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The Facts of what is Truth

Websters on-line dictionary defines truth as: "the property (as of a statement) of being in accord with fact or reality". But in actual reality the word "truth" can be very difficult to define. And yet it is vitally important to know whether something is true or not. I have found that in order to determine what makes something true it often helps to start out with what does not make something true. Knowing what does not make something true can often help to determine the actual truth of a claim or statement.

Truth does not depend on intelligence or understanding.
A person may not understand the cause of gravity. The fact that gravity exists is still true.

Truth does not depend on belief.
A child may believe in the tooth fairy. That belief however, no matter how strong or sincere, does not make the tooth fairy real.

Truth does not depend on opinion.
Some people used to think that the world was flat. It turns out that they were wrong.

Truth does not depend on repetition.
"If you tell a lie often enough, loud enough and long enough people will believe it." This statement is often attributed to Joesph Goebbels of Nazi Germany. But falsehood can never become truth simply through repetition.

Truth does not depend on popularity.
Millions of people live and die believing in a god or gods. But having millions of people believe in a god does not prove that god exists.

In summary:
Truth does not depend on intelligence, beliefs, opinions, repetition or even how many people agree with us.

Observations on what is Truth

If something is true then there should be evidence to prove it. For example, if someone claims that Santa Claus exists then they should be able to present evidence to prove that this person does in fact exist. No claim of truth should ever be accepted without evidence.

Unfortunately it turns out that many people claim to know the truth without any supporting evidence. There are also others who claim to know the truth based only upon the evidence that they are willing to accept. And then there are those who mis-interpret the evidence and draw conclusions that are patently false. To correctly determine what is true we need to examine all of the evidence. We also need to be honest with our interpretations of that evidence. It is evidence that will be the focal point of this paper.


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