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Moderate Truth

A Tract Book Essay


Anthony J. Fejfar, Esq., Coif

© Copyright 2007 by Anthony J. Fejfar

Absolute Truth is no longer relevant. Except for some very

interesting mathematical equations which are necessarily true, I would argue

that absolute truth does not even exist. Instead, Moderate Truth exists.

Moderate Truth is based upon statistical probability. It is argued that the

most truth we can ever come up with, absent magic or miracles, is a

moderate truth with the maximum of 99.9999999999% real probability in

the real world. The legal system knows this. This is why the legal system

does not use a standard of absolute truth, only relative or moderate truth.

In the law, there are three legal standards for truth:

1. truth beyond a reasonable doubt

2. clear and convincing truth

3. truth by a preponderance

In criminal cases the standard that the prosecution must meet to

convict a defendant is truth beyond a reasonable doubