The Best Test of Truth... 12 Jan, 2021 The Best Test of Truth...

Reading Stratechery’s Tech and Liberty, ‘The Marketplace of Ideas’ section, I see this quote:

The theory of our Constitution is “that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market,” Abrams v. United States, 250 U.S. 616, 630, 40 S.Ct. 17, 63 L.Ed. 1173 (1919) (Holmes, J., dissenting).

And, the first thing that jumps at me is the implication that Tuth, by this interpretation, is a point-in-time artifact. What’s marketable today is different from yesterday, and arguably, will change tomorrow; the need of each hour would vary, even if history repeats. I realize Justice Holmes is focused on the judgement at hand and this statement is completely accurate in that context.

This may be experience bias, but makes me wonder what would fall into the Vedic interpretation of truth – eternal, changeless, even if interpreted differently by experts: Ekam Sat, Viprah Bahudah Vadanti/एकं सद्विप्रा बहुधा वदन्ति - Rig Veda 1:164:46.

Or, may be I interpreted the above ancient statement as referring to Truth? This is open to interpretation: from the context of Hymn 164, the physical allusion is to a deity, but an overload of the word Sat is Truth, and therefore, the corresponding interpretation would be one of Absolute Truth, if I may. This is the interpretation I’ve grown up with.

What is Truth, to you?

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