What is truth? | AspenTimes.com

What is truth?

Dear Editor:

Dictionaries define truth as “Conformity to fact or actuality; a statement independently verified to be true.”

Is it “true” that Mick Ireland accused Marilyn Marks of attacking his niece in the Aspen mayor’s campaign after she received a scholarship from the Aspen Art Museum, when Ms. Marks legitimately questioned the mayor’s compliance with Aspen’s ethics code? Yes.

Independent verification of this truth is in the mayor’s April 9 letter to the editor of The Aspen Times.

Is Mick’s accusation true? Do any “facts or independently verifiable statements” support his accusation? No.

No statements by Ms. Marks or any other facts verify this accusation as true. The only statement in support of the mayor’s accusation is the mayor’s accusation itself.

What is a lie?

Dictionaries define a lie as, “A false statement deliberately presented as being true; a falsehood. Something meant to deceive or give a wrong impression.”

If the mayor accuses an Aspen citizen of wrongdoing with no “supporting facts or independent verification,” is he “attempting to deceive or give a wrong impression” to Aspen voters about his ethical behavior?

In other words, is he lying?

More broadly, what standards does Mick use to make judgments? Is “truth” a consideration? Does he know the difference between the truth and a lie? Is he willing to accept as truth those independently verifiable facts that conflict with his political objectives?

Aspen deserves a mayor with clear ethical boundaries, a fact-based understanding of truth, and a willingness to apply these principles consistently, even if they lead to a truth that is not to his political advantage.

Do the mayor’s actions in his first term demonstrate these qualities? The clear pattern, supported by independently verifiable facts, is no.

Michael MacDermott


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