Tuesday, March 30, 2010
The Brothers Karamazowsky: The Discarded Image
(Link for the previous Section of The Brothers Karamazowsky.)
I spent an entire week modeling "The Discarded Image". With each day, Van's expectations rose and my willingness to share decreased. Upon reading CS Lewis' last book for the fourth time, I realized there was nothing more to be understood. It was then I knew I had to share my model with Van.
Van turned my presentation into a production. He unlocked a small lecture hall and sat in the audience. He had wanted to invite a couple of associates, but thought better of it when he glanced at my notes. Van said he wanted the truth and his actions proved it. However, Van had made his peace with the fact while most of his colleagues also said they wanted the truth, their emotional reaction spoke otherwise.
I approached the occasion with as much reverence as Van. It was to be the unveiling of one great map of the mind. A map including the overlapping of some of the greatest minds in the history of human knowledge. Looking back on that moment, I am eternally grateful for our solemnity.
"I have four major conclusions. The first is Alex wasn't wrong to reference 'The Romantic Manifesto'. 'The Discarded Image' was also written in the 1960's and covered a lot of the same ground...especially when it came to the value of art, specifically literature."
Van looked surprised. He had brought several books as reference material. None of his books were as small as "The Romantic Manifesto".
"Lewis covered a lot of the same ground as Ayn when it came to modeling morality, knowledge, and understanding."
I read the following passages from "The Discarded Image":
"Yet nearly all moralists before the eighteenth century regarded Reason as the organ of morality." (Page 158)
"The explanation is that nearly all of them believed the fundamental moral maxims were intellectually grasped." (Page 158)
"On that level Reason means Rational Soul. Moral imperatives therefore were uttered by Reason, though, in the stricter terminology, reasoning about moral questions doubtless received all her premises from Intellect - just as geometry is an affair of Reason, though it depends on axioms which cannot be reached by reasoning." (Page 159)
"The eighteenth century witnessed a revolt against the doctrine that moral judgments are wholly, or primarily, or at all, rational." (Page 159)
"The belief that to recognise a duty was to perceive a truth - not because you had a good heart but because you were an intellectual being - had roots in antiquity. Plato preserved the Socratic idea that morality was an affair of knowledge; bad men were bad because they did not know what was good." (Page 160)
I interjected, "From my research, it appears the idea morality and beliefs are emotionally based is a relatively new one. As Ayn wrote, morality was something one could logically grasp. In fact, Lewis began to sound more and more like Rand as he got near the end of his book." I read from page 174, "On this view the differentia of Christian historiography ought to be what I call Historicism; the belief that by studying the past we can learn not only historical but meta-historical or transcendental truth."
Van was writing with a wry smile...
"Lewis defined 'Historicism' as a combination of Naturalism, that is, looking to the past, and Romanticism, that is, the ability to affect your future through truth. Lewis' book was about the worldview of the Middle Ages. On page one-eighty-two, he described their stories like this, The chronicles, like the legends, are about individuals; their valour or villainy, their memorable sayings, their good or bad luck. Lewis sounds like he wrote the Middle Ages were Naturalistic...and then he confirmed it."
I read from page 184, "The nearest we get to a widespread 'philosophy of history' in the Middle Ages is, as I have said, the frequent assertion that things were once better than they are now."
"Lewis did not say he was Naturalistic. He stated the literature of the Middle Ages was Naturalistic. Then, Lewis got even more specific and sounded even more like Rand. Listen to his version of the three dimensional model."
I read the following:
"We may call it the love of the labyrinthine; the tendency to offer to the mind or the eye something that cannot be taken at a glance, something that at first looks planless though all is planned." (Page 194)
"Every particular fact and story became more interesting and more pleasurable if, by being properly fitted in, it carried one's mind back to the Model as a whole." (Page 203)
"Clearly, Lewis understood, like Rand, there was a cause underneath the effects we observed whether we knew the cause or not. He also realized art did distract our conscious brain so our unaware brain could fully experience it. In fact, he expressed his frustration we didn't have a Model to explain these observed effects!" I read from page 165, "No Model yet devised has made a satisfactory unity between our actual experience of sensation or thought or emotion and any available account of the corporeal processes which they are held to involve."
"Jackpot!", Van yelled as he underlined this last sentence. "We have this today! We have a Model for the unaware brain, conscious brain, first feedback loop, and second feedback loop! Do you realize what this means?"
