Matt and I agreed to start by putting out an "opening statement" about Truth, and we did not consult each other when writing our statements. We will use these thoughts as a springboard as we jump into the comment box.
First, my thoughts on Truth:
For the purposes of this conversation, when I speak of "Truth", I am not talking about subjective truth, such as whether you prefer red wine to white, or what you think of grandma's new hairdo.
I am talking Objective Truth. Truths that are true no matter what you or I think.
Truth cannot contradict itself. So, it's either true that murdering innocent human beings is wrong, or it's not. It's either true that rape is wrong, or it's not. It's either true that God exists, or it's not. It can't be "your truth" or "my truth" on these types of issues.
Objective Truth exists outside of ourselves and will remain true even if the whole world doesn't believe it. Truth is not ours to determine, it is ours to seek and find and receive.
Believing doesn't make something true. But, if something is true, it is right to believe it.
Truth is what is real.
Truth would exist even if we didn't.
Now, Matt's opening thoughts on Truth:
Leila, thanks for your kind words and the invitation to square off with you on your blog. The question of what "truth" is, and how we know or trust that something is true, is of course a topic that philosophers have gone back and forth on for thousands of years. But in simplest terms, I think I'd say that something is true if "it conforms to a fact in reality". C. S. Peirce noted four methods of deciding what is true: tenacity (we're just comfortable believing it), authority (we're told to believe it), a priori, or the scientific method. I don't believe there's a legitimate supernatural method for this.
Thanks, Matt! I like that we both agree that truth is what is "real".
Okay, my first question to start the dialogue is below in the comments, and please remember that I do not expect either of us to change the other's mind, nor am I looking for consensus. Here is the philosophy of the discussions on this blog, for those who might be new:
Don't forget to subscribe to the comments so that you don't miss any of them (they will come straight to your email address), because once we hit 200 comments, things get messy on Blogger, unfortunately. In the meantime, hopefully we will all learn a lot through this respectful dialogue!
*We cut it off after 220 comments (to time-consuming to load the last 20), so continue with the discussion, here.