From fabulous fables and pseudo demons to idiotic idioms and quasi modos, pedanticism about truth, reality and understanding since antiquity has been driven to counter attempts of individuals to better themselves to the detriment of society. A game of chance for those who believe they can get away with it; an hereditary or acquired disposition for those at the extremities of pathos; a natural battle for balance; yin v yang, competition v cooperation, good v evil; our hands are full of historical notes ostensibly to sort out who should do what and why, but evidentially telling us that the battle is eternal. Ironically, even for those who believe they have won their individual battle for supremacy over others, whether by conquering nations or having more big cylinders in their giant gas guzzlers, tis easy to surmise that those who play their roles honorably (if not totally honestly, for where lie the true homes of white lies?), find harmonies and happiness’s that elude chest thumpers and snake oil sellers.
Our planet’s most cohesive societies hold differing opinions, many based on differing interpretations of reality and truth. BS detectors vary wildly in capacity and many a smooth talker seem honest to some; indeed many an observable liar might suit the apparent needs of the listener and there be many ways to ‘justify’ maintaining support of a scoundrel. Choose a large religion and the majority of the world will differ in your choice. Choose a political party and roughly half your fellow citizens will disagree. So let’s avoid politics and religion and choose a high profile controversial court case. A typical individual becomes a juror, choosing one way or another on the basis of media reports suffering all manner of veracity afflictions. Many will recognise the foibles of engagement but nevertheless scour the reports for incontrovertible clues. We must read minds from afar knowing that memories play tricks and knowing that legal systems opt for expediency. You be the judge!
Wit Ness being cross-examined: “Were you in the room when you heard the accused?”
Wit Ness: “No, but…”
Cross Examiner: “Uh uh! I ask the questions, you answer what I ask. A yes or no answer here.”
Wit Ness: “I swore to this court that I would tell the ‘whole truth’. Are you saying that your word is greater than an oath to this court?”
And so it goes. Trust me. Would I lie to you?
Within mind the gods and demons: of trickery, Dolos, of deception, Apate, and of lies, the Pseudologoi, of truth and sincerity, Aletheia, of trust, honesty and good faith, Pistis, and of truth, Veritas, an ode for declarations of accurate disclosures – and may I be struck by lightning if a speak a word of a lie, so help me!
To tell you the truth
(corollary question being: What else were you planning?)
Truth is, Truthful Jones told me so
As sure as I stand here today!
On my honour, if the truth be told
God’s truth, gospel, believe me you
I swear on a stack of bibles, and on my granny’s grave too.
Trust me, I’m a doctor
Strewth, my oath, I kid you not!