Blinded by truth

A debate consists of two sides each speaking the truth on separate issues. After all, when either side is based wholly on lies, we tend to see it as such, and the debate fizzles out, favoring the truth. I’m not saying that both sides are wholly correct, but rather that they’re clinging to elements of truth that they see from their angle, and since they rightly identify a truth, they’re not easily convinced to give it up or any of the surrounding opinions.

So most heated issues boil down to which truth is more important. But I find that to be an apathetically black and white approach. After all, if two truths are true, why can’t they be true together? (That’s not rhetorical–before I’ll allow you to continue reading, I require an answer to this question for the first topic that comes to mind.) Is the spectrum of choices so limited, or have we exhausted all other avenues to where we must select either a or b? (Again, not rhetoric.) Consider this sampling of issues; Democrat or Republican, faith or science, boxers or briefs. Do you fall clearly and completely to one side or the other? Why? What elements of truth can you see on the other side? Have you explored avenues to merge these opinions? Boxer briefs have proven to be rather successful after all.

When asked hypothetically, we claim that we want more choices. We publicly acknowledge the subtleties and complexities that exist in life as a whole, and we recognize the misery of being forced to choose between two equally undesirable products. But when moving from hypothesis to reality, we forget all sense and go into survival mode. When pressed for an opinion on a matter–especially one that’s hotly debated in the public eye–we allow each other a dangerously limited set of choices. If a complex question is met with a suitably complex answer, it’s analysed to determine which side of the great fence it truly lies on. Because, really, you’re either with us or against us.

And in turn, we train ourselves to give a precise and narrow response. It’s as though each moment of our lives plays in our heads as a courtroom scene with an attorney resolutely demanding a “yes or no answer”. And don’t forget that the clock is ticking and the jury is waiting, because the consensus is that if your opinion isn’t immediate, it’s worthless–a rather inexplicable and odd limiting of choices on its own, made even more perplexing by the fact that it occurs most often on social media and the internet at large where we have room and time to explore topics to as great an extent as might be necessary.

So in the face of this chaos, I propose a united stance to set in our minds now–and regularly remind ourselves and each other should we forget–that the speediest, most polarized answer is most likely not the best. I submit that we can make monumental strides on any issue if we can change our societal standard of a witty individual from “the one with snappy, opinionated comments” to “the one who speaks carefully, deliberately, and thoughtfully”. I propose that we separate each truth into its most basic form for individual implementation rather than bundling it together with so much that is undesired.

4 thoughts on “Blinded by truth”

  1. Patty Schrader says:

    A very thought provoking article, right up my path of beliefs & values.
    Being older, I have witnessed the evolution of thought in our society during the most progressive era of mankind, along with the many factors that stimulated this evolution.
    When one takes into account “where we came from 100, even 50, or 30 years ago; one can see that we are on a progressive path & that it is good. We had a black & white narrow world, that developed us & our minds. Now we have a larger world experience. Both worlds have opposites, unity, disunity, diversity & need. We can only do more as we know more, need more, become more aware, & thereby more willing.
    Asking questions of the other person to hear his points is a much needed, often neglected ability that we can each chose. Often times the asking can enlighten even the speaker & influence his or herself to change opinion or deepen a conviction.
    How much of this social norm, this adopted social reality of “us & them” is merely unconscious carryover from the wars?
    Looking at history, I can see some of the constructive survival mode necessity of this attitude in the past. However, we’ve outgrown the need for such tactics in our everyday lives. The necessity & usefulness of open discussion today far out ways any reason to cling to old habits.
    It seems that everywhere I go people say they are “sick of” the arguing, fighting, name calling & skirting of issues That we are saturated with from our government, our media, our neighborhoods, down to our own homes. From the personal destructive effect upon a child that overhears such to the destruction upon workiable free systems is so rampant that many want to just give up.
    We each can realize that we have a Choice; to dialog as those stuck in the old way, or speak, watch, listen as those of The New.
    The first is a source of pain, the latter a source of pleasure.
    When I find myself resisting words or concepts from another then think to ask myself, ” if this IS true, or how can both be true, I’m greatful for what I discover & experience.

    1. story says:

      Very well put. Excellent points to consider. Thank you for adding such value to the conversation.

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