Communication as General Revelation: The Anti-Evolutionary and Pro-Trinitarian Implications of Communication Phenomena -- By: Ben M. Carter
Journal: Global Journal of Classical Theology
Volume: GJCT 01:1 (Sep 1998)
Article: Communication as General Revelation: The Anti-Evolutionary and Pro-Trinitarian Implications of Communication Phenomena
Author: Ben M. Carter
Communication as General Revelation:
The Anti-Evolutionary and Pro-Trinitarian Implications
of Communication Phenomena
In this brief paper we will be dealing with several very complex themes. The complexity of the themes and the brevity of the paper means that of necessity our treatment of these diverse issues will be cursory. My point is not to exhaust any of the subjects but to present an outline of some of my own thoughts and to elicit feedback from you all. I hope we will have an opportunity for plenty of give and take at the end of this paper.
Communicate, communism, and community all share the same Latin root: communis meaning common. Communication involves a sharing where something peculiar is imparted and made common. This exchange requires a generalized connectedness that may be expressed in any number of ways. Inanimate objects like rooms can communicate with one another. Disease can be communicated between organisms, as can information. But in whatever form communication occurs, it is predicated on having something in common.
Like communication, the word “information” is also of Latin origin and suggests the internalization of a pattern in the Platonic sense. Hence, the communication of information between two organisms involves something abstract.1 Signals and signs inform, although an obvious connection between the signal and the information it conveys is by no means necessary. For example, the way a dog holds its tail tells other dogs and me something about that dog’s emotional and mental state. This ability to transmit information about emotional and mental states implies some level of community between dog and dog and between human and dog. For communication to occur between humans and dogs, we must be able to imagine to some degree what it is like to be a dog, and we may suppose that a dog in some way intuits what it is like to be a human. This ability to intuit secures the appropriateness of response and is based on empathy.
It is important to distinguish here between effect and response. While cause and effect may appear to be the same as stimulus and response, they are fundamentally different. An effect is invariable. A response is not. A response implies not effect but affect, a feeling or emotional state, or an imaginative construct upon which one acts. Response expresses inwardness, a disposition, an idea, or most generally a combination of these factors. When effective communication occurs at the information level, the signal of one being is accurately interpreted by another being and appropriately acted upon. Effective communication requires highly integrated patterns of stimulus and response.
The question addressed in this paper i...
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