Truth claim

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

A truth claim is a proposition or statement that a particular person or belief system holds to be true. The term is commonly used in philosophy in discussions of logic, metaphysics, and epistemology, particularly when discussing the doctrinal statements of religions; however it is also used when discussing non-religious ideologies.


Positive and negative[edit]

One major division of truth claims is that between positive and negative truth claims. Positive truth claims proclaim the existence of an object or entity. Negative truth claims are the opposite and proclaim the non-existence of an object or entity.


Religions which make strong absolutist truth claims stand in stark contrast to more relativist or universalist positions.


In the post-modern period Hinduism is generally known to be Universalist and accepts all other religions to be true and valid. Mahatma Gandhi is credited to be the original proponent. However, this seems to be true from a socio-political perspective, since Hinduism itself is a congregation of large numbers of individual sects and peoples that have long lived in harmony among themselves without persecuting each other. But if one goes into what is in the scriptures of more organized Hindu sects like Vedanta; we do find exclusive truth claims.

Bhagavad Gita says -

ye me matamidaM nityamanutishhThanti maanavaaH .
shraddhaavanto.anasuuyanto muchyante te.api karmabhiH .. 3.31

Those who continuously practice what I preach they will be freed from Karma.

ye tvetadabhyasuuyanto naanutishhThanti me matam.h .
sarvaGYaanavimuuDhaa.nstaanviddhi nashhTaanachetasaH .. 3.32

But those who, out of envy, disregard these teachings and do not practice them regularly, are to be considered bereft of all knowledge, befooled, and doomed to ignorance and bondage.

A Hindu is expected to examine a truth claim based on his intellect. He can add or improve upon the vast ocean of Hindu philosophy. This is unlike some other religions, where, because of the truth claim that the entire book is a revelation from their God, a single verse proved wrong discredits the entire book. This leads to extreme fanaticism on the part of their followers.

Traditionally Hinduism (more specifically Vedanta) considers itself to be eternal religion (Sanatana Dharma). Fundamental belief is that all beings are divine, that the human condition is one of ignorance to not recognize this divinity inside, and that direct experience of God is achievable for all human beings.


It has been debated as to whether science makes any truth claims of its own, or if it is a set of methods for evaluating or falsifying other truth claims.


Agnosticism makes the claim that the existence or non-existence of any deity is unknown and possibly unknowable. This is a claim about what we can or do know, not a metaphysical claim as to the nature of the world.


The truth claims of atheism are divided between negative atheism, which does not accept the positive truth claims of religions, and positive atheism, which specifically claims the non-existence of deities (and other spiritual phenomena).

See also[edit]