Saturday, April 12, 2008

Truth, Justice, and the Worldly Way

I like the truth. I really do. That's not to say that I always like hearing it... sometimes the truth is a bummer to hear. I need to lose fifteen pounds. This is a truth that is pretty much undeniable. I really don't want people on the street to stop me and tell me about it, though. I'm also opinionated and irritating. I get reminders of this occasionally from people who love me. I hate hearing it, but I appreciate the fact that these people in my life are willing to tell me what I need to hear rather than just what I would LIKE to hear. 

But in the big scheme of things... what is truth? How can we know it? What does it look like? Are there different kinds of truth? Can your truth be different from my truth? 

I once had company over and when I went into the half bath on the main level of my house, I was horrified to see how dirty it was. (Yes, along with being overweight and irritating, I'm not the cleanest person on the planet. I'm starting to sound like a real prize, huh?) I came out of the bathroom and expressed my embarrassment and dismay at the state of my bathroom and the husband who was over looked me right in the eye and said, "What? What's wrong with it? I didn't see anything wrong with it." Since I knew this man and his standards of cleanliness, I knew he was NOT telling me the truth. I also figured that he was telling me a "white lie" in order to save me from further embarrassment. Being the way I am, his doing this actually lowered my opinion of him which probably means we should also add "judgmental" to the growing list of my negative attributes. 

I also heard about a "pregnant man" who was going to be on Oprah. I did not watch the show and don't even know when it aired, but I went onto Oprah's website to check it out. When my friend told me about the pregnant man, I told her that there had to be a catch. Well, there was. The pregnant "man" wasn't a man at all, but was a woman who had been a lesbian and then underwent the hormone treatments to become a man, then went through the court system in Oregon to legally become a man. This "man" also decided to keep his/her female reproductive organs so that s/he could have a baby someday. Apparently that day has come. This is all just very weird... and yet the Oprah website was trying to sell this off as just another "normal family." This is not a truth. Not for me, and not for them. Frankly, if any of the people involved in putting on this show thought that a true statement, there wouldn't be a show. Talk shows are not made about normal families... if they were, nobody would watch them. 

There's a lot of negative talk about "absolute truth." There lies out there the assumption that nobody can know it. I don't buy this... it's not even a reasonable statement. If it's impossible to know absolute truth, then it's impossible to know that statement is absolutely true as well... and you arrive at an impasse. 

And then there are the people who say that I'm very wrong to judge the actions of others. Judgment is very, very bad... which is, of course, a judgment - which should make the person who thinks judgment bad feel very guilty indeed for making the judgment on judgment. Getting dizzy yet? 

I've also heard that having a "worldview" is a dangerous way to live your life. Hmmm... would that be your worldview then? A worldview is simply a particular philosophy of life or conception of the world. To not have one is, it seems to me, to be brain dead. Not a particularly dangerous way to live, I suppose, but not a very exciting one, either. 

So I've come to the conclusion that there are certain absolute truths. And I think they can be known. I certainly don't know them all -- but they're out there, just waiting for us to discover them. Perhaps this means I have a dangerous worldview... but I've always found danger to be a little bit exciting.

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