The quest for truth is impeded first by whether or not it exists; second, by whether, if it exists, it can be discovered; and third, by whether, if it can be discovered, it can be transmitted.
Each step is fundamental and essential but obfuscation makes them rather irrelevant as matters such as eloquence and rhetoric too often matter more than facts and even when eloquence is placed at the service of disseminating truth, its distorted reproduction by non-objective opinion generators makes the entire quest irrelevant. Preconception of desired results seems to affect cognizance in a manner that makes understanding of what is and what is not true almost impossible.
Human cognizance is gifted with the ability to search for the truth intuitively and empirically, but cursed with an even stronger capacity, through recourse to emotion, to obfuscate it, to rationalize it away, to use our minds as prisms to refract it so that it becomes unrecognizable, shattered into almost infinite fragments that the most manipulative among us can reconstruct to attain their desired results.
Language, the blessing that makes abstract thought possible also makes deception and lying practicable.
Perhaps that’s the reality the metaphoric legend of the Tower of Babel is meant to convey.
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2017; all rights reserved