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  • Writer's pictureKlaus Luehning

#8 | WHAT IS TRUTH? | Truth, Faith, and Science: Navigating the Boundaries of Belief & Knowledge

TAKEAWAYS:
  1. The Unchanging Nature of Truth: Truth is a timeless and universal concept that remains constant regardless of circumstances or beliefs.

  2. The Role of Faith in Religion: Faith plays a crucial role in religion, as it often involves believing in the unprovable and accepting the inexplicable as true.

  3. The Interplay Between Faith and Science: The tension between faith and science arises from the contrast between moral convictions and the ever-evolving understanding of the chaotic universe through scientific exploration.

 

The truth is a fact, a recognition or definition that lasts no matter when, where, why, what, or who over time.

The Pythagorean theorem is a fact known to every school child, no matter where, who, why, what, or when, in every language and culture, a universal truth that always gives the same result. This is true for all of established science.


All science is based on facts, all things that can be measured, whether the diameter of a hydrogen molecule, the weight of the earth, the speed of light, the compressive strength of concrete, or a spoonful of sugar for a cookie.

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Some things can be close to facts, like assumptions, opinions, and insightful surmises. All allude to something that may be repetitive, a measurable guesstimate, close enough to accept as indisputable so that you can risk a word, a thought, or an action, a commitment to hope for the best. That is not truth but a guess, hopefully, a good guess.

Probability theory and its use in statistics can measure the degree of accuracy, within limits, of an assumption based on sampling the natural world and not necessarily having to count and measure everything that applies. Statistics rules our lives in almost all things, from election polling to the efficacy of prescription drugs, to traffic control, to distribution of goods and services, to target you for unwanted ads. It is also used in sub-atomic physics, where the certainty of anything is only a best guess, that is, quantum theory.

Where there is no proof, there is fantasy, myth, legend, make-believe, and storytelling, a definition or explanation that alludes to the reality experienced and sets up an outside source, power, or logic to enforce belief or acceptance as true. That conviction, if accepted, is termed faith. Faith in something is believing it to be true when there is no tangible evidence of it being real.

Faith is necessary in religion because the tenets of most, if not all, religions are based on experiences that are inexplicable by any of the norms of dealing with reality. Ultimate faith is the utmost conviction that unreal events, states of being, or qualities of objects are actual. However, we still need the concept of doubt of that veracity to follow ritual and routine to continually re-establish the conviction because of the diverting ability of reality. Any lingering doubt will engender dire consequences post-mortem, going to hell or a stopover in purgatory, which is very convenient since no proof is available other than the threat in dogma.

Not dealing with the truth, or as close to the truth as managed due to time, location, expense, opportunity, or knowledge, can lead to effort(s) that result in an inaccurate, inapplicable, unsatisfactory, dangerous, or lethal outcome.

Hindu

Persons of faith, committed to a dogma, are usually committed to a moral grasp of how to live the “good life,” as championed by Socrates, Plato, and the moral philosophers, and provide standards adopted as a goal in achieving a valuable life experience. The conflicts with science appear to be the “crossing “ of borders between the moral ascendancy of personal conduct and the grasp of our existence in an evolving flow of energy and elemental coherence of atoms in our universe, which is chaotic.



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