A Taste pt I

Just the other day I had someone tell me, "That's true for them, but not for me."

This led to a long conversation.


I said, "Can it really be true for me and not for you?"

My friend responded, "Sure, you tell me the apple is sweet, but when I try it, I say it is bitter. One is true for you, the other is true for me."

"But surely the statement, 'This apple taste sweet on that tongue,' is true for all people at all times?" I replied.

My friend retorted, "Okay, then 'This person believes that to be true,' is also true for all people at all times, but that doesn't make what 'this person believes' true for all people!"

I responded, "But, isn't that begging the question as to whether spiritual knowledge is describing how the apple tastes on my tongue? Shouldn't we be trying to determine whether spiritual knowledge is describing how the apple tastes to me, or information about the existence, substance, and attributes of the apple? Or even information about the nutritional and culinary benefits of an apple?"


I am fascinated by the fact that most people who express this sentiment believe they are 'free-thinkers' who are rebelling against the mass of cultural opinion. The truth is, of course, the opposite; they are actually expressing popular opinions that they have been inculcated with via various sources of cultural influence.

The main reason they don't recognize this influence is that it rarely takes the form of explicit argument, but rather takes the form of implicit story. This brought me to some reflection on the contrast between these two forms of thought and the subsequent world-views produced.


~eljefe said...

Great thoughts on defining experiencial truths. I recently did a study on the church of Colossians and they struggled with elevating cultural truths of "multiple salvation paths" of Christ and other gods was their cultural experience.
I wonder if these common battle lead the earlier Church to develop the famous "Creeds" that have been recited over the generations.
You just sent me on a new course of personal research for the evening. Keep it up my brother!

Sean said...

I agree. Those who define themselves as "open-minded" are often very close-minded. Too, they are generally the ones desiring to go against the grain, when in fact they are engrossed within it.