objective truth and faith

Who here believes in objective truth?

Does it affect your faith?

If you do not believe in objective truth then why believe anything?

Of course I believe in objective truth.

It affects my Faith, because I believe my Faith is true. If I didn’t believe Catholicism is true, I wouldn’t be Catholic.

If there were no objective truth, then all there would be would be belief and opinion. In fact, if there were no objective truth, there would be no objective reality. And Catholics are the ultimate realists.

Could I get a definition of objective truth? This sounds like it’s an interesting concept. I think we need some kind of glossary of terms resource here for us newbies. :slight_smile:

-D

Objective truth: A truth (like gravity), that exists as a reality regardless of whether we believe in it, know about it, or not.

I believe that we have a moral obligation to seek it and once discovered, to obey objective truth.

[quote=Church Militant]Objective truth: A truth (like gravity), that exists as a reality regardless of whether we believe in it, know about it, or not.

I believe that we have a moral obligation to seek it and once discovered, to obey objective truth.
[/quote]

CM- But how will you know when you’ve discovered it?

[quote=Darrel]Could I get a definition of objective truth? This sounds like it’s an interesting concept. I think we need some kind of glossary of terms resource here for us newbies. :slight_smile:

-D
[/quote]

I would say objective truth can be best defined by Aristotle when he said, “Saying of something that is, that it is and saying of something that is not, that it is not.” In essence objective truth can not be self-defeating. It can not contradict itself by simply being.

Peace

Originally Posted by Church Militant
Objective truth: A truth (like gravity), that exists as a reality regardless of whether we believe in it, know about it, or not.

I believe that we have a moral obligation to seek it and once discovered, to obey objective truth.

CM- But how will you know when you’ve discovered it?

When you hit the ground.

Objective truth is reality.

[quote=mean_owen]CM- But how will you know when you’ve discovered it?
[/quote]

It all hinges on whether we have “spiritual ears” to hear and we believe in God. Without God there is no objective moral or spiritual truth. When your guinea pigs screech for food, you know they are hungry. If you were deaf, you would ignore them and they would starve. Your lack of hearing doesn’t make their hunger any less real.

It all depends upon a belief in God. If one doesn’t believe in God, then they will not recognize objective truth. I run into this all the time with the atheists I work with and those on these forums (fora?). They argue that they want physical proof of God or eternity or a soul. These are spiritual things and yet they will not consider any spiritual evidence. They regard miracles as imaginary and attribute the spiritual experiences of others to wishful thinking, mental illness, or misfiring synapses. They are like the blind man screaming, “Prove to me that light exists!!!”

Blessings

[quote=dennisknapp]Who here believes in objective truth?

Does it affect your faith?

If you do not believe in objective truth then why believe anything?
[/quote]

Thank you for the definitions,

I also believe in objective truth. It seems more an issue of common sense. I won’t say I think I need air to breath and it may only be opinion that it exist. That is a factual reality, so is Christ in fact he’s the ultimate objective truth because he said… I am the truth.

-D

Sure, I believe in objective truth! there must be absolutes in everything! Regardless of what you believe…there must be some ultimate reality. One thing that I think of is the Eucharist. I believe that the Eucharist is the embodiment of objective truth.

One can examine the Eucharist under a microscope, and run all types of tests on it…and just because flesh, and blood may not be present to those doing the “examination” it does not change the fact that bread is no longer bread, but it is the Body blood soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. Another words it matters not how many people “believe” in something belief is not the basis of truth. Truth is the basis of belief!

If we as Catholics did not recognize objective truth…we would be “of all men most miserable”…for the simple fact…look at the current statistics, something like 40% of Catholics believe in the Real Presence…if we did not believe in objective truth…but rather “subjective truth” then the feelings of the other 60% would “win out”…

SO, I feel that Catholics must believe in objective truth. Because that belief is really what ties everything together.

There is Ultimate reality…not just a reality that are based on our feelings, or thoughts about a certain subject.

P.S. this topic is rather deep, and I am not sure that I made any sense whatsoever…but I tried…LOL…

PAX,

Cody

[quote=dennisknapp]Who here believes in objective truth?
[/quote]

I believe in facts. I don’t believe in objective morals which is what you seem to be getting at.

Does it affect your faith?

Sure, but I’m not Catholic so you may not care.

If you do not believe in objective truth then why believe anything?

Again assuming you mean objective morals I’d answer that a moral being subjective makes it no less true it’s simply true for just the one person. My morals are true, for me. They are the things I believe in.

[quote=mean_owen]CM- But how will you know when you’ve discovered it?
[/quote]

Just before you collide with the ground?

