Thursday, January 13, 2011

Truth and the Familiar -- Writer's Poke #285

The United States may be the greatest country in the world. Who's to say? But why would Americans that have never travelled outside the country's borders try to make that claim?

Christianity may be the "true faith," but why do Christians send out missionaries to convert the "pagans" without learning the beliefs of the individuals they're trying to convert?

If listeners agree with Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and the political views they hold, is there a danger to continue listening to their radio shows rather than listening to shows that might provide different perspectives?

My thesis is a simple one: Whether we wish to examine culture, religion, or politics, we find truth in the familiar. That which is "foreign" to us -- or that which we don't expose ourselves to on a regular basis -- likely won't seem to be as valuable, or to hold the same "truth."

We make our judgements based on what we know and observe, and rightly so, but the risk of equating truth with familiarity is great, and we often make judgements prematurely. We often insulate ourselves in the familiar without taking the journey outside our own bubbles to see what truths might be available to us on the outside, in the undiscovered territories of the unfamiliar.

What is your relationship with the unfamiliar? Do you try to claim it as inferior? Do you try to convert it to the familiar? Do you simply try to avoid it?

"What people believe prevails over the truth." -- Sophocles

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