The Hypothesis Of Truth | 2019-02-22 | daily-sun.com

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The Hypothesis Of Truth

Morshedul Alam Mohabat

22 February, 2019 12:00 AM printer

The Hypothesis Of Truth

Truth is not enchanting, in the sense that it does not always resemble and pamper the longings that one cherishes in his/her mind. In contrast, the perceptions that are somehow imbued with lies always pacify the soul and if those notions are taken for granted by the mind, it would no more keep a man happy; rather a sense of dissatisfaction will cloud his mind.

Everyday we face different kinds of situations, those may be adverse or favourable, and we adopt several kinds of policies and strategies which fluctuate from person to person to get over those circumstances. And on the way to overcome those problems we often resort to lies. Sometimes we even lie gratuitously. But do we ask ourselves at the end of the day: how much truthful are we? We do not do so because we do not want our conscience to suffer from pangs. Moreover we do not actually care about being truthful. It does not make any difference to us whether we are pursuing the path of truth or not.    

Truth is a term with so many layers in its meaning that it may not be defined in one sentence; it can be regarded as something that is genuine or correct from the standard perspective of judgment without any touch of artificiality. Most of the people cannot accept truth easily because it does not always complement or boost their ego. For instance, people in most cases, do not like outspoken people and often humiliate them or call them liars. On the other hand, people who are skilled in the art of flattery are befriended by most people as the hollow praises of the flatterers inflate their self-esteem, though ultimately these fake flatteries do them no good. Truth is not enchanting, in the sense that it does not always resemble and pamper the longings that one cherishes in their mind. In contrast, the perceptions that are somehow imbued with lies always pacify the soul and if those notions are taken for granted by the mind, it would no more keep a man happy; rather a sense of dissatisfaction will cloud his mind. Sir Francis Bacon precisely puts it, “Doth any man doubt that if there were taken out of men’s minds vain opinions, false valuations, flattering hopes, imagination as one would and the like, it would but leave the minds of many a poor shrunken things, full of melancholy, and indisposition.” 

Moreover, the path of truth always proves to be difficult. It is not easy at all to stand on the vantage ground of truth since it invites a lot many troubles that are sometimes very difficult to deal with. Edith Sitwell states, “Truth is the only safe ground to stand on”, but it is refutable to some extent. Socrates, who lived about 2500 years ago in Greece, was very inquisitive about finding out the truth and so he was charged in the court for ruining the character of young people. But he did not do anything like that; rather he simply strived to inculcate a sense of curiosity among the youths so that they may work hard with a view to reaching the ultimate truth. Unfortunately, a vested quarter of the Greek administration hatched a plot against him only because of his truthfulness and he was finally awarded with capital punishment. Abraham Lincoln’s views complement the situation of Socrates, “There are few nudities so objectionable as the naked truth.’’

But one should not get frustrated in life; rather one should yearn to acquire positive lessons from Socrates’ indomitable love for truth since he did not bow down before lies and falsehood. He asserted while his trial was going on in front of the whole assembly, “None of you like the truth. You cannot kill me nor can the judges. Truth will kill me because everybody dislikes it. Even if you let me out of the prison I shall go on trying to find the truth, and I shall go on telling people to ask questions. To live is nothing, but to live rightly is everything.”

Again, lies neutralize situations more easily than truth, in most cases. Most people resort to lies to escape the problems of life and they lie several times to hide – may be – a single truth! Lies sneak into men’s minds more effortlessly than truth does. A lie, stated by Lenin, can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.

Nevertheless, people who still long to explore the truth find it real tough to harbor themselves in the port of truth. As Frank Lloyd Wright opines, “All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered, the point is to discover them.” Such discovery of truth is truly a troublesome business but it is feasible if someone proceeds with relentless patience, passion for truth, and sanguine view wherein one might face a great deal of hindrances in the way and feel extremely hopeless; but one should not lose heart. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle once said, “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.”

In some way or the other, truth always comes out victorious, while a lie cannot hold water for a long time. For instance, all moribund patients admit their wrongdoings on the verge of death and reveal the truths of their lives to the nearest ones. Philip Larkin, a great poet, compares an ambulance with a confession room where everyone confesses the truth to their loved ones, in his poem ‘Ambulance’. Such psychological restlessness to bring the truth into light is really observant especially among people who are dying. For example Mark Twain commented, “Truth sits upon the lips of dying men.”

Above all, no good is comparable to being truthful though its way is always thorny. One must also keep in mind that mass people at the very outset may put a truthful man in an awkward situation but it is not the end of his journey. Truth, says Andre Gide, passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. In addition to that, truth helps one to emancipate the soul and adorn the mind with heavenly satisfaction. Francis Bacon states in his essay ‘Of Truth’, “Certainly it is heaven upon earth to have a man’s mind move in charity, rest in providence, and turn upon the poles of truth.”

In a nutshell, our attitude should embody the truthfulness of our nature and at the same time we should grow a habit of accepting the truth – no matter how bitter it is. We should not flee away from truth; rather we should search it and make people aware of the facts that may enlighten them. While you live, Shakespeare says in The Merchant of Venice, tell the truth and shame the evil. 


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