Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Bleed effect

One may ask if it is so obvious that the Idea of the absence of objective truth is so obviously wrong then surely people do not actually believe it?  For the most part this is true at least implicitly.  The minute someone says "You are wrong" demonstrates this fact, as everyone has said this at one point or another.

But the human mind is capable of believing quite a bit of nonsense even when implicitly denying it through other means.  Humans live notoriously fractured lives, and the gap between what we believe and how we live is but one obvious gap.  Nor is this revelation new, as greater minds throughout history have attempted to grapple with this.

The reason why it is important to counter the denial of objective truth as an idea is because while we live fractured lives the beliefs we hold bleed into other areas of our lives eventually.  The ideas that we hold, however compartmentalized, begin to affect other areas of our thinking as well.

I have illustrated in other posts how the denial of objective truth has led to the destruction of things such as the arts, intellectualism proper, and education as a whole.  While many other factors contribute to this as well, my own thinking is that at the heart of a lot of societal ills lie in the embrace of this obviously wrong yet powerfully seductive idea.

I have termed this the "Bleed effect.". The first time I heard the term was in the video game Assassins Creed.  In this game the protagonist, Desmond, relives the lives of his ancestors via a machine called the Animus.  One of the side effects of this however is that Desmond, even outside of the machine, continues to relive the memories, and begins to be unable to distinguish his own life from that of those who came before him.

Ideas have a similar effect, no matter how we try to compartmentalize them. Humans were meant to live as a unified whole.  As such even the ideas that are patently absurd and cannot be lived out nonetheless have an impact on how we view the world and think about it.

If Catholics are to evangelize the Western World we must stand up to the seductive lie that is the denial of objective truth.  Our goals now are twofold.  First to defend the existence of objective truth and to point out the obvious.  The second is to make the case that the truth is worth following.  Both are immense challenges, but there is always hope.  For the human being longs for real truth and the soul seeks it, even if the mind attempts to get in the way.

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