Do people really want the truth? I’m not so sure.
On some things, I’d say yes. These would be things that we know have a direct impact on our daily lives. We want to know that the gas gauge on our vehicle is accurate. If it isn’t, there is a good chance we’ll be walking when we run out of fuel. We want to know how much money is actually in our bank accounts so we don’t draw on it so far that it goes negative and incurs a fee for us.
Are we interested in the truth for other things? Probably not.
I saw a meme recently that captured this very nicely. It stated, “People don’t want the truth. They just want constant reassurance that what they believe is the truth.” Wow.
What might some of these things be? Off the top of my head, I think the things that we don’t really want the truth have to do with what we think is linked to our identity. Instead, we’d rather have what we believe to be true about our identity. It allows us to paint a more positive picture about ourselves to ourselves and others.
And so, I think most people aren’t interested in the truth when it comes to money (the reality of how it impacts our decision making and the power it has over us), politics, entertainment, sports, work, and more. All of these things have a religious undertone to them. They come with a set of beliefs about the world. They have high priests which declare the doctrines that are “true.” They have sacraments. They include an offering. They have holy places where people gather. They all have their own gospel narratives and messages of how these things save us.
But I wonder what would happen if we were willing to look at the reality of each of these – especially the reality of how they impact us, and maybe even control us. Are we willing to examine something like that? Or would we rather be reassured that we are somehow in control of these things?