Truth – Is It In the Eye of the Beholder?

Or Is It an Absolute?

Written by JB Williams

©2006 USA


The word TRUTH seems so simple and basic, doesn’t it? Yet even Merriam-Webster struggles to find the words to define such a simple concept.


  • sincerity in action, character, and utterance
  • the state of being the case : FACT
  • the body of real things, events, and facts
  • the property (as of a statement) of being in accord with fact or reality


They were doing fine with these attempts to define TRUTH, right up until they added this line in the 10th On-Line Edition…


  • a judgment, proposition, or idea that is true or accepted as true


My guess is, the same folks who broadly interpret “freedom of religion” to mean “freedom from religion”, came up with this late addition to the definition which totally changes the meaning of the word TRUTH. Today, TRUTH doesn’t have to be FACT or TRUE at all.  It only needs to be a JUDGMENT or PROPOSITION which has been ACCEPTED as TRUE


It turns out that Bill Clinton was correct – It does depend upon what the meaning of “IS” is… TRUTH is no longer absolute, it’s subjective. Both ignorance and faulty interpretations of fake things, non-events and partial facts, qualify as TRUTH, as long as enough people ACCEPT it.


Now, if that ain’t a great definition of LIBERAL, nothing is!


Life before gray matter was much easier. Webster’s 1823 Dictionary had much less trouble defining TRUTH. Of course, that’s before liberals began broadly re-defining lots of things…


  • Conformity to fact or reality; exact accordance with that which is, or has been, or shall be. The truth of history constitutes its whole value. We rely on the truth of the scriptural prophecies.
  • True state of facts or things. The duty of a court of justice is to discover the truth. Witnesses are sworn to declare the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.


Apparently in 1823, people knew what TRUTH was and they were committed to finding and making decisions based on those absolutes. Today, some clearly much prefer to make up their own TRUTH as they go, usually to suit their personal agendas.


Iraq provides the perfect example.


Did we conquer Iraq? Or did we liberate Iraq? Did we invade a country? Or did we depose the world’s most brutal and dangerous self-appointed regime? Are we fighting Islamic terrorists, neighboring thugs and local criminals in Iraq? Or are we killing innocent Iraqi civilians, better known as “insurgents”?


It seems we agree on none of these questions today and that isn’t because the TRUTH doesn’t exist. It’s because we are free to choose which TRUTH best suits our personal or political agendas… Merriam-Webster says so…


Those who believe only in absolute TRUTHS, based on the 1823 definition of the word, believe that we liberated the Iraqi people from the most brutal and dangerous regime on earth and are fighting a combination of Islamic terrorists, neighboring thugs and local criminals in an effort to secure a war torn region and provide an opportunity for peace, prosperity and freedom on behalf of the Iraqi people. We have plenty of REAL THINGS, EVENTS and FACTS to support this belief. Some call it the TRUTH as a result.


However, those who live in a world of no absolutes, where TRUTH is indeed in the eye of the beholder, where TRUTH is nothing more than “a judgment, proposition, or idea that is  accepted as true”, believe that we have invaded, conquered and occupy a nation, targeting innocent Iraqi citizens (insurgents) for our own selfish purposes. There are no REAL THINGS, EVENTS or FACTS to support this belief, but there doesn’t need to be. This belief need only be ACCEPTED as TRUE in order to be TRUE.


That’s why you see polling data that makes no sense today. According to our illustrious press, we are supposed to cast votes on the basis of what we accept to be true, on the basis of what they (the press) tell us is true, of course. It no longer matters what IS TRUE. It only matters what the people believe to be TRUE. That’s the basis upon which they will cast their votes.


And that’s why so much effort, so much money is poured into making sure that the voting public ACCEPTS the right thing as TRUE. Nobody in the press worries about what IS true, because there are no absolutes anyway. All that matters is what the people believe to be true, whether supported by REAL THINGS, EVENTS and FACTS or not. In the case of today’s press, most often not…


This might also explain why today’s politicians often take actions at odds with their statements. They have a pretty good idea of what the people want to hear. Since there are no real absolutes, neither politician nor voter is restricted to FACTS. Both are free to use any set of TRUTHS that suit the occasion.


Are we in a good economy or an awful economy? The hard numbers provide the TRUTHFUL answer. But when those numbers do not support our agenda, we simply invent new numbers or discredit the generally accepted measuring stick.


Is unemployment doing well or not? Again, the REAL THINGS, EVENTS and FACTS are indisputable, unless they don’t support your agenda, in which case you just come up with your own on an as-needed basis.


Is America safer by putting terrorists on the run? Or is it less safe as a result of confronting terrorists and the regimes that breed, harbor and support them, who had already grown into an international threat before being confronted? These things matter because our votes, our nation’s direction, will be driven by the answers to these questions, true or not.


Those willing to make tough decisions on the basis of REAL THINGS, EVENTS and FACTS, once known as the TRUTH, will make their decision one way. Those who allow themselves the latitude of ACCEPTED JUDGMENTS, PROPOSITIONS AND IDEAS, operating in a sea of gray matter where no absolutes exist, will make their decision quite another way - The opposite way, to put a fine point on it.


Our nation is divided today, but not only between republicans and democrats, conservatives and liberals, right-wing and left-wing. We are divided right down the line that separates those who believe in ABSOLUTE TRUTH from those who contend that TRUTH IS SUBJECTIVE, even negotiable.


Both will claim to vote their conscience. But only one of them will cast their vote on the basis of REAL THINGS, EVENTS and FACTS. Can you guess what kind of results you can expect from decisions made upon anything less?


The problem with liberal TRUTH is - it isn’t TRUE, at least according to the 1823 definition of TRUTH. The problem with today’s Democratic Party platform of promises is - it isn’t TRUE either. But don’t expect that to matter to democrat voters. Merriam-Webster provides the latitude needed to pursue their secular socialist agenda regardless of what the REAL THINGS, EVENTS and FACTS say!