Some Lies About Truth

Image result for pinocchio

I want the truth.  Unfortunately, like Tom Cruise, I can’t handle the truth.  Another characteristic that Cruise and I share is that neither of us is married to Nicole Kidman…

Truth is considered one of the noblest goals for humankind to aspire to.  It’s not as noble as defending the weak, so if you want to lie WHILE defending the weak, go for it (I hear that’s how Superman got his start); however, it IS nobler than giving to charity under an assumed name…especially if that name is a poorly disguised play on words like Dick Hertz or I. Neil Forcaque.  It is so highly respected that all of the sciences and most of the arts have truth as their penultimate goal, with their ULTIMATE goal being the attainment of a government grant…

For the hard sciences, truth is attained using the scientific method; that is, hypothesis, experiment, conclusion, new hypothesis…  Ultimately, the scientist will produce a theory which, while it isn’t truth, isn’t a blatant lie either.  A theory is simply something that looks like it might be true.  Most times, we leave it at that.  We leave it at that because, no matter how hard we try, most theories will stay theories even after centuries of experiments.  That’s because we can never be SURE.  Even gravity is a theory, although it would be hard to find someone to bet against it.  When does a theory become a fact?  NEVER!  Gravity is a theory until a graviton holds a press conference and announces that they’ll be doing their job until the universe implodes or until collective bargaining fails…

Truth is elusive…as elusive as a deer and just as capable of going through your windshield.  It is because of this elusiveness or rather despite it…no, because of it, I’m sure of it now…  It is because of this elusiveness that many philosophers believe that ultimate truth can never be attained.  To them, truth is a direction and not a destination.  So thought Plato, Neitzche, Sartre and Waldo; in fact, this problem was addressed at length in the little known Why’s Waldo? series of books.

Plato formed his opinions on truth while listening to Socrates.  After hours and hours of hearing the man drone on and on in an attempt to determine the “truth”, Plato extrapolated and determined that, to actually arrive at the truth, would take eleven billion years.  And, this was only a minor disagreement about triangles…  So the first ideas about truth were based solely upon despair.

Others have postulated that there is NO truth.  Truth is relative.  If you tell such a person that it is hot, they will say something like, “Not to a person living on Venus”; or, if you mention that they are late, they will quip, “No, I decided not to come so I’m actually early for next time”.  Such a person will one day fall into the mouth of an active volcano into the lava below and freeze to death.

So, is truth relative or is it absolute?  I tell you without a shadow of a doubt that it is relative…ALWAYS.  I used to think that truth was an absolute; however, I felt that it was only absolute under certain circumstances.  Thank God I grew up…

Keats said that truth is beauty and beauty, coincidentally, is truth.  This is the polar opposite of the popular opinion that the truth is not pretty.  These two concepts can coexist if we remember that, in a bar, everyone looks pretty around closing time; perhaps Keats wrote ode to a Grecian urn at such a time and place.  I know that this paragraph isn’t particularly funny; however, it SEEMED funny when I wrote it at two o’clock in the morning at some seedy saloon…

So, there are plenty of smart-asses who think that they know what truth is.  When you press them on it, however, they are remarkably vague.  Eventually, they clear their throats and intone, “God is truth”.  Is it helpful to take a concept like say…truth and define it as something that no one has been able to fully define yet, like…God?  Why not say that truth is Hilbert spaces or Fourier transforms…then at least SOMEONE would have a chance of knowing what truth was?  Of course those people would be mathematicians and they aren’t known for their communication skills…

13 thoughts on “Some Lies About Truth

  1. Very well written, even the almost omitted para. If it all boils down to inculcating communication skills in the mathematicians, making peace with lies might be a better alternative after all.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m all about telling the truth. I fucking say shit exactly for what it is. But people are too dumb to understand the difference between metaphor and material. So gotta give them all the f words so they can understand: fact, fiction, fantasy, falsehood, freedom, fuckery.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s