(relative) truths

photo credits here

by borong

One plus one equals to two. Except, it could equate to ten, eleven and one too.

Fire is hot, ice is cold, and death is as inevitable as dawn and dusk. Except, temperatures needn’t be low for water to freeze. There are places in the world, too, where for months on end the sun never rises and never sets.

Water is wet, grass is green, and things fall down when you let them go. Except, grass isn’t always green. Grass can wilt, and become brown. Grass can be candy-apple red to a person who is colour-blind, or who learnt the colours different. Grass can have no specific colour, because the person looking at it never learnt the words for different colours, and thus never learnt to differentiate them.

Numerous other facts exist.

The sun goes around the Earth – or the Earth, around the sun, as discovered by Galileo. An apple fell on Newton’s head, and he realised that there is gravity. Mendel bred lots of peas, and he discovered that there were the laws of genetic inheritance.

Before them, then? What was the truth? Was it all these ‘gravity’ and ‘genetic inheritance’, even in a time when no one knew what that was and no one had ever heard of such an idea, when there were no words to describe these phenomena? Or was it simply whatever else they had believed in? Then the truth would, in this case, be anything people believe in – until it is proven wrong.

The truth isn’t meant to be fallible, though. It is meant to be unwavering, unchanging.

Which brings us to another question: if a tree falls in a forest, and no one is around, does it make a sound? If no one had ever heard it make a sound, will people say it is a truth that the tree makes a sound when it falls in the forest, even if no one is around that tree?

If you never knew, before, would you say with certainty that that is the truth?

Next time you crawl under your covers and turn off the light without checking under your bed or in your closet, remember that the truth is, monsters don’t exist.

(… or is it?)


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