Tuesday, June 2, 2009

the philosophical room

Suppose for a moment that you have grown up in a sealed room, no windows, no doors. You have never been outside this room and have no recollection of how you managed to get into the room in the first place. With you in this room are several other people who have also been there all of their lives with no recollection of their origins.

As you grow and live you and your friends begin to think and form theories about your situation. You all talk and decide that the four things around you are called walls and above and below you are called ceiling and floor. On this you all agree. Where you do not agree is on what is outside the room and how you got inside the room. Some say that you have always been there and there is nothing outside of the walls, pure void. Some say that the have no clue how you got there, but whatever the hard stuff is that makes the walls must extend indefinitely. Theory after theory is posited about your present situation, how you got there, and what must be done to get out, if there is an "out" at all.

One day, while you are discussing the ups and downs of your favorite theories something happens. You hear something on the ceiling. This provides no small amount of consternation for those who have said that there is no outside. There is a large cracking sound and suddenly a man falls though the new hole in through the roof hitting the floor with a thud. This man lived with you for a while and joined in your philosophical discussions. He began to contradict some of the theories and teach his own. Some of the best known and most widely accepted theories he didn't like. What to do?

At this point, there is only one thing you must decide. Do you trust him and believe what he is saying, or not?

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