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1tp-50x50 Truth Defined

Over 60 pages of insight into the Nature of Truth


Table of Contents

Part 1- The Definition of Truth
Part 2- Grammatical Analysis

Part 3- A Clarification
Part 4 - Select References


Part 1 - The Definition of Truth

We begin by admitting that we do not have a definition for the word Truth. Yet we need to use the word in our attempt to define it. Therefore, we have no choice but to begin with an intuitive concept of Truth.

Let us begin by assuming that Truth is the property of sentences whose meanings correspond with “facts” out in the “real” world.

In addition, we begin with the assumption that propositions have one of only two states: either true or false, even though we will later see that this is incorrect.

1. Truth Exists

It is self-defeating to deny the existence of truth. If someone claims that “Truth does not exist,” then we can counter by asking if the claim is True or False. If the claim is False, then Truth Exists, and if the claim is True, then Truth Exists.

 

2. Truth is Unchangeable

It is impossible for truth to change. What is true today always has been and always will be true. All true propositions are immutable truths. Pragmatic views of truth that imply that what is true today may be false tomorrow are untenable. If truth changes, then pragmatism will be untrue tomorrow, if indeed it could ever be true.

 

3. Truth is Eternal

By extension of its Unchangeable nature, Truth must be Eternal. Even if every created thing ceases to exist, Truth will continue to exist. But suppose someone asks, “What if truth itself should someday perish?” Then the truth that “Truth has perished” would still exist eternally. Any denial of the eternity of truth turns out to be an affirmation of its eternity.

 

4. Truth is Spiritual

The existence of truth presupposes the existence of minds. Without a mind, truth could not exist. The object of knowledge is a meaningful thought which resides in one or more minds.

a. Truth is Not a function of Matter.

The existence of truth is incompatible with any materialistic view of man. Materialists believe that all thinking and reasoning is merely the result of the random motion of particles in the brain. But one set of relative physical motions is not truer than another set. Therefore, if there is no mind, there can be no truth; and if there is no truth, materialism cannot be true.
Truth cannot be a function of the position of material objects because if a thought was the result of some physical motion in the brain, no two persons could have the same thought. A physical motion is a fleeting event different from every other motion. Two persons could not have the same random motion, nor could one person have the same random motion twice.

b. Truth is Not a function of Time.

If thoughts were the result of physical motions in the brain, memory and communication would be impossible. We are able to recall the past because we have minds and not because of the motion of particles in our brains.  Thus, if one is able to think the same thought twice, truth must be independent of time.

c. Truth is Not a function of Space.

Truth is independent of Space as well. Not only does truth defy time and matter; it defies space as well. For communication to be possible between two or more people, the identical truth must be in two or more  minds at the same time. If, in opposition, anyone wished to deny that an immaterial idea can exist in two different minds at the same time, his denial must be conceived to exist in his own mind only; and since it has not registered in any other mind, it does not occur to us to refute it!

 

5. Truth is Superior to the human mind

By its very nature, truth cannot be subjective and individualistic. Truth is immutable, but the human mind is changeable. Even though beliefs vary from one person to another, truth itself cannot change. Moreover, the human mind does not stand in judgment of truth; but rather, truth judges our reason.

While we sometimes judge other human minds (as when we say, for example, that someone’s mind is not as keen as it should be), we do not judge truth.
If truth and the human mind were equal, truth could not be eternal and immutable since the human mind is finite, mutable, and subject to error.
Therefore,
truth must transcend human reason; truth must be superior to any individual human mind as well as to the sum total of human minds. From this it follows that there must be a mind higher than the human mind in which truth resides.

 

6. Truth is God

We have seen that Truth exists, is unchangeable, eternal, spiritual, and is superior to the human mind. But only God possesses these attributes. If we substitute the word “God” for the word “Truth” in the list of attributes, we see that:

God Exists

God is Unchangeable

God is Eternal

God is Spiritual

God is not a function of Space, Time or Matter.

God is Superior to the human mind.

These attributes apply equally to Truth and God,
and
only to Truth and God.

Truth and God are two different titles that refer to one unique being.

Unlike any other divine attribute such as love or justice, Truth and God are convertible:
Truth is God. God is Truth.

No created thing possesses the attributes of Truth or God. There can be no True propositions about created entities, including numbers, geometric patterns or so called “laws” of science because they are all dependent on Space, Time or Matter.

The only true propositions are about the person who holds the office of God.

In other words, Knowing Truth is Knowing God,
that is, Knowing Truth is being indwelt by God.
Truth is Knowledge of God.

 

> Truth has been defined. <

Truth is God.


