Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Adam and Jeremy Say: Talk about This American Life

Jeremy Said: So I was watching the new season of This American Life last night. amazed me as always, but i also found it a little annoying because it leaned obviously to the left.'s a really cool show. ira glass looks older than i remember.

Adam Said: Yeah the radio show has always had a leftward bent, but the one thing they do really well is tell stories, and in this day and to me the best way to communicate is through story.

Jeremy Said: yeah, but when you're communicating a story that is one sided and misleading, that's not really a good thing even if it is good communication. none the less, i can't complain much, because i still like the show, and i think its a good program.

Adam Said: Yeah but are not all stories meant to communicate the storytellers point of view? I mean if this were the news then I could see why it is bad to only give your point of view, but this is entertainment, and as such we are given the entertainers point of view.

Jeremy Says: i guess it comes down to...does "good communication" also involve the truth. I guess a lie can be communicated in a good way, and it's still good communication. I was just kinda thinking that good communication should also be "true" communication.

Adam Says: Wow and I will be the first to admit that relativity in the post-modern sense is driving my thought process on this, but I think in most cases that the truth is different depending on the person and the situation… some things like color and shape and size are absolute and in my mind Faith and God are as well, but other times absolute truth is harder to find… like what is the real story in Iraq… you ask a Marine in one area and it is that Iraq is doing great… you ask a poor person in another area and Iraq is doing awful… I mean there is a truth there, but people have a different perspective of that truth and we want to get a qualitative report about it when the truth is quantitative.

Jeremy Says: but a relative truth is not truth....when i think about truth, i think about absolute truth that you are talking. asjklgdft9p3t83hpvw4p5oy84p59y8hv4;ogalekrh;

let me start over...
i dont like it when someone says the truth can be one thing to one person and another thing to another person, and i understand how that is very possible, but i don't like the idea of throwing around the word truth like it can be relative depending on who you talk to. just because its "true to them" doesn't really mean it's truth. does it? truth can only be one thing in my mind, and its not like I always know it. actually I rarely know it. I guess I get annoyed when people speculate on whats true to them even though it may not be the actual truth....
and I understand im kinda walking a hypocritical line, because christians are often known for what is true to them, but not true to other people.

Adam says: Shall I say that you have done a wonderful job of explaining your point? I agree, and have obviously done a poor job of explaining my own point of view on this matter. Truth is true no mater what. In all situations there is truth. A cynic will try to destruct truth so that it is always relative, but in the end they are more or less parsing verbs. Let us take this example; I go to the store to buy a chair. When I get there I see a chair that has four legs (everyone can know that to be true) it is red (if you are color blind or if you know too much about shades of red you may not think it just red… but for the most part we think of it as red) it is covered in a soft material and is cushy to sit in ( soft and cushy are comparative terms based on my own experience and, while they may be informed by popular opinion, they are still subject to my personal interpretation.) In all three of these cases there is a truth. The chair has four legs, the chair is red, and the chair is soft and cushy. The relativity comes in to our own understanding of this truth. If I am color blind it is harder for me to understand the truth that the chair is red.

I think the same principal is in place for everyone in all situations. The truth is that God loves you, but if your dad was a jerk and you have never had anyone explain that God loves then it is harder for you to understand the truth that God loves you. I suppose that at the heart of all debates is peoples unwillingness to admit that they do not fully understand the truth.

Jeremy Says: So is there a solution to the problem? Can someone like Ira Glass explain the truth to someone without giving his own perspective? He probably could, but like you said, that is more like the job of a news anchor and not so much like a subjective communicator like Mr. Glass.
Let's say I'm trying to communicate a point of view of the truth, but I understand that it could be interpreted different ways. Should I speak as if it is the absolute truth, or should I give suggestions as to "this is my interpretation, but you could think something else..."
I think the latter is a better form of communication. I think when you open yourself up to being venerable like that, people who may not share the same point of view with you are more likely to hear you out and then make a decision on whether you are right or wrong in your interpretations of the situation. Sure some people may look at your vulnerability as a weakness, but if you are passionate about why you believe that, they will get past the weakness, and simply listen, I think.


  1. To the author of this blog,I appreciate your effort in this topic.

  2. I like the blog. Two recommendations:
    1. Take a look at Francis Shaeffer - The God Who is There, He is There and Is Not Silent.... He moves this line of reasoning throughout history and encapsulizes our view of reality into the upper (spiritual) and lower(physical) stories..

    2. Determine the relationship between this (your academic ideas) and climbing on a rock face, between this and loving your wife, between this and running a marathon.

    If "all truth is God's truth" (Schaeffer), this means that the "religious world of truth" other wise known as :big T- Truth" (specific revelation) coincides with the "physical world of truth" otherwise known as "little t - truth" (natural revelation). They do not contradict because they originate from the same Efficient Cause.
    Whatever you say in church must still apply to being 500 feet above the ground suspended by a rope, clinging to a rock face. Otherwise, we do not live in a coherent system. Physical reality allows you to test your thoughts about the "what is" in real time with real consequences. If you could make teenagers see this connection, you would revolutionize their view of God, Christianity and the "what is." you would, in essence, reverse the religious truth split that began with Kierkagaard.