Question on truth

I don’t even know where to ask this. Don’t even ask me what I was thinking, but I read a friend’s note on Facebook on “why she is agnostic” and made two comments. Hey, it’s early in the morning and I don’t even know if what I posted is true…but anyway, here’s what I posted, and following is someone’s response.

Me: 1) There is such a thing as objective truth.
2) It boils down to faith. Just because something can’t be proven doesn’t mean it’s not true.

Response: 1) How do you know that?
2) Just because you believe something is true does not mean it is necessarily true. If you were the only person in the world who knew the truth, but couldn’t demonstrate it, would it look any different than you being wrong?

Any help answering this would be helpful…I’m really not a debater and I (unfortunately) am not really intelligent enough (yet at least) to know what to reply. Who even knows why I commented in the first place.

Hopefully what I posted is true in the first place. Let me know if it’s not, obviously.

I think you did great! Now, I’d let it go by stating another Truth: you can never stand on a mountaintop until you climb it yourself. All the pictures, paintings, poems and videos in the world will not give you that experience. It’s just something you have to do for yourself.

Then I’d be quiet. Pray for them and let Jesus lead them. Also, ask Mary to pray for them and their angel.

I’m not following your 1 and 2, are they debating points? Premises? Separate from each other? For your sake, I hope they are separate because to state truth is objective then turn around and say it requires faith is extremely inconsistent. Going to need clarity on that issue before addressing anything.

I read both of your posts let me shorten the concepts “What do we really know?” and “why is there evil” I would combine the two but they can be completely different. First “What do we know” The answer is simple we know very little, the truth is we operate on belief and faith much more than true knowledge. Or if you like the science side they say we operate on assumption. A good example is whether your car will start, you do not know the answer yet you plan on it starting. The issue gets even better on whether you know (or cannot know) love, happiness, or sad times. So that brings us to the second part why does evil exist for me the faith, belief, or assumption is that it is created by man in attempts to get more pleasure than he deserves he does this by lying, stealing, cheating, etc…

Yes, they are separate. There were many different points she made; these are my responses to two of them.

First “What do we know” The answer is simple we know very little, the truth is we operate on belief and faith much more than true knowledge. Or if you like the science side they say we operate on assumption. A good example is whether your car will start, you do not know the answer yet you plan on it starting. The issue gets even better on whether you know (or cannot know) love, happiness, or sad times.

So in your opinion, I can’t show them (yeah, now them - a number of people posted disagreeing with me) or tell them how I know objective truth exists?

I think you did great! Now, I’d let it go by stating another Truth: you can never stand on a mountaintop until you climb it yourself. All the pictures, paintings, poems and videos in the world will not give you that experience. It’s just something you have to do for yourself.

Then I’d be quiet. Pray for them and let Jesus lead them. Also, ask Mary to pray for them and their angel.

Well, I wasn’t planning on carrying on a debate anyway, so I was definitely planning on letting it be after one or two responses, before I dig myself in a deeper hole. In other words, before I say too many things I can’t explain adequately. Yes, prayers definitely are going their way.

Another responded to my “objective truth” point like this:

“There is no way to define objective truth. Because what is truth but simply what we hold to be true or what we KNOW? Until it was proven that the Earth was round, everyone KNEW that it… was flat. Everyone KNEW that that was the truth. But then it was proven differently, and then people KNEW that it was round.”

Is it possible that even though we as Catholics know that there is objective truth, it can’t be defined? But if that is true, can’t it still be shown how it is that objective truth exists?

Let me try to give MY response: Let’s just go on the assumption right now that God exists (which I know is true but not everyone agrees with obviously). If that is true, then wouldn’t objective truth be anything that God teaches us? Whether everyone believes in him or not, if he really does exists, isn’t objective truth whatever God says it is?

Is this a good response? If so, then I’m going to use that and then leave the conversation.

“. Sciences are differentiated according to the various means through which knowledge is obtained. For the astronomer and the physicist both may prove the same conclusion: that the earth, for instance, is round:…” St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica I.I.a1 1265 A.D.

“It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;” Isiah 40:22, between 701 and 681 B.C.

Show this and ask when exactly it was truth to all that the earth was flat? The scholastic circles are bit hazy on that, perhaps these uneducated types can enlighten us.

Is it possible that even though we as Catholics know that there is objective truth, it can’t be defined? But if that is true, can’t it still be shown how it is that objective truth exists?

If an observation is objective, it thus independently exists with or without the observation of any persons; this is why we call it objective. If it is observable and objective, it is definable.

Let me try to give MY response: Let’s just go on the assumption right now that God exists (which I know is true but not everyone agrees with obviously). If that is true, then wouldn’t objective truth be anything that God teaches us? Whether everyone believes in him or not, if he really does exists, isn’t objective truth whatever God says it is?

This is the case being that natural reason and observation of truths by humans without the aid of God or aid of revealed truth would not contradict what is revealed, natural truth and revealed truth are sourced from the same being. We can logically and absolutely know God exists through objective observations of natural truths. Knowing He exists is not really a matter of faith, it’s more of a submission to intellectual honesty though what requires faith is a separate subject. We cannot use the scientific method to determine His existence, but thankfully we are beings with the ability to rationalize beyond physics, metaphysics, and these methods are equally just as powerful in proof. But in order to accept these methods to be objective self-evident truths, one must have a little humility and be open to the possibility that his/her stance might be wrong. Luckily, we don’t need the approval of a few atheistic scientists or thinkers to register these logical and metaphysical proofs to be objective; we have a plethora of intellectuals that already agree. One might try and say that these truths are only objective to us based on our own consensus, which would beg the question then of objectivity at all since usually what is defined as objective is reaffirmed when unconnected individuals come to the same conclusion, which is a powerful argument to use. But what is greater to argue is that these truths are static and undefeated when opposed, the challenge has been open to all and will always be to show otherwise but thus far all attempts have failed.

Thank you very much - this helps a lot! I’m ready to make my response. :slight_smile:

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