Truth... or something like it

An Essay By luke // 3/24/2008

It's interesting to think that truth is only really relative to the mind. What is true to one person is not necesarily the truth to another. For example, Two people may look at a tree, the tree is green to one and brown to the other. However each person believes that they are telling the truth and are convinced that the other is wrong. A third person may then say that both are infact telling the truth, the tree is both green and brown. And yet another person can come along and say all three are wrong, the tree is not green, brown or both colours. To that person the tree may be any colour they perceive it to be, as long as they believe it is the truth.

So therefore truth does not exist, for something to be truth we would all have to see the "truth" exactly the same which is beyond impossible as free will, dialy occurances and ourselves determines that each and everyone of us sees in our own unique way.

Comments

So....

So if there is no truth, there are no moral absolutes, because to have moral absolutes there has to be some truth involved somewhere. Which means its OK to perform abortions. It's OK to lie.
And if we all ascertain the truth by viewing it through our own little bubble and determine what is "right" and "wrong" for ourselves, then that means we all ascertain our own moral absolutes, which makes for a scary world.
Without moral absolutes and truth, luke, this world would collapse into a worse state than it's in now.

Heather | Tue, 03/25/2008

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

You are asserting a truth...

Do you really believe that it is TRUE that there is no truth?

Ezra | Tue, 03/25/2008

"There are no great men of God. There are only pitiful, sorry men whose God is great beyond measure." - Paul Washer [originally Jonathan Edwards]

If there is no absolute

If there is no absolute truth then isn't it a waste of time and money to go to college? What your learning isn't truth anyway because we can makeup our own truth.
Vera H.

Anonymous | Tue, 03/25/2008

something to think about...

Well you do learn a lot of things in college that aren't absolute truths - college isn't there to force students to learn a bunch of "facts" or "truths" (that's why cramming is so discouraged) but rather to learn to become analytical thinkers. As a professor, it's hard to convince students that published works (including textbooks, articles, etc) aren't necessarily facts, but our current best theories about the world we live in and our interaction in it.
As the next generation, I think it's it's an important debate to keep in mind - what we are taught it truth might not necessarily be so.
Do I *personally* think there are some absolute truths? Yes. But I also realize that my absolute truths might not be a truth to someone else.

Christa | Tue, 03/25/2008

Truth

Perhaps it would be useful to distinguish between a truth and a perspective. What a person believes is not necessarily the truth, but there are certain things (such as the existence of the sun) which are non negotiable truths - we cannot change them no matter what we think or believe.

As far as the world goes - its history, its origins, its purpose - we may all have different opinions about it, but if we were able to travel back in time, we would find only one 'truth' to be correct.

Ezra | Tue, 03/25/2008

"There are no great men of God. There are only pitiful, sorry men whose God is great beyond measure." - Paul Washer [originally Jonathan Edwards]

I am afraid that your

I am afraid that your certain truth about the sun being the sun isn't exactly correct.

For example, many ancient civilisations, throughout the world and since the existence of man, saw the sun as a god, a higher being, some saw it as a place, a heaven so to speak.

Is it not true to those ancient cultures that the sun is therefore not the sun but the thing that they believed it to be...?

luke | Tue, 03/25/2008

Good Point

And yet, they believed that there was a round, warm, orange-yellow thing in the sky. They may have assumed that it was something other than astronomy today shows; they had no way to test or prove what it actually was. Even we only have a sketchy understanding of what the sun really is.

People since ancient civilization have considered the existence of the sun to be real and non-negotiable. Both a modern person and an ancient person would consider me crazy if I pointed at the sun and then said, "There is nothing in the sky today which is emitting light, there never has been and never will be".

And even in the case of the trees, (considering that the trees have living leaves) I would be wrong if I thought that the trees were only brown. If I measured a sample of photon beams which had bounced off of the trees, I would invariably find several different wave lengths corresponding to several different colors.

But this is an interesting conversation.

Ezra | Tue, 03/25/2008

"There are no great men of God. There are only pitiful, sorry men whose God is great beyond measure." - Paul Washer [originally Jonathan Edwards]

It sure is. Your point is

It sure is.

