Reflecting Pond

The Many Faces Of Truth

As much I would like to think that there is only one, single truth to one’s view and the rest are false, but the reality is that’s not necessarily true. Particularly, in regarding to social fabrics of human endeavours, such as in art, literature, law, politics and religion, there are many truths.

In this page, I will just concentrate on the truth in regarding to religion; or for a better word, “spiritual truth”.

I find that many people confuse truths with facts or proofs. Sometimes truth and fact are the same, but sometimes they are not necessarily so.

Truth is, to my mind, is largely subjective. It is a matter of perception. Truth may be true to a person, but may not be true for another. Therefore faith is related to the truth.

Proof or fact, on the other hand, is a search for something that is both concrete and conclusive; therefore efforts are made to be more objective. Proof is proving or disproving if the truth can be supported with conclusive evidences.

(As far as human goes, we can never be 100% objective.)

My personal favourite motto, which I had made up a couple of years ago, in regarding to the “truth”:

There are many truths,
And there is no truth.

This motto, I know, is both illogical and contradictory. So please allow me to explain this weird motto, though I doubt that I can explain this motto as clearly or concisely as I would like to.

How can there be “many truths”? And yet, at the same time, how can there be “no truth”?

Having been to a forum, where Christians and Muslims argue, often heatedly, about their religion being the “right one”. Each religion would argue vigorous and incessantly about their scripture are the only one to hold the truth and divine will or message of their God, so that all other religions and scriptures are false.

They even argue among themselves, so there are large amount of infighting. Catholics, Protestants, Anglicans and Orthodox and have fought the issue of which is the true church. Catholics have their truths; the Orthodox has their own set of truths, and the Protestants their truths. Mormonism, or the Church of the Latter-Day Saints, has their scripture, the Book of Mormon, and they say that they are the true church.

In Islam, the Shiite Muslims and Sunni Muslims often clashed. Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and so on, have different belief, therefore each would have their own set of truths.

And even in atheism, they say that their own set of rules and belief – truth is that there are no gods. They don’t believe in any afterlife, so there are no heaven and hell.

So as you can see from above examples, this half of the motto – “many truths” – certainly rings true.

But how do the other half of my motto “fits in” to this.

Well, when I speak of “no truth”, I don’t necessarily mean that there is “no truth”. I am actually referring to religion or theism is no single, unifying truth; in another word, there is no Ultimate Truth.

Seeming both religions, Christianity and Islam worshipped the same God as that of Judaism, but they argued that their scriptures to be the only true representative of. Despite the similarities in the three Abrahamic religions, their separate truths leave them all without one Ultimate Truth.

So, which religion or sect holds the “truth?”

Agnostics don’t believe in any “ultimate” truth or reality. As I had said before, truth, unlike fact, is like faith, a matter of perspective, and impossible to prove.

I have come across people who say that faith doesn’t need to be proven for it to be true. To my mind, that doesn’t seem logical. If something can’t be proven, then how can it be claim they have the truth, without conclusive and quantitative evidences.

I have heard people used the argument of air when they tried to prove the existence of God that can’t be seen. Air, so they say, can’t be seen, but it is there, and therefore it is true. If such thing that are invisible can still exist, then so can the existence of God.

But I find faults with this example.

Air can be proven, simply by trapping air in a container, such as a balloon. Air has mass and volume, for it will fill the container. God doesn’t. You can measure air – to determine its mass, weight, volume, but the same can’t be said about God. And though in normal circumstance, air can’t be seen, but it certainly can be felt on the skin, especially the winds blowing air around. God can’t be seen, heard or felt, since he has not made his presence known to everyone, except to prophets.

How do you prove the words of prophets, saints and divine messengers in the scriptures that God do in fact exist? These can only be accepted through faith.