Duke Southard

Author, Educator, Lecturer

Degrees of Truth Revisited

“There is a degree of truth in that observation.”  What exactly is a “degree of truth?” In March, 2013, I submitted an essay titled “Degrees of Truth” to a writing contest. The subject has been addressed in this blog on previous occasions but is worth revisiting since it is so important. Here is part of the conclusion of that essay. It refers to widely varying accounts of one incident prior to the murder of Stacey Burns. There are descriptions of other incidents which are equally contradictory, depending on the viewpoint of the person relating the story.  This conclusion could apply equally to those as well.

“Perhaps the most chilling realization for all concerned, especially for Stacey’s family and friends, is the demoralizing certainty that regardless of which account is accurate, the only corroborating witness is dead.”

The final sentence of that essay applies today as it did over two years ago and as it should apply any time. When one of Stacey’s friends told me that she knows exactly what her truth is but also is certain others have their own versions of the truth, I was forced to wonder about a perplexing philosophical question. Can there be more than one truth? The final sentence of that essay applies today as it did over two years ago and as it should at any time and in any place.

“Truth must trump rumor: truth must trump speculation; finally, truth, not degrees of it, absolutely must triumph. Justice demands it.”

The next post will raise another difficult question. When is it time to move on, to stop looking in life’s rear view mirror at a tragedy that is more than six years in the past? I think most of you know what my answer will be.

Duke                                                      12-2Southard-Live Free or Die-cov



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I'm Duke Southard, author, educator, and lecturer.

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