What is truth and who defines truth? Is truth that which is decided by a majority of people? Is something ‘more’ true if it is told to me by my teacher rather than one of my friends’? Is truth related to a certain time, place, culture, or age group or is truth simply relative? And if truth is relative, is that not a paradox in itself? We all have beliefs and we know that there is some truth in those beliefs. These beliefs which make up reality are fundamental to our lives. Yet, we cannot describe what is real or what is unreal.
It is through cross examining our perception of reality that our lives gain meaning. Thus, I have to ask myself: Is the table I am touching solid, is the grass I walk on green, is the planet I live on spherical and so on. Our day to day lives are based on what we perceive as real. It is primarily through our senses that we perceive the world around us, and, that is why it is necessary for us to question the reliability of our senses. In my opinion, truth is relative, and it is for the individual to decide when his senses, reason, language and emotion give him truth.
A molecule was considered the smallest particle until an atom was discovered. Truth is not absolute, but modified as discoveries are made. So what truths amongst the vast spectrum of truths do I chose to form my perception of the world around me? Most theories in science are based on assumptions, yet we either take them for granted or presume that they are true, despite knowing that once they are falsified, we will chance our perception and give way to new ideas. We are sometimes forced to picture things in four dimensions, like Einstein’s space time warp.
Even if we can not picture something that is four dimensional, we know that it is the only logical solution to so many questions regarding relativity, astrophysics and the universe around us. In such cases, when we can not use our senses to understand the world, it is reason and not sense perception that gives us truth. Is the probability of it being true greater because it was Einstein who put forward this theory? His theories are taught all around the world, thus, we know that the belief of the masses also contributes to its perception of being true.
On the other, sometimes modern science is completely overlooked. Let us take the example of the shape of the Earth. The majority of all people believe that the Earth is spherical, and their evidence for this belief is that our vision does not extend to infinity but rather stops at the horizon, the pictures taken of the Earth from outer space depict a curved structure, the observation of lunar eclipses and so on. But there exists a group of people forming the Flat Earth Society (1547), who believe that the Earth is flat.