Once upon a time, Truth stood alone as an inviolate entity. Nowadays, it seems as though everyone wants to own a little bit of it.
It has become popular to preface the word ‘truth’ with a possessive adjective, so people talk about ‘my truth’ and ‘your truth’ and ‘his truth’ and ‘her truth’. There would seem to be something very democratic about this collective ownership but, amidst all the worthy spirit of sharing, Truth itself has been the loser.
In the same way that someone cannot know how incompetent they are, I also believe that they cannot know how truthful they are.
It is interesting that when you Google images of the Truth, the most common face that bobs up is Donald Trump’s. Calling upon no other evidence, surely this suggests that somewhere we have lost sight of the meaning of Truth.
I believe in an absolute truth. It exists outside of human and social constructs; resides somewhere in a quantum realm, beyond the remit of Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry and even High Court judges.
In the absence of the security of an absolute truth in my day-to-day living, I rely most heavily on the correspondence theory of truth. Unscientifically paraphrased, this might be best summed up as: “If it looks like bullshit, and it sounds like bullshit, and it smells like bullshit, the chances are that it is bullshit”.
In a variation of the Liar’s Paradox, let me tell you my own truth: whenever someone prefaces the word ‘truth’ with a possessive adjective assume that they are probably lying.
© Simon Turner-Tree
Simon Turner-Tree is lying.