By: Claire Cook
Young children are told simply to tell the truth. Bible verses and object lessons expose the danger of lying. Thus most hold, as a general principle that lying is bad. Often times, however, the grown children ignore the lessons they were taught and utter falsehoods. Not only lies corrupt the moral principle of truth. Manipulation of truth, rather than a boldfaced lie can be just as dangerous. Courtrooms, political forums, and even churches have become platforms to preach things other than the full truth. Politicians skew numbers and make promises they can’t keep for the sake of election. Lawyers have become less interested in justice and more interested in winning the case. Churches, perhaps most devastatingly, finds ways to interpret the Bible to allow for all types of lifestyles the Bible condemns, in order to be accommodating to themselves and to avoid ridicule. Truth becomes less and less important, and more of a convenient tool that can be used to help the individual. This idea is rampant in today’s culture, but dates back much further. The Sophists of ancient Greece were early examples of the loss of the importance of truth and the rise of empty rhetoric. These Sophists were teachers and public figures who were skilled in the art of persuasion. They originated from those who practiced oral traditions such as poets and public speakers. When the Greek democracy was formed, citizens stepped up to snatch the political power. Naturally, as seen today, those skilled in public speaking and who could make the most promises effectively and persuasively attained and held this power. Those who had the education, the sophists and their pupils, become the holders of all the power. This created a need for sophists and those who could afford had their...
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