If the Truth Be Told

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The truth is a common quest for modern day society. Our justice system is based on the search for justice through the search for the truth, although we know this search sometimes goes awry. “Tell me the truth” is something we often say, although all we can ever expect is to get some detail or information from a person. Often this information is faulty or biased. Some believe that scientists search for the truth but alas, they are always simply searching for data to make a conclusion to a single hypothesis, only to create yet another hypothesis to prove.

Philosophers have often tried to define truth and they may be the only scientists interested in truth. No matter who searches for the truth, we find that more and more it remains only a concept of reality and not a reality.

Why is this? I believe the word is so overused in our world that we often mistake opinion for truth. Unless you are simply asking, “What did you have for breakfast?” you are likely not going to get any truth.

Why?  Because truth is an enigma or an unsolvable puzzle. No one can ever really know the truth. The truth is too big to really know or understand. The common man can only search for the truth and hopefully get closer and closer to it—kind of like the actual value of pi, just giving you more and more decimal places.

Imagine that you could only proceed in any endeavor if you could only use the truth to guide you? Who would you go to for that truth? A story I read years ago about Buckminster Fuller describes how he became disillusioned by the “modern” world of business and society. He went home and told his wife that he had quit his job. He went into the woods and made a decision that would change his life forever. His decision was that he would believe only the facts that he had proven to himself to be true. This sounds amazing until you think of all the untruths we discover in our modern world. Buckminster Fuller took some time with his thoughts, you can be sure. When he was ready to go back into the society, he was armed with the confidence that he knew. Whatever it was that he was interested in, he had studied and he knew.

Although he went on to patent many inventions such as the Geodesic Dome and the Quonset Hut used by the military for housing (to name just two), his major contribution to the world was simply himself. The man he became was so inspiring that he spent the rest of his life talking to people. He was paid well and he went down in history just by being himself, and not believing what other people told him. He saw the flaws.

As an aside, I watched a science program and they mentioned him as the discoverer of Fullerenes … obviously named after him, these Fullerenes are a component of the heavens, which apparently only are found on the earth due to asteroids crashing to the earth. Scientists now can trace when these asteroids crashed due to the presence of these Fullerenes in the soil layers from thousands of years ago.

How could he find these?  He looked and he studied and he looked some more. More than that, he did not believe what the books told him. He believed more in himself than in anyone else in the world. He searched for the truth and he found some teeny-weenie truths and he named them.

The message is not to doubt what you read, see, or hear, but just do not take it as truth. Think of our entire world for what it is—a work in progress waiting for your input.

People spend countless hours in angry arguments about politics, morals, schools, parenting, health issues, our world, and our society, never realizing that these are just opinions. We are all going to feel, see, hear, and want differently based on what we think is true and what we were taught, mixed with all of our experiences and our desires. This means we are all biased against any truth that might exist. 

Search for common ground. Enjoy the differences in others. Love the argument, don’t hate the one that disagrees with you, just see the opportunity to see the same issues from their perspective.

Search for the truth and maybe you will get close enough to see yourself in it, to put your name on it.

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