Christof: Truman, you can speak. I can hear you.
Truman: Who are you?
Christof: I am the creator of a television show that gives hope, joy, and inspiration to millions.
Truman: Then who am I?
Christof: You're the star.
Truman: Was nothing real?
Christof: You were real. That’s what made you so good to watch. Listen to me Truman. There is no more truth out there than there is in the world I created for you. Same lies. Same deceit. But in my world, you have nothing to fear.

Is Christof on target when he says that there is no more truth in the real world than there is in Seahaven? What school of thought would Christof fall into with this statement?

  • 2
    What do you think? How far have you got?
    – Lucas
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 19:09
  • @Lucas- I've partly answered on the first question. I wrote that I disagree, that people in the truman show pretend to be someone else and that that's why it would be weird if truman would decide to stay in Seahaven ... But I haven't found the answer on the second question, which is written in bold. I actually have no idea what could the right answer be, all I can think of is Plato's allegory of cave, but that's not the right answer (?) Commented May 2, 2014 at 19:41
  • 1
    I'm not sure either. It's not a specific enough statement to obviously belong to a school. I'm guessing, given the questions you asked before, that the expected answer is social constructivism, but it could also be an expression of some kind of idealism or even solipsism at a stretch. Generally, any kind of skepticism about the value, truth, or existence of an objective reality.
    – Lucas
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 20:39

3 Answers 3


Christof was on target when he said that there is no more truth in the real world than there is in Seahaven, - if and only if you believe that truth is relative and subjective. In that case, had they surrounded Truman with Muppets all his life and made him believe that the entire planet was populated by Muppets except for Truman because Truman was an alien wizard; then that would be the truth too. I can't accept that.

On the other hand, if you believe otherwise, then Christof was wrong and was just desperately trying to keep his show in business and his star/slave from quitting. It is worth noting that his argument for there being no more truth outside than inside was: "Same lies. Same deceit. But in my world, you have nothing to fear." That seems dubious and weak, so even if the statement had been true (and Christof really believed it), you could argue that Christof was not right since his belief was not justified (a.k.a. he believed it for the wrong reasons).

Completely unrelated to Christof, however, there would still be people who believe that that the truth inside is true inside and the truth outside is true outside; and that both are valid truths. I can't believe that the Muppets could be a truth, and by extension I can't believe that there can be multiple truths. Similarly, I can only think of two famous proponents of this, like Gandhi:

"It is not given to man to know the whole Truth. His duty lies in living up to the truth as he sees it, and in doing so, to resort to the purest means, i.e., to non-violence.

God alone knows absolute truth. Therefore, I have often said, Truth is God. It follows that man, a finite being, cannot know absolute truth.

Nobody in this world possesses absolute truth. This is God's attribute alone. Relative truth is all we know. Therefore, we can only follow the truth as we see it. Such pursuit of truth cannot lead anyone astray."

and Protagoras:

"What is true for you is true for you, and what is true for me is true for me."

Though I can't help thinking that they would hesitate to defend the Muppets argument.

  • Well, given that The Truman Show is a movie, and the world Christof was speaking about was the world of that movie, ultimately he was right, wasn't he?
    – celtschk
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 14:17
  • @Java Riser: Do you think that Aristotle (who didn't agree with Plato's allegory of cave) would agree with Christopher? Commented May 8, 2014 at 18:05

Christof expresses an ultimately nihilistic position, even so his answer starts with a denial of nihilism: "You were real. That’s what made you so good to watch." Some forms of nihilism such as existential nihilism can be associated with certain school of thought, but Christof's position doesn't belong to one of these forms. I'd rather think that when nihilistic philosophers discuss similar positions, they try to explain what is problematic about them.

Nihilistic positions can arise from a critique of prevalent unfounded positions, like Matthew 7:

Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.

The unfounded position in Matthew 7 is not the emphasized part (which is often cited), but the context (which is often omitted). Life is more complicated than suggested by the claim "A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit."

Notice how Christof's answer starts by highlighting the positive fruits of the world he has created.


Coming from an MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) angle. Christof used TI or ungrounded logic to compare Truemans situation to a non fake world situation by using the angle of there are lies and deceit inside (staged) and there are lies and deceit outside.

A lie is like a staged truth or show. So life is a show anyway according to that logic.

If you use grounded logic or TE. Then you cannot compare life in an artificially controlled environment to life just by the fact that one is artificially controlled and the other is not.

Christof points this out by saying the difference is having nothing to fear. Which is a pretty important difference. Since fear is a pretty strong motivator.


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