"Yes", I said, my excitement growing to match Van's, "CS Lewis realized it, too. In fact, he wrote the same thing Ayn wrote: since they were not able to identify principles directly, the best explanation of truth available during their time was through art...through the unaware brain of the artist communicating with the unaware brain of the audience. Lewis identified the first requirement was to identify principles directly: a Model for how our brains actually take in information."
"In the Old Testament, God presented truth directly...when did we lose the ability to receive truth in this way?" Van asked, his confident, low voice made it difficult to tell if his words were a question or a command.
"During Jesus' time. Look at Matthew. In Matthew chapters five through seven, Jesus presented principles directly during the Sermon on the Mount. To the point you taught me last week, the best understanding of Jesus' Nature was seen almost immediately upon Jesus' introduction. In Matthew chapter eleven, Jesus stated cities from the Old Testament would have received Jesus' words and works...but His current generation could not. By Matthew chapter twelve, the Pharisees got worse as Jesus taught principles directly. Look at Matthew chapter thirteen, it stated from that time, Jesus only spoke in parables...in stories. Jesus intentionally chose to speak truth indirectly because speaking principles directly caused the leaders to get seven times worse! Jesus even said those who got the spiritual truths supporting the stories were believers...it was given to believers to know the mysteries of the kingdom."
"This is incredible, Erik. If we weren't in a lecture hall, I'd be yelling 'Preach it, brother!' Keep teaching..." He said, scribbling frantically in a worn notebook, the reference books he had brought piled high on either side of him.
I took a sip of water and waited for him to finish writing, before I continued.
"To summarize, Jesus presented stories that distracted the conscious brain, so the unaware brian could take in the causes. If the person's conscious brain was reconciled to their unaware brain, they were believers. To put this situation into Rand's words, the artist, Jesus, knew the causes and chose to hide the causes in order to reach the public's sense of life. Now let's jump to the 1960's..."
"When Ayn wrote about her time, she stated the artists didn't know enough of the causes. So, the artist created from their sense of life...in hopes the excellent people in the public responded with their sense of life. Rand stated in the 1960's, the artists did not know the causes well enough to explain them directly. She concluded her book by saying the best she could do in explaining her principles was 'Atlas Shrugged'...by presenting them indirectly!"
Van was clearly enjoying the presentation and I was still on my first point!
"Now look at what CS Lewis stated about his time which was also the 1960's." I read from page 218:
"And this, if I understand the situation, is just what has now happened as regards the physical sciences. The mathematics are now the nearest to the reality we can get. Anything imaginable, even anything that can be manipulated by ordinary (that is, non-mathematical) conceptions, far from being a further truth to which mathematics were the avenue, is a mere analogy, a concession to our weakness. Without a parable modern physics speaks not to the multitudes. Even among themselves, when they attempt to verbalise their findings, the scientists begin to speak of this as making 'models'. It is from them that I have borrowed the word. But these 'models' are not, like model ships, small-scale replicas of the reality. Sometimes they illustrate this or that aspect of it by analogy. Sometimes, they do not illustrate but merely suggest, like the sayings of the mystics. An expression such as 'the curvature of space' is strictly comparable to the old definition of God as 'a circle whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere'. Both succeed in suggesting; each does so by offering what is, on the level of our ordinary thinking, nonsense. By accepting the 'curvature of space' we are not 'knowing' or enjoying 'truth' in the fashion that was once thought to be possible."
"Lewis recognized even science couldn't present principles directly and needed to use parables. Lewis recognized the ultimate way to communicate directly was with Models, yet he stated the Models of his time sounded like nonsense. The example he gave was an explanation of God's Nature...and it consisted of nonsensical effects! Alex would completely agree with this. Lewis' final sentence pointed to the fact we ought to know and enjoy truth through Models and we have given up the hope we are going to understand the causes directly...because we don't have a good enough Model."
"Remember, Van. Jesus knew the principles directly and chose to speak in story form because the people of his time could not handle truth directly. Lewis and Rand both stated by the 1960's, artists did not know the principles directly and could only speak in story form...and hope they were presenting truth and hope the audience understood the indirect presentation."
"Speaking of hoping to present truth, this brings me to my second conclusion: McLaren manipulated the passages from 'The Discarded Image.' So, the fact CS Lewis' book existed was not fiction. However, McLaren's interpretation of CS Lewis' intent was pure fiction. Alex was right about McLaren."
Van nodded solemnly in agreement as he wrote.
