The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth

The heading is the oath that witness swear. I rarely find that the truth is simple or pure; it is a complex thing which is woven with many threads which interlock in ways that can be hard to find out. It is never pure; truth may seem to be but can never be pure. It can be impossible to speak the whole truth, no matter how hard you try and harder still to speak nothing but the truth. Life is so complex that we must speak in short cuts and abbreviations as well as speaking from an imperfect knowledge of life.

Nevertheless the oaths serves its purpose which is to make a witness agree that he or she will give evidence that is the approximate truth as the witness understands it and as complete as the witness feels it necessary to speak so as to avoid not speaking the untruth. It might be better to change the oath to a promise that the evidence will not be untrue.

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