The other day I overheard the kids arguing about something that one declared was the absolute truth.  My first reaction was to want to step in and rule one way or another…  but it got me thinking about what we consider truths, and how we personally determine something to be true.

When we’re kids, truth is a fluid concept.  My 8 year old certainly does not find it a truth that my sanity depends on him cleaning his bedroom, despite how I perceive it.  My ten year old knows that vegetables are the most vile things on the planet and that she will shrivel up and die if she’s asked to eat them.  My twelve year old knows that she will live in New York City and be famous someday.  A friend’s daughter knows that fairies live in the garden and only come out at night.

What about adult truths?  We know that gravity exists… but we are able to bend and manipulate it.  Is it really a truth that “what goes up must come down?”    Not that long ago it was a truth that the moon was made of cheese and white people were more intelligent than other cultures.

So what really creates a truth?  Our perception?  Feelings?  Scientific evidence?  And what happens to that truth when it is challenged?  Agent Mulder was always searching for the truth on the X-Files, but what kind of truth did he hope to find?  In court we’re asked to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, but again, what truth?  My truth?  Your truth?  The dude next door who is always singing to his plants truth?

Dictionary dot com defines “truth” with the following:

–noun

1. the true or actual state of a matter: He tried to find out the truth.

2. conformity with fact or reality; verity: the truth of a statement.

3. a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like: mathematical truths.

4. the state or character of being true.

5. actuality or actual existence.

6. an obvious or accepted fact; truism; platitude.

7. honesty; integrity; truthfulness.

8. ( often initial capital letter ) ideal or fundamental reality apart from and transcending perceived experience: the basic truths of life.

9. agreement with a standard or original.

10. accuracy, as of position or adjustment.

11. Archaic . fidelity or constancy.

Maybe the truth is that there is no real truth.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Suzy L
    Jun 24, 2010 @ 13:26:49

    Nicely said!

    Reply

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