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Truth: Reports of Her Death Are Greatly Exaggerated

October 4, 2017

Some time back there was an idea hatched in intellectual circles that there is no such thing as truth.  It was a catchy idea, because then you could never be wrong: your 'truth' was simply different to mine, not wrong.  We could both be right, even with contradictory ideas.  This has caught on to the extent that the claim that there is no such thing as truth is widely accepted as true.

 

Therein lies the problem.  How can it be true, if there is no such thing as "truth"?  If there is no objective truth, then nothing can be claimed to be true — including the statements that there is no truth, or that only relative truth exists.  

 

It is evident that people really don't believe the claim that there is no truth — even those who make the claim.  This is evidenced by the fact that the courts are still running, with oaths and affirmations said every day to declare "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth".  Furthermore, you can still be penalised for not telling the truth ("perjury").

 

On top of that, scientists are still funded to discover and verify facts, which of course are specific points of truth.  For example, it has been established as true that light travels faster than sound, and we can measure the speed of both.  It is true that sound travels slower in colder air, and faster through water.  The very fact that we continue to pursue truth in scientific research, crime investigations and court hearings demonstrates that — as yet — we recognise that there is such a thing as truth, and it is worth pursuing.

 

Truth is not dead.  She is alive and well...but very unpopular.  But the astute are in hot pursuit of truth, because "the truth will set you free".

 

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