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Does truth exist?

Does truth exist?

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skado 9 Sep 13

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What is truth?

  1. b. Reality; actuality.



@skado Whose reality/actuality?

Nobody owns reality. Reality owns us.

I think what you’re referring to is “Whose perception of reality.” And none of those are reality.

Nobody has expressed it more comprehensively and usefully and succinctly than the wordmaster, Godolemicist:
“Objective truth corresponds to reality.
Subjective truth is beauty and beauty is truth.
Soteriological truth is the way.”


Objective truth corresponds to reality.

Subjective truth is beauty and beauty is truth.

Soteriological truth is the way.



Truth is in the mind and eye of the beholder. It is also in textbooks that solve (or cause) many problems. Today the Internet makes truth harder to discern. Understand that I am talking of only objective truth as real truth.


It exists, though it is not always discernible. And "my truth" is a nonsensical concept.

Wins the thread!


Is "truth" the same as "facts"?

According to the dictionary, yes.

@skado when I taught composition in seated class, I told my students that some of their "truths" were true only for them and based on perspective. I did not mention religion, but it was the main issue to which the comment applied. I told them that "facts" can be proven by empirical evidence, but personal truths can.

They would sometimes challenge this and I remember one saying that scientific findings were
not always of composed of "facts" and mentioned evolution. I said, the "That's why it's called a 'theory'." However, there is enough evidence to support the theory as "fact" to everyone but religious people and those who believe we were seeded by aliens. However, even aliens were either created by a deity or they likewise evolved.

Heck, even my Baptist sister said that evolution had to have taken place because there is too much evidence to support it to claim otherwise.

This is why I shy away from using universal "truths" and prefer "facts." Some facts we think to be facts might not be in considering the universe and what we don't know--some "facts" have been proven to be erroneous.


Seems to me, if it was found to be erroneous, it was never a fact, even if temporarily mistaken for one.

@skado but of course! My point to my students was that even "facts" can later be proven erroneous so, yes, science is not always right. I didn't tell them that religious beliefs will never be facts. I have also pointed out to non-students who spout off about history proving the Bible is factual based on artifacts/archaeological finds that if a stele is found that shows King David was a real person and therefore, god exists and the Bible is fact, this would also mean that because Troy was found, the Greek gods must exist.


If objective truth means claims concerning factual matters which can be verified as true or false, then, truth exists, I guess.
E.g. Tokyo is the capital of Japan. Sharks are mammals.

Ryo1 Level 8 Sep 13, 2023

how exacting do you mean? good enough for space travel, brain surgery, pancakes? is absolute truth even relevant?

maybe it approximately exists.

I'm not talking about our knowledge of it. I'm talking about truth itself. As in... objective truth.

@skado i "feel" as if an absolute reality must exist, yet striving for knowledge of it in a complete sense is futile and it cannot be pounded into truth without a great deal of wishful thinking.

@skado truth is a word so confused with meanings that everything is the way it is in any reality that can be described, imagined, unseen, immeasurable, or carried in a bucket that it don't mean much. a philosophical phootball?

I haven’t made any claims about our complete knowledge of it ever being obtainable. Only that it, as you say, must exist. And it can be useful to us to learn some tiny bits of it.

@skado you certainly don't. i apologize if i put that into what you were asking. i think perhaps I'm simply frustrated with the notion we can gain much benefit from those bits you mention when there are some bigger uncomfortable hunks we all ignore, excuse, and even justify. its nothing new, but we are too absorbed by money, the truer religion of America, and consumerism. some days i feel humanity is gonna be a shorter lived species than it might otherwise be because of greed for $ and power. makes me wanna smack somebody. not that it would help but it stands a better chance than turning the other cheek and chalking it up to human nature. some questions i wish didn't come to mind like, how many hungry children could be fed, or uneducated, educated with all the $ we spend on pro sports for example. just gets to me. humans like to believe they're smart. fools, all of us.

Yep, the whole enterprise looks doomed - no question. Seems a shame.

