The Elusive Truth

One of the first things you’re told when taking philosophy papers in university is that there is a right and a wrong way to argue and that the right way is in pursuit of the truth.

But what is “the truth”?

There are those who believe there is a truth in a court of law, in which case they refer to adhering to the facts of an event, but it is becoming more and more clear (in psychological experiments) that different people observe ‘facts’ differently.

There are those who believe there is a truth about existence itself and that this can be found in the cosmos and the laws of physics, but with the recent discoveries in particle physics it is becoming more and more clear that the observer has a crucial role to play in what is observed to exist.

There are those who believe there is a divine truth that exists on another plane of reality, like a Deity or Cosmic Entity, but it is becoming more and more clear that, since it cannot be assessed by people, each person interprets this according to his already existing beliefs.

There are those who believe that truth is related to logical inference (justification), in which the “truth” of a belief is equated to knowledge, but we know from millennia of human history that what we consider true knowledge at one time is no longer considered true knowledge at a later time.

There are even those who believe that there is a truth to moral rights and wrongs, but we know that moral rights and wrongs change per era and per culture.

And in each and every one of these cases are there those who believe that their truths are objectively recognizable as external facts and that there can only be one truth, so that they assume the right to say that other people are wrong.

Especially academic philosophers are so convinced about their truth being objective – and dependent solely on reasoning and not on perceptions – that they have devised a right way to argue (which is dependent on truth) so they can dismiss every belief that does not follow this form of argument.

Clearly, “truth” is an elusive entity that keeps changing according to who assesses it and  according to the topic of inquiry and it has done so since the very first people started thinking about abstract concepts.

That is because “truth” is a pure constant, an abstract that one perceives and that thus appears as obviously real to the perceiver but not to another person. This abstract is akin to how we experience a “Self” and the impossibility to agree comes from the impossibility of crawling into somebody else’s Self.

My philosophy is therefore based on different selves perceiving differently and not on an external or objective measure of truth, but those who experience an objective pure constant about what is true will not have a choice but to dismiss this explanation.

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