Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris on the epistemological equivalent of “There are no atheists in foxholes”:
It has become fashionable nowadays to speak of the subjectivity or the relativity of truth. I find such talk ridiculous at best. Lets go back to Randall Dale Adams. He found himself within days of being executed in Old Sparky, the electric chair in Walls Unit, Huntsville Texas.
There is nothing post-modern about the electric chair. It takes a living human being and turns him into a piece of meat. Imagine you you the young journalists of tomorrow being strapped into an electric chair for a crime you didnt commit. Would you take comfort from a witness telling you that it really doesnt make any difference whether you are guilty or innocent? That there is no truth? I think youre guilty; you think youre innocent. Cant we work it all out?
Well, the answer is: No. We cant. There are facts. There is a world in which things happen and the journalists job is to figure out what those things are. Anything less, is giving up on the most important task around separating truth from illusion, truth from fantasy, truth from wishful thinking.
(Via: Kottke )