No author who writes nonfiction would in their right mind begin a paper with the following lines: “I remember hearing once there are three degrees of truth. There’s the ‘truth’, the ‘whole truth’, and ‘nothing but the truth.’ This piece will fall somewhere between ‘truth’ and ‘the whole truth’.” Similarly, would anyone ever take the stand in a court of law and swear to only tell “something in between the ‘truth’ and the ‘whole truth”? These statements would completely undermine anything these individuals were trying to communicate to their audience. These audiences would begin to think that they were receiving a work of fiction instead of cold, hard, fact. Each of these individuals would loose all creditability because their audience would think that they were being ‘untruthful’. In spite of the obvious sense this makes, almost all authors or witnesses in a court of law could have begun their recounting of facts in this manner. In “Truth, Truths, and ‘Truth’ and ‘Truths’ In the Law” by Susan Haack, the author shows just how much the ‘untruth’ can be used in discussion of the ‘truth’.
Absolute, incontrovertible truth, the Aristotelian concept of “being tree”, is rarely a factor in legal discussions. This “being tree” truth is independent of opinion and cultural belief and is pure by itself. This, according to Haack, is frequently corrupted into arguments she calls “Passes for Fallacy”, which basically means there is no truth, but that “truth is merely a rhetorical or political concept.” (18) In other words in the law, ‘truth’ is really only an ‘untruth’. The outcome of any trial all depends on the ability of the lawyer to manipulate the language and the preconceptions prejudices of the witnesses, judge, and jury. In the world of the written word, authors are sometimes ‘untruthful’ as well by shaping facts in a certain manner, or by adding and / or omitting facts here and there. Tim O’Brien tacitly illuminates this tendency in his piece “How to Tell a True War Story.” He states that to generalize is to omit a huge part of the overall ‘truth’, that war is not just hell, it is “mystery and terror and adventure and discovery and holiness and pity and despair and longing and love” (85).
... . Australian law provides three main defences to authors that have written, spoken or published materials: truth, fair comment ... that the comments made were in actual fact the truth. The Blue Angel Restaurant was awarded $ ... that their opinion was based on provable facts, it must also be honest opinion and ... defence, the comment must be based on provable facts, concern a matter of public interest, and ...
If the old adage “war is hell” is not completely and entirely true, what can be? This is not to ascribe sinister intent on the part of the author. It is not that they are outright lying; they just have sort of a slanted view on the world at large based on their own life experiences. Virtually all authors have this sort of slant on the particular topic they are writing about, be the topic mundane or controversial and politically charged. It is this slant, or purpose, or point of view of the author that causes biases to emerge in their writings.
Some might actually say that the authors promote ‘untruths’ in their writings. Authors in the controversial environmental field seem especially to be under the influence of writing ‘untruths’. Edward Abbey, Edward Wilson, and Peter Schwartz are all prominent environmental issue writers. Abby and Schwartz are each at opposite ends of the spectrum, while Wilson resides somewhere in between the two. Each author employs different, extremely effectual methods of conveying their message to their readers, by means of the masterful use of language, or so-called ‘facts’, or strategically placed quotes. However, after reading their articles, readers can detect their personal biases in the form of these ‘untruths’.
... (Living). Hydroelectricity Do we really need the power Glen Canyon Dam generates? Glen Canyon Dam generates 1, 300 mega watts of electricity when it ... in reservoirs. 1956 brought the beginning of the Glen Canyon dam. But Glen Canyon was not the only site that was being considered ... canyon, they remember Glen Canyon as the heart of the Colorado Plateau, such as the late Edward Abbey. Abbey was the author ...
Edward Abby employs his superb manipulation of the English language to create an ‘untruth’ in his article, “The Damnation of a Canyon.” In this manuscript, Abby delivers a powerful illustration of the impact the Glen Canyon Dam has had on the local milieu of Glen Canyon. He laments the loss of the natural surroundings and wildlife to boaters, manmade lakes, and human waste. Abbey also observes the complete destruction of some parts of the canyon at the expense of Lake Powell’s expansion. For example, Abby writes, “The difference between the present reservoir, with its silent sterile shores and debris choked side canyons, and the original Glen Canyon, is the difference between death and life. Glen Canyon was alive. Lake Powell is a graveyard.” (Allyn and Bacon, 145) Since Abby is writing with the intention of having Glen Canyon Dam removed, he is not about to demonstrate what good has come from the building of the dam.
It would be like shooting himself in the foot. So enters an ‘untruth’. He does not exercise his masterful writing ability to portray the awe-inspiring beauty of the region, nor the accessibility of the great expanse to all individuals, regardless of age or physical ability, allowed for by the creation of the dam. Most importantly, he does not tell of the economic benefits provided for by Glen Canyon Dam in the form of electrical energy. Again, if Abby included any of these arguments within his paper, readers might not be so gung-ho to have the dam removed, and thus would undercut the purpose of his paper.
