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Self-evident

When something is self-evident, it does not need proof or further explanation or evidence of its own truth. An excellent example is the natural laws that govern the whole universe and humanity. They are self-evident, and if we want to, we can check or prove the validity of these laws. These laws or principles exist in and around us. We are subject to them regardless of our ethnicity, gender, age, size or our conditioning. Some of these are incorporated into religious beliefs.

These principles are useful guidelines for the manner in which people behave. They are indisputable. They are objective. They operate consistently and efficiently without discrimination. We use the laws to interpret all occurrences that happen in this world. We break them at our own peril for there are consequences that will follow from our breaches. One famous law is the self-evident law of cause and effect. It says that we reap what we sow, and there is a reason for everything that happens.

Now, do we have to prove that the law of cause and effect exist? As far as observant humans are concerned, it needs no further proof. It is self-evident that it exists if we care to observe carefully the way things happen and the way things work in the world. We can dispute or deny its existence. But the law will not go away.

We are all subjective in our own individual ways in viewing something as self-evident. For example, we are amazed by the sheer abundance of living things, and we regard creation and the existence of God as self-evident. Others who dispute the existence of God point to the self-evident signs of the evolutionary process.

What are perceived as self-evident must not be accepted as permanently so. As new discoveries are made and knowledge advances, what is currently known is continuously updated with new information and the truth will ultimately be realized. An accepted truth is sometimes contrary to what was previously perceived as self-evident. A notable example was the erroneous belief that our earth was the centre of the Solar System. It was pretty self-evident from the observation of the sun, its morning ascent in the east, its movement across the sky and its evening descent in the west that it orbited our world and so could not possibly be in the centre of the solar system. But who was to predict then that something so plainly self-evident would one day be proven wrong.

In a close relationship, one partner takes it for granted that the other partner knows her expectations. She expects him to know what to buy for her birthday. She assumes that it’s self-evident. What she fails to realize in such a situation is that she expects him to read her mind correctly as to what she wants. Failure to know exactly what she expects means a wrong gift is presented to her. What follows is bitter disappointment that leads to resentment that he doesn’t know her well enough. Bickering and even separation is imminent. It’s better to remove the element of surprise and find out what precisely the other partner wants that is not so self-evident.

Isn’t it self-evident that we enjoy good health in a clean environment? Good health means fewer diseases to spread around and the substantial saving on health care. Yet the chronic pollution of the atmosphere stubbornly persists. The financial greed of some men who pollute is plainly evident.

No human is perfect. This truth is so self-evident that it is beyond dispute. Still, there are people who seemingly believe they are perfect and act arrogantly. If they think they are more perfect than others, it wouldn’t be that bad.

Ultimately, we will realize that truths are universal and self-evident to anyone who cares to investigate in a proper way.