Truth transcends knowledge, and knowledge transcends belief. Too many people invert these values to claim that their beliefs are true. In order to understand truth, it makes sense to first explore knowledge and belief and how, as humans, we use these constructs.
In the search for truth and knowledge, we as humans develop a belief structure based on observation over time. As this belief system develops, we start to draw correlations and presume conclusions based on the perceived degree of believability for each new belief, a system of fuzzy logic (Hajek, 2009), and how each relates to another. It is only when beliefs correlate well with other beliefs regarding the same subject do we get to claim knowledge.
I define knowledge as the agreement of beliefs within the study of interrelated subjects. Science is the process used to attain knowledge (“Science”, 2010). However, science can be wrong. This has been proven throughout history, time and time again. Science can only prove “provisional truths[, or] answers that are the best explanation for things at the present time” (Jackson, 2006, ¶ 1). It is these provisional truths that I regard as knowledge.
Truth, in the ultimate terms, cannot be false to any degree. It is easy to create truth from knowledge by applying conditions confining it. Ergo, the belief that dogs are dangerous is not true, nor is it knowledge, though there is truth in the statement that some dogs can be dangerous. Likewise, any other broad and sweeping generalization could create a false, but widely held belief. It is much more difficult to attain a universal, or absolute, truth, such as the God of Christianity is the architect and creator of the universe and all life within it, or that life is just a natural process and has no dependent relationship with any singular intelligent being.
Some absolute truths, however, can be attained. One such truth is that mortal existence ceases upon death. Death, in fact, is the definition of the end of mortal existence. This definition has been formed by observation, the creation of beliefs, and acceptance of these beliefs as knowledge. Though, if our beliefs and knowledge about death were different, as they once were, it would not negate the truth.
Another absolute truth is that life is revolutionary, or cyclical. Otherwise, what is the point of attaining knowledge and understanding truth if it cannot be used to our benefit?
Hajek, P. (2009). Fuzzy Logic. In Edward N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy [Spring ed.]. Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2009/entries/logic-fuzzy/
Jackson, J. (2006). Science has been wrong before. UK-Skeptics. Retrieved from http://www.skeptics.org.uk/article.php?dir=articles&article=science_has_been_wrong_ before.php
Science. (2010). Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/science