Your point is taken... and I agree. I'd like to say that ideas I post aren't always what I exactly think or believe, just thoughts that pop into my head.

I'd would like to now qoute part of the book I mentioned. 'If truth is relative, then nothing is straight-forwardly "true" or "factual". EVerything is "true for someone" or "a fact for them." So what can you say to those who deny that the holocaust is a fact? Are they not as entitled to their view as you are to yours? How can one both assert the reality of the holocaust and deny that there is a single truth about it?'

Ponder that thought for me?

luke | Tue, 03/25/2008

But....

But who establishes that truth is relative? I point you to my earlier comment. If truth is only relative, that means that the bad things you mention that happen might not be "bad" for the person, because since truth is only relative, then moral absolutes must be only relative, because some people see them as a truth.
Here's an example. So, say I lie, and you call me on it because you know for a fact that what I said isn't true. But, since truth is only relative, what right do you have to call me on it? And how do you know that I'm lying, because truth means one thing for you and another totally for me? You can put the moral absolutes to this question too.
Another question: Would you say that the Bible's laws (Ten Commandments and such) are good rules to live by (leaving out for the moment everything about God)? Like "Thou shall not covet" etc stuff. And if you do believe that these laws are good to live by, would yo want everyone in the world to live by them? I'm going to guess by previous writings, you'd say yes, everyone should live good lives. But, who is to say that what you do is "good" because to another person, what you consider "good" is bad and what you consider "bad" is good. I think it'd get rather confusing rather quickly! :0)
I don't know if any of this makes sense...does anyone else think it does? I don't feel like I'm clearly articulating what I mean to say.

Heather | Tue, 03/25/2008

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

No, you most certainly make

No, you most certainly make sense!
And yes I completely agree with what you are saying.

It is hard to imagine that truth, goodness and badness are relative, and it does become incredibly confusing.

In regards to your first question; In theory I could not possibly say that you are lying. Because if you belive it to be true, then to you it is true. And if it's true to you then it must therefore be true. But if it's false to me then it is also false. So at that exact momment in time, the "lie" is both true and false. Interesting is it not?

Your second question; Which again is a most intriguing queston. Yes, I would say that the Ten Commandments are good rules to live by. But again, even if I believe that these laws are good, it doesn't always mean that other's will. So it is with the help of that logic and that chain of thought that I follow what I personally believe to good myself. For example, the Bible (and many many religions and societies) condemns homosexuality. I personally am uneffected if a man can love another man. No harm is done to me, or to anyone around them, only to those who decide to be effected by it. And how could I condemn a man or woman for being a homosexual, when they tell me that they are madly in love with the person they are with? I can't. For if we cannot trust in our hearts and our souls and our love, then it is a cruel world, and a horrible world that would come about. I think that is the amazing thing about love though, it breaks all rules, it defies everything! I have a favourite qoute (well a whole sonnet really) by Shakespeare, which I love to recite when I'm discussing love. (I will post it). I have now just noticed how I have twisted the discussion onto love. My apologies.

I hope now I have given you a deeper insight into some of my beliefs and my views?

Luke

luke | Tue, 03/25/2008

Kind of...you're also

Kind of...you're also confusing me...maybe answers to my new comment on your other post will clear more up for me...
You're stuck on love, aren't you? :0) That's OK, lots of people are. I have two friends who are getting married this Sat and another good friend who is courting a girl, and that's all they can talk about. This ties in to my comment on your other post we've been discussing. What's interesting is that you want to trust your heart, soul, and love. Hmm...the use of the word soul is interesting there...but if we pass into nothingness when we die how can we have souls, and what happens to them? Is is truth that we have souls? If truth is relative, then could one person have a soul because he believes he does, and the next person not have a soul because he believes he doesn't?
It might be a good idea to move all discussion to the other post, so we're not jumping back and forth
Heather

Heather | Wed, 03/26/2008

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

Luke

I find that you are definitely one to like discussion. This is a good thing. :) But I have something to say. I am completely taken aback by your beliefs that truth is dependent on the person. Is there not one truth? I am wondering if you are simply saying people can believe easily different things. For instance, someone might say or think that grass is green, while another might think and believe grass is blue. Now, just because some person would want to say the grass is blue, does not make it blue. Whether they believe it is that way or not, does not change the color of the grass. You see? Truth is unalterable. There is a solid truth. Even if people's views are different. Truth remains.

