Thursday, 2 March 2017

In truth…

The older I get the more realistic and confused I become. Some might call me jaded, others without faith or just plain cynical. I’m not sure at all, but I do spend a lot of time thinking and trying to work out what I believe, trying to work out what there is to believe in. 

Today I have mainly been thinking about truth. Now I’ve always believed that truth is important, honesty – particularly about ourselves by ourselves – even more so. Then along comes yet another horrible moment of realisation and suddenly, yet again, my beliefs are in question.

There are people who believe what Trump says. No seriously, there are people who believe what he says just as there are people who believe what the BBC say. There are millions of people who believe what the Pope says, what Jesus said, people who believed in what Hitler and JFK said. There are people who believe what Teresa May says, Mother Theresa said, people who hang on every word of wisdom that Mohamed or Mahatma Ghandi ever uttered. There are probably people who believe what David Icke says, maybe even people who believe what I say.

The older I get the more confused about the truth I become. What is it? Is truth simply the repetition of the same thing over and over until people believe? ‘We will make America great again’, ‘I was abducted by aliens’, ‘Brexit, means Brexit’, ‘Jesus was born of a virgin’, ‘Global warming is a myth’, ‘Elvis is alive and living on a private island in the South Seas’. Maybe just saying something makes it true, perhaps all that is called for is for someone to believe.

I’m sure that there are a lot of people who believe in the Big Bang and evolution. But does that mean that those who believe in creation are believing nonsense? I believe it is nonsense, but does my belief make it any the less true for those who believe something else?

Of course, if there is a book you can read that claims to be truth it really helps. Personally I can’t see a real difference between the Bible or the Koran and Alice in Wonderland. Who is to say which of these versions of the world aren’t the real one. Books are written by people and the 'truth' of British history in our history books is very different to the truth in the text books of all those countries we invaded and then bled dry. As Churchill said: "History will be kind to me for I intend to write it."

Sometimes I go to another world. I read fiction and, whilst I am reading it, what happens in that world becomes real inside my mind. It’s truth in other words. No matter that sometimes people come back to life as vampires or saviours or that the universe is sometimes populated by lizard people. For a few hours I suspend my usual beliefs and it is as real and true as anything I see on the television, as real as the parting of the Red Sea by Moses, as real as the CIA killing Kennedy and at least as real as my own thoughts on reality.

So given all of this I have to ask is truth simply belief and if that is the case does truth actually exist? Is truth just a matter of picking the most acceptable variation of reality that you feel comfortable with? Is truth just a moveable feast and an inconvenience if it doesn’t fit your beliefs. Is the truth really out there or is truth just another lie waiting to be found out?

And finally if there is no truth are there no lies? Are they one and the same thing driven by individual perspective?

There, I told you that I was confused, and that’s the truth. 

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