As developers we’ll often use the term “source of truth” to refer to the origin of something. It might be some piece of data, code or configuration. The source of truth is the unmodified origin from which all things are referenced. We might take this piece of data, alter it and use it in another form. We may combine code, configuration and data for an application or service. Whatever it is, the source of truth is the root of all things.
We can also use this term to refer to a number of different things. Metaphorically it may apply to where we first heard of a new phrase, a news alert related to a global event or some pop culture reference. Yet these are all approximations for the true origin of the use of the term source of truth.
What is the source of truth? What is truth? Where does truth originate from? How do we define truth?
We, humans, define truth as “a fact or belief that is accepted as true“. Or more appropriately as “that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality“. If that’s the case then what is reality? If truth, or for something to be true, is it’s alignment or existence within reality then what is reality?
Reality is the state of things we know to exist. Or put another way, it’s what we know to be true. This leads us to ask, what is the source of reality? Do you see where this is going. Truth is directly correlated with the existence of reality. Truth is like the binary state of 0 or 1. Something is either true or not true. Something either exists or does not exist. For us to understand the source of truth, we must understand the source of reality and for us to understand the source of reality we must ask the question, what is the source of everything in existence?
When we think of the word “everything” people immediately start to think of objects, humans, the earth, all matter in existence. Yet everything is not just matter but the universe itself. The reality we know is bound by the existence of spacetime and spacetime is effectively a construct of the universe.
The origins of the universe are a mystery that humans have pondered over since the beginning of time, or more specifically since the beginning of our own existence. Scientists have tried to uncover these mysteries leading us to discover the big bang, cosmic radiation and go as deep as planck’s constant, photons, neutrons and quarks.
Yet we are just mere creations of this universe, we are an evolutionary part of it’s process. So for us to try to fundamentally understand not just the universe but also it’s origin is an almost impossible task. Can a fictional character in a story know it’s author? Can an avatar in a game know it’s within a game? Not without authority from it’s creator. So who is the creator? Who is the origin of the universe? Who is the source of truth?
These are deeply philosophical questions we have pondered over for a millennia. Longer in fact. To know the creator is not within our capacity. Why? Because we are the created. We are merely constructs of this universe and in our limited capacity we are barely even able to understand creation itself. We continue to learn more and more about the human body, the brain, the ocean, the universe. It’s not within our capacity to know the creator without divine inspiration or guidance.
Wait a minute, how did we quickly switch from the source of truth, to reality to the universe and now the creator.
It is within human nature to question our reality, to question our existence. Why are we here?. Is the question we keep posing to ourselves. And so we cannot understand that without eventually understanding, there is an origin for everything. There is a source for everything. There is a beginning, middle and end for everything. But not him.
Whatever exists outside the universe is not bound by space or time. It is the origin of everything, of more than we know, of more than we can comprehend. It is the truth, it is the source, it is the true reality. And as much as we try we will not understand. Yet there are those who were inspired, the best of mankind, those who were guided. We have been given the truth, we have been informed of why we are here, we have no doubt about the one.
La Ilaha Illallah Muhammadur Rasulullah
There is no God but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God.