Logic Battle - East vs. West
There are two major systems of logical grouping: Synthesis and Differentiation - the coming together and the separating of (respectfully). There are many perspectives and many subjectives that apply and change the application of these groupings. I will attempt to explain.
Western Culture is said to be an “Either-Or” based culture. A culture of differentiation. In other words, either you are a Christian and are saved, or you are not. Either-or statements determine that two objectives are mutually exclusive. Mutually exclusive means that object A and object B do not intermix. If it is A then it cannot be B and if it is B then it cannot be A. Either-Or statements are also all-inclusive. This means that you must be Either A or B, there is no option C. You are either male or female. That is a differentiated statement. The statement determines that you cannot be neutral on the subject matter (you cannot be neither male nor female) and you cannot be impartial (you cannot be both male and female). In the face of transgender situations, the argument would run that the person will have to make a choice of what gender he/she is. We have no other vocabulary for it. We do not refer to that person as an “it”, we presuppose that person will make an ultimate decision.
Eastern Culture on the other hand (whose religion is generally of a Cosmic Humanistic nature) is said to be a “Both-And” culture (synthesis). There are many ways to the top of the mountain (many ways to the truth - many ways to heaven). Both Christians and non-Christians are correct. It is a synthesis of logic. An object is both hot and cold at the same time. Can this truly be? It seems like it contradicts logic? Many times it can look like a contradiction. But have you ever touched dry ice? It is so cold that it burns your skin when you touch it. Or think about a virus. Someone can have a cold and be shivering from the cold, and yet be burning up from a high fever. Seeming contradictions may seem like such because of the complexity of life. We call them paradoxes most of the time. Paradoxes are seeming contradictions that are a true part of reality. The seed of a plant dies before it sprouts to become a living plant. That is a paradox. Paradoxes can be solved, by further understanding we can understand why it can be both/and. For instance doctors may not see the cold/fever as a paradox but we must not mistake understanding of why for understanding of how. There is a distinction.
Eastern and Western cultures have fought against each others viewpoints upon this crux of synthesis vs. differentiation. In particularly in the realm of truth. The west says that truth is absolute(either I am right and you are wrong or you are right and I am wrong), while the east says it is relative (You and I are both right). In a conversation with a eastern guru, Ravi Zacharias (originally from the east), in response to the argument that things are both-and, not either-or, stated “what you are saying is that it is either ‘both-and’, or ‘either-or’” (paraphrased). I think that Ravi Zacharias was correct, in fact I believe that reality is both “either-or” and “both-and”. It is synthesis and differentiation. The trick is knowing where to use which. It is both synthesis and differentiation but you must use either synthesis or differentiation in each individual circumstance. You cannot use both systems in the same instance.
And that is where the real problem lies. Is truth a synthesis or a differentiation? More than one truth can be true, but can a falsity also be true?
True and False are opposites. Now something that is false can become true when the circumstances surrounding it are changed, but if everything underlying it remains the same, something that is false remains false and the truth is diametrically opposite to it by definition. So by essence of the definitions, true and false are either-or statements. As I said before, either-or statement cannot be both-and in the same instance. It can be either a and b or c and d, but that is not both a synthesis and a differentiation at the same instance. In the same instance would look more like Both either a or and b. I do not know what you think, but that statement does not make sense to me. Therefore if you accept my definition of ethics (that true and false are differentiations) and my premise that synthesis and differentiation cannot be used in the same instance, then it must be concluded that truth cannot be subjective but must be differential.
Logic works in both synthesis and differentiation, but in matters of truth, it must be conceded that there is one and only one truth and either we know it, or we don’t.