- Thoughts for inspired living

August 22, 2008


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:22 am

I read a statement in the paper this morning that I did not believe. It was from a radio talk show host whose wife had filled out some radio ratings diaries from a radio measurement company to indicate her radio listening habits. This practice is against the company rules. If there is a member of the media in the household, you must decline the survey. Everyone in broadcasting knows this. This woman admits to filling out diaries that boosted her husband’s ratings exponentially – enough so that the company investigated.

The husband’s statement is that she did it without his knowledge. I don’t believe that. Am I calling him a liar? No!

“If you don’t believe his statement, you must believe that he is lying.” No, that’s not accurate. Aristotle may agree with you but I don’t. Perhaps an explanation is in order.

Regarding this story, I don’t have access to the truth. I was not there and I don’t live inside this guy’s head. I have no way of knowing the truth for sure, yet I don’t believe him. That does not make him a liar. My statement is a comment on my capacity to believe or not. I have put the onus on my belief and not on whether he’s telling the truth.

There is a major distinction here that goes far beyond the confines of this ratings story.

How much truth do we hold on to that we cannot validate? If it can’t be validated, it’s not true. It may be true inside your head, but it is not the absolute truth – it’s relevant truth – relevant to what you believe. Relevant truth can be useful or not.

For example, there are so many things we believe that are useful, yet not true. Many assumptions cannot be proven but many assumptions have paved the way to many great accomplishments. Columbus comes to mind. The “truth” was the world was flat. His assumption proved otherwise. Or, as Colin Tipping has written in his book Radical Forgiveness,

“. . . it is worth noting that even the most widely accepted theories are based on assumptions for which there is very little hard evidence. For example, did you know that not one shred of evidence exists to support Darwin’s Theory of Evolution? Historically, that theory ranks as one of the biggest assumptions ever made. It serves as the basic assumption behind all biological science and as the very foundation on which much of our accepted scientific truth rests. However, the fact that no evidence exists to prove this assumption true does not mean that the theory is invalid or not useful.”

We also hold as true some things that aren’t useful. How useful is prejudice? Talk to someone with a deep prejudice and you will find a deep relevant truth that can’t be validated, yet it is the foundation of his world.

My truth and your truth are mainly beliefs which cannot be validated. The absolute truth has no opposite. You won’t find truth in a debate – just relevant truths about peoples’ beliefs.

Take responsibility for your beliefs and stand up for them if you feel the need – just don’t make the mistake of labeling them as the truth. There will be consequences.

All the best,


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