Sean’s Shirt IS Red!

Greetings my Ham Sandwhiches! It’s your Rent A Friend here, and my inspiration for today’s lesson on all things awesome is Sean Slaughter from the What in the Ham Sandwich? Show.

Check them out on i-tunes. Be a Hamster.

I recently listened to Ham Sandwich Show Podcasts “Oprah’s Church” from 12/11/08, and “Debate with an Atheist” from 6/12/07. In both, Sean attempts to make a point about the universal nature of TRUTH by first appealing to what color his shirt is. I think I can help streamline his argument. It goes like this:

The Scene- Sean is wearing a red shirt and talking to his wife, True-Asia, and their friend Cook, AKA Cook Dawg, AKA the Drumma Beast Boy, AKA Saint Nick, AKA Captain Platypus of Space Patrol (Some of these nicknames might not be accurate).

Sean: My shirt is RED.

True-Asia: No, your shirt is black.

Cook: You both be trippin! You shirt be green!

Sean: I think you mean to say, “You both are trippin. Your shirt is green.”

Cook: Yes, of course. Excuse me. Your shirt is green.

True-Asia: Spoken like a true gentleman.


FACT: They each perceive the shirt differently.

FACT: They DO each perceive the shirt.

FACT: Perception requires something to perceive. If the shirt was not REAL, they would not all perceive it at all.

THEREFORE: The shirt is REAL. The three independent perceptions prove it does exist, even though they disagree with some details. It is not an illusion or a hallucination, or what politicians refer to as “A Press Release,” or “The Polls” or “Statistics.” But I digress.


FACT: The shirt actually exists. It is REAL.

FACT: A real object will reflect a certain wavelength of light, while absorbing the others. (In other words, it will be a certain color. See your box of Crayons for details.)

FACT: One color is not another color. (Red is not black, green is not yellow, etc. See the labels on your crayons for further details.)

THEREFORE: If the shirt is RED, it is not black or green. If it is green, it is not black or red, etc. Again, Crayola has given you all the information on this that you will ever need, in convenient boxes of 64 (With a sharpener in the back!!!). Sean, True, and Cook CANNOT all be correct. At least two of them MUST be wrong.


FACT: If the shirt is RED, it is not black or green. (Only in a discussion of philosophy would this have to be stated.)

FACT: Color is determined by the wavelength of light, not by perception. (A Yellow taxi remains yellow even when no one sees it, or when it is seen by a color blind person who cannot see the color yellow. His limited perception would not change the wavelength of the light coming from the Taxi)

FACT: Sean’s shirt is reflecting a light wavelength range of roughly 630–740 Nanometers, which is (and what most human eyes perceive as) the color red RED. (Yes, I looked this up on Wikipedia. Don’t you judge me!)

THEREFORE: Sean’s perception is correct, and his assertion (“My shirt is red”) is TRUE. Cook and True’s perceptions and/or assertions are FALSE. (Either they see it incorrectly and are honest about what they see, or they see it correctly but are lying.)


FACT: Light is necessary for us to see, but we do not need to see light for it to exist. In other words- Our perception allows us to be aware of light, it does not MAKE the light. The light exists OUTSIDE of our perception.

FACT: The light reflected by Sean’s shirt would remain the same even if no one saw it, or if no one saw it correctly. (A room full of color blind people might all agree that Sean’s shirt is black, but they would all be wrong- it still reflects a light wavelength range of roughly 630–740 Nanometers, AKA RED. The reality has not changed, but their perceptions cannot accurately see what is REAL)

THEREFORE: Reality (Of which light is one part) exists outside of and independent of our perceptions, knowledge and beliefs.


FACT: Reality is independent of our perceptions, knowledge, and beliefs.

FACT: Truth is word or thought accurately reflecting reality (describing what is REAL).

THEREFORE: TRUTH exists independently of our perceptions, knowledge or beliefs.


Because Sean’s shirt is REAL, then there are TRUE facts about it (Like what color it is) and FALSE statements concerning it (Like saying it is green when it is in fact RED). Because there is ONE reality (of which the shirt and all of us are a part) then the TRUTH about the shirt is TRUE for all of us, even if we do not perceive, know, or believe that truth. It is TRUE that Sean’s shirt is red, even if we do not see, know, or believe that it is, because the TRUTH is not determined by our perception, knowledge or belief, but by the real shirt (i.e. Reality).


God made all that is. There is one REALITY. We perceive it accurately, and thus perceive TRUTH, or we perceive it wrong and perceive an illusion. We can know, think, or say something which accurately describes that reality, which would be TRUTH, or we can believe, think, or say something which does NOT accurately describe reality, which would be a lie. Anything TRUE is true for ALL PEOPLE because the truth does not depend on us, it depends on REALITY.  Any truth is universal. If it is not universal, it is not TRUE. And as God is the creator of all reality, this is why it can be said that All Truth is God’s Truth.

Oh, and everything that can be said, Metaphysically, about Sean’s shirt, can be said about rubber ducks. In case you wanted to connect this with my previous blogs.

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