When looking at my emails this morning one of the first things that I noticed was the news that Lance Armstrong had been stripped of his Tour de France titles.
Here we have a case where accusations trumped 500 negative blood tests. After years of being on a witch hunt the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency failed to come up with any physical evidence to prove that Lance Armstrong had in fact doped up during his cycling career – when he won the Tour de France five times. Instead the agency found other cyclists who were not only accused of doping up but had in fact tested positive for doping to give testimony accusing Armstrong of the very same thing that they were guilty of doing . Their testimony seems dubious IMO. Tracee Hamilton of The Washington Post makes a great point about the vicious cycle of accusations and denials and asks who, and what are we supposed to believe?
In a broader scope I want to explore the whole accusations versus truth scenario. To do this we need to look at their definitions.
Aristotle’s Metaphysics defines truth as: “to say of what is that it is, or of what is not that it is not, is true”.
Kevin has written a semi-simplistic explanation of Thomas Aquinas’ definition of truth: a property of statements or propositions about things, not a property of things in themselves. Truth is something understood and spoken of, not something physical or material. It is not of the order of being (reality), which is a First Order issue. It is derivative – it is a Second Order issue. It is of the order of our knowledge of being, or of a being. It is not a property of the being itself.
Definition of accusations: A charge or claim that someone has done something illegal or wrong.
The action or process of making such a charge or claim.
An accusation doesn’t equal truth. Could an accusation be true? Yes. But it could also be false. An accusation in and of itself does not provide proof to establish whether that accusation is true or false. Their needs to be evidence to go along with an accusation in order to establish whether or not the accused is guilty of the accusation. We should all be striving to know the truth at all times. We shouldn’t allow any agenda to predetermine the so-called truth because in reality that would obfuscate the truth.
We need to be very careful when making accusations. We need to have absolute certainty (to the degree that is possible) that the person has done what we are accusing them of doing. Making accusations – especially false ones – can rock a person’s world, crushing a person like boulders that have come tumbling down upon one’s life.
Being falsely accused can feel like your heart has been ripped right out of you. I know. I have been there. I have been falsely accused and this affected my life tremendously. I had been betrayed by a university that I trusted. You can see my story on this here. Things happen for a reason. After this happened to me I struggled quite a bit in my faith. My faith was tested. God allowed me to go through a dry period of faith so that I would return stronger in my faith.
We are all called to martyrdom, dying to self in union with Jesus Christ. A while after I had gone through my struggles at the university I came to realize that at that time I was being called to take up my cross, to be closer to Jesus in a more authentic way. He had been falsely accused and so had I. I was called to experience a tiny bit of what Jesus went through similarly to when Jesus was put through the trial before He sacrificed Himself for our salvation. We are all called to unite our sufferings with Jesus Christ on the cross, called to redemptive suffering.