“Veritaphobia”


Last week I saw a news story about a 69 year old man in the Netherlands who had taken a case to court to have his age legally recognised as being 49, claiming he identified more with the younger age. (Also having to list himself as 69 was a hindrance on Tinder).

I saw this story as yet another example of the madness going on in the world today – where “truth” is being redefined to suit the feelings of individuals; where objective reality is pushed aside and replaced by what we choose to “identify” as truth.

The story was a logical progression from the current gender fad – where birth gender no longer determines whether someone is male or female. The increasingly accepted philosophy demands that people be accepted as the gender with which they identify (at a particular time).

I have since seen another reference to the 69 year old’s story.
Now he is being accused of “transphobic” intentions, that he’s making a mockery of those who choose to identify with a gender contrary to the biological reality of their bodies.

Now, of course I can’t say what his motive may be – but I have to ask, why should a case like his (related to age) be judged any differently to a case of someone who wants to change the identity of their own gender?

How can his accuser label him as  “transphobic” without that accuser being guilty of being something I’ll call geriatriphobic?

If gender can be adopted according to preference rather than biological evidence, why can’t age be adopted in the same way?

Or race?

Remember white born Rachel Dolezal who identified as black and lived as a black woman but was later demonised when her actual biological identity was exposed? Why was her right to identify as she saw fit rejected, in contrast to the rights of those who choose which gender they prefer to be?

I see the three examples given above are highlighting a crucial issue – the world’s changing attitude to truth, reality, and what actually IS.

They see truth as something malleable, to be shaped by personal choice. They make the individual the arbiter of what is “true” or “real”. Everyone is free to determine their own truth…

But not always – as shown in the “transphobia” accusation against the 69 year old, and the hostility against Rachel Dolezal. It seems a person’s entitlement to define their own identity reality isn’t being recognised across the board. But why? If we are free to create our own truth, what gives anyone the right to stop that freedom from being extended to everyone else, according to their own particular identity desires?

I suggest that REAL issue behind all of this is not “transphobia” or my new word “geriatriphobia”, it is  Veritaphobia.
The fear and rejection of truth.

People don’t like a truth that defines their identity and behaviour if that truth isn’t flexible enough to bow to their own desires.  They don’t like the idea of an objective, fixed truth based on facts – or a reality separate from personal desire or choice.

In Hebrew and Greek (the biblical languages), the same words are apparently used to describe both truth and reality.

What is true is real.

Truth is  ACTUALITY – what IS and not what someone might want or prefer.

There is a very significant reason why attempts would be made to redefine truth/reality to suit personal desire. If truth can be changed to suit the individual, then there is no longer any accountability to anything, anyone, or any truth, outside of that indvidual. We can make our own rules and give ourselves legitimacy for any path we choose to make for ourselves.

8 thoughts on ““Veritaphobia”

  1. I’m “stealing” this pairing of quotations from another blogger.

    Quote #1:

    “Most truths are so naked that people cover them up, at least a little bit.”

    American journalist and TV anchorman,
    Edward R. Murrow

    Quote #2:

    “Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.”

    American novelist, short story writer, and essayist,
    Flannery O’Connor

  2. Recently, someone wrote online that he didn’t vote for either major candidate for the office of President of the United States in the last election. I wondered why I remembered that he did vote for one of the two. Today, I went and looked and found where he said what he had done. At the time that he voted, he didn’t want to say. When he found that, to his surprise, Trump had won, he “admitted” he had voted for him. But the situation hasn’t turned out so pretty.

    I’m sharing this because honestly is part of truth or reality or facts.

  3. But why … ?

    I do want to address this question a little.

    I think each of us has less actually evidence than we might think.

  4. Alternate wording: We don’t always have all the evidence, or the fullness of it that we think we do.

    https://anunnakiray.com/2018/09/20/i-am-proudly-the-first-in-colorado-to-get-an-intersex-birth-certificate/

    I agree with you about making up a “reality” that isn’t really real. We just need to be careful. I’ve looked around at the above site several times. Have eventually gotten to connected sites where quasi- medical mutilation of children/babies is discussed and protested.

  5. There are medical cases that lead to confusion about the gender/sex of individuals.

    As an example, I recall stories of babies a few decades ago with indeterminate sexual organs, where a decision was made by a surgeon to surgically assign the baby with a “chosen” gender. A case I recall was of a baby given surgery to remove ill-formed male parts, and then identified to be female.
    Later in life, after a lot of psych problems triggered by the individual feeling more male than female, the origin of the problem was realised. I don’t recall the outcome – but I think the choice was made to live the rest of their life as a man (not sure if surgery was involved).

    This topic is not about issues like that.

    The references I made to choosing gender relates to those who are clearly, reproductively, male or female – but choose to “identify” as the other. Some go to the extreme of surgery to approximate their chosen gender. Others take less extreme paths, relying on hormones to change the body’s appearance.

  6. Thank you both for this fascinating discussion ! I’ve been trying to work out for years the relationship between “truth” (per se) and (physical) “reality,” and you’ve raised fruitful new thoughts.

    I’d mostly come to think of that relationship in terms of John 1:2: that by The Word (Who IS also The Truth), “All things came into being through Him; and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” That “reality” is an observable manifestation, and creation, of Truth.

    That “works,” I think. But I was struck by Tim’s observation that “In Hebrew and Greek (the biblical languages), the same words are apparently used to describe both truth and reality”…an angle I’d never thought to explore, which seems STRONGLY indicative, and convincing, of the relationship.

    As Tim said, the words are largely the same in the languages of scripture: this is the link to an online concordance of Greek “aletheia,” the word overwhelmingly (104 of 110 occurrences) used in the New Testament to mean “truth.” https://biblehub.com/str/greek/225.htm

    This page cites Strong’s authoritative Lexicon, and Concordance: “…truth, but not merely truth as spoken; truth of idea, reality, sincerity, truth in the moral sphere, divine truth revealed to man, straightforwardness.” It also cites other Concordances: one of which notes that “In ancient Greek culture,…(aletheia) was synonymous for ‘reality’ as the opposite of illusion, i.e. fact…”

    (Additional Greek words are used to denote nuances of “truth,” and “reality:” many of them derivatives of aletheia. Hupostasis; “substance” “assurance,” “confidence,” “guarantee:” is a particularly rich word-study itself. But aletheia is the single most-used word expressing the New Testament concept of “truth.”)

    The Hebrew word qoshet seems to be the Old Testament word most literally translated “truth,” appearing twice in scripture. Strong’s says of it “…from an unused root meaning to balance; equity (as evenly weighed), i.e. Reality — truth.” (https://biblehub.com/str/hebrew/7189.htm. And Daniel twice uses the variant qeshot; https://biblehub.com/str/hebrew/7187.htm).

    Interestingly, the word most often translated “truth” in the Old Testament is emeth, the primary meaning of which is “faithfulness,” or “firmness.” But of emeth’s 127 occurrences in scripture, 105 are translated in English as “truth” (80 times), “true,” “truthful,” “truly,” etc.

    Tim, I think your comment is spot on: in the languages in which God chose to give His word to us, “truth” and “reality” are closely inter-twined.

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