What is truth?

Many human activities depend upon it, with its nature as a concept being assumed rather than a subject of discussion, to function including science, law, journalism, and everyday life. 

First, we need to know what the word "truth" means: 

Truth comes from the Old English tríewe or tréowe a cognate of Old Saxon trûui and Old High German triuwu all from a Proto-Germanic word for tree which translated to "having good faith", on the notion of "steadfast as an oak" (e.g., Sanskrit "taru" tree). The Old Norse used the word trú meaning "faith, word of honor; religious faith, belief”. Thus, 'truth' involves both the quality of "faithfulness, fidelity, loyalty, sincerity, veracity”,  and that of "agreement with fact or reality", in Anglo-Saxon expressed by sōþ. All Germanic languages besides English have introduced a terminological distinction between truth "fidelity" and truth "factuality". To express "factuality", North Germanic opted for nouns derived from sanna "to assert, affirm", while continental West Germanic opted for continuations of wâra "faith, trust, pact." Romance languages use terms following the Latin veritas, while the Greek Aletheia, Russian Pravda, and South Slavic istina have separate etymological origins. This part's a little boring so I figured I'd spice it up a bit with a good old fashion star wars crawl. Do you know how they filmed that?

In Roman mythology, Virtus was the deity of bravery and military strength. represented in a variety of ways, for example, on the coins of Tetricus, it can appear as a matron, an old man, or a young man, with a javelin or only clothed in a cape. Within the realm of funerary reliefs, which quite honestly sounds like a terribly dreadful place to be, some sort of alternate universe where everyone is a carbonized version of themselves, Virtus is never shown without a male companion, often her presence within this realm is to complement and provide assistance to the protagonist of the relief during a scene of intense masculinity or bravery.

The traditional model, which goes back to some of the classical Greek philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, holds that the truth or the falsity of a representation is determined solely by how it relates to a reality; that is, by whether it accurately describes that reality. 

As Aristotle claims in his Metaphysics: "To say that that which is, is not, and that which is not, is, is a falsehood; therefore, to say that which is, is, and that which is not, is not, is true”.

Truth is most often used to mean, "being in accordance with fact or reality, or fidelity to an original or standard." The truth is often used in modern contexts to refer to an idea of "truth to self," or authenticity. The commonly understood opposite of truth is a falsehood, which, correspondingly, can also take on a logical, factual, or ethical meaning of its own. 

The concept of truth is discussed and debated in several contexts, including philosophy, art, and religion and various theories continue to be debated among scholars, philosophers, and theologians to this day.

Some philosophers view the concept of truth as basic or unable to be explained in any other terms more easily understood. The concept of truth itself is the correspondence of language or thought to an independent reality, in what is called the correspondence theory of truth. 

The correspondence theory of truth states that the truth or falsity of a statement is determined only by how it relates to the world and whether it accurately describes that world. Correspondence theories claim that true beliefs and true statements correspond to the actual state of affairs. This type of theory attempts to posit a relationship between thoughts or statements on one hand, and things or facts on the other. 

According to Martin Heidegger, the original meaning and essence of "Truth" in Ancient Greece was concealment, or the revealing or bringing of what was previously hidden into the open, as indicated by the original Greek term for truth, “Aletheia." On this view, the conception of truth as correctness is a later derivation from the concept's original essence, a development Heidegger traces to the Latin term "Veritas."

Pragmatists like C.S. Peirce take Truth to have some manner of essential relation to human practices for inquiring into and discovering Truth, with Peirce himself holding that Truth is what human inquiry would find out on a matter, if our practice of inquiry were taken as far as it could possibly go: "The opinion which is fated to be ultimately agreed to by all who investigate, is what we mean by the truth..."

Language and words are a means by which humans convey information to one another and the method used to determine what is true is termed a "criterion of truth". 

These truthbearers bring to light what is even capable of being considered true or false. First, how do we define and identify truth? Second, what roles do faith-based and empirically biased knowledge play? And third, the most difficult and crucial to reality, is truth subjective or objective, relative or absolute?

Friedrich Nietzsche suggested an ancient metaphysical belief in the divinity of Truth lies at the heart of and has served as the foundation for the entire subsequent Western intellectual tradition.

"But," He wrote, "you will have gathered what I am getting at, namely, that it is still a metaphysical faith on which our faith in science rests--that even we knowers of today, we godless anti-metaphysicians still take our fire too, from the flame lit by the thousand-year-old faith, the Christian faith which was also Plato's faith, that God is Truth; that Truth is ‘Divine'..."

Ok, so now that we know what truth means. Let me hit you with some...

We all die.

That's a fact jack.

But, what happens next? What fate do we meet when we shuffle off this mortal coil?

The truth is obvious that we will never know...until we do.

Maybe we realize in our last breathe, that this is it, as the last of our neurons fire off before we evacuate our bowels and bodies and finally kick the old bucket. 

Or maybe, just maybe, we find out the minute the light washes over us, that it's not, only then does the light bulb click on and the divine light speaks to us bluntly, laying all the cards on the table, spilling the beans like your drunken uncle at the barbecue. 

"This is the meaning of life," he says, "This is what is true and this is what is false." 

What if we really knew THE truth? What if the truth really is out there, and what if it was actually told? About everything. Why? How? Who? When? Where? The meaning of life, yadda yadda, blah blah blah. 

What if you knew the truth about death? And therefore the truth about life. It's true that we all die, but it is also true that none of us know if we truly die. Who could know? Where does truth and furthermore life come from? What MAKES something true? Can we even handle the truth?

