You always see things from your point of view, am I right?
I know that there are big words like presuppositional systems, paradigms, etc… all around but let’s make it simple: we confess the fact that we all have some sunglasses up on our nose.
I love the picture in my mind of always wearing red sunglasses, and the idea that whatever I see around, it looks redder, but it still recognizable. Sure, a red and white dress is going to look just red to me, but it is a small detail, isn’t it?
So we can say that we always have a pair of sunglasses on, and their color is what we call culture, or experience, or family values, or education, or manners, or convictions.
We know we cannot be free from that.
We know that we can recognize that we have glasses on, and take them off, but then we find that we have another pair of sunglasses, different color, still on.
A more advanced solution is, that we recognize that we have sunglasses on, we may try to guess the color, and afterward, we try to adjust our bias when we see that color. ie I know that I come from a western country, so I should always doubt when I use western philosophy, or logic, or systems.
But what if my representation of the problem, the witty idea of red sunglasses, is wrong? What if I come up with a different illustration?
What if you are learning a new language (which we are, since born, and we keep learning new languages), and you read a novel, let’s say ‘The Animal Farm’, written by George Orwell.
The story is a very human story, but, BUT, we have pigs and other animals instead of humans. It is a political, sociological, beautiful, parable of our society. An evergreen tale.
Here we go, you are reading the story, but you never heard of such frggghs (the word pig in the new language). Neither of the fact that they belong to the catreeeel (animal farm).
You read the story, you follow the dialogues, the flow goes well, and you get it. The story is simply a parable of our society. The frggghs are humans and the catreeeel is the society. How beautiful is that? How comfortable?
Save my son!
But here is the catch: you are studying the novel because you want to be a surgeon, and everytime you find that the frggghs eat, you learn that humans eat in the mud, any kind of trash food, and you learn an interesting new anthropology model that will be yours, forever. It makes sense to you. It is coeherent, it sounds weird, but hey! isn’t it always weird when you learn a new model?
You are travelling on a road, with your novel, almost done with the story, and a lady from that town, comes to you, speaks in the new language, and someway manage to tell you that her son is sick. You put on your out-of-college-surgeon hat and go with her to save her frggghs.
The world we sbuild
My question is such: what if all the knowledge we acquire is mediated by our perspective/paradigm as far as that the knowledge is not useful, plainly wrong (but you realize it after the surgery), but still coeherent?
What if I read a manual with instructions to build a refrigerator, but I learned that 20 Celsius means a size of 20 miles? And I assume that screwing is the act of nailing? What kind of world am I going to build?
We are comfortable that we nailed our understanding in science, from the book of the nature, and yet, we discovered things that don’t make any sense (quantum theory, dark matters, dark energy).
When we face such problems, we try to correct our tools, or adapt our understanding, so that we have know a world-known story called the Cat of Schroedinger so that we can confine our ignorance into a joke.
Or the idea of Multiverse, so that we can say now that we have a bigger understanding, where instead we got a further problem in terms of experiments, but a lot of materials for scifi producer for Tv and Cinema.
What about religion?
How do we deal with our understanding from our Good Books? We have hermeneutical theories, we have exegetical tools, and theories of knowledge, but we are still with a big pair of sunglasses on. And we are learning a language that becomes our first conviction. Something we call spiritual revelation, or God’s word, or beliefs.
And we make jokes out of other people languages; and we don’t laugh at their jokes on us.