10.12.2008

Relativity, Truth and "Being Right"

After talking on the phone with my best friend, a whirlwind of thoughts (which is pretty constant for me) became a furious wind of ideas with a serious force behind them. So, that being said, I'm going to try to put down all those winds of thought and still make some sort of sense. Fair?

Words are absolutely relative. Yes. I agree one hundred percent with this. Of course they all have specific denotations with universal definitions in most cases, but when it comes down to it every word has a different effect, different connotation, or interpretation for every single person. Unless someone is misinterpreting a word or thinking of a different word, we all can come to some sort of accord on what each word means in definition, but the impact each word has or doesn't have is a very different thing. Now, these definitions we reach an accord on...why are those correct? Because once upon a time the root of that word meant the same thing to everyone in ancient Greece or Rome and we took that root made a word in a different language based on that root and so everyone just goes along with it. Now and then there are changes and retractions made on definitions, yes that is the one thing we can expect from this world, some sort of change. People in this world are material and they make the material what they want. If it doesn't fit, they make it fit.

So these "truths" are reached because majority rules in most cases and in other cases power rules and so the rest submit accordingly. But can we ever be right about anything at all? I've never thought we could. We can't KNOW anything. Two plus two is four only because that's what we've been told and that's what everyone agrees on. Water is made of oxygen and hydrogen and not iron and sodium because it was decided that that's what those things are called. "Being right," is a learned thing. It's a majority's rule, a power's might, or a shock's unexpected-ness that tells us what we "should" know and "how" we should know it. We agree to "knowing" it based on the faith we place in this "knowledge."

By this I mean, it is all about faith. Life is. We believe and therefore things are. Belief and faith create our knowledge, but then it becomes our own personal knowledge. It becomes a knowledge unexplainable to anyone else on the planet. The only One who can see your beliefs and faith for what you "know" it to be, is God. God is what we believe, He is our faith and if the most important person in our lives is entirely based on faith, how can anything as trivial as two plus two being four, water being oxygen and hydrogen, or definitions of words be "knowledge." The faith we place in God and Christ and Christianity is the most important faith we can have, so the belief in words and numbers can't be said to be knowledge. That then is why it is relative. Full circle.

Branching a little further I just want to mention this, my belief in words may be different than yours, but in my appliance of words there is only truth. The words I say are meant with intensity, passion, and scrutiny. That doesn't make the impact any stronger for others though, because words are so relative in interpretation. They vary too much in meaning and impact. However, they aren't just used as space filler for me. So I hope that if you can't find a truth or impact in all words, that you can at least find impact and meaning and truth in my words.

5 comments:

Tony said...

Isn't saying words are relative, yet they have universal meanings contradicting yourself? I understand the different interpretations for people, but isn't there still a right interpretation and a wrong one? Maybe I'm reading too much into your idea of relativism, but if we can't ever know anything for sure, then how can we know that we don't know? Relativism is contradicting itself in that way; if there IS no truth, then relativism CAN'T be right.

S. Brinker said...

While I also understand where you're coming from...I didn't say there was NO truth, just that truth is relative. Some people only believe what they see, others believe in words, others in God the list goes on. But my belief is that nothing can be truly known, therefore the fact that I think that doesn't make it true because it can't be known to be that way, but yes I understand you're argument.

Tony said...

Saying truth is relative implies that there is no truth though. If truth is relative, then I can say that gobstoppers are healthy, and you can say that gobstoppers are unhealthy, and we'd both be right, because truth is relative to us. That can't be correct though because two opposite things cannot be true. I can't be living and dead; I have to either be alive or dead. If there is truth, then it cannot be relative, because everything cannot be true. If truth is relative, then that's contradictory, because we can't know there is no truth; that would be true, and there is no truth if truth is actually relative.

I think I'm mostly nitpicking because it seems we agree there is truth, I just go to a further degree than you, but I'm just not a fan of any kind of relativism in regard to truth. Either way though, I liked your post.

S. Brinker said...

Well plenty of people do in fact believe that gobstoppers are healthy...but anyway.

It's a philosophical debate in which there are two complete and opposite sides and it really doesn't hold much value otherwise.

Thanks for your input, it's always appreciated. :)

David said...

you are what you do, not what you say.......that is truth