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What Is Truth?


tariki
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What is truth (or even what is Truth)?

 

Well, I would hazard a guess as to what would be asserted by Fundamentalist Christians. But I will leave that aside.

 

Going back a bit and remembering some discussions of other forums. One guy claimed that nothing could be known with complete certainty. He argued......Did Julius Caesar exist? How can we know for certain. Did Moses exist? How can we know for certain. THUS it was all a matter of "faith" and it was as legitimate to believe that Moses had existed as it was to believe that Julius Caesar had existed.

 

Well, obviously (I hope) such is not the case, simply because the corroborating facts support the actual existence of Caesar are more extensive than that of Moses.

 

But what I am getting at is the state of mind, so prevalent these days, of "one thing is as possible as another". We seem inundated with "facts", assertions, claims and counter-claims. Those of us in the UK may still remember the EU Referendum Campaign and during it the oft said "you just don't know who to believe". Now, in the USA, after the advent of Donald Trump, each day seems to bring further claims and counter-claims.

 

I seems to leave us in limbo, in a state where we can virtually believe what we like - somewhere out there will be a "fact" (or facts) to support us and our conclusions.

 

I'm just fishing for opinions. I realise that I'm conflating various disparate things. Religion, politics, society, economic truth and "religious" truth.

 

Given that many are now free from being indoctrinated into some sort of generally accepted "Truth" then, as I see it, there is much that could be positive in this whole situation. But just what are the positives, and just what are the negatives/ What price "real" facts and how would we know them if they hit us in the face?

 

Thanks

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No need to hazard a guess. In Christianity God is Truth. And Goodness.

 

To humanity, truth is that which is the least false. Capital 'T' Truth is an asymptote which can be approached but never truly reached.

 

Sometimes it is so close truth and Truth are practically identical. If you face a wall and repeatedly walk halfway towards it you can approach the wall forever and theoretically never reach it.

 

When truth becomes reliable enough to be of practical value it is accepted until a better truth is achieved.

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No need to hazard a guess. In Christianity God is Truth. And Goodness.

 

To humanity, truth is that which is the least false. Capital 'T' Truth is an asymptote which can be approached but never truly reached.

 

Sometimes it is so close truth and Truth are practically identical. If you face a wall and repeatedly walk halfway towards it you can approach the wall forever and theoretically never reach it.

 

When truth becomes reliable enough to be of practical value it is accepted until a better truth is achieved.

 

Hi Burl, my own acquaintance with Fundamentalist Christians is that they would not leave it with a mere "God is Truth". A total Theology of Salvation would be added in accordance with a particular reading of the Bible, claimed to be inerrant. But lets not get into that - which is why I said I would leave it aside.

 

I looked up the word "asymptote" and see that it is something to do with always approaching something but never getting there. Thomas Merton wrote that we are always in full possession of God, "yet how far do I have to go to find You in Whom I have already arrived". As I see it, this because he was slightly in agreement with D T Suzuki, known for his formula of zero = infinity. I would see the idea that we are always "on the way" as being a source of suffering ( as never being free of desire )

 

I really do see total acceptance as being the catalyst of transformation. Suzuki, in speaking of zero = infinity, says it is to be understood not statically but dynamically, taking place between being and becoming. As I see it, the transformation and the becoming are God's Truth, His gift, his Mercy. It truly makes the journey itself our home.

 

The thought of actually never reaching something seems to me to say that God's gift of Himself lacks something, which seems to lack grace.

 

I think out own truths are never reliable enough, like much else we "achieve".

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Hi Burl, my own acquaintance with Fundamentalist Christians is that they would not leave it with a mere "God is Truth". A total Theology of Salvation would be added in accordance with a particular reading of the Bible, claimed to be inerrant. But lets not get into that - which is why I said I would leave it aside.

 

I looked up the word "asymptote" and see that it is something to do with always approaching something but never getting there. Thomas Merton wrote that we are always in full possession of God, "yet how far do I have to go to find You in Whom I have already arrived". As I see it, this because he was slightly in agreement with D T Suzuki, known for his formula of zero = infinity. I would see the idea that we are always "on the way" as being a source of suffering ( as never being free of desire )

 

I really do see total acceptance as being the catalyst of transformation. Suzuki, in speaking of zero = infinity, says it is to be understood not statically but dynamically, taking place between being and becoming. As I see it, the transformation and the becoming are God's Truth, His gift, his Mercy. It truly makes the journey itself our home.

