Is it always better to know the truth, even when it hurts? Or is ignorance bliss? Or are they both true some of the time?
Bonus twist: how does your opinion on truth jive with your opinion of wikileaks?
Have you ever seen the movie “Secondhand Lions?”
Two older great-uncles, Hub and Garth, end up with a nephew, Walter, to raise. Along the way the uncles tell some pretty unbelievable stories. Finally, Walter asks if the stories are true.
During one of the more inspiring points in the movie, Hub answers Walter saying,
“Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things that a man needs to believe in the most: that people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; that love, true love, never dies… No matter if they’re true or not, a man should believe in those things because those are the things worth believing in.”
Tim McCanlies wrote those lines and got it right.
Hub was speaking to Walter a young man who had figured out that he couldn’t always believe what his mother told him and at the same time wanted to believe the fantastical stories of his great-uncles but was rightfully wary. The facts don’t always convey the truth of the situation in its sitz im leben. Without the context, in all of its depth and glory, the truth may not convey the whole truth.
All that being the case, sometimes the truth is incredibly painful and sometimes ignorance is bliss. But only the complete sitz im leben can give credibility for the truth.