Thursday, September 5, 2013

What is Truth?

My first blog entry was over a month ago… in July. Today is September 1st. I had hoped to devote a little more time to this blog, but life got in the way.

I want to define truth. I have thought about it a lot and the definition seems so simple- truth is that which corresponds to reality. Correspondence means agreement with. Truth refers to thoughts, ideas, books, things written or beliefs. These thoughts, ideas, books or beliefs are separate and apart from the things they correspond to. Think of a mirror… there is the person which looks in the mirror and there is their reflection. The person and reflection. A normal flat clean mirror will give an accurate reflection of its subject. Think of this as a true reflection. Now think of a circus mirror. The surface is bent or curved such that the subject reflected appears fat or skinny or distorted- not a true reflection. We have a person and their reflection- or a thing and an idea about the thing. The appearance of the person is what it is, but  depending on the optics of the glass the mirror may result in a reflection which is true or false.

So we have the person and their reflection. I looked up pictures of circus mirrors on the internet. I've included one in this entry. I saw one which was a photo of a fat girl looking at herself in a mirror, but the mirror reflected a perfectly proportioned beauty. The viewer could of course see the person and the reflection- they did not match. The reflection was not true.

Object - Reflection
Reality - Statements describing reality

When statements or ideas correspond or match reality they are true. I did not come up with this on my own. This correspondence theory of truth has been around for a long time. It is well summarized in Josh McDowell’s book Evidence Demands a Verdict. I have been thinking about it for a while and the implications of truth. Future entries may be based on my thoughts of truth and reality.