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more light #291


by Ed Halpaus
Grand Lodge Education Officer
Grand Lodge of A. F. & A. M. of Minnesota

Dear Masonic Student,

I receive and enjoy receiving Lodge newsletters – one I always look forward to is the newsletter from Albert Pike Lodge #237 in Hopkins, MN; the first item I read in it is Dr. and Brother Stan Shapiro’s column. Brother Stan is a great guy and a great L.E.O. I’m sure you will enjoy reading one of his columns. – Ed

By Stanley Shapiro, Lodge Education Officer


In our society 1 believe we see too many ex­amples of a subtle indifference to the truth and or actual deceit and misrepresentation.

As Masons we seek the truth and are ad­monished to tell the truth. In December at our Lodge we started a discussion of truth.

In order to discuss truth we need to distin­guish between truth and fact. In December I held up the book, A Time to Remember, by Stanley Shapiro and asked you what you would conclude. One brother said I must be a good writer. However, I was not the author. Facts are observable and objective. Truth is based on what an individual believes. What facts a per­son observes are important in his conclusion of what is true. However, an individual’s interpre­tation of the facts depends on his point of view and what facts he considers important. There­fore a given individual’s judgment about what is true can depend on any one or all of several things including the reported facts, what he be­lieves is true, the social pressures or customs that may influence his decision, his past experi­ences, his philosophy and his goals. Sometimes we make judgments about what is true only on the basis of our feelings. However, feelings like mistaken beliefs, ignorance and arrogance can result in false conclusions about what is true.

We strive to gain facts to ascertain what we believe is true. Yet we do not always use what we believe is true rationally. For example we observe in cars the higher the speed the greater the chance of accidents or death and although we believe this is true, we drive at a higher speed to save time. We believe the sci­entific facts about what is healthy to eat are true and yet we ignore them.

I ask you to think about what makes truth important and what is the reason to care about truth?

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Last modified: March 22, 2014