I am interested to hear what people mean when they talk about something being ‘true’ – is that a relative or objective term? Or can it be both?
What then does it mean to say that you “believe” something to be true? Is that a contradiction in terms?
(I am not so much interested as to what ‘your truth’ is – rather how you go about identifying what is ‘truth’ – if it exists)
3 thoughts on “What does the term ‘truth’ mean? What does it mean to ‘believe’ in something?”
To tell the truth generally means that which is in accordance with fact. There are fundamental truths, the sun rises each morning and sets at night.
To be relatively true then, makes no sense, something is either true or it isn’t.
The other problem with ‘the truth’ is that people often mistake a feeling or belief for the truth. All religions think they have the truth, they believe they are right and they will fight to the death because they have God in their side.
Which one of them is right, which one has the truth.
For me, there are fundemental truths, however for a lot of people they mistake a belief for the truth…
Truth is only as accurate as its context. In essence it is just an assessment of probability. You can only define a fact within the limited parameters of how it is examined. So we can compile as much evidence as possible to support a fact, test it in as many contexts as we can perceive of and try and show it to always be the case. Once satisfied of a fact we will then call it truth. Of course a truth can then be found false by refuting the underlying facts or by undermining the authenticity of how the facts were perceived. Since you can never discount options beyond understanding or perception, your fact is only ever a statistical probability.
Is there a state of things that is true regardless of all perception errors? A context in which there is no higher plane from which to examine it differently? Knowing the truth of that is impossible, we can only believe. I’d like to say I only believe in the things I consider the most probable. But I doubt that assertation would withstand much scrutiny…
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I get sense of anxiety when trying to find truth these days. It appears we have entered an Orwellian world and the powers that be are deliberately trying to pervert our perception of what is true.
I accept (or try to remember) that my truth may not be another’s. What we hear, see and remember is all influenced by our life’s journey and what is important for us. Two people, one situation often equals two versions of truth.
Maths provides some truths 2 + 2 = 4 but in 1984, if the Party says it is 5 then it is 5. I’m afraid that is the kind of world we have entered.
Families are locked up in detention for years on end because we are told they are a threat to our country, when they simply don’t want to be killed and are looking for safety. And yet, the lies are repeated enough, so that many accept that as the truth.
Religions work because children are indoctrinated at such a young age, that the religion is meshed with their identity. It is part of who they are and it is part of their story, their truth. To extract that story from themselves requires a conscious exorcising of that part of their identity.
I’m rambling. 🙂
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