Quote of the Day – Tyson on Truth

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Post By Joel Watts (9,932 Posts)

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, working on the use of Deuteronomy in the Fourth Gospel. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

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9 thoughts on Quote of the Day – Tyson on Truth

  1. Of course, the next step is verification. This can lead to difficult questions such as how does one go about proving the existence of God. Never mind that has been tried a few times. On the other side of the coin, and with about as much success, a whole bunch of folks have tried proving God doesn’t exist!

  2. Also depends on how one defines “true”. Seems to me that Dr. DeGrasse Tyson would probably understand truth as something that is demonstrably verifiable. That’s not the way this whole theology thing works.

    • Then, there is your version of the truth and my version of the truth versus reality – all of which relates to the ancient sectarian parable of the blind men examining an elephant. Of course, bind men may was well argue with each other because if one follows the other we know where they wind up!

      • True. But even “reality” is inherently biased toward the perceiver. I can’t tell you what reality is without first subjecting it to my perception filter (Dr. Who, anyone?).

        Love that parable, by the way.

        • This goes back to the blind men examining the elephant. While each man has his own reality, so does the elephant. The obvious problem is to be able to see things from a broader, or at least a different perspective.
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          Another variation on the same theme comes from Africa. According to one version of the story, a jester god walks down a road wearing a hat. Two men on either side of the road observe what appears to be a man walking down the road between them wearing a hat. However, each sees a different color hat. One argues that the man was wearing a red hat while the other claims the hat was white. In REALITY, the divinity had painted one side of his hat red and the other side white! Of course, the real fun would be if the jester god walked back up the road – causing the men to argue the opposite of their previous observation!
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          In real life scenarios, the difference between truth and reality is a common occurrence in criminal justice. Two witnesses take the stand in a trial. Both swear to tell the truth. Yet, quite often, testimonies may differ remarkably depending on what witnesses saw or thinks they saw. A classic example of faulty eyewitness testimony may be found in Jennifer Thompson’s Picking Cotton.
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          Even professionals can have differing perspectives. This occurs almost every weekend on various fields of play around the globe. Sometimes, instant replay reveals a reality quite different from official judgements on the field.

  3. Dr Who? How about Dr Strangelove?
    Or Rumsfeld’s known/unknown babble.
    So truth is in the eye of the beholder. And true to 60′s belief, never trust anyone over 30, and never the government.
    http://mobile.defensenews.com/article/309210012

    North Caroline was one switch away from dust in 61. But I am sure that the truth was an unknown unknown at the time, much to our delight.

    • There is still a nuclear device just off the coast of Tybee Island, Georgia. While in the military, I was involved in the search for another nuclear device that, so far as I know, was never recovered.

  4. While we’re on the subject of science, the short video contained in the link below may prove to be of some interest:
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