Today in class we were asked by Dr. Heilker to answer the questions: What is the nature of truth? What is its relationship with language? in only ten minutes. Not a practical amount of time (at all), but made me think really deep really fast.
After sitting silent and pensive, wasting the first three minutes, I began to write about absolute truth versus honesty. We may all look at one object and determine it to be different colors. Color blind people may see blue as red. But which color is it? Is it just one objective color? The color blind person would honestly believe it to be red because that is what they see. Here is the difference between honesty and Truth: honesty is something that one believes in whether it can be proven or not while Truth is something that is defined and unchanging. There is one singular Truth. I speak of truth with a capital “T” because there is only one, absolute truth.
I cannot deny my faith, so I must bring it into conversation. As a Christian, I believe that God reveals those things to man that He chooses. His ultimate truth is unchanging and set from the beginning. We may not know or understand everything, but there is ultimate truth. We as fallible humans try to explain things with honesty, but often fall short. Truth is not a subjective fact that is created by man, but something much beyond our grasp and reach as humans.
Beyond a personal perspective, we discussed the three main epistemologies of truth:
1) Romantic World View where a singular Truth exists but is beyond the human sphere that can be apprehended by man. Like an asymptotic curve, we can get really close but never get there.
2) Aristotelian World View where a singular Truth exists in the physical reality of the universe and our experience of it. It is available to anyone who perceives it in the right lenses. Language is used as a transparent, unambiguous medium for communicating this Truth.
3) Social Construction Theory where only little, endless truth exist that change over time and are bound by context. It is something that human beings create and language is the base of these truths.
(Please respond if you feel obliged as I would love to start a conversation on the topic)