Ayesha Sayed

Student, UAEU


This conversation is closed.

Does truth change?

Does what is true change from time to time or is it immutable?
Can one thing be true for me and the very opposite true
for you?

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    Jan 12 2012: No

    Only what we think is true changes.
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      Jan 12 2012: So would you say our thoughts can comprehend the truth?
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        Jan 14 2012: To a certain extent, yes.

        We can have ideas that are very close to truth, and we can also have quite accurate estimations of the truth value of some of those ideas.

        As such, we can have a comprehension of reality that can approach truth.
        If we accept that our thoughts about truth can be wrong, we can start a dialog with one another to improve both our thoughts, so we can converge upon truth (... well, it also is possible that the result is worse, but on average, it will converge asymptotically)
  • Jan 13 2012: There is a difference between truth and man's perception of truth. I believe there are absolute truths that we may or may not discover in our lifetime. It's our job to discover them.
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      Jan 14 2012: Completely agree! Very succinct and well put.
    • Jan 16 2012: And there are absolute truths we have ignored, forgotten or split among us. It's our job to find those among ourselves and within ourselves.
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    Jan 12 2012: Hi again Ayesha:>)
    My truth changes based on information I explore and accept at any given time. The world is flat was a truth, based on what people knew at that time. The world is round is truth based on what we think we know at this time.

    It was thought just a few years ago that once the brain was damaged, functions that were "organized" by that part of the brain no longer existed. That was "truth", as science and/or conventional wisdom believed 20-25 years ago. I'm here to tell you that my truth is different, I've had personal experience with this "truth", and science now KNOWS that the brain can create different pathways.

    My belief is that our "truth" changes, based on the information we have at any given time:>) So, yes, I believe that your truth can be different than my truth depending on how we program the brain:>)
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      Jan 12 2012: Very well said. Thank you.
    • Jan 13 2012: Colleen,

      I don't agree completely with your argument. It is not the truth, but our perception changes due to new findings. The world remains in the same shape as it is, by the time, our perception has changed after thorough observations. Perception relates to us, while truth remains ultimate.

      I like your example of neural pathways. Here too, i would say, it is our perception, which changed our knowledge.

      If, we replace truth with perception in your statement, then it makes complete sense :-)
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        Jan 13 2012: The questions asked here are:
        "Does truth change?"..."Can one thing be true for me and the very opposite true for you?"
        That is what I addressed.

        Of course it is our perception, which is why I called it "my truth", and "your truth". I do not choose to change the words in my comment, which is clear and on topic. If "perception" was the topic question, that is how I would address it.
        • Jan 13 2012: i think i agree with the kunal MM,not agree the Steen .
          Because when we use the word true ,i think this true thing is relatively,for the example Steen has told that shape of the world is flat or round is just have meanful of the human who give some definitions of it.Of course in the different period our perception changes so the definition also change is accord of the developping of the human and nature,so the 'turth' used in the human's is relatively,but to the thing itself ,'truth' never change, everthing to itself is absolutely ,
        • Jan 13 2012: It is hard to conceive the terms "my truth" and "your truth". Although the question is about "true", the term "perception" can not be replaced by "my truth" and "your truth".

          Colleen, you may like to point out to relative and absolute truth. I have tried explaining it bit in detail in my main answer thread starting with "mind boggling question!"
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        Jan 13 2012: Dear Kunal,
        I do not percieve this question to be at all "mind boggling", as you do.
        If you look carefully at the definition of "truth", you may discover why:>)
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      Jan 13 2012: It never was the truth if it was only a belief. There are those that knew the world wasn't flat because of a lunar eclipse or because the mast of a ship shows before the hull, even back to antiquity. The world was never flat and just because somebody thought it was didn't make it true. I believe in God, I can't prove the existance of God, therefore "God" is my belief. I know that the world is round (generally) because I have seen the photos from outerspace, can sail or fly around it, and of course lunar eclipses and seeing the mast of a ship first.
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        Jan 13 2012: I agree with your very first statement in another comment Deb...
        "Depends on your definition of "truth"."

        It appears that this conversation is going around with different words to define the topic...truth...belief.....preference..... perception....understanding, etc.