 

The thought of actually never reaching something seems to me to say that God's gift of Himself lacks something, which seems to lack grace.

 

I think out own truths are never reliable enough, like much else we "achieve".

My own experience with fundamentalist Christians is that they do not understand the fundamentals ;-)

 

Not because of a lack of grace, but because of an inability or unwillingness to accept grace.

 

I read your question as juxtaposing theory with praxis. Traditional Christian theology is apophatic. We posit dogmatically that God is Truth and that humanity is not. Then our theology then works backward to remove falsity and move closer to truth.

 

Theology is not a definition of truth so much as it is a systematic removal of logical barriers between the individual and Truth.

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Burl,

 

I don't disagree but how do you make sense of this to people? I can imagine one saying this and everybody in the room sitting with glassy eyes wondering what was said, what it means and why should they care.

 

I also think the answers might be different from a theistic or a panentheistic POV.

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Burl,

 

I don't disagree but how do you make sense of this to people? I can imagine one saying this and everybody in the room sitting with glassy eyes wondering what was said, what it means and why should they care.

 

I also think the answers might be different from a theistic or a panentheistic POV.

 

I was responding to Tariki's post, so my remarks were centered in my perception of his context.

 

Pick a point and I'll see if I can outline a more general approach.

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Truth is ..... I am

That is all i can say. :)

 

You can say that Joseph, but is it really true?

 

'Are you' really?

 

But more seriously, there are certain truths some will accept and other truths some will reject. Those that don't agree we may call wrong and those that do agree with our 'truth' we call right.

 

For instance, there is a single electric cable - one person calls it red (what we call normal vision), another calls it a shade of green (what we call colorblind). They can't both be right, but they are. They can't both hold the truth but they do.

 

We tend to organise/structure our world to suit - sometimes just for ourselves, often to work together, in the main for what we may think is for the better. We set parameters around what we consider the right way to distinguish truth.

 

Yet not everyone agrees all the time.

Edited by PaulS
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I hesitate to suggest the one who says it is red is right or speaks the truth. Now I know we can go into how we see but, if the equipment is not flawed, the color is red.

 

Or we could suggest that truth is relative - at least to the equipment.

 

Burl, I was just going on your statement that God is Truth.

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Burl, I was just going on your statement that God is Truth.

God is Truth means that God is the definition of Truth. It is an axiom, not a deduction. To the extent that something is true, God is demonstrated to be present. Joseph's statement that Truth is "I am" is found as far back as Moses and the burning bush.

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I hesitate to suggest the one who says it is red is right or speaks the truth. Now I know we can go into how we see but, if the equipment is not flawed, the color is red.

 

Or we could suggest that truth is relative - at least to the equipment.

 

Burl, I was just going on your statement that God is Truth.

 

But why is red the 'truth' Thormas - because that's how the majority see it? Why is somebody's equipment 'flawed' because they don't see it the same as the majority? Maybe it's the majority who are flawed and the truth is how the minority see it. If in fact if the majority were what we call colourblind, then the truth would be green I believe. Colour-blindness is considered a reduction in 'normal' vision, but normal is just the majority view.

Edited by PaulS
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God is Truth means that God is the definition of Truth. It is an axiom, not a deduction. To the extent that something is true, God is demonstrated to be present. Joseph's statement that Truth is "I am" is found as far back as Moses and the burning bush.

 

God is Truth does not seem to get us far. Truth is God. Truth is Truth. God is God. All much the same. At least to me, I may be missing something.

 

The Sufi mystic Al-Hallaj said "I am Truth". He ended up being executed. But what was he saying, what was he claiming? Some saw his words as arrogance, some saw his words as evidence of the annihilation of ego. So, some saw pride, some saw the ultimate humility. Who was "right"? Ask Al-Hallaj!

 

So we have the words of the Good Book......"Judge not, lest you be judged" or Dogen's "we are that which we understand".

