It does not matter how beautiful a house seems, how stately its design, how lofty its ceiling, or how well intentioned its builders; a house built on sand will fall when the rain comes (Matt. 7:27). Ultimately, the premises or presuppositions of an idea dictate success or failure. ‘Great is the fall’ of the house built on sand; ‘great is the fall’ of the idea built on lies.
In Heretics, G.K. Chesterton highlights the importance of presuppositions, of first principles, with his typically piercing wit:
“[T]here are some people…— and I am one of them — who think that the most practical and important thing about a man is still his view of the universe. We think that for a landlady considering a lodger, it is important to know his income, but still more important to know his philosophy. We think that for a general about to fight an enemy, it is important to know the enemy’s numbers, but still more important to know the enemy’s philosophy. We think the question is not whether the theory of the cosmos affects matters, but whether in the long run, anything else affects them.”