        That's why I like Edwin's statement so much...
        "We got choices: To believe or not to believe or to widen our belief system for what is TRUTH.
        And it is only us who can decide what is what for us".:>)
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    Jan 12 2012: All what changes isn't truth. Truth is that what changes.
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      Jan 12 2012: Hmm, I'm not sure I understand this but I'll sleep on it :) Thank you.
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        Jan 12 2012: I think what Frans is trying to say that truth is what changes other things: it enlightens, changes opinions, creates new points of view. The other factors don't change truth, they are changed by it.
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    Jan 12 2012: If it happens to you, it happens through you.
    All that we perceive, we cannot be sure of; we view the world through lenses that date back at least 7 generations (DNA/nature AND nurture).
    Smile, laugh often, and enjoy the ride.
    This is truth.
  • Jan 12 2012: Something that is true, is true.
    But what the available evidence at any time leads us to believe, is a different story entirely, ha ha.
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    Jan 14 2012: Life is a school of permanent leanring and transformation. The only truth for me is Life itself. The only sure thing is that we are here for a moment, and next we "die".

    The rest of it is permanent interpretation of phenomenon surrounding us, and the biggest question of LIFE remains ourself.

    So we can arbritrarily call our understanding of phenomenons "Truths" as they participate to our understanding of Life.
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    . .

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    Jan 14 2012: No. Truth is the only absolute, eternal and universal. Our perception is what changes.
  • Jan 13 2012: The truth goes through your input neuro channels, it passes through your belief system, past experience and memories. It filters down and by time it reaches to your brain there is nothing left but your interpretation of its existence.

    What was true yesterday can’t be true today. I agree with Colleen, that once we believed that the world was flat and now we don’t believe it, not because we choose not to believe but we got a proof for that and it changed out beliefs for TRUTH.

    The truth is that yesterday you believed that Santa Clouse was real but during the years something happened and you changed your belief. So today’s truth is that Santa Clouse isn’t real for you anymore. (this is for past and present)
    (But I can’t argue with my godson, because he truly believes that Santa Clause is real.)

    It is said: “What is food for you can be poison for others.”
    What is true to a second hand car salesman, isn’t true for a brand new car salesman. So truth can/will vary from people to people as well as from culture to culture. Because the culture and society we live in play a huge amount of role in our belief system. Actually it created our Belief System for accepting the TRUTH (this is from one person to another)

    We got choices: To believe or not to believe or to widen our belief system for what is TRUTH.
    And it is only us who can decide what is what for us.
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      Jan 13 2012: Well stated Edwin,
      I love your last statement...
      "We got choices: To believe or not to believe or to widen our belief system for what is TRUTH.
      And it is only us who can decide what is what for us".
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    Jan 13 2012: Depends on your definition of "truth". If you define "truth" as a set of proven facts, then the truth will not change; however, if you define "truth" as an individuals' belief system then the truth is subject to change. Part of becoming enlightened is learning the difference between "facts" and "beliefs".
  • Jan 13 2012: Truth never changes. The way people perceive something as true or false changes.
    for example, A baby thinks sky can be touched , but later it realizes the truth
    Some believed that The world is flat, but later realized it as false.

    Technically we can say There are 2 types of truths, Truth & Not truth. For most part of the time, People believe "Not truth" as Truth which can never become truth.
  • Jan 12 2012: Yes. Yes. Yes.
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      Jan 12 2012: You are you own truth, isn't it?
      • Jan 13 2012: Frans, I'm not sure what you mean by that. ("You are your own truth.....")
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          Jan 13 2012: Rhona, as I said on another place: "There's only one truth, one for everyone."