 

"We posit dogmatically that God is Truth and that humanity is not" ​So the "not yet", the gap between ourselves and truth, perhaps born of "through a glass darkly, but then we shall see face to face". As I see it, Dogen bridged that gap, without the need to claim that we must physically die to "know" truth......or to ever think that what we now know is final, definitive, must be shared by all - or all the rest of it that brings the Inquisitions and conflicts.

 

Mercy and Grace rule OK.

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You can say that Joseph, but is it really true?

 

'Are you' really?

 

But more seriously, there are certain truths some will accept and other truths some will reject. Those that don't agree we may call wrong and those that do agree with our 'truth' we call right.

 

For instance, there is a single electric cable - one person calls it red (what we call normal vision), another calls it a shade of green (what we call colorblind). They can't both be right, but they are. They can't both hold the truth but they do.

 

We tend to organise/structure our world to suit - sometimes just for ourselves, often to work together, in the main for what we may think is for the better. We set parameters around what we consider the right way to distinguish truth.

 

Yet not everyone agrees all the time.

 

I don't claim to be able to explain "I am" or speak further of it but to me it is self evident. I know this without language. Red and green are frequencies of light that is subjective when languaged in other than a frequency measured by an accepted standardized instrument (which the body is not). As sentient beings we live in a subjective world where the duality of language and our nature makes everything perceived a subjective reality whether there is agreement between two or not.. The sense of "I" has no content because there is nothing to know. It is silent and without images, words or concepts. Truth to me, can best be expressed as "I" without the verb "am". When mental function is not present, only Truth seems present and seems to me to be experienced as profound peace, completion, or at-homeness by this sentient being.

 

Joseph

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But why is red the 'truth' Thormas - because that's how the majority see it? Why is somebody's equipment 'flawed' because they don't see it the same as the majority? Maybe it's the majority who are flawed and the truth is how the minority see it. If in fact if the majority were what we call colourblind, then the truth would be green I believe. Colour-blindness is considered a reduction in 'normal' vision, but normal is just the majority view.

 

Simply because if the 'equipment' is working properly, the colored is presented or perceived as red. Not a question of a majority, just one of equipment.

 

In this case it is not a matter of good or bad (people), it is merely recognition that some eyes need corrective lenses because of a flaw and some (like me) do not see all colors given a different flaw. Seems normal is working properly.

 

Regardless, this is not the real discussion of truth merely an aside.

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Perhaps Truth is not about propositional statements or facts but more 'something' to be lived.

 

As the evangelist has Jesus say (or as Jesus said), "I am the way, the truth and the life," truth is connected to a way and life. If one follows the 'way,' then they live in truth and have life. Truth is something to do, something to be - not something to give only intellectual assent to. And what is this truth?

 

It sees we are back to love, compassionate concern. It appears there is but one way to be truly Human, and to live this Way, is to be Truth and in it/by it, Life is enhanced. Can it be proven? No, it can be lived and known.

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But why is red the 'truth' Thormas - because that's how the majority see it? Why is somebody's equipment 'flawed' because they don't see it the same as the majority? Maybe it's the majority who are flawed and the truth is how the minority see it. If in fact if the majority were what we call colourblind, then the truth would be green I believe. Colour-blindness is considered a reduction in 'normal' vision, but normal is just the majority view.

 

It is the concept of something being red that is flawed. It has nothing to with the equipment being flawed or popularity or axiomatic definitions. This is an advantage of science as a process. It won't tell you (over eons) what is true or what is the truth, but it will highlight flaws in our perceptions or our truths.

 

Having said that the flawed concept of red has increased the replication rates of certain systems, mostly biological.

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still seems one has to look at the equipment...........as over 'eons' or so we have developed the equipment that sees red........unless the eyes are not working to what they evolved to.

My understanding of the "mechanics" and "adaptations" of the evolutionary process is that over eons the "equipment" has developed that often sees red and sometimes sees green.

 

I detect shades of "intelligent design" in your post thormas (and of course others would perhaps claim some sort of "fall" to have been necessary)

 

Far simpler to "know" just what is.

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"Truth is that which is the least false. Capital 'T' Truth is an asymptote which can be approached but never truly reached.

Sometimes it is so close truth and Truth are practically identical. If you face a wall and repeatedly walk halfway towards it you can approach the wall forever and theoretically never reach it.

When truth becomes reliable enough to be of practical value it is accepted until a better truth is achieved."

