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Perhaps, we had enough eschatology discussion, let's talk about something else, like, say, the relativity of truth. Lately this Subject was quite regularly on my mind. What is it coming from? I think, I can tell, but first I would like to take a bit longer look at it.

I believe like almost everything else it was started by Socrates, but the philosophical dilemma of truth lies somewhere between the Sophism of Friedrich Nietzsche: “The truth is merely an irrefutable error.” And a straight maxim of St. Thomas Aquinas: “Contra factum non argumentum est. There is no argument against the fact.” These two statements seem like they set some margins for a real answer, but a longer look actually blurs the difference. Just say that fact is indeed an irrefutable error and then go back to Plato with his image of a shadow on the back wall of a cave (see INTERMISSION 1, 2), which tells you that everything in this world is an illusion.

Actually, relativity of truth is a peculiar subject, and my little entry won’t cover it a bit, it just can hang on it a little fig leaf of appreciation. I’ve devoted to it a big part of my piece called The Leap of Faith, and I could stop right here, but this morning I’ve seen a little news bite with Amanda Knox all over a TV screen and I thought: here we go, again. Essentially, the concept of relativity of truth is just a smokescreen used to promote, cover, and set up bases for whatever by whoever needs it. Leave it to flacks and politicians. Truth is a simple thing and it dwells in a simple answer: YES or NO, there is no relativity in a binary code. Let me give you an example:

I have a black cat in a bag. True or false? Of course my cat is actually white, but in absence of light there is no reflection and cat’s color is black, or is color assumed as a color when it is in light, i.e. taken out of the bag? And how do I know exactly that the cat is black when I can’t see it? And what is it there, in the bag, is it really a cat or a puppy or a little shape-shifting demon?

Bela Abel

Old Greeks: Society; World of Illusion

 


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