Ask the Chief

Critical thinking

I often hear people talk about right and wrong as it applies to laws, courts, and enforcement. This has increased significantly with the idea that everyone has their OWN truth or their OWN ideas of right and wrong.
This idea leads people down a dangerous path of thinking in that whenever they discover opposition, they dismiss it because they have been told only “their” truth matters. Without a foundational understanding of laws, right/wrong, and truth we quickly lose the ability to debate our concerns and better society.
The first point to consider is that laws are about what is legal and illegal. While sometimes laws agree with the societal beliefs of right and wrong, they don’t always. Right and wrong are fluid constructs of what a society believes to be moral and immoral. This construct changes as society changes. The truth however is absolute. It is factual information that influences how we think and act. The concept of “My Truth” is not, in fact, “truth”, but rather a personal perception of the event around me. When conclusions are drawn from a lack of facts they will result in a lack of truth and understanding. This concept is most often used to dismiss the truth as a fact and replace it with a belief that benefits one’s actions or agenda.
As individuals in a society, we need to understand these concepts and listen very carefully to what people say so that we may determine what is the truth that we may apply society's position of right and wrong and then determine what is legal and illegal.

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