Metaphysical Thinking and the Nature of Truth

Ewan Maynes


Recently I came upon a most interesting idea. The question was on the nature of the state of truth and as a human our ability to understand what we perceive in the information presented. After a great deal of thought and consideration, I have concluded that I am trying to understand a confusing conundrum. The question that was floating in my head was: is there any absolute truth in the world that, as a thinking being, we know for certain and, if there is such an absolute, does it reside in the realm of rationality and reason or that of irrationality and emotion?

Before I explain the conclusion, I have come to I must explain the concept of the absolute truth and the rational mind. To answer the questions of truth and rationality, we must assume to a certain level that there is a body of absolute truths that guide the ships of the universe. Some argue that the truth is that of divine origins while others argue that there are principles that guide our sentience to conclusions. For the argument, it does not matter what specific truth you believe in, only that there is an absolute truth.

Next to explain is the rational mind, where reason and logic dwell. We assume that the human mind in its nature is that of rationality. However, that may not be the case. If our minds are truly rational in nature, then our society would relay the advancement of logic and reason rather than that of emotion. There are countless examples of humans choosing the more emotional response to a problem than the logical response. Then, we can conclude that our minds are irrational in nature and that, as a species, we have convinced ourselves that we possess rational thought when in reality we do not. Some say that because we based our lives and civilization around empirical data that we must be rational animals. While the argument is sound, it becomes clear that it cannot be true when the nature of how we obtain the data is considered.

Our senses are flawed in a way that blinds us from realizing our limitations. If everyone in our species was incapable of sight would we be able to comprehend the concept of colour? Certainly not. Therefore, we can conclude that there may be another sense that escapes our species and its instruments. Since we cannot trust the senses of our bodies nor the instruments of science to discover the absolute, what should we trust to find the absolute?

Surely mathematics and science show the absolute truths then? One plus one always equals two and other mathematical truths. Even the maths and sciences are not infallible. Science has been challenged and math has shown false truths. For example, the Greeks used their maths to prove that Earth was the centre of the universe and that the sun and planets orbited around it. Now surely their math must have been wrong then? It was not. The idea of the heliocentric model was considered but there were no instruments available to prove it. Math, in this case, was not wrong and yet it told a false truth, therefore we cannot know for certain that there is an instrument that can read the universe with one hundred per cent infallible.

If we combine the two ideas, the absolute truth and the irrationality of our minds, then we conclude that there is absolute truth and that our minds which are driven by irrationality simply cannot understand the absolute. We cannot understand the truth in its entirety only in parts. No matter how we arrange the pieces of this metaphysical puzzle together there is no way for us humans to understand the entire truth. We must be content with only the partial truths.