perspective on reality

i’m a big fan of reality. it’s cool! for purely philosophical reasons i think it’s much more complex than is yet grasped by science. but even with the sense that most of it is beyond my grasp, it’s one of my favorite things. my best definition of reality is a bit self-referent; but still, somehow, gratifying: reality is the way things really are.

another item on my top ten is truth. it’s hard to beat. i hold to what’s called the correspondence definition of truth: the truth value of a statement is based on how well it corresponds with reality. if i say “this brick weighs 5 pounds” and you put it on a scale and it weighs 5 pounds, my statement was true. i realize that language, context and perception are all at play – throwing a trace of ambiguity into the mix. doesn’t bother me at all. in fact, i think recognizing the ambiguity is essential. not that truth doesn’t exist. but knowing our limitations, we need to be humble with our assertions.

i’m reading a book now by a guy who’s clearly intelligent and well educated. what he’s written is significant, relevant, and important. the topic is one i’m very interested in. and yet i find it a difficult read.

i think the problem is the humility issue. after the author has said good things and given great illustrations, he’ll make an assertion that isn’t supported at all. then he’ll move on, almost daring me to disagree with him.

i can’t be too hard on him though – i often see the same arrogance in my own tone. hopefully i edit most out before exposing myself to the world. stinks, nonetheless!


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2 Responses to “perspective on reality”

  1. R Kelly Johnson Says:

    Martin Nickel!

    I couldn’t agree more with the importance of truth. The correspondence defination seems to be saying that reality and truth are the same, which I like. My question is this. Is a statement of facts the same as the truth? Your brick statement was true because it accurately represented the facts. There are times when the facts do not represent the truth. I think we can get turned around into believing that if I get all the facts perfect (ie, this brick weighs 4.8 lbs, not 5), then I have achieved truth. So many people think they can pray a prayer of facts, and God will answer it. God answers a prayer of faith, not facts. Accuracy in facts is important, but it don’t mean yer tellin’ the truth.

  2. fierybones Says:

    absolutely. “facts” are always subjective. it’s pride that says “i’ve got my facts right so god’s gotta do what i’m asking”. that’s just trying to manipulate god and isn’t one bit different from witchcraft.
    how is it he said it? “if my people… will humble themselves…”

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