“Facts are stubborn things. And whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence…” — John Adams

This historic quote came from John Adams’ summation to the jury during the trial of the British soldiers accused of murder in the Boston Massacre. Adams was actually representing the soldiers.

I was reminded of his quote when I read a post on the Ethics Alarms blog, a site by John Marshall that I refer to frequently for excellent commentary and insights on ethical issues. There is also an excellent treatise on the ethical dilemmas faced by Adams during the trial posted at the Legal Ethics Forum.

This quote about the stubborn nature of facts reminds me of the working definition of Truthfulness as defined by the Character Training Institute:

Earning future trust by accurately reporting past facts.

Facts are indeed stubborn, but they can be reported inaccurately. It is even possible to technically tell the truth and still be deceptive by the way in which we “spin” the facts.

However, someone with a reputation for accurately reporting facts, especially if they are willing to tell the truth to their own hurt, pumps huge amounts of trust into any relationship. And as our Coactivity Maxim states:

The power for effective change rests within our relationships…

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2 thoughts on ““Facts are stubborn things. And whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence…” — John Adams

  1. Ray – just had a chance to read the blog. Very well done. I enjoyed how you integrated our forefathers thought processes into modern times. Still very relevant and shows that character and integrity really doesn’t change, only our interpretation of it does.

    Richie

    • Richie:
      Richie:

      I appreciate your insights. You’re right on point, of course. Our founders were all about character and integrity. Their vision for America was based on two concepts: a government that is founded on moral principles (Judeo-Christian ethic in their case) and a government that is constitutionally limited. Regretfully, we have largely abandoned both of those principles. And in the words of one of my modern day heroes, Alan Keyes, when you consider that our founders viewed our unalienable rights as gifts from a Creator, when you deny the Creator, you abandon your rights…!

      I gave a rather detailed message in regards to this at Crosspoint Church in Pensacola two years ago on God and Country Day. This is Chuck Baldwin’s church. He has been gracious enough to post the video on his webpage if you would like to view it. The address is http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/Sheriff-Nash.html. I will need to post it on my site at some point but haven’t gotten a round tuit yet…

      Ray

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