The Issue of Truth
The high regard for truth has been one of the core concepts of philosophical perspectives and moral discussions in the past. For instance, acknowledging the existence of truth and supporting how it should always be sought constitute early Greek philosophies. Moreover, the reality of truth and the goodness that one finds once it was exemplified in the Bible. Many philosophers, such as Socrates, Kant, and so on, also expressed their regard for truth as the basic constituent of an objective and impartial way of life. The ideologies which were associated to truth were taken collectively in order to establish the philosophical theory of Theistic Traditionalism, otherwise known as absolutism. In Theistic Traditionalism, establishing the bases between right and wrong as a means to uphold ethics and morality by assessing human behavior and way of thinking is reliant on the discovery of truth. Furthermore, man will be able to establish a strong framework of ethical norms and standards which is highly important in developing an honorable and principled society if it is founded on truth, an absolute reality which was determined to be independent, unanimous, and unwavering.
Relying on truth as the basis for ethical or moral standards sets the stage for a dispassionate judgment of right or wrong actions, behaviors, or ways of thinking as well as a firm and infallible implementation of societal norms due to the solid nature of truth. This particular ideology is parallel to the development of a theory. A theory is based on the development and execution of a research study in order to either prove or refute a hypothesis. A theory, which is intended to be universally accepted as a fact or a truth, should constitute rational and objective information. Moreover, a strong theory is something that is solidly founded on facts and truths consequently leading people to acknowledge it as truth whether it shall be used to support or debunk a hypothesis. On the other hand, inadequate and fabricated information obtained from research studies does not lead up to the formation of a theory. It will be subjected to scrutiny, criticism, and demystification, because of the countless flaws that may be identified from it slowly diminishing its chances to be universally regarded as a truth. Such imageries establish the relevance of truth as a standard.
Based on the previous discussion on how theory is formed, we were able to establish three reasons why absolutists rely on truth to set an ethical or moral standard for the observance of man. First, the distinction between right and wrong based on established standards of ethics and morality from truth shall be viewed as something durable and reliable because the truth will not fail despite criticisms and demystifications. Truth shall remain the truth, unless it is a fabricated truth, which is in truth, a lie. Second, basing ethics and morality on truth will establish consistency and equivalence since it remains even throughout the course of time. The truth does not change despite individual differences in ideologies and perspectives, emotions, culture, and so on. Third, truth as the groundwork for standards determining right and wrong remains fail-safe and evenhanded because it is rational, objective, factual, and neutral.
However, although the conventional perspectives on absolutism based on theistic traditionalism have presented strong arguments that establish how ethics and morality should be framed, the course of history has integrated various changes to the significance associated to truth in setting standards for determining right from wrong. The emergence of modernist and postmodernist perspectives has transformed the traditional theistic perspectives on truth as a relevant basis for ethical standards. Throughout the passage of time, society has evolved differently with radical and liberal views or perspectives on various issues that man is entangled with; in this case, the issue of ethics and morality. Along with these changes, the regard for the importance of truth in establishing the basis for ethical or moral standards has waned, and was consequently abolished.
For instance, the modernist perspective of truth as a standard has eliminated the theistic approach to this particular theory and has replaced it with scientific concepts instead. Perhaps, this was an attempt for modern philosophers to substantiate and foster the theory of truth as a strong ethical standard by integrating science which emphasizes the importance of reliability and validity in determining truths or debunking information wrongfully regarded as truths. For these reasons, it was necessary for modernist philosophers to eliminate the influence of God of religion in framing truth as an ethical standard. Science, in the modernist period, was all about the acknowledgment of facts or truths based on how information is perceived through the senses. In addition, the standards for determining truth have also changed. The idea of truth as something objective has changed due to the concept of moral relativism and multiculturalism. In the modernist perspective, absolutism was abolished in order to grant man the freedom to frame ethics or morality because of his determined inherent nature of goodness which allows him to distinguish right from wrong and set reasonable and justifiable standards for ethics.
On the other hand, the postmodernist perspective completely demystified truth as something significant to determining morality. Postmodernism has led to extreme individuality or independence leading man to believe that the perspectives of right and wrong are subjective. This particular perspective of truth is the complete opposite of traditional absolutism since it debunks the objectivity, universality, and constancy of truth. Conversely, postmodernism gives man equal freedom to seek whatever it is that one may consider or believe as truth.
The transition of perspectives from traditionalism, to modernism, and finally, postmodernism has revealed how man’s views and regard for morality have changed over time. Moreover, it provides insights on the nature of man and how he frames truth whether as a standard, a semi-standard, or a non-standard in order to understand how to develop ways or means to address moral problems that confront society. In addition, this is also important in determining flawed perspectives of truth, ethics, and morality to reconstruct the moral fiber of society and implement constructive measures in order to prevent moral degradation. It may also be important to come to terms with modern changes and reconcile them with moral perspectives from the past in order to provide society fervent standards in determining right or wrong which are not only traditionally truthful and acceptable, but also applicable to the structure of contemporary times.