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Pilate responds to Jesus by asking, "What is truth"? 3. What is truth?4. Is truth something that is different for different people or is it the same for everyone?5. How do you decide what is true in your life? Pilate asks the question, and no answer is recorded here in scripture. But the Bible says plenty about truth.
The Gospel is the truth - Ephesians 1:13, Colossians 1:5God wants us to know the truth - 2 Timothy 2:15The Church is meant to protect the truth - 1 Timothy 3:15Some oppose the truth - 2 Timothy 3:2-8 (With emphasis on verse 7)The truth should change how we live - 1 John 3:18
Discussion Questions:1. After reading these passages, what would you say the Bible thinks of truth?2. Do you think there is opposition to the truth in our world today?3. Why is it so hard to tell right from wrong, and truth from lies?
Pragmatic theories of truth have the effect of shifting attention awayfrom what makes a statement true and toward what people mean or do indescribing a statement as true. While sharing many of the impulsesbehind deflationary theories of truth (in particular, the idea thattruth is not a substantial property), pragmatic theories also tend toview truth as more than just a useful tool for making generalizations.Pragmatic theories of truth thus emphasize the broader practical andperformative dimensions of truth-talk, stressing the role truth playsin shaping certain kinds of discourse. These practical dimensions,according to pragmatic theories, are essential to understanding theconcept of truth.
True ideas, James suggests, are like tools: they make us moreefficient by helping us do what needs to be done. James adds to theprevious quote by making the connection between truth and utilityexplicit:
In these terms, pragmatic theories of truth are best viewed aspursuing the speech-act and justification projects. As noted above,pragmatic accounts of truth have often focused on how the concept oftruth is used and what speakers are doing when describing statementsas true: depending on the version, speakers may be commending astatement, signaling its scientific reliability, or committingthemselves to giving reasons in its support. Likewise, pragmatictheories often focus on the criteria by which truth can be judged:again, depending on the version, this may involve linking truth toverifiability, assertibility, usefulness, or long-term durability.With regard to the speech-act and justification projects pragmatictheories of truth seem to be on solid ground, offering plausibleproposals for addressing these projects. They are on much less solidground when viewed as addressing the metaphysical project. As we willsee, it is difficult to defend the idea, for example, that eitherutility, verifiability, or widespread acceptance are necessary andsufficient conditions for truth or are what make a statement true.
Pragmatic theories of truth have faced several objections since firstbeing proposed. Some of these objections can be rather narrow,challenging a specific pragmatic account but not pragmatic theories ingeneral (this is the case with objections raised by other pragmaticaccounts). This section will look at more general objections: eitherobjections that are especially common and persistent, or objectionsthat pose a challenge to the basic assumptions underlying pragmatictheories more broadly.
One classic and influential line of criticism is that, if thepragmatic theory of truth equates truth with utility, this definitionis (obviously!) refuted by the existence of useful but false beliefs,on the one hand, and by the existence of true but useless beliefs onthe other (Russell 1910  and Lovejoy 1908a,b). In short, thereseems to be a clear and obvious difference between describing a beliefas true and describing it as useful:
A second and related criticism builds on the first. Perhaps utility,long-term durability, and assertibility (etc.) should be viewed not asdefinitions but rather as criteria of truth, as yardsticks fordistinguishing true beliefs from false ones. This seems initiallyplausible and might even serve as a reasonable response to the firstobjection above. Falling back on an earlier distinction, this wouldmean that appeals to utility, long-term durability, and assertibility(etc.) are best seen as answers to the justification and not themetaphysical project. However, without some account of what truth is,or what the necessary and sufficient conditions for truth are, anyattempt to offer criteria of truth is arguably incomplete: we cannothave criteria of truth without first knowing what truth is. If so,then the justification project relies on and presupposes a successfulresolution to the metaphysical project, the latter cannot besidestepped or bracketed, and any theory which attempts to do so willgive at best a partial account of truth (Creighton 1908; Stebbing1914).
