I’ve been wanting to read Jeremy Stangroom & Ophelia Benson’s Why Truth Matters for about a year now, and I just picked up a copy. They are somehow responsible for the (very interesting) website ButterfliesAndWheels.com, which is worth a read. If their slogan Fighting Fashionable Nonsense isn’t compelling enough for you, then check out LOLcats instead, you geek.
Back on topic– the book is obviously about why truth matters, and while the authors are not (apparently) Christians or religious in any sense, their mission and journey has captured my inadvertent attention. There is one quote I’d like to share, they’ve just finished discussing how truth affects societies at large, and how truth is ‘used’ (rather than sought) by rulers to guide (read: control) their subjects:
… The notion that certain special humans can decide what truth is entails believing that human decision has some sort of transformative effect of reality, bestowing truth or withholding it; such a belief may foster other kinds of epistemic confusion. Thus for instance it is still a very popular thought that, whatever the truth may be, the important thing is that everyone should be on the same page; that social cohesion and peace are much more important for everyone’s wellbeing and smooth functioning than are truth and free enquiry. On this view, truth is a political matter rather than an epistemic one.
I don’t even know what epistemic means, but that’s beside the point. The fact that anyone – let alone Presidents and Prime Ministers – would concede to this type of ‘social control’ is crazy. Isn’t Democracy supposed to be about freedom? Have we traded free will for Western-living, and quite happily at that?
I believe that as Jesus’ Church, we are responsible for standing up for truth. To uphold it. To fight for it. It’s so easy to let things slip by, but the ongoing exercise of lacklustre justice only leads to bad places, and that’s where’s we’ve arrived. A bad place. Let’s fight for truth, first with the man in the mirror (thanks Mikey) and then for everyone else.
Visit the authors’ website at ButterfliesAndWheels.com