"There are no truths, only stories.""There are no truths, only stories."- Simon Ortiz do you think this quote is accurate?do you agree with it?

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MaudlinStreet eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Well, I think everyone will have a different interpretation of a "truth". Concerning history, there are events that actually occurred, but the way in which people describe those events, or the perceived influence of those events will always vary from country to country, group to group, and even person to person. Look at the current administration's attempts at economic recovery. There are the facts: what exactly the stimulus entailed. Then there are the interpretations of that: how the money was spent, what effects it had on different industries, etc. Or take the situation with Social Security in America. There are facts concerning how much money is in the fund, how it cannot affect the deficit because it's not tied to government spending, etc. But there are opposing narratives as to what these facts mean.

Essentially, no matter what the facts of a situation, people will create their own narratives from those facts. Each person will reveal a different kind of "truth", a different viewpoint from which to view reality.

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Those are two interesting words, aren't they?  I mean, we use the word "story" as a synonym for "lie."  And everyone knows there are two sides to every story, right?  So a story is told or remembered or seen from a particular point of view--and where there is one side, there is likely to be another side.  Not necessarily opposite, just different or skewed.  While each story can be truthful, it is likely to be a combination of both which comprise the truth.  In terms of truth, there is absolute, knowable truth.  No stories, no sides, no perspectives. I get the quote, of course, and I agree history is made up of story after story; each life impacted by war or disaster has a story to tell.  However, these may not always direct us to truth of the bigger, more cosmic, picture.

clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I personally find life far too difficult not to believe in some absolute truth.  Despite all the religious/philosophical/scientific debates that rage endlessly - in the end, for me, I have to settle on believing that SOMETHING is true - otherwise what is the point of life?

So - no - I don't agree with the quote.

lynn30k eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Just by what we include or leave out when we recount an event makes it very difficult to know what really happened. This is, for me, the problem with knowing what is really going on in the world. Even when news writers TRY to be truthful, the news is by necessity edited.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
I think it's true to a certain extent that we can never know the complete truth. Everything is a version of the truth. You can consider that a story for sure. However there are facts, and taken together they are more accurate than just stories.
krishna-agrawala | Student

To the extent we are referring to what is said or written, we can say say that this is never the exact and complete representation of truth. At is the reality as perceived by the speaker and or the writer rather than the reality itself. What is perceived an individual as reality is not necessarily the reality itself. Even when an individual is able to perceive or feel some aspect of reality as it exists, he or she may not be able to express it correctly. For example, the emotions felt by an individual are same as the emotions as they are. However the expression of these emotions can never reflect the emotions. Thus every truth expressed has some element of non-truth mixed with it, and to that extent "there are no truths only stories."

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