What is truth?
Truth comes from four sources: intuition, authority, experience, and logic.
We believe things because our bodies tell us it is true (intuition), someone we trust tells us it is true (authority), we have witnessed it (experience), and we have deduced it from fundamental premises.
Intuition is the distillation of the wisdom of generations upon generations of ancestors both human and pre-human.
Reliance on authority is the necessary consequence of the division of labor.
We believe scientists because we trust their authority not because we have actually understood the science itself. This trust comes with risks. The science-based war on fat led to the obesity epidemic.
Experience is often a heartless teacher.
Logic can protect us against horrible experiences but can be tricky and lead us astray. Reality is often counter intuitive.
The best of intentions can have the worst consequences because of ignorance of painful truths.
Human capacity for denial and self-deception is infinite.
Truth hurts. The most painful truths are truths about yourself.
Often you are not the person you think you are and would rather not admit it or do anything about it.
Speaking truth can get you in serious trouble. Not least of which because it can hurt the feelings of others. Should truth be put above the value of kindness?
“Rather than love, than fame, than money, give me truth,” wrote Henry David Thoreau. Easier said than done.
A distressing quality of truth is its sluggishness relative to falsehood.
As Churchill wrote, lies fly half way round the world before the truth gets his pants on.