Where Once A Man’s Word Had Honor, Now Lies Have Become Truth
August 13, 2012
The dictionary defines a progressive as being someone who “favors progress or reform, especially in political matters”. Progress and reform are both gray issues; meaning there is no specific description of what each means. That in and of itself presents an array of troublesome quandaries that have led this fine nation into a spiraling abyss of immorality, or at least can be perceived by anyone maintaining some semblance of an honest and ethical lifestyle. One such example of “favors progress or reform”, in order to achieve a desired result, is lying. Where once a man’s word retained a wealth of value and was as good as good can get, now lying is not only prevalent but eagerly accepted among the masses of progressive, secular Americans. But why?
One of the things I managed to accomplish this summer while at my camp in the woods of Maine was to read. One particular book I read – one that I bought for .50 cents at the library book sale – was another in a growing collection of books I have about Abraham Lincoln, but in particular the conspiracy to assassinate him. The book is: “The True History of the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln and of the Conspiracy of 1865″. The content of the book is essentially the account as told by Louis J. Weichmann.
Weichmann was a friend of John H. Surratt and the Surratt family, including Mary Surratt. He also met and had relationships of varying degrees with many of the so-called conspirators, including John Wilkes Booth, in the killing of Abraham Lincoln and the attempted assassination of others. Because of this association, Weichmann was initially held by authorities as a possible conspirator but eventually much of his testimony was used to convict members of this group.
The book details the testimony and trial of the conspirators (all were charged and tried together). A few years after the initial trial, John H. Surratt was captured and tried and Weichmann details this as well.
Aside from the complicated mess of evidence, real and fabricated, it doesn’t take long to realize that the words and written testimony of those involved in the trial, are held in high esteem by both the author and the courts. Seldom was a person’s word brought into question unless it could be accurately proven to be a falsehood. Time was not wasted attempting to blur the evidence or present a person’s testimony as something it wasn’t in order to have influence over the jury. Words were either fact or fiction and if fiction you better have real proof. If it was proven a man lied, nothing that specific individual had to say or offer in the case had any value and was completely disregarded. Otherwise, a man’s word was seldom questioned as society still viewed a person’s word as something to honor and respect.
Can the same be said for today? We witness courtroom testimony and the words of witnesses, judges, lawyers, etc. and much of what they say, if not an outright lie, is misleading and meant to be so. Each side strives for a desired outcome and subjective morals and subjective truths are used in order to get there.
This is not relegated to just the courtrooms however. Take our media for example. Where once it was mostly taken as a “journalist’s” moral responsibility and obligation to tell only the facts as can be substantiated, now it’s more about ratings and who can be the first to tell a story about an event regardless of the accuracy of the content.
We Americans find ourselves once again mired in another presidential campaign, along with elections of certain member seats in the House and Senate. Honest and unbiased reasoning shows us there is little justification to trust a politician’s word about anything and yet as sure as flies are attracted to garbage, voters are drawn to the words, not perhaps because of the truths they may hold but for the want of what those recitations promise. We care not if anything uttered is truth, just that what they say images our desired subjective truths and morals. We are so fickle!
It is readily discussed these days, and surely who can argue, that what once was news is now entertainment. One coined word for this is “infotainment”. While it may be entertainment, and some members of this “news” entertainment might willingly agree to its description, it certainly is not presented to the masses of people as entertainment. Shouldn’t it be? Or has everything that involves truth and morality become subjective? Of course it has. American people take comedy and entertainment shows like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart or Colbert Nation with Stephen Colbert as legitimate news shows. We are so volatile!
At essentially every level of American society, progressiveness, i.e. the “development of an individual or society in a direction considered more beneficial than and superior to the previous level”, exists to some degree. We are all guilty. But what happens when one’s desires and idealism become the driving force in their life? To what lengths will they go and what conservative values are they willing to abandon in order to achieve that thought of as a, “superior level”?
None of this is new. This idea that morals and truth is subjective, meaning that one’s mind and thoughts can rightly justify the devaluing of objective truth, has been around in the minds of men for many centuries. Søren Aabye Kierkegaard, a Danish philosopher who died at age 42 and lived from 1813 – 1855, said: “…the thing is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die.” He also was quoted as saying: “When he is nearest to being in two places at the same time he is in passion; but passion is momentary, and passion is also the highest expression of subjectivity.”
Because someone is passionate about what they might believe, say and do, this can justify subjective truth and the lack of adherence to a moral compass? Wasn’t it James Madison who said that the only way our founding Constitution and Bill of Rights would ever survive was if the nation maintained a moral backbone. It has not. As a matter of fact, the so-called progressives have managed to convince our American youth that the worship of God Almighty played no role in the construction of our constitution and thus the end result is a promotion of subjective morals and truth, leaving a nation lacking in leadership to seek Kierkegaard’s truth – that which is true to me.
When considering this kind of thought and the results of those thoughts, also acknowledge how this enters into the many debates that exist in this country that are “passionate” and often, if not always, embroiled in one’s subjective truth. In the work that I do, this is prevalent in the debates about wildlife management and the environment. Just pick a subject.
The Bible says in John 14:6, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man cometh unto the Father except through Me.” For those who still adhere to objective truth and morals, God told us in his Word, that He alone was the Truth. Man’s words therefore can only be held to account of the Word of God in seeking truth. When’s the last time that happened in this country?
For the secular minded, be it told that Nazi Germany based its “truth” to justify the murdering of innocent humans on Darwin’s principle of “survival of the fittest”, therefore discovering their Kierkegaard kind of truth in killing those they believed to be inferior human beings. They also relied on Friedrich Nietzsche’s belief that: “Since there is no God to will what is good, we must will our own good. And since there is no eternal value, we must will the eternal recurrence of the same state of affairs.”
Not that the United States has now become Nazi Germany but provided that this nation, including each of us as accountable individuals, as well as our governments, powerful media sources, non governmental agencies, etc., continues down this road of dissing the Truth of God’s word and seeking their own truth to fit their agendas and ideals, we can only expect to witness a more blatant and intended bunch of lies in order to accomplish our goals.
God’s word is Truth. Every moral compass of the world should point to the Truth. When it does not, the lies become commonplace and those creating and perpetuating those lies will have succeeded in convincing themselves that “their truth” is what works for them and therefore all others become the lies.