Part 2 - Grammatical Analysis
of the Nature of Truth

Truth is God?

What could that possibly mean?

How are we to interpret such a potent proposition?

To interpret that sentence, we must understand the several different ways that the word IS is used.

 

The word IS has at least Nine different known meanings or uses.

1- The IS of Existence

e.g. “God is”, meaning “God Exists.” The word IS can be replaced by the word Exists, and the meaning of the sentence remains unchanged.

2- The IS of Predication

e.g. “Laura is Beautiful,” meaning that Beauty is an attribute, quality or characteristic of Laura. The function of predication is to identify individuals and attribute properties to them. It is one of the primary properties of language.

3- The IS of Class-Inclusion

e.g. “Lisa is Married,” means that Lisa belongs to a Class of people who are Married.

4- The IS of Finding Oneself

e.g. “Mariam is in Armenia,” means that Mariam finds herself in a certain location.

5- The IS of Consequence

e.g. “Knowledge is Power," means that having knowledge leads one to have more power. The Consequence of having more knowledge than before is an increase in power. In other words, Knowledge Leads to Power.
Power is not an attribute of knowledge, nor does knowledge belong to a class of concepts called power, nor are knowledge and power identical.

6- The IS of a Metaphor

e.g. “Time is Money.”
A Metaphor asserts that one thing is something that it literally is not.
The copula of the Metaphor is not what is meant here.

7- The IS of a Simile

e.g. “She is as cute as a kitten.”
A Simile likens one thing to another.
The copula of the Simile is not what is meant here.

8- The IS of an Idiom

e.g. “It is a piece of cake.”
An idiom is a commonly used expression whose meaning
does not relate to the literal meaning of its words.
The copula of an Idiom is not what is meant here.

9- The IS of Identity

e.g. “Mark Twain is Samuel Clemens.”
In this sentence, we can replace the word
IS with the phrase is the same as. The meaning of the sentence is clearer if we say “Mark Twain is the same person as Samuel Clemens.”

Since the Subject and the Identicate* are both names for the same person, their transposition does not alter the meaning of the sentence.
e.g. “Samuel Clemens is Mark Twain.”

*I find it necessary to create this new word to differentiate Identication from Predication.

 

We can now examine our definition of the word Truth.

When we say “Truth is God,” which of the six meanings of IS, is the word is?

1- “Truth is God” cannot mean Truth Exists. Replacing the word is with the word Exists does not make sense. This meaning of IS, is not what we mean.

2- “Truth is God” is Not a Predication about Truth. God is Not an attribute, quality or characteristic of Truth. This meaning of IS, is not what we mean.

3- “Truth is God” does NOT mean that Truth belongs to a Class of things (or beings) called God. This meaning of IS, is not what we mean.

4- “Truth is God” cannot mean that Truth Finds Itself at a certain location.

5- “Truth is God” does NOT mean that the consequence of knowing truth leads one to become God.

6- “Truth is God” cannot be understood as a Metaphor.

7- “Truth is God” cannot be understood as a Simile.

8- “Truth is God” cannot be understood as an Idiom.

9- The only other choice we are left with is that “Truth is God” means  that Truth and God are IDENTITIES. Truth and God are two different titles that reference the same office.
We can restate it as “Truth
is another word for God” and we have done no damage to the meaning of  “Truth is God.” In addition, we can transpose the subject and the identicate to “God is Truth” and we see that we still have a logical and meaningful sentence.

 

We have shown that the words
Truth
and God
are two different titles
that refer to one unique being.


At the same time we are bounded by this new identity.
We cannot use the word
Truth as a property of sentences that do not refer to God.

 

True propositions are solely about the person who occupies the office of God.

Knowing Truth is knowing God!


Part 3 - A Clarification

We often use the word truth, and assume that we are certifying or validating a statement that we have made. It is very difficult to avoid this practice. But it is an error.

Truth is NOT the attribute of any proposition which makes any claims
about any created entity.

Truth is a synonym for God.

Even the word synonym is misleading here, since it literally means “same name.”

Because the word “God” is not a name but a Title, its Syn-title cannot be a name but must be a Title.

Many religions use the word “God” to refer to the one who created the universe, an omniscient, omnipotent being. But that does not tell us much. We need to have the name of this God to be able to relate to him. By having only His Title, He becomes a more distant being than a person whose Name we know.

To refer to him as God is similar to referring to the President of a company whose name we do not know. We might be able to say a great deal about him because we see the results of his commands. “The president has given everyone a day off” or “The president has hired a new staff.” But we can still be in the dark as to who this president is!

“Truth” is a Syn-title for God.