The only choice we may have is how much suffering we, individually, choose to create for ourselves and others while we are here.

@skado I'm not sure we get to select a suffering setting but I'm picking up your color. one of the more impressive features of humanity is the speed of change. maybe our only hope is evolution. of course it may be a false hope, but better than nothing.

@skado sorry if i paint too dark. i don't mean to spread the suffering. not in your general direction anyhow. ✌️

No apologies necessary. You’re not wrong.
No suffering suffered. 😊


Truth exists. People just want to play with the truth, in order to further their cause. Like objective truth vs subjective, vs all other bs. But facts are facts. whether you believe them or not is irrelevant and does not change the facts.

so who decides what is fact? Some person with certain credentials? If so what credentials? What person? Or is fact something that is adopted by the majority? If that's the case then religion would be fact, wouldn't it? Is fact what has to be put through the scientific method? What if something hasn't been put through the scientific method? Does that mean it cannot be fact no matter what? What if you put it through your own scientific method? Does that make it fact?

Facts and truths are perspectives.


I think you're talking about knowledge of facts - not facts themselves. There was probably a time when every human alive thought the earth was flat, but the truth was different from anything anyone knew.

@skado No, I'm not talking about knowledge of facts. You seem to be saying, if I understand you correctly, that facts are facts and that's that. Whether we recognize or accept it doesn't mater in terms of whether or not it's a fact. I see that point. Where the problem comes in for me is who/what determines a fact? Certainly we can go to the scientific method but we also recognize certain facts which fall outside of the scientific method.

A fact is defined as that which actually exists or is reality. That being the case don't different things exist for different people? Don't different people live in different realities? Sure the air is made up of A, B, and C. Water freezes when it hits 32 degrees F. That exists in all realities we are aware of. But then certain realities exist for certain people and not others. We see it in daily life all day long every single day.

Yes, you understand me correctly. And yes, determining what’s fact, and what’s not, is a problem, and one that we might never completely solve, but I don’t think reality presents different appearances to different people. I think reality presents the same appearance to everyone, and every person perceives it through their own unique lenses, depending on their unique genetic inheritance, their own unique life experiences, and their own unique knowledge set.

If this were not the case, science would never work at all.

I understand the linguistic construction “different people live in different realities” and that’s fine for casual communication - we all understand what is meant - but it’s metaphorical language. Not to be taken literally.
At least that’s the reality I live in! 🤣🤣🤣


Being truthful as opposed to lying would mean telling the truth. Proven facts are truth. Faith is not truth. Religion is true to believers but is definitely not truth. Strong evidence is probably truth. Belief without evidence is most likely not truth.

what is evidence defined as? It is defined as "that which tends to prove or disprove something; ground for belief; proof."

@FvckY0u Credible evidence, not something written in a book of fiction. Belief without evidence is called faith. It's nonsense.

@barjoe what is evidence? that which tends to prove or disprove something; ground for belief; proof.

now you say "Credible" evidence. What is that? Is that what you deem it to be or some organization does or some society does or your mother does, etc?

The fact is I can believe what I believe and I do NO ONE any harm in doing so. You do the same with the same result. This is not a problem. You are not the problem. I am not the problem. But there are those that are the problem, aren't there?

@FvckY0u You're arguing theism on an atheist website. Fairy tales are for children. We don't believe in god because there is no Credible Evidence! Passages from the buybull are not credible evidence, except for by fools of faith.

@barjoe No sir, I am not arguing theism or even God. I am stating what I understand and in some cases why. I expect no one to follow me or believe me. What I'd like to happen is that people would open their minds further and look into things further. They won't find the same things I've found and if they do they won't see it the same way more than likely. That's fine.

Is keeping it to myself the best policy? I mean do you keep your views to yourself? I see your point that this is an atheist website. However I will tell you that where am I going to find people that highly intelligent and aren't caught up in religious bullshit?


Of course it does. What a silly question.

Tejas Level 7 Sep 13, 2023

Truth does not exist, but truth seems to exist, which is close enough...

Is this statement true?:

“Truth does not exist.”

