The Three C’s

Our destiny is to live out what we think, because unless we live what we know, we do not even know it. – Thomas Merton

I have already spoken of how important our thoughts are, and that we should choose our voluntary thoughts carefully. But Thomas Merton brings up another aspect.

What does he mean by saying that “unless we live what we know, we do not even know it”? In order to explain my interpretation, I must explain the three C’s.

There are three criteria we can use to determine if a claim is true. They are the three C’s: correspondence, coherence, and consequences. Correspondence refers to the evidence that a claim matches reality. Coherence refers to the quality of the claim being logical and consistent with other reliable claims. And consequences refer to the result or effect of putting the claim into action.

Thomas Merton is, in my view, talking about the third C, which is consequences. So “unless we live what we know, we do not even know it.” That is, we only really understand a claim is true if we put it into action and see the results.


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Jay Forrest

Jay N. Forrest is a philosopher and IT professional. He is an ordained Humanist minister, a Certified Meditation Teacher, and a decade-long Linux user.