To begin with, it seems we would need temperament verification by multiple millions of people if temperament urges are going to be a candidate for becoming a fact of our human nature. Yes, and only one interpretation has accumulated such an impressive number: the original theory observed by Hippocrates and consistently developed through the ages.
But do we need every person’s temperament verification to accept temperament as true?
Even if every person were to verify that temperament truly tells who they really are, it would not satisfy the skeptics. Skeptics are questioners who at times are without sufficient evidence. They can build a theory based on their doubts. There are those who doubt the very existence of our physical world. However, the evidence to the contrary is overwhelming, as we all know. And to conclude that the world is only a figment of our imagination would require overwhelming evidence the skeptics don’t have.
The four-temperament explanation of our core makeup and how we function is compelling because so many humans have practiced temperament verification for so many centuries and confirmed their temperament as true to who they know themselves to be. Along with the fact that people are still verifying its truth, this solid body of evidence can’t be lightly dismissed.
But is it necessary for every human who has ever lived, or even that is currently living, to verify the existence of temperament in order to validate it as a fact of our nature? No, I don’t think so. Consider the objective law of gravity, which no one doubts is true but has not been “tested/verified” throughout the whole universe under all possible circumstances. Yet it is still believed beyond a reasonable doubt. Total verification of any theory is not required.
Most of what we believe is not verified by all scientists.
In fact, most of what we believe about our universe is not verified by all scientists, including Einstein’s theories of general and special relativity. Yet they have made their way to becoming accepted fact — the best explanation of what we know. That’s all that is required of any theory: the best explanation of what we know. Total verification can’t be done since most of the universe lies beyond our knowledge. Nor, for that matter, do we even know how big it is.
Why do we regard gravity as a law?
Why then do we regard gravity as a law, a fact that helps us understand the universe out there and even the universe inside the cells that make up our body? Because…
- Humans experience it every day and we feel we have verified it enough to regard it as a fact. All those who have lived “down under” (I’m one) don’t fall off the earth and will swear to its reality! The same argument can be used for temperament.
- We can test its factual nature for ourselves. Simply drop a stone, even a feather. For the reality of temperament, we verify that it explains the realities of how we experience ourselves and our lives.
- It is also believable because it makes the best sense of all we do know. From a falling rock to the stars held in their courses (not to mention our planet remaining on course and on speed), there is enough evidence to convince us of the truth of gravity. We validate subjective reality by our experience and knowledge of it, too.
Just because we experience something subjectively does not mean it is not a reality.
Subjective things are no less true than objective things. My personal experience of taste is subjective. But it is no less a fact because it is my personal subjective evaluation. Nor is my appreciation of beauty, which is probably different from yours.
The volume of temperament verification is impressive.
No other theory of our internal design at the core of our being has ever come close to the number of people verifying the reality of their temperament. I’m referring to the four discernible patterns that we call the four temperaments. The number of verifications has been continually growing over approximately two millennia. Even before the invention of the printing press, it was a well-defined tool used in different cultures.
Estimates of the number of personal verifications are only estimates because there is no way to know the exact number. Over the last 50 years, there has been a great increase in its use. As a tool widely published in print, or not, it has been in continued use for understanding ourselves since around 380 BC. The number is clearly enormous. Whatever the estimate, the force of the volume of its compelling persuasive history cannot be lightly dismissed.
Do there have to be no exceptions to accept a natural law as true?
We can ask, “Are there some exceptions to the rules of nature?” Yes. Exceptions occur that are caused by the forces of nature and other things. For example, the subalpine fir grows tall and narrow. But under the brutal forces of nature that are experienced at high mountain altitudes in Colorado, you can find it no more than 2 feet high at an age of around 2,000 years old. Exceptions do occur in nature due to many factors and not all are environmental.
The same is true with the forces of our nature deep inside our psyche. They produce similarities and differences so that we can say we are clearly one temperament, but still unique and different from others of even that same temperament. Perfection in the form of exact copies is not found in nature. Not in trees, birds, or in people. It is in the consistency of nature that the rule is found and the clear identification of different patterns is realized.
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