"I realize it is burdensome to quote long passages from another work. However, whether it is the Bible or a contemporary author, I believe the quoted passage ought to be supported by the greater context and/or several sentences. Lewis attempted to intentionally understand more. McLaren used Lewis' quotes to encourage people to understand less. Lewis stated the Middle Ages Model gave way to the Modern Model. McLaren attempts to link the way we do church today to the Middle Ages Model so that Lewis looked like he was stating what we have now was flawed beyond repair."
"This leads to my third point: There are two huge passages from Lewis completely undercutting McLaren's premise. I wish McLaren had shared these two points. In fact, Lewis covered several post-Jesus influences on our current belief system. Listen to this and tell me who this reminds you of:"
"On page eighty-eight, Lewis wrote about Boethius who lived from 480-524 AD: If, as its doctrine of Providence implies, God sees all things that are, were, or will be, uno mentis in ictu, in a single act of mind, and thus foreknows my actions, how am I free to act otherwise than He has foreseen? Lewis showed the man-made predestination doctrine came from someone who lived five hundred years after Christ."
"On page seventy, Lewis wrote about Pseudo-Dionysius who died 870 AD: His writings are usually regarded as the main channel by which a certain kind of Theology entered the Western tradition. It is the 'negative Theology' of those who take in a more rigid sense, and emphasise more persistently than others, the incomprehensibility of God. The man-made doctrine that God was incomprehensible was created more than eight hundred years after Christ."
"It sounds like Alex was right...twice more", Van muttered.
"McLaren actually preached the doctrine that God was incomprehensible. He even preached we can't define The Gospel!"
Van scrambled for his Bible while he said, "It makes me wonder if McLaren is naive or intentionally destructive. The Gospel was plainly defined by Paul. Here it is, I Corinthians fifteen: Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures... Actually, I'd love to study all three parts of The Gospel with you Erik! Christ's death, burial, and resurrection..."
"There are a lot of interesting points at the beginning of that passage involving the conscious brain!" I said, "Brian McLaren is proof teaching the Bible wrong is probably the most damaging thing a person can do. Alex was right again."
"It seems Alex may have a more excellent worldview than you thought. Are you going to prove he was wrong in your last point?" Van blinked a few times, a look composed of curiosity and confidence spread across his face. I could not determine if it was a look of confidence in Alex or in myself.
When I hesitated, Van threw up his hands in surrender, but I said it all the same, "Actually, the final point is Alex's coronation and my confession and acceptance of the fact...I am a modeler...a conscious modeler."
Van mimed he was choking, but I just continued, "Considering McLaren's solution was to be completely unintentional, to discard the current Model for church without identifying a better Model, it is interesting to see what Lewis wrote in his Preface: My hope was that if a tolerable (though very incomplete) outfit were acquired beforehand and taken along with one, it might lead in. To be always looking at the map when there is a fine prospect before you shatters the 'wise passiveness' in which landscape ought to be enjoyed. But to consult a map before we set out has no such ill effect. Indeed it will lead us to many prospects; including some we might never have found by following our noses. Lewis stated the purpose for writing this book was to present a model leading us into truth. McLaren's purpose was to advocate having no intentional path into truth."
"On page one, Lewis literally began his book explaining how 'savage beliefs' come about: Savage beliefs are thought to be the spontaneous response of a human group to its environment, a response made principally by the imagination. They exemplify what some writers call pre-logical thinking. We now know he wrote about the unaware brain and effects from a cause not known...but existing."
"On the same page, CS Lewis then wrote about how these savage beliefs mature: Sometimes, when a community is comparatively homogeneous and comparatively undisturbed over a long period, such a system of belief can continue, of course with development, long after material culture has progressed far beyond the level of savagery. It may then begin to turn into something more ethical, more philosophical, even more scientific; but there will be uninterrupted continuity between this and its savage beginnings. Notice, the highest level of mature belief was equated with scientific..."
"On page five, Lewis wrote about the unaware brain's role: In a savage community you absorb your culture, in part unconsciously, from participation in the immemorial pattern of behaviour, and in part by word of mouth, from the old men of the tribe. In our own society most knowledge depends, in the last resort, on observation. But the Middle Ages depended predominantly on books. Remember, CS Lewis presented the Medieval Model in this book. He wanted to show most people model from experience. He contrasted this with the fact the Medievals were not big on experience. They did most of their learning through understanding...through books."
"Here is more on the medieval man from page ten: At his most characteristic, medieval man was not a dreamer nor a wanderer. He was an organiser, a codifier, a builder of systems. He wanted 'a place for everything and everything in the right place'. Distinction, definition, tabulation were his delight. and This impulse is equally at work in what seem to us their silliest pedantries and in their most sublime achievements. In the latter we see the tranquil, indefatigable, exultant energy of passionately systematic minds bringing huge masses of heterogeneous material into unity. Sound like modelers...don't they?"
