Sunday, November 6, 2011

Truth (by anon)

“What is truth?”  I want to say that I don’t know.  But that would be partially incorrect.  In the very question, if I take it to be the right question, I’m already saying that I partially know.  I am saying that truth is a what, a something, some fact or person or path to take.  But I may be in error already, in the very question.

“What is truth?”  We all want to know.  It is the seed of curiosity that wells from within and propels us toward a litany of candidates.  Religion, science, subjectivity, objectivity, facts, logic, language.  They are all part of a lottery drawing where the tickets are forever beyond our grasp, the ungraspable.  Or it’s quite possible that the tickets are of our own making.  A fake lottery.  An invented lottery.  The great lottery fiction where all the people who claim to be in the truth are their own main characters playing their own heroic roles.  Little people playing little roles.

In some places, truth is a safe haven for those to feel comfortable as if it were home.  It is a warm enveloping.  To others, truth is an insatiable pursuit to find that which seems to be an emptiness in oneself.  One has to find that truth, because it must be there, somewhere.  Still others, truth is something to be feared for there are many who wield truth as a weapon to inflict it upon the untrue.  If you are one of the unlucky untrue, you must beware for the banner of truth must be obeyed, so they say.  You are either part of the herd and obedient or you will face just wrath.  Conceptions of truth can be beautiful, driving, binding, ugly, even evil.  It’s a wonder truth has persisted so long.

What I mean to say is that I’ve given up on the fantasy.  A fantasy that has its face pushed against a void, is itself a void.  It is more meaningful to ask about whom I love and care for.  Who can I help?  Who can I talk to?  This is a return to asking about “who” rather than “what.”  This is a return to humanity, to who matters.  And that is all the truth I need.


  1. And the dialogue begins . . . .

    Not everyone seeks truth. As you said, some fear it. Sometimes individuals might wield truth like a weapon over another individual, but collectively we have the power to ignore a great deal of truth.

    I think of truth is a kind of synergy--a harmony among the parts, rather than only something one can use to label statements.

    But I want to resist and reject relativism or subjectivism--that seems way too easy. That lets me completely discount you. What does that achieve?

    A few true statements: I hope the authors of subsequent comments can resist the urge to devolve into personal attacks on each other or the level of intelligence of students or staff at UWW. Been there, done that, ready to get into some substantive discussion again. Love this topic.


  2. The poster is not talking about truth at all but using "truth" as a metaphor for God.

    The poster begins by posing the question - what is truth? A meaningless question because the poster is relying on a form of lexical truth to even pose the question in the first damn place. The statement "what is truth?" implies that we all agree that the statement is a TRUE question that demands a true response. Without a social agreement on the meaning of the words, one could respond with the phrase - "great googa mooka".

    If the poster really believed that the truth is nothing more than a big fantasy then we would all live in own little private lottery worlds, and as such all communication would be impossible but we share a language and thus we share a world with socially established truths. Our language structures our realities. The very existence of a language implies a theory of truth, albeit contingent. Great googa mooka!

    After spending time bashing the search for truth and using some crazy metaphors, the poster seeks salvation in love but again, our language determines the meaning of love. What the poster is really saying is God cannot be reached, so love is the substitute. You had me at Hello! Great googa mooka!

    I do not have time nor the space to go into the theory of truth, but needless to say there are many different truths, from scientific, historical, literary, to legal truths. Learn to distinguish between them. That light travels at 186,000 miles per second is a fact and it is true, that nothing can travel faster is a fact but it contingent. That the South lost the Civil War is a fact and it is true, but the various reasons for this lost are contingent truths.

    You need to learn the meaning of contingent truths and stop using truth as a giant metaphor for GOD.

    Good effort but this still does not convince me that there are any deep thinkers here.

    Mr. Nut Job

  3. Nutcrack, you need to take your expectations to a professional philosophy blog for they are way too unattainable for the purpose of this blog. I suggest you reinvent yourself.

    Besides, for all the lack of clarity you assail the poster, your post is riddled with a lack of clarity. You use phrases and terms like "our language structures our realities," "contingent truths" (as opposed to what?), "fact", "existence." Do you not find that your imperative, "You need to learn the meaning of contingent truths," needs as much of a treatise to explain what precisely that means as your call for preciseness of the poster?

    Your hubris makes me ill now.

  4. Ignorance is bliss. That kind of truth can set you free.

  5. I agree with you 5:38, ignorance is blissful.

  6. Gaining information is knowledge. Determining what knowledge is useful is wisdom. Using wisdom to your advantag is power.

    As for truth, truth is whatever you think it is. If someone can change your mind then they change what is true to you. Truth is not always correct/right.