It’s hard for most of us to even consider that there are other human beings who wouldn’t believe a certain truth that we ourselves hold to be self-evident. 

To recap, the truth is the correspondence of language or thought to an independent reality, in what is called the "correspondence theory of truth". 

So, is THAT the truth? That we all make up our own version of what is true and therefore perception is the reality. Aren’t there any universal truths? What about the Facts of life or the birds and the bees?

From PBS: 

"In a classic 1979 experiment, pro- and anti-death penalty advocates were exposed to descriptions of two fake scientific studies: one supporting and one undermining the notion that capital punishment deters violent crime and, in particular, murder. They were also shown detailed methodological critiques of the fake studies — and in a scientific sense, neither study was stronger than the other. Yet in each case, advocates more heavily criticized the study whose conclusions disagreed with their own, while describing the study that was more ideologically congenial as more “convincing.”

I want you to think about something you know to be true. Like the sky is blue. Or milk comes from cows. Which we will all agree are true statements. What if you’re color blind? Milk also comes from women and cats too, doesn't it? 

Now, think about something you believe is true. Search your feelings, you know it could be false. You may not be completely wrong, per se, but you don't know if it's the truth, and if you're being honest, it could easily be the other way. 

It's a prejudice, a judgment, or an assumption. It's a moment of overthinking. It's a simple misunderstanding. Maybe you're like me and its one of the many many times in your life that you have been wrong. What we have here is a failure to communicate. 

Allegedly we are living in a post-truth world. We successfully nitpicked the truth to death. Assassinated right in front of our eyes like the President, God rest his soul. The truth has been pronounced dead, and in its place, a charlatan. An impostor attempting to tarnish her good name.

Let's take a step back. 

Are we living the way we truly want to or are we living behind a wall, sure it's a big beautiful wall, the most beautiful luxurious wall on the planet, everyone says so, afraid of whats on the other side?

"Shut the door, " we cry, "leave us alone to Netflix and chill." But, the truth's not going to leave us alone. The truth wants us to get mad. The truth wants us to say, "we're human beings goddamnit our lives have value!"

The truth needs us to want it so bad we'll go hungry searching for it. Like a fiend high on nirvana, tripping balls on transcendence, we need the truth in our veins. 

We need to see the truth in action like we need to breathe, need to feed our kids, need to see justice served to those who abuse their power that we as a society have so generously given them.

Time to collect the bill. 

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant." He gave up his life like so many of his brothers and sisters, of all creeds and colors, in the seemingly never-ending struggle within us. 

We have fought wars over millennia in search of the truth. Evil uses our desire and lust for righteousness against us. The almighty irony is that the truth does not belong to them or us. It cannot be bought, sold, murdered, or imprisoned. The truth like a light once ignited, will find a way into every crack and crevice across the known universe of our minds.

The truth, no matter how hard its enemies try to destroy, bury, twist, spin, or discredit it, will always be there waiting. Lying under the floorboards like a tell-tale heart pounding your subconscious. Taking its licks before it senses a weakness and BAM, it strikes a blow right to the heart of villainy. It may take time, but it will always prevail. 

Kids today use the term "woke". To use the parlance of our times, we need to be more woke. Literally, we need to stay awake. Pull an all-nighter if we have to. Because the truth WILL set us free. 

It will give us a better life. The people around us will know and it will reverberate and spread like an undulating wave through a stadium full of believers. A butterfly effect of evolution. 

The truth that we all hold to be self-evident is that all men are created equal. 

No matter what God we worship or how we live our lives, we all come from the same place...

A woman.

The most beautiful truth is that we are all born into this world, in the same way. Maybe different hospitals, in the backs of cars, fast food restrooms, wherever but all the different lives being created will become people who are our second chance, our salvation, and we must fight to teach them THE truth. 

Freedom, liberty, and justice for all. 

If you don't believe the truth then you're either racist, which is a rather silly thing to be, or you are profiting off the inequality. Either way, this world does not belong to you, it belongs to us, and we will not go quietly into the night. We will not vanish without a fight. The truth will live on. The truth will survive. Today is truth's independence day...

The truth or the concept of something being in fact true, verified, historically accurate, indelible, impossible to refute, improbable to the letter, 100% pure USDA choice gives us a power that scares the ones IN power. 

It's a cold hard dose of reality running up our spines like an epidural gestating through our bodies that gives birth to a feeling we can’t describe, but that we all feel for brief fleeting moments. 

It's called enlightenment. Wisdom. Power. Freedom. 

Honest, from the heart, of the mind, body, and soul, homegrown, world-shattering, ego crumbling, chain breaking truth has the power to change the world. 

Knowledge is power and like Uncle Ben said, "with great power comes great responsibility."

Like a madman digging with his hands, tunneling into the center of the Earth, we too descend into our own souls and at some point come to the realization as he did, that the best parts of life aren’t in what lies beneath us, in the past, the best part of life is what you have right here right now on the surface of reality. 

On the edge of time, we stand at a crossroads looking toward the future with hope and high vision. The only thing standing in our way happens to also be the only true power we possess as humans to combat the nature of time and death as we know it... 

It comes down to choice, Neo. Morpheus just offered us two pills and we took the one that sees’s how far the rabbit hole goes. Vice vie we must always remember a last ultimate truth, a fact that cannot be denied, refuted, or disagreed with by any sane rational human being... hoping and looking toward the future is not action. Life happens to you or you make life happen. 

Until then, trust the process, and above all else, always remember...

Search your feelings