Last time I said something about the truth, how in philosophy, in epistemology, in science is thought about truth in the present time.
But of course there is another side of truth and that is the everyday side.
And there she is, our truth, a being that is constantly accompanying us.
And if we would start from this everyday truth then we could never say that it does not exist, or we cannot reach it - because we are constantly working with it.
For example, if I have a nice big old tree in my garden, then that is a hard fact.
And when I later tell a friend that there are no trees in my garden, then I have said something that is not true.
When then this friend comes to visit, I can only hope that he has forgotten what I have said, because otherwise he will see that I have said something that is not true and then I would have to do very much to make this truth still true, then I would have to cut down the tree and so on.
So, in everyday life we have to deal with the truth all the time.
And there has been a philosopher who was more or less the first to direct his gaze towards thinking and in this sense created a first theory of knowledge.
And this philosopher did not take his starting point so much from within, but from the relationship of man with the outside world.
This philosopher is the philosopher who was called The Philosopher in the Middle Ages with a capital letter, that is Aristotle.
And although his texts are sometimes quite difficult to read, there are also pieces of text where he presents so simply that you get the feeling that you have taken a whole run-up and then run through an open door.
But you have to understand, of course, that in this Greek period, still before Christ, actually for the first time the human view fell upon human thinking.
And Aristotle then formulated the truth as follows, he wrote:
"If something is so, and I say it is so, then it is truth.
If something is so, and I say it isn't so, then it is untruth."
And then he's not finished, because then he still says:
"If something is not so, and I say that it is not so, then it is truth.
And if something is not so, and I say that it is so, then it is an untruth."
This is a characterization of everyday truth.
But if we were able to start from that, then we would gradually expand that everyday truth into more complicated and higher truths.
It's not actually done that way.
And when we then talk about the ultimate truth, yes, we say that we cannot reach this truth, but everyday truths, we live with them all the time.
So there is also in the Bible, yes, in the Gospel, a heart-rending passage where Peter, who was a disciple of Christ for years and was a part of his company, publicly denies that he knows Christ the night before the crucifixion.
There you have such a truth, of which you can say that Peter must have known that he was saying something that is not true.
And one can of course say: Yes, what are you saying all this, we know that, and it does not really need to be said any more, these are indeed open doors.
But living in our time and experiencing what is happening, these basic facts come into consciousness very strongly.
We have experienced it that we meet leading personalities who say today that something is like this, and who say tomorrow that something, the same thing, is not like this.
And you can simply afford that in today's world, it is not, hardly ever criticized.
It seems that tomorrow everyone will have forgotten what was said yesterday.
This also makes us weak in our everyday confirmation of the truth.
And that is why I thought it was important to point out once again that we humans really do know the truth in a large part of life.
When we say that something is so, when it is not so, then it is called a lie.
And it is then the big question whether what we see happening in the big world, whether the leading personalities who sometimes clearly say that something is so while it is not so, or vice versa, whether these personalities then also know fully consciously that they are lying.
I had an aunt and this lady, this woman was familiar with the lie in an actually beautiful way, if that is possible.
She had a kind of ironic self-criticism about it.
She sometimes said: This is someone who lies so well that he believes what he says himself.
And that is the question now, when we perceive leaders who say all kinds of things about which one can actually know that it is not true in the Aristotelian sense.
Do they know that they are lying, or are they so used to lying that they themselves believe that what they say is true?
The previous time I led the observation in the direction of conscience and now I want to end by saying that the first stage of conscience is actually that one knows in the clarity of the thinking consciousness whether one says in the Aristotelian sense that something is like that and it is like that, or whether one says that something is like that and it is not like that.
The human being should actually be thoroughly aware of this in the very first place.
So far.The everyday truth by Mieke Mosmuller