I was watching tv (as I do) again and this time, I saw questions asking me “Am I SAFE?” I thought to myself that the doors were locked and that there wasn’t anyone there to harm me. So I told the screen that I was indeed safe. And it runs out that SAFE is the name of the company that does fire, emergency and safety installations around the state that I live in. While I felt deceived by the advertisement, it got me to start thinking about the nature of truth and thus I began to wonder about the analogy of the sun.
Plato was asking Socrates (as he does) about the nature of goodness and what does it mean to be a good person? Socrates says he is unable to answer the question. Not for lack of rhetorical specificity regarding being good in the moral dilemma or being good regarding being skilled, but rather, he felt he was unfit to answer the question, and so he responded thus:
“there is a child of goodness.” The child of goodness shared information and insight with all the people and everywhere she went people didn’t feel fear because they knew they had the truth. It turns this child of goodness was the light from the sun. The light illuminates and informs, and the essence of goodness is truth and knowledge. The moral complexities are muddled in light of new information, truth and withheld information. As was seen in the final act of Captain America: Civil War.
You see the entire movie and really for a few movies now; Captain America has known that it was his best friend Bucky who had killed Tony Stark’s father. He purposefully withheld this information, and when it was revealed to Iron Man, the reason no longer stayed in the conversation. The entire movie revolves around truth. Truth, identity, responsibility. Bucky didn’t intend to kill his father, he was brainwashed as a soldier and ran away.
Iron Man does want to genuinely kill The winter soldier, but only after learning the truth. But none of this story is goodness. This is all revenge and muddled emotions. The people who are here are good people in terrible circumstances, and they are tearing each other apart because of the truth, because of this new information.
The allegory of the sun has become the allegory of the son of Howard Stark. In Tony, Howard and his wife can find their revenge even though it wasn’t what they were searching for. Tony is struggling to be a good person the whole time, and yet him and his flame-painted iron suit, cannot hope to represent the goodness or what to do when you are dealt a heavy truth. That is why the story is so tragic; it’s not how the truth is dealt but how we deal with the truth that defines us.