Veritaserum — Would You Use It?

If you are a Very Cool Person, you know about the Harry Potter books more than simply a peripheral awareness of their huge influence.  If you aren’t, just stay with me.  You’ll want to read this.

One of the most compelling things about the books is their use of ethical conundrums to get the reader to really consider their own choices in life.  One such has to do with a teensy bottle of liquid truth:  it’s called veritaserum, and it’s a truth potion.  The most powerful truth potion in the wizarding world, as a matter of discussion.

The use of it is forbidden, but that makes no difference to a number of folks who consider it perfectly justifiable in what they consider their quest for answers.

Here’s the thing:  if you had a bottle of veritaserum, would you risk using it?  Would you feel justified in using it?  Have you ever wished you could just “know” the truth about something, and would do just about anything to find out the answer, whatever the cost?

I have thought that on a number of occasions.  Suffice it to say that, if the stuff existed, I’d like to think I wouldn’t try to obtain it and use it.  But there have been times, I suppose I might have.  Would I have regretted it?

Would knowing the truth solve any problems?  Probably not.  I think it would create more.  It’s not for us to know what’s in someone else’s head, and not for us to decide whether someone has to tell us what they’re thinking.   Or is it? 

Sodium pentothal is a drug like many others, and its use has been debated in India as recently as 2008.  What about when athorities are interrogating terrorists?  Suspected terrorists?  It’s a compelling question.

We must not tell lies.  At least, that’s what Delores Umbridge would say.

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6 responses to “Veritaserum — Would You Use It?

  1. “Have you ever wished you could just “know” the truth about something, and would do just about anything to find out the answer, whatever the cost?” – I would say “yes” to part of this question. I want to know the truth, but it would depend on how far I would go to get to the truth.

  2. I think there are times when this just might come in handy, but I am also reminded of the lines Jack Nicholson spoke in the movie A Few Good Men, “You want the truth? You couldn’t handle the truth!”

  3. I agree with you: using truth serum is more likely to create additional problems than to resolve anything. Great insights, and a fun post to read!

    I’m blogging my way back from Z to A and my “V” post is right here.

  4. Nothing angers me more than a kid who looks you in the eye and flat out lies. I would love to use it on those folks.

    Joyce
    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

  5. “Have you ever wished you could just “know” the truth about something, and would do just about anything to find out the answer, whatever the cost?”

    Good question. The thing is, I think that for most of the situations that would most tempt us to use the potion, we already know the answer. If we think we don’t, it’s probably because we really don’t want to acknowledge what we know in our gut to be fact.

    I’m blogging my way back from Z to A! My “U” post is right here.

    And my “V” post is here.

  6. All kids lie, it’s part of what they do. Some do it more then others though. I like to be different and so have no read the books, nor seen the movies. Truthfully, I get tired of hearing about them. Some folks act like they were the only books every written. I find when someone raves about a movie and I watch it, I’m always disappointed. So, crossed these series off my list long ago.

    Nice post though