The Elephant in the Dark

Well, that was fun. Appeared on The Big Questions this morning, attempting to say a couple of things. One is that if God does exist then it stands to reason that She/He must be a reality (whether acknowledged or not) for people of every creed from Atheists to Zoroastrians. Hence what is known as The Matter of The Blind Men and the Elephant, a very old story from the Indus Valley, nicely represented here in a visual version of a piece of writing by Rumi, The Elephant in the Dark. The elephant is real. The things they say about the elephant are true. They are not however the sum of the elephant, no matter how fierce the arguments. (Science reasonably collects all the available data about the elephant as well as the people and the space around the animal, the floor, the quality of the air and so on, all of which is enormously valuable in better understanding what is happening, but that is not the sum of the situation either.) I’m not saying God is an elephant, by the way. This is a story that contains the truth, it’s not the whole truth. If there is one. I don’t know, I’m just trying to figure my way. 

Published by Cole Moreton

Award-winning interviewer, writer and broadcaster.

2 thoughts on “The Elephant in the Dark

  1. There are grave problems with the principles that many derive from the story of the elephant and the blind men. It is used to accuse people who do know the truth of not knowing. Who are we to say that somebody out there cannot have proof that there is no God? Most atheists could be atheists for the wrong reasons but what if not all are the same?

  2. Dear Mr Moreton,

    I’m not actually responding to this post, but the link with your e-mail address seems not to be working. I have just finished listening to your Radio 4 documentary ‘The Boy Who Gave His Heart Away’. Thank you so much; it was both informative and incredibly moving. I carry a donor card, and I hope it contributes to encouraging more people to do so. I can’t imagine a greater privilege than giving someone else the gift of sight, or health or life at the moment of my death – and more prosaically, what the heck use are those organs going to be to me?? I’m a Christian, and it’s the right thing to do. If God doesn’t resurrect people with bits missing whole, then his heaven isn’t one I want to be in anyway. Thank you again.

    Best regards,

    Rosemary Hill

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