Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Truth and The Truth

What is truth?

A matter of small importance to most human beings, most Daseins. And perhaps it's just as well.

Nonetheless, 'what is truth?' is a philosophical question the answer to which necessitates a statement as to the essence of truth, its what-ness (in Latin: its quidditas) - such as my very own

"Truth is that which makes meaning possible and is suggested by the possible meaning of a word."
(see very first post on this web log Lathoron)

The above definition of truth is a philosophical definition of truth.

What is the truth? is a political-religious-dogmatic question since it points to an exclusive and excluding answer whether belonging to political rhetoric, mainstream or dissident, cloaked in scientific nomenclature or made plainly transparent, or belonging to theologically revealed dogma such as the statement

"I am the way and the truth and the life."
Some thinking should be brought to bear on the phenomenological difference between these two questions and the different worlds they open up.

In tentative conclusion, let us write:

  • truth: a philosophical concept for the few who, most of all, like to question and think.
  • the truth: a factual, religious and in any case politically sensitive concept which aims at exclusive and excluding answers pertaining to this or that matter at hand or this or that dogmatic assertion (such as Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion). 
Note (1) On the question of truth in a political, factual sense see my post Factual Truth and the intentions behind expressions such as the truth about 9/11 or titles of politically minded books such as Philip Legrain's book Open World: The Truth About Globalisation.

Note (2) Regarding Jesus' statement this extract from Thus Spoke Zarathustra is pertinent:

"This immodest person has for a long time now caused small people to get big heads - he who taught no small error when he said 'I - am the truth.'" (my italics)