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  • Writer's pictureRishi

The Axioms of Life

"So children, these are called Euclid's axioms", my teacher said, when I was a child. And I thought, why am I wasting time with this! Who would argue that "part is not less than whole" ? These are all common sense. Right? But now, when I look back I realize that its one of most profound thing that I have learned. To think that every system of logic must start with some unverifiable statements that must be taken at face value, is something that have haunted me for a long long time. Every logical statement starts with an axiom and ends with an unknown.

For example, take a chain of statements like-

>"Earth is round" is true.

>Why, because "it has been observed"

>As "observed things are true " .

Now the last statement will generally be an axiom for most. But the question is, where does the rabbit-hole goes? Lets see-

> "observed things are true "

>because "our senses carries true information to us"

>and "the picture that we make using these information inside our head represents truth"

>why, because "the way our brain works, it can not manipulate the incoming information "

>and "our senses can not report incorrect information because of the same reason."

>how do I know it? .....

As we keep going deeper, we keep seeing low confidence statements which can very well be false and comes under the category of unverifiable statements like "god exists", "there is a after life" etc. So, the question is, If there is a system of logic inside myself can I find its Axioms? If yes then how?

I remember a time when I was discussing with my friend about how "big bang can not be the start of time". My argument was, time as we understands it, is something that makes possible for 'processes' to exist. A 'process' is just a little window of time in which the state of the system changes from A to B. Now lets assume there was no time (state A). Then then there was time (state B). How can the process for (A->B) would exist without time when 'process' itself symbolizes time? You either have to change the definition of time, or discard the idea of 'start of time'.

These arguments made me think about self-contradicting and self-proving statements. Just like "the start of time " is a self contradicting statement, can I have some self-proving statements that is not taken at face value and the existence of the very statement proves itself? If yes then they will be a natural axioms of life. Lets start with this statement -

"I am thinking"

Now, the existence of this statement is always true. How?, because the very fact that I have these words in my mind makes these words true. So, we have our 1st axiom of life,

"I Think".

Second similar statement will be, "something is not nothing"

This statement is little weird, how can the statement proves itself? Its because we define nothingness as the absence of all things including " I " and 'my thought'. So, the very fact that I have this thought in my mind makes this statement "something". So, we have our second axiom:

"nothingness is inconceivable"

Third, lets take our old example of time, if "start of time" is self-contradictory then, "time exists, irrespective of time" must be a self-proving statement. So, our third axiom of life is-

"Time always exist"

Now, these axioms make three more statements correct-

  1. "I exist" (If I am doing the task of 'thinking', I must exist)

  2. "mind exist" (The task of 'thinking' is conducted by something that can not be 'nothing'.)

  3. " 'I' and 'mind' interacts" (the little window of time that gives rise to the process of my thought must exist. )

Now, all these statements are already something that makes sense, how is it different from any other obvious statements. Its because, irrespective of weather we have free will or not, weather we know anything about life or not, weather we are supposed to know the mechanism of this world or not, these statements are bound to be true. So, we finally have something we can think about that is bound to be on the track of truth and have the power to make up hold our grounds against the "One Void"

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