Friday, January 27, 2012

Relative vs absolute truth

     It seems to me that two divisive ideologies seem to be floating around the intellectual, religious, and secular worlds. While some approach this two ideas in sensible ways, others seem to solely rely on one when the other makes more sense. In a political and academic world people seem to be always stating things to be absolutely true or not true. In a a melodramatic fashion if you will. Just like in the classic film Birth of a Nation, people who are evil to a particular group a represented in a very specific matter. In the film, the detestable villains are the raging black population. In our political landscape we label them fascists, communists, or anti-american. My question is: Has our academic and political environment made it so we simply cannot see both sides of the argument? Is our modern education and current upbringing making us into simple black and white thinkers?
     Recently, I have read a few articles stating the need of more studies of the humanities in our current education. As I watch the world progress I seem to agree with that insight. Questions that concern humanities and the arts often do not have definitive answers. Many students take advantage of this in the humanities courses they are offered and put as little effort as possible into these courses. Although the student may achieve the grade they want, they are only cheating themselves. A serious study of the humanities allow students to see from multiple angles. Every book, song, or piece of art can have multiple meanings to multiple people. Each has the right to that opinion and none of them are necessarily right. Simple put, people simply think differently about certain topics. 
     Melodrama has become more and more an accurate description of politics. There are clear lines to many on who are the villains and who are the heroes. I must ask the question: Is this an accurate description of what is actually happening? Or has our academic and social culture simply reinforced that this is how it should be. I wonder if people spent less time watching television (where ninety nine percent of the time we are presented ideas and people in a black in white fashion) and more time studying works that do not clearly define right and wrong, if we would become better critical thinkers. 
      Lastly, although I do believe the search for objective things are important in life (I study science and do believe in an objective God), the subjective should not be ignored. To coexist we must perceive each other without preconceived notions of what a person has to believe in order to be acceptable to our standards.

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