In “The Bottleneck”, Edward Wilson uses numerous facts and statistics such as “On or about October 12, 1999, the world population reached six billion. It has continued to climb at an annual rate of 1. 4 percent, adding 200, 000 people each day or the equivalent of the population of a large city each week” (6), to prove his argument that mankind is rather quickly destroying his environment. He states that the only real hope for rectifying the folly that mankind has committed is to be happy with less and to be responsible in reproduction. Most would agree with the author, but unfortunately, informed readers can easily detect his obvious slant with the use of ‘facts’ in an ‘untruth’. Throughout his paper, Wilson uses certain ‘facts’ as scare tactics to obfuscate the verity that there is still significant room for debate in the environmental field.
... period of a year through the bedrock of Black Canyon. A temporary dam was constructed which diverted the water into the diversion ... ?s finest engineering achievements. However the dam that rose from the floor of Black Canyon was not only a structural accomplishment, ... it was a proposition firmly rooted in practicalities. The necessity of such a dam ...
He states “We have driven atmospheric carbon dioxide to the highest levels in at least 200, 000 years, unbalanced the nitrogen cycle, and contributed to a global warming that will ultimately be bad news everywhere” (3).
The statement registers as an ‘untruth’ because he fails to specify how different this trend has been from the normal vacillation of the nitrogen cycle and average global temperatures that have been known to occur since life began on this planet. Earth had its beginnings some 4. 6 billion years ago and thus has experienced many long transgression al and regression al periods. During a transgression, average temperatures are much higher and there are no polar ice caps and higher sea levels. During a regression, the opposite is true and the overall temperature is lower, glaciers extend well south towards the equator, and sea level is lower.
Mankind has had the good fortune to only have existed in a period of time in which the Earth’s climate has been fairly stable. Without comparing the norms in temperature and greenhouse gases throughout geologic time, not just the in miniscule period of 200, 000 years, to the changes caused by humans in the past 200 or so years, the statement becomes an ‘untruth’. In “Man vs. Nature,” author Peter Schwartz seems to appreciate the value of reinforcing his extremist view that all environmentalists are foolish by using a few strategically placed quotes coupled with, at least in his mind, logical arguments. In this article, the reader is exposed to the opposing viewpoint of the environmental movement. Schwartz begins his treatise by exposing the situation at Edwards Dam, where the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has mandated the dam’s closure due to its interference with spawning salmon.
This political predicament illustrates the first point the author makes, that environmentalists protect nature for nature’s sake and for no other reason, even if it is to the detriment of man. In this attack, Schwartz employs a double pronged attack on environmental ideology; irrational arguments coupled with the exposure of personal attitudes of certain environmentalists. For example, he maintains that David Foreman, a key environmentalists and founder of the organization Earth First, “bluntly stresses the environmental irrelevance of human beings [with the quote]: ‘Wilderness has a right to exist for its own sake, and for the sake of the diversity of the life forms it shelters; we shouldn’t have to justify the existence of a wilderness'” (2).
... on dealing with changes in the characters lives. The Changeable nature of life affects us all somehow. Whether it ... you can relate it to. The changeable nature of life can be related to the novel "The ... that. Some people adjust to their changing lives better when there is someone there beside them ... and turning. People never really know which way life will turn next, bringing them fortune or failure. ...
Schwartz is illuminating the ‘untruth’ of his paper absurdly extrapolating that since a prominent environmentalist have some radical ideas of nature being more important than mankind, that all environmentalists must harbor this same attitude. He is declaring that requirements of human life are not the standard by which all environmentalists think, but by strict maintenance of nature in its “virginal state.” Thus all environmentalists are off their rocker and are to be disregarded completely. As one can plainly see, this sticky, ubiquitous issue of ‘truth’ versus the ‘untruth’ is so problematic it has spawned such a plethora of metaphysical subfields that it would make the head of even the most initiated philosopher spin.
It is this sort of ambiguity that is causing a large degree of cynicism and distrust of anyone and anything by the general population. From issue authors, to academics, to the legal system itself, everything is in question. This is a very dangerous state of affairs indeed. When trust breaks down, when the population double guesses any individual’s or entities true purpose, mankind ceases to have a viable system of coexisting at all. This being said, it can be seen that even though there will probably always be some room for discussion concerning the ‘truth’ of any issue, there has to be a point where a line is drawn and common sense comes into play. Yes, we as a civilization realize that there are varying degrees of ‘truth’, but there is an overall ‘truth’ that governs our day to day lives.
Individuals who have motives to undermine this should be shunned. Works Cited Abby, Edward “The Damnation of a Canyon.” From The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Writing. New York 2003, pp 144-148. Haack, Susan “Truth, Truths, ‘Truth,’ and ‘Truths’ in the Law.” From The Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. Winter 2003, Vol. 26 Issue 1, pp 17-21 O’Brien, Tim “How to Tell a True War Story.” From The Things They Carried.
The Term Paper on Role: Environmentalist Audience: Businessman Topic: Equal Rights for Mother Nature
... : Businessman Topic: Equal rights for Mother Nature Environmentalist would like make efforts that contribute toward environmental ... dioxide pollution. Saving Earth begins with us. Sane environmentalists recognize that money system of our global culture inherently ... environmental efforts toward conservation of natural resources. An environmentalist working at a large corporation might make efforts to ...
New York 1990, pp. 84-91. Schwartz, Peter “Man vs. Nature.” From web 2003, pp 1-2. Wilson, Edward O. “The Bottleneck.” From The Scientific American.
2002, pp 1-14.