If meaning is related to use (as pragmatists generally claim) thenexplaining how a concept is used, and specifying criteria forrecognizing that concept, may provide all one can reasonably expectfrom a theory of truth. Deflationists have often made a similar pointthough, as noted above, pragmatists tend to find deflationary accountsexcessively austere.
consider propositions like two and two are four or tortureis wrong. Under the assumption that truth is always andeverywhere causal correspondence, it is a vexing question how thesetrue thoughts can be true. (Lynch 2009: 34, emphasis inoriginal)
cognitivism vs. non-cognitivism, moral | Peirce, Charles Sanders | pragmatism | realism: challenges to metaphysical | Rorty, Richard | truth | truth: coherence theory of | truth: correspondence theory of | truth: deflationation about | truth: pluralist theories of | truthmakers
If an organization be created for this purpose, it becomes a crutch, a weakness, a bondage, and must cripple the individual, and prevent him from growing, from establishing his uniqueness, which lies in the discovery for himself of that absolute, unconditioned Truth. So that is another reason why I have decided, as I happen to be the Head of the Order, to dissolve it. No one has persuaded me to this decision. This is no magnificent deed, because I do not want followers, and I mean this. The moment you follow someone you cease to follow Truth. I am not concerned whether you pay attention to what I say or not. I want to do a certain thing in the world and I am going to do it with unwavering concentration. I am concerning myself with only one essential thing: to set man free. I desire to free him from all cages, from all fears, and not to found religions, new sects, nor to establish new theories and new philosophies. Then you will naturally ask me why I go the world over, continually speaking. I will tell you for what reason I do this: not because I desire a following, not because I desire a special group of special disciples. (How men love to be different from their fellow-men, however ridiculous, absurd and trivial their distinctions may be! I do not want to encourage that absurdity.) I have no disciples, no apostles, either on earth or in the realm of spirituality. Nor is it the lure of money, nor the desire to live a comfortable life, which attracts me. If I wanted to lead a comfortable life I would not come to a camp or live in a damp country! I am speaking frankly because I want this settled once and for all. I do not want these childish discussions year after year.
As I have said, I have only one purpose: to make man free, to urge him towards freedom, to help him to break away from all limitations, for that alone will give him eternal happiness, will give him the unconditioned realization of the self.
As I said before, my purpose is to make men unconditionally free, for I maintain that the only spirituality is the incorruptibility of the self which is eternal, is the harmony between reason and love. This is the absolute, unconditioned Truth which is life itself. I want therefore to set man free, rejoicing as the bird in the clear sky, unburdened, independent, ecstatic in that freedom. And I, for whom you have been preparing for eighteen years, now say that you must be free of all these things, free from your complications, your entanglements. For this you need not have an organization based on spiritual belief. Why have an organization for five or ten people in the world who understand, who are struggling, who have put aside all trivial things? And for the weak people, there can be no organization to help them to find the Truth, because Truth is in everyone; it is not far, it is not near; it is eternally there.
Organizations cannot make you free. No man from outside can make you free; nor can organized worship, nor the immolation of yourselves for a cause, make you free; nor can forming yourselves into an organization, nor throwing yourselves into works, make you free. You use a typewriter to write letters, but you do not put it on an altar and worship it. But that is what you are doing when organizations become your chief concern.
'How many members are there in it?' That is the first question I am asked by newspaper reporters. 'How many followers have you? By their number we shall judge whether what you say is true or false.' I do not know how many there are. I am not concerned with that. As I said, if there were even one who had been set free, that is enough.
So these are some of the reasons why, after careful consideration for two years, I have made this decision. It is not from a momentary impulse. I have not been persuaded to it by anyone. I am not persuaded in such things. For two years I have been thinking about this, slowly, carefully, patiently, and I have now decided to disband the Order, as I happen to be its Head. You can form other organizations and expect someone else. With that I am not concerned, nor with creating new cages, new decorations for those cages. My only concern is to set man absolutely, unconditionally free.' 2b1af7f3a8