Quote

 

I really like this statement because it makes my color blind eyes glassy transparent without making mistakes about color. Science has defined the conditions of life, but they are more like the conditions of death because without oxygen, it's death, without proper temperature, its death, too much or too little food and its death. These are the conditions of death, not life; they are boundaries, a life in prison where in Reality the infinite is undivided by restrictions as it is one in ability to be infinite and finite. We can experience this unity by transferring our view from the mind that is limited to the infinite consciousness without limitations or in Christian terms the soul in order to take in and get a glimpse of the totality of existence where past, present and future are happening now. In our finite form we can't experience the totality, but can merge with it to gain a closer impression.

 

I don't disagree but how do you make sense of this to people? I can imagine one saying this and everybody in the room sitting with glassy eyes wondering what was said, what it means and why should they care.

Quote

 

This inner voice of divinity is spirit, a sensitive, gentle energy found in all things preserving nature with grace as the harmonious arrangement of pure being, which sounds peaceful and happy. Our pure consciousness in silence lifts us out of our being to experience something infinitely expansive that is awe inspiriting beyond our mind, problems and anything we have experienced on the physical plane. “ Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Romans 8:26) From the limited perspective of the mind we get the impression that there are many existences; however, from the soul there is only one all-encompassing reality with many facets within it. The mind sees a problem in life and sets out to solve it in linear fashion, but life is not a problem, it is an experience to be lived in all dimensions at once. There is only one reality that does not change, but with so many minds in the world there are many different ways to represent that reality, the problem is the mind holds on to its interpretation until it hurts. When we look back we realized that pain doesn’t change reality, but changes our perception of it, a gift that shows us where we are wedged in difficulties, but once free our life is better.

 

God is Truth means that God is the definition of Truth.

Quote

 

God is everything in this energy that rages from subtle to crude in the unity of a Quantum Soup made of different frequencies. “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Ephesians 4:6) We are what we believe we are, which can be thinking we are the limits of a body and mind and their physical perceptions or we are an infinite field of Quantum potentialities. Moving from the material universe to a spiritual one we see matter as consciousness moving slow enough or at a frequency that can be perceived with the senses. We choose the frequency we want slow energy or fast to create our reality in either unity or duality, but it is actually the universal energy that decides, an energy that does not end, just transforms. The finite universe is in the consciousness of the infinite a subtle energy I like to call pure consciousness, which is the essence of life and eternal being.

 

still seems one has to look at the equipment...

Quote

 

There is no permanent, immovable, material reality that we can be attached to, no single observation or awareness of the world, only different subjective views of reality as everything is vibrating and renewing. Everything in the universe is energy carrying information, a consciousness at its own level or form that is perceived. William Blade, a farseeing mystic and poet said, “If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.” Since objects are not permanent and are constantly changing we don’t see them as they are, but we see them subjectively as we coexist with them." Just as radio waves are operative through a medium so our thoughts are operative through a medium of one consciousness glittering at different levels, dimensions that are experienced with different approaches. This picture of creation as one medium containing all is the embodied theme of Genesis, which is known as the Psalm of Creation.

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still seems one has to look at the equipment...........as over 'eons' or so we have developed the equipment that sees red........unless the eyes are not working to what they evolved to.

 

Or has equipment been developed that thinks it sees red?

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My understanding of the "mechanics" and "adaptations" of the evolutionary process is that over eons the "equipment" has developed that often sees red and sometimes sees green.

 

I detect shades of "intelligent design" in your post thormas (and of course others would perhaps claim some sort of "fall" to have been necessary)

 

Far simpler to "know" just what is.

 

I truly don't care much about 'truth' as it pertains to eyes and I noted my hesitation when I first mentioned it. Regardless....... this is the 1st time I have ever been 'associated' with intelligent design. However, I did refer to development over eons - i.e. evolution.

 

I think there is, for lack of a better description, 'Intelligence' but not concerning the design of all things. I don't buy into a 'fall from perfection' to our present state, but I do recognize that it could be said of mankind that it is 'fallen' given our individual and societal self-centeredness. So, I think not in terms of fall from perfection but 'ascend to perfection' (of humanity) - which cannot be accomplished on our own (so not a natural evolution): 'Divinity' is necessary for true Humanity. But that is a whole other discussion.

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