Re: Truth

From: Alex Ferguson <>
Date: Mon, 2 Oct 2000 16:34:36 +0100 (BST)

Nils Weinander:
> > Thus I'd rather have several inconsistent 'theories' that work well
> > within their own 'domains', rather than one that doesn't really quite
> > work anywhere. (Scientific parallels are surely obvious, for those of
> > that bent.) If one starts down the path of assuming that what
> > can be inferred about the 'true nature' of things from fragmentary
> > subjective evidence,
> I'm actually suggesting doing the other way round: start
> from a "truth" and infer the conmflicting versions. We
> are not Gloranthans, evidence is only as fragmentary and
> subjective as we write it.

That's worse, then. It implies we have _direct_ access to the ultimate religious truth of the created world, and then as an act of deliberate choice, allocate toned-down and obfuscated 'versions' to assorted religions and cultures. To me this risks not merely choosing one Gloranthan viewpoint over another, but diminishing _all_ of them. If we can just casually _decide_ what the ultimate truths are, it vastly cheapens any genuine value they have, as especially contrasted with RW religious truth (unless one thinks one has a certain handle on those, as several Digesters admittedly do).

> > and the even weaker form of things created
> > primarily as game artefects, can be cobbled together by an ad hoc
> > process of reductionism and whole-cloth invention, and rise to the
> > level of 'objective truth' which is itself superior to the
> > understandings of the original, explicitly subjective material,
> > then it seems to me one is on very shaky ground indeed.
> Who said the 'objective truth' is superior? As long as a
> subjective version is consistent and works it's of equal
> value.

Why is an objective truth interesting at all, unless it really _is_ 'more true than' the subjective truths? I would agree that what you're suggesting would be true of, say, the 'objective truth' of the God Learners; it was/is better than any given subjective truth in some respects, and worse than others. But that's because it's fundamentally neither objective, not true. If you had a genuinely objective, and genuinely true description of Glorantha, how could it possible _not_ be superior to the other truths? And accordingly, how could they not but be diminished thereby?

> The 'objective truth' is not an end, just a means
> to make better subjective truths.

My feeling is that many people see it as an end, or at least as a means to cookie-cutterise the assorted ends. And I can't see how it makes the subjective truths 'better': just that as a rule its likely to make them more similar, and where they differ at all, different in more predictable and stereotyped ways. What objective truth might we decide to joy down about Chaos, say, or the Sun, that would actually help us fleshing out the different 'takes' (to put it mildly) that exist about those things?

Slán libh,

Powered by hypermail