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You are here: knowtruth >> truth >> 26 November 2014
Is There Truth?

To seek out the answer to this question, I think it's best that we just set aside all our varying philosophies and feelings on the matter and just check out the undeniable.

  • Consider the statement: There is truth.
  • What you're really saying: It is true that there is truth.

Now, what we're noticing here is what is going on when someone makes a statement. You see, in order to make any statement -- it doesn't matter what you're saying -- there is a necessary presumption of truth. It's inescapable.

But perhaps one might think that the example above is a set-up, because you are saying that there is truth anyway. Okay, so let's try the converse. Let's start not from the assumption that there is truth, but instead let's come right out with the idea that there is not:

  • Consider the statement: There is no truth.
  • What you're really saying: It is true that there is no truth.

Do you see the problem there? In order to make a statement that there is no truth, you must state it on the basis of truth. You must say that it's true that there is no truth. Otherwise, the only thing you can say is that it's not true that there is no truth, in which case you've just defeated the idea yourself and stated that there is truth:

  • Consider the statement: It is not true that there is truth (or that there is no truth).
  • What you're really saying: It is true that it is not true that there is truth (or that there is no truth).

The Safety of Uncertainty

Well, that's pretty plain. But those are two extremes, stating that either there definitely is or isn't truth. Can't we find the middle ground there, and just be unsure?

  • Consider the statement: There might be truth.
  • What you're really saying: It is true that there might be truth.
  • Consider the statement: It might be true that there might be truth.
  • What you're really saying: It is true that it might be true that there might be truth.

Getting Personal

That sure didn't change anything. Now we're just starting to dig ourselves a hole. Perhaps we can find something different if we make it more personal. Let's try:

  • Consider the statement: I, personally, don't know if there is truth.
  • What you're really saying: It is true that I, personally, don't know if there is truth.
  • Consider the statement: I don't know whether I know if there is truth.
  • What you're really saying: One thing I know is that I don't know whether I know if there is truth.

Still having trouble accepting the simplicity of this? Then I challenge you to find a way to tell me that there is no truth, or that there might not be, without affirming that there is. You can find a link to email me below.

What it comes down to, if I may repeat myself just a bit, is that you can't say anything -- you can't state a single thing -- without affirming that there is truth. A statement cannot be made without a premise of truth behind it.

The Conclusion

This should be plain and simple, right? Let's stop fighting the obvious, because it just gets more and more ridiculous. To recap:

  • If you try to deny the existence of truth, you are only affirming it, because to deny that there is truth is in itself an assumption of at least some truth.
  • To say you are unsure is still a statement of truth on your part.
  • Whether it is a universal statement or a personal assertion, both are stated on the basis of truth.
  • There is truth.


 Article info: 
By: Robert Hindman
  
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