RE: Kline article in PSCF

Garry DeWeese (deweese@ucsu.Colorado.EDU)
Sun, 7 Apr 1996 15:25:27 -0600 (MDT)

On Sun, 7 Apr 1996, Keith B Miller wrote:

> I would argue that truth can be apprehended and communicated in a great
> variety of ways. An artist, poet, dancer, etc can communicate truth just
> as surely as a scientist - and can communicate some truths with much
> greater clarity. The truth I discover as a scientist is not more sure or
> higher than that grasped and communicated by the artist.
I think there is some confusion in this statement. If truth is
correspondence with reality (the oldest and still the best theory of
truth), then truth is a property of propositions. Not dances, not works
of art, but propositions. Now one can interpret works of art as
communicating propositions, but the further from statements expressed
verbally a work of art is, the harder such an interpretation will be to
validate. Thus poetry can be interpreted as communicating propositions;
painting can approximately be so interpreted given the historical
context, the prevailing artistic forms, etc, but with great difficulty; but
dance? We should not confuse the communication of emotions attached to a
proposition, or communication of an existential commitment to the truth
of a proposition, with truth itself.

>God is so beyond
> my grasp that to understand Him even in part would require all forms of
> human expression available.

No, to understand him in part all that is required is a true proposition
about his nature.

> Since the type of communication does not
> determine whether something is true or not, I am free to examine each
> scriptural passage with an openess to the type of literature that may be
> involved.

I would hold that the type of communication does determine whether truth
is communicated or not. "Shut the door!" is neither true not false, but
it still achieves the purpose of communication. Similarly, expressions of
emotion are neither true nor false per se. I think one reason why
science, especially physics and chemistry, are viewed as paradigm cases
of truth is because their findings can quite easily be expressed

Garry DeWeese