What is truth? by Dan Rundquist
SPECIAL TO THE CALDWELL JOURNAL (November 4, 2019) — I have been told many times by many different people over the years that “perception is reality.” It is untrue. Those who continue to repeat and believe this falsehood of are either intellectually lazy or dishonest deviants with nefarious objectives, be they political motivations or other. Look no further than the ridiculous manufactured “impeachment” drama carrying on in Washington, DC these days. I hate to have to admit it, but that circus was to be expected. But the struggle to know and adhere to truth is not a new one.
What exactly is truth? That’s an excellent question, and one that has been an issue in times past. Although truth should be a result of examining facts in their proper context, even Pontius Pilate himself was not so sure that he knew what the truth was between the testimony of Jesus Christ and the charges that the Jews had brought against Him. Pilate, of course, was in the position of being able to make “true” whatever he wanted to be true at the moment, and the perception of the Jews that the Lord was a threat might have been enough for Pilate. A high government official, a Prefect, he could either declare Christ innocent and set him free or condemn him…or make the Jewish community decide. Pilate’s truth ended up being whatever he needed it to be in order to absolve himself of the blood of an innocent man.
We can fast-forward the timeline of history to North America on July 4, 1776. America’s Founders were not at all like Pilate. After suffering decades of injustices, abuses, and suppression by the King of England, they were all too certain about truth when they unanimously agreed:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, – That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.”
These “truths” were so obvious to the generations alive in 1776 that the Founders declared them to be “self-evident.” These were clear to all without much debate about it. How refreshing to read in an age where today mere personal opinions, political agendas, so-called “scientist consensus,” and endless public slander now pass for “truth.”
Indeed, in America today, we now face the same question as Pilate did; “What is truth?” In spite of clear facts, we have an entire generation of young adults who have little idea what the truth actually is. They certainly are not being taught much in the way of facts in our government-run public schools, and this is no accident. The proper maintenance of our independent representative republic form of government relies upon an informed electorate—the very thing that enemies of America have aimed to eliminate. They are creating their own “truth,” hence the need for the mantra, “perception is reality.”
There is a danger in accepting this mantra at all. Just to illustrate the absurdity of the statement we might ask; when we go to the movies we watch characters and events that are purely fiction, and yet, what would happen if we all left the theater with the stupid idea that “perception is reality” and concluded that any number of things we just “perceived” on the screen was true? That film, “Snakes on a Plane” might make everyone terrified to fly.
More to the actual point, once Americans are totally separated from any concept of facts leading to truth, we become desensitized to the very need for truth. Truth becomes distant and elusive and is instead replaced by whatever the loudest and constant voices cry out. In this way we are both trained to ignore truth and to accept things as truth that certainly are not so. What are some of these non-truths that we are expected to accept today? Here are a few popular ones regarding economy, culture, science, and religion:
» America’s $22,000,000,000,000+ public debt is no big deal.
» There are over 700 different human genders.
» Man-made Global warming is real, is ruining the planet, and can be fixed with American tax dollars.
» The practice of Christianity is subject to our personal preferences.
In America, we are yet still free to have a choice what we believe, whether truth or not; we must exercise that right today. In all these things, the effort to promote truth over fraudulent “perceptions” will not be easy. In fact, it will seem quite impossible, certainly uncomfortable – for power generally gives up nothing without a demand. It is the responsibility of Americans to consider the folly of the present state of those who would promote falsehoods to our children and gather the courage and fortitude to act in a manner that corrects the conversation to what should be “self-evident” truths.