Where is Truth? – Dialectic Two Step

Posted by in Dialectic Two-Step, Writings

Estimated reading time: 5 minute(s)

There are various eyes and as a result there are various truths, and as a result there is no truth. – Friedrich Nietzsche

I have trouble with Truth with a capital T. It’s the view that there is an objective correct answer to a question. It is, at best, a human hypothesis. If all the caveats that make it tolerable — i.e. “we can probably never know the truth” are required, then what benefit does it carry in our vocabulary? What does it offer except a burning concern that we may be completely wrong about everything?

Here’s the question I’d ask to get at the bottom of this: If it’s just an unprovable hypothesis then why do humans need to appeal to it?

My answer is that its value is in a worldview that requires it for consistency.

Platonic philosophy and Christian theology (brought together by Aquinas) postulate a worldview in which Truth exists. Since worldviews offer individuals immense benefit, then there appears to be good reason to tolerate the concept.

My opinion (from inside of my world view) is that something that takes the form of an answer to a question cannot be Truth. So I don’t need Truth, and thus I don’t see its benefit.

The best worldview is the most beneficial and requires the least number of unprovable assumptions Click To Tweet

I would also offer the following argument about worldviews for you to consider when appealing to Truth.

  1. Humans build worldviews
  2. If we must have a world view, then the best world view is one that offers the most benefit.
  3. A beneficial worldview is one that is highly consistent with experience (i.e. something like a theory in that it predicts consequences so we can act accordingly)
  4. The best worldview is the most beneficial and requires the least number of unprovable assumptions (e.g. that there is Truth)

Of course, my feeling is that the right answer is the one that works for you.


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Dialectic Two-Step  is an ongoing series of my thoughts on questions that come my way.

Wisdom lies neither in fixity nor in change, but in the dialectic between the two. - Octavio

Dialectic Two Step, Modern Koans, Verse Us, Say What?, and Minute Meditations all copyright Andrew Furst

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Andrew Furst

Author of two books, Poet, Meditation Teacher, Buddhist blogger, backup guitarist for his teenage boys, lucky husband and technologist
Andrew Furst
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