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Home / Business / If you can’t handle the truth, make up your own ‘truth’? There’s a catch.

If you can’t handle the truth, make up your own ‘truth’? There’s a catch.

Just look at the appalling behaviour of Boris Johnson openly stating that he thinks the unanimous verdict of the most senior minds in the English judiciary are “wrong”. Whereas your man Johnson who read classics at university feels qualified to offer a dissenting verdict. If you can’t handle the truth, make up your own “truth”.

It is easy to point to errors. We all make them. Justice is occasionally miscarried. Referees make the wrong call. Optical illusions make fools of our perceptual systems. It is part of the imperfection of being human. But it is a mistake to overgeneralise from these errors to conclude that reality is purely subjective.

No matter how hard those folks try to hide from reality, it has a nasty habit of tapping them on the shoulder.

We end up in a world of “personal truths” – beliefs that are seemingly impregnable to challenge from systems of thinking like logic, reason, law, ethics, morals or faith. To challenge these personal truths is tantamount to an attack on the person and their precious identity. It is off limits.

Taken to its extreme, all forms of social intercourse break down. We all disappear into the convenient bolt holes of our personal truths with our eyes wide shut, and ears firmly plugged.

In such a world, reality is a dirty word, and any attempt to invoke reality is construed as some form of oppression or power game. In a world of personal truths, there is no role for the expert. Ultimately there is no role for judges, umpires, teachers, guides or the like because there are no “facts” to be determined, and everyone’s opinion is equally valid. We have all won and all deserve prizes.

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Whether they like it or not, no matter how hard those folks try to hide from reality, it has a nasty habit of tapping them on the shoulder having been at their side all along. Go to a hospital ward and see how reality bites. It is insulting to suggest that those with a serious illness succumbed due to their lack of positive thinking.

It is ironic that we all reach out to join something bigger than ourselves because we innately recognise that we are not the centre of the universe.

However, when all we do is reach out to fascsimiles to avoid ever being challenged, we become ever more isolated and imprisoned by our personal truths, and we fail to learn how to change.

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