The Metaphysical Map and the Mile High Duck

Life, the Universe, and Everything

Life, the Universe, and Everything

There it is, my friends. The Metaphysical Map of life, the universe, and everything. If you’d like to purchase a t-shirt with this on it, let me know. I don’t have any to sell you, but it would give me something to tell the folks back home.
“No, seriously! Some guy wants to buy a shirt with this on it! Can you believe that?”

My past two essays were about the nature of God, who you can see is the beginning of the Metaphysical map. You need to start somewhere before you can follow the map to somewhere else right? We’ve started with God, and now we can follow the map to TRUTH! But first I think I need to define TRUTH:

Truth is word, thought, or picture accurately reflecting reality (in as far as the word, thought or picture intends to reflect it).

In order to teach you the ins and outs of this Metaphysical Universe, I present to you- THE METAPHYSICAL DUCK!

Behold the ducky in all his glory! I took this photo of the duck with a digital camera. You can look at this picture and determine that the duck is yellow- but is that the TRUTH? If you stop and think about it, you can only REALLY determine that the duck in the photo is yellow. YOU don’t have the real duck. I do. The Photo tells you that the duck is yellow, but you don’t actually know if the photo accurately reflects the real duck unless you have the real duck to compare to the photo.

To determine the TRUTHFULNESS of the photo, there needs to be a REAL duck with which to compare it. If this picture is only something I made in Photoshop, and there is no actual duck, then it is pointless to discuss whether the picture shows the TRUE color of the duck, just as it would be pointless to inquire as to the home address of about half of the registered voters in a Chicago election. Because they aren’t real.  I wish I was kidding about that.

Thus, if the ducky is the same color as the photo, then you can say the photo tells the TRUTH as far as the color of the duck is concerned. If not, then the picture presents an Illusion and you perceive something which is not TRUE. But there are limitations to the picture. For instance, can you tell how big the duck is? Is he one of those tiny keychain ducks or one of those huge duckies that can be used as furniture? There is no way to tell from this photo. For all you know it may be a GIGANTIC duck that doubles as a submarine and has a crew of a hundred men.

It’s not, but I wish it was because THAT would be totally sweet.

Does this mean the picture is inaccurate? False? An ILLUSION? No, because the picture is accurate as far as the picture intends to describe the duck. It is accurate in as far as it describes the duck, but no further. What it says about the color of the duck is true, but is simply doesn’t say anything about the size. It’s not inaccurate, false, or an ILLUSION. It’s only incomplete. Need another example? Go look in the mirror. What does the image tell you about the back of your head? Nothing. Does that mean it is lying to you? No, it means your skull is not transparent. If you CAN see the back of your head in the mirror, you might want to seek immediate medial attention. Or pick a keen Super Hero name. It depends on why you can see the back of your head I suppose. But I digress.

I can give you a measurement of how tall the ducky is, but unless there is a real ducky, my description cannot be TRUTH. If I say the ducky is five inches tall, but there is no ducky, I have not told you something accurate about something that exists. I have invented the data arbitrarily. I have LIED. I could just as easily say it is a mile tall, and would be no more or less accurate. It would be equal (Metaphysically, not numerically) to my description of 5 inches because neither is true of a real duck. Clearly if something fails to be accurate, it must be false. Unreal/imaginary is the same as untrue, as TRUE requires a thought, word, or picture to accurately reflect a real something.

See how this works?

I have the real duck here, so I can measure it, and when I do I discover that he is in fact four inches tall. So, while neither the imaginary measurements of five inches or a mile tall were TRUE (i.e. accurate when compared to the REAL ducky), the five inches was a LOT closer to the real thing. We would say it is MORE TRUE than the presumption that it is a mile high because, while still inaccurate, five inches is closer to the real truth (four inches) than the alternative (A mile)-or, we can say it is LESS INACCURATE, because the distance between it and the TRUTH is less than the distance between the TRUTH and the presumption of a mile high duck.

Personally, I think Mile High Duck would make a good name for a band.

You see it, but do you believe it?

The important things to remember here are this: If there is no duck, I cannot describe it with accuracy. This is to say, I cannot tell the TRUTH about the duck. If there is a duck, I can describe it either accurately (And tell the truth) or inaccurately (and present an illusion, falsehood, or lie- we call this Journalism). And if there is a duck and I put its picture on a t-shirt, maybe I can get someone to buy THAT.

It’s worth a try at any rate.

About rentafriend2000
Rocking my 40's with a heart full of love and muffins, science and technology. Jesus loves me and wants me to totally rock! And I am here to help.

2 Responses to The Metaphysical Map and the Mile High Duck

  1. Pingback: Theists, Agnostics, and Atheists, OH MY! | Rent-A-Friend 2000's Biblical Thinking and Good Times!

  2. Pingback: Theists, Agnostics, and Atheists, OH MY! | A Bit of Orange

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