The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

The astonishing truth about truth

It depends.

Truth rarely is something established we know for sure to be true. There is always space for it to be wrong.

There are a few things truth isn’t. Among these, you may want to consider that truth is not subjective nor is truth a lie.

As we’ve learned during the last years, lies can become a common understanding among large groups. Making these lies truth for them. It goes along with the understanding, that truth is a consensus, that is a belief shared by enough people. In the same way, some of our fundamental beliefs have become what we perceive to be true and act upon. One of them being, that someone who has been elected to Congress has rightfully earned his seat.

This was true until those elected decided to doubt the process. Not only did they doubt it, but they also kept telling lies about it, staying with allegations.

A once firmly believed truth had become questionable. Less because of the doubt, much more so because of those spreading it. That is the very ones whose positions are confirmed through the truth that all the votes are receivable and count in an election.

Now we may want to turn to science to determine a way to establish truth. But what scientists do is work to discover a truth that represents nature as well as possible. They know that fundamentally truth about nature is out of reach. Heisenberg helped us understand why: “We have to remember that what we observe is not nature in itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.”

Remembering how much effort scientists put into discovering a truth, shouldn’t they be able to establish truth? Maybe one day. Until then, in science truth is by definition a perfectly revisable thing. That’s due to the scientific method. It’s based on observing something, ask oneself a question, proposing a hypothesis, make predictions, and testing them. If the hypothesis is confirmed, it is likely to be correct. If it isn’t confirmed it is likely to be wrong. Using these results the next step of the scientific method is to iterate. This means that it also never comes to an end as there is always another question that can be asked.

Now, the question becomes, is it possible to prove that an election was flawless? Can truth be established through evidence? I doubt it. There are too many constituents involved and too many steps to be monitored.

Can the process be accompanied and handled in such a manner that it is highly probable that everything was done well? That is done, to allow every person who has the right to vote and who votes to have a vote that will be counted? Yes, that I do believe.

Truth has something of a shy deer. Anytime a lie appears, truth withdraws.

Evidence helps, the one thing they can at least do is uncover a lie. But evidence doesn’t establish truth if people who are trusted start to move away from the truth. Someone who is trusted can find it easy to install a belief. It is a context where arguing with lies is bound to fail.

Our task is to be well informed enough to be able to assess truth independently from our trust. The alternative is to know that our trust is also blind.

Keeping a truth alive requires to do what is necessary to protect it.


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