1. Svenska
  2. English
  3. العربية

Moira Uggla: "Do you have to say all you know?"

Now at Easter I've been thinking a lot about the question Pontius Pilate asked at the trial of Jesus: - What is truth? At first glance it seems like a simple question, but the more you think about it, the more complex it becomes. And it is a question that is very important for us today.
Kristianstad • Publicerad 17 april 2023
Detta är en personligt skriven text i Mosaik Kristianstadsbladet. Åsikter som uttrycks är skribentens egna.
Moira Uggla, översättare, krönikör mm Kb Mosaik
Moira Uggla, översättare, krönikör mm Kb MosaikFoto: Victor Lindstammer

To begin with, you can ask yourself if the truth is always the same, everywhere and for everyone. Is there an absolute truth that is valid for all, all the time? Are there different kinds of truth?

Who decides what is true? There are many questions, and answers can vary according to a person's background.

Let us start with something we all have in common - the weather. In Sweden most people think that a summer temperature of around 23 - 24 degrees is comfortable, while people whose background is in a warmer country can find it a bit on the cool side. After a few dry days a lot of people long for rain, while others want the heat to continue. But how you describe a summer depends entirely upon your experiences and expectations. What is true?

”It can be extremely difficult to separate what is true from what is there to confuse us , but we must be constantly on the alert”
Moira Uggla

Do you have to say all you know? Can you speak the truth and still choose to keep some details to yourself? It is part of social relations not to burden one's friends with too intimate information about what is being talked about, the integrity of others must be respected.

There are many absolute truths . Nobody can question that two and two make four, that at sea level water boils at 100'C, that Canada lies to the north of the USA, that a lemon tastes sour...... But when you move away from such concrete truths, things become more difficult. A lot depends on your own background and frame of references.

Sometimes you resort to half-truths out of consideration for others. Imagine that you meet a friend who is beaming with joy over her new dress, which you think does not flatter her appearance. What do you say? If you think hard you can most often find something you can honestly say is nice - the colour, the design or some other detail. You can say something about that, and otherwise keep your opinion to yourself. Who wins if you say something hurtful?

But half-truths pop up in other connections than social, and you must be aware that not all information that is handed out is what it appears to be. It can be extremely difficult to separate what is true from what is there to confuse us , but we must be constantly on the alert.

It is not a pleasant situation to have to question all information we get from the media, but the more critical we are towards what is said, the better prepared we are to make the proper decisions. And that is for the benefit of everyone.