Speaking To Inform Speech 2:
Resources for Informing
Mr. Contest Master, Fellow Toastmasters, Evaluation Contestants and Honored Guests:
I want to open my presentation today with a demonstration of the miracles of modern government. The Congress of the United States and President George W. Bush have just legislated and signed into law a new waiver on the law of gravity for this rubber ball. The ball that I hold in my hand is no longer subject to the law of gravity. I have brought this ball with me here today to demonstrate the power of government to achieve anything to which the will of the people set their minds. Watch closely as you see me release the ball and observe it levitate a few feet above the floor.
Ready? One, two, three!
Oops! It didnít work! Is it possible--just possible--that there are some basic facts that government cannot simply abolish by the power of its vote, even when that vote is supposedly the will of the people?
Perhaps we need a more direct approach. We need the will and faith of the people in this room involved. I want to invite all of you in this room to stare at this ball intensely and, with all the power of your will, wish the law of gravity away for this ball. For those who accept a "Higher Power"--call upon that power now. Go ahead. Wish and pray very, very hard. Are you wishing and praying very, very hard? Good.
Now, letís try this again. Watch the ball levitate above the floor as I release it. After all, we have now directly implemented the will and the faith of the people in this room and called upon the most powerful forces imaginable. This is the most direct exercise of a religiously free democracy I can imagine.
Ready? One, two, three!
Oops! It still didnít work! Is it possible--just possible--that there are some basic facts that people cannot simply wish away or pray away, no matter how hard and how sincerely they wish or pray?
Ladies and gentlemen, what I have just demonstrated to you is the most fundamental law of nature. It is far more fundamental than just the law of gravity. It is the most basic law of nature and the most basic rule of logic. Western civilization has known of it since the great Greek philosopher Aristotle named it explicitly nearly 2500 years ago.
The name of this law is the law of identity. In Aristotleís words, "A is A". It means that a thing is itself and no other thing. It means that a thing has a specific nature and no other nature. It means that there are no contradictions in reality.
The earth below us has a specific nature and no other nature. Part of that nature is its gravity--the force that draws everything near its surface, including this ball, towards its center. This ball has a specific nature and no other nature. Part of that nature is its mass, which makes it subject to the law of gravity.
The law of identity has its roots in this world of objective reality. It comes from the nature of all things in this universe. Every thing in existence has a specific nature--an identity--and no other nature. It behaves according to that nature. A rubber ball falls to the earth and bounces by its nature. The sun shines by its nature. Birds fly by their nature. Lions hunt by their nature. People think consciously by their nature--and because people think consciously by their nature, people are able to observe the world and learn first hand the law of identity.
In the words of the great novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand: "Existence is identity. Consciousness is identification."
The law of identity has profound implications in every aspect of our lives on this earth. By the law of identity, we can know that some things cannot possibly be legislated away, or wished away, or prayed away. With some careful consideration, the thinking person can see that faith in any of these efforts is doomed to failure.
The law of identity is immutable. No act of Congress, no force of will, no appeals to divinities can change it. Miracles cannot occur in reality--only in fantasy. A is A.
Mr. Contest Master!