What is Truth? What is Reality?



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From Epistemics of Divine Reality ©, 2007, p.33

Epistemology is related to knowledge while Ontology is related to reality. Epistemology seeks to understand the nature, sources, and scope of knowledge; Ontology, to understand the nature of reality. Epistemology deals with the meaning of Truth; Ontology deals with the meaning of reality. True or false is predicated of statements only. Real or unreal is predicated of existence. Therefore, logic and semantics are important issues in the study of truth. Truth is mental; reality is essential. Truth is dependent on reality; reality is independent of truth. Truth is usually contextual. There are different kinds of truths that are truthful only within their contexts. For instance, there are poetical truths expressed in statements that would appear total falsehood in any other linguistic context or genre.  Truth is that which is known about reality. As such, therefore, truth, in common experience, is substantial.[1]


[1] Some mystics would claim to have full possession of the truth of reality through union with it. However, the inadequacy of their knowledge is obvious, since none of them would claim complete knowledge of all reality as if being omniscient.

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Truth concerns knowledge of reality and is limited to experience, inference, and belief. In other words, there are only three kinds of "truths", the experiential (empirical), the inferential (deduced or induced), and the revelational (the believed).
  • Experiential Truths are sensational, or such as perceived through the senses, e.g., experience of seeing a bird in the sky, or experience of feeling gloomy.
  • Inferential Truths are rational, or such as concluded through reasoning, e.g., concluding, on seeing smoke, that there must be fire there.
  • Revelational Truths are belief-related, or such as are believed on through hearing, reading, etc. Much of what we know is based on belief, much of cultural beliefs, historical knowledge, knowledge of current affairs, things that we learn at school, hear from friends, etc. The reliability or non-reliability of these sources must be determined. But, in some cases, as in ultimate issues that escape our fringes of natural experience, faith is crucial, as it provides meaning and an idealistic framework for life. That is one reason why religious belief is so widespread, and even atheists would not limit themselves to mere reason and experience.

© Domenic Marbaniang, 2011

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