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The Different Kinds Of Truth Philosophy Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Philosophy
Wordcount: 1639 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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There are two different kind of truth which is something that is true and something that is believed to be true. We must accept the idea that man can acquire all kind of truth but let us not mix them up. We would risk that the mixture will dissolve them up. Truth consists in the agreement of our thought with reality. The Aristotelian definition of truth states [1] :

“To say of something which is that it is not, or to say of something which is not that it is, is false. However, to say of something which is that it is, or of something which is not that it is not, is true.

A belief is called “true” if it “agrees” with a fact or stated otherwise [2] . Beliefs determine how we see, interact and experience the world around us. Beliefs are ideas that are made after repetition and contemplation, that are accepted as truth and reality and therefore impact how we see life [3] . Believes and truth are often in conflict. For something to be “true” it must be public, eternal, and independent. By using different way of knowing such as reason, emotion, perception and language it can help us to distinguish the “truth”.

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Some knowledge can be taught and some we learn by our self through a process of reasoning. In our daily life, sometimes our logical thinking affects our believed about something. The fact is our logical thinking based on our experiences. Our reasoning is based on our pass experiences and from that we make a generalization. It is just the matter of how far our logical thinking based on our experiences can distort our attempt to distinguish between truth and believed truth. By putting down your hand into hot fire thus teaches us not to do it again. The implication of reasoning is of the greatest importance because it comes from our inner instincts. Logic attempts to help us determine whether our argument is true or false, or whether it is logical.

Based on pass experience, it is logical if we tend not to do the same mistake by putting hand on fire because it is painful. Similarly with the truth, we tend to be selective in choosing knowledge based on our pass experienced and logical thinking. Sometimes mistake do happen during the process because we are easily influenced by our surrounding. The last question that will be dealt with is the question of what people know. According to the psychologist Jean Piaget [4]  certainly regarded thinking as secondary to the actions of the intelligence. For him, logic was a science of pure forms, structures simply representing the processes of thought. As for me, logic was too narrow, arid and mechanical to properly represent human thought processes. Therefore, I can say that the truth which is true and believed to be true is not conforms and affirms through logic as ways of knowing alone because human have many limitations to count of.

Logic work alone cannot really distinguish between something that is true and something that is believed to be true. Is emotion is the effective way? For some people, emotion plays an important role when it comes to decision making. Whether we like it or not, our emotion is depending on degree of logic that is include during the process of decision making. Imagine if you are a doctor and you have two make a decision whether to give a kidney to two of your patients who suffer kidney failure. One of the patients is your family. Which one would you give the kidney? Would the priority go to your family? The doctor tends to be bias if the decision made is involving with emotion. If I was the doctor, I would personally give the kidney to my family. But, based on what reason? The only reason why is because of strong love emotion.

We tend to be bias in the process of seeking the truth because of our emotion. Based on scientific explanation, emotional situation triggers the release of chemicals in the bloodstream that alter the functioning of the brains neurons and other bodily functions as well. In effect, the situation requires some special behavior different from what we would do in the normal course of events. We only accept truth that will give us pleasure and make us happy. Emotional states seem to occur when things of particular importance occur in our lives. The neurobiologist Antonio Damasio [5] (1994) provides a “somatic marker hypothesis [6] ” which explains how emotions make decision making possible.

The doctor try to believe by giving the kidney to his family will save her/his live by ignoring the other patience live. How the doctor would know which operation will succeed? In this situation, we can say that the doctor is in believed truth. Thus, we can conclude that emotions are ordinarily conceived as irrational occurrences that cloud judgment and distort reasoning. It would be better if we separate our emotion when make a judgment. However it is impossible to that. Some philosophers, particularly those identifying themselves as “postmodernists [7] “, assert that truth is not absolute, but depends upon the individual point of view.

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Perception is one the ways of knowing that can help us to distinguish the knowledge whether it is true or just believed to be true. Everyone has different perception regarding on certain thing depends on own personal background, knowledge, experiences and our perceptions grow as we mature. I still remember during my childhood, my mom always told me to finish my meals or else the unfinished foods will cry. To be frankly, I believe on what my mom had told me. As I grow, I know that the foods will never cry as it is non-living thing. It just my mum’s trick to make sure I finished my meal. The perception of children will not be the same as adult.

The problem is our perception constantly changing as we increase the scope of our knowledge. That’s why in science subjects we always come across with the term “evolution and revolution”. As scientist doing more research, they found that the previous theories are no longer applicable to support their new discovery. During the 20th century, in the history of biology, biologists mostly accepted that living organisms is classified into five kingdoms [8] . However, in 1978 the American Biologist Carl Woese [9] proposed a three domain classification. From the example and explanation above, we can conclude that our perception is not fixed and differ from one another. But without perception, it is hard for us to differentiate the truth.

Last but not least, we can use language as one of the way of knowing to help us distinguish whether the truth are the “real” truth or “believed” to be the truth. According to R.A Hall: language is the institution whereby humans communicate and interact with each other by means of habitually used oral-auditory arbitrary symbols [10] . Language plays an important role in our lives in seeking the truth. Language allows us to form statement, express concept and our idea. Let we take the example of a statement “all bird can fly”. From the statement, we can express our idea to other people that all type of birds has the ability to fly. Imagine how could we explain the word “bird, all, fly” without word? Without the statements it would be hard to organize our ideas and to then determine if these ideas are true or only we believe them to be true. We could use other alternative such as gesture, sounds and drawing to represent our ideas. As it connected to the ideas that they portray they also become part of the language.

The statements created by language help us to determine if an idea in true or not. Since a sentence expresses the relationship between objects we can check the validity of the statement. If ostrich cannot fly, then we can prove the statement “all bird can fly” is not true. The presence of evidence can always prove the statement is false then we know the statement is not true. The problem with language is sometimes it is misinterpreted due to the word that has many different meaning. For example the word “gampang”. For Indonesian it means easy but for Malaysian it is insulting.

Admittedly, all knowledge could be regarded as a combination of truth and believed truth, and since all information needs to pass our subjective minds to become knowledge. By using the four ways of knowing logic, emotion, perception and language can helps us to distinguish the truth. One ways of knowing stand alone to distinguish the truth and believed truth would not be very fruitful.

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