Friday, January 8, 2010

What is truth and how do we know it?

A story in the news today is the ramming of a ship in Antarctic waters. One ship is Japanese. One ship (actually a small Stealth bomber shaped boat) is NZ registered. The former is a ("scientific") whaler. The latter is an anti-whaling protester. But which ship rammed which? According to this report, the whaler rammed the protester. And the photo to illustrate the article certainly looks like that is the case.

But here is a video of what happened (sourced from Roarprawn):

As Kiwiblog notes, watch the wake of the protest boat moments before the ramming occurs.

Who rammed whom? What is the truth and how do we know it? In part the answer to the latter question rests with the concept of evidence. But what is the best evidence here? The photo or the video?

For what it is worth, I suggest the video is the better evidence. Note that the validity of this evidence is independent of 'perspective' - that it was shot from the whaler is neither here nor there in respect of the visual of the protester's engines starting up.

Mutatis mutandam - such questions, and the concept of 'evidence' are important for how we study the Bible.

Naturally readers of this blog will put all this together and think of ... Jonah and the whale. A most interesting tale on which we can spend time debating concepts of truth, fiction, fact and fable!

No comments:

Post a Comment