March 20, 2012

The Nature of Truth and Logic

There is a prolonged contest in the world with regard to the explanation of truth and its nature. Many people are unable to set preconceptions aside and re-frame their worldview perspective for a moment in order to consider the logical possibility that another worldview may more logically explain the nature of reality. You may ask yourself if you are such a person.

Surveys show that professional secular philosophers generally embrace the correspondence theory of truth.[1] Simply stated, the correspondence theory of truth claims that true beliefs and true statements correspond to the actual state of affairs of the world in which we live, as opposed to coherence theory, which offers that truth may be understood by merely looking to other true statements. Most people would probably not argue against the view that truth corresponds with reality, however, standard correspondence theory does not seem to provide for a wide enough range of meaning. In other words, the actual state of affairs is not being acknowledged objectively and as broadly as it should be. This may be one reason why there are so many ethical dilemmas today ranging from after-birth abortions to zoophilia. A more appropriate description of truth would help to resolve these types of ethical questions. It would perhaps be best named  deep correspondence theory, as it relates to a deeper and wider state of affairs and questions of morality.

Truth is shown to have apparent paradoxical dichotomies. Therefore, throughout history philosophers have tended to marginalize the definitive nature of truth in order to attempt to justify beliefs. For example, RenĂ© Descartes favored internalism over externalism as a means of justifying his epistemology.[2] Logical positivists and scientists tend to favor empiricism over theoretical knowledge. However, both sides of these issues may be shown to have necessary value. For example, during the time of Einstein's great discoveries, cutting-edge physics and scientific knowledge was based not so much on empirical tests and observation, "Little effort was put into trying to develop Newtonian physics, and instead new physics theories were developed - by returning to the early-Kepler method of trying to produce physics theories from mathematics only."[3] Jesus described the relationship between knowing and doing in Matthew 7.24, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock."(NIV) This verse and the description of wisdom in the Old Testament book of Proverbs offer that truth and logic have structural characteristics. Proverbs 9.1 states, "Wisdom has built her house; she has set up its seven pillars."(NIV)

Materialists basically tend to assume that truth, logic and information are derived from the material world. However, some physicists are now claiming the opposite is implied by material universe. It is not so much that information is derived from the physical world, but that physical world is derived from information. In the MIT Technology Review in an article entitled, The Foundation of Reality: Information or Quantum Mechanics?, the following quote was among the concluding statements: "All this work stems from the growing realization that it is not the laws of physics that determine how information behaves in our Universe, but the other way round."

Wisdom is the logical application of knowledge, knowledge in action. This theme runs throughout scripture and is confirmed as valuable as one examines the nature of truth.

The apparent dichotomies between the empirical and the abstract, between the body and the mind, may be logically resolved as we better understand the holistic nature of truth as found in the central truth of God's existence. This post may be read in conjunction with another one, "The Organizing Principle of the Universe: Hierarchy and the Central Truth", which outlines the multiple examples of hierarchy in the cosmos and how these cannot be explained by materialism.[4] This leads to the following logical proof:

P1. The material universe is a highly complex, hierarchical, inanimate, interdependent physical system.
P2. The organization of any new, highly complex, hierarchical, inanimate, interdependent physical system requires the purposeful use of energy and intelligence.
C. Therefore, the organization of the physical universe required the purposeful use of energy and intelligence and is best explained by God's existence.

The Apostle Paul outlined the knowledge of Christ as the central and foundational truth in 1 Corinthians 3.11, "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ."(NIV). When the nature of truth itself is examined the same conclusion is logically drawn. The following syllogism outlines how truth resists marginalization and spans from human knowledge to human morality through a chain of association.

P1. The question of truth necessarily depends on questions of knowledge and experience.
P2. Knowledge and experience are based upon actions in time, which have a moral element.
C. Therefore, the question of truth is connected to a moral element.

Truth and experience have a necessary connection. One aspect cannot be understood and known without acknowledging the importance of the other. And as soon as experience and action are introduced, it may be logically understood that there is a proverbial elephant in the room, there is a moral element. What a person believes to be true will influence a person's moral condition and visa versa. A person at any given moment has some type of moral condition. A person may have a positive motive, a deceitful motive or may momentarily be in a somewhat neutral condition between the extremes of good and evil. This relation between truth and morality may be acknowledged from different perspectives.

P1. The concept of truth originated in the mind of a morally conscious being.
P2.  A morally conscious being is associated with a moral condition.
C. Therefore, truth is associated with some type of moral condition.

Sentient and sane human beings have something known as a conscience which informs when thoughts or actions are morally wrong. People may question the origin of the human conscience, but not its existence. The human conscience tells us when we are morally out of step. There are situations wherein a person can offer facts that are true while having a motive that is untrue and deceitful. Truth involves more than having the right answers, it involves having the right values, the right motives and the right heart, so to speak. We may judge by these relationships that truth does have a moral aspect. If truth does indeed have a moral aspect, then it can have a moral influence as well.

While the concept of truth originated in a mind and thus has a subjective aspect, truth also has an objective, unchanging and eternal aspect. The fact that mathematics has worked to describe phenomena in the distant reaches of the cosmos testifies to its universality and unchanging nature. The laws of logic also testify to this objective aspect of truth. It may also be understood that truth is not merely a passive tool that is used by people only for certain ends. Truth has a dynamic influential aspect that is not subject to human motivation or control, but, rather, changes human character.

P1. Truth may change a person's life if truth is understood and applied.
P2. Truth may be understood and applied.
C. Therefore, truth may change a person's life.

