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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.


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  • Nov 8 2012: Truth is not something that is hidden or untold , it can't be told; it is meant to be experienced and the final call should be aesthetic. You see the beauty, you are in love with it, time for a moment stops and somehow you know what truth is,maybe not the Truth, but what you've experienced has something to do with it.
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      Nov 8 2012: So truth is like a 'spiritual insight' granted by luck, meditation or reasoning? And does it has to be hardwired with aesthetic, beauty and love or could it also be in opposite to those features?
      • Nov 8 2012: Plato said that we should be directed by " the good, the true , the beautiful " . Actually all those come as one as ' spiritual insight ' and you know what insights are , they are not languagable . Rationally, the truest truth we could possibly get is ' true enough '; not at all bad :)
        But neither ' true ' nor 'true enough " can be in opposite to beauty and love.
        The physicist Paul Dirac once said, " a theory with mathematical beauty is more likely to be correct than an ugly one that fits experiments "
        And how can you see 'mathematical beauty ' not being in love with math ?
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          Nov 8 2012: Natasha, everything what you and Plato said I fully agree on and partially with Dirac, but still it is to me just one side of the coin of 'truth'. And as much as I wish this to be different and that only aesthetic, beauty and love would be its only side, I do not see it this way against better knowledge.

          My first insight of what war really means and what people are capable of doing, struck me with numbness. And the history of my very nation is more then enough on its own to understand that nothing positive can be intrinsic within the nature of truth.

          I can understand that we wish for 'the good, the true and the beautiful' and for sure we should keep on striving for it. But this is a selective choice only and not a description of the essence of 'truth' itself.

          The 'truth' about a cheating spouse is bare of any aesthetic for the one in love, yet deceived. And even though this bitter 'insight' may prevent further damage and blindness, it hardly ever turn into delight.

          Also I think 'truth' can be just neutral in its perception by an individual. If you would tell me your favourite color, in case you have one, this truth would not be of any use for me in the given situation. Nevertheless it was a 'truth' it does not really affect me. The same 'truth' however could change its 'value' in a different context. If we were friends and I choose for some warm mitten for you for christmas, your 'truth' would be useful to know to improve the chances that you would like this present more and to better match your sense of 'aesthetic'.

          So this would even add the 'edge' to the coin of 'truth' which may have even more dimensions to it as it appears to us in plain sight...


          Do you have a favourite color?

      • Nov 9 2012: Hi, Lejan !
        As it was mentioned in the comments bellow, truth can be relative and absolute.
        Absolute truth is not a dual thing and can't be grasped by mind, relative or ' true enough ' is always balanced by untrue. What enters into dual world as one, becomes two and multiply into many. So, you are right ,it's not an easy subject, but still truth can be ' recognized ' , otherwise how could we possibly entertain the idea of truth ?

        All wars without exception were/are caused by Ego, individual or collective. Ego is untrue by it's nature, it's always insecure always threatened. Fear is its intrinsic quality, out of fear it is aggressive.

        Plato's ' the good , the true, and the beautiful " is selective choice for many who want to awake before death and have life on planet Earth, hopefully it is not that rare.

        Those who are in love can't be deceived. The only way out from love tragedies is to love more.

        Is it true ? I don't know, but for me , it's certainly true enough :)

        Can truth be neutral ?
        In a way, it should, it's a 'glow' ; when we become emotionally attached to what we think is true we are under the risk to miss the point. You are right, relative truth is like a coin of two sides; and the trick is to feel comfortable between ' yes' and 'no', true and not true. It's difficult to shape an opinion under the circumstances, and human verbal communication is all about sharing opinions, so it' a kind of tricky. I can assure you i can challenge all my above points.
        (I know, you've meant something different by ' neutral ' , I've just hijacked your idea to promote my point, it's true : )
        Do i have a favourite color ? Maybe not , or too many. Combination of colors and shapes and textures... and what not make everything beautiful in it's own unique way. We are in the end of fall, so brownish-greenish-yellowish-redish transparent blue is maybe my favourite color for the day :)
        Thanks for asking !
      • Nov 9 2012: Welcome ! :)

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