          We all have our own version from our perspective on the one reality that we create as we see it.
          Your "Yes" I understand to be the positive self assuredness to rely on your own value , vision and knowing. Listen to everyone but rely on your own judgement/feeling is a good thing I think.
      • Jan 14 2012: Frans, You say "There's only one truth, one for everyone." I respectfully disagree with you. Seek truth/Find truth. Truth is all over the place. When you have a conversation with someone, discussion, argument that lasts and lasts and suddenly one of the parties expresses a lie that that person and the other person knows to be a lie, the person who expresses the lie is practically acknowledging that they know they are wrong and the other is right, but they lack the integrity to acknowledge that, so, instead, they lie. One truth is I am having a wonderful day today. I wish that truth did apply to everyone. I feel safe and happy around happy people. I respect and trust people who endeavor to seekfind and express truth as much as they possibly can. Living in freedom and truth takes courage, but it is courage that pays off in spades.
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          Jan 14 2012: I never pondered one moment about truth in relation to lying, or communication what so ever.
          Truth to me is what is, whether someone lies about it or not doesn't change it.

          If different people have different observations of the same thing they're not lying and even if someone does so that would reveal some truth about that person.

          It never entered my mind, but I love to hear that you had a wonderful day Rhona, me too I can say.
      • Jan 16 2012: Frans, Thanks for your expression letting me know that you are happy to know I had a wonderful day. Now I have no idea which day that was, but I can say I had a wonderful day yesterday, the day before and the day before that. I am having a wonderful day today. To me this means I am a success. I suspect all this happiness is the result of expressing truth as much as I possibly can, elevating the joy levels of some people I encounter during my days and doing other positive things, the powerfully positive consequences of which I may know someday. I agree with you that different people have different perspectives. That's what makes human interaction so interesting, educational, amusing and other positive things. I am grateful that you are happy for my happiness and that you have the kindness, courage and wisdom to express that explicitly at the time that you did that. I continue to thrive. Yipppppeeeeeeee! Happy Today to you and all you love.
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    Jan 12 2012: Depends on which philosopher you ask :)

    I believe that truth by its very definition is somethat that is enduring, however, how we intrepret it and gather meaning from it as people can change throughout time. I do think that truth can exist on several different planes...and I also believe that people are too quick to ascribe something as "truth" when it is just an experience, interpretation, or opinion.
  • Jan 12 2012: Great Question, however in my opinion, i would consider the different perspectives of different people. i may perceive an ideology completely different from you, however our understanding may differ. in my opinion, i would contextualize the factor of truth and its true definition. this is mainly because we, as humans, extensively depend and utilize reasoning as a source of finding the truth. however what we dont consider is that there are many flaws in the human reasoning, such as the confirmation bias. I would say yes to your question, as truth depends on reasoning which ultimately depends on us as we, as humans have different opinions.
    Secondly, truth again may change from time to time this is also due to humans as and could be expressed as "the telephone" game, the original message never reaches the final person. thus people manipulate and change the truth to meet their personal level. a mind bothering question could be, how can we trust history as these are written by humans and humans are biased creatures? so yes truth may also change in accordance to time.
  • Jan 12 2012: Good question, Ayesha. If absolutes exist, we are, as human civilization, still too ignorant to know what they are. Being less than a speck of dust on a universal scale, all I can know is that I truly know nothing because my perspective is way too limited to see even the tiniest piece of the big cosmic picture. The only thing that differentiates science from all the other mythologies that we use to convince ourselves that there are truths, is that science believes that it's gods and precepts are fallible and subject to change with new data. Understanding our total ignorance is the only step we can take toward accepting new paradigms and advancing even a tiny bit closer to anything that might be universally true.
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    Jan 19 2012: Depends on your vision of the Truth, and is different from the others convinced it or not? But in general everything is changing around you is a Truth that was not from the beginning.
  • Jan 17 2012: The absolute universal truth (like "change") remains unchanged, layers of truth change.
  • Jan 17 2012: There is the anthropocentric perspective of truth. This is the view that truth is based on man.

    And there is the truth-centric perspective of it. This is the view that truth is based on .... truth.
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    Jan 14 2012: Love is better than hate. What is difficult here? There is a difference between knowing the truth and knowing everything. Living it is another matter.
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  • Jan 14 2012: I think, naming the Truth we fracture it into 'less truths' , while Truth rests all around in between and encompasses all.
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    • Jan 14 2012: Hi, Pierre !
      Somebody said "... it is not Truth, how could it be ? ! But it is My truth ! " ( the emphasis is mine :)
      And as human beings we have the 'legitimate' right to have one, but we'd better never forget that we are not the proud possessors of Truth.
      In a sense it's unattainable for us by definition :)
  • Jan 14 2012: If we make the question into a statement: Truth does change. Then this statement may or may not be true itself.

