I want you to envision for a moment, a world without conventional math, science, set rules on language, government foundations, geography and to some extent, even history.
This world is Ancient Greece. Men from Athens and Anatolia and Illyria and Calabria have been trading and waring and quarreling and arguing and negotiating amongst themselves, trying everything to establish what principles govern the world, either human or natural.
Men from all over began to effectively toss ideas at a blank slate, to see what ideas and observations held any weight in the external world. Some, such as Democritus’s Atom, have remained rooted in the world and as major foundations for science. Others, such as Pythagoras’s beliefs about numerical relationships, fell from reason into a zealous cult.
However, these men had to find, debate, fight and wrestle with ideas that the world had not yet seen. Many of their questions, such as those of a higher power, and those of free will, pervade until today. Yet, through these early negotiations, they were able to erect the foundational pillars of modern western culture, society, and diplomacy, with democracy, military tactics, navigation, and conventional mathematics to name just a few.
They came to these observations, decisions, conclusions, and understandings through their dialogues. It was through their conflicts, and through pitting idea against idea, thought against thought, and doctrine against doctrine, that the Greeks found their many solutions.
They were not all saints, but they were some of the men to first etch things down on the slate of collective knowledge. Many of their teachings were lost, but the surviving ones have given roots to the forest of what we know today. It was in this way, that the first conversationalists, who went on to be named philosophers, created the world.
In Ancient Egypt, long before these men first began to question their observations, early farmers, pharaohs, aristocrats, and hunters looked upon the world as something that was as alive and in motion as they were. They had no explanation as to why the Nile would flood and bless their crops, but they would want to do anything they could to keep the river flowing. The rivers and the natural world became a thing to worship, and a thing to live, or die by.
The stories and animation they gave to the world, gave the world life. The Nile was alive. The sky was alive. The desert was alive. They moved, they got angry, they needed to be appeased.
But through conversation, through dialogue, through the testing of our observations, preconceived notions and assertions, we were able to find the answers closer to the truth. There were men who attempted to nullify the minds of their populations and control what the world saw as real, but they never lasted long enough.
It was through the continuous debate from men to men, and fortunately later, from men and women, that reality began to solidify within our perceptions. Sacred ideas, traditions, and assumptions were shattered, but through the conversation of reality, which spread like wildfire to all the corners of the Earth, we have made the casing for what we believe reality to be.
Those first men and the men and women who were inspired by them were the first people to give the world a mold for what is real and true. It is by our discussions, our communications, and our reconsiderations that we grow ever-closer to the reality we share, and ever-more tolerant with those who perceive it differently.