Seriously though. One has to be desperately honest and committed to truth at all costs. I also believe that the Holy Spirit guides our hearts to recognize His work which is guiding us into all truth.

Church Militant and JimG:

When I first addressed CM’s point, I thought he had hit on the very essence of the difficulty around objective truth. He said:

"Objective truth: A truth (like gravity), that exists as a reality regardless of whether we believe in it, know about it, or not.

I believe that we have a moral obligation to seek it and once discovered, to obey objective truth."

That may well be as good a definition, at least if we keep it short, as one could provide. Basically, it sets up “objective” in contrast with “subjective”, or that which involves ones thoughts, feelings, etc. I’m not ready to spend the time on the term “truth” that it deserves; for now, let’s just go with “the way things really, really are”.

I not sure that I can prove, or more importantly, disprove, that there is such a thing as an “objective truth”, tho I think that there is, and (generally) live my life according to that assumption (i.e. there is a way things really, really are, whether I know or understand it or not).

That said, it’s the second part of what CM said that got me thinking. Trying to find objective truth, yes, that seems like the right thing to do. Not just moral, but just out of the normal preference to being an enlightened human instead of a satisfied pig.

Yet, I still see lots of problems with how we discover the truth, and then trust our discoveries (thus my question to CM: “how will you know when you’ve discovered it?”). Now, I don’t know much epistemology, and I’m sure lots of folks much smarter than I have spelled this all out better than I can. But essentially, the problem to me seems to be this (and this is assuming that there is, in fact, something out there that is really, really, real (i.e. truth):

  1. The Truth is out there (apologies to Agent Mulder), BUT
  2. We have to DETECT (i.e. senses, instrumentation, etc.) the truth, and
  3. Even if we detect it correctly, then comes the problem of INTERPRETATION of the events.

The common example cited by JimG and CM hit on this quite well. You know the truth (for example, gravity) as you hit the ground. Yet, how does this semblence of knowledge happen, but by sensory perception (subjective)? So, although my, and your, experience, and common sense, dictate that what goes up must come down, the way that we know these things is by our senses.

But our senses certainly can lead us astray. JimO mentioned the squeaking, hungry guinea pigs. Another great example. Even if 99.99% of the time when the guinea pigs squeak, it’s because their bodies need food, even they may be mistaken. Hunger is a perception. Even tho at first glance it seems like an objective phenomenon, really it’s subjective. For example, I could have snuck some antibiotics into the g. pigs’ water. (Didja know that guinea pigs are extremely susceptible to antibiotic-induced diarrhea and colitis? In fact, it’s often lethal.) Before I digress too much, anybody who’s been around young kids for too long will have heard “I’m hungry” right before a loud splat hits the floor, usually brand new carpet. My point is that what can be confused for one “objective reality” (the need for food) can be mistaken for another (I’m a fixin’ to hurl/have the squirts).

Now, where am I going with this, assuming anybody is actually still reading it? Basically, I’m still afraid there’s a tremendous void between the “really, really real”, and our attempts to discern and interpret that.

As far as objective truth and God, I don’t even know where to begin. I try very hard to trust it all, but, all things considered, I’d probably do a better job convincing a stranger about how antibiotics give guinea pigs diarrhea than “proving” the existence of God.

[quote=Tlaloc]I believe in facts. I don’t believe in objective morals which is what you seem to be getting at.

Sure, but I’m not Catholic so you may not care.

Again assuming you mean objective morals I’d answer that a moral being subjective makes it no less true it’s simply true for just the one person. My morals are true, for me. They are the things I believe in.
[/quote]

Objective truth and objective morality are related but before we can arrive at an objective morality we need to establish the context in which this morality can operate, correct?

Would you say it is an objective truth the you exist? If it is an objective truth that you do exist then we have established at least one truth that does not rely soley on your own subjective experience, because to say that you do not exist would violate the law of non-contraditon and would therefore be self-defeating.

Likewise, after we have established that you do exist we can then say that something holds your existence in place, ie, reality. So, in order for you to exist you have to have something to exist in, again reality. To say this is not the case would also be violating the law of non-contradition.

Futhermore, we know that you did not have to exist because while reality and history would be different it would still exist with or without you. Therefore, objective reality would exist with or with out you and is not subject to you subjective experience.

But does reality have to exist (and I mean by reality space and time)? It has a beginning and an end therefore it possible that it could have not had a beginning and therefore not an end. If reality has an beginning and an end and does not have to exist then there must exist something or someone who holds it in existence. Futhermore, this something or someone that holds reality in existence has to be without beginning or end because if it had a beginning and an end it then would need something to hold it in existence. Therefore, we ultimately would arrive at a being who hold all reality in existence that has neither a beginning or an end, ei. the First Uncaused Cause or God.

