THE statement is correct if it means that the truth goes far beyond all of us so that it is possible that we get one side of the reality. It would be different, however, if we use the statement in order to push our individual agenda, especially those that are political. We cannot use the proposition in order to debunk those with whom we don't agree.
We cannot say that those who are trying to make a point are wrong because "no one has the monopoly of the truth." To implicate those who are trying to make a point as monopolists of the truth just because they're making a point that is not the same as ours is unreasonable. The assertion apparently shows a "lack of goodwill."
How can you say that the other is monopolizing the truth without first listening to what they are trying to say?
All the more if you are making conclusions not based on solid data and scientific research but merely on political alignments and an idolatrous ideology.
After all, if one is to be true with the assertion that the truth cannot be monopolized then we are left with no choice but to believe only in either of two propositions.
One, there is a truth, but it's just that it cannot be monopolized or, secondly, the truth cannot be monopolized because it does not exist in the first place.
We have heard some philosophers say that truth is one of the grand narratives that should be deconstructed. For them it is not "the truth that will set us free," but we must be set free "from the truth itself." This invitation, apparently aggressive, is attractive to many. Especially among those who have felt marginalization in life’s various aspects, there is that itch to fight against all establishments or institutions, which we accuse as sources and causes of oppression.
We then equate the foundations of our systems with shareholders of a great enterprise of hegemony. We lump into one liberal democracy, the Church, the media, and all those whom we think as against our interest as agencies of elitism. We accuse all of them as part of the monopolistic attempt of the truth. We go as far as branding those who are "established" as "elitists" and treacherous of the interest of the masses.
Our cry is radical liberation from all institutions which we curse for our misery. We want a system that can truly understand our individual sentiments. We want the power structure to shift because we do not find any hope in a system that cannot be improved unless it would be absolutely overhauled not just in structure but also in ideology.
But in the end, there is something that is not emphasized by those who read things this way.
Apparently, they confuse truth with power. When they say that no one has the monopoly of the truth, they meant no one should have the monopoly of power. And when they accuse those who do not have the same opinion as theirs as monopolists of truth, they do mean that "we cannot agree with you because we are not of the same party or ideological leaning."
And this is where real philosophers cannot become politicians. For although the philosopher may not claim to know the truth (a pearl of Socratic wisdom in all its timelessness), he does not at least make the truth a casualty of cheap politicking.
The politician is best represented by Pontius Pilate, who when confronted with the Truth himself, tried to conceal his fear of what might free him, by asking the question "What is Truth?" When told that Truth exists, he would wash his hands and give in to "populism."
January 27, 2022
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