TRUTH is TRUTH

boccaverita.jpg            Truth is truth…no matter where you find it.  There is no such thing as “Your truth,” or “My truth.”  Such jargon is simply an attempt to avoid actual truth.  Truth is not relative…it just is.  We may not like the implications or consequences of truth, but that doesn’t change the facts.

  • If it is real, then it is real.
  • If it happened, it happened. 
  • If it can be demonstrated beyond doubt, then it is true. 
  • If it is truth, it cannot be denied. 
  • If it is contrary to our previous position, then that position must be adjusted.
  • To insist upon the truth of a falsehood is to be misled.

Once we are confronted with a new truth or understanding, what restrains us from admission and adjustment? 

  • Is it pride?  Are we too proud to admit we were wrong?
  • Is it misguided loyalty – the fear that we will “Let the side down?”
  • Is it willful blindness — a refusal to consider the facts?
  • Is it fear — that we will lose our friends, colleagues, or livelihood? 
  • Is it stupidity (a conscious determination to remain ignorant)?
  • Is it stubbornness – a bullheaded refusal to move from an unsupportable position?

If we stuck our neck out defending a false or faulty position, then we must humbly eat crow.  It is better to eat a little crow and appear foolish than to keep embracing a lie and remove all doubt.

To remain deceived in the presence of truth is to be duped.  If we understood things to be one way and the facts say they are another, we were mistaken.  Either the method we used to determine the truth was flawed or our understanding was. 

On the other hand, just because we call something “truth,” doesn’t mean that it is.  Many things can appear to be true, but not really supportable by the facts.  Furthermore, just because we want to believe something doesn’t make it true.  If we can’t get hold of the facts, it is probably wise to reserve judgment until we can. 

I’m convinced that most of the quarrels in relationships, religion, science and politics result from refusing to consider the facts as we decide what is true and what is questionable and what is false.  So, let’s get real.

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2 Comments

Filed under Apologetics, Change Agent, morality, Politics, Preaching/Teaching, Religion

2 responses to “TRUTH is TRUTH

  1. One of my pet peaves in when people (especially fellow attorneys) say, “The Fact Of The Matter is…”

    Usually their following statement is neither fact, nor does it matter.

  2. Mr. Whitsett,

    I find your post interesting, because I often consider the age-old concept of truth. You take a very different viewpoint than I do, even though we are a like in that we (I am assuming) are both practicing Christians. I would like to try and work with you here and understand what you mean by some of the things you say, things that I have found to be problematic.

    Particularly of interest to me is what you wrote at the beginning (I’ll try to paste them here):

    “Truth is not relative…it just is. We may not like the implications or consequences of truth, but that doesn’t change the facts.

    * If it is real, then it is real.
    * If it happened, it happened.
    * If it can be demonstrated beyond doubt, then it is true.
    * If it is truth, it cannot be denied.
    * If it is contrary to our previous position, then that position must be adjusted.
    * To insist upon the truth of a falsehood is to be misled.”

    My question is one that I think is very apt, and assumed at the base of your article: how do we determine the truth.

    It occurs to me that the statement: “if it is real, then it is real” relies heavily on the senses. It would be easy to dupe someone on this. Imagine David Copperfield the magician performing a magic trick, now imagine no one has heard of Copperfield and he’s doing “magic” on the street corner and in fact you have never heard of a magician. It appears real, and I can’t easily verify that it is not. It happened right in front of you. It is very demonstrable, but now we’ve reached another snag–beyond all doubt (more on this later). It appears true, and for all practical purposes it is–from your perspective. And if it appears true, and thus for you is true, then you unknowingly are insisting on a falsehood.

    Now to doubt. Doubt is a very personal, and unregulated part of our personalities. It is in fact possible that a person may doubt the substance of their own reality. In which case, what is true is not what you experience but what they experience–atleast in their heads.

    But in the end we are all stuck in our own heads in the above way. I’m trying to point out the difference, philosophically, of what you are saying and the example I gave. Namely, if I am understanding you correctly, that truth is out there ready to be discovered or observed and is universal, while I am in here latching onto this outward universal truth. What I am implying is that truth consists of the inward interpretation of the outward. In other words everything out there is interpreted from in here.

    Now lets look at a concrete example. The triangle, is usually considered to have a universal truth attached to it. For instance that the sum of all of its angles is equal to 180 degrees. Or that for an Isosceles the two longer sides when they meet the third shorter side create a sum (of the two angles) equal to 90 degrees.

    This is a very “universal” truth, even considered to be so by those who don’t believe in non-relative truth. Its true in all cases of consideration.

    Perhaps you could help me here, because this is a point at which I have a very hard time agreeing that this truth is universal and thus Truth (notice the difference between the capitalized and uncapitalized letters).

    It occurs to me that a triangle, is a theorized shape, the perfect triangle does not exist in nature, but in theory where there are no degrees of variance. And as it comes out of the subjective in otherwords from “in here”, within my knowledege, and is then explicated “out there” or externally, it is a construction of meaning.

    My theory is that meaning, and hence truth, is constructed socially. For instance, if you were to walk up to a toddler playing with blocks, who had never known the word triangle, and you tried to explain to her the theory of the angles behind it, she would not understand. You must first explain to her that a triangle has three sides, assuming she knows what “sides” are.

    You can see here how you are constructing meaning together, through relating similar sounds to certain theoretical ideas, and pointing toward a concrete reality.

    But I believe that the concrete reality is not “concrete” but rather shaped by a lens of perspective. A perspective that is shaped by our language, and how we have constructed language and meaning through relating to our family, parents, church, culture etc…

    In this sense, what happens universally, or objectively can never be reached and is thus filtered through our lens of interpretation and education. My question is then, how do you recognize the unfiltered, unedited truth, is that possible?

    I would think not, for even a camera has a perspective, and when compared with another camera, the perspectives may not be the same, thus two camera angles might suggest that a different runner won the race.

    How do we determine facts, when all we have is appearance to interpret.

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