Perception, who’s right? For Darrell



Perception is truth. Anyway, that’s how we treat it. There’s my perception and your perception and they may be 180-degrees different one from the other. From my cousin he writes this with a question: “Mine as well as others who have attempted to find the meaning of life have only their perception of reality to rely on.”

Western philosophy was born out of some men rejecting the perspective of other men, namely those espousing the mythological gods of Athens. These philosophers held that there was objective truth that they could know. It wasn’t a perspective on truth, one perspective among others that were equally valid. The idea of multiple perspectives being valid for the holder of their truth is a modern perversion from the belief that there is no objective truth.

How many truths of the same thing can there be? Classical physics tells us two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Quantum physics questions that at the most fundamental level of reality, but if you and I want the same chair classical physics wins the argument; only one can sit in that chair one at a time.

Here is a discussion between Protagoras and Plato:

PROTAGORAS: “Plato, what is true for you, is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me.”

PLATO: “Do you mean to say that my personal opinion is true?”

PROTAGORAS: “Indeed, that is precisely what I mean.”

PLATO: “But my dear Protagoras, my opinion is that truth is not relative; truth is not a matter of opinion, but objective and absolute. Furthermore, my opinion is that you belief in the relativity of truth is absolutely false and should be abandoned. Do you still hold that my opinion is true?”

PROTAGORAS: “Yes, you are quite correct.”

Is perception shaped by opinion and opinion by perception? There was a group of us driving down a country road when we watched a bicyclist peddling too close to a pickup pulling a farm trailer hit by that trailer. We each got into an argument over how it happened, each having a different perception/opinion. My perception was that the cyclist panicked finding herself between our car on that small road and the pickup truck and trailer, wobbled and that caused her to turn into the trailer that ran over her. My brother saw it differently. Did our different perceptions of the same event change in any way Truth of what actually happened and how? Not one bit. Legally, should the cyclist sue the farmer the court would want to know there was one truth and the judge may have to review our different perceptions to get to the best answer.

If everyone’s perceptions are Truth then there cannot be Truth, only opinion and that will get you nowhere. If you don’t start with the belief that there is Truth and become confused by all the different perceptions we have, you might as well give up and quit asking questions because you will never get to an answer. If you start with the belief that there is objective Truth, but are confused by all the different opinions on truth, welcome to life. Because it’s hard to get to objective truth don’t give up on it and give in to our modern loss of Truth and our modern scientism relying exclusively on materialistic answers.

It’s okay that someone else is wrong and you are right.