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See Epistemology Library -- What is 'Faith'? -- & What is Truth, & How do we Know It?
That was what Pontius Pilate asked Jesus at Jesus' trial. What, indeed?
Pilate did not, perhaps could not, know that the Way, the Truth, and the Life was standing before him, whom he would shortly condemn to death by crucifixion. The irony is almost unbearable when we realize that Pilate was standing in for all of us. What is truth? ...as we continue to play games with it.
In two simple, one-syllable words, a definition for 'truth':
Truth is what is.
... as distinct from what is not. It implies an objective state of things in which we live, and which can be known. There is a "reality" which is different from imagination.
Truth can exist only in a world where there is allowed a distinction over against untruth, falsehood. A relative-truth world has no truth at all, only solipsistic illusion. Or, liars and manipulators who want you to relativize your truth so that they can insert theirs unopposed.
"What is" is the ontological definition of truth, pointing to the being of truth. If truth is "what is", then how do we find out what is? For the corresponding epistemological or operational definition of 'truth', see faith.
We know truth by only two means, by experience or observation and by logic or reason. So the road to truth is by accurate observation, accurate perception of our experiences, and then by careful and logical reasoning from our experiences to our conclusions about them. What do our experiences tell us and what do they imply about other things?
That is just as true of theology and philosophy as of chemistry or physics or mathematics.
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