Ethics and Morals, Magical Infrastructure, Meditations, Scientific Inspiration

Are Facts and Truth the Same?

Facts are a part of the truth, but not all of it. If we pretend that truth can be reached through factual evaluation alone, we will find ourselves propelled without direction towards destruction. Truth can only be reached through the truth-work, that is, the synthesis of facts and values through respect and attention to others.

Those who believe truth subsists only of fact will tend to view the universe as deterministic and fated. Just as the projectile will follow its Newtonian path, so too, they assume, will all things, even their own minds. Freewill becomes an illusion to them. However, those who see that truth must integrate righteous values will recognize freewill in themselves and others. The world becomes populated not with projectiles and automatons, but instead with souls which can change their own trajectories. Of course, truth is not just righteous values, for the facts are discoverable and provide prophecies of our future. But facts provide us with merciful prophecies. There is no divine author who dictates the ultimate arc of the universe’s story. Facts are not lines plucked from the divine play. Instead, they are generalizations of the past, succinct and clear, which provide us with a prophecy of the future; how things could be. They are a function of the defined, the known, and the essential. But values do not work in the same way; they are emergent of the essential, the known, and the defined. Where facts can only how things could be, someone who looks at the world through value will see how things should be. They are operating on an emergent level; generating new trajectories into the future based on the powers greater than the sum of their essential parts. This way their own emergent qualities, their soul, become agents in the world.

Part of a magical worldview is understanding that all souls have agency. Incorporating this understanding into a worldview is essential to approaching truth because you must also approach other souls. It is not enough to be correct. Too many approach others thinking that it is; that their knowledge redeems them from their insults or disrespect. They wonder why others are repelled by them even though they speak the truth. Spiralling downward, they find themselves alone; knowing much but understanding nothing. For, without connections to others, nothing can be understood.

If we imagine that we can build policy and magical infrastructure on facts alone, we are wrong. If we imagine that we can cultivate relationships and good standing on facts alone, we are wrong. Truth, that most glorious of acts, can only be experienced when what we know matters.

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