“But Truth”

This square connotes various appeals what is true, real, objective, etc. Often related to #ButDebateMe, presumably because the ultimate test for truth is a debate, and opposed to #ButConsensus {1}.

Saying that something is true seldom justifies it. Our belief increases in plausibility with justifications, which involve evidence. Establishing relevance is key to any argumentative setting.


It’s the dang truth. Give me a fair forum and I can prove it. But a fair forum is not to be had. Not yet anyway. Please stay in touch. Every single one of us matters at this point. Social media will either kill us or redeem us. I’m not making bets.


This does not necessarily lead to ‘truth’ if there are too many contingent, unjustified assumptions.


Objections and Replies

Authoritarians. Authoritarian rarely create consensus or truth
☞ For #ButPolitics and #ButConsensus, that’s another door. As for your historical claim, it’s obviously false.

Construction. Looks like I can build my own reality about climate change
☞ If humans cease to exist, the concept of climate ceases to exist.

Definition. Truth is
☞ There are many theories of truth. Whichever you prefer, you need to show your homework . Theories of truth won’t help you support your claims.

K-12. Like with everything else our youth is thought that AGW is the truth—
☞ Spoken like a true creationist! What if I told you that AGW was the best explanation we got, and as such consists in what we hold true?

Middle Ground. The truth must lie in the middle—
☞ Some call that a fallacy, and classical logic has a law of the excluded middle.

Proclamation. What I say is the truth—
☞ That’s not for you to say. Show me {2}.

Reality. Your chanting does not cancel reality—
☞ Nobody has direct access to pure, unadulterated reality. Show me. Give me an argument. Formulate a theory. Dance!

Relevance. How can the truth be irrelevant? Inconvenient maybe
☞ There’s an infinity of truths. An argumentative setting should filter out all those that do not support the arguments under consideration {3}.

Testimony. What I say is always true
☞ Then it’s not empirical science as we know it.


{1} Deliberation. The ultimate result of a deliberation over what’s true ought to be an agreement for everyone, i.e. a consensus. So there’s a tension between #ButDebateMe and #ButConsensus.

{2} Justification. How some fact F is being established matters above all. It’s the basic intuition behind the idea of a proof.

{3} Pragmatic proof. My favorite illustration of that point involves listing random factoids and tidbits.


Michael Tobis has a good post on Who Decides What Is True?