Van's underlining reminded me of how I must of looked to Alex when he taught me.
"CS Lewis explained most medieval works were either organized or overly crowded with information. Then, he wrote about a third characteristic on page eleven: But there is a third work which we can, I think, set beside the two. This is the medieval synthesis itself, the whole organisation of their theology, science, and history into a single, complex, harmonious mental Model of the Universe. The building of this Model is conditioned by two factors I have already mentioned: the essentially bookish character of their culture, and their intense love of system. CS Lewis was a professor of Medieval and Renaissance Literature. He loved this time period. Now we find out these people were Model builders. These people were the first to attempt to put everything together in one Model. CS Lewis even referred to this Universal Model with a capital M."
"Erik, its a good thing you already admitted to being a modeler..."
"Here's the best part. Remember, this was early in the book, pages ten through twelve. Lewis gave us two rules for building a Model!"
Van's eyes grew wide as he looked up from his notes.
I read from page 11:
"All apparent contradictions must be harmonised. A Model must be built which will get everything in without a clash; and it can do this only by becoming intricate, by mediating its unity through a great, and finely ordered, multiplicity."
"Lewis called the first rule of modeling: 'getting everything in'. The Model must account for all the observed effects. There were a couple more qualifiers for this first rule."
"On page twelve, In speaking of the perfected Model as a work to be set beside the Summa and the Comedy, I meant that it is capable of giving a similar satisfaction to the mind, and for some of the same reasons. Like them it is vast in scale, but limited and intelligible. Its sublimity is not the sort that depends on anything vague or obscure. The Model must be made up of specific causes. Nothing vague or obscure. We must know our defintions."
"On page fourteen, The business of the natural philosopher is to construct theories which will 'save appearances'. Remember, natural philosopher means scientist. The term 'scientist' wasn't used until the 1800's. Before that, these people were referred to as natural philosophers because they thought about nature. They observed the effects from Nature and attempted to determine the causes. Many theologians were natural philosophers because they continued determining the causes until they got back to God. Scientists are the optimal modelers."
"Also on page fourteen, A scientific theory must 'save' or 'preserve' the appearances, the phenomena, it deals with, in the sense of getting them all in, doing justice to them. If there is a contradiction...even one...you don't have a Model!"
"On page eighteen, Every Model is a construct of answered questions. I would say we learned last week, this means the causes are the why/how to the questions."
"Wait...let me see if I understand what CS Lewis really wrote. The Model must be made up of causes...how something happened and why it happened...and can account for all of the effects...what actually happened? The what, how and why of a situation? For example, our studies of Pharaoh?"
"Exactly, Van. Also, when we studied Adam and Eve, you asked me why God wanted to know if Adam and Eve ate of the tree. God asking was an effect...it was a what. Whenever we use the word why, we are looking for causes. We are modeling. The first cause we considered was God didn't know if Adam and Eve ate of the tree. You then projected this cause into a powerful conclusion: God is not omniscient...which led to another effect: God is not God. When we realized the observed effect contradicted the rest of the Bible, we had to look for another cause. However, people still cling to their beliefs in the face of contradictions and attempt to justify themselves by saying it is a mystery. In the case of the Pharaoh study, we saw how people who believe in predestination do the same thing...and prove they don't have a valid belief system."
"By the way, there was a point on page fourteen Alex would love: In every period the Model of the Universe which is accepted by the great thinkers helps to provide what we may call a backcloth for the arts. The Model is the cause because it states principles directly...and the effect is art, a method of stating truth indirectly!"
"The second rule CS Lewis gave when modeling is on page fifteen: But if we demanded no more than that from theory, science would be impossible, for a lively inventive faculty could devise a good many different supposals which would equally save the phenomena. We have therefore had to supplement the canon of saving the phenomena by another canon - first, perhaps, formulated with full clairity by Occam. According to this second canon we must accept (provisionally) not any theory which saves the phenomena but that theory which does so with the fewest possible assumptions. Van, do you understand this?"
"I think he said if more than one Model accounts for all the observed effects, then we must embrace the simpler Model. Did I miss anything?"
