[Thank you to the folks at the Millennial Star for inviting me to participate here by cross posting some of the content from my own blog. It has been several years since I last participated here and I look forward to contributing in a small way. – J. Max Wilson]
One of my favorite definitions of logic comes from Ambrose Bierce’s satirical Devil’s Dictionary: “Logic: n. The art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human misunderstanding.”
History is a testament to the nearly limitless incapacity of the human misunderstanding. And while each generation reserves a regular chuckle for the naiveté of its ancestors, it is often just as blind to its own errors.
I believe that our minds are not only limited by lack of experience and information. They are fundamentally limited by mortality. Our two eyes can only extrapolate three dimensions, though with some effort we can conceive of a tesseract even if we cannot visualize it in its true form. We can only perceive colors of light within about 380 to 750 nanometer wavelengths, and as a result plants and flowers that exhibit intricate ultraviolet patterns and designs appear to us quite plain and ordinary to our limited vision. Technology allows us discover their patterns by translating the ultraviolet into our visible spectrum, but we are incapable of actually seeing them as they really are.
Reality is not circumscribed by your or my ability to comprehend, conceive of, or perceive it.