The belief that absolute truths exist leads to the subjugation of individuals and groups, whereby a re-evaluation of truth might be a necessary condition of liberation.
Whether or not actual truths exist seems to be beyond our ability to know, at least right here and now. Every claim to truth is steeped in an assumption that a truth can exist, yet this assumption has never been adequately illustrated. Because language makes truth seem self-evident, we take it for granted, but when critical thought is applied the unverifiable certainties which truths require seem to multiply exponentially the further you look.
Even more troubling is the way the concept of truth is used in real life. Truth itself becomes an authority under which we must now conform and abide. The purpose of truth seems to be a behavior modification device by which power inflicts itself on the powerless. Truth is a tool for telling others how things are and what they must then be expected to do.
All things are subject to interpretation; whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.
Even the most benevolent of truths act as legislators which make us susceptible to unexamined thoughts and behaviors. So when we ask to be freed from power by truth, we are asking the basis of power to free us of its own beneficial grip.
Truth is not the path to liberation, it is the trap by which the seeker is disrupted from their search.
ALL FORMS OF HATRED, PREJUDICE AND BIGOTRY ARE TRUTH-BASED.
The recruiters for hate groups use truth all of the time, but just a small enough part of it to manipulate others. This seems more true now than in the recent past, since hate groups are not just simple good ol’ boys hiding in the shadows of a fiery cross under a mask and robe reciting ridiculous rituals, but are fronted by educated leaders with slick rhetoric. Step into this shady world and you will be bombarded with truths.
Black people commit more crimes. Black people kill more black people than white people do. Black people perform lower overall on standardized tests. Blah blah blah.
All of those things are facts which can be supported by evidence. However none of them support the conclusion that whites are superior because those convenient set of facts have left out far more facts of equal or greater veracity. Racists never ask how the problems which seem to suggest inferiority came about. They never consider that racism itself may be the greatest contributing factor to those outcomes. Instead they insist that these results are natural consequences of the fact of being black, a circular logic which abdicates all white responsibility and replaces it with hateful superiority.
If you look at any other form of hatred, bigotry and prejudice you will find similar premises. Arguments for hate give a truthful appearance because they do contain truth, just almost entirely misrepresented.
However nobody ever seems to require any truth to not be racist. If you ask the next person you see why they are not a racist, it is very doubtful they will start spouting off facts to support their position. And again, this is the same with any other form of hate. Understanding, acceptance and human compassion require no facts whatsoever. They arise not from analysis of truth, but from our empathy and intuition.
This is also true of our personal relationships. If we are angry at someone, or even if we hate them, we generally have specific fact-based reasons for doing so. But when we care for others or love them our reasons tend to become more ephemeral and incommunicable.
A cynic might suggest that hate is more real than love, because it is often more fact-based. And maybe that is true, but maybe what is real isn’t in our best interest. Just as maybe what is true isn’t.
It is one thing to be honest and impeccable with your word, but altogether another to fetishize truth as some absolute virtue. Towards that which is virtuous, truth can often contribute, but the equivocation of truth and goodness in entirety opens up the doors for the kinds of certainty that almost always end in hatred and subjugation.
Truth is that which judges individuals by group constructs, regardless of the relationship between the individual and alleged group. Truth is that which empowers some groups and individuals over other groups and individuals. For every positive function of truth, an equal or greater number of misuses exist. Given this we should be careful that our relationship with truth is subordinate to our loftier humanist desires, and not to become subjected to it or subject others to it by using it towards absolutist outcomes.
There is one truth that stands above all the rest, and that is – Don’t be an asshole. If you are using truth to justify why you are an asshole, the untruth of your character speaks more than any set of facts ever could.