Monday, February 20, 2012

Perceptions – things are not always as they seem.

Interpretation of a situation is always context-dependent (Wittgenstein). 

Wittgensteing reconsidered some well-known psychological puzzles. Have you ever seen the duck or the rabbit?

This phenomenon of seeing either a duck or a rabbit Ludwig Wittgenstein philosopher (1889 – 1951) defined as we see something 'as' a duck – or 'as' a rabbit. 

(insert picture)

Much of the New Testament's teaching about last things is explained in word pictures  – picture thinking. Words that specify and present future scenes. 

James McClendon in his book Doctrine Systematic Theology Volume 2 explains "the 'seeing-as' (seeing a line drawing as a rabbit, for example) is not identical with ordinary seeing (for example, seeing a drawing on an artist's pad), but it has some feature sin common with the other as well." To relate this to theology Wittgenstein (1953) explains that religious belief, such as life after death and the last judgment, are not objects of belief on the basis of ordinary sorts of evidence; and they are not the result of better or worse reasoning based on such ordinary evidence, either (McClendon, 1994). They are not unreasonable beliefs. What distinguishes those who believe in the last judgement from those who do not is not different chains of reasoning, but radically different pictures of how in general the world goes. As a Christian we would explain that this is a difference in someone's worldview or conviction. 

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