Sunday, October 24, 2010

truth

The discovery of an acceptable definition of truth seems to be something worthy of many discussion in the future I think.

There are folks still stuck on the concept of absolute truth and they appear to be divided into two camps. On the one hand scientific "proof" based truth and on the other "belief" based truth. Neither the two shall meet, it would seem, as those truths which they select are not compatible.

In my learning journey on coaching I have come to appreciate just how much language has messed with our human race and have a different appreciation for this "battle" for truth now it would seem.

What I have come to appreciate is the difference between an assessment and an assertion. I read a book by  Matthew Budd where I came to understand Assessments (in which you make judgments); and Assertions (statements for which you can provide evidence) and it changed my perspective on truth, or at least made me think about it more.

In fact, I found myself not wanting to use the word truth any more because its not helpful in conversation, really.

What I find compelling is the number of shared trusted assessments we have in our groups and cultures.  Some of those shared and trusted assessments are the building blocks of our lives today and those building blocks are falling out of place in society because of the fight to maintain that they are assertions (or truth) is not a battle that can be one in the traditional sense.

The temperature outside is 15c is an assertion because it can be measured and the evidence agreed to. It is warm enough to have a picnic is an assessment of how comfortable it is outside and may not be an agreed to assessment but it doesn't matter. What does matter is that some group of people may agree to that assessment and they form together and have their picnic.

I think the world struggles with tolerance for the non picnic folk who believe that they are wrong and should be convinced of it.

Agreement on whether the weather is nice enough for a picnic is one thing, but try getting agreement on assessments about spirituality is no picnic.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

introspective battles

"Always feelings and illusions were at war within me, reason strong enough to win, but not strong enough to annihilate the vanquished, or refrain from liking them better;"

T.E. Lawrence

(Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Jonathan Cape Ltd., London, 1979, p.451)