    I believe there are absolute truths. Timeless, eternal truths. It's man's perception of them that changes through discovery and (perhaps even faith.) We may never discover them all in our lifetime (i.e a cure for an incurable disease) Nevertheless, it's our job to find them and discover them.
  • Jan 13 2012: Only one truth, period. Your understanding of the truth is what changes. You all seem a little wishy washy. You are not discussing truth but your preference. These are two totally different topics..
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      Jan 13 2012: Hi Mark,
      I don't percieve it as "wishy washy", but rather perhaps different perceptions of truth? The question asks..."Can one thing be true for me and the very opposite true for you?"

      This happens all the time. Several people witness the same scene and describe it differently for example. In that scenario, people believe what s/he has witnessed is "truth". So, yes, I agree that often it is our "understanding of truth" that changes. I also agree that "understanding" and "preference" are different "truths" as well.
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    Jan 13 2012: David Barnett is fat. That is true now. It wasn't true a year ago.
  • Jan 13 2012: I think there are two types of truths. Social/cultural truths, and Truths about life generally. The first type are normative and may or may not be factually accurate, while the second type are quite fixed. By way of example:

    1. In the USA, "democracy" as commonly understood and misunderstood is "good" whereas all other forms of governmental interactions are viewed as "bad". This may or may not be factually accurate, depending on how deeply one analyzes the political processes and what drives them.

    2. That individuals need food, water, a space/place to live their public and private lives, air, shelter and clothing and the society of others are fundamental and fixed Truths. By and large, another Truth involves meaning or purpose that may involve conceptualization of Allah, God, a Higher Power, a Great Mystery or a Zen-state of being.

    The first type of truths change, typically through power exchanges while the second type, "the" Truths, do not.

    What causes me dismay is that the most divisive issues between groups of people of different cultures pertain to social/cultural truths that really don't make a great deal of difference when one peels off the layers and gets down to the level of Truth.
  • Jan 13 2012: chinese whispers prove truth changes
  • Jan 13 2012: Mind boggling question!

    Well, it is hard to define the truth. The definition widely varies in terms of condition, context, subject, so on. Human understanding about the truth dates before 4500 years (taking some ancient scripts into consideration). In today's time, we are still curious to find out truth behind TRUTH, through science, research and spirituality (here spirituality is not in terms of religion, but rather self-awareness). Today's world is driving towards evident-based research and findings.

    Although, science defines truth as a relative term. Actually there is no place for truth in science. Science tries to take you to the truth as close as possible, by observations, designing a theory and testing the theory. There is always a chance that the theory may be proven false in some circumstances. When a theory happens to be proven in all possible circumstances, it becomes LAW. Hence, science contains a good number of laws; newton's law, Kepler's law, so on. Law is still not an ultimate truth. Einstein found minor errors in Newton's law. In science, we talk more on observations than truth. If something is claimed to be "truth," then it is a statement of the personal conviction of the speaker, which is outside the domain of science.

    Thus, the definition of truth is so vague that it is very hard to decide whether the truth changes or not.
  • Jan 13 2012: In as much as everything is a perception and subjective then it must change. Certainly over time it changes significantly, what was true for those who have gone before is not what is true for us, and our truth will be different to what will be true for those to come. There seems to me to be an arrogance inherent in those who are alive that what they hold as true is definitive, when it is only a matter of time until it all comes crashing down, take the discoveries of what is in the sky or deep in the oceans, or what exists on a nano level, is it true that the Higgs Boson particle exists, almost....

    Mind you it is all a matter of semantics and philosophy, if i lie to you and you believe it, it's true for you, isn't it?

    It's always true that genocide is wrong, isn't it? It should be...

    Anyway it's certainly true for me that questions like this should be kicked around.

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    Jan 12 2012: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/30/opinion/30iht-edgoldstein.2335157.html
    ‎"Spinoza's system is a long argument for a conclusion as radical in our day as it was in his: that to the extent that we are rational, we each partake in exactly the same identity."
    Don't know if it answers your question but it does for me.