May 12, 2009

Thought for 05.12.09

On Receptionism applied to the World of Ideas

Propositions do not become true because they are widely accepted. If they are true, they are true to start with, and become widely accepted in part because people slowly realize they are true. The pace of uptake varies, and many true things take a very long time to be received, while bad ideas can show astonishing staying power.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG


Sister George said...

This is short, I just wanted to say how true I believe your statement is and how we, as humans never seem to learn that.

Vicki McGrath said...

It's almost like children needing to acquire a taste for nutritious food like vegetables (which can often take a long time)as opposed to having an instant liking and desire for sweets and junk food. And I suppose the willingness to accept bad ideas so quickly and stick with them for so long is also related to the reductionist understanding of Truth which says that what is True is always factual and obvious to even the casual observer. In fact, real Truth is usually much deeper than either fact or obviousness (is that a word?)and requirs both wisdom and patience to discern it.


Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

Amen, Sr G., and V+. The truth, especially the Truth that liberates us (see the motto of the Anglican Communion!) is at work, but the work is slow sometimes, maybe most times.

Greg Jones said...

This is why we agree on so many things. Epistemologically we believe that some things are simply true, on their own account. This is distinct from what some say, who so frequently seem to hinge the validity of a thing upon its acceptance by a presumably self-evidently valid receiver. In other words, what is casually referred to as 'relativism' (which I don't think is in fact even the right definition) is this latter view that all truth entirely depends on whether or not somebody accepts it as true.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

Thanks Frjones. I continue to get annoyed by papal accusations of "relativism" tossed about, which is just another way of saying that we often disagree with his holiness on certain things. In fact, I think he's mistaken about a number of things. Absolutely!

It seems to me that both revelation and discovery imply there is some stable reality either to be revealed or discovered -- that there is some actuality to truth, that some things are true -- even when we are ignorant of them.