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When Should We Trust Our Senses to Give Us the Truth?

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Topics: Sense, Perception, Truth
When Should We Trust Our Senses to Give Us the Truth?

Sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch make up the five senses that we have all become very familiar with. We have been able to depend on your senses for years. The question I pose is; when can we trust our senses to give us the truth? An account of what “true” means does not have to tell us what is true, nor tell us how we could find out what is true, therefore we must wonder if our senses can give us the truth. It is first important to define the meaning of truth. Dictionaries define truth as “a proven or verified principle or statement” and “conformity with fact or reality.” The problem with definitions such as this is that it leaves us with more questions such as: What is reality? Is it what is inside us or what is in the word? The theory of knowledge ties truth to justified belief. This means that truth must be something that is justified and believable. We also have to consider what makes something justifiable. Here we can establish that there is no set definition of what truth is. If truth is what takes place with in reality then when can we trust our senses to give us the truth if our senses are inside of us? I would like to think that the answer to this question is always and never. The external world is presented to us by our perceptions in a collection of electrical signals which reach our brain. We can never be 100% sure that this information is being transmitted correctly. Of course it is easier to trust out senses when they are confirmed or correlate with others perception. For example, if I perceive an apple as round, red, smooth, and sweet and this correlates with someone else’s perception of the apple than it is more likely to state that it is true that the apple is round, red, smooth, and sweet. Our senses play a big role in what we believe is “true” although it may not be, but perhaps what we cannot or do not perceive is the most important things in life. Helen Keller once said “the best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, nor touched but are felt in the heart.” Just because you can’t see or touch things doesn’t mean that they aren’t true. Take love for example; you can’t see it and you can’t touch it, but many claim that is there and that it is true. This is the same with religion. As a follower of Christ I can strongly say that I believe in God and that it is justifiable by faith and through the bible. In conclusion it is important to decide when it is right to trust our senses when looking for the truth and when it is right to follow our hearts. Implying that what our senses tell us false information can lead us to self-doubt and leave us worrying about what is true and what is not. I believe that it is acceptable to trust our senses when it is close enough or when the truth is not necessary to our every day life. For example, science tells us that a table isn’t solid but is mostly empty space, yet we perceive it as a solid object. Because this isn’t necessarily important to our daily life most people would rather trust their senses and believe the table is a solid object.

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