Thursday, July 07, 2016

What is Truth?

It seems like such a simple question. So, why is the answer so elusive? We can assign a dictionary meaning to it. The New World Dictionary of American English (Third College Edition) defines truth as:

“The quality or state of being true.” It uses such words as loyalty, trustworthiness, sincerity, genuineness and honesty to bolster its meaning.

There is more:

Correctness, accuracy, accordance with facts. The list goes on. In fact, they spend quite a bit of time and page space in trying to accurately describe all the attributes of truth. The truth about truth is that it can be a very complex and elusive animal to lasso and corral.

We all like to believe that we are virtuous in nature and that goodness usually stems from the supposition that we are honest, trustworthy and truthful. Alas, we are not perfect. From the dawn of creation, if you choose to believe the story, humankind has failed miserably to achieve the perfection for which it was conceived. Tested and tempted by evil, Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation and defied the edict of their creator, thereby losing the perfection of Eden forever.

I realize there are other stories from other cultures that follow similar lines to get to the same conclusion, but the story of Eden and the fall of mankind vividly exemplifies the point I am trying to make. As humans we are all fallible, we are all capable of lies and deception no matter how hard we try to resist. But the true mark of our decency dwells in how we handle the temptations that are thrown at us from every direction and how we respond.
At the end of the day we need to be able to live with our choices with a clear conscience, knowing that we made the right decisions under the circumstances. This can make truth a moving target.

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