The question, what is truth, probably is as old as another question, what is the meaning of life? Truth certainly is not absolute; it is relative to one's perception of reality. And since reality is fluid, constantly changing by increased consciousness and discovery, so is truth.
Centuries ago, man truly believed that the Earth was flat and the center of the Universe. Discovery changed that. For a few centuries, people truly believed (and many still do) that Columbus discovered the new world. Discovery changed that perceived truth; Leif Ericsson beat him by 500 years. And, discoveries in genetics and DNA have opened a whole new world of truths previously unknown.
There are those who hold that their Truth is absolute, and the only real Truth. In my opinion, that is blindness of a special kind. That kind of Truth usually has its adherents clinging to blind faith, regardless of how ridiculous the majority of the binding tenants have proven to be. When something has been proven to be not just outdated but patently false, many times, and the purveyors of such continue to spin their tale to their mesmerized adherents, it has to be either a form of brainwashing or a lie. Or is it?
To the blindly faithful, it is not a lie but the Truth as they choose to live it and experience it. It does not matter to them how many times and in how many ways science has proven that their Truth is incorrect, since they believe that science itself is a lie. When something is repeated over and over again, whether it be truth or fiction, people gradually will believe it.
It can be said that when we live out our Truth, what we believe to be right, it can be witnessed in our words and deeds. There are those adherents of a certain Truth that feel compelled to leave written tracts about their Truth at your door; they are acting out their Truth. Even if a person deems that Truth to be false, it is still the Truth for its adherents. And, when a man holds something to be true, he does not have a problem being loyal and living in fidelity with it. But what should be done with the loyalty and fidelity given to that Truth when something happens to damage it or prove it false?
In the 21st century, daily discoveries are made that change previously perceived Truths. A discovered something else is added to the mix (that particular truth) and it alters our perception of that Truth; it makes that Truth even more so, or it proves it to be false. When men enter into a contract, both parties agree to terms and to the end means that they consider mutually beneficial, thus binding. Based on this, both parties expect to live in loyalty and fidelity with the agreed contract. But what happens if one of the men was duped by the other, with deception, into signing the contract? How can that man continue to live in loyalty and fidelity with the other who had duped him? In my opinion, he cannot and should not.
If a man purchased some land and the seller had agreed to certain specifics to happen after the sale, and they did not because the seller had no intention of doing so, there is no reason for the buyer to have any loyalty and fidelity with the seller. Sue him. If a man had a house built to certain specifics and the builder cut corners by not following those set specifics (to increase his profit), then there is no case for loyalty and fidelity. Take him to court. If a spouse has had an extra-marital affair or secretly entered into the marriage for financial gain, the victimized spouse has every reason to end his or her loyalty and fidelity. These three examples describe how people entered into a "truth" and how deception altered that believed truth (in the mind of the victimized) making it, loyalty, and fidelity null and void. There should be no reason to continue to be loyal and live in fidelity with something or someone who has deliberately harmed or intended to harm you. However, there are those things known as accidents, things that should not be confused with the aforementioned deceptions.
A neighbor wanted to do you a favor, a kindness, and he decided to cut your grass. Unknown to your neighbor: you put down a lawn treatment that required a 48 hour "do not disturb" before cutting your lawn. You are out your time and the expense of the lawn treatment. What should you do? Thank your neighbor for his effort but tell him about the lawn treatment. Share a joke and a beer or two over it. If reimbursement for the treatment is offered, take it. There is no reason to remove your loyalty and fidelity from this man. He preformed, within his perceived Truth, an act of neighborhood fidelity to you, and did so without malice. It should always be so easy.
Copyright @2013 Terry Unger