Friday, 27 August 2010

Human experience

Regarding human experience, without contrast effective communication is much harder. It is simple to explain this rather bold statement. Imagine telling someone the difference between red and green, knowing they were born completely blind. You will have no basis to start your description, you will not be able to say it is like anything that person has ever experienced, no comparison. Without the experience of seeing colours, you could not describe that red car or that green bus. In contrast, you would be able to explain the idea of the pain felt if pricked by a needle, all one has to do is relate that experience with other painful episodes. Those who have not experienced a socially nude environment have no basis for comparison, no experience with which to contrast their always dressed life.
If they do try it then find it is not to their liking, that is fine, but at least they then know and do not assume. Claiming you know something without evidence to support it results in some daft beliefs. "The earth must be flat or we would fall off". Experience and evidence are what is needed to arrive at a sensible world.

In Letters from the Earth, Mark Twain wrote "Adam and Eve entered the world naked and unashamed - naked and pure-minded. And no descendant of theirs has ever entered it otherwise. All have entered it naked, unashamed, and clean in mind. They entered it modest. They had to acquire immodesty in the soiled mind, there was no other way to get it. ... The convention mis-called "modesty" has no standard, and cannot have one, because it is opposed to nature and reason and is therefore an artificiality and subject to anyone's whim - anyone's diseased caprice."