Is is possible to know the truth without challenging it first?
First of all-I should say that this question is right up my alley. Secondly, this is another one of those questions that is difficult for me because I am religious. Ever since I could remember, I believed in God and I have basically challenged every other truth that there is except for my belief in God. In order to get this out of the way-God (Allah) is the only entity that I do believe in or think it’s truthful without challenging it. If you ask me why I don’t challenge religion (mine specifically)-my answer is religion in general is about faith and I have faith in Allah…because I do. Other than that…you have to show me.
There is one more caveat-I think that challenging what we are presented in an effort for the truth can be draining. In other words, it’s one of those things that people shouldn’t do unless they are willing to have much more complicated lives, because if something presented to us makes sense-it is so much easier to accept it even if we don’t know the truth. Another way to put it is we may not know the truth as it really is-but sometimes it is easier to take the truth as it appears to be just so we can function.
The next question is then (obviously) when do decide to challenge what we are presented and when do we accept the given truth (as opposed to the potential real truth)? My answer to that is we have to challenge what we are given if it is of utmost importance that we know the truth. Those times are up to individual people-but certainly we all have times where we have to be right about something or it will lead to negative consequences. The situations could be personal, business, political or religious. Whatever the specific situation is-there is something to be said for needing to know the truth as it is as opposed to what is presented and that means not taking what we are told at face value because that is one entity’s representation of the truth that the given entity wants us to believe for whatever reason.
With all of the above in consideration, ultimately we are all going to reach our own truth when it comes to any given situation. I truly believe that many things in life are subjective. We can challenge presentations until we get to the truth-but in many cases the “truth” is what we perceive it to be and there is no objective truth. To me it is very rare that 1+1=2-that would be the “truth.” Does God exist? That’s my truth. Do we truly live life in Erik Erikson’s eight stages? That is a truth that I have challenged and I think that he is right-but he is right to me only because it makes sense…to me (not saying it doesn’t make sense to others because it obviously does to many).
I’ve actually been reading about this question (well not the question-but theories related to the question) a great deal lately in terms of how people’s perceptions are the facilitators for their truth. Indeed, the truth is up to us-so we can challenge what we are presented until we get the answer that best reflects our experiences, our mentality and how we look at the world. It may seem that I am saying that we shouldn’t overtly challenge what we see or hear-I am not saying that at all. I think my answer to the question is in the third paragraph. I’ll put it this way, there are always questions that we have when we are given information that the presenters call the truth. I would say in order to reach our truth-the best thing for us to do is ask those questions unless not being sure of the truth is better than finding out what the actual truth which again is still limited because the truth is based on us. The key is recognizing that no matter what the truth is ultimately (in just about every instance) subjective.