What Is Truth? What is Truth? Truth exists and is an absolute. Contrary to the mush-minded meanderings of modern educators, truth is not relative. 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. Truth must have not the slightest touch of maybe to it. Maybe is dishonesty to truth and if it touches truth, then truth becomes maybe.
Truth is more and beyond that which is true. Truth is a concept in philosophy that treats the meaning of true and the criteria by which we judge the truth or falsity in written and spoken statements. 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, the concept of truth is uncommonly complex and variable. Thoughts, ideas, beliefs, and opinions are said to be true or false. An idea makes a truth claim and is true when the character of what is thought about upholds its claim. Forms of words or statements are also said to be true or false.
This can be explained by saying a set of words is true when it expresses a true thought. Truth should be replaced by the facts, reality or the way things are. Truth is often imagined as consisting in a speakers honesty with respect to what he believes. Occasionally truth is rehashed, as in the doctrines of the German philosopher Gottlob Frege. 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. If we love truth and seek after it, we cannot help but run into the outstretched arms of God. 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. If we turn to God and ask him to instruct us in the truth and to lead us to salvation, we will surely receive that which we ask because our prayer will be in line with Gods desire for us. The word truth is mentioned in the bible 235 times. Philosophers proposed four main theories to answer the What is Truth? question.
They are correspondence, pragmatic, coherence, and deflationary theories of truth. Plato developed the earliest version of the correspondence theory. He sought to understand the meaning of knowledge and how it is acquired. 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. A 20th-century British philosopher Bertrand Russell and Plato recognized this theory unsatisfactory because it did not allow false belief. Both Russell and Plato stated that if a belief were false because there is no fact to prove it to be true, then it would be a belief about nothing, or not even a belief at all. Each then thought that the grammar of a sentence could offer a way around this problem.
But how, they asked, are the parts of a sentence related to reality? One suggestion is from the 20th-century philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. He stated that the parts of a sentence relate to the objects they describe much like the way the parts of a picture relate to the objects pictured. But false sentences pose a problem. If a false sentence pictures nothing, there can be no meaning in the sentence. The correspondence theory of truth is really no more than an expression of how the word truth is defined. Some criticisms focus on an epistemological problem that is involved in knowing whether or not a proposition does indeed agree with the facts.
We clearly do classify propositions as true or false in everyday life, but we cannot securely do so on the basis of their correspondence to reality. Charles S. Peirce who was an American philosopher in the 19th, offered another answer to the question. Pragmatists like Peirce say that the truth of our ideas must be tested through practice. He said that it is something that experts will agree upon when their investigations are final.
He believed that our evolving species were a way to get evener closer to the truth. Some pragmatists questioned the usefulness of the idea of truth, stating that in evaluating our beliefs we should pay attention to the penalty that our beliefs have. William James defined the pragmatist theory of truth, as an idea is true so long as to believe it manifestly false. It is obvious to any person that a proposition is either true or false separately of the utility of our belief in it. Pragmatist philosophers twisted the meanings of words, so we have to make logical sense of pragmatism.
William James, qualified his attitude by saying that a propositions being true consists in its being useful in the widest possible sense. The coherence theory also concerns the meaning of knowledge. It states that a propositions truth consists in its fitting into a coherent system of propositions. Beliefs cover everything and do not contradict each other. The coherence theory is undoubtedly the better theory even here if only because there is an elegant economy in having a single over-arching theory of truth that encompasses all situations.
True has been linked with the Good and the Beautiful as one of mans 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. It has been doubted whether knowledge, or known truth, is humanly attainable. The truth is often disagreeable, because it fails to support prejudice or myth. The pursuit of truth tends to be suppressed as a dangerously revolutionary force.
Some philosophers reject the question What is truth? with the observation that attaching the claim it is true that to a sentence adds no meaning. The use of the word true is essential when making a general claim about everything, nothing, or something, as in the statement most of what he says is true. Truth is a very simple and handy concept. It is correspondence of a pictorial or symbolic representation to the thing being represented. In the case of a symbolic representation, the correspondence may be massively complicated, but it is nonetheless similar in kind to a simple pictorial representation. References Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 98 on disk.
1993-1997 Encyclopedia Americana, 1986 by Grolier Incorporated Philosophy: History and Problems. Samuel Enoch Stumpf, Fifth Edition, New York: McGraw-Hill Inc., 1994 Philosophy Essays.