are ordained to happen. They cannot be foreordained in the things themselves, because then they would be causing themselves, giving something they do not have. Some intelligence must guide things to order and to their very reason for being.
Pure Act, the Uncaused Cause, the Necessary Being, the Supreme Being, and Pure Intellect is God, being Himself, Pure Act. There is nothing more certain than there must be a start, a cause, a pure act, that always was and had no start. This uncaused cause cannot be matter or energy because these change, but the cause must be unchangeable, pure intelligence, pure act, and pure goodness, because it lacks nothing, as everything good is compared to the pure goodness.
God's essence is simply pure being without cause. When God said, "I am who am." He described His Essence. He is who is and everything else comes from this being and can be or not be, but the first be, must always have been and must always be because it is its own cause. We know the effects of things and therefore move backward to its first cause. There is no other choice than between the true God or radical irrationality.
Words that we should understand:
Accident - a property of something else, like "red:" All accidents are quantity, quality, relation, action, place, orientation, environment, time
Act - what something is now, but not what it may become. Being is its first act
Being - There is an is. To be. Accidents like Darkness or Red are not being. Mental images are not being. Only real things are being.
Essence - form of something, its necessary elements, what it has to have to be what it is.
Form - how it exists
Matter - form matter that changes to other forms and matter
Universe - all that exists
Potentiality - capacity to change
Organism - something organized into one thing with other elements
Plant - nutritive and reproductive powers only
Soul - Immaterial but substantial form of a form-matter composite that animals do not have
Prime Matter - never proven or found, first matter
God - existence is his essence, pure act, pure being, necessary being, uncaused cause. I am Who am.
Create - to bring into existence (being) from nothing.
Making - changing one being into another
Natural - all forms of the visible and invisible universe with essences
Supernatural - what is beyond the natural
Idea - how we know things in the mind
Senses - External senses of touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste.
Senses - Internal senses are the unifying process, memory, evaluation, imagination
Signs - reflection on cause and effect of something from the past and remembered
Imagination - ability to recall and manipulate knowledge
Immaterial - spiritual or unchangeable
Intellect - immaterial agent of consciousness and ideas from sensorial input Knowledge,
1. Proper knowledge from reason and experience,
2. Levels of Knowledge
3. Logic - proper understanding of the reasoning processes, reasoning correctly
4. Wisdom - distinguishing between true knowledge and false knowledge or knowing what we do not know
5. Trust or faith - taking what someone else said without seeing, testing or experiencing it ourselves (belief is not true knowledge)
6. Phantasm - known from sensorial but indirect knowledge - cold water through a glass or by the mist on the glass
Modern Science - only using mathematical principles
Ancient Science - all knowledge, methods and logic
Physics - study of changeable being or things
Empiriological - bringing sensorial date into organized principles of logic
Empiriometric - explaining the physical though mathematical principles
Empirioschematic - organizes measured and observed things into schemes and formulas
Ontological - deals only with real beings or things
Reductionism - belief that things are only the sum of its parts
Metaphysics - Considering being as being or the system of causes and effects
Philosophy - study of first principles, love of wisdom or love of truth.
Moral Philosophy - truth in action or what should we do?
Vices - habits of acting wrongly - against nature
Virtues - habits of acting rightly - with nature