He observed doctors who went directly from performing autopsies to delivering babies. He concluded that somehow the corpses had contaminated their hands and caused the deadly fevers. When he began to recommend that doctors scrub their hands with a chlorinated lime solution, he was met with indifference and even scorn. His conclusions contradicted the truths of other doctors. Some of his colleagues even believed that it was absurd to think that a doctors hand could be impure or cause sickness. But Semmelweis insisted, and he made it a policy for doctors in his clinic to wash their hands before delivering babies. As a consequence, the death rate promptly dropped by 90 percent.
by zadie smith The new York
We too often confuse belief with truth, thinking that because something makes sense or is convenient, it must be true. Conversely, we sometimes dont believe truth or reject it—because it would require us to change or admit that we were wrong. Often, truth is rejected because it doesnt appear to be consistent with previous experiences. When the opinions or truths of others contradict our own, instead of considering the possibility that there could be information that might be helpful and augment or complement what we know, we often jump to conclusions or make assumptions that the other person kinds is misinformed. Unfortunately, this tendency can spread to all areas of our lives—from sports to family relationships and from religion to politics. Ignaz semmelweis A tragic example of this tendency is the story of Ignaz semmelweis, a hungarian physician who practiced medicine during the mid-19th century. Early in his career,. Semmelweis learned that 10 percent of the women who came to his clinic died of childbed fever, while the death rate at a nearby clinic was less than 4 percent. He was determined to find out why. After investigating the two clinics,. Semmelweis concluded that the only significant difference was that his was a teaching clinic where corpses were examined.
9 These truths fed their hatred for one another until it finally consumed them all. Needless to say, there are many examples in the book of Mormon that contradict both of these stereotypes. Nevertheless, the nephites and year Lamanites believed these truths that shaped the destiny of this once-mighty and beautiful people. Human Nature and Truth In some way we are all susceptible to such strange thinking. The truths we cling to shape the quality of our societies as well as our individual characters. All too often these truths are based on incomplete and inaccurate evidence, and at times they serve very selfish motives. Part of the reason for poor judgment comes from the tendency of mankind to blur the line between belief and truth.
And, of course, man actually can fly—even break the sound barrier. The year scriptures are filled with stories of men and women who misinterpreted truth. In the Old Testament, balaam could not resist the wages of unrighteousness 5 offered him by the moabites. So he convinced himself to believe a new truth and helped the moabites get the Israelites to curse themselves through immorality and disobedience. 6 The apostate korihor, after leading many away from the truth, confessed that the devil had deceived him to the point where he actually believed that what he was saying was the truth. 7 In the book of Mormon, both the nephites as well as the lamanites created their own truths about each other. The nephites truth about the lamanites was that they were a wild, and ferocious, and a blood-thirsty people, 8 never able to accept the gospel. The lamanites truth about the nephites was that Nephi had stolen his brothers birthright and that Nephis descendants were liars who continued to rob the lamanites of what was rightfully theirs.
Now, never in the history of the world have we had easier access to more information—some of it true, some of it false, and much of it partially true. Consequently, never in the history of the world has it been more important to learn how to correctly discern between truth and error. Part of our problem in the quest for truth is that human wisdom has disappointed us so often. We have so many examples of things that mankind once knew were true but have since been proven false. For example, in spite of one-time overwhelming consensus, the earth isnt flat. The stars dont revolve around the earth. Eating a tomato will not cause instant death.
Ur-Fascism by Umberto Eco the new York review
3, i dont know what kind of man Pilate was, nor do i know what he was thinking. However, i suspect that he was well educated and had seen much of the known world. I sense a certain weary cynicism in Pilates reply. I hear in his words the voice of a man who may once have been an idealist but now—after a great deal of life experience—seems a little hardened, even tired. I dont believe pilate was encouraging a dialogue when he responded with three simple words: What is truth? 4, to amplify, i wonder if what he really was asking was How can anyone possibly know the truth? And that is a question for all time and for all people.
