Journal Entry #6- Truth

Jonathan made an eloquent and much needed attack on one epistemologically disturbing trend which sorely needs to be addressed. To quote him:

It is a commonly held perception in civilized society that we are required to respect the opinions of others, regardless of how absurd and nonsensical they are.

The human mind may be well-trained and naturally inclined to handle pleasure and pain, but I thoroughly believe that its faculties are flawed when it comes to truth. This relates to the important, main point of this week’s journal: that which is desirable is not necessarily true.

There are some things which just aren’t true, even if the truth may be hard to swallow.

To be completely honest, I’m not the most passionate advocate of the existence of objective, absolute truth (debating has that curious effect on you), but I am pretty convinced that ones personal tendencies, wishes, and desires, even in a collective group, can do nothing to affect objective truth (assuming that it exists).

An example most of us can relate to would be the existence of imaginary friends. Most of us, at some point in our childhood, talked to things which weren’t really there- imaginary people, soft toys, blankets (my blanket was named Cousin Blanky- I originally wanted to name it Blanky, but my brother claimed the copyrights to that name before me) and other similar, inanimate objects. In retrospect we laugh at how silly it all was, and we can all unanimously agree that those imaginary friends we had never quite existed, and all the soft toys we gave names to have been, and and still are, lifeless combinations of cloth and stuffing.

However, it is easy to forget that at those very moments in our childhood, when we were seven or eight or nine or ten, there was no doubt, in our hearts, that these things were real. Our happiness and sadness was so closely intertwined with our imaginary friends to the point that the mere conception that all of it was untrue was impossible- we simply refused to believe it. We told the truth the same way a wide-eyed child would tell the truth: these things existed, and they meant the world to us.  But did our sincerity have any effect on what actually existed, and what didn’t? No.

It is absolutely possible for people, in fact, billions of people, to believe a lie just because it is a lie which makes us happy- a lie that tells us that everything is going to be alright, that the future is nicely planned out ahead of us like a rolling mat which unfurls with our every footstep. But the fact that all this is pleasurable doesn’t change the fact that all this is still what it actually could be : a lie.

This is something that we need to seriously think about: do we still need to be childish in our thoughts, and protect ourselves with our wishes and fantasies; or do we want to be adults, and deal with the world as it really is?

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7 thoughts on “Journal Entry #6- Truth

  1. It is also absolutely possible for billions of people to believe that they’re right while being completely ignorant of the fact that it is possible that this “lie” could actually be the truth. Sure there may not be an absolute truth and no one may actually be able to find out what’s the truth and what’s not the truth until probably our deaths. But don’t you think you’re being a little biased by outright calling it all a “lie”? You did say yourself that you don’t for one believe in absolute truths. So why then isn’t it possible for this to be a “truth”?

    HI KEEFEY ❤

    1. Hi Cheryl! ❤

      Granted that
      1) The beliefs that the billions of people hold are vastly, vastly different, i.e the beliefs that a Muslim holds are pretty different from the beliefs that a Christian, or a Hindu, or a Scientologist, or an animist, or a religion Greek / Egyptian (Zeus and Osiris respectively), or a believer of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, for that matter. The amount of gods that man has worshiped, over time, tends to infinity.
      2) These beliefs are mutually exclusive (you can only believe in one religion at one time)

      Assuming that all faiths are equally valid, the chance that the particular faith that one chooses is right, would be roughly equivalent to 1 divided by infinity (the amount of possible religions, past, present and future), which would roughly equal to zero. In other words, the chance of one’s faith being a truth is extremely unlikely. Wouldn’t it be better to abstain from choice in this scenario?

      1. Hey keefey! First time reading. OMG YOU WRITE SO GOOD. haha

        I can understand your reasons why you don’t/can’t believe in religion. I just don’t understand why you can’t believe in God. From my point of view, religion is a way for one to be closer to God, ergo the existence of many different religions. When any religion is broken up into its simplest equation, it simply conveys the message that we should believe and appreciate the fact that there IS something that creates us, and is greater than us. It is a matter of choosing what type of religion you wish to follow (that fits you best) to feel or be closer to God. After all, not everyone has the same taste. It is true that you can only believe in one religion at one time, but they all convey the same message. Lets take Heaven and Hell as an example. Follow this religion and you’ll go to heaven. Don’t follow this religion and you’ll go to hell. But if all religion says that if you follow it, you’ll go to heaven, won’t following any of these religion allows you a spot in heaven? Or the hidden message is, won’t simply believing in God allows you to go to Heaven? (provided that you’re been a good boy. and not a naughty one. hehehe) The problem is most people are too proud to admit that all religion are equally valid and should be respected. The normal way of thinking would be that, I’m a muslim, you’re a christian, i’ll go to heaven, and you won’t. When in actuality, a religion only ask you to follow it to be closer to God. Religion is up to one’s interpretation for him/her to be closer to God. Yes, there are verses of the Quran that says, the kafir, or non believers won’t go to Heaven, but not once did it said in specific who the kafir’s are or point to any other religion. Not to be rude or anything, non-believers are meant to those who don’t believe in the existence of God, not those who don’t believe in the teachings of Islam. A religion is there to provide faith and hope and something for mankind to aspire to. To do good. Although i must admit, most people use the teachings of any religion for their own benefit which often resulted to violence. That is the weakness of Man, and the very reason why we need faith in God even more. I have a grandfather who believes in all religion and only follow certain beliefs of certain religions, but nevertheless, he believes in the existence of God even though his thinking is not generally accepted by people. My theory is, it is probably easier to only stick to one religion because there is so much to know about one already, so people just generally go with the flow. The way i see it is, I strongly believe in God for God inspires me to be better in every way, and i choose Islam as my religion because it suits me best. I hope i don’t sound like im imposing my truth on you or anything, it’s just my opinion. You are free to choose your own truth. It is what makes us special. Joel told me this the other day, “wouldnt it be easier to believe in God, die, and realize that there is a God, then to not believe in God, die, and realizing that there is in fact a God?”

        Anyway, forgive me if i appear biased or rude to you in any way, i just really strongly believe in God, and as a friend, I guess im just providing you with the means to widen your options.

  2. I am wondering, why must you use ‘God’ instead of ‘god’ if you don’t believe in God? If you don’t believe in God, why must you respect them if you say that they do not exist? Hmm…

    1. Christians write ‘Satan’ with a capital ‘s’. I don’t think it necessarily connontates respect, it just concedes that a specific idea exists.

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