Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Multiple truths

     According to Michel Foucault, “Truth has its existence within discourses and practices and understandings produced by them and through them. Truth, in human affairs, is historically and culturally situated in practical activities, not abstractly transcendental and existing outside these practices” (Foucault, 247). In other words, according to social constructionist ideas, truth varies from each community, shifts overtime depending on social norms, and is a byproduct of multiple relations. For, we can look at it as there not being any concrete “Truth”, but rather multiple truths that evolve and change overtime depending on how communities construct them.
     Take for example the Catholic Church and Pope Francis’s newly outward beliefs. For a long time, one of the accepted truths within the church was that homosexuality was to be condemned as a sin. Additionally, the idea of “hell” as a true and solid existence was widely believed by followers. However, as times have shifted and social norms have changed, the religion itself has also taken on new forms of truth. For instance, Pope Francis recently declared that the Catholic Church is accepting of homosexuality, as well as the fact that hell is a metaphor and not an actual place one goes after they die. In the CNN article, “Pope Francis: Church could support civil unions”, he states that “We have to look at different cases and evaluate them in their variety” (Burke, 1) when asked about new forms of marriage.

     This is just one strong example of how truths can not only change overtime within certain communities, but also how they are rationalized through the acceptance of the relationships surrounding the certain truth.

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