Our top priority should be the search for truth | PostIndependent.com

Our top priority should be the search for truth

Out on a LimbRoss L. TalbottGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Every so often someone comes up with the statement that “there is no absolute truth.” Aside from the fact that it is a contradiction in and of itself it is really nothing but a cop-out. The idea that truth is something you can define for yourself denies that there are any real consequences and that you will not ultimately be held responsible for your actions. In the new Webster’s Dictionary, truth is defined as accuracy, sincerity, integrity, agreement with fact. An 1894 Funk and Wagnall’s Dictionary throws in some scripture; quoting Psalm 40:11, “O, Lord, let thy tender mercies and thy truth continually preserve me.”The Bible also says God is truth and Satan is the liar. That really sets forth the sides of the conflict.In reality, every facet of life is a continual struggle between truth and the lie. In business, we deal with so called “truth in packaging.” Is the wrapper an honest (truthful) indicator of the contents? For instance, you buy hay fever pills in a 3-inch-by-5-inch box, but the actual pills won’t fill a thimble. A bottle of liquid for drinking will say how many calories per serving, but the fine print might say that the little bottle is three servings. A bottle of “Clorox Clean-Up” is actually 98.16 percent “inert ingredients” (water) and 1.84 percent Clorox. The next time you buy a jug or bottle of something, notice how the container is shaped to look bigger than it actually is.

I could rattle on for pages about deception in marketing. Truth is at war with the lie in every area of life.Local governments feel they need building codes because some contractors are prone to cheat on (lie about) the quality of materials, the amount used or the time charged.Another area of continual conflict is politics. The continual battle of accusations, misrepresentations and outright obvious lies keep the voter reeling.If truth is characterized by integrity, honesty, reliability and trust, then the lie is deception, dishonesty, spin, manipulation, cheating and half-truth.Strong relationships are built on trust. Lying produces anger, hatred bitterness and a host of other feelings that can kill a relationship and even destroy physical health.

If Satan came to “kill and destroy,” the lie is a really, really effective tool. The lie is a major destroyer of relationships, a wrecker of businesses and destroyer of life. How much illness and even suicide is a result of the lie?Truth generates strength, while the lie creates weakness.Think about this. If there is not truth, then there is no lie. The very existence of the lie verifies truth.Millions of people have been killed in wars perpetrated by leaders who used the lie to generate monstrous hatred. It is still being used to stir up anger against Israel and the United States, in fact all non-Muslim peoples. Ethnic groups in Africa, the Sudan and several other countries are suffering death and destruction from the lie.In our own educational system, people are distorting fact (lying) to promote their own agenda. Probably the greatest distortion is the teaching of history. One only needs to get an old history book from around 1925 to 1950 to become aware of the changes. Incomplete information can be a lie.

Another area of educational holy ground is science. Science makes many assumptions and builds a whole “truth” on them. Even Einstein used to believe in a steady state universe. Now we are talking about the big bang or point origin. So much for that “truth!” Science in education is doggedly hanging on to evolution as truth in the face of DNA, irreducible complexity and the second law of thermodynamics.Just for fun, let me throw this in. Why is it that only humans are engaged in the great struggle between truth and lies? The animal kingdom doesn’t struggle with dishonest relationships.Finally, I would suggest the whole concept of God and the possibility of a life after physical death should make the search for truth our No. 1 priority.Ross L. Talbott lives in New Castle.

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