Truth is a Title of Office, just as God is a Title of office. It is not the proper name of a person but a Title.



Part 4 - Select References

Augustine’s definition of Truth as given in his De Libero Book II, edited and reinterpreted; after the work of Ronald Nash in Faith & Reason, p161, and the work of Gordon Clark in A Christian View of Men and Things, p . 318.

 

An Extensive Bibliography is available for download.
It includes a simple rating system for thousands of documents
dealing with the Nature of Truth and related
topics.

The Extensive Bibliography is available here.

 

The 1TP theory of Truth should not be confused with the Identity Theory of Truth.

These resources have been the most helpful in formulating my definition of Truth.
Aalen, S. – “Truth”, a Key Word in St. John’s Gospel; Studia Evangelica; 1961
Acton, Herbert B. – Man-made Truth; Mind; 1938
Anonymous – The Gods of the Nations When Christ Came; The Dublin Review; 1867
Aquinas, Thomas – Truth, Vol. 1: Qs I - IX; 1954, 1994
Augustine, Aurelius – An Analysis of the Treatise On Free Will Basic Writings of St Augustine; Oates, Whitney; ed.; 1948
Augustine, Aurelius – On Free Choice of the Will; 1964
Augustine, Aurelius – On Free Choice of the Will; Thomas Williams; tr.; 1993
Augustine, Aurelius – On Free Will- Augustine: Earlier Writings; John Burleigh; tr.; 1953
Augustine, Aurelius – On the Free Choice of the Will, On Grace & Free Choice, & Other Writings Peter King; tr.; 2010
Augustine, Aurelius – On the Free Will: Book II only; Selections from Medieval Philosophers; McKeon, R.; ed.; 1929
Augustine, Aurelius – St. Augustine on Free Will; Carroll Sparrow; tr. 1947
Augustine, Aurelius – The Free Choice of the Will; Francis Tourscher; tr. 1937
Augustine, Aurelius – The Free Choice of the Will; The Fathers of the Church: Saint Augustine; Vol. 59; Russell, 1968
Augustine, Aurelius – The Problem of Free Choice Pontifex, Dom Mark; Tr. 1955
Benacerraf, Paul – Mathematical Truth Philosophy of Mathematics: Selected Readings; Benacerraf, Paul; 2004
Benacerraf, Paul – What Mathematical Truth Could Not Be - I - Benacerraf and his Critics; Morton, A. & Stich, S. P.; 1996
Benacerraf, Paul – What Numbers Could Not Be; Philosophy of Mathematics: Selected Readings; Benacerraf, Paul; 2004
Benacerraf, Paul; Putnam, Hilary; – Philosophy of Mathematics: Selected Readings- 1st ed.; 1964; 2nd ed.; 2004
Brennan, Joseph Gerard – A Handbook of Logic; 1961
Brouwer, L. E. J. – Intuitionism and Formalism Philosophy of Mathematics: Selected Readings; Benacerraf, Paul; 2004
Bultmann, Rudolf – The Gospel of John; 1971, 1975
Clark, Gordon H. – Science and Truth; Trinity Review; 1981
Corazzon, Raul – Gottlob Frege on Being, Existence and Truth; formalontology.it; 2008
Corazzon, Raul – Truth, From the Greek Aletheia to the Latin Veritas; formalontology.it/aletheia.htm; 2008
Cox, Paul – What is Mathematics? Part 2; members.cox.net; [2008]
Creath, Richard – Benacerraf and Mathematical Truth; Philosophical Studies; 1980
Crump, D. M. – Truth; Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels; 1992
Dales, H. G.; Oliveri, G.; eds. – Truth in Mathematics; 1998
Davidson, Donald – The Structure and Content of Truth; Jrnl of Philosophy; 1990
Davies, David Richard – What is Truth?; London Quarterly & Holborn Review; 1948
Denton, William – Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem; 2009
Devlin, Keith – Kurt Gödel: Separating Truth from Proof in Mathematics; Science; 2002
Dickinson, Richard – How do we know God? A Conversation Between Barth & Aquinas; Jrnl of Bible & Religion; 1958
Doriani, Daniel – The Deity of Christ in the Synoptic Gospels; Jrnl of the Evangelical Theological Society; 1994
Efros, Israel – Review: Rosenzweig’s Star of Redemption; Jewish Quarterly Review; 1936
Erdman, Jonathan – Truth in the Gospel of John www.theosproject.blogspot.com; jul2006
Fallon, J. E. – Truth in the Bible New Catholic Encyclopedia; [2004]
