Joseph Prymak hopes to inspire Canada's leaders to leave a memorable legacy: The largest, interconnected, wilderness park on Earth, and protected for countless generations. Joseph is a researcher, outdoor educator, editor, and volunteer in Canada. Joseph and his wife sell rare books online. Joseph loves to write and has contributed to Wikipedia since 2004.
As a teenager, Joseph worked for the family business of greenhouses and market gardens. In the 1990's he spent years of solitude in remote wilderness areas, far off the beaten paths. Joseph studied environmental science, chemistry, and physics. He then studied botany, political philosophy, and logic. He once purchased land for a sustainable agriculture and alternative energy project. Joseph is presently a researcher, enjoying the Hudson's Bay Company Archives, online archives, political philosophy, ethnobotany, ancient books, and ecological issues.
Joseph's birth date is October 28. Wish me a happy birthday that day!
Some contributions, some original, some edited:
- Frank Albo
- Appeal to authority
- Hudson's Bay Company Archives
- Hudson's Bay Company
- Rupert's Land
- Whitemouth River
- Whiteshell Provincial Park
- making fire
- oldest rock
- birch bark scrolls
- Argumentation theory
- Sandilands Provincial Forest
- West Hawk Lake
- cowrie shells
- Plato's Seventh Letter
- Plato's Cave
- Bloodvein River
- Nopiming Provincial Park
- bat detector
- Doug Walton
- Medicine Wheels
- Poplar River
- Canadian Environmental Network
- Atikaki Provincial Park
- Provincial Forests
- Gitche Manitou
- logical fallacies
- Whiteshell River
- Hudson's Bay
- Western Philosophy
- fire making
- arrow heads
- Fort Alexander, Manitoba
- Poplar River
- Bloodvein First Nation
- Red River
I want to carefully show how basic ideas in logic and science are required to make any knowledge claims. True statements can exist simply because of definitions by demonstration. Any human, anywhere, at any time in history can and often did point to the Sun or Moon, that truly exist, and gave them a name, a common definition, or an etymological one. The Sun and Moon exist even if there are inconsistent definitions, words, symbols, and images that attempt to represent the actual and changing Sun and Moon. The word and definition are certainly not the actual being, or the real process of a natural thing, usually changing over time.
Humans can build complex technology, do science experiments, get humans on the Moon, build interesting cities, and co-operatively drive on superhighways because language can very accurately correspond to what truly exists. The language of math has greatly enabled humans to apply the scientific method, to test a hypothesis, and to discover, not create, the true and probable statements about this universe. Words and language are a fantastic invention that allows humans to co-ordinate, map, plan, and prosper with great success. The words and symbols actually do communicate about what truly exists, as opposed to false claims about what exists. The search for true statements about the world around us and within us is an ancient art and science that attempts to demonstrate or prove what is true about what exists. There are far too many false opinions in the minds of humans that have done great harm. How can one know with certainty and proof? There are true or probable answers to many important questions, and logical ways to demonstrate fallacies, false statements, contradictions, inconsistencies, and lies.
The word "philosophy" is etymologically and historically from the Ancient Greek word of φιλοσοφία, or love of wisdom, compounded from φίλος (philos, meaning friend, or lover, in the ancient sense) and σοφία (sophía, meaning wisdom, defined differently than popular opinions today). Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle are some of the most famous to use the word, and the first that we know of (through a great volume of written sources) to carefully reason about definitions and categories. The Ancient Greek word "philosophy" became widely known because of them, but the very first origin of the word is unknown. Many of Plato's lengthy dialogues and Aristotle's notes have been preserved (for good reasons) for over two thousand years and have helped to shed light on the ancient origins of philosophy, in their own words and texts. Of key importance here is to return to the original texts, in the original language, to study what some of the ancients thought of themselves, or about the universe, without applying many theories that can easily misinterpret what they truly thought about.
Universal questions, or permanent questions are the great questions that humans have asked for thousands of years, and that anyone, anywhere, can ask. Often these kinds of questions are very philosophical and some are unanswered. For example: Was the universe created? Does an eternal First Cause exist? How can we know what is a true or false statement? What should we do in certain circumstances? These questions and many more might have answers, but some might be impossible to answer, and some may require more time to discover the true answers through deduction, or the probable answers of induction. There have been many attempts to answer some of these questions, and some answers require difficult evidence and proof.
The scientific method began historically with careful philosophical questions and different methods that are prior to the common use of the scientific method. The foundational questions come logically prior to scientific knowledge, or any knowledge that is carefully proven, measured, peer reviewed, and repeated using logic and reason. First principles must be proven before any other knowledge claims can be made. There is good evidence for innate and universally discovered knowledge.
Does an immaterial realm exist, of perfect mathematics, geometry, and an eternal nature? Can consciousness exist when the human brain is dead? What exactly is death? What might continue through death?
