That Might Work for You, But…

By |2019-01-24T15:16:23+00:00October 6th, 2016|Just for Fun|

Working through Conflicting Matters

Ever have a discussion where opposing views are being discussed with logical progression when suddenly your correspondent ends the conversation with something like: ‘well that might be true for you, but it is not true for me.’

Do you find that a bit frustrating?

On a larger scale, have you witnessed arguments being made about apparently self-evident truths that are now labeled as cultural artifacts?  True at a place and time for one culture but not true for another? Like somehow humanness depends on where and when the human finds himself.  Perhaps more tangibly, at work it is not unusual to experience situational ethics being applied to justify poor or even outrageous behavior.

The underlying logical order in our society suffers. What is true for many is not true for some. That can be frustrating on a local basis if people you care about act in accordance with poor thinking. However, it is worse when it takes place at a societal level. We are seeing wealth, position and power being abused with impunity. Power, unfettered by any sense of modesty or fairness, is in evidence anytime we access the news. No element of our culture seems immune with governmental overreach, corporate malfeasance and corruption dominating the daily news cycle. The masses must abide by the rules, but they don’t apply to me! Why? Because I am strong and you are weak and I CAN.

I think this radical unfairness can be traced to something that has been called the tyranny of relativism.

In a relativistic world view, truth is moveable. It varies from time to time, place to place and person to person. Truth depends on factors. In our society, there is ample evidence of this world view in action, with much collateral damage resulting. For good reason, accepting there is no higher good or truth with a big ‘T’ is not logical.

First, if discussion can be fairly concluded with a relativistic view,  that being –what is true for you does not have to be true for me for no other reason than I don’t feel the same way you do-, we are adopting a self-defeating position and are hurting ourselves.  Why?  Because if we cannot enter into good faith discourse for the purpose of learning, growing and moving to a higher place of understanding, closer to a place we both agree exists (Truth), then discourse becomes meaningless. The end of such discourse is the same: ‘We agree to disagree’.

In some cases that is perfectly valid, like when discussing opinions. However, when discussing weighty matters where action is required it is not good and can even be dangerous. What happens to the weaker party when we agree to disagree and action is required? If they are wrong, they are wrong. But, if they are in the right, what happens? Without Truth to defend them, they are in the hands of the stronger party. In a relativistic world: ‘might makes right’. I am right for no other reason than I am stronger.

We see this all over. Powerful persons, governments, corporations are telling the little persons what they can and cannot do. Why? Because it is right? Or, is it because they have made a compelling case that what they do is for the general good?  No. It is because they can!

The next time someone asserts directly or indirectly there is no absolute Truth, may I suggest you simply point out that position is self-defeating. There is no Truth! Really? You must be mistaken since that statement itself has to be false!

Ever have a discussion where opposing views are being discussed with logical progression when suddenly your correspondent ends the conversation with something like: ‘well that might be true for you, but it is not true for me.’

Do you find that a bit frustrating? On a larger scale, have you witnessed arguments being made about apparently self-evident truths that are now labeled as cultural artifacts…true at a place and time for one culture but not true for another? Like somehow humanness depends on where and when the human finds himself.  Perhaps more tangibly, at work it is not unusual to experience situational ethics being applied to justify poor or even outrageous behavior.

truth management

The underlying logical order in our society suffers. What is true for many is not true for some. That can be frustrating on a local basis if people you care about act in accordance with poor thinking. However, it is worse when it takes place at a societal level. We are seeing wealth, position and power being abused with impunity. Power, unfettered by any sense of modesty or fairness, is in evidence anytime we access the news. No element of our culture seems immune with governmental overreach, corporate malfeasance and corruption dominating the daily news cycle. The masses must abide by the rules, but they don’t apply to me! Why? Because I am strong and you are weak and I CAN.

I think this radical unfairness can be traced to something that has been called the tyranny of relativism.

What is True for you is no longer True for me

In a relativistic world view, truth is moveable. It varies from time to time, place to place and person to person. Truth depends on factors. In our society, there is ample evidence of this world view in action, with much collateral damage resulting. For good reason, accepting there is no higher good or truth with a big ‘T’ is not logical.

First, if discussion can be fairly concluded with a relativistic view,  that being –what is true for you does not have to be true for me for no other reason than I don’t feel the same way you do-, we are adopting a self-defeating position and are hurting ourselves.  Why?  Because if we cannot enter into good faith discourse for the purpose of learning, growing and moving to a higher place of understanding, closer to a place we both agree exists (Truth), then discourse becomes meaningless. The end of such discourse is the same: ‘We agree to disagree’.

In some cases that is perfectly valid, like when discussing opinions. However, when discussing weighty matters where action is required it is not good and can even be dangerous. What happens to the weaker party when we agree to disagree and action is required? If they are wrong, they are wrong. But, if they are in the right, what happens? Without Truth to defend them, they are in the hands of the stronger party. In a relativistic world: ‘might makes right’. I am right for no other reason than I am stronger.

We see this all over. Powerful persons, governments, corporations are telling the little persons what they can and cannot do. Why? Because it is right? Or, is it because they have made a compelling case that what they do is for the general good?  No. It is because they can!

The next time someone asserts directly or indirectly there is no absolute Truth, may I suggest you simply point out that position is self-defeating. There is no Truth! Really? You must be mistaken since that statement itself has to be false!

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