Absolute Underezding Essay

An elephant was brought to a group of blind men who had never
encountered such an animal before. One felt a leg and reported that an
elephant is a great living pillar. Another felt the trunk and reported
that an elephant is a great snake. Another felt a tusk and reported
that an elephant is like a sharp ploughshare. And so on. And then they
all quarreled together, each claiming that his own account was the
truth and therefore all the others false (traditional parable).
None of the accounts that the blind men made about the nature
of the elephant are absolute truths, nor are the accounts false. An
absolute truth, or one that is true for all, can not be achieved
because of the conezt motion of circumezces of who said it, to
whom, when, where, why, and how it was said. Instead of absolute
truths, the concepts or beliefs that the blind men claim are
viewpoints that each one clarifies the nature of the elephant.
Everybody has learned to see things from his or her own sense of
reason and logic. The many things that people experience throughout
their lifetimes, help to determine the judgments toward the different
issues and objects that they encounter. Because individuals has his or
her own sense of reason and logic, the perceptions that people
encounter are ultimately true, and not false. Life does not contain
one truth for any idea or object, but truths can be found in one’s
perception. It is difficult to determine that anything is the absolute
truth. One should not prove that any object contains a true meaning,
but should develop conceptions surrounding the object. Attempting to
prove anything then would be difficult, if not impossible. Our senses
from smell to values to reality may differ from person to person. What
may be true to one person may be different for another. Because
everybody has different perceptions about life, it is difficult to
weigh the content of any concept. Every account, of its own, is formed
to be the truth of the one individual who assumes it. The variety of
concepts may have the virtue of being considered. This is how people
develop a deeper sense of underezding for all objects. Truth is
achieved through the concept and not the object itself. Because many
individuals hold different perceptions, they have many truths to
consider, or not to consider. For example, it would be impossible to
determine, whether or not, the cutting of trees is either “good” or
“bad.” One might have the conception that cutting trees destroys homes
for birds and other animals. Another person might have the conception
that cutting trees is necessary to satisfy the need to provide homes
for humans. Whatever concept is understood from the object, may be the
truth. Just because there may be other viewpoints to this situation,
does not mean that there has to be false statements. The tree can be
used for many uses from medicine to paper to boats and none of these
views would be wrong. The tree remains to be a tree, but the values of
the tree can differentiate, depending on who is using it. The
conception of God, or the non-conception of God, is another issue that
many people make the mistake of trying to prove. A well recognized
philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard states, “For if God does not exist it
would of course be impossible to prove it; and if he [or she] does
exist it would be folly to attempt it.” Demonstrating the existence or
non- existence of God only produces reasons for belief, not the actual
proof that God exists. Kierkegaard also claims, “…between God and
his works there exists an absolute relationship: God is not a name but
a concept”( Kierkegaard 72). The relationship between man and God is a
concept. A person with belief in God, cannot prove its existence
through his or her own relationship with God. Kierkegaard adds again,
“The works of God are such that only God can perform them” We have no
basis of proving God’s works, nor do we know what kind of works God
uses on different individuals. Yet, some religious groups have made
the mistake to try to enforce their own religion upon different
individuals. Some religious groups claim that their religion is the
only “true” religion, which is very untrue. This may be a reason why
religion has been a major factor in previous wars and movements. The
attempt to follow one truth, instead of freely allowing individuals
and societies to follow their own truth, has led many people into
frustration and hostility. All concepts are so dynamic that the truth
that one believes may appear to be self-ironic. A person may believe
that television promotes violence in kids, exposes the use of
profanity, and stupidity. Another person my believe that television
may be educational because the exposure of all these problems will
form into underezding. Although both may be perfectly true to each
other, the two issues are found to be to be contradictory. The
disagreement does not make the other statement false, but establishes
another truth.

If each of the blind men spend less time on proving his own
account and spend more time underezding the different truths that
exist, they may discover that all perceptions of the elephant can be
taken into consideration. The men may discover that the elephant is a
great living pillar, a great snake, and like a sharp ploughshare at
the same time, or at different times. The blind men may even come to
the conclusion that the elephant may be neither of these. The opinions
of the blind men may be coneztly in motion because of the acceptance
of the many viewpoints that currently exist and may exist in the
future. Although the elephant may stay the same, opinions about it may
change and adapt.

Works Cited
Bowie, Lee G., Michaels, Meredith W., Solomon, Robert C. Twenty
Questions “An Introduction to Philosophy. Harcourt Brace & Company,
3rd ed. Kierkegaard 72- 75
Handout. Traditional Parable

We will write a custom essay sample on
Absolute Underezding Essay
or any similar topic only for you
Order now

Hi there, would you like to get such a paper? How about receiving a customized one? Check it out