This essay on Truth is supposed to be highly subjective. So you should read and judge it accourdingly. It is not meant to persuade, argue, or explain. Simply, it is. Much like the theory of Truth. In regards to the "arguements" within this essay, they were made to "convince" laypersons; not a highly educated audience such as the kind on e2. I should also mentioned I used an abridged version of the 1995 Webster's, not the 1913 version found here on e2.
Most people define Truth as something that cannot be proven false, as in math. Sometimes religious beliefs are considered true, even though they cannot be proven as such. In some other cases, something that only exists in theory is the Truth, such as what we perceive as reality. But what is Truth? Truth can be true, false, or paradox dependant upon evidence that supports each. At times, this evidence is contradictory to the Truth that it is supposed to support. Simply put, Truth should be defined as what an individual chooses to believe in, and what popular opinion dictates Truth to be.
Webster’s Dictionary defines Truth as “The facts corresponding with actual events or happenings.” When The Matrix was released in 1999 it introduced a radical idea, that this ‘real’ world and its events were not true at all. In The Matrix the concept of our reality was explained as “electrical impulses interpreted by our brain.” These impulses may be interrupted by outside devices and the resulting impulses may be interpreted as a false reality. So how do we know what reality really is? Is it fact? or fiction? The answer is that it can be both and neither. Surreal experiences that we can’t clearly remember, dreams that we think happened, and hallucinations are all examples of ‘realities’ that didn’t really happen, or falsities that are believed to have happened.
“Numbers don’t lie.” As much as most people would like it to be nonexistent, math is inarguably the one and constant “truth.” But how does three thirds equal one? As is common knowledge, one third is equal to .333333… if you multiply this number by three; you get three thirds or one. But three times three equals nine, not 10. To put it numerically:
N = .999999…
10N - N = 9N
9.99999… - .99999… = 9
N = 1 = .99999…
This simple math problem shows that an inequality, is, in fact an equality. If an equality is unequal, then what is to become of the equalities that are equal? What about the inequalities that are unequal? Or the inequalities that are equal? The point being that if math can prove itself false, what part of it is true? The answer is that none of it is true. Truth is relative to the individual, and that numbers cannot give light to the question of what Truth is.
On the other side of science is faith. Belief in God is, more or less, universal is one aspect or another. One specific religion, Christianity (although it is actually comprised of numerous forms of moderatly varied religions), is famous for its belief in a book called The Bible. They take this book to be the direct word of God and is thereby the Truth. If The Bible is the word of God, why is it so contradictory? When The Bible was translated from its ancient language Aramaic into the vernaculars of the time, it lost some of its original meaning. As time progressed, The Bible became more of a Monk’s plaything than a Holy Book. Monks altered the wordings and meanings and added and subtracted at their own free will. Over time, The Bible became a conscript of lies, conspiracies, and contradicting views of God’s word. The four Gospels of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, were not written by men of the respective names, they were named what they are because different sects of Christians wanted their Gospels to have more legitimacy over the others. One of the Gospels is believed by some scholars to have been written by a woman. Most Christians believe these Gospels to be direct eyewitness accounts of Jesus and his actions, but they weren’t. The Gospel of Mark, the earliest of the four, was written around 50 A.D. some 20 to 30 years after the death of Jesus Christ. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke were written around 90 A.D. and are believed to have been almost directly copied from the Gospel of Mark. The Gospel of John was written around 100 A.D. and is vastly different from the other three.
Despite being unreliable, contradictory, and grossly inaccurate, The Bible still holds as the source for much of the world’s faith and sense of morality. People look to it everyday for answers, they believe that Jesus holds the key to all problems and to salvation after bodily death. But a panel of scholars and professionals in the field of Bible studies took what was known about Jesus and voted on the legitimacy of Jesus’ words within the New Testament. Basing the decisions on the earliest copies of the bible and other original sources, they determined that 82% of Jesus’ words either he didn’t say, or wouldn’t have said. With this in mind, the falsities of another given “truth” are shown, and the Truth can only be seen in what an individual perceives, and not in what dead people wrote down hundreds of years ago.
In the light of traditions hundreds of years old, the sway and corruption of public opinion holds strong. What makes public opinion the Truth? What makes the Queen of England the Queen of England? The answers may seem obvious, the Royal bloodline, hereditary, and the power of her family of generations past. But other than being married to the King what made the very first Queen of England the Queen of England? It was a compact agreement by the general populace of England that made her the Queen of England; it was public opinion. The phrase ‘Elizabeth II is the Queen of England’ is taken as fact because it is given as Truth by the general populous. What if I were to claim to be the Queen of England? And what if I convinced the entire populous of the world that I was? I would be the Queen of England is what would happen. No? Why not? If everyone on this earth believed me to be the Queen of England, what makes it so that I’m not? There isn’t anything that wouldn’t make me the Queen of England, because popular opinion dictates what is generally perceived as the Truth.
Truth is determined by observations of the individual observing them. If something holds true to that individual, what can possibly make it false? Popular opinion has the power to, but in some cases it doesn’t do so successfully. Truth is not and should not ever be “facts corresponding with actual events or happenings” (Webster’s Dictionary). It should be what each individual believes in, and what a collective group of people believes in (popular opinion). The real question behind all this is that, is this essay the Truth? Maybe this essay is a bunch of lies intended to fool you, the reader. The Truth is simply what you want to believe, and nothing more. And on a final note, I am the Queen of England.