“Your belief in X does not make it true. Fact is still fact.”
I’ve been seeing this phrase thrown around a lot in regards to just about everything. Of course, being a believer in many ideas considered unconventional or “new age-y” makes this statement especially relevant to me. My first, most obvious response to seeing this statement is that fact is fact, true, but you have no more claims to “fact” than anyone else does especially in the realm of subjective experiences and beliefs! Besides, I only intend to share my experiences and point of view, rather than seek to establish my viewpoint as any kind of Fact. What gives anyone any more right to own Truth?
But, saying that brings up another concern. How objective is reality, and how important is it that reality be objective? Should there be some kind of “Truth Police” out there making sure everyone’s beliefs stay in line?
Philosophically, I am very interested in ideas born not out of direct experience but of reason, imagination or otherwise. However, when it comes down to it, my ingrained Earth-sign dominated way of thinking requires a solid ground to set my ideas upon. It needs an “objective reality” from which we can all draw the same experiences and conclusions. The more nebulous the reality behind an experience is, the more frustrated I get. Clearly, I am not the only one. That’s why you see so many theories on every subject under the sun, all vying for the position of being Objective Fact.
Back to the Truth Police question: does having an objective reality then task certain people with protecting and maintaining its truths? Surely if there is a defined set of answers, some people are right about them and some are wrong. But who gets to make that decision? Who really gets to make that decision? Why do so many people assume they know the answer to that question?
It is really tempting to want to say “live and let live” and leave it at that. “I have my beliefs, you have yours. I am not interested in what is Right and Wrong, I am simply interested in developing my understanding of my experiences.” But that doesn’t leave people satisfied. People still have to respond with “Yes…but you’re still wrong!” So instead, I’d say this:
Why should it matter? 🙂