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What is the Truth

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Holly Bristol Philosophy 101 Mid Term MWF 9-9:55 What is the Truth When a person goes to court and is asked to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth, can we assume that the person giving the statement is telling us facts that are based on a past occurrence or are they actually giving us what they think is the way something happened during that past occurrence? The main problem that we see here is that someone's truth is someone else's false. If someone testifies that the sky is blue is it really blue or is blue the only part of the sky that they can see. This is where some problems start to arise. The notion that someone's truth is someone else's false can be a little hard to understand at first. The best way that it can be explained is that in some cultures our truth is not going to be the same as theirs. For example John Locke said "that whatsoever is, is" this would not be the same truth as Socrates "idea" of a chair (or Plato's "eidos"-the ideal form of the chair). ...read more.


This lets the questioner know that although the sky is blue it is many other colors that the eye can not perceive. For any person to know the truth the first thing that they have to admit to is that they really only perceived certain situations that they saw, heard, or seen to be true. Once they do this they can start to understand what the truth actually is. Hence all human truth is limited. Take for instance the movie "The Matrix". Is Neo seeing the truth when the machines have him plugged up to a computer program? Or is he seeing the truth when Morpheous unplugs him and shows him "the real world"? In either case you could say that Neo is seeing the truth because he can taste, see, touch, hear, and feel in both places. As you can see it is going to be rather difficult to tell the truth. A question about how truth is developed also arises in the movie The Matrix. How did Neo even before he was contacted by Trinity sense that something was wrong? Was it because he was born with a second sense or is everyone able to sense this wrong if they just open up their minds. ...read more.


Not only those two, but everything is constantly changing (Heraclites vs. Parmenides, with his notion that things are still and trustworthy). The really interesting part of the statement "to give the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth" is the last part. If taken in context with the whole phrase you will see that this part assumes that you have lied again, and now someone wants you to give them "nothing but the truth". The definition of no thing is "Something that has no.... independent..... existence". If you take this definition of nothing and add it to the rest of the phrase you get no existence of anything except facts or actualities. So in theory the person asking this statement asks you three times for the same thing just in different ways. All in all there seems to be many intricate problems with the statement "To tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" I find it hard to believe that our court system gives the people a fair chance to be heard and represented in a fair and truthful trial. One of the reasons is that we all have prejudices and tend to hear and see only what we want to hear and see. ...read more.

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