What is truth? A question that is common to most people I would hope. Here are some of my musings on the subject. These are simply my opinions so I'd encourage the reader to simply use them as food for thought; they are by no means authoritative.
It is a wonderful thought that we can be objective and therefore maintain an objective truth and by extension validate an idea as the singular truth but I feel that we can all relate to the limits of human perception and our striking ability to disagree. It is plain to see that many people hold to a perplexingly large variety and variations of what they feel is the truth on so many topics.
So how can we be sure that what we are being told is the truth? How can we be sure that what we think is the truth is actually the singular, authentic, truth? Quite simply I don't think we are capable of being certain. Therefore I feel it is verging on arrogance for any person to say that they know "the truth".
But we can see that there is an authentic truth out there, a singular truth and I feel it is important for us to pursue that truth but we should be content with the fact that we may never reach it and be humble enough to listen to others and consider what they say, weighing it against what we understand, for we cannot be certain that what we think is singular truth.
To state it alternatively I think we should be objective about the truth we hold but be humble enough to hold up our truth as what we believe to be true as opposed to proudly holding up our thoughts as if they are the truth. I would go so far to say that this proud behaviour is a negligent lie as I don't think you can be certain of your truth being authentic.
All this musing is fine but what does this mean in real life in matters of belief? I would suggest that this is helpful when dealing with beliefs. For in this light everything people believe in is true to them and there is the possibility that it could be the authentic truth but we need to decide for ourselves what truth we'll hold to and put our faith in.
All belief requires faith and faith is built on our own understanding of the world, which I think adds even more reason as to why it is important to enquire of God for wisdom in all things, reading the Bible and prayer. For as I believe in an omnipotent God who stands both outside and inside of creation I feel that he is capable of providing authentic truth and while I may not fully grasp it if I build my understanding on his word then my faith will be supported and my belief will be built on strong foundations.
But don't be arrogant in the truth that you hold to, be ready to explain why you think what you hold to is true but be respectful of others for they are perfectly within their rights to think what they want. If you would like people to listen to what you have to say you should be ready to listen to them.
These are all just some musings but I hope it helps spark some thoughts on the subject, I certainly enjoy pondering these questions and hope the reader does as well.
Sam Gillespie is a composer, programmer and PhD candidate at the University of New South Wales.Sam Gillespie's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/sam-gillespie.html