Allegiance to Truth in an Age of Deception

No doubt one taproot of our existence is truth without which it is difficult to thrive. If a plant sends forth its root in search of water, and finds only sand, it will wither. If a society requiring truth for its government, finds only deception, the social order, you, and I will fail to thrive.

We live in an age when deception seems the norm of government, corporations, and politicians. Given that living organisms are endowed with a drive to optimize their existence how can individuals and families effectively govern their lives when the information they need to make decisions is false or misleading?

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Love of Truth – A Skill of Authentic Living

For me the love of truth is of utmost importance, and it is one of the psychological traits which foster authenticity. In the preceding post, I wrote about the nature of personal truth. Here I want to explore how the love of truth expresses itself.

Let me first share several favorite stories from history which exemplify the love of truth and whose examples move me. To begin, imagine that the religious and political powers of your kingdom have targeted you. You are called before the very emperor himself and his court to defend yourself. Previous defendants have been known to have been captured and executed in transit. Such was the situation which Martin Luther faced in 1521 when he was called before Emperor Charles and the Diet of Worms to defend his 95 theses which refuted Catholic doctrine and founded the Protestant Reformation.

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The Politics of Working on Oneself

In 1972 the Club of Rome issued the controversial report, “Limits to Growth”. The study applied a computer model of socioeconomic trends, and determined that no matter how optimistically one tweaked this, that, or all variables, the future outcome of the trends was social and economic collapse – more or less delayed. Why? Because of the values underlying the social order.

Back then, the Stanford Research Institute also explored 40 possible alternative futures, and determined that a very few avoided a major world crisis before the year 2050. Willis Harman, director of the Institute concluded, “The macroproblem which the world faces,and which is rapidly and ineluctably becoming more serious, is at root a problem of value and basic premises – in short, a moral problem.”

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