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Pilate responds to Jesus by asking, "What is truth"? 3. What is truth?4. Is truth something that is different for different people or is it the same for everyone?5. How do you decide what is true in your life? Pilate asks the question, and no answer is recorded here in scripture. But the Bible says plenty about truth.
The Gospel is the truth - Ephesians 1:13, Colossians 1:5God wants us to know the truth - 2 Timothy 2:15The Church is meant to protect the truth - 1 Timothy 3:15Some oppose the truth - 2 Timothy 3:2-8 (With emphasis on verse 7)The truth should change how we live - 1 John 3:18
Discussion Questions:1. After reading these passages, what would you say the Bible thinks of truth?2. Do you think there is opposition to the truth in our world today?3. Why is it so hard to tell right from wrong, and truth from lies?
Pragmatic theories of truth have the effect of shifting attention awayfrom what makes a statement true and toward what people mean or do indescribing a statement as true. While sharing many of the impulsesbehind deflationary theories of truth (in particular, the idea thattruth is not a substantial property), pragmatic theories also tend toview truth as more than just a useful tool for making generalizations.Pragmatic theories of truth thus emphasize the broader practical andperformative dimensions of truth-talk, stressing the role truth playsin shaping certain kinds of discourse. These practical dimensions,according to pragmatic theories, are essential to understanding theconcept of truth.
True ideas, James suggests, are like tools: they make us moreefficient by helping us do what needs to be done. James adds to theprevious quote by making the connection between truth and utilityexplicit:
In these terms, pragmatic theories of truth are best viewed aspursuing the speech-act and justification projects. As noted above,pragmatic accounts of truth have often focused on how the concept oftruth is used and what speakers are doing when describing statementsas true: depending on the version, speakers may be commending astatement, signaling its scientific reliability, or committingthemselves to giving reasons in its support. Likewise, pragmatictheories often focus on the criteria by which truth can be judged:again, depending on the version, this may involve linking truth toverifiability, assertibility, usefulness, or long-term durability.With regard to the speech-act and justification projects pragmatictheories of truth seem to be on solid ground, offering plausibleproposals for addressing these projects. They are on much less solidground when viewed as addressing the metaphysical project. As we willsee, it is difficult to defend the idea, for example, that eitherutility, verifiability, or widespread acceptance are necessary andsufficient conditions for truth or are what make a statement true.
Pragmatic theories of truth have faced several objections since firstbeing proposed. Some of these objections can be rather narrow,challenging a specific pragmatic account but not pragmatic theories ingeneral (this is the case with objections raised by other pragmaticaccounts). This section will look at more general objections: eitherobjections that are especially common and persistent, or objectionsthat pose a challenge to the basic assumptions underlying pragmatictheories more broadly.
One classic and influential line of criticism is that, if thepragmatic theory of truth equates truth with utility, this definitionis (obviously!) refuted by the existence of useful but false beliefs,on the one hand, and by the existence of true but useless beliefs onthe other (Russell 1910  and Lovejoy 1908a,b). In short, thereseems to be a