Imagine our lives as sparks on a planet, surrounded by an endless cosmos, that are short in time and small in space. Physical existence is a fleeting moment, full of vanity and chasing after the wind. Anything of lasting, true value on Earth, requires generations of human beings to keep it alive. Living wisdom is true knowledge about what is good, just, and the courage to act accordingly. What is the purpose of human beings on this planet? If the changing material world is vanity, then what can we partake in that is eternal?
What are the best and true writers of all time? Ancient texts of Jews and Christians, Moses, Jesus, Ecclesiastes, Plato, Socrates, the Koran, Cicero, Newton, Einstein, and who else? What are the Great Books that humanity will take to the stars, to other planets, and worthy of being remembered for millions of Earth years?
The afterlife is our eternal home? There is some evidence for an afterlife. Assuming the afterlife is real and true, what can we gain while on Earth that can be taken with us after death?
What we do on Earth, as physical, changing beings, will all be lost and forgotten eventually. New generations will take over, and what is true and wise will continue on in their living minds and bodies. The living will be responsible for what is gained from a good education. A good education for freedom of thought and free will keeps many of the ancient and eternal ideas alive and present. A book is dead words on paper without the new generations to study it well. The fundamental foundations for self-conscious beings are eternal ideas and eternal substances. Natural numbers are an example. Such as 1 - 11 - 111 - 1111 - 11111 - 111111 and so on, in any base unit. Foundational mathematics, chemistry, and physics are discovered and universal to intelligent beings, anywhere, and at any time in this universe.
Many moral relativists reject claims of truth, but they also allow for all claims, even false ones. Some relativists tolerate all opinions, and often ask how someone feels above what they know to be true or even probable. Some say that a diversity of opinions is good and normal, and that no one should make claims of what is right, wrong, best, illogical, or proven. The belief of no truth and no natural morality and ethics will lead to more illogical appeals by the majority, appeals to authorities, to fame, and to force. The tyranny of the majority, or through consensus, can be a real danger if unreasonable and without evidence or proof. A majority in some group can be wrong or immoral. It is important to think that reason and thought can be used to talk, debate, and to seek the truth together. Otherwise force may be used more to settle conflicts.
It is important to know the origins of our opinions throughout history, and to discuss and question which claims are false or true. Evidence, logic, witnesses, various sources, science, and philosophical methods are needed to answer a variety of important questions. Different methods are needed for different kinds of questions. Specific and detailed answers are needed, without making many illogical over generalizations. A return to original sources can show what was actually thought about and intended.
Humans need to be well educated, able to read and write, able to use logic, mathematics, and to apply the right methods. Written words can be carefully looked at, analyzed, changed, improved, and edited. Oral communication is often less precise and careful, not allowing for a lot of editing and improvement over time. Great books have the test of time, often in response to the previous ideas written down, and are a great historical legacy. There are human minds filled with idle chatter, trivia, false information, noise, wasted words, and mere opinions. Do you know the origins of your opinions?
Only individuals can keep alive the true and probable statements that are proven. Books alone, if not read, will become useless, decay, or they will be lost in a vast archive. Words on paper are dead without enough readers. A few individuals are the wisest in any time, and they think about more true and probable statements about logic, math, reason, ethics, science, the First Cause, the afterlife, what exists, nature, laws, and justice. What can humans know with proof?
Words are not the real things, not pure awareness, and not the real beings that exist! Words are often just the sounds we imagine in our heads, and not spoken. Words only point to reality, or correspond to what exists to some degree. Words can partially make up the content of memories, thoughts, and mind. Some statements point to and represent reality more accurately than others. Some statements are false, improbable, or lies. Some statements are mere opinions, without verification. Mathematics, logic, geometry, and the scientific method can very precisely and accurately describe physical laws, matter, energy, and processes. There are true and probable answers to proper questions, but the best answers are not always known to each individual human being.
Words are needed to fully explain all the types of human characters that exist on Earth. History is needed to record all the real and possible kinds of ways of living. Words are needed to describe feelings, music, and various subjective experiences. The inner possibilities of human consciousness cannot be captured with pictures and the scientific method. Decisions are made due to how one thinks, feels, and according to what actions are possible. Material causes are not the only possible causes for how a human will or will not think, feel, and act.
What universal actions, emotions, ideas, categories, contents of intelligence, symbols, first principles, and mathematics are universal to any planetary species, any self conscious beings, anywhere, anytime?
What exists eternally, without change? Some basic natural laws, logic, and mathematical first principles? Some a priori categories of matter and energy? Either this universe had a causal beginning, or an infinite regress of cause and effect. However, in either case, is there some matter, energy, constants, and/or laws that stay the same always, and why?
It is fascinating to explore the nature of consciousness. What is lucid dreaming? How can one know if one is dreaming or not? Is there an afterlife, or self-consciousness existing and separate from the physical body? What are the illusions and lies to avoid? How to pursue and love truth? How to cultivate inner calm and resolve? What are the virtues?
How many are fully self aware and self-conscious of their existence? How many react and act like robots, with little or no awareness of their body, emotions, and the contents of their mind?
What does it mean to be fully awake? Is there a danger of sleep walking through life? Do automatons walk on this Earth? Who has free will and to what degree?