Thought For The Day 06/16/12

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Dubito, Ergo Cogito, Ergo Sum

“I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am”

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Portrait by Frans Hals

1648

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Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith.

Author Unknown

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René Descartes who was born March 31st, 1596 and who died February 11th, 1650, was perhaps one of the most brilliant as well as enlightened men of his day, and a genius in not just philosophy but in mathematics and theology, as well. Know as the “Father of Modern Philosophy”, this devout Catholic sought to open the eyes of the world to embrace that science and scientific achievement could live and exist along side of faith, a stand staunchly resisted in his day. This is why many of his brilliant works were censured by the church. He tried, through his treatises “Meditations”, to prove the existence of God and held that since God could not err but man was capable of error, that was simply because man did not really understand all of what God’s plan was for our existence. I wonder then, that he did not alter the phrase which we associate most with him “Cogito Ergo Sum” aka “I Think Therefore I Am” (the complete text which appears in the title above) to “Credo Ergo Sum” which is “I Believe Therefore I Am“. I like this which seems to fall more within the lilting pattern of Descartes’ original, although with Latin, since ambiguity does not exist and “I Believe” might not mean a belief in God, perhaps we need to consider this alternative, “I Believe in God, Therefore I Am“, translated as “Crede Deum Ergo Sum“. (By the way, that small act, my friends, has given me a migraine as I struggled to remember back 40 years to my Latin classes in school.)

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My point is that René was a man of extraordinary faith and yet he is remembered more for his achievements in Philosophy, which even today, form the basis for most of the accepted thought in this specialty, rather than his achievements in theology. And I don’t know for certain, but considering the sheer amount of time and mental brainpower he dedicated to trying to prove the existence of God (or at least trying to get man to accept that both Science and Faith can be embraced without somehow undermining the importance of either one), it seems like his greatest genius lays in the realm of theology.

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Now whatever you choose to believe his greatest gifts were, for me, he was the one person that paved the way for much of what has made me the person I am. I have a scientific mind. As a nurse working in the field of healing, I had to see things in the shades of black and white that science lets those that heal others, borrow and run with. Conversely, as a person of faith, I embrace the philosophy that all serves His plan for us as we live on earth. We no more declare the absolutes for the life we lead than one can state with absolute certainty that man can breathe underwater unassisted! It is that simple and that complex. It is this piece that allowed me to work with those that are dying. As a member of the scientific community, I evaluated and altered treatments to keep the people I was caring for comfortable. If I could give them another day where they could feel the sun’s rays on their face, then I had done the medical part I needed to do. However, the curing part…..that’s another story. Yes, believe with all your heart that a cure is possible but understand that it will most likely not happen as a result of any overt act performed by the hand of man. Turn your fear and worry over to the one for whom all of these miracles rest. Believe, as I do, in the motto “Crede Deum Ergo Sum“, and trust in God that His plan for our lives is what is best for us. It is all that any of us can do, really!

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Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

Proverbs 3:5 ESV

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Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

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