Conditional v. Absolute Truth

A conditional truth equation?? That’s sort of ironic…

“The horror, the horror.” (Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad–That one is for you Mrs. Crosswhite.)

First of all I just broke my record for most likes in a day!  Thanks so much to everyone who got me there!  It’s amazing what writer’s block will do for a girl.  Not only did I get a lot of likes, but I got some conversations going with some pretty interesting people!!! Yayz!

And now to the horror.  When I was in English class my senior year we did a lot of discussion about the vaguest things that anyone could be right about and no one was really wrong.  One of the discussions we ended up revisiting a lot was the difference of conditional truth and absolute truth.  Being a more math-minded, logical person, of course I loved pointing out the absolute truths.  They were a statement of fact.  Now, as I learned in fourth grade, fact is not always true.  But did that really complicate the matter?  No, not at all.  In order to prove an absolute truth, or fact, wrong all we had to do was come up with a counter example as to why it isn’t.  Unfortunately our world is not full of absolute truth.  Unfortunately the world cannot simply just be simple.

For example, I could say, “A dog always approaches a squirrel, but never reaches it.”  This statement could be an absolute truth.  WRONG.   You see, what I have learned in English class is that what a squirrel is to one person, may not be the same noun to another person.  Assuming we all have the same connotation of a word, it could indeed be absolute.  But we don’t always.  See what I am saying?  Of course it is completely illogical that not everyone purposfully thinks of a squirrel as a small furry creature with a big bushy tail that eats nuts.  However, there are other words that are more prone to different connotations.  Words that are more descriptive (for lack of a better word) such as slut, hard working, lazy, smart, athletic, jock, and vegetarian can be more CONDITIONAL.  And the world we live in today is all about the condition.  It is what lawyers base their arguments on, it is what the jury ultimately decides on, it is how people interpret what they are told or what they read, no matter what their language is.

Obviously this is a really odd blog post to write.  Indeed, I wouldn’t have written it if I hadn’t very recently had an argument with someone about the validity of conditional truth.  And really, he was just as write as I was.  There is absolute truth.  But there is also conditional truth.  I actually don’t think one is more valid than the other.  It depends on the situation and the statement.  One could say that, “Those sheets are blue.” But if it is the color that most people refer to as purple, then you could say that they are wrong.  But saying that they are wrong is a conditional statement, because they are right.  Perhaps they saw blue.  Perhaps they never learned the difference between blue and purple and refer to the different varieties of the colors, all as blue.

Language has a versatility to it that is beautiful that allows for words to have all sorts of different connotations as well as denotations.  Because of this, many simple statements that we say and read everyday could be argued against.  Obviously we don’t though because we all have this innate ability to understand each other for the most part, and if we have differing views of a word we are able to share them to understand each other.  I’m not saying we need to go around challenging each other’s wordage or diction or understanding of words.  That would be impractical.  I’m only stating what I see.  The recent debate I had reminded me of my English class so much I couldn’t help but revisit the subject which still somewhat eludes me, especially as I try to unravel it myself.

Now if you could follow SQUIRREL any of that, kudos for you and PREESH and all SQUIRREL that.  I sincerely hope I didn’t offend anyone or make anyone frustrated.  I have been there and back again all senior year not really sure I ever fully understood it.  But who really cares anyway?  Leave for the the lawyers who do that kind of SQUIRREL stuff everyday for the fun of it.  Ugh.

And with that, my dear readers,

I bid you,

ssssuuuuuuhhhhhh

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s