The Only Truth Existing “We are, then, faced with a quite simple alternative: Either we deny that there is here anything that can be called truth – a choice that would make us deny what we experience most profoundly as our own being; or we must look beyond the realm of our “natural” experience for a validation of our certainty.” Plato developed an early 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. 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 really no more than an expression of how the word “truth” is defined, not that it has a particular nature in itself.
A famous philosopher, Rene Descartes, once stated, “I am, therefore I exist.” This statement holds 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, just as long as we believe that we think, we are proved to exist.
Thinking about our thoughts is an automatic validation of our self-consciousness. Descartes claims, “But certainly I should exist, if I were to persuade my self of something.” And so, I should conclude that our existence is a truth, and may be the only truth, that we should find its certainty. From the “natural” experiences of our being, we hold beliefs that we find are our personal truths. From these experiences, we have learned to understand life with reason and logic; we have established our idea of reality; and we believe that true perceptions are what we sense and see.
But it is our sense of reason and logic, our idea of reality, and our perceptions, that may likely to be very wrong. 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 best answer 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.” Subjectiveness, or personal belief, is almost always, liable for self-contradiction. Besides the established truth that we exist, there are no other truths that are certain, for the fact that subjective truth may be easily refuted. Every person possesses his or her own truth that may be contradicting to another person’s belief. A truth, or one that is true for all, cannot by achieved because of the constant motion of circumstances of who said it, to whom, when, where, why, and how it was said. What one person may believe a dog is a man’s best friend, another may believe that a dogs is a man’s worse enemy. What one may believe is a pencil, to another is not a pencil, but a hair pin.
Where one may believe that a bottle is an instrument, one may believe is a toy, where another may believe is a beverage container. Where one will understand the moving vehicle “car,” one might understand “car” as a tree. Our perception of what is true depends on our own experiences, and how something becomes true for us.
Many circumstances are necessary to derive at one’s truth, whether it is an idea, object, or language. All perception, besides the perception of existence, is uncertain of being true for all individuals. Every thought, besides the idea that we think, has the possibility that it may be proven wrong. The author of the article, Knowledge Regained, Norman Malcolm, states that, “any empirical proposition whatever could be refuted by future experience – that is, it could turn out to be false.” An example could be the early idea of the earth being flat and not the current perception of the earth being round. History tells us that at one time, the perception of the earth was thought to be flat.
This notion was an established truth to many because of the sight and sense that people perceived about the earth’s crust. At one point, to accept the newer truth that the earth is round, meant that, what one believed was true, really wasn’t. And, what if, at some point in the future, we were told by a better educated group of observers that the earth is not round, but a new shape we’ve never even perceived before? Would we agree to the scientists’ observation that they have, themselves, agreed to this more accurate shape of the earth?. We would probably agree to change our knowledge of truth to the observations of experts. This is an example that, what we may have once believed to be the absolute truth, may be proven wrong at any time. And what we actually know, may not be the truth after all.
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 Truth may also be refuted through the identified appearance or sense of an object. A great modern philosopher, Bertrand Russell’s, idea of appearance and reality explains that perception of a table and its distribution of colors, shape, and sense, vary with each point of view.
Commenting on the distribution of color, Russell states that, “It follows that if several people are looking at the table at the same moment, no two of them will see exactly the same distribution of colours, because no two can see it from exactly the same point of view, and any change in the point of view makes some change in the way the light is reflected.” What one person sees the table as green, one might see as red at another viewpoint. And what might seem to have color is actually colorless in the dark. What one might perceive as being rectangle, may look oval in another view. What may sense the table to be hard by a touch of the fingertips, may be soft by the touch of the cheek. Determining hardness of the table depends on pressure applied and judge of the sensation.
No assumptions can be absolutely true because there is no determining factor in choosing the right angle to look at or sense the table. There are no determining factors in which angle or measurement is better to judge than the other in sense of color, shape, and feel of an object. Every object is determined self-contradicting which can be refuted by questioning its perception and even the existence for its use.
Our experiences from our “natural” existence gives us a bias of all that is true, which is self-contradicting. The ideas and objects that we encounter are determined true by personal evaluation in the relationships of those ideas and objects in connection with our being. The relationship of the ideas and objects in connection with another person’s life may be contradicting to my own beliefs.
“I am, therefore I exist,” may be the only statement with any validity of our certainty. We cannot test the validity of our reality, reason, logic, and perception in relation to all individuals, but we can test to the validity of our existence by thinking, therefore, being. 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. 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 essay for part of my OAC religion project . It doesn’t have all the basics for an essay because it was used for a presentation. however the research is correct and useful, the sources are from a library in Hamilton.
I noticed that a women ( Sara Johns) has revised this essay, possibly you should check out hers, its under “The only existing truth”. Bibliography:sorry