Yes, it seems to be true. (It seems to be true that all truth is only the subjective truth of the beings that classify what they encounter to be true. Transcendental Truth does not exist as nothing is truly transcendental.

Are you saying there is no objective reality?

Objective reality may exist, but we can only perceive miniscule slices of it and those slices are extremely processed to be used. Objective reality is likely to be radically different from what we perceive.

"The Dragon. A beast of such power that if you were to see it whole and all complete in a single glance, it would burn you to cinders." Merlin/Excalibur

@racocn8 did you quote a fictional character?

@Tejas Yes Although sometimes tedious, I like the Excalibur movie, especially the Merlin character.


It depends on how you define truth. There is no single universal definition. The fascist definition of the truth is that it is anything that furthers the cause.

A reputable dictionary should suffice.


By default there must be.

Because if there is no truth, then the statement. "There is no truth." Must by default be true.

A much better question to ask is. "Is it possible to have truth ?"

“Have” as in “know”?

I think we can know some truth, but not all.

@skado Yes I would agree with that. But then is " I think. " any guide to truth ?
But I deliberately chose "have" as something weaker than "know", because you may have truth without knowing that you have truth.


Same reason I chose "I think". Possibly nothing we feel we know is known perfectly or completely, but neither is it completely unknown. So I think we can know to a degree.

@skado Our minds and cultures, can only ever exist in a world of partial and approximate truth, both because our minds and cultures are imperfect and limited, and also because some truth may not be ultimately discoverable.

Which is why, there are two foolish extremes to avoid. The absolutism of the fundamentalist. "There is perfect truth, and I/we have been gifted it." And the immaturity and avoidance of personal responsibility of relativism. "I can not have perfect final truth, therefore there is no truth, or reason to seek it."

Yet. Because we can not have perfect final truth, and falsely believing we have it is harmful, does not mean that there is no perfect final truth, nor any reason why there are no benefits in seeking it. We will always live with partial and approximate truth, but we can, almost certainly, achieve larger parts, and closer approximations. Not all partial and approximate truths are proved equal.

(Actually I suspect, though without certainty, that we may have just a few perfect truths, about very basic things, which would still be true in another universe. Such as the laws of maths and logic. But I hold that view with only slight conviction. )

Which is why I think that the philosophy of science, is the best middle ground that we have between those two extremes, and the best guide to how thinking should be done. With its acceptance that any theory or belief may need adjustment, or even overturning, its belief that better approximations to truth can only be achieved by greater rigor more evidence and harder work, that we need to bow to maths and logic, and most of all, that we will still have something imperfect. ( It suits my faith in hard work.)

Science therefore, is not merely a technology, nor even an alternate method of thinking, but the best guide that we have to how to think well, and do good thinking. And why it is important however, to be sceptical about all but the most rigorous and hard of science, and especially of drawing conclusions based on science, which go beyond the immediate experimental proofs and hard evidence.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. I agree wholeheartedly with every word of this.

The challenge comes when, in this state of partial knowledge and rightful skepticism, we find ourselves in a situation in which a consequential decision must be made, and adequate knowledge to do so isn’t yet within the grasp of long-form science, or perhaps not currently within our personal knowledge base. Having a reason-based, science-informed, process-oriented protocol to follow is more useful than succumbing to chaos.

@skado Agreed. I have never accepted that science could answer all questions, and have therefore always respected and seen the need for philosophy. Or moderate reasoning beyond science, as you could also call it, whenever it bowed to science, as it should, as science does to maths and epistemology. Science in the end being only, what was once called, "natural philosophy" or philosophy refined with added tools for safety, to be used for extra verification, in areas where greater safety measures can be applied.

I have never however encountered a question which required more than those two, and which was not either trivial, or obviously unanswerable, the real failing of religions and cultural tradition, is that they often pretend to have answers to such questions. Thereby damaging truth, when the honest truthful answer is "unknown" or "unknowable" and also thereby, helping to promote human narcissism and hubris.