Within this context of objective truth it is then a small step to establish objective morality. For just as there are laws that govern the reality in which we live ie. Natural Laws, that originate with our Creator, there are moral law as well.

Peace

[quote=mean_owen]Church Militant and JimG:

When I first addressed CM’s point, I thought he had hit on the very essence of the difficulty around objective truth. He said:

"Objective truth: A truth (like gravity), that exists as a reality regardless of whether we believe in it, know about it, or not.

I believe that we have a moral obligation to seek it and once discovered, to obey objective truth."

That may well be as good a definition, at least if we keep it short, as one could provide. Basically, it sets up “objective” in contrast with “subjective”, or that which involves ones thoughts, feelings, etc. I’m not ready to spend the time on the term “truth” that it deserves; for now, let’s just go with “the way things really, really are”.

I not sure that I can prove, or more importantly, disprove, that there is such a thing as an “objective truth”, tho I think that there is, and (generally) live my life according to that assumption (i.e. there is a way things really, really are, whether I know or understand it or not).

That said, it’s the second part of what CM said that got me thinking. Trying to find objective truth, yes, that seems like the right thing to do. Not just moral, but just out of the normal preference to being an enlightened human instead of a satisfied pig.

Yet, I still see lots of problems with how we discover the truth, and then trust our discoveries (thus my question to CM: “how will you know when you’ve discovered it?”). Now, I don’t know much epistemology, and I’m sure lots of folks much smarter than I have spelled this all out better than I can. But essentially, the problem to me seems to be this (and this is assuming that there is, in fact, something out there that is really, really, real (i.e. truth):

  1. The Truth is out there (apologies to Agent Mulder), BUT
  2. We have to DETECT (i.e. senses, instrumentation, etc.) the truth, and
  3. Even if we detect it correctly, then comes the problem of INTERPRETATION of the events.

The common example cited by JimG and CM hit on this quite well. You know the truth (for example, gravity) as you hit the ground. Yet, how does this semblence of knowledge happen, but by sensory perception (subjective)? So, although my, and your, experience, and common sense, dictate that what goes up must come down, the way that we know these things is by our senses.

But our senses certainly can lead us astray. JimO mentioned the squeaking, hungry guinea pigs. Another great example. Even if 99.99% of the time when the guinea pigs squeak, it’s because their bodies need food, even they may be mistaken. Hunger is a perception. Even tho at first glance it seems like an objective phenomenon, really it’s subjective. For example, I could have snuck some antibiotics into the g. pigs’ water. (Didja know that guinea pigs are extremely susceptible to antibiotic-induced diarrhea and colitis? In fact, it’s often lethal.) Before I digress too much, anybody who’s been around young kids for too long will have heard “I’m hungry” right before a loud splat hits the floor, usually brand new carpet. My point is that what can be confused for one “objective reality” (the need for food) can be mistaken for another (I’m a fixin’ to hurl/have the squirts).

Now, where am I going with this, assuming anybody is actually still reading it? Basically, I’m still afraid there’s a tremendous void between the “really, really real”, and our attempts to discern and interpret that.

As far as objective truth and God, I don’t even know where to begin. I try very hard to trust it all, but, all things considered, I’d probably do a better job convincing a stranger about how antibiotics give guinea pigs diarrhea than “proving” the existence of God.
[/quote]

Refer to post 14

[quote=dennisknapp]Who here believes in objective truth?

Does it affect your faith?

If you do not believe in objective truth then why believe anything?
[/quote]

I believe in objective truth because of my Faith.

You have to start with some assumptiions:

I am. (If you don’t accept that one, you might as well stop there.)

*I can know. * (Again, if you can’t know, you can’t proceed.)

From those assumptions you could go on to develop a philosophy and a science, although I can’t say I’ve tried to work through it lately. A good introduction to Metaphysics, or “The Philosophy of Nature” would be a good starting point.

It’s also apparent that nothing gets into your mind without first coming through your senses–an Aristotelian and Thomistic idea.

But it’s also apparent, through introspection, that your mind and will are different than your senses. You couldn’t generalize, and form abstract ideas, except by sucking all the matter out of the stuff that is presented to you by your senses. From that you begin to get an idea that your mind may not itself be material.

That’s as far as I’m going to go with it. The rest is what philsophy and science courses are for.

Without Objective Truth there could be no Faith.

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