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The Origin of Evil

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Pages: 132

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/4/2009 - General Books LLC

By: Alfred Williams Momerie

Excerpt from book: 75 What is Truth?" The context reads: '' Pilate saith unto Him, What is truth ? And when he had said this, he went out."—John xviii. 88. T)ILATE was probably a thoughtful, well-edu- cated man, and from this passage it would seem likely that he belonged to the class of thinkers called sometimes Agnostics, sometimes Pyrrhonists, and sometimes Sceptics, who hold that it is impossible for us ever to attain to any certain knowledge. Hence, when Christ began to speak to him about truth, he asked, with a sort of contemptuous smile, " What is truth ? " and with a shrug of the shoulder turned on his heel. Let us ask this question to-day, but not with the same "genteel indifference," as Hegel calls it. Let us wait for a reply. According to Home Tooke, in the 'Diversions of Purley,' the word truth is derived from to trow in the sense of believe. If so, truth would mean that which a man troweth or believeth. Nowthis is precisely what truth does not mean. The best authorities nowadays will tell you that the Anglo-Saxon treowe is the same as the German trauen (to trust), and the Icelandic traust or the Sanscrit dhnma (which mean fixed-or firm). This derivation suggests the proper signification of the word truth. While belief or opinion is constantly changing, truth is that which does not change. While belief may be false, truth cannot but be true. If truth were synonymous with opinion, it would follow that, supposing you thought two and two made four, and I thought they made five, our opinions would both equally deserve to be called truth. This view has been held, as for example, by the Sophists and by Grote: but I shall assume in the present sermon the view, which probably you all hold, that there is such a thing as absolute truth, regarding which it is possible to obtain certain k...  

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