Compare and Contrast Imagination With Faith and Reason in the Pursuit of Truth Essay

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Imagination, Faith, And Reason

Truth is an intangible idea that people have tried to get a grasp on since the dawn of time. It is often hard to determine what is true and what is false and how to categorize the things that are seen and done. Part of the reason is that truth is potentially subjective and determined by the society in which the question of truth is asked. Artists in all media, whether it be painting or the literary arts, have tried to illustrate and explain how to find truth, all to varying degrees of success. As with most intangible ideas, people have tried to apply different means in order to explain this thing which is largely unexplainable. Usually, when confronted with such an issue, humans have traditionally tried to explain truth with their imaginations, their faith and their ability to reason.

Imagination is the human ability to create ideas and expand them, suing only the power of the mind. The person will use their mind in order to formulate what they ascertain to be truth. Sometimes truth or fallacy is indiscernible and the individual must look deeper, beyond the surface of an issue, in order to find the truth. Usually the truth in this context is not surface level, such as whether or not something is factual like a date or a name. This has far more to do with the deeper truths of human existence and how each person relates to this truth on an everyday level.

One of the most famous works regarding the concept of truth is the poem "Ode to a Grecian Urn" by poet John Keats. In "Ode on a Grecian Urn," Keats writes a poem detailing a piece of pottery that depicts an age gone by. On first reading, the piece is only about this vase and yet, there is a far deeper meaning to this artifact than initial impression would signify. The first lines seem to beg the vessel to reveal its answers to him and stating that nothing that exists now will equal what was when the urn was made. He asks this vase to explain to him not only its own truth, but the larger truth that is meant behind the symbolism of the piece. "Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard / Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on" (11-12). These words show that the narrator of the poem is longing for something he knows he will never hear again. The next lines, on the surface are talking to the beings on the vase, saying that the man will never kiss the girl, but on a deeper level, the words "She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss, / For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!" (19-20). His final stanza reiterates the idea that this poem is more than a person appreciating a piece of ancient pottery. He writes, "When old age shall this generation waste, / Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe" (46-47). Truth, as it is known and understood by human beings is ethereal and will be understood by each generation differently. The final lines of the poem are particularly the most famous. Keats writes: "Beauty is truth, truth beauty, - that is all / Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know" (49-50). Here, the imagination is making it clear that humanity decides what is truth and to the poet the ultimate thing that exemplifies truth is the concept of beauty -- also something that is intangible and ethereal.

Faith is the human belief in something that is larger and somehow more important than what can be understood by human beings in the normal world. Anything that science cannot easily explain is often attributed to faith. Truth, which cannot be easily understood with proof in the real world, would be something that would be attributed to this higher power. In The Bible, the first letter to the Corinthians by the disciple Peter explains the religious reasoning and explanation for truth. For those who believe completely in the Christian religion, there is only the truth that is explained by the word of their holy book. This is true for Christians, Jewish people, Muslims, Hindus, and practitioners of every other organized religion.

In the first letter to the Corinthians, Peter explains how the…[continue]

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