My jaw dropped. Gathering the notes that had slipped from my fingers in the second it took for Van to utter his instant conclusion, I stammered, "I had to reread that sentence three times before I...and you just...how could...." I cleared my throat and remembered I had a third point to conclude: "On page sixteen, Lewis wrote there were two ways to determine if a Model should be discarded: It will have to be abandoned if a more ingenious person thinks of a supposal which would 'save' the observed phenomena with still fewer assumptions, or if we discover new phenomena which it cannot save at all. Basically, if the Model violated the first rule, can't cover all the observed effects, or lost under the second rule: a simpler Model fulfilling the first rule is discovered; the Model must be discarded for a better one."
"Erik, this is why you are the one modeling this..."
"Lewis applied all of this to other areas. Check out page seventeen! Yet I get the impression that when the poets use motives from the Model, they are not aware, as Aquinas was, of its modest epistemological status. He also realized the multi-dimensional effects of the Model...while still aligning very closely to Rand's beliefs."
"Now, for those who think this book has nothing to do with religion: There was no direct 'conflict between religion and science' of the nineteenth-century type; but there was an incompatibility of temperament. Lewis wrote the conflict between religion and science was a relatively recent occurrence. That was on page nineteen."
"Hold on, let me make sure I'm hearing this right...Lewis stated he wanted us to model everything? Including God?"
"...and he felt a scientist ought to be the one who would develop this Model...even though it is a Model for God...for religion?"
"Lewis thought the scientist could not only provide the tools, but would also be the expert at using the tools: the principles for modeling."
Van took a moment to let that last comment sink in. Then, I continued.
"That is the perfect summary to set up the conclusion of 'The Discarded Image'...the last pages of the book. First, Lewis began back at the Medieval Model to get us to understand what is going to happen with our current Model: Again, such a statement would suggest that the old Model gave way simply under the pressure of newly discovered phenomena - as a detective's original theory of the crime might yield to the discovery that his first suspect had an unassailable alibi. This was failure of the first rule: can't cover everything."
"The next passage is used by McLaren: How far by endless tinkerings, it could have kept up with them till even now, I do not know. But the human mind will not long endure such every-increasing complications if once it has seen that some simpler conception can 'save the appearances'. Neither theological prejudice nor vested interests can permanently keep in favour a Model which is seen to be grossly uneconomical. This is failure of the second rule: not simple enough. Notice, Lewis says a Model shouldn't be abandoned until a better Model is identified. Better means it takes in all the observed effects. McLaren used these passages to justify dropping the old Model without identifying a better Model!"
My voice was almost a yell. I closed my eyes, sucking the stale air of the auditorium in through my nostrils. My shoulders dropped and I let out a long sigh.
My thoughts turned to the CS Lewis Institute. How could they allow people like Brian McLaren to misrepresent Lewis to such an absurd degree? Perhaps they didn't understand Lewis either.
I looked up at Van. Something about the way he was looking at me sparked my tired mind back to life. I continued reading, "The new astronomy triumphed not because the case for the old became desperate, but because the new was a better tool; once this was grasped, our ingrained conviction that Nature herself is thrifty did the rest. When our Model is in its turn abandoned, this conviction will no doubt be at work again."
"Erik, Lewis sounded pretty optimistic. I don't think current pastors will embrace what we're discovering even if it does make more sense...even if it is a better tool. McLaren literally used these words to prove the opposite point."
I hoped he was wrong. I was quickly losing hope in all of those people I had once looked up to, as if the pillars I had put them on were made, not of marble, but of dust. I remembered how I had hoped to prove Alex wrong too and now I couldn't seem to find a single flaw in what he had said.
"Van, here is the conclusion to Lewis' book: The demand for a developing world - a demand obviously in harmony both with the revolutionary and the romantic temper - grows up first; when it is full grown the scientists go to work and discover evidence on which our belief in that sort of universe would now be held to rest. There is no question here of the old Model's being shattered by the inrush of new phenomena. The truth would seem to be the reverse; that when changes in the human mind produce a sufficient disrelish of the old Model and a sufficient hankering for some new one, phenomena to support that new one will obediently turn up. I do not at all mean that these new phenomena are illusory. Nature has all sorts of phenomena in stock and can suit many different tastes. Lewis stated Nature has an abundance of information leading us a number of ways. Lewis wrote the old Model will crumble from the data...from the contradictions. This will come from scientists!"