Can Anyone Know the Truth? Now, can anyone know the truth? Some of the greatest minds that have ever lived on this earth have attempted to answer that question. The elusive nature of truth has been a favorite theme of historys great poets and storytellers. Shakespeare seemed especially intrigued with. The next time you read one of Shakespeares tragedies, proposal notice how often the plot turns on a misunderstanding of an important truth.
Not only does this story teach an interesting way to deal with disagreements in marriage, but it also illustrates the folly of jumping to conclusions based on limited information. So often the truths we tell ourselves are merely fragments of the truth, and sometimes theyre not really the truth at all. Today i would like to speak of truth. As I do, i invite you to ponder a few important questions. The first question is, what is truth? The second, Is it really possible to know the truth?
And third, how should we react to things that contradict truths which we have learned previously? During the closing hours of His life, the savior was brought before pontius Pilate. The elders of the jews had accused Jesus of sedition and treason against Rome and insisted that he be put to death. When Pilate came face to face with the man of Galilee, he asked, Are you a king? Jesus replied, for this cause came i into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
Sojourner Truth biography, biography
They shared everything and had no secrets between them—except one. The wife had a box that she kept at the top of a sideboard, and she told her husband when they were married that he should never look inside. As the decades passed, the moment came that her husband took the box down and asked if he could finally know what it contained. The wife consented, and he opened it to discover two doilies and 25,000. When reviews he asked his wife what this meant, she responded, When we were married, my mother told me that whenever I was angry with you or whenever you said or did something I didnt like, i should knit a small doily and then talk things. The husband was moved to tears by this sweet story. He marveled that during 60 years of marriage he had only disturbed his wife enough for her to knit two doilies. Feeling extremely good about himself, he took his wifes hand and said, That explains the doilies, but what about the 25,000? His wife smiled sweetly and said, Thats the money i got from selling all the doilies ive knitted over the years.
On the other hand, cant we recognize ourselves in these six blind men? Have we ever been guilty of the same pattern of thought? I resume suppose the reason this story has remained so popular in so many cultures and over so many years is because of its universal application. The Apostle paul said that in this world the light is dim and we see only part of the truth as though we are looking through a glass, darkly. And yet it seems to be part of our nature as human beings to make assumptions about people, politics, and piety based on our incomplete and often misleading experience. I am reminded of a story about a couple who had been married for 60 years. They had rarely argued during that time, and their days together passed in happiness and contentment.
and strong, Though each was partly in the right, And all were in the wrong! 1, we look at this story from a distance and smile. After all, we know what an elephant looks like. We have read about them and watched them on film, and many of us have even seen one with our own eyes. We believe we know the truth of what an elephant. That someone could make a judgment based on one aspect of truth and apply it to the whole seems absurd or even unbelievable.
The Blind Men and the Elephant. Well over one hundred years ago, an American poet put to rhyme an ancient parable. The first verse of the poem speaks about: Six men of Indostan, to learning much inclined, Who went to see the Elephant (Though all of them were blind That each by observation, might satisfy his mind. In the poem each of the six travelers takes hold of a different part of the elephant and then describes to the others what he has discovered. One of the men finds the elephants leg and describes it as for being round and rough like a tree. Another feels the tusk and describes the elephant as a spear. A third grabs the tail and insists that an elephant is like a rope. A fourth discovers the trunk and insists that the elephant is like a large snake.
Kolmogorov complicity And The parable, of Lightning
My beloved brothers and sisters, my dear young friends, i am grateful for the essay privilege to be with you today. It always lifts my spirits to be surrounded by the young adults of the Church, and you inspire me to declare, let zion in her beauty rise. As you are living all around the world, you represent in a beautiful way the future and strength of the Church. Because of your righteous desires and your commitment to follow the savior, the future of this Church looks bright. I bring you the love and blessing of President Thomas. The first Presidency prays for you often. We always ask the lord to bless, keep, and guide you.