An argument with Matthew Wells this morning culminated in his exclamation that,
‘You are not always right, you can’t always fall back on your philosophy.’
The humorous quality of this statement of a failing man was that, in my eyes, he was completely wrong. In that moment I discovered, truth and rightness only exist within the individual. His stating that I am not always right made me realise that I am always right. Perhaps not when my argument is considered by other individuals but in my own personal sphere, in which only I exist, I am always right. Differing opinions are what constitutes as right or wrong, true or false, etc. The polar nature of truth and perception and the circumstantial, natured and nurtured realities we all individually live in depict only to ourselves what our truth is, therefore, no one truth is the same.
Matthews example was that the universal truth was that he stood up, walked to the window and looked out of the window. He did this action and stated that it was truth, he committed this action and I could not deny that. My response was that yes, I cannot deny that he stood up, walked to the window and looked out of said window but that in itself wasn’t the action. The action was ‘proving a point’ and the walking to the window and looking out of it was merely a symptom of the action. My perception of what his action was determined the ‘truth’ of the moment.
The difference between action and symptom can be determined through intention. If Matthew had merely walked to the window to just walk to the window, then that action would be clear. However, our circumstantial and accumulative experiences can determine the individual perception of what intention is, making it impossible for someone to ‘believe’ in a universal truth of action. No one person can interpret an action in such an all-encompassing ‘truth’ our individual experiences prevent that.
The trivial nature of walking to the window perhaps undermines the gravity of this thought. The opposite would be to take the more extreme example of Heidegger activities during Nazi rule in Germany. As a Scottish 25-year-old living in 2012, I perceive Heidegger’s actions during Nazi rule as disgusting, unwarranted and shocking. Heidegger was the individual who committed the actions and we expect, since he was considered by many to be a brilliant mind, he should have been fully aware of his actions. Now, since I cannot in any way ‘know’ or perceive his actions ‘truthfully,’ how can I be sure his actions were not for greater purpose. Maybe there was a level of understanding that he and only he understood. I am in no way condoning his actions but acknowledging that I cannot determine what was ‘right’ or ‘moral’ when I do not exist within his personal sphere of truth.
Murder and killing are considered ‘immoral’ actions. I understand that it is immoral to commit actions upon people you would not wish upon yourself. However, when you are raised in a nurtured environment where murder and death are considered necessary then your own personal morality will be different to one whose morality was nurtured elsewhere, physically and emotionally. According to Kant’s moral imperative, all stealing is wrong. To take from an individuals means is wrong and should not be committed. However, this cannot be universally true. For a man to not take action against the starvation of his children is immoral. To steal bread for one’s family when there is no other means is a ‘moral’ action as it is right in that individual sphere of morality. However, to the victim of the ‘crime’ it is immoral. Perceived morality. The problem which all society sits on. But that is another thread for another time.
So to push my point home, reality exists in each of our own personal spheres which are created through personal experience of nutriment, natural disposition and circumstantial placement, physically, emotionally and spiritually.