Berthoff – Sarcasm?

Strong statements lead us to choose one or the other as in “There are those who divide people into two groups and those who do not.”  Berthoff states: “It is not because they are two-valued that dichotomies are dangerous; it is because the categories they establish can so easily be confused with reality”(16).

Reading the first sentence immediately reminded me of this movie scene.

What is interesting about the second half of the quote is how it recognizes how easily dichotomies can be misconstrued as reality.  The question I have about that is based on Barry Brummett’s essay entitled “Some Implications of “Process” or “Intersubjectivity”: Postmodern Rhetoric“: do dichotomies become reality if enough people believe in it?

Brummett would say yes due to his humorous analogy of a person who is seeing a pink elephant in a room.  If that person is the only one who sees it, they are most likely insane.  But if more people see the elephant, then it lends credence to the idea that they are not all insane.

However, this implies that reality is socially constructed.
Is there, then, no reality?
I think there is a reality that is beyond just popular opinion.
But is there no True reality is what I mean?
Good question…I don’t know.  I think reality is what we make it, but maybe there is a True reality lying under everything hiding.  I don’t really want to get into a philosophically theological discussion with myself right now, so I’m just going to move on.


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