Truth? Says who?

12 07 2007

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by Dan Phillips from Team Pyro: 

Can truth be known? What do you think? Perhaps the most popular position today is that absolute, universal, unchanging objective truth cannot be known, if it even exists. The best we can do is to speak of “my” truth, or “your” truth. This is the tolerant, enlightened position. To speak of absolute truth, statements that depict reality as it really is whether we like it or not, is insufferable arrogance. Only ignorant would-be Ayatollahs claim to know “the” truth.

But wait a moment. Do you notice the self-defeating snare built into this position?Is it really true that truth cannot be known? Is that true everywhere, at all times, and for all people? Is it true that one can only speak of his own truth? When I say, “No one can claim to know the truth,” is that a true statement? If it is a true statement, then it is a false statement!

Don’t you see? If it is true to say none can speak of the truth, then we would be making a true statement that no one can make true statements. (Except for that one?)

The truth is, we can’t even talk about truth without assuming that there is truth to be discussed. The bare assertion that truth is unknowable assumes that at least one truth can be known: the unknowability of truth! So, you see, this position collapses under its own weight. 

Please read the rest of the post here. Thanks Dan Phillips!

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2 responses

27 07 2007
Noogatiger

What is truth?

When I was growing up I was taught “the truth”.
Then I discovered as I grew older that we changed some of our own ideas about “the truth”. Then, I discovered that we did not even understand some sections of “the truth”. Then I discovered that even people in our own Church had different ideas about “the truth”. Then I discovered that many Churches even within our own denomination had different ideas about “the truth”. Then I discovered that there were many Church denominations, hundereds of them with many different ideas about “the truth”. Then I discovered that people in my own family had different ideas about “the truth”. Then I discovered that there were these people called Scholars, Theologians, and Apologists, who had studied “the truth” in depth for years, and were even college trained in “the truth”, who have very different ideas about “the truth”, and some of them are not even sure that we have “the truth”. Then I discovered that the founding fathers of our faith, did not have complete copies of, nor did they agree on what constituted “the truth” themselves completely, (for almost 300 years).. Lastly I was told that us lowly humans will never have the capacity to totally comprehend all of “the truth” anyway, nor can it be absolutely proven that it is “the truth”, so the best we can do is to simply have faith that it is “the truth”.

It seems that “the truth” is relative to whichever “true believer” happens to be speaking at the moment.

27 07 2007
kclick

Noogatiger,

Your relativism is self-defeating and logically incoherent as a philosophical position.

“Relativism too often is nothing more than a fancy last gasp of adolescent rebellion.” -Tom Morris, Ph.D.

“To say of what is that it is not, or of what is not that it is, is false; while to say of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not, is true.” – Aristotle

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