I’m not sure I know what truth is any more.
Truth: the property (as of a statement) of being in accord with fact or reality.
Fact: a piece of information presented as having objective reality.
Reality: the quality or state of being real.
Real: having objective independent existence.
Got all that? Know what it means now?
Nah, neither to do I.
Worse yet, fully 50% of all that is TRUE NOW, won’t be true in the future. Just think of that. fifty percent of what you believe to be true today will be proven to actually be false sooner or later.
We are awash in a political election cycle that is mired in falsity. Each side claims the other is fraudulently stating the “facts” about X, Y and Z. “Independent” think tanks of various persuasions either corroborate A’s version as portraying reality accurately or expose it as a lie. A growing number of fact-checkers can’t seem to agree and admit that their subjective beliefs interfere with their conclusions.
Truth becomes what is believable because it “sounds” good. A potential voter who has admittedly paid zero attention to the political scene and thus is tabula rasa, claims that she will probably vote for Romney because “he seemed to sound like he knew what he was talking about.”
Truth becomes what is recalled from months and months of repetition heard as one prepared the dinner, sorted the laundry, gathered the trash to put out for pick up. “They keep saying that Obama wants to tax me to pay for deadbeats.”
Truth becomes what we synthesize from our years of social interaction, what seems logical, what jives with our worldview, what agrees with that which would subjectively make our lives better. It is fed by our prejudices, known and hidden behind years of denial. Convenience is the mother of truth. It is more convenient to believe what I think will give me a leg up. It’s easier to disbelieve that which pokes me in my conscience, telling me that I have failed to take care of those less fortunate.
Truth is what absolves me of responsibility for all the things I don’t have time to be responsible for. I have enough trouble being responsible for paying the bills and feeding the dog. I don’t want to have to worry about your health care. That’s your problem.
See how easy it is?
Truth is damn relevant. It’s damn relevant to whatever I need it to be.
But I hold onto it. I caress it, and polish it, and put it up on a pedestal and claim for all the world to know that I support the TRUTH. And if you have a different one on your pedestal then, well by damn and damnation, yours is false and you know it is. You’re mendacious, I’m just a good citizen with patriotism oozing from my pores.
Now I’m not really being relative. Truth is objective to a big extent, and if EVERYONE PAID ATTENTION TO THE SAME DEGREE, AND LISTENED WITH AN OPEN MIND, MOST OF US WOULD AGREE ON WHAT WAS TRUTH. Most of us. But most of us aren’t paying attention.
It is scary as all heck that Willard M. Romney, lied through his teeth (objectively speaking) and won a debate because he “sounded” good. Worse, a bunch of these “sound” good people will probably decide this election, and it depends on what that last impression is before they wander to the polling booth. Right or wrong, it doesn’t matter. It will just be the last “sounding good” thing they remember.
And I know what Churchill meant when he said that Democracy was the worst form of government except for all the rest. And I know what Plato meant when he said that One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”
And it makes me feel depressed.
By the by, William Saletan has a very complete and comprehensive article on the
devolution evolution of Willard’s stance on abortion and women’s health issues. Every woman should be fully aware of exactly what they can expect from him. He sure won’t tell you the truth. You have to figure it out.
And by the by, I ran into a great little site with some fun and enjoyable poetry that you might take a look at. It’s called:Poems and Ponderings.
Have a good one, and keep your head down.
- Cognitive researchers find truth in Colbert’s ‘truthiness’ (rawstory.com)
- Sophia A. McClennen: Truthiness Is Not a Joke: Lying and Loving It at the NRC (huffingtonpost.com)
What is truth? Who said that? Oh yeah…Pontius Pilate, a fine Roman politician in his day.