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What is truth? John 18:39 THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE The Truth is Within You Truth is Inconvenient! Truth is power Truth is out of style! Truth is lost in.

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Presentation on theme: "What is truth? John 18:39 THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE The Truth is Within You Truth is Inconvenient! Truth is power Truth is out of style! Truth is lost in."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is truth? John 18:39 THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE The Truth is Within You Truth is Inconvenient! Truth is power Truth is out of style! Truth is lost in translation! There is no truth! Truth is stranger than fiction ! I am Truth!!!

2 The Case for Truth: “It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

3 Why is this important? The issue of truth is perhaps the most foundational issue to any discussion in apologetics, worldview thinking, and theology.

4 Consider the following quotes: It is no truth that makes man great, but man who makes truth great. ~ Confucius (c B.C). The victor will never be asked if he told the truth. ~ Adolf Hitler. Truth-what we think it is at any given moment of time. ~ Luigi Pirandello. No man thoroughly understand a truth until he has contended against it. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson.

5 Consider the following quotes: Why shouldn’t truth be stranger than fiction? Fiction, after all, has to make sense? ~ Mark Twain The most striking contradiction of our civilization is the fundamental reverence for truth which we profess and the thorough-going disregard for it which we practice. ~ Vilhjalmur Stefansson. Fraud and falsehood only dread examination. Truth invites it. ~ Thomas Cooper ( ).

6 “What is Truth?” 1.A cynical denial of the possibility of knowing truth. 2.A sneering jest at the idea of saying something abstract; it’s impractical for daily living. 3.A question to engage in the philosophical idea of truth. 4.Earnest desire to know what truth is. Near the amphitheater in Caesarea a stone tablet was found with an inscription of the name Pontius Pilate, dedicated to Tiberius Caesar who nominated him as procurator. The tablet says: "Tiberieum, Pontius Pilatus, Prefect of Judea".

7 If objective truth is impossible… 1.All reasoning becomes impossible; 2.Undercuts knowledge & beliefs; 3.Pointless to “give a reason for the faith that is in you”; 4.Leads to intellectual superficiality, sensate decadence, abuse of power, cynicism & scorn, & marketing manipulation

8 What does “objective” mean? What “objective” does not mean: –Unemotional attitude; –Detached attitude; –Impersonal attitude; –Known by all; –Believed by all; –Exhaustive Certainty or indubitability.

9 What does “objective” mean? “To say of what is that it is not, or of what is not that it is, is false while to say of what is that it is, or that it is not, will say either what is true or what is false” ~ Aristotle’s Metaphysics, Book IV, b1 26

10 What objective Truth Does Mean: -It is independent of the knower & his/her consciousness. -It is telling like it is; it is factual. -It corresponds to reality or actuality, -It identifies things the way they actually are. -It is absolute and independent. -It can never fail, diminish, change, or be extinguished.

11 What is the Truth? Here is my definition of truth: Truth is that which corresponds to reality, identifies things as they actually are, can never fail, diminish, change, or be extinguished, must be able to be expressed in logical propositions (t+t = true), and is sourced in the God of the Bible who is the Author of all truth.

12 A Closer Look at the Use of “Correspondence” When I use the word “correspondence” I am not advocating the idea that there is a correspondence between our ideas or mental images and things in the real world.

13 A Closer Look at the Use of “Correspondence” Rather, I embrace an identity theory of truth. What this means is that the very X that exists in the objective world re-exists in the mind abstracted from material things. Stated differently, a truth of a judgment consists in the identity of its content with a fact. So, when I look at an object I am not seeing a copy or picture of the object in my mind, I am actually seeing the object.

14 Correspondence Theory of Truth: As held by philosophers like John Locke, there is a correspondence between mental images and objects in the real world. GAPGAP Correspondence The Object itself The Idea If true ideas are pictures, images, or copies of real objects, then what we have in our mind and immediately know are only those pictures (not real forms). If so, then we can never really know whether or not those pictures correspond to real objects. In other words, how can we be sure whether the images are accurate likeness?

15 DIRECT REALISM: Mind-and-language independent world. Our foundational beliefs rest upon direct access to the real world & objective truth The Object itself The Idea We see a thing for what it is; we have the capacity to recognize & categorize. From many observations we develop a concept of what that thing is. We learn to associate a term with our awareness of the object by use of senses The object is indeed that kind of thing. We look to confirm what we had already seen. We each can compare the object that is given in our experience with our concept (thought) of that object to determine if they correspond. Thus, we must pay very close attention to what is present before our minds in experience. There is no need to have indubitability to accurately identify or know something. DIRECT AWARENESS: SELF-EVIDENT

16 3 Kinds of Knowledge: 1. Simple Seeing: Knowledge by acquaintance. Thus, I have a direct awareness of object X: –It is not limited to sense perception; we have conscience as well (e.g., natural, moral law). –Simple seeing comes before the formulation of a concept. 2.Seeing as: the formulation of a mental judgment. For example, seeing “red” on an apple formulates a concept of redness. The wording of something doesn’t deny what X is. 3.Seeing that: We have reasons for our belief; it is justified true belief (eg., we are able to pick out a red apple from among other colored apples).

17 Reality is undeniable “You can’t know reality.” “Is that a statement about reality?”

18 1. Truth is discovered, not invented:2. Truth is transcultural. 3. Truth is unchanging though our beliefs about truth change. 4. Beliefs cannot change a fact not matter how sincere someone is. 5. Truth is not affected by the attitude of the one professing it. 6. All truths are absolute truths. Even truths that appear relative are absolute truths. For example, “I, Paul, feel cold sitting under a fan on 8 September 2007.” This may appear relative but it is actually absolutely true for everyone, everywhere that Paul had the sensation of coldness on that day.

19 Opposite ideas cannot both be true at the same time and in the same sense. How do I know? The Law of Non-Contradiction Helps Us Discover What is False The Earth is Round The Earth is NOT Round

20 They can’t BOTH be true! Rev. Billy Graham – God Exists! Madalyn O’Hair – God Does NOT Exist! The Law of Non-Contradiction

21 Objections to Objective Truth 1.There is no such thing as truth! 2.You can’t know truth! 3.All truth is relative! 4.It’s true for you but not for me! 5.No one has the truth! 6.All truth depends on your perspective!

22 Apply the claim to itself! Example... Your Greatest Tool in Answering These Objections:

23 1. Contrary beliefs are possible, but contrary truths are not possible. 2. You can believe everything is true, but everything can’t be true. 3. Objective truth can’t be denied without being affirmed. 1. Contrary beliefs are possible, but contrary truths are not possible. 2. You can believe everything is true, but everything can’t be true. 3. Objective truth can’t be denied without being affirmed. Summary The Truth About Truth Summary The Truth About Truth

24 Everybody cares about the truth in almost every area of life. Safety Money Medicine Warranties Relationships

25 So What? If we can’t know truth as it is, then we might find ourselves in a bit of trouble!


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