Re: virus: Belief and Knowledge

Peter Charlot (
Tue, 8 Jul 1997 12:17:17 -1000

At David McFadzean wrote:
>"Ajmal Hussein and the Acolyte"
I'm totally impressed! I had no idea that you too possessed knowledge of the
ages! For it is written, "The Sufi is just as prone to pride as any other."
I did not realize that the group was ready for this secret knowledge. My
apologies. Let us now recall the third story in the sequence, as it is
written in the hidden scrolls of the Ashanta cave.

"The Acolytes rebel"

Stunned and dismayed by the beheading of their friend, two acolytes, Ronald
and Lester, left the order of Ajmal and sought out the scholars that Ajmal
had so recently embarrassed.
"If Ajmal can be so small, then these scholars must be tall."
The scholars welcomed the young men and made them feel at home, gave them
Budweisers and hamburgers.
"We seek truth." the acolytes blurted out naively.
"Of course you do, we all do, that is why we are here," reassured the
philosopher, Ttened Nad.
"Then tell us, please, what is the truth"?
Nad said, "Objective rational truth is based on strict evidence. Avoid
belief in all but what you can absolutely prove. All else is bullshit."
"Why this is wonderful," cried the two youths, "what could be simpler!"
"Please," asked Ronald, "Give us just one example of such a truth."
"Sure," said Nad, "There is a sun."
Ronald was delighted, "There is a sun! Of course. This is absolutely true."
Lester wasn't so sure, "How do we know there is a sun?"
Nad beamed proudly, "Lester, you graduate to a sophomore, you have a
philosophic mind for sure. You are right. We don't really know that there is
a sun, because we don't know just what the sun is, the sky, or what we are,
for that matter. Giving a name to something doesn't make it real."
"Then," said Lester, "We don't know any truths, absolutely."
"Not yet," said Nad, "What we have are guesses. In time, through observation
and experiment, we will learn truth."
"How do we know this?" Asked Lester. "What is the absolute proof that such
observation and testing will lead to the truth?"
"Well, there isn't any real proof for this either, but it is the best method
we have."
"Then, you only believe in this method," said Lester, "Isn't this against
your first tenet, not to believe what you can't prove? If this is the case,
what is the difference between your faith in empirical proof and another's
faith in God?"
Nad laughed and said, "You are now a doctor of philosophy and I will give
you a Professor's chair and a hundred thousand dollars a year. All you have
to do is keep asking those questions and writing up papers accordingly."
Well, after experiencing both Ajmal and Nad, Lester just couldn't buy either
one and went off to become a fry cook in Dothan, Alabama.
Ronald, though, went to school for sixteen years and eventually received his
credentials as a philosopher.


Peter Charlot <> Volcano Village, Hawaii