GRE Issue Essay 1
“Important truths begin as outrageous, or at least uncomfortable, attacks upon the accepted wisdom of the time.”
This is a proven fact that truth is the initial stage of progress. However, it is also believed that truth always starts away from the traditions and conventions. Therefore, people consider truths as attacks upon their beliefs, which people are following from ages. Truth also means some new facts that are unknown to us. People do not want to deviate from the facts, which they have learnt from their ancestors, and it is true to say that shedding ones dogmas is often difficult. They feel that it is an attack on their wisdom.
If we look at the history of the world, we will find many examples where truth has generated commotions in the society. Different people have different views about the existence of God, life after death and origin of earth etc. For example, people took a long time to accept that the earth is round. Religious leaders and clergymen opposed this idea as it was against what they were teaching. Similarly, when Polish astronomer, Copernicus discovered that the earth goes round the sun and not vice versa, he was opposed by churches for many years. In fact he and his supporters were convicted for their ideas. Hence, it is very difficult to change the traditions that are followed by majority of people.
Similarly, when Darwin gave the theory of evolution, and challenged the old ideology, he was resisted by public. Nobody was ready to believe that apes were the ancestors of humankind. However, it is important to accept truths, otherwise it would hinder the growth of mankind. It is important for us to accept new ideas so as to bring out reforms in society and thus adopt new ideologies. It would open doors for various kinds of development. One should not blindly accept and follow old ideas or new truths. There should be enough scientific approach and explanations for everything.
However, there might be different reasons for this kind of uncomfortable reactions against truth. The first and the most responsible reason is the human nature. Most people will not prefer to change their ways of life and thinking, as it is accepted and prevalent from time unknown. They believe in what they are doing and experiencing for their whole life. The second factor is that truths often challenge the other persons authority. In order to save their status and honor, authoritarians oppose new ideas and truths. In getting their own way, they provoke the public. Sometimes these reactions go violent also.
However, these days, people are becoming more open minded. They are ready to accept new ideas. Our societies all over the world are getting more flexible and open to new truths. Hence, new ideas and truths are accepted peacefully and there are no violent commotions.
The conclusion is that important truths, which challenge the proven wisdom, always, face oppression. However, if these truths hold any ground, then these are accepted over a period of time after facing trials.