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Week 1: The Question of Truth

Lethologica's picture

 What is Truth? Note the capital, as perhaps that's a hint. It has been called many things, as far as I am aware. It has been called, absolute, eternal, ultimate, impossible. Some might consider it to be the final word to end all arguments, 'this is the truth and so it must be.' Some might consider it to be synonymous with Fact, something to be trusted implicitly. Yet others will simply say that it is an impossible value, one that cannot exist. While I can appreciate all of these arguments, I find myself holding firmly to another theory altogether. Truth is a name. It is a human construction, designed to describe one's own, personal, beliefs. In such a way, Truth is possible; because one person's personal beliefs, their 'Truths,' can be different from the next's, the idea of Truth can be flexible, and therefore more difficult to contradict. This theory, however, insists that, by its nature, Truth cannot be absolute. There must always be room for change, or even improvement. Truth must have space to evolve, in order to be effective. Truth is not the answer to the question, but rather a means by which to label and explore it, on a personal level. As Edgar Allen Poe once said, "Convinced myself, I seek not to convince." Truth should not be universal.  


skindeep's picture

in another class i had last

in another class i had last semester, we heard another version of an answer to the question 'what is truth'. instead of trying to cram all our ideas about truth into one space, we agreed on the fact that there are two kinds of truths - local truths (which, as you've said, is a human construction) and a larger, universal truth.

the question remains however, what all falls under 'local truths' - it differs not only from one individual to another but from one community, one country, one religion to another. and if all truths can be dissected in this manner, does this leave us with a universal truth? an energy which holds all this together?

Lethologica's picture


 Then, judging by what we've heard in class this past week, there are the personal Truths, the cultural Truths, and also the 'universal' Truths, which we can never be completely sure of? Can we?

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