A friend wrote on my “apology for offending” note that he does the same as me, being an idealist like I am. He says he attracts lots of flak in return.
There are two ways to look at it, one of perspective and the other of expression, while the perspective of truth may vary from person to person for various reasons, expression of truth, as we see it, is an equally important aspect.
Many people, including yours truly at times, often in heated arguments, forget absolutely perfect manners and language and sway to the uncouth. I am not alone. There is a huge populace who are quite insensitive in their choice of words in an argument. They do not, for example, know when to “gracefully exit” a debate before or during the start of ugliness.
For the only person we can truly convince of our views, is our own self, the rest may or may not agree for various reasons.
And those “various reasons?” – Absolute vs relative truth.
And why is relative truth the “enemy of mankind” in my opinion? Perhaps I can explain, hopefully without offending many this time!
Some, like myself, an idealistic bloke, see the world and events in absolute terms, without any “allegiance” to a tribe, faith, community, race, color, national identity etc. Absolute truth is based on the assumption or supposition that we are all ONE human race on ONE planet in ONE universe and we all need to OWN each other in every possible way, sharing resources and responsibility for the planet and its inhabitants, humans, plants, animals, oceans and atmosphere. In short the term “I got your back” applies to the whole world!
Most people, I’d say 90% or more, see events, “truth,” and “facts” with a lens of relationships and attachments to national identity, faith, tribe, color, race etc. Their perceptions are often the opposite or very different from those who see things from a more idealistic and humanitarian lens.
Now most conflicts occur when people who value absolute truth get into arguments with people who value relative truth. For nothing they say to prove their point has any effect, in fact, people who value relative truth have become ‘smarter’ in arguing and are quick to come up with clichéd ‘evidence’ to support their views.
Some examples of distortions of truth, in my observations, used by proponents of relative truth include (and I invite you to add to the list please!):
- Justification of Israeli Forces excesses against Palestinians by quoting Hamas and stone-throwing Palestinian kids
- Justification of violence in Kashmir against the entire Muslim populace and in other parts of India by quoting “foreign sympathizers” and odd incidents of violence, even holding Muslims responsible for the spread of COVID!
- Justification of hatred against “non Muslims” and minorities like “Ahmedis” by many Muslims quoting how they “distorted” the “original” faith and are hence eligible for hatred and killing, and taking away the right from them to proclaim who they believe themselves to be, regardless of what the “facts” may be to the larger community
- More or less the same justification as 3 above by Christians, Jews, Hindus against Muslims quoting out of context, isolated verses from the Quran, or a few acts of terrorism by a minuscule minority, using them to brand all Muslims
- Justification of KKK, Nazis, RSS (India), Daesh/ISIS by their supporters quoting their “religious textbooks” as well as acts of “excess” by whoever they are / were up against
- Justification of sanctions, “Brexits” and “Walls” against poorer nations on flimsy grounds of selfish control of wealth than a responsible approach to the world at large
- Justification of “national pride and success” at the cost of global failure is probably the most hurtful, COVID is just one example where the world failed to come together as one, lying, deceit and blame games are en vogue, proving how “relative truth” hurts us all, whether we do or do not believe in it
The trouble is: unless superpowers and their leadership believe in absolute truth, relative truth and it’s proponents will prevail. The good thing is most inhabitants of the developed world either totally or partially believe in the absolute truth. The third world, mostly, still rallies behind flags and faiths. Prehistoric notions of supremacy still prevail, though a lot has changed. This detail is keeping us humans in the dark ages.