The nihilists among us will assert that there is no truth, it cannot be communicated and there is no purpose to life.

It is possible that with a small twist there is truth to what they say.

Truth is a human assessment. The only true thing that is universal is reality itself. A truth from one angle is not necessarily true from another, in the hands of another.

And yet we rely on truth, and as the saying goes, “I know it when I see it.” Logical propositions are true and sometimes they correspond to reality also, meaning that the question is framed in a realistic way and thus the answer is also realistic.

But communication? It is possible this is impossible.

The sender and receiver must share a message for communication to occur. It is not exact, but it must be more similar than different in its two versions.

In other words, the receiver must be ready for the message and the sender must put it into a form the receiver can understand.

Egalitarian societies strive for equal validity of all viewpoints. The resulting social condition, pluralism, is one where truth has been abolished, excepting some administrative “everyone play nice together” types of notions, and published facts, science and statistics.

But everything else is viewed as arbitrary and personal, and thus true if you believe it to be. (This is frequently violated by those who want to bully or guilt others into changing their opinions, but such is a dangerous path, since the crowd may turn on the bully no matter how “noble” his intentions.)

The result makes change of opinion impossible. If you have a differing opinion, that is as good as attacking the validity of the other person’s opinion and thus attacking his equality as a citizen itself.

Even more, he is unable to change his opinion, since doing so is to cede the legitimacy of his own decision-making.

In prior societies, people were able to discuss ideas and attack them without it being personal. These ideas were not related to individuals because it was assumed that truth was the third party in the room and that all people wanted truth.

Now, with all ideas equally valid, an attack on the idea is an attack on the person. That in turn violates the Prime Directive of our society, which is that all are equal.

It is no wonder we careen onward like a flying saucer without a captain, bouncing amid the stars of our peerless imaginations, never finding a consistent path that will take us anywhere.

10 Responses to “Communication”

  1. Tucken says:

    Good writing.

    People wear their ideas as if they were titles. As such they are attacked when for instance their humanism is attacked. I believe it may stem from school issues discussed before. Everyone gets knowledge. Consequently they feel smart. They choose between ideas instead of thinking for themselves and wear the titles to become individuals. All fake. But knowledge is available now anyways, through the web.

    Honesty and dealing directly with things may be the most ‘true’. I find it valuable, though, to look for the very source of a problem and get to it. The most accurate point possible – by depth, or time. Similarly I try creative ways to communicate with tales and analogies. Whatever works.

    It is hard to say how common the third party was in the past. Truth-tellers may always have been rare.

  2. EvilBuzzard says:

    The nihilists among us will assert that there is no truth, it cannot be communicated and there is no purpose to life.

    They should go act in accordance with their beliefs. It would leave less urine in the gene pool.

  3. Lisa Colorado says:

    I would aver that in past societies it wasn’t that people would be able to discuss things without feeling attacked. Rather it was that some people didn’t feel entitled to give their opinion, or else that giving opinions was vulgar. Now people get defensive when they’re not sure what they’re saying is true. Their egos can’t handle honesty very well.

    • ferret says:

      I think, you are right, people’s feelings didn’t change much, they attacked each other and felt it. And it was normal.
      These days the very notion of vulgar has lost. Everything is vilgar now, if compared to the past, and nobody cares about not being vilgar. Though it could be a merely idealization of these old times. We often idealize something that doesn’t have an immediate impact on us.

  4. Lisa Colorado says:

    Quite the evidence that things are messed up, if we feel attacked when someone disagrees. Does it mean they are not listening? That hurts. Or maybe it means some people are just parroting things and questioning it is an invasion of their lie.

    • ferret says:

      Some people disagree because they are listening, but understand things differently. That should not hurt. That should make people realizing there is another opinion available.

      • Lisa Colorado says:

        Yes and it is respectful of another person to listen, even if they say something you disagree with. I have run across the problem of feeling invisible, and since I felt that way I made a decision to let people know I see they’re there. Even if I don’t agree, I acknowledge them.

        • ferret says:

          I made a decision to let people know I see they’re there.

          If more people were doing so, it would be possible to discuss ideas rather than debating for the purpose of “winning” or showing off.

  5. Attila says:

    Equality is an abstraction.

    The principle of identity is only good for concepts.

    Humans are not concepts- hence no equality.


    • EvilBuzzard says:

      Equality can only occur at absolute zero. Let anyone think or act, and differences in the qualities of human beings come to the fore.

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