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What if there really are no truths, only stories, stories that have been told so many times that most believe them to be true?

And if so, what would it matter anyhow?

Does the story work? Is it beneficial to people? Can they use it to keep the show on the road, as it were?

Voltaire once said,

“There is no God, but don’t tell my servant lest he kill me in the night!”

What if the only answer to why, is why not?

A friend once told me of a philosophy class he took- no tests, no quizzes, just a final with one question- “Why?”

Of course, the only answer could be, “Why Not!”

Can you imagine, 3 hours to take a test, and 30 blank pages for an answer- would you have had the courage to write, “Why Not!” and turn it in for a semester grade?

No real explanations, no reasons…, just stories that work, they somehow answer the whys and how comes.

In his book, Sapiens, Harari claims that the thing that allowed homo sapiens to rise above all was our ability to create lore. It wasn’t bigger brains, tools, or fire, just an ability to tell stories that the group could agree upon as the reason why.

And this post from Harrari might be nonsense as well!

I am a huge fan of Appalachian Jack Tales, like Jack and the Beanstalk, and Jack and the Robbers. Brought to this country by immigrating Scots and the Irish, they have their roots in English literature.

One of the best storytellers I know in this genre is a man by the name of Donald Davis. I’ve actually heard him storyteller, and he is amazing.

Davis tells of a time when he was a little kid, and his mom and dad accidentally ran over his cat. His parents told him they would get him a new one, but this just didn’t sit right with young Donald.

The next day at school, he was still upset, and his teacher asked him why.

“My cat was killed for no good reason!” exclaimed the boy.

His teacher explained to him that sometimes animals can be injured beyond their ability to recover, and so they die.

Donald had his explanation and reason and brightened right up realizing that his cat was injured beyond its ability to recover, and this is why it died.

There are probably thousands of reasons why the cat did not survive, but this one worked and Donald could move on.

And that’s the point, it’s all stories. The only reasons, explanations, and whys are the ones that work for you and others, and keep the show on the road- allowing the journey to continue, and the game to be played.

In terms of aerodynamics, do you realize there is no way an airplane or helicopter should fly, and yet they do?

Pretty good story, right?

Science itself is actually the best story at the time, and the one that seems to answer the most questions at that time, but it doesn’t necessarily make it true, does it?

And this is exactly how we want it- the best story until a better one can be told!

The question is, does it work? Does it keep you and yours heading down the highway?

Then what difference does it make?

Take Care, Dr. Dave

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