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Knowing the Truth (or not)

Truth seems to be an incredibly valuable thing, but it does contradict something that comforts us in our everyday life: the benefit of the doubt. If we knew the truth, there would be no doubts, thus no benefits of the afore-mentioned. A major way that knowing the truth would ruin our lives would be that all movies suck. Most movies depend on keeping the viewer in a state of suspense, so that he or she can be surprised later on. Without that element there is little to no entertainment left.

Take the movie Fight Club for instance. Would it have been nearly as good if we'd have known all along that Pitt was just the dude's other personality? How about Sixth Sense? Sure, we get our little scares now and then, but the whole twisted ending is pointless if we knew all along that Bruce was a ghost. By the way, people who say that they knew all along are lying. You should never trust anything they tell you ever again.

Knowing the truth can be a good thing, if the truth happened to be something that you like. Imagine that God really existed and promises you a superb afterlife. You then knowing this truth would make your world all pink and rosy, but what if you did believe in God and Jesus, but you came to find out that the truth was that there is nothing after you die. Seriously, you just cease to exist- no soul or spirit or nothing. That truth kind of sucks and doesn't give people a good reason to be nice people during their time on Earth, does it?

It comes down to a kind of knowing only a "selective" truth, leaving you with benefits of doubt about other things. Would that work? Knowing only good things would mean that everything you didn't know was bad. Wait- that means you know something bad (knowing that everything you don't know is bad), so selective knowledge doesn't work either. Ignorance IS bliss!

Now that I've got you thinking about what you wish you knew and what you wish you didn't (your parents favor your brother / sister, your girlfriend / boyfriend misses his / her ex, there is / isn't a God who does / doesn't love you, the meaning of life or lack thereof) I'll leave you with some quotes of truth by people who may or may not be famous.

"How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four; calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg."
- Abraham Lincoln

"Believe nothing just because a so-called wise person said it. Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held. Believe nothing just because it is said in ancient books. Believe nothing just because it is said to be of divine origin. Believe nothing just because someone else believes it. Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true." [paraphrased]
- Buddha

"All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them."
- Galileo

"The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off."
- Gloria Steinem

"As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of the demand."
- Josh Billings

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
- George Orwell

You may also be interested in reading: Boy who Cried Wolf

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Comment by Antonius L. Zubeck

Posted on 21 October, 2008
Knowing everything definitely wouldn't be a very good way to live. Probably the few of us who are happy in life are that way because they don't know everything. Striving to understand everything would be a much more rewarding experience.

Comment by Annie

Posted on 26 October, 2008
human suffer because they don't know!!

Comment by Ralph van den Berg

Posted on 26 October, 2008
Humans will suffer when they know what they don't know...

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