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Is truth singular or not? In physics, there's general relativity and quantum mechanics, and both are true, but these are theories. Within reality itself can two contradictory systems coexist, or is there one truth and one truth only and anything that opposes this truth cannot exist?

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  • There are different types of truth. There basically objective truths & contingent truths. Objective truth is universal whereas contingent truths are temporary. Sometimes the same statement is true and other times the same statement is false. Objective truth has only one option either being always true or always false.
    – Logikal
    Jun 25 at 1:37
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    Relativity and quantum physics are not "true". They make valid predictions in their respective domains of application, which is not the same. We don't know what really happens. It's like if a kid tosses a coin 20 times and gets 20 times heads, they might build a theory that "coin flips always result in heads", and this theory will be "true" according to their observationss, as long as they never see a coin flip to tails.
    – armand
    Jun 25 at 3:27
  • @armand The coin example is somewhat misleading. This already supposes that the coin lands on two sides. The problem is if we can know the true nature of realty. Why we shouldnt be able to know? Quantum mechanical truth is one truth quantum gravity another and hidden variables still another. The people clinging to any thery thats valid in its domain can say that they have found the truth. The question asks if there is only one truth and clearly there isnt. You cant tell scientists that they are lying becaude they suppose no god exist. Conversely you cant say religious people are lying either. Jun 25 at 12:03
  • @DescheleSchilder: But you can talk about who has evidence. Popper rejected the idea scientific method is all induction as a myth, pointing to evidence and experiment as deciding between models. A good model of a coin, should have a finite probability for landing on it's edge. There is no objectivity, only a network of events & propagation of information about them philosophy.stackexchange.com/questions/82527/…
    – CriglCragl
    Jun 25 at 12:28
  • @CriglCragl Evidence is theory dependent. There is no clean unpolluted evidence. The coin falling 100 times on one side is clear evidence that there is something wrong with the dice (even when assuming it to be perfect, in which case the assumption is simply falsified). I wouldnt rely on Popper to much. His methods can simply be proven false by evidence. Jun 25 at 14:36
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Long story short: no, following any of the dictionaries definitions, there are multiple truths, which depend on multiple facts. To get a philosophical systematization of such concepts, better googling for theories of truth.

QM and relativity are currently not coherent [1]. This essentially means that predictions made from a QM perspective are different from predictions made with relativity. Following the principle of explosion, if there's a falsehood in a coherent logical set of propositions, the whole set is false. So, both theories would be false. But, believe it or not...

...this is expected! Science has not the goal of finding final truths, but empirical truths, that is, truths that are coherent with our experience (we don't have other interface with the world that our not-so-trustworthy senses). In fact, we already know that our experience has multiple flaws [2]. So, it is expected that extrapolating formal consequences to extremes will lead to falsehoods.

Here, enters philosophy. The goal of philosophy, as the mother of all sciences, is finding final truths (or truth). But the problems which philosophy address are huge. Worst even, we also expect (currently) not knowing the truth. Ever. (e.g. we don't have access to the noumena [3]).

That means that your question, in strict terms, would be impossible to answer.

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According to the slingshot argument, although there are arbitrarily many true sentences (or propositions), these all have One True Fact (or a singular Truth Value) for their reference. Sometimes we might speak of a "big conjunctive contingent fact" (see here) as comprising some concrete world.

The disquotational scheme says that

"Sp," is true if and only if Sp

If that's "all there is" to a sentence (or proposition) being true, then in that way there is only "one" truth, i.e. there is only one scheme that fixes the use of the word/concept "truth."

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Truth being singular is an abstraction already introduced in ancient Greece. It was ssid there could only exist one god instead of the many in polytheism. We still bare the consequences. This god couldn't (wasn't allowed to) be imagined. This is the attitude of many modern day scientists and theologicians.

Truth is dependent on people though. If I belive in many gods then they are there. If I belive in curved 4d spacetime then it's there. If I belive only in mathematical structures then they are there. I maybe don't know the true Nature of the gods or the mathematical structures or of rishons (sub quark particles) but I have for sure a relation with them. Other people can never say that I lie when clining to a truth. Of course I can lie if they ask me what truth I cling to.

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  • This seems like a solipsist version of truth. Without Relativity, you can't make GPS satellites work. Models have consequences. Religious doctrines aren't just random ideas people decided were true, but part of community-bonding practices around which groups cohere.
    – CriglCragl
    Jun 25 at 12:35

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