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What If I’m Wrong?

What If I'm Wrong?

The Truth About Being Wrong

A friend of mine made a comment/question on facebook recently that went like this: What if people pursued truth instead of sides? A thoughtful comment to be sure, and it made me think. Of course, the thought that immediately came to mind was that more people would think and act like I do; more people would feel the same way I do about various issues and come to similar conclusions about what course of action to take. And let’s be honest here, I think most of use would naturally have that gut response to a question like that.

I started thinking more about the question, and while I like the premise, I don’t think it get’s us anywhere. The problem has to do with how we view truth. To follow an argument of Nietzsche: there is no god’s eye view of the world, none of us can claim to have the “objective” perspective because perspective is just that. It would be nice if everyone pursued truth instead of sides, but nearly all of us believe to possess truth already.

So instead of demanding everyone see the truth of the matter, I’ll start with myself: What if I’m wrong?

What if my views are mistaken? What if I’m misinformed? What if my beliefs are wrong? What if my politics are flawed? Can I be certain about things I think I know? Are there other ways to view the world?

As I ask these questions I realize that it is not only a matter of if I’m wrong, but that it is likely I am wrong about a number of things. On the other hand, I realize the importance is less about knowing the truth (though we should all strive to continually learn), and more about continually being open to the possibility of being wrong.

What if instead of choosing sides, we admitted we may not know what the truth is?

 

Photo by Enkel Dika



About Joseph

I live in Heber City, Utah with my wife and family. View all posts by Joseph

4 Comments to What If I’m Wrong?

  1. I suppose if one ascribes to divine revelation, especially in Scripture, then there is a purported “God’s eye view” of truth. Such revelation is objective, whether people choose to believe it or not, simply because it’s claims come from outside or individual whims.

    The question then would be, “Were the authors of this objective source being objective?” That’s an entirely different argument. ;)

    However, I agree with your query. “What if I’m mistaken?” and so forth. Fallible humans can indeed take something objective and misapply or misunderstand it and so form a flawed epistemology. You’re right, we all believe we have things clear-cut in our worldviews… I like what Dennis Prager says to such matters, that he’d rather have clarity over agreement.

    In this, Nietzsche is more plausible as our vantage-point is limited to subjectivity, even in how we grasp the objective. At best, in our pursuit of truth, we can always seek clarity amidst our variant beliefs, because agreement is certainly an obstacle.

    In the end, we all know I’m right anyway. ;) lol!

    • Thanks for the comments … you must of had some time on your hands ;)

      As far as divine revelation, the problem with claiming such as “objective” is historically difficult. To quote one of my favorite authors, Leslie Newbigin, ‎”We may often be wrong both in our understanding of what God is doing and in our attempted obedience, just as it is made clear in Scripture that the people whose stories it tells were often wrong, or only partially right, in their discernment of God’s purposes.” A “god’s eye view” can only be ascribed to God, which none of us are. Furthermore, divine revelation and biblical authority do not amount to “objectivity.”

      Of course, none of this is to say we cannot know truth, or that all perspectives are equal … that would be equally fallacious. It simply means there are probably far fewer things we can be certain about than we are.

  2. Correction: “its” not “it’s”

  3. Well said

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