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Nietzsche

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As a society, we have become so accustomed to metaphors and empty truths that we absent-mindedly accept them. But if society is told a lie and believes it, does that turn the lie into the truth? For example, in the beginning of the human's reign on this planet, humans thought the earth was flat only to be proven that the earth was in fact round. But if ordinary humans were told that the earth is flat and they accept that as the truth, live their life as though it is true, then what makes it untrue? Someone must come along to convince the population that their truth, the earth is round, a valid and have it be accepted. Nietzsche mostly talks about how man deciphers truth in his essay; however Nietzsche cannot avoid mentioning lying because in reality, lies and truth are very intertwined with each other. In fact, there are times when the truth and lies are so entangled that there are indecipherable from one another. If there is such a thin line between lies and truth, why do we lie rather than tell the truth? What exactly is the difference between someone who knows they are lying and someone who lies unknowingly? What is the difference between a different perception and a lie?

In Friedrich Nietzsche's essay, "On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense," he determines that language, and therefore human knowledge, is a construction of metaphors and concepts. Language is designed in order to allow individuals to understand their world and come up with what they believe to be "truth" when in all actuality; truth cannot be defined because it is based on ones personal knowledge of the world. Nietzsche says, "[the truth] in short, [is] a sum of human relations which have been poetically and rhetorically intensified, transferred, and embellished, and which, after long usage, seem to a people to be fixed, canonical, and binding." (Nietzsche, 455) To me, truth reminds me a stories that have been passed done throughout generations but as they get passed down, the story changes just a little bit. Everything that we believe to be a truth is a mere representation. It is a word or definition that has been designated to represent the original thing. Overtime, these designations have become permanently engraved into our lives and become accepted as "truths". We forget that these words and definitions have been created as representations. Nietzsche says "Truths are illusions which we have forgotten are illusions." (Nietzsche, 455) Nietzsche finds that he believes that exact truth does not exist. There is no whole truth for society. However, its seems that there can be truth but it can only operate individually because everyone's idea of truth is different. When someone believes their own truth, their truths become their reality. So your own definition of what is "truth" is based upon your perception of the concepts, supported by your life experiences and the knowledge you have retained throughout your life. This is when truth starts to become individualized and varies from person to person.

There is also quite a distinction between a lie and a difference in opinion. When two people disagree on a subject and argue why they think that they are right, one will often accuse the other of making something up or lying about certain aspects of the argument. However, when two onions collide, neither party should accuse the other of being false. Both parties are equally right and wrong because obviously in the individuals own view of what is real, their opinion is true. But when observing both opposing parties, they are wrong because their opinions don't agree. Nietzsche believes truth is dependent on an individual's perception.

"It is even a difficult thing for him to admit to himself that the insect or the bird perceives an entirely different world from the one that the man does, and that the questions of which of these perceptions of the world is the more correct one is quite meaningless... But in any case it seems to me hat 'the correct perception' -which would mean 'adequate expression of an object in the subject' - is a contradictory impossibility." (Nietzsche, 457)

This is why truth must be based on an individual level because if you get too many people involved in the definition of what is real and what is not, the opinions clash and then there is absolutely no truth.

But then, if truth is determined individually, what is the difference between a lie and the truth? My own example of lying would be if I said I was born in Russia, when in my own reality, or what is true in my own head, I know was born in Connecticut and purposely contradict myself. Based upon Nietzsche's essay, lying is when you are purposely going against your own personal truths, or what you believe to be true.

"The liar is a person who uses the valid designations, the words, inorder to make something which is unreal appear to be real. He says, for example, 'I am rich', when the proper designation for his condistion would be 'poor'. He misuses fixed conventions by means of arbitary substitutions or even reversals of names. If he does this in a selfish and moreover harmful manner, society will cease to trust him and thereby exclude him." (Nietzsche, 453)

In the movie Freaks, one woman's lies disrupts the entire circus environment. Cleopatra, a trapeze artist, marries a midget, Hans, solely because she finds out he is extremely wealthy and she wants a part in the inheritance. Cleopatra does not love Hans at all. In fact, behind the midget's back she has an affair with a strong man Hercules (also average height). The two make fun of all the circus performers they have deems as "freaks". Cleo goes against what she really believes (that Hans is a freak and

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