Thursday, December 04, 2003

Scientology Logic 19

Logic 19 - The workability of a postulate is established by the degree to which it explains existing phenomena already known, by the degree that it predicts new phenomena which when looked for will be found to exist, and by the degree that it does not require that phenomena which do not exist in fact be called into existence for its explanation.

If I tell you that the United Nations is about to take over the USA (an idea I have actually heard) then to tell how workable this postulate is you would look for existing, known phenomena that it explains. Personally I can't think of any, so let's look for phenomena it predicts. Well first of all, if the UN was that powerful militarily then if some small country were having a war and the UN told it to stop and it didn't stop, you would expect to hear that the UN's mighty military arm had gone in and blasted the miscreants out of existence. Hmmm, the last I heard the UN was pretty useless in anything that involved military action - look at the Balkans for example, the UN was so ineffective that NATO had to go in to stop the genocide. So lacking actual phenomena and lacking phenomena which can be predicted and found to exist, the "the UN is coming! The UN is coming!" theorists then call into existence phenomena which do not exist - for example the silent "black helicopters" (so cleverly used in the movie "Conspiracy Theory"). Now notice that per the definition of "knowledge" in Logic 1, the idea itself is a piece of knowledge but when we evaluate it we find that it is not a workable piece of knowledge - except perhaps for a Hollywood script writer.

Now you may think the postulate "Santa Claus exists and all the stories surrounding him are true" is similarly unworkable merely because he has no physical existence, but if you look at the Santa Claus story as a myth containing philosophical ideas then it starts to have workability. For example, the story contains the idea that if you give to others without expecting anything material in return you will be rewarded spiritually. We look at this and we see that people give to charities and donate food so poor people can enjoy a good meal at Christmas and poor children can receive presents. They receive nothing in return but they feel better about themselves and others. So that part of the Santa Claus story is a workable postulate.

Now we can predict that if there is a disaster and homes and businesses are destroyed, people will pitch in to help those in trouble. And sure enough we see this all the time, the California Wild Fires were a recent example of this.

So remember Logic 12: "The value of a datum or a field of data is modified by the viewpoint of the observer." And realize that sometimes if you change your viewpoint an apparently unworkable postulate can become workable.

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