Humans are a troublesome lot, aren’t they.
I, for example, have never felt a need to dance, and yet so many continue to do it, as if it is a necessary part of being human. I am only left to make my best philosophical guess as to why they do it.
Live long and prosper. 🖖


Facts exist. Depends on your perspective on an “ individual truth”.

I don’t understand “individual truth”.

Would that be just what a person believes to be true?

Seems to me a thing is true or it is not, regardless of what we believe.

@skado some people interpret their private truth from the same facts or reality that others find another truth. I actually prefer the term fact over truth to avoid this personalized nonsense.

I understand (and share) the distaste for “private truth” but it seems to muddy the meaning of the word, and I resist that theft. The dictionary defines truth as fact.


I say yes it does. But there are different kinds of truth. For example there is scientific truth that can be proven via the scientific method. There are also personal truths that we as individuals hold to be true for ourselves personally. So to me there is truth but it isn't necessarily the same for all people at all times. Furthermore what was true 4,000 years ago or 2,000 years ago or even 100 years ago may no longer be true because it no longer serves man.

If a person holds something to be true, does that make it true?

@skado Yes and no. It can certainly make it true for them but certainly not for someone else. We like to define truth as an objective thing and it can be objective but it can also be subjective. Truth cannot be defined either objectively or subjectively alone. It is both and therefore varies from person to person.


I guess I’m talking about objective truth here, but that phrase feels kinda redundant to me.

What would be an example of a subjective truth?

@skado I'm extremely handsome and intelligent.

One might say that's not a truth, that's an opinion. I don't disagree. What I would say to that is that for everyone but me it's an opinion. But for me it's a subjective truth.

@skado No. It could be true but because a person holds something to be true, in and of itself, doesn't make it true.

@barjoe I agree with you. Truth is either objective truth or it is subjective or personal truth and in the case of a personal truth it is only true of the person who feels/thinks it. Maybe others as well but certainly only for that one person.


Something like handsomeness or beauty may just be in the eye of the beholder, so maybe always only subjective. But let's say a person believes they are twelve feet tall, but the measuring tape says they are five foot nine. Is the 12ft. height a personal truth for that person, or just an opinion, belief, or delusion?

@FvckY0u, @skado If it's not objective evidentiary truth, it's a lie. Falsehood is not truth. God didn't rape a 13 year old girl, somebody did and that's how Jesus (if he even existed) was born. I can't prove what I say but it's more likely that the Xtian version. I can't prove it's truth, so it's not.

@skado a delusion

@skado, @barjoe Do you really believe that God has to fuck a female to create a man that contains God like qualities? You know very well that it doesn't. What do you care if God fucked a woman/girl or not? You don't. You care if others believe it or not.

@FvckY0u I care about the truth. I care that Muhammad fucked a nine year old girl and a billion scumbags hold him to be the greatest profit to their fictitious Allah. I care that billions of people have been murdered in the name of a non-existent entity name Jesus. 13 year old Mary was impregnated by a man, who wasn't her 90 year old "husband" Joseph. That's probably the truth. I don't care what others believe to be the truth, provided they don't use it as an excuse to murder those who don't believe what they believe. I care about what I care about. I don't need some random angry stranger to tell me what they think I care about.

@barjoe I agree 100%. I don't know much of anything about the muslim religion or really even christianity for that matter. I would suggest a couple of things in regards to religion and some of its stories. These stories are fit for the time and place they happened. They may be true and they may be lies for whatever reason. Religion, for the most part, is a cultural thing with deep hidden meanings that teach all of us when put into the proper context. Unfortunately as you eluded to many take these stories and pervert them into some crazy fucking idiotic bullshit.

I again say that with information we should take what is useful for us and leave the rest alone. Is it useful to you that Jesus was supposedly born by God's seed? Or that in the muslim religion children were raped? No, you don't care and you shouldn't care. Do you care that others use this bullshit to hurt others? Maybe, maybe not but if you do care then you should seek out what is really true and what is really bullshit and set the record straight.

@FvckY0u You don't know what I care about.

@barjoe right, that's why I asked.

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