I noticed that you mentioned you loved a girl. What if one of the girls friends said you didn't, and believed you didn't. Would that make it true? Would that mean that you really didn't love her? Of course not. You do love her. And just because her friend doesn't believe so, doesn't mean that's going to change. You see?

I don't know if you're a praying man, Luke. But I would take this to prayer. God has amazing answers for you, if you're open to hearing them.

God bless and keep you. May he turn his face to you, and give you peace.
~a friend

Anonymous | Wed, 03/26/2008

Dear 'a friend', I am not a

Dear 'a friend',

I am not a praying man, God may have amazing answers for you, but I find my answers elsewhere. Though I do strongly thank you for your opinion.

I would now like to address the truth question again. If one person believes the grass is green, and another believes it is blue. Then the grass is both green and blue. To the person who believes the grass is blue, it is the complete and 'unalterable' truth, as you say, that the grass is blue! And simultaneously the grass is green to the other person, and he/she believes it is green, so therefore it is true that the grass is green, to them. You say it is fact that the grass is green? But that is only because the majority of the world believes it is true that the grass is green. If everyone besides you thought it was the down truth, utter fact, set in stone that the grass was neither green nor blue, but orange. Would is not be true that the grass is then orange? Well it would be true, but to you the grass would still be green. So my point is, truth is only how you perceive it, the grass can be, in honest to god truth, green, blue, red, yellow, white, because people believe so.

I address your second statement. If her friend doesn't believe I am in love, then to her I am not, and that is truth to her. I may believe I am in love, and to me I am. Do you now see my point?

Luke

luke | Wed, 03/26/2008

Green Grass

Luke,

If you was to say that the grass is green, and I were to say that the grass is orange, then I would be changing the definition of the word orange. I would not, however, actually affect the wavelength of light bouncing off of the grass.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that what we believe does not change the actual state of nature around us, or the actual history of the world which has happened. It simply changes our perception.

Ezra | Wed, 03/26/2008

"There are no great men of God. There are only pitiful, sorry men whose God is great beyond measure." - Paul Washer [originally Jonathan Edwards]

Exactly!!!!

The color of a patch grass can truly only one color, that is unless a person is color blind, but then again just because someone either can't see or understand the truth doesn't change the fact that it is the truth.
~Stephanie

Anonymous | Wed, 03/26/2008

Truth is only what we perceive it to be?

I see your point, but I'm not sure how you've come to it. Here's how I would understand this kind of situation; perhaps you can show me where I'm wrong in my reasoning. You keep refering to any truth as "truth to him" or "truth to her". It seems like you are confusing someone's belief with the truth itself. If you really are in love, than whoever thinks you aren't, no matter how sincere she is, is wrong, because in fact you are in love. On the other hand, if she is right, and you aren't really in love, then you only think you are and you're really fooling yourself. And it also depends on how love is being defined. If you are using one definition of love, and this person who doubts that you're really in love has a different definition in her mind, then you're not necessarily disagreeing. It's like you would be saying, "A is true!" and the other person replies, "No, B is false!" This doesn't mean truth is relative, it just means you need to specify your terms. (Love can be tricky to define.)
As for something more objective, take a paticular blade of grass, and say like your average blade it's green. It's green because it reflects green light waves and obsorbes all other wave frequencies. There are only two realistic ways someone won't say it's green. First, is if he speaks a different language, and has a different word for green, or the word "green" means something else in his language. The other way is if he's color blind; in this case his eyes and brain can't distinguish between certain light waves bouncing off of objects, so he might percieve that the grass is just as blue as the jeans he's wearing (when in reality they reflect completely different wave frequencies). His vision imparment might hinder him from seeing the truth of the green grass, and so he can't understand it; that does not mean that the grass isn't green.
That's how I understand it. Am I missing something?

James | Wed, 03/26/2008

<><~~~~~~~~~~~~><>
"The idea that we should approach science without a philosophy is itself a philosophy... and a bad one, because it is self-refuting." -- Dr. Jason Lisle

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