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The Philosophic View on the Nature of Truth

Philosophers are interested in a variety of questions related to the idea of truth. The challenge is determining what types of matters can be considered true. Is truth the definition of words and is a linguistic entity, or is it truly an abstract and everlasting concept? The essential question remains the same in defining the essence of truth. It is a matter of being precise about what people are expressing when they declare something to be true or false. As a result, the nature of truth is quite complex, and aside from the challenge of defining it, it is vital not to expose an individual to the entire truth all at once due to potential harm.

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In order to understand the nature of the given topic, the Correspondence Theory of Truth should be considered. According to the given theory, truth is something that correlates with reality (David). To be more specific, truth is ideas, assertions, and arguments that accurately reflect reality. Such assertions and ideas describe or reflect reality in a specific manner. Ideas are abstract depictions, assertions are spoken or written depictions and arguments are the philosophical concepts that ideas and assertions convey (David). If an assertion or argument accurately describes reality, it can be considered true. They are untrue if they reflect reality in a manner that is not accurate. Therefore, the essence of truth is the depiction of reality. As a result, stating that snow is white, for example, is true.

As for the influence of truth, it is better given in small portions rather than all at once. The specific reasons for such a statement can be corroborated by the remarks and story depicted in the book By the Waters of Babylon by Benét. The plot revolves around the main character John’s coming-of-age and his search for enlightenment, which leads him to The Place of the Gods, a strange land that people of his community are forbidden from entering (Benét). Benét sees the quest for truth as a fundamental feature of human essence and an influential element in the evolution of human civilization.

Among the lessons learned from this book is that truth can be dangerous. As per the opinion of the main character’s father, “Truth is a hard deer to hunt. If you eat too much truth at once, you may die of the truth” (Benét 26). Therefore, the truth should always come in the form of building blocks, meaning it should come little by little. Otherwise, the wave of knowledge can be shocking to an individual and break them in the end.

Furthermore, Benét depicts truth as an entity that grows on its own, propelling those who pursue it forward. In his thirst for truth, John learns about the Dead Places, travels to the eastern river, visits the Place of the Gods, and discovers the lifeless deity in an uninhabited area (Benét). With every step of his path, John gains new tiers of truth and recognizes that there is far more to discover, propelling him even farther in his search.

Nevertheless, too much truth can be harmful not only to an individual but to society as well. Truth offers development, yet the development it fosters can also contribute to societal hazards. On a more intimate level, John’s father urges him to follow his dreams and travel to the mysterious land, but he also cautions him that the desire to know everything all at once may eat him entirely (Benét). The caution indicates that the search for truth may become an addiction that overpowers John or that the truth itself may be something that John is not ready or unwilling to confront.

Additionally, it must be noted that too much truth at once can disrupt the credibility of a person’s reality. While unraveling the information to a person, the recipient can be subject to false claims of unsifted information (David). While the truth and knowledge should be based on small elements, which allow an individual to take one’s own slow path to the establishment of perceptions and analysis of the given material, too much from too many sources can impair a person’s views.

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Moreover, from the previous argument, it can be claimed that the truth that comes in little portions allows a person to differentiate accurate information from false information. In this case, an individual will be able to assess the given information without loss of meaning (David). As a result, a recipient will be able to decipher lying from the truth due to a slow accumulation of facts. On the other hand, the truth given all at once can lead to irrational actions and distorted perceptions.

However, when it comes to lying, it must be kept in mind that many individuals assume that each person has their own facts or creates their own truth. These ideas represent the relativist worldview, which maintains that reality is subjective to the person or one’s society or culture (David). Therefore, that example argues that what is factual is determined by what a person or group of people claim rather than by what conforms to reality (David). Every person has the right to decide what is true to them, even if it is a belief without evidence.

Individual relativism, also known as subjectivism, holds that each individual defines what the reality is for themselves. According to this viewpoint, truth is typically characterized by what a person believes. This means the information each person considers to be true for themselves. Under cultural relativism, a person might be mistaken if their views do not correspond with their culture or community. In this situation, different cultures or communities might have different standards of truth. As a result, it is rational to assume that such a belief cannot be considered lying since it is not intentional deception when an individual is aware of the facts.

Hence, truth is a complex subject, and its nature corresponds with reality, whereas individual perceptions or ideas may or may not relate to reality. The traditional view of the truth is based on the accepted facts, but the digression from the facts and assertion of one’s own facts cannot be defined as lying. Belief without facts cannot be considered lying since it is not an intentional desire to deceive somebody. Another notion that must be considered is the dangerous nature of truth. According to a few sources, truth is better taken in small portions rather than all at once. The reason for this statement is that in this way, a person will be able to follow their own path without overwhelming information and not create societal hazards due to their obsession with the truth

Works Cited

Benét, Stephen Vincent. By the Waters of Babylon. Dramatic Publishing Company, 1971.

David, Marian. The correspondence theory of truth. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2016.

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