The Elephant Story

Anything on your mind that isn't about RLS/WED? It's nice to realize that there is life beyond this disease and have an opportunity to get to know our online family in a different context.
Sojourner
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Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 5:56 am
Location: USA

The Elephant Story

Postby Sojourner » Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:25 am

There is a popular analogy, primarily used in religious philosophy/debate but which can and has been extrapolated to other arenas. I quote with some editing:

"The analogy is this: there are four blind men who discover an elephant. Since the men have never encountered an elephant, they grope about, seeking to understand and describe this new phenomenon. One grasps the trunk and concludes it is a snake. Another explores one of the elephant's legs and describes it as a tree. A third finds the elephant's tail and announces that it is a rope. And the fourth blind man, after discovering the elephant's side, concludes that it is, after all, a wall.

Each in his blindness is describing the same thing: an elephant. Yet each describes the same thing in a radically different way. Thus one should conclude that no individual has a corner on truth, but that all should be viewed as essentially equally valid. This is a powerful and provocative image, and it certainly seems to capture something of the truth."

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