Tell Me The Truth

This prompt asks these provocative questions.

  1. What is truth?
  2. Is truth absolute or is it nuanced?
  3. Does our personal experience impact our idea of what is true?
  4. Why does it seem everyone’s version of the truth is somewhat different?
  5. Do you always tell the truth?
  6. Who do you trust to tell you the truth?

    Here are my answers:

    1. Truth is something we know or have come to know that cannot be reduced or modified. It’s like the least common denominator in math. Something basic like the elements that make up the universe. Truth can be questioned but neither yields to criticism nor is it pliable. It often is simply too elusive to find. That’s why we are more often pursuing it rather than finding it.

    2. Truth wouldn’t be truth unless it is regarded as absolute. Quasi-truth or half-truth are oxymorons. They aren’t meant to be literally taken seriously but convey a message we use as a figure of speech.

    3. Truth never changes but how people understand it can vary according to their frames of reference. A cherry pie is a cherry pie no matter if you like the taste or even whether you cannot see it. The cherry pie is constant (the truth) and opinion and viewpoints cannot change it although some people often think they do. The “truth is” they’re wrong.

    4. Any ‘version’ of truth is considered an opinion. The common new phrase of “My truth” is also an oxymoron. No one ‘owns’ Truth. They ether recognize it or not. ‘My truth’ is a narcissistic term that suggests someone’s ‘opinion’ or ‘experiences’ can be imposed on others as “a truth” and is thusly above question or criticism.

    5. No. I’m sometimes not even sure if I know the “truth”. I believe that we all discern who gets the “truth” and how much of it we are willing to offer him or her because most people “can’t handle the truth”. Opinions and instincts are sufficient guides anyway as long as we never convince ourselves that they are “truths”.

    6. I don’t even trust my dog to be truthful once he learns how easily people can be manipulated. My answer is no one. A whole cloth of Truth (every twist and turn) simply takes too long to convey and isn’t really necessary in most cases. The result or bottom-line is all we really need, and the details are just clues used to validate it.
    Yet, I do trust some people’s ‘half-truths’ more than others. 😉

9 thoughts on “Tell Me The Truth

  1. I enjoyed reading your post, you have clearly put a lot of thought into this. It’s early morning here in England so my brain may be still asleep as I write this. Your post reminded me of something I read a while back tracing the history of science. (I was originally educated as a scientist) Science reached a point in the 1700s where empiricism became the norm for science as opposed to mere “philosophical argument”. Evidence and data became essential to determine truth. I lived by that for many years but always understood that what one person perceived might not be the same for someone else. Then I became a Buddhist 25 years ago and now see a quite different reality, that there are different truths, especially about existence and day to day perceptions. To some, there is no cherry pie, and if you want a rather sad but funny book on this I recommend The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat by Oliver Sachs. Anyway sorry if this has been a bit rambling, I’ll shut up. 🙏🙏🕉

    1. No need to be sorry. I thoroughly enjoyed your comment!
      Thank-you for the book recommendation. I’m going to look it up.
      Philosophical thought is my favorite curiosity of many. (I’m currently a believer in the value of science but in no way consider it Truth. To me, the philosophical realm holds the ‘key’. ) Plato’s realization that he “knows he knows nothing” gets larger as my questions compound. My immediate question to the part of your comment which states, “To some, there is no cherry pie…” is, Does/can human perception of ‘what is true’ have anything to do with Truth?
      If I believe there’s no kitchen chair and cannot see the kitchen chair in the dark, I shouldn’t be able to stub my toe on it. But I have. To me, there must be object “truth” even if my subjective frame of mind cannot recognize it.
      The limitations of human perceptions are many. We all know our eyes are unreliable and our brains take in information in ‘small bites’ as we are physically unable to focus on more than a few ‘clues’ at a time.
      I am thrilled by your comment and look forward to ‘picking your brain’ for more input in my own search for clarity. You’ve made my day. Thank-you! 😀

  2. Thank you Susan 🙏. I wrote my comment as an immediate response as I enjoyed your post so much. I am no philosopher but I re-educated and spent the second half of my life as a psychologist. So, young scientist becomes middle aged psychologist becomes old man reflective philosopher! Your comment “My immediate question to the part of your comment which states, “To some, there is no cherry pie…” is, Does/can human perception of ‘what is true’ have anything to do with Truth?” My answer is yes, it has everything to do with Truth because there is no such thing as universal truth. There cannot be, wine tasting which involves sensory perception, cognitive memory, emotion points in this direction. Try I Drink Therefore I Am by the late great English philosopher Roger Scruton. But, I’m here to be convinced……. or confused 🤣🤣🤣

    1. Might we be convoluting two concepts?
      “What is ‘true'” and “Truth”?
      What is ‘true’ to each of us can obviously vary. So much misunderstanding takes place under that heading. Too many people cannot recognize that others have different tactile abilities and experience-based perceptions. The cutest thing I heard my 5-year-old son ask another child was, “Where to you keep your camper?” In his mind, all kids had campers because he’d always had one.
      The Truth was that campers exist, but it wasn’t true that everyone even knows they exist.
      I find your personal journey toward ‘enlightenment’ fascinating. Your available experience-based range of perspectives certainly offer a ‘rich’ consideration.
      I’m sure we’ll remain a curiosity to each other and will gain insights from it. Many thanks!

  3. Interesting post and interesting commentary between you and Dr.B. I agree with you on the term ‘ it’s my truth’, of course it’s not my truth, it’s my opinion. I also believe in a universal truth. It’s there except we can’t recognize it, because of our limitations on knowing how the universe works.

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