So, maybe like you, I woke up this morning to this:
Coincidently, yesterday I spent a couple hours thinking about and writing the following, which addresses issues very much like this:
When Richard Rorty defines truth as “what our peers will let us get away with saying”, how does this not, in effect, make truth liable to being nothing more than a power play for one’s advantage? From which it follows that it is really true (!) that it is ultimately only things that overpower other things that can be said to exist… to be. This certainly puts a new spin on what Aristotle said about truth, namely that “to say that which is, is and that which is not is not, is true”! With this assumed, the best among us can only be those who take – and lead – leaps of faith into oceans, hoping that the evolving beliefs we think are “good” – and not just our genes – will be spread and passed on. Here, any classical notions of knowledge as “justified true belief” are banished as whatever can win, if only temporarily, is all that remains for us to hope in. On the other hand, what if what we ultimately need is real knowledge… real wisdom… involving a truth that even goes beyond “accuracy” – implying perhaps even a goodness that goes beyond our own subjective impressions?
The President is making a grave mistake here, even as it is a mistake that, given his view of the world, he can hardly avoid making. Still, as I implied earlier this week, this kind of “compassion” is a lie: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/justandsinner/intelligent-public-discourse-on-transgenderism-able-to-moderate-the-current-bathroom-battle/ …
I had sent the paragraph above to my pastor, along with my three-part explanation of how my Christian faith dovetailed with it:
- Many believe knowledge is power. Further, power is truth. In short, what works to accomplish the desires I believe are good that I have for myself and those I choose to love is true.
- But if truth is only about the “is” that overcomes and outwits the desires of those we compete with by “effective knowledge practices” are we not left without hope?
- If we desire to become that “is” ourselves, are we not embracing not what we are meant to be and become, but rather death itself? Death is that “is”. But there is also “I am”.
My pastor comments:
“As I understand what you have written:
In the world, knowledge is power and power establishes truth. More simply: Power establishes truth. So the question: In order to “grasp” the “truth” must we acknowledge, believe in, succumb to, or simply embrace the “power”? Whatever we do, however, we do not discover what is true, but simply become the “power”.
If I remember right, this was the subject-matter of Orwell’s “1984”.