A wonderful example of the self-serving bias. (1)
A picture is worth a thousand words.
I said earlier that every society needs honest witnesses to the truth. (2)
To be one, we have to put the truth ahead of all other considerations.
Social convention and diplomacy often work against that commitment. Watch a speaker turn to the subject of their spouse and, unless the two are estranged, the speaker often lapses into oily praise of the other.
And everyone in the audience accepts it with “understanding.” They’re in the same position of not wanting to ruffle their spouse’s feathers.
I’d be oily too, but it doesn’t make it less of an example of subjecting the truth to the self-serving bias.
As I learned decades ago, there is always more and deeper truth. The truth conforms to, aligns with, and depicts reality. The deepest truth reveals the absolute Reality.
When we launch an arrow at the truth, if it goes far enough…. it could land in the absolute Reality. That’s one level of meaning in Jesus’ assurance that the truth shall make you free.
The truth may set you free but it won’t buy you a cup of coffee. It has no monetary value.
I can’t take the truth to a Safeway and exchange it for anything. It won’t put my child through college. It’s standalone and has no relationship to anything else but itself, which is to say, by great extension, God.
Does one have to remain celibate and bereft of possessions to be courageous enough to always stand for the truth?
No, one just has to drop one’s attachments to those possessions, so that one could walk away from them if the truth demanded it.
And no, one just has to find another with the same commitment to the truth.
(1) The self-serving bias is the tendency to magnify one’s victories, accomplishments, and gains and minimize (or blame on others) one’s defeats, failures, and losses.
(2) “Every Society Needs Honest Witnesses to the Truth,”