Feigl, Herbert; Brodbeck, M.; eds. – Readings in the Philosophy of Science; 1953
Feigl, Herbert; Sellars, W.; eds. – Readings in Philosophical Analysis; 1949
Godet, Frederic – Commentary on the Gospel of John- Vol I- Chs 1-5; 1886; Vol II- Chs 6-21; 1886
Goetz, Billy E. – The Usefulness of the Impossible Our Mathematical Heritage; Schaaf, William L.; ed.; 1963,66
Grese, William C. – Corpus Hermeticum XIII and Early Christian Literature; 1979
Hahn, Hans – Empiricism, Logic, and Mathematics; 1980
Hahn, Hans – Logic, Mathematics and Knowledge of Nature (Kaal, tr.) Unified Science- Vienna Circle Monograph; 1987
Hahn, Hans – Logic, Mathematics and Knowledge of Nature (Pap, tr.) 20th C. Philos.: The Analytic Tradition; Morris; 1966
Hayes, Zachary; ed. – Works of St. Bonaventure; 2005
Hempel, Carl G. – Geometry and Empirical Science Our Mathematical Heritage; Schaaf, William L.; ed.; 1963,66
Hempel, Carl G. – On The Nature of Mathematical Truth: Readings in Philos. Analysis; Feigl, H. & Sellars, W.; eds.; 1949
Hermes Trismegistus – The Corpus Hermetica www.blackmask.com; 2001
Hersh, Reuben – What is Mathematics, Really?; 1999
Hunt, Dave – The Need for a Thorough Purging berean call; nov1998
Jaki, Stanley L. – A Late Awakening to Gödel in Physics A Late Awakening and Other Essays; {2002}
Joad, C. E. M. – Modern Science and Religion Proc. of the Aristotelian Society; 1930-31
Joad, C. E. M. – Physical Objects and Scientific Objects; Mind; 1931
Kline, Morris – Mathematics, The Loss of Certainty; 1980, 1982
Lacey, A. R. – A Dictionary of Philosophy; 1976,86,96
Lactantius – The Divine Institutes; Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. VII
Lakatos, Imre – Falsification & the Methodology of Scientific Res. Programmes Criticism & the Growth of Knowledge; Lakatos, Imre; 2004
Lolli, Gabriele – Logical Completeness, Truth and Proofs Truth in Mathematics; Dales H. G. & Oliveri, G.; eds.; 1998
McGuire, Anne – Conversion and Gnosis in the “Gospel of Truth” Novum Testamentum; 1986
McKeon, Richard; ed. – Selections from Medieval Philosophers, v1; 1929;  v2; 1930
Meltzer, B. – The Third Possibility Mind; 1964
Morris, Leon – The New International Commentary on the NT- St. John; 1979
Nagel, Ernest; Newman, James – Gödel’s Proof; 2001
Nash, Ronald H. – Faith and Reason; 1988
Newman, B. M.; Nida, E. A. – A Translator’s Handbook on The Gospel of John; 1980
O’Connor, D. J.; Carr, Brian – Introduction to The Theory of Knowledge; 1982
Packer, James I. – Knowing God; 1973
Pap, Arthur – Mathematics, Abstract Entities, and Modern Semantics; Scientific Monthly; 1957
Putnam, Hilary – A Comparison of Something with Something Else; New Literary History; 1985
Robbins, John W. – Review: Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge; Lakatos & Musgrave; eds.; Jrnl of Christian Reconstruction; 1976
Russell, Bertrand – The Philosophy of Logical Atomism Logic and Knowledge; Bertrand Russell; 1988
Schaaf, William L.; ed. – Our Mathematical Heritage; 1963,66
Thorson, Walter R. – Legitimacy and Scope of “Naturalism” in Science (I) Perspectives on Science & Christian Faith; 2002
Vaihinger, Hans – The Philosophy of “As If”; 1968
Weitz, Morris; ed. – Twentieth Century Philosophy: The Analytic Tradition; 1966
Westcott, Brooke Foss – The Gospel According to St. John- Vol I- Chs 1-7; 1908; Vol II- Chs 8-21; 1908
White, Leslie – The Locus of Mathematical Reality: An Anthropological Footnote The World of Math; Newman, J. R.; ed.; 1956
Wiebe, Richard – Gödel’s Theorem (Part II); Math Jrnl; 1975
Williams, Daniel D. – Brunner and Barth on Philosophy; Jrnl of Religion; 1947
Williams, Daniel D. – Truth in the Theological Perspective; Jrnl of Religion; 1948
Willimon, William H. – Jesus’ Peculiar Truth; christianitytoday.com; 4mar1996
Zwicky, F. – On the Principle of Flexibility of Scientific Truth; Philosophy of Science; 1943

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