You’ve come into possession of one vial of truth serum. Who would you give it to (with the person’s consent, of course) — and what questions would you ask?
My immediate thought was to give the truth serum to either President Obama or former President Bush or any political figure to ask them the truth about what is really going on, but then I thought about it and for what, what would it change and what does the word “truth” really mean?
What does Truth mean?
the quality or state of being true:
“he had to accept the truth of her accusation”
synonyms: veracity · truthfulness · verity · sincerity · candor · honesty ·
that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality:
“tell me the truth”
synonyms: fact(s) · reality · real life · actuality
This is what the dictionary states, but it doesn’t take into account what perception does to reality. Facts are important, but we often forget that interpretation is what gives facts a narrative. If we look at our criminal justice system, truth is not often a factor, instead it is the more compelling version of the story that gets the job done. That is what attorney’s do; they take the facts and line them up in the narrative that will hopefully deliver their goal, either conviction or acquittal.
I think that our personal truths are our own and it is within our personal context which makes it our truth. I have noticed that in any situation shared by any number of people, each one will emerge with their own personal truth of what happened and it is so rare that any of those truths align completely as one.
So that is why I wouldn’t even bother with a truth serum, I would by all means ask for that person’s opinion and have them give me their complete story, but I would not call that the truth, I would call it their story, their logical progression based on the facts as they understand them and that would be what I would be interested in finding out, not necessarily the truth.
Then I could better understand where they were coming from in their decision making process.
I think that the word truth has gotten distorted over time and we need to reevaluate what we are looking for when we use the word. I don’t know if I adequately explained my understanding and my meaning of truth, facts, reality and how they are interrelated. I hope that I made sense.