What Is Truth?

Truth is simply whatever you can bring yourself to believe.

–Alice Childress

Discuss! (I may write more on this later.)

Explore posts in the same categories: Humanities, Quotes

10 Comments on “What Is Truth?”

  1. donna Says:

    Um, no.

  2. Kathryn Says:

    Care to elaborate?

  3. Anil Says:

    And you want to believe what is true!

    It’s like the tiger that chases its tail. All that is true is not believable, but what is believable often sounds true even if it is not.

    Truth has character, but not all characters are true, so if they can repeat their lies often, it begins to sound true over time.

  4. donna Says:

    Because simply believing something doesn’t make it true. This is the mistake many people make about their religion, thinking because they believe in it, it must be true, when in fact that is why it is called “faith” – because there simply is no objective proof for their belief.

    Belief and truth have very different meanings.

  5. patry Says:

    This quote seems to deny the existence of objective truth. I disagree.

  6. endment Says:


    that has possibilities for discussion….

  7. marta Says:

    This discussion makes me think of this quote by Philip K. Dick–Reality is what when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.

  8. TP Says:

    The objectivism v. relativism debate (i.e., whether truth is discovered, as through science, or made, as through social convention) has been raging in various forms for at least the last couple hundred years, and some would argue since Plato. Coincidentally, I just picked up Rorty’s “Contingency, irony and solidarity” last night, which purports to address this and similar dichotomies.

    There are typically at least three approaches to dealing with bifurcated philosophies like objectivism v. relativism: argue the superiority of one and try to defeat the other, attempt to integrate them at a higher level of analysis (in a Hegelian sort of dialectic), or argue that they are each at least partially valid but incommensurable (i.e., there exists no metalanguage or perspective that can adequately encompass both, counter to the dialectical approach). Rorty appears to argue the last, but I’m not far enough along to judge his argument (and my philosophy is pretty rusty, besides).

  9. acm Says:

    it’s hard not to point out that a misunderstanding of the intent of the above quote leads to something like the current US government — where conviction trumps facts, “belief” trumps analysis, and we all go to hell in a handbasket.

    believing something doesn’t make it true, although there’s something to (a) believing in something *in order* to make it true, and (b) “truth” can mean different things to different people — usually in terms of the *meaning* of an event, not its *reality* — because of their different value structures and priorities.

    I also think that key to this quote is “bring yourself” — implying that you start with disbelief or doubt and gradually convince yourself, a process that stands in rather stark contrast with a starting point of mindless certainty and lack of examination of the basis for those beliefs…

    first thoughts,

  10. Pat Says:

    I don’t care for this.

    Do you know any people who will rigidly state a view, then warp every shred of evidence to defend that view? The writer Eric Hoffer called these people “true believers.”

    I have a friend who insists the world was created in 6500 B.C. (Bishop Usher’s old foolishness). He continually edits everything in terms of this and other bizarre beliefs. Really!

    For example, he will tell you that God put dinosaur bones in the earth to test the faith of believers.

    So — truth is whatever you can bring yourself to believe? Well, let’s get the ball rolling . . . I say the moon is made out of green cheese. And you say . . . .