Truth in Public Life

Vernon White, Stephen Lamport, Claire Foster-Gilbert

How can we speak of truth in an era of lazy assertions and unstable facts? We must, these intelligent essays implore us. Discovering the truth and, indeed, telling it are vital if we are to enjoy a civilised society in which everyone is free to flourish.

Vernon White shows that absolute truth exists and explains why and how it matters morally, while Stephen Lamport describes why truth is important to sustaining civilised society and argues that truth is central to other essential, human qualities. Finally, in her contribution, Claire Foster-Gilbert explores the challenges of truth-telling for public servants: for politicians, who are routinely not believed; for civil servants, whose ministers may only want to hear those facts tht support their policy ideas; for journalists, tempted to tell the story that is ‘too good to check’; and for judges, police officers – even us.

VERNON WHITE is Visiting Professor at King’s College, London. He was Canon Theologian of Westminster from June 2011 until October 2018 and, from 2016, also served as Sub-Dean. White was a member of the steering group for Westminster Abbey Institute from its inception.

STEPHEN LAMPORT was the Receiver General of Westminster Abbey from 2008 to 2018, and a member of Westminster Abbey Institute steering group from its beginning in 2013. He now serves the Abbey on an honorary basis as Deputy High Bailiff.

CLAIRE FOSTER-GILBERT is the founder director of the Westminster Abbey Institute. A current and former member of numerous ethic committees, Dr Foster-Gilbert has played an instrumental role in the medical research ethics field, and has led efforts to shift the Church’s thinking on environmental issues.

Published with Westminster Abbey Institute

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