TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

What is truth?

This question stemmed from a discussion on the subjectivity with religious doctrines in religion. How do we know what 'truth' is? Is truth true because an individual believes it, is it relative or definite? This question can be extended past religion to let's say, academia, politics, law and morality.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Nov 6 2012: Truth is subjective and sensitive to time and place. One person's truth is never another's. A truth is a social construction. A truth has a purpose in social bonding for the better achievement of a shared goal. The confusion of truth with light may be something to do with distortions of vocabulary as much as anything else and the human mind's determination to be associated with and to make links to, what it already knows. Look at the huge legal team that supports the election of a US president. Truth becomes whatever is arguable in a court of law rather than a representation of the free will of the people. Still can't get past the fact such a huge percentage of the US population illiterate. George Orwell demonstrated what happens when a vocabulary is limited in his book '1984'. Looking for creativity in people whilst denying them an appropriate language is just cruel. A society where the population has chances for mobility is always going to be more productive than a rigid pyramid structure and that applies to people and products. When the young people migrate half way round the world to find a way to feed their children then that is big. big trouble. Economic policy needs to be circumspect and trading patterns usually eventually supercede and then swamp any society.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.