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A paradigm is a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind. We see the world through these distorted lenses. Immanuel Kant, the central figure in modern philosophy, believed that there are two realities: the one that exists, and the one that we see through paradigms.
One of the teachings Kant had articulated was Diallelus. The ideology states the following: truth is said to be consenting with the object of knowledge. Then, my perception must align with the object to be valid. I can only compare my knowledge of the object, by taking knowledge from it. Thus, my understanding is to be verified by itself, which is far from adequate. It is essentially a circle in proof. It is an attempt to validate one proposition by another which was itself proved solely by using the first.
How it works
I believe that absolute truth does not exist for the following reasons.
Firstly, truth is relative. A staunch Muslim might say that the Koran is the true word of God. A hardcore Christian would disagree, saying that the true words of God are revealed in the Bible. In their respective viewpoints, they are correct. Their truth relates to their faiths. We base our truths on perceptions and ideologies, which are influenced by the macro environment.
Additionally, as the socio-economic conditions change, perceptions change to suit in the new era. A child in the 1920s used to grow up hearing that African-Americans are inferior to Caucasians. This was as an axiom at the time, but for the child, this was the truth. Animal rights, race equality, climate change and LGBTQIA+ rights have changed societal truths greatly. For instance, today, if a celebrity posted a photo in which they were using a plastic straw, they would face great criticism. People would quote something he/she had said about the importance of climate change. The celebrity would be called out for their supposed perfidy for the rest of their life. Ten years ago, no one would have cared.
Moreover, even scientific truths change over time. Five hundred years ago, science stated that the Sun rose in the east and set in the west. Everyone thought that the Sun was circling the Earth. This was palpable from its rising and setting. The Aristotelian model of the universe which involved a stationary Earth at the centre of a revolving universe dominated natural philosophy for 18 centuries. In 1543, Polish priest, Nicolaus Copernicus proposed the scientists and religious leaders had it all wrong. He said that the Sun didn’t move around the Earth, the Earth moved around the Sun. In 1687, Isaac Newton finally proved the Aristotelian view of the universe wrong. What had been true was now untrue. The truth itself did not change. What changed was our view of the truth. How do we know the current truth won’t change over time? We don’t, as earlier truths have been overturned by later knowledge. Robert Anton Wilson eloquently describes this theory in the quote “Any model we make does not describe the universe. It describes what our brains are capable of saying at this time.” However, scientific truths which are empirically tested and proven are everlasting.
In conclusion, one person’s truth can be another person’s blasphemy. What is true today, might not be true tomorrow. So, what is true? Time and viewpoints combine to create too many variants on almost any subject for there to be an absolute truth. We have a constant opportunity to learn and discover. We can improve as our truths do the same. If absolute truth existed, there would come a time when we’d come to a standstill and we could go no further. An ever-changing reality gives allows metanoia.
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