Monday, December 10, 2012

The Elusive Truth

The Elusive Truth

Many people over the eons claim to know the elusive truth. They swear by it, lay down their lives for that ideal. That only leads to the next logical question. What is truth? The question is not a new one. This question has been held in the minds of scholars and laymen a like since man step foot on the earth.

 This question has yet to be answered. Or has it, and we just choose not to see.

We already know truth is colored by our own perception of the facts at hand, but it is also colored by the facts we choose to believe. There are many facts, all supported, all true, and in the right combinations create very different truths. Let us take politics, I apologize for this but it is the most current example I have at hand. The principal idea remains for all topics of contention.

Obama supporters claim victory over serious opposition, and that things are improving. There are, in fact, statistics and facts that show this to be true. Detractors can show facts that are ALSO true, that support their claims, that things are going terribly wrong. Of course it gets tricky because amongst the "truths" you have the twisted versions that are actually not true. Ah the complexities of life.

For every statistic to back your belief, there is another to contradict the validity of proof. A perfect example of this is a quote from one of my favorite comedies, My Cousin Vinny.

Vinny Gambini: The D.A.'s got to build a case. Building a case is like building a house. Each piece of evidence is just another building block. He wants to make a brick bunker of a building. He wants to use serious, solid-looking bricks, like, like these, right?
 [puts his hand on the wall]
 Bill: Right.
 Vinny Gambini: Let me show you something.
 [he holds up a playing card, with the face toward Billy]
 Vinny Gambini: He's going to show you the bricks. He'll show you they got straight sides. He'll show you how they got the right shape. He'll show them to you in a very special way, so that they appear to have everything a brick should have. But there's one thing he's not gonna show you.
 [Turns the card, so that its edge is toward Billy]
 Vinny Gambini: When you look at the bricks from the right angle, they're as thin as this playing card. His whole case is an illusion, a magic trick. It has to be an illusion, 'cause you're innocent. (I also must note the character of Bill was innocent, but the text rings true.

We select our facts that back our position. They may be true, but not always all the truth. Maybe we should start to realize that truth as we know it is more akin to the relativity of what is defined as "good art." Everyone has their own perception of what is defined as good. They are all right.

No comments:

Post a Comment