I created a “Postulates” category because I believe that most every person on Earth has a set of postulates that they base their world view on. According to this article, a postulate is a “proposition that is not proved or demonstrated but considered to be either self-evident, or subject to necessary decision. Therefore, its truth is taken for granted, and serves as a starting point for deducing and inferring other (theory dependent) truths.”

Great definition. Even the most pragmatic and “rational” among us hold several postulates near and dear, although they may be unwilling to acknowledge that at the very core of their rationalized world view lies something that is not proved, is subject to necessary decision, and whose truth is taken for granted. Recall that the term “postulate” in its traditional use was and continues to be used in mathematics and logic (and nothing can be more logical than logic, right?). At the very heart of the geometry that engineers and architects use every day to build real, complex, and sustainable structures lies the belief that, say, “A straight line may be drawn from any given point to any other” (Postulate #1 of Euclidean Geometry).

Here you can read all about the other postulates...

A similar paradox lies at the heart of even the most robust system of understanding and viewing the world to date: the system of scientific inquiry based on reason and observation.

What are the postulates of the scientific-minded thinker?
1. The scientific inquiry approach will work every time.
2. Nature is not random – it works according to discoverable laws and patterns.
3. There are answers to be found.

My father, a hard-core scientist, has openly admitted that behind his ardent, ferocious research and inquiry into the way nature works (he is a biochemist) lies the conviction (ie. stong belief) that there are patterns in nature, there are answers to his questions, and he is using the best tool to get to them. These are beliefs because they have not been proven conclusively. Note: for a postulate to become a law, it has to be proven for all cases, no exceptions. That’s why even in science, most of the “laws” people take for granted are actually termed “hypotheses”.

So there goes the whole “reason vs. faith” confrontation. It’s more like “concealed faith vs. open, self-confessed faith”.

Faith is fundamental to the human experience. So, returning to my initial point, I started a Postulates category to create a special place for entries on my own postulates, and on the postulates of others: the backbone of my system of beliefs, and of yours.

Image credits: Clay Mathematics Institute, http://www.claymath.org/library/historical/euclid/images/euclid_3_31.jpg