Reality? What’s that?

President Obama believes Americans live in two realities given them by Fox News, and then he tosses in The New York Times to try and balance what he’s saying,  though leaving out, of course, CNN (though it is getting more objective), NBC, MSNBC, CBS, among others who support him and his policies. Obama has been at war with Fox News from the beginning, and many are quick to trash Fox News, though from some of those comments I’ve read they haven’t ever watched Fox News, just repeated what someone else said who didn’t watch, and on and on. Why this hatred of Fox News? Simply because they ask questions those other so-called news outlets don’t ask. They take a skeptical view of government, something that should be inherent in the “news business”. Sure, Fox News tilts right. And sure, those other mentioned outlets tilt left. That’s okay so  if you listen to both you have a better chance getting  a more rounded picture of events.

But I’m not in the business of supporting Fox News, or condemning others. I want to clear up a philosophical question: reality. Reality is reality, independent from my thinking about it, my perspective on it, my conclusions about it. Obama puts it wrong; there are not two realities, just two perspectives on one reality

The idea of reality and its “knowability” has been debated ever since philosophy became a discipline. Actually its been debated by most everyone since the beginning of time.

In James 4: 14-16 he says this:

“…14Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. 15Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” 16But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.…”

I typically put it this way: “If the creek doesn’t rise.” In Hiroshima they believed the day they were in would be the same tomorrow, but the reality they experienced the day before and the day after the atom bomb fell on them was different. Was it reality that changed or their perspective on reality? For the dead it wasn’t perspective, it was reality. For the living it wasn’t perspective, it was reality. If we leave it at this then reality is existential, limited to the moment.

But this is getting deep, but not to worry, I don’t think Obama has any idea about the philosophical debate over reality. I do believe he was merely referencing political viewpoints. In truth, even our political viewpoints should have pillars stuck deep in reality, otherwise they are nothing more than subjective opinions.

As I’ve watched this president over the years it is clear he believes he has an objective reality, and unless you swallow that reality hook, line, and sinker, you operate from a false reality. And since his “real” is real, yours, especially if you get it from Fox News, is both wrong and damaging and must be pulled out like a rotting tooth. It must be nice to be at the top of that reality mountain and heap condensation on the rest of us numb nuts. If this bubble he lives in could be burst, there have been so many challenges to it that it would have exploded by now, but it hasn’t. Is this because his “real” is real, or he’s just addicted to it and refuses, even in the face of the contrary, to believe it otherwise? Actually I think this is the answer.

So no, Mr. President, we don’t live in two alternate realities, we just don’t believe in yours.