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When should we trust our senses to give us truth?

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Introduction

When should we trust our senses to give us truth? The pursuance of absolute truth is an inexhaustible journey that leads to never-before experienced realms. The end of this road could never be reached and the best a man can hope for is a few steps in the right direction. To determine what the truth is and what it is not, a heavy reliability is placed upon the summation of what we identify from our senses. This is the standard approach that we as humans take but, it is not necessarily the correct one. Many problems exist in establishing the truth based on our senses and thus they can rarely be fully trusted. Sense is scientifically defined as "a faculty by which outside stimuli are perceived"1 and by conventional classification human beings have five senses being the sense of hearing, sight, taste, touch, and smell. However, there are actually more humanly possessed senses that serve us. These include our ability to feel pain, temperature, as well as balance2. Our senses tell us what we need in order to survive. Some animals rely on different information to live thus certain species boast different senses such as the capability to echolocate, sense infrared light as well as the ability to sense electric or magnetic fields. ...read more.

Middle

This notion applies to nearly everything we encounter in our daily life such as not touching the hot burners on the stove to not eating food that has been spoiled. In addition, our senses work to reinforce each other. For example, when you see something and touch it, your sense of sight is proven by your sense of touch. Our senses serve us well keeping us safe and alive hence doing their job and a certain level of trust must be demonstrated in them. Senses allow the classification of experiences which lead to reason and emotion. The senses act as stepping stones on the way to development of the different ways of knowing and "seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak."4 The foundation of reason and language are senses which a child possesses at birth. As the result, the areas of knowledge are also founded on the human senses. It is clear that nearly every single aspect of our lives depends on our senses either directly or indirectly. One of the main faults in using senses to give us the truth is that they can be very easily distorted and magic shows are a prime example. A famous illusion that David Copperfield performs in front of hundreds of people involves him being cut in half by a gigantic saw and then his legs being totally animate while they are on a trolley several feet beside him. ...read more.

Conclusion

All the arguments regarding our senses and if they should be the vehicle used to drive us on the passage for truth revolve around the question: "If I cannot trust my senses, then what do I trust to provide truth?" Our senses are the foundation and basis for everything in our lives. From the moment we develop a brain while in the womb of our mothers to the time when our feeble heart stops beating, we use our multiple senses for everything. They act like a beacon illuminating the dense darkness all around us and guiding us while we are living and breathing. The exploration for undisputable truth is accented by hopelessness. We cannot fully rely on something as concrete as our own senses. This leaves us without dependable tools that we can implement to support us in this difficult process. As unreliable as our senses are, they should not be the deciding factor of truth. They are fundamentally variable and simply unstable but, they are all that we have. We should however, trust them to allow us to grasp the world around us be it not always true. Obtaining the evasive truth is impossible for us as human beings but, the unfeasible task should nevertheless be undertaken purely for the sake of maybe one day being a step closer. ...read more.

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