What is truth?
Truth: That which best explains all the facts and accurately expresses reality across time and culture.
Laws of Logic: Aristotle posited 3 laws as basic to all logical thought.
--the law of identity (A is A);
--the law of contradiction (A cannot be both A and not A);
--the law of the excluded middle (A must be either A or not A).
Are your beliefs:
1. Concepts that you've collected or adopted along your life's path?
2. Conclusions that you've reached as a result of research and reasoning from verifiable and supportable facts (evidence)?
3. Convictions you hold as a result of determining that the things you don't know or haven't been able to research could in no way overthrow/undermine the level of certainty in the conclusions you've reached?
What kind of proof do you have/require for your beliefs?
Scientific proof: Observable and Repeatable in a Controlled environment.
Legal/Historical proof: Based upon eyewitness accounts, depositions, hard evidence, beyond a reasonable doubt.
Some questions to ponder:
- Do we have to experience something in order for it to be true?
- If we experience something does that make it true?
- If something can be experienced subjectively, does that make it objectively untrue?
- Where did we come from and where are we going?
- Are birth and death universal experiences?
- Does where we came from when we were born and where we're headed when we die change if we were born 1000 B.C. in Asia or A.D. 2000 in Africa?
- If the information about where we came from, why we're here, and where we're headed transcends time and culture, is it infinite?
- How can a finite man know infinite truth?
Observation and extrapolation have their limitations.
Quotes on Truth:
- The object of philosophy, but not always of philosophers. John C. Collins
- The aim of the superior man. Confucius
- Patient, cooperative inquiry operating by means of observation, experiment, record, and controlled reflection. John Dewey
- When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. Sherlock Holmes (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
- Not having to guess what a candidate means. Gerald Ford
- Truth is many. There are as many truths as there are things and causes of action and contradictory principles at work in society. William Hazlitt
- Whatever is reasonable is true, and whatever is true is reasonable. George W. Hegel
- The opinion that still survives...A prejudice raised to an axiom....That which serves us best in expressing our lives. Elbert Hubbard
- The heart of morality. Thomas Henry Huxley
- A property of certain of our ideas. It means their "agreement," with "reality."... True ideas are those that we can assimilate, validate, corroborate and verify. William James
- A relation between two things, an idea, on the one hand, and a reality outside of the idea, on the other. William James
- Two kinds... those of reasoning and those of fact. The truths of reasoning are necessary and their opposite is impossible; the truths of fact are contingent and their opposite is possible. Gottfried W. Leibnitz
- The measure of knowledge, and the business of understanding. John Locke
- Where you find the general permanent voice of humanity agreeing with the voice of your conscience. Joseph Mazzini
- A word which each one understands in his own way, according to his own needs, as it suits him. <span style="font-style: italic;">Mendele</span>
- Truth means facts and their relations, which stand towards each other pretty much as subjects and predicates in logic. John Henry Newman
- The opinion which is fated to be ultimately agreed to by all who investigate it. Charles S. Peirce
- The one thing that nobody will believe. George Bernard Shaw
- The system of propositions which have an unconditional claim to be recognized as valid. Alfred E. Taylor
- The rarest quality in an epitaph. Henry David Thoreau
- Man discovers truth by reason only, not by faith. Leon Tolstoy
- Something that is stranger than fiction, but not as popular. Not truths... not conclusions... not even premises, but in the nature and parts of premises. The truth depends on, and is arrived at, by a legitimate deduction from all facts which are truly material. Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Webster's New World Dictionary, Third College Edition:
truth n., pl. truths 1. the quality or state of being true; specif., a) orig., loyalty; trustworthiness b) sincerity; genuineness; honesty c) the quality of being in accordance with experience, facts, or reality; conformity with fact d) reality; actual existence e) agreement with a standard, rule, etc.; correctness; accuracy 2. that which is true; statement, etc. that accords with fact or reality 3. an established or verified fact, principle
true adj. truÃ¹er, tru'est 1. faithful; loyal; constant 2. reliable; certain [a true indication] 3. in accordance with fact; that agrees with reality; not false 4. a) conforming to an original, pattern, rule, standard, etc. b) exact; accurate; right; correct 5. rightful; lawful; legitimate [the true heirs]