Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What Is The Truth?

Sometimes it is really easy to determine what is the truth or not but for the most part I am not convinced it is not easy and if I look to the philosopher's for guidance, I think they agree with me.

Consider a traffic accident as a random example. The two drivers and various witnesses may agree that a bingle had occurred but it is somewhat inevitable that the details between the stories will vary. Is anyone lying, probably not - it would depend on what they saw, what they think they saw and what they remembered.

Consider todays debate on how much tax the mining industry pays - the ATO gives a flat figure, the Treasury gives another that takes into account what subsidies are paid. Both positions are equally valid as being the truth, neither organisation is lying, there is a difference in interpretation.

Consider any random argument between a couple or friends - say something as stupid as "you never listen" (not a debate, just to clarify) both parties have their own opinions on the issue of contention. Both have their own moods, memories of examples and whatever else to bring to the floor, and all of that will also affect their ability to hear the perspective of the protagonist.

Consider the rights of refugees to seek refuge. Black and white it may seem. Layer on comments "queue jumpers", "illegals" and what may have seemed black and white may still be so, but from a different perspective.

Consider something as simple as "the sun rose today" ... well it didn't rise at all did it, maybe the earth and the sun are both in their respective cycles and there was a meeting of the two.

So is there any real truth? Science tends to define truth as results that can be reliably replicated but is that enough for humans and all of their pudgy greyness of existence, comprehension and reaction.

Photo: "Naked Truth" by Charlie C M

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