2005 - 7th Grade 5th Place:

Andrew Hagler, Arizona

Truth is reality, and beauty is a perception based on one's beliefs. The reason truth is more important than beauty is because when truth is unaltered, it can be beautiful but still real. The argument that truth can be changed and altered is not a valid argument because that would not be the real truth. Beauty is a truly wonderful thing in its own way, but can be altered much more so than truth in ways that alienate and segregate people in society.

There can be more than one truth, just as there can be more than one answer to a problem when two answers are not incorrect, but neither has been proven. The most famous example of this is Darwin's theory of evolution, which has two different truths which have not been proven completely correct or incorrect. Creationism has not been proven, just as the theory of evolution hasn't been proven, yet both sides see their own interpretation as the truth. All religions believe that their ways are the truth, and that causes conflict due to the fact that the fundamental beliefs of all people differ widely. In these cases all the ideas involved are perceived as the most basic truth because we, up to now, cannot find a way to explain exactly what the pure, unaltered truth is.

Beauty is a thing of wonder, yet it has the potential to carry great evil. Beauty has the ability to segregate because what one culture thinks is beautiful is always separate from what they believe is ugly. Because beauty is considered "normal" and what every person should try to be or adhere to, those considered ugly in some form would be outcast and segregated from the majority of society. Truth itself can be ugly, because people don't always want to see what they stand against or disagree with. If one religion was somehow proven to be the complete and utter truth, many people would still rebel against it because of their own beliefs. If people confronted and acknowledged the same truth, there would be no reason for the brutal practice of segregation because views on a specific subject would not differ.

However, truth is a unified. It is something people can recognize as reality, and then can base facts and opinions on it because everyone is on the same, solid ground. Once everyone sees and acknowledges the truth, a utopian society would not be out of reach. Truth is more important because without it people could not grasp or agree on one specific conclusion because they have nothing that is a solid fact, only inferences which would be based on lies. If truth was non-existent, humanity would never intellectually advance because math, science, literature, and all languages would not have truth, so they would lack a consistent set of rules on which to base all math problems, scientific theories, and rules of languages. Truth is the reality, while beauty is a deceptive perception with the possibility of unfairness and evil.

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