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Phil201 Essay, Research Paper
The Only Truth Existing”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 weexperience 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 theobject of evolution, just as long as we believe that we think, we are proved to exist. Thinkingabout 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 findits certainty. From the “natural” experiences of our being, we hold beliefs that we find are ourpersonal truths. From these experiences, we have learned to understand life with reason andlogic; we have established our idea of reality; and we believe that true perceptions are whatwe 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, isalmost always, liable for self-contradiction. Besides the established truth that we exist, thereare 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 anotherperson 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 wassaid. What one person may believe a dog is a man s best friend, another may believe that adogs 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 atoy, where another may believe is a beverage container. Where one will understand themoving 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 beingtrue for all individuals. 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 couldturn 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. Atone point, to accept the newer truth that the earth is round, meant that, what one believedwas 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 probablyagree 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 atany 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 realityexplains that perception of a table and its distribution of colors, shape, and sense, vary with eachpoint 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 thesame point of view, and any change in the point of view makes some change in the way thelight is reflected.” What one person sees the table as green, one might see as red atanother viewpoint. And what might seem to have color is actually colorless in the dark. Whatone might perceive as being rectangle, may look oval in another view. What may sensethe 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 thesensation. No assumptions can be absolutely true because there is no determining factor inchoosing 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, andfeel 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, whichis 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 withour being. The relationship of the ideas and objects in connection with another person slife 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 thevalidity of our existence by thinking, therefore, being. Put your paper here.