The fact that we have values that we strongly adhere to, even someone such as atheist Richard Dawkins, testifies to the fact that there is an objective basis for truth and ethics. Though someone like Dawkins may not outwardly state that he believes objective moral truth exists, the fact that he does sternly judge
 other people's behavior and attitudes reveals that inwardly he believes that moral truth exists. The fact that we all tend to make moral judgments of other people testifies to the reality that we believe that moral truth does in fact exist objectively. If you doubt that atheists such as Dawkins hold such moral judgments, review his reasons for refusing to debate William Lane Craig.[5]

If there is in fact an objective basis for human values and moral judgments, what is that basis? The universe is shown to be based on hierarchical systems and the nature of hierarchical order implies there is a sovereign intelligence which presides over the hierarchical order. This may be demonstrated with a syllogism and logical proof, as noted in article, "The Organizing Principle of the Universe: Hierarchy and the Central Truth".[6] Once it is understood that a Divine Intelligence is a logical necessity, then the nature of the Divine Intelligence may be further clarified. While New Age religions may offer that there is an explanation for the hierarchy of the universe in a governing abstract force, they may not offer a compelling basis for making moral and ethical claims. The reason is because human morality is based on personhood and an abstract force cannot serve as a law giver or a reference point for human ethics for this reason. Jesus Christ, however, is an ideal example of a moral standard and reference point of moral truth. For these reasons, saving the Earth is not a logical top priority based on ends-justifies-the means eugenics. The top value and priority of existence necessarily relates to giving honor to the Creator and aligning with God's truth.

P1. The conscience testifies that each person has sin and a fallen moral condition.
P2. A holy God cannot dwell in the presence of sin.
C. Therefore, a complete redemption is required in order to dwell with God in eternity.

People often try to discredit the truth of Premise 1. People will say "There are good people in the world, look at Mahatma Gandhi!" If you do examine his life closely you will find that he slept with numerous young girls and was considered a pedophile by many of his associates. Mark Twain quotes outline the truth of Premise 1: "Every one is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody."

The prophet Isaiah made a connection between reason and morality, writing, ""Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool."(Is. 1.18, NIV) As the prior syllogisms show, reasoning and truth are logically connected to questions of morality and justification. You cannot escape the fact that truth must be understood in context, and the valid context for understanding the nature of truth is the entire universe and all that we are aware of. The only person who seems to have fully understood this relationship between truth, experience and moral righteousness is Jesus Christ. "Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."(Jn 14.6, NIV) As noted, Jesus affirmed the connection between truth and action by pointing out that He is "the way". He also pointed out the fact that spiritual life is apprehended by experiencing Christ.The true knowledge and experience of Christ is a transforming condition that not only redeems and renews the spirit, but it allows us to fully experience God's holy presence and eternal life. When Pontius Pilate stood in front of Jesus, Pilate asked Jesus, "What is truth?" Jesus, the answer, stood before Pilate but Pilate was not in a condition to recognize the truth.

Exploring the nature of truth is similar to exploring deep web content. Search engines such as Google have only been accessing a small part of the deep web, but they are gradually becoming more effective at finding select information on the deep web. In a similar way, the nature of truth is not something that immediately jumps out at you and is self explanatory. Truth is hierarchical and true principles are generally understood in a gradual and progressive process. Because truth has a spiritual dimension, it has a revelatory aspect that cannot be understood at will and upon demand by a seeker of truth.

While philosophers such as RenĂ© Descartes have attempted to re-frame the scope of truth down to a minimum in order to offer logical proofs, the nature of truth as it speaks for itself requires an aspect of faith in order to be fully understood. This is because there is a logical connection between knowledge and action, as I've shown. John 7.17 states, “If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself."(NIV) Testing the scriptures to see if the principles are true is essentially a step of faith. The use of faith should not be understood as some bizarre spiritual concept but is used every time a scientist tests a hypothesis. A scientist empirically tests a hypothesis based on faith that the result will be in keeping with the theoretical proposition. The same principle is used in seeking God and understanding spiritual truth. While I may be able to offer logical proofs of God's existence, you probably won't be able to accept these proofs unless you are willing to take a step of faith yourself in order to know whether or not God exists. Deuteronomy 4:29 summarizes this, "But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul." The ultimate question is this, "Are you sincerely interested in knowing the truth and following it wherever it may lead, or are you satisfied with not knowing?" Until more people understand the nature of truth there will be increasing ethical confusion and ethical illiteracy in our postmodern world. In order to accurately address deep ecology ethics we need to first understand a deep correspondence theory of truth. In the mean time, there will be a survival contest in addition to the truth contest as elitist eugenics and genocide practices continue.


[1] Common Sense Atheism, The Largest-Ever Survey of Philosophers: What Do They Believe?,
[2] Stanford, Epistemology,, Descartes' Epistemology,
[3] New Science Theory, Albert Einstein - spacetime relativity theory,
[4] Templestream, The Organizing Principle of the Universe: Hierarchy and the Central Truth,
[5] Templestream, Dawkins-Craig Debate, Genocide, Israel's Occupation of Palestine,
[6] Templestream, The Organizing Principle of the Universe: Hierarchy and the Central Truth,

Tags: nature of truth, truth and ethics, truth and morality, truth, reason and morality, the truth contest, holistic truth, the central truth, the foundational truth, paradoxes of truth, truth dichotomies, mind and body duality, logical proof of God, the organizing principle of the universe, deep correspondence theory, deeper truths, reframing your worldview, natural society, the truth sets free, philosophy, apologetics, deep ecology ethics, definition of wisdom, what is wisdom? Mark Twain quotes

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