The Demise of Truth
8 September 2017 | 9:54 am
It’s interesting to see how the word truth has changed and fascinating to see that no one noticed. We fling the word around when we want to place credibility to what we say. We state things like “that’s the truth” when we want someone to believe what we say even though we don’t know if it is true but we want it to be. Another phrase we use is “that’s my truth,” giving us an excuse in case we are questioned and are wrong. It’s a clever way for us to convey our message instead of what’s real.
There are similarities between Webster’s definition and the one we have today. Both state that truth is the “real state of things, exactness, and a verified or indisputable fact.” The definition lets us know that truth is constant; it doesn’t change by situation or opinion. Webster even says truth is an “exact accordance with that which is, or has been, or shall be.” Truth doesn’t change.
Another definition of truth then and now is “conformity to fact or reality.” We see that truth means what is, and we are to reconcile to it no matter what we think. Sometimes the truth will be different from what we believe or what we want it to be. Conforming means to emphasize that even though we may not like the truth, it is still the truth. If that is the case, we are to comply with what is real — no swaying, no wiggle room, no changing. We have to yield to what it actually is. We can’t change it. If we do, then it isn’t the truth. Changing the truth makes it a lie.
Yet in today’s definition we give ourselves a safety net. We’ve added another definition that is not in Webster’s dictionary. The added meaning of truth is, “an obvious or accepted fact.” The word to note here is accepted. Today we are able to set truth to what we can get away with. If others also believe something to be true, then it can be true. Adding acceptable gives us the ability to change what is real. We have taken away the fact that truth can’t change, that it is indisputable. Instead we say truth can be changed provided others will accept that it is true. Something that is not true is false. The new definition gives the Self-Serving the power to change the truth, taking truth away. Completely.
If truth can be changed from what is real we have nothing to stand on. It becomes a shooting target based on what some think or on what applies at that moment. It’s impossible to follow or even hit if it keeps changing on us. Truth is needed in our world today whether it’s at work, in schools, or at home. When we are grounded on something we have a place to start and to fall back to. Without a standard, we lose the ability to live and work together.
If truth is dead all that is left is power. No longer will we be able to treat everyone the same. Those with the power will have their way. And they will. If there is no truth, everything is up for grabs.
Imagine a world where the most powerful run it. Haven’t we already seen that scenario? Gaining power would be the goal and people will do whatever they can to get it. Lie, cheat, steal, threaten, even kill. They will get away with it since there is no source to reference. Those without power will be forced to surrender to the dominant Self-Serving or else they will be totally forgotten. Since there is nothing set, new practices will pop up every day. And these practices would be allowed since there are no regulations to show us different. It’s like the saying; we have to have sadness in order to appreciate happiness. Accordingly, we must have truth in order to have justice.
Truth is fact. It cannot be changed. The truth is what is, no matter what we believe, or what we would like, or even what we think happened. We can’t have our truth, or follow a body, like a government, that interprets or believes that truth can change. Truth is the exact way it is and will stay that way. To divert from the fact, the true state, is to steer from what really happened. Anything other than the truth is false, a lie.