Posts tagged ‘truth’
May 18, 2014
Photo credit: Danel Solabarrieta
“Sentient beings, by virtue of their being sentient, have an interest in remaining alive; that is, they prefer, want, or desire to remain alive. We cannot justify treating any sentient non-human as our property, as a resource, as a thing that we can use and kill for our purposes.” – Gary L. Francione
Animal rights can be a touchy subject for many people because it hits too close to home—their stomachs and their lifestyle. Eating non-meat food, or using non-animal based products, challenges their beliefs.
Carl Sagan sums this up nicely in his quote about truth:
“You are a threat to my version of the truth, especially the truth about who I am and what my nature is. The thought that I may have dedicated my life to a lie, that I might have accepted a conventional wisdom that no longer, if it ever did, corresponds to the external reality, that is a very painful realization. I will tend to resist it to the last. I will go to almost any lengths to prevent myself from seeing that the world view that I have dedicated my life to is inadequate.”
Most people don’t like to see any animal abused or killed. Yet we turn a blind eye to suffering that is going on daily—animals bred and killed to satisfy our food, clothing and product desires. It’s not that we’re inherently cruel, it’s that we don’t really think about how our meat, leather and other merchandise comes from living, feeling creatures.
We’ve been taught that using animals is the “natural” and necessary way for us to survive. But we can make different choices. We created this system of animal exploitation and we can change it.
The Ghosts In Our Machine is an excellent documentary that puts a face on animal abuse. Please check it out.
“The question is not, “Can they reason?” nor, “Can they talk?” but “Can they suffer?” – Jeremy Bentham
May 7, 2014
“If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I seek the truth, by which no one was ever truly harmed. It is the person who continues in his self-deception and ignorance who is harmed.”
– Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
There’s so much to learn in life that we tend to put many of our beliefs and actions on autopilot. We learn something, then we think and act out of habit. It’s easier that way. It saves time and effort.
But if we close our minds and don’t question our personal status quo, we won’t continue to grow. We’re part of a changing Universe where all life must evolve or die. It’s healthy for us to revisit what we think we know, and use new information to update old beliefs and habits.
By challenging the way we think and act, we may discover a healthier way to eat, a smarter way to handle money, a new way to exercise, a more environmentally friendly way to travel—or even a better way to tie our shoe.
Our learning is never done—it always remains undone.
“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” – Albert Einstein
June 28, 2012
Truth can come to us in many ways if we’re open to new learning—but it can be hard to embrace when it differs with our current thinking.
This quote from Carl Sagan addresses the conflict between truth and beliefs—how fear and pain make people resistant to change:
“We kill each other, or threaten to kill each other, in part, I think, because we are afraid we might not ourselves know the truth, that someone else with a different doctrine might have a closer approximation to the truth.
Our history is in part a battle to the death of inadequate myths. If I can’t convince you, I must kill you. That will change your mind. You are a threat to my version of the truth, especially the truth about who I am and what my nature is.
The thought that I may have dedicated my life to a lie, that I might have accepted a conventional wisdom that no longer, if it ever did, corresponds to the external reality, that is a very painful realization.
I will tend to resist it to the last. I will go to almost any lengths to prevent myself from seeing that the world view that I have dedicated my life to is inadequate.”
The answers are out there—if we’re willing to accept the messages.
“Truth is universal. Perception of truth is not.” – Anonymous
Aren’t you going to open it?
June 24, 2012
We’re part of a universe in motion. Everything changes—it’s a fact, a truth. We “know” this through our experience, not by our belief alone.
Change is the reason to question everything—truth is a moving target—sh*t happens—what’s different now? Ongoing learning helps us make better choices for ourselves and society.
In politics, candidates who change their position on an issue are called ” flip floppers”—they were for it, now they’re against it. According to their opponents, this is a bad thing. I see it as a sign of intelligence—a confident person open to influence, someone willing to evolve their thinking and alter their beliefs based on the most recent facts. That’s a good thing.
Bill Clinton addresses this issue in a speech at Georgetown University in 2006:
“We believe in a politics…dominated by evidence and argument. There is a big difference between a philosophy and an ideology on the right or the left. If you have a philosophy, it generally pushes you in a certain direction or another. But like all philosophers, you want to engage in discussion and argument. You are open to evidence, to new learning. And you are certainly open to debate the practical applications of your philosophy.
The problem with ideology is if you got an ideology, you already got your mind made up, you know all the answers, and that makes evidence irrelevant and argument a waste of time, so you tend to govern by assertion and attack. The problem with that is that discourages thinking and gives you bad results.”
“Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”
– Albert Einstein