Monday, September 12, 2005

Point & CounterPoint: Truth

Here is my response to new Point & CounterPoint: "Is It Possible To Always Tell The Truth?"

Some clarification…TRUTH is not the same as OPINION. When I ask “What is the Temperature?” There is an exact answer…granted some thermometers may be off but we probably have an OFFICIAL measure somewhere like the Atomic Clock. Now, one may believe they are telling the truth though they may not be. They may be ignorant of their own error. I may state my thermometer says 75 degrees. Here I would be stating what my thermometer reads but hopefully I realize it may not be the true temperature…just hopefully a fairly good approximate! (All one has to do is look at a few banks even within the same block! Ha! Now someone will be suing the banks for lying! Ha!) I may not be intentionally lying. I may believe my thermometer is accurate but it may be wrong & it is 70 degrees so it would not be the truth…thus I have not told the truth but did I lie? I would say "no" since it is not intentional or deliberate to deceive someone.

Now when I ask "Do I look good in this hat" I know this is ONE PERSON's opinion & not necessarily truth. Now, it could be truth, but it may be the only person who would have responded that way, whether it was a good or bad response! This is where there may not EVEN BE a TRUTH! In the absence of TRUTH it would be in the eye of the beholder (opinion) and one could not even say “majority” determines truth since that changes. Art work, movies, fashion, ideal weight for women etc, have all changed over time and thus what was “good looking” at one time may no longer be to some! Ask Mr. Blackwell! Ha!

I wonder if the trouble with people understanding what truth actually is, is reflective of how society has changed. Perhaps they have lost what Truth vs Opinion is? My truth is "the truth." Very interesting! Unfortunately, many people do not see it as "this is what I would do if they were my kids" (not to mention that you may not have been asked for your OPINION) but they see it as TRUTH. Thus the arguments start! This would not be a TRUTH or not necessarily or most often. I don't think most people research everything they feel about say childcare etc and TRUTH is more law or fact and much of life is not this. You can say, "Current suggestions by..." again if asked also! :-)

Now if one is saying would you lie or not about your opinion, say on someone's new hair color, whether you will respect them in the morning as Paul asks etc, then that is something which can be addressed on why one would or would not. Paul's interesting
metaphor of why you might lie is basically - Kissing A., Brown Nosing, Buttering Up, Stroking...ETC! Yep, SOME people do it to get what they want! The question is - is this ok? Always ok? How far? How much can lying like this cause problems, especially in relationships? Do you give someone flowers because you really want to or because you think you have to & it is expected, or to get what you want? Do you lie that you agree on some political position to agree with the person you are dating, to get the relationship to go further? Then we wonder why so many are breaking up, cheating, divorcing ETC! How about that not a lie! When we do not say we are not happy or that we are hurt when asked is that not lying. Do you need to be asked? When we don't say "I'm Sorry" when we are…Hmmm! Having tact is important but it does not mean you have to lie.


Now as to knowing your authentic self, this is important in whether you will lie or not, or if you will give your opinion, if you are afraid what others will think or that you will not get what you want. What is the TRUTH of what eggs you like? There is a right answer to this and it requires you to actually know! I love Runaway Bride with Julia Roberts for this. If you respond scrambled it may not be TRUTH. She lied because she did not know at all and intentionally agreed with the boyfriend’s choice so he would like her. I will grant you some people may not really realize they are doing this until it is really pointed out to them.


....and this ladies & gentlemen is my OPINION! Ha! :-)

And yes, it was asked via Point & CounterPoint, so add yours as well!


jtuwliens said...

Excellent!  It's always good to get other's perspectives.

jouell3935 said...


plittle said...

I think it is important to distinguish between the concept of 'truth' and 'fact.' To use your example, when someone asks the temperature, there is an exact, factual answer. This is not the same as truth, as the concept is understood in our society. Truth is an abstract concept, and in any society is simply the product of general consensus.

psychfun said...

My Response:

Oh my goodness....

So therefore using your example, if in the past the general consensus was that African American's were inferior & unintelligent that would be the TRUTH?