The Problem With the Truth

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imageThe problem with the Truth is that it can change.

Not too long ago, a few of us were in a spirited discussion about Truth and Facts; the two sometimes used interchangeably or synonymously.

One group took the position that Truth was an absolute.  Unchanging, unyielding, definitive, and unquestionable.  If something is true, there is ‘nothing more (about that item) to be said.  Quite often, we encounter this perspective in the work place.  Some things are perceived as True, unquestioned, and gain strength with the passage of time.

From the opposing perspective, I argued the Truth is based on perception of ‘known facts’ at a given point in time.  Of course, in a world where the sands continually swirl around us, and most seek stability wherever they can find it, accepting that the Truth is something less than solid is a very hard sale.

Yes, Truth is a perception.  Consider how many ‘guilty’ criminals continue to be set free, because a new fact (e.g. DNA) comes to light that irrefutably change what had been thought of as true.  For a millennia, we knew it to be true: the world is flat.  Then some silly guy (no, not Thomas Friedman) came along and proved it was round.  We even knew the universe revolved around us, until some other silly person refuted that truth.

After life in the U.S. Navy, I was accustomed to seeing life as absolutes. Things were black or white, true or false, yes Ma’am, no Ma’am.  A few years later allowed that I could finally perceive the world, if not yet ‘in color,’ then at least in 256 shade grey scale<g>.

Today, I can see color (perhaps not ‘True Color’<g>), yet work to remember that ‘my’ definition of color may not map directly against yours.  After all, we know a ‘red’ cup can easily be cast as ‘black’, depending on the light in which you view it.

Truth is a perception. It’s based on what we know at a point in time.  Accept that new ideas, new realities, may make it necessary to change how you perceive a given truth.

(Image credit: Wikipedia Commons)