Re: Some Words Clarified
TRUTH: (often confused with "accuracy.") is largely an abstraction. THE truth is known to the fanatic, the deranged, and the cultural absolutist, while A truth is subject to the test of falsification. There are as many appli- cations of "truth" as there are cases in which to apply it. "No truth is proved, no truth achieved, by argument, and the ready-made truths men offer you are mere conveniences or drugs to make you sleep." Saint-Exupéry
Truth, like pornography, cannot be defined, but you know it when you hear it.
JUSTICE: (more often "retribution") lies in the eyes of the offender who, more often than not, seem himself as innocent.
"Justice should remove the bandage from her eyes long enough to distinguish between the vicious and the unfortunate." Ingersoll
Unfortunately, justice lies less in the hands of the just than in the hands of the powerful.
MORALITY: (usually local in nature) Having six wives may be immoral, but it could be a lot of fun if it weren't so damned costly.
"Be not too hasty to trust or to admire the teachers of morality: they discourse like angels, but they live like men." Samuel Johnson
Stealing a loaf of bread, when starving, from a a rich baker is a crime, but not immoral. Stealing a Rolex watch from a jewelery store that you manage is not only immoral, but stupid.
GOOD: (distant root, "God") A relative term. Littleton was "good" for the undertakers and the news broadcasters.
"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking but thinking makes it so." Shakespeare
It's an ill wind that blows nobody good.
HONESTY: (similar to "honor" but not to be mistaken for "sincerity") Usually defined as doing the right thing when nobody is looking. The cynic says, "Honesty pays, but not very much."
"There is no well-defined boundary line between honesty and dishonesty. The frontiers of one blend with the outside limits of the other, and he who attempts to tread this dangerous ground may be sometimes in the one domain and sometimes in the other." O. Henry
LAW: (perceived to regulate where nothing else seems to work and often bears little resemblance to justice) When we are right, the law is an angel; when we are wrong, the law is an ass.
"First, we must kill all the lawyers." Shakespeare
Law is the bane of the poor and the hammer of the rich. There oughta be a law!
If I've written this before, it bears repeating:
What really seems to count is not so much what what is true or right, but rather, what you can get away with and get others to accept.
Man has always sought quick, easy answers from sources outside of himself. This has given rise to a host of divines, philosophers, gurus, and pundits only too willing to step in and milk the cash cow. Gogol said it best:
"OF A SUDDEN...IN THE MIDST OF THE SILENCE...THE IRON LID OF THE COFFIN BURST OPEN WITH A CRASH, AND THE CORPSE OF THE DEAD GIRL SAT UP. EVEN MORE FRIGHTFUL WAS SHE NOW THAN THE FIRST TIME. FRIGHTFULLY HER TEETH RATTLED, CONVULSIVELY HER LIPS TWITCHED, WILDLY SHE SCREAMED INCANTATIONS. A WHIRLWIND SWEPT THROUGH THE CHURCH; THE ICONS FELL ON THEIR FACES; THE SMASHED PANES FLEW OUT THE WINDOWS. THE DOORS WERE TORN FROM THEIR HINGES, AND AN INNUMERABLE HORDE OF HORRORS SWEPT INTO THE HOLY CHURCH. THE WHOLE PLACE WAS FILLED WITH A TERRIBLE SOUND OF THE SCRATCHING OF CLAWS AND THE SWISHING OF WING. IN A FLOCK, THEY SWOOPED AND WHEELED, SEARCHING EVERYWHERE TO FIND THE PHILOSOPHER!"
Did you know that Conyers, Georgia is one of those "apparition sites" where Jesus and Mary are alleged to have appeared? Go to "search" and punch in "Conyers, Georgia",
Keep up the good fight.
Art Haykin Bend Oregon
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