11 January 2009

Truthfulness is Necessary to Right Way of Life

Those who reject truth cannot win. You can quote me on that. Not to imply that winning is necessary to living right. But being truthful, and pursuing the right way of life, is winning in itself.


  1. On one level, I agree with this sentiment. But on another level, I disagree.

    As I see it, the problem is that truth is subjective. Thus, while being truthful is a good way to live as an individual, it's far more difficult for a society because different people hold different truths.

  2. It seems to me there are varying levels of truth. There are matters which pertain to a subjective truth, but then there is an objective truth as well. This objective truth deals with simple observations of the way existence is.

    So, for example, if a thermometer reads that it is 45º, then the objective truth is not necessarily that it is 45º, but instead that the thermometer reads 45º. That's not to say it isn't objectively 45º, but without further verification it must be considered that the thermometer might not be calibrated properly to make such an objective measurement.

    If someone opens a certain door in physical space, then I can say that the objective truth is that someone opened the door. Since I am trustworthy to make observations at the level that is the objective truth.

    Objective truth can describe events in the world: there was a flood last week in Western Washington. Certain rivers flooded.

    The mass tonnage of explosive weapons and bombs used by the Israeli military against Gaza is X pounds.

    The mass tonnage of rockets and mortars used by Palestinians and launched toward Israeli cities and towns is X pounds.

    So there are varying levels of truth. But it is of critical importance to tell the truth, speaking in both subjective and objective terms, if I want to lead the good life.

    Sorry for the long-winded lecture response.

    So I agree with you. Truth can be subjective. That doesn't mean any individual's subjective truth is any less valid than another individual's.

    There are objective truths. Like the fact that human economic activities are harming planetary eco-systems, causing global warming and climate disruption, causing wars, etc.

    Do you think it's objectively truthful to state that certain human societies have done harm to the planet and to each other?