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I was strolling through a lounge one day…
When I saw this lying on a table:
I became suspicious at once. I’ve never quite understood how the word “natural” makes something automatically better than another thing.
Natural steaks, natural food, natural medicine.
Hell, my mum buys Arrowhead water instead of the generic brand because she thinks it has more “natural water”.
I once saw a bottle of sparkling mineral water that said that it was made with “natural CO2″. Apparently being natural carbon dioxide doesn’t change the chemical formula of carbon dioxide anyway if it’s still “natural CO2″ so what’s so great about it?
Maybe if I changed my blog’s sub-title to “All-Natural” I’d get more traffic.
Now, obviously there are some artificial things that are bad for you (though a lot of them are fine when taken in moderation). There are also some natural things that are bad for you.
Arsenic occurs naturally.
Uranium occurs naturally.
Mercury occurs naturally.
And that’s just a few things I pulled off the Periodic Table.
But it turns out that Kevin Trudeau is even more of a flat-out liar than my original suspicions let on when I found this YouTube video by Googling his name:
As wonderful a job as John Stossel (we need more journalists who have half as much skepticism as him) did exposing Trudeau, I still have to bang my head into a wall after reading this YouTube comment:
Trudeau is NOT a crook. I have tried several things in his book and they worked for me. Like Magnesium tablets for stress relief. They work better for me than ANY antidepressant or antianxiety that doctors have given me. FDA is out to KILL!
Thank you for your anecdotal scientific assertion that magnesium tablets work for stress relief (I personally have found that a hot bath and some chocolate works well enough, and yours can’t possibly be a placebo effect!) and that the FDA wants to kill us all.
Advice for the FDA: it would go a lot quicker if you let us use China’s tainted milk products.
When Descartes investigated the implications of skepticism, i.e., that because we can cast doubt on any supposition, we can never be certain that our supposition is correct, he proposed that doubting ones own existence necessarily affirms it and, thus, of at least one thing a person can be certain beyond any doubt; that they exist. In order for an entity doubt anything at all, even that it exist, it must first exist to do so. Descartes proposal is immune to the skeptics doubt because the very practice of doubt confirms it to be true. Although I would not describe myself as a rationalist, as I agree with Kant’s interpretation of a priori knowledge, I do think it solves that problem of skepticism. In considering Descartes’ proposal, I find myself wondering if it is possible to contemplate ones own existence having never experienced the reality that existence must either define or be a constituent of.
I would argue that doubting, or any other form of thinking, is dependent up experience. When I think of what defines an experience, the first things that come to mind are the physical characteristics of the world that inspire my biological senses. Our biological sensations are of real, tangible qualities such as taste and smell. However, to experience such things is dependent on the passage of time. Just as active sensory perception is dependent upon time, so to is thinking. Try to imagine what it would feel like if time stopped completely. I doubt you would even notice because the beginning of a thought is not instantaneous with its end. Denying my claim would require that a thought both exist and does not exist simultaneously, thereby violating the law of non-contradiction. In fact, by that same reasoning, no beginning can occur simultaneously with and end.
The rationalist would assert that the knowledge of ones own existence can be reached by reason alone and is independent of our empirical experience. However, as I have attempted to show, it is required that we experience time if we are to apply reason at all.
So, like the empiricist and unlike the rationalist, I believe that knowledge requires us to experience our reality, even if our existence is the sum of all things logically knowable. Unlike the skeptic, though, I do not believe this dependency on experience casts doubt on certain absolutes. While my perception itself may be flawed, that I perceive at all can not be logically denied.