Van nodded his head. I continued reading, "I hope no one will think that I am recommending a return to the Medieval Model. I am only suggesting considerations that may induce us to regard all Models in the right way, respecting each and idolising none. We are all, very properly, familiar with the idea that in every age the human mind is deeply influenced by the accepted Model of the universe. But there is a two-way traffic; the Model is also influenced by the prevailing temper of the mind. We must recognise that what has been called 'a taste in universes' is not only pardonable but inevitable. We can no longer dismiss the change of Models as a simple progress from error to truth. No Model is a catalogue of ultimate realities, and none is mere fantasy. Each is a serious attempt to get in all the phenomena known at a given period, and each succeeds in getting in a great many. But also, no less surely, each reflects the prevalent psychology of an age almost as much as it reflects the state of that age's knowledge."
"Erik, Lewis wrote we ought to realize no Model is the final answer because we will never know everything. However, Nature will continue to provide us more information, perhaps to prove to us we don't know everything. We will be modeling for the rest of eternity...but we ought to continue to model. He seemed to believe it will take several Models to account for all the observed effects because...we weren't good modelers?...we didn't have the right tools? Regardless, his quest was the same as Alex's: to model our beliefs...to model God!"
"Van, you have named my overall conclusion: Alex was right about everything. This is the last paragraph in the last book CS Lewis wrote:
"It is not impossible that our own Model will die a violent death, ruthlessly smashed by an unprovoked assault of new facts - unprovoked as the nova of 1572. But I think it is more likely to change when, and because, far-reaching changes in the mental temper of our descendants demand that it should. The new Model will not be set up without evidence, but the evidence will turn up when the inner need for it becomes sufficiently great. It will be true evidence. But nature gives most of her evidence in answer to the questions we ask her. Here, as in the courts, the character of the evidence depends on the shape of the examination, and a good cross-examiner can do wonders. He will not indeed elicit falsehoods from an honest witness. But, in relation to the total truth in the witness's mind, the structure of the examination is like a stencil. It determines how much of that total truth will appear and what pattern it will suggest."
"He concluded by saying our ability to get total, complete truth depends on the questions we ask! Truth is found with the tools we have: the ability to ask questions and receive answers. We can model God! We have the tools to shape the examination to get more total truth than ever before and get closer to the pattern organizing truth."
"What made me realize I was a modeler was something I said to Alex. I told him artists were lucky while scientists knew what they were doing. On my job, we had two groups working on each product. One group focused on making the product better...like the first rule of modeling. The other group worked on making the same product cheaper...like the second rule of modeling. I was already doing what Lewis wrote about...however, we had a twist."
Van was leaning back in his chair. At this, he leaned forward as if he was going to pull the answer out of me.
"Lewis made it sound like you explain the observed effects...and do nothing. I realize he wrote we ought to always be modeling, but it is because he didn't believe we could cover all the effects. We did cover all the effects on my job...but that wasn't enough for me. We had to be ahead of the competition. We would do market research to find out what the customer wanted us to cover next. Then the first rule group would make the product cover this additional effect without losing everything else. I now realize I was intentionally looking for effects we didn't cover. I was intentionally stressing the Model to see if it would hold up under the new information."
"Did it work?"
"If it didn't, we had to work on a new Model."
"And when it did?"
"Our product became the market leader within six months!"
"What do we have as tools...as principles? Finding causes for the observed effects: 'cause and effect'. Making sure these effects are covered without contradiction and now this. what did you call it? Intentionally stressing the Model?"
"Yes! We ought to be asking ourselves how the Model could be wrong. How we could be wrong. This is uncomfortable, but it is an intentional discomfort because we want to consider we are wrong. We are striving for humility."
We spent the next two weeks continuing this conversation. What we found led us to the start of our Model...for God.
Again, Alex was right. Everything else would be an effect of this Model.
One of the things we realized is a definition ought to be in terms of causes. Then you can intentionally do the definition and the effects of the definition won't contradict.
If a definition is in terms of effects, you can't intentionally do the definition and the effects of the definition will contradict. If a person has a definition in terms of effects, or no definition, they can easily be disproven. The contradictions present themselves.
As my time with Van came to a close, we found the four principles were the only tools we needed.
We referred to the first two Lewis tools as "causality" and "non-contradiction" because of Ayn Rand. She consistently used these two terms throughout "Atlas Shrugged".
We referred to the uncomfortable tool as "growth" because of "Mere Christianity". In that book, Lewis wrote everyone is either pursuing comfort or growth. Besides, "growth" sounds better than "uncomfortableness".
As for the final tool, its name changed several times and was still changing. We had referred to it as "looking to be wrong", "considering being wrong", "humility", "deconfirmatory thinking", etc.
I had spent a month with the Brothers Karamazowsky. My kids were getting back from Oregon. By the time I returned to my hometown, Van and I had the four tools necessary to determine the Model for God.