DO THIS: Pay attention to the Stories

“There is no “Truth”.  Only Stories”

Martin Tobias

Yea I said that.  It is a summary of lots that I have learned over the years.  What do I mean?  When I was younger I was often searching for the “Truth”  with a capital “T”.  The ANSWER.  What I have found over time is that more and more things that I thought were “Truth” turned out to be stories that I was told, or that I believed.  And that turns out to be the case for many “scientific facts.”  For example, is the theory of Evolution a “Truth” or a story which matches our current data?  It is a story.  There are facts in there sure, but our current understanding is just a summary of what we know now.  The details of that story are different today than they were 100 years ago.  All scientific “Truths” are in fact our best guess about the Truth based on the data we now know.  So basically the story we explain this complicated thing to ourselves to us today.  100 years from now the story is likely to have evolved.  Hopefully more precise.   I am especially suspicious of “Truths” that are judgments.  For example “Global warming is bad”.  That may be so, and that is a judgment.  “Climate change is happening” is much more precise and free of judgment.

So now when I hear a “Truth”, I ask myself a couple of questions:

  1. What is the story that this person is telling me?
  2. What is the data and assumptions behind that story?
  3. How much of the story is emotion versus data?
  4. Do I choose to believe the story? (knowing I am unlikely to ever have all the data)

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