Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Dr. Sanity On Compassion And Truth

Dr. Sanity starts her post today with a paradox:

Epimenides' Paradox, sometimes called "The Cretan Paradox" or "The Liar's Paradox, typically goes as follows: Epimenides, a Cretan, made the statement: "All Cretans are liars." Is his statement true?
She ends her post with another paradox:
Compassion is not sitting around, crying and hugging them as they avoid the truth; it is bringing them to that truth, and standing with them in all their pain as they confront it.

Sometimes all you can do is ally yourself with the truth, and make a committment to uncover it, no matter what unpleasantness it leads to.

There are some serious betrayals of all that this country stands for going on right now. The contradictory discourses that confront the American public daily in the media and from the left has made them confused and uncertain as to who to believe; and what is true. Enemy propaganda is presented as absolute fact. Anything the current administration says or does is angrily disputed and called lies.

The public is being manipulated by those they trusted to bring them the truth; but who instead resort to postmodern rhetoric with its neverending cycle of paradoxical accusations and hysteria.

In order to return to psychological health, the lies and distortions that support and encourage these betrayals need to be confronted and exposed, and a committment to objective reality and truth reaffirmed.

A 21st century postmodernist, who believe that the dictums of postmodernism are absolutely true, makes the statement that "all truth is relative". Why should we bother to listen to anything he says?
In between, she has many great points. Go read them.

A thought occurs to me reading her post. "All truth is relative" is an especially seductive philosophy because it lets everyone, including the person saying it, off the hook. How often do people excuse their own injurious, unethical and immoral behavior with statements like, 'If you'd been through, what I went through, you'd understand", or "It's not a simple as it looks", or "Don't judge me until you've walked a mile in my shoes." There are many more rationalizations we all make for our less than ideal behavior. To read an excellent example of my own, go here.

And, we all know the "ideal" behavior don't we? Even those who haven't darkened a church's door know, intuitively, that taking a hatchet to their brother's skull because he said something mean is wrong. Everyone intuitively knows that it is wrong to sleep with his best friend's wife. Everyone knows it's wrong to steal.

Even in matters far less grave, people are innately attached to the truth. Everyone knows that eating that last two dozen cookies probably isn't good for health. Everyone knows that those cheese nachos, six-pack of coke and sitting on the couch watching TV for eight hours isn't good for waistline. Everyone knows that unprotected sex can lead to babies, STDs and everything else.

Our whole jury system works based on what a "reasonable person" knows. There is a body of truth that we hold self evident and no Divine inspiration or text needed to impart it. We all only get squishy on the truth, when the truth isn't convenient for us individually. We all do this to our own detriment. When we ignore the truth and try to justify our own unhelpful and bad beliefs, thoughts, emotions and actions we hurt ourselves and usually, we hurt someone else. Some would say that by hurting ourselves we harm others.

The most sane, rational people live truthfully and speak the truth and defend the truth. And yet, the Left consistently wants to paint anyone with an attachment to the truth as Bible-thumping Christofascist unhinged from "reality". Reality is, in that backward philosophy, what that person is personally experiencing and justifies any action (usually destructive to society) the person or group want to take.

Leaving behind the "all truth is relative" mantra means leaving behind the circular and maddeningly unreasonable reasoning. Attaching firmly to the truth and having the truth inform and guide one's fate, and that truth includes the humility of admitting to not knowing everything, but to knowing this much is true, confers sanity and a sound mind and freedom.

No comments: