Truth cannot be reasoned.
[A previous series on this blog presented the concept of Truth, but this article will consider the philosophical problem.]
Philosophy is only as good as the validity of thought. Incorrect thinking leads to poor observations. To be useful, reason needs accuracy, it depends upon truth.
The problem is that human observation, logic, and reasoning are incapable of proving truth. It is a function of dependency. An object can point to a cause, but it cannot explain the cause, because it is limited as a result. The secondary result is dependent upon a primary cause. It is simple math; the first precedes whatever is second or subsequent.
As frustrating as this is for philosophers, most are not only aware of this problem, it haunts them. Human reason requires validity to justify observations. It needs truth to define right from wrong, but identifying truth itself remains out-of-reach, because it exists outside of and beyond human thought. [The same limit applies to “proving” reality or God]. Logic can point to the evidence, but not truth itself.
Truth enables, among other things, repeatable patterns of accuracy to be recognizable, but it is not part of the measurement. Rather, it causes the measuring to be valid or invalid. This is why observations and reasoned thoughts can be tracked using symbols and numbers, but truth remains outside of that system, and cannot be absolutely verified.
Numerous philosophers have openly acknowledged that the concept of truth transcends efforts to prove it (Godel, etc.). As one philosopher stated: “you cannot use reason to prove reason.” It is what is known as circular reasoning: using reason to prove itself valid. Science can attempt to measure objects and phenomena that exist, but it can’t reach anything that precedes the thought that is used to measure. In other words, our minds are our limits.
This is not to suggest that efforts have not been made to slap definitions to truth. Humanity is not about to give up its quest for god-hood.
The problem with most philosophical propositions on truth is they use a few observed trees to define the forest expanse, a tool to define the man, a few word patterns to define communication, purpose, intent. Rather, it ought to be that what is observed, derives from what is. Recognition never creates; it can give labels, but it cannot give identity.
Truth exists. It is. It is simply beyond human capture.
What follows is a brief perspective:
Truth appears to be that: Which Is; Is Independent; Is Continuous; and, Is Right
Which is. Truth exists, it “is”. Without it, there can be no such thing as understanding or knowledge. There can be no truth outside of or beyond existence. Much more than a concept or term, truth must “be”. The evidence of existence demands a being that is, that which is the unchanging and ever-present reality called Truth. Not all, however, of that which is can be called truth.
Is Independent. To be truth, that which is must be independent. Regardless of substance, nothing dependent can ever be truth. Dependent existence, reality, facts can only ever reflect degrees of recognizable truth or the line-crossing recognition of false reflection. Truth is true without any need for contrast. It exists ahead of and without dependence upon resulting logic, reason, observation, linguistics, or thought. It is true from what it is, not because it is recognized. Not all, however, of that which is and which might have some boundaries of independence, can be called truth.
Is Continuous. To retain the attribute of truth, that which is must also be continuous. Truth cannot ever stop being true, any more than it could ever become what it already is. Truth is always, has always been, and must always be. Without immeasurable continuity, whatever else may be can’t be true; at best, it can only reflect something of what is true. If it can shift over time, then what is true can at another moment be false, which violates laws of reason. Non existence also violates the law of excluded middle, for it must be true or false without change or absence. Not all, however, of that which is, which exists independently, and has continuity, like perhaps definitions, propositions, or substances, can of itself be labeled as truth.
Is Right. To be truth, that which is must rightly be true under every conceivable condition. By nature, unlike a paradox, it defines existence rightly in the concrete, abstract, moral, and theoretical arenas of observation. Such truth operates as the standard for all that is right, accurate, agreeable, reliable, and true. Truth is more than identification of accuracy, or the retention of right reasoning, it is good.
Identification of truth by limited beings will require faith. Regardless of religious preference, faith is practiced universally. Evolutionists depend upon a belief in progressive-improvements which cannot be proven. Materialists rely upon their form of faith in pre-matter. Science, in spite of its claims, simply cannot prove anything in absolute terms, thus leaving every theory and hypothesis dependent upon faith-assumptions. Atheists, who really are more like agnostics, need faith to confirm their rejection of what they cannot see, measure, or dis-prove. And yes, even Christians, rely on an informed faith—a belief in God and a plan for humanity that is supplemented by measurable evidence.
The infamous line, “I think, therefore I exist”, is a vain attempt at proof. It is just another evidence of circular reasoning, because the thinker cannot measure his own thoughts without dependence as part of what needs to be measured.
Discussion of any kind of truth must begin with an honest admission of limitations and a dependence upon faith. Those who are willing to admit that they cannot do what they want to claim—who submit to the reality of proof-limits—are capable of being reasoned with. Others are philosophical ostriches with their heads buried. To the open and honest, one can begin a reasonable conversation on how the available evidence of what we can verify points with far greater preponderance toward God.
In other words, those who accept that everyone forms beliefs with faith, are better able to receive the truth that all reasoning and observed evidence points with far greater a percentage toward the reality of God and of truth, than for any other form of belief. For example, the Bible is the only text in existence that continues to demonstrate a 100% accuracy. No other text or statement can attest to that kind of dominant proof—not even close.
Truth exists. We know it does; we can verify parts and pieces. We need it to be, in order to have anything worth saying or accepting as right. And, although it may require faith for absolute acceptance, there remains an enormous amount of sufficient-proof in the evidence we can measure, to conclude that truth is real.
The Lord our God, the Lord is One. He alone fits the definition, the reality, and the truth.