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The Only Truth Existing Essay, Research Paper
“We are, then, faced with a quite simple alternative: Either we deny that there is here
anything that can be called truth – a choice that would make us deny what we experience
most profoundly as our own being; or we must look beyond the realm of our “natural”
experience for a validation of our certainty.”
A famous philosopher, Rene Descartes, once stated, “I am, [therefore] I exist.” This
statement holds the only truth found for certain in our “natural” experience that, as
conscious beings, we exist. Whether we are our own creators, a creation, or the object of
evolution, just as long as we believe that we think, we are proved to exist. Thinking about
our thoughts is an automatic validation of our self-consciousness. Descartes claims, “But
certainly I should exist, if I were to persuade my self of something.” And so, I should
conclude that our existence is a truth, and may be the only truth, that we should find its
From the “natural” experiences of our being, we hold beliefs that we find are our personal
truths. From these experiences, we have learned to understand life with reason and logic;
we have established our idea of reality; and we believe that true perceptions are what we
sense and see. But it is our sense of reason and logic, our idea of reality, and our
perceptions, that may likely to be very wrong. Subjectiveness, or personal belief, is almost
always, liable for self-contradiction. Besides the established truth that we exist, there are
no other truths that are certain, for the fact that subjective truth may be easily refuted.
Every person possesses his or her own truth that may be contradicting to another person?s
belief. A truth, or one that is true for all, cannot by achieved because of the constant
motion of circumstances of who said it, to whom, when, where, why, and how it was said.
What one person may believe a dog is a man?s best friend, another may believe that a dogs
is a man?s worse enemy. What one may believe is a pencil, to another is not a pencil, but
a hair pin. Where one may believe that a bottle is an instrument, one may believe is a toy,
where another may believe is a beverage container. Where one will understand the moving
vehicle “car,” one might understand “car” as a tree. Our perception of what is true
depends on our own experiences, and how something becomes true for us. Many
circumstances are necessary to derive at one?s truth, whether it is an idea, object, or
language. All perception, besides the perception of existence, is uncertain of being true for
Every thought, besides the idea that we think, has the possibility that it may be proven
wrong. The author of the article, Knowledge Regained, Norman Malcolm, states that, “any
empirical proposition whatever could be refuted by future experience – that is, it could turn
out to be false.” An example could be the early idea of the earth being flat and not the
current perception of the earth being round. History tells us that at one time, the
perception of the earth was thought to be flat. This notion was an established truth to
many because of the sight and sense that people perceived about the earth?s crust. At one
point, to accept the newer truth that the earth is round, meant that, what one believed was
true, really wasn?t. And, what if, at some point in the future, we were told by a better
educated group of observers that the earth is not round, but a new shape we?ve never
even perceived before? Would we agree to the scientists? observation that they have,
themselves, agreed to this more accurate shape of the earth?. We would probably agree to
change our knowledge of truth to the observations of experts. This is an example that,
what we may have once believed to be the absolute truth, may be proven wrong at any
time. And what we actually know, may not be the truth after all.
Truth may also be refuted through the identified appearance or sense of an object. A
great modern philosopher, Bertrand Russell?s, idea of appearance and reality explains that
perception of a table and its distribution of colors, shape, and sense, vary with each point
of view. Commenting on the distribution of color, Russell states that, “It follows that if
several people are looking at the table at the same moment, no two of them will see
exactly the same distribution of colours, because no two can see it from exactly the same
point of view, and any change in the point of view makes some change in the way the light
is reflected.” What one person sees the table as green, one might see as red at another
viewpoint. And what might seem to have color is actually colorless in the dark. What one
might perceive as being rectangle, may look oval in another view. What may sense the
table to be hard by a touch of the fingertips, may be soft by the touch of the cheek.
Determining hardness of the table depends on pressure applied and judge of the sensation.
No assumptions can be absolutely true because there is no determining factor in choosing
the right angle to look at or sense the table. There are no determining factors in which
angle or measurement is better to judge than the other in sense of color, shape, and feel of
an object. Every object is determined self-contradicting which can be refuted by
questioning its perception and even the existence for its use.
Our experiences from our “natural” existence gives us a bias of all that is true, which is
self-contradicting. The ideas and objects that we encounter are determined true by
personal evaluation in the relationships of those ideas and objects in connection with our
being. The relationship of the ideas and objects in connection with another person?s life
may be contradicting to my own beliefs. “I am, [therefore] I exist,” may be the only
statement with any validity of our certainty. We cannot test the validity of our reality,
reason, logic, and perception in relation to all individuals, but we can test to the validity of
our existence by thinking, therefore, being.
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