One of the most concerning questions arose due to the growing sophistication of the human minds revolve around the existence and acquisition of truth. Truth, in itself, is the truest sense of meaning; it is the interpretation of truth that is creating the confusion all over; therefore, there must be flaws in the process of acquiring truth. Knowledge is the path leading to truth; however, it contains several flaws and misconception, therefore blocking our way to the “truest sense of meaning”.
How does one get to judge if a fact or idea gets to be a truth? We as humans have been subconsciously using the three coherence, pragmatic, and correspondence tests to determine whether we accept or reject anything we perceive. I would argue the coherence test would not be reliable; as I have struggled nearly my whole life to determine whether facts, ideas, theories, etc… offered to me are true or not, when all of them seem to fit. In all areas of knowledge, the knowledge we are getting are almost all second-handed.
Some of them, especially in natural science and math, we are able to test with the application of the correspondence test; however, in other areas such as social science, ethnic, history, literature, and art, the only tests that can be applied seem to be pragmatism and coherence. This assumption makes every established “truth”, or “knowledge”, seem very doubtable. How do you know that any religious experiences you have had are real, as they are perhaps just the result of random chemical reactions in the brain?
How can we trust any accounts of Jesus, Muhammad, or any other religious figures, as we have no way to correspondently test if they were actually made up by people using their five senses. Or, one can go out and look at the polluted state of the neighborhood area, but they cannot then determine the pollution state of the Earth, but have to rely on the facts and statistics provided and decide whether it coheres with their percecpted data.
Advanced technologies today also make it difficult for people to decide what is real, as without the ability to test all the images provdided to us correspondently, how can we judge their validity. Since we don’t know if our previous beliefs are even true, using the coherence test to determine what is truth would be unwise. With the pragmatic truth, I had once tried to use a hair moisturizing recipe found on a website, when it worked, I assumed the information provided was true.
However, truth cannot be discovered this way; in my opinion, when something passes the pragmatic test, it is only a sign of truth, not truth itself; yet, other people would argue that since the path leading to truth is so vague, then for something to be accepted, passing the pragmatic test is enough. With the limitations of the three tests, “truths” can be manufactured. If something happens and there are numerous views, but only one view is taken into account by people, no matter how twisted or exaggerated it is, it becomes the “truth”, as the actual story might never be told.
Yet, there’s another way to look at the matter : If a tree falls in the forest but no one is around does it still make a sound? The obvious answer is, of course, yes; therefore, the actual truth is always what really happened, regardless of how it is repeated or reported; a change in the story does not change the truth, it only changes what people believe to be the truth. With all these uncertainties and biases in approach to truth, I would argue that if we can’t test something correspondently, with our five senses, then its validity is very doubtable.
A human being’s search for truth begins in the external world surrounding him; and the most active process allowing him to be connected to the surrounding world is through perception. The five senses of perception, sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch, all contribute to a human being’s acquisition of data about the surrounding environment; however, perception is followed by a process of interpretation rather than photocopying the exact image, sound, smell, taste, or feel of what he perceives, the information would have likely been affected in a certain way.
We being humans, have, to some extent, only a limited ability to fully perceive and acknowledge the “real world”. I personally believe in the aquatic ape theory for the human evolution; and I would argue that during the time when we haven’t envolve into “humans” yet, our perception of reality would greatly differ from the one we have now, perhaps due to less capable eyesight.
Or when we look at “solid” object, a chair, if one takes into account the fact that the neutrons, protons and electrons of an atom actually have huge spaces between them it becomes clear that the atoms that make up seemingly solid objects are made up of 99 % empty space. When so-called solid objects are seen in this light it becomes apparent that they can in no way be the seemingly solid objects they appear to be; and I would say these seemingly solid objects are more like images that we interpret as solid objects based on our imperfect perceptual conclusions.