The Nature Of Truth Essay, Research Paper
The nature of truth has been linked with the good and the beautiful as one of man’s supreme values. The pursuit of truth is indistinguishable in practice from the pursuit of knowledge, whether about the environment, nature, ethnical duties and ideas, or the relation to the divine.( Boodin 208-209 ) The complete understanding of the nature of truth is not humanely achievable.
From the natural events in our lives, we have ideas that we find are our personal truths. From these ideas, we have learned to comprehend life with reason and logic and we have found our idea of reality(Edwards 130). But it is our sense of reason and logic and our idea of truth that may likely to be wrong. Truth exists but is not absolute; Do we ever come to an understanding of what truth is or is it still out there for people to wonder about? If my truth differs from your truth that can only be because either one or both of us is unaware of the truth and has called something true which is not.(Edwards 130-131) . Mohandas Gandhi spoke of “The Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God” and said, ” I worship God as Truth only.” Jesus said, ” I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.” God is truth and the essence of it. All of his ways are truth and all truth stands or falls as it is measured against Him. He wants us to know the truth, which is to know him. God places the truth before us and gives us complete freedom to choose how to respond to the truth resulting in many different meanings of truth (Krishnamurti 119)
The nature of truth is more and beyond that which is true. For thousands of years, Philosophers have attempted to answer the question “What is Truth?” Truth is the quality of being true, and anything that is true, is a truth. “An idea makes a truth claim and is true when the character of what is thought about upholds its claim” ( Krishnamurti 39). Man has no innate ideas and that makes truth individual. Basically there are no simple ideas and everything could have multiple meanings. Since men create words and the words create the truth, truth then is a relative term. Truth is a concept in philosophy that treats the meaning of true and the standards by which we judge the truth or falsity in written statements.( Boodin 158 ). This can be explained by saying a set of words is true when it expresses a true thought. Rene Descartes, once said, “I am, [therefore] I exist.” This statement contains the only truth found for certain in our “natural” experience that, as conscious beings, we exist. Whether we are our own creators, a creation, or the object of evolution, as long as we know that we think, we prove to exist. Descartes claims, “But certainly I should exist, if I were to persuade my self of something.” Our existence is a truth, and may be the only truth, that we know is certain(Solomon 158).
Plato developed an early version of the correspondence theory. He sought to understand the meaning of knowledge and how it is acquired(Boodin 173). Plato wanted to distinguish between true and false belief. His theory was based on intuitive recognition that true statements correspond to the facts, while false statements do not. Plato recognized this theory as unsatisfactory because it did not allow false belief. Plato stated that if a belief was false because no fact proved it to be true, then it would be a belief about nothing, or not even a belief at all. The correspondence theory of truth is an example of the unresolved concept of truth by not being able to explain any certain nature of truth itself( Boodin 175).
Apart from the confirmed truth that we exist, no other truths are definite, for the fact that subjective truth may be easily contradicted. Everybody has his or her own truth that may be conflicting to another person’s. What one person may assume, a dog is a man’s best friend, another may think that a dogs is a man’s worse enemy. Our judgment of what is true depends on our own experiences, and how things becomes true for us( Krishnamurti 31). Aristotle would have us believe that truth exists within the combination of ideas and the same would go for falsity. Truth or falsehood cannot exist when the ideas are isolated. So according to Aristotle there are only a handful of truths in the universe. The rest are just relative depending upon the context in which you use them. Every thought, besides the idea that we think, has the opportunity that it may be proven wrong. An example could be the initial idea of the earth being flat. We would probably agree to change our idea of truth to the judgments of experts(Boodin 212). This example we may have once believed to be the absolute truth, may be proven wrong at any time, and what we really know, may not be the truth after all.
We may search for the answer of truth until the end of time, when God says to us that the only truths are in him. Jack Handy had the most logical answer to the question of truth when he said: “To me, truth is not some vague, foggy notion. Truth is real. And, at the same time, unreal. Fiction and fact and everything in between, plus some things I can’t remember, all rolled into one big “thing.” This is truth, to me.” (Www.hooked.net). Thinking about our thoughts is evidence of our self-consciousness. The ideas that we encounter are determined true by personal evaluation in the associations of those ideas with ourselves. “I am, [therefore] I exist,” may be the only statement with any validity of our certainty(Solomon 158). So we cannot test the soundness of our reality, reason, logic, and truth, but we can test to the truth of our existence by thinking, therefore, being.
I used this for a first year philosophy class, I don’t think my T.A.liked it, he is making me come in to go “over it with him”.