The Apostle’s Creed

“Will you tell me the truth?”

“Almost never. The truth is complex, far more complex than my intention. The truth that I will tell you, that I can tell you, is that between human beings intention is everything, and that my intention is to tell you only as much of the truth as I think likely to leave you undamaged.

That’s why you mustn’t trust me. Good intentions are inevitably tainted with both ignorance and condescension. Never mind what Nietzsche said, no one ever gets beyond good and evil. The nature of reality forbids it.”

4 thoughts on “The Apostle’s Creed

  1. bystander July 13, 2023 / 5:52 pm

    This recalled an incident years and years back for me. Had a co-worker apply for a job out of state. Rec’d a voice mail asking for a recommendation for that co-worker. Told a colleague that I was really struggling to return that call because as talented and skilled as this co-worker was, they could be pretty abrasive in their delivery. My colleague made the observation that if this employer was following up on personal recommendations, they’d likely already made a choice and the phone call was pro forma. So, he asked me: “Would you tell them the truth, or the truth they would rather believe?” Never forgotten it.

    • William Timberman July 14, 2023 / 7:54 am

      At some point in everyone’s adolescence, the social utility of the little white lie unfolds into something desperately complex, even monstrous. My point, I guess, is an existentialist, not a Nietzschean one. If we’re intelligent enough to see beyond the veil of our various enabling moralisms, we realize that we alone are responsible for how we move through the world. This doesn’t mean that we’re beyond good and evil, what it means is that we’re the stewards of our own reality. If that’s a power, it’s a very fraught one, and we should try to be humble enough to remember that the universe always has the last laugh.

  2. Formerly the troll known as LWM July 29, 2023 / 11:13 pm

    Hah, William
    Parsing Hawking carefully and what he said was “there is no God controlling everything,” Not the same but the atheists liked to latch onto it.
    As a physicist, he knows about Quantum and The Incompleteness Theorems.
    Both SETI and the Catholic Church like this maxim:
    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
    Carl Sagan was Pagan, Einstein believed in God, that’s why Quantum threw him or an atheism or theism of Spinoza.
    Omnipotence is out. The other two qualities, not so fast buster.
    It’s one way to wrap your head around the fact we apparently know that a non-local, sub-quantal and superluminal instantaneous connection and communication between two particles, apparently no matter the distance in space. Seen any UFOs lately?
    Saw you post occasionally at CT
    I lurk

    • William Timberman July 30, 2023 / 12:26 am

      Lurkers are welcome, as are those who understand the true significance of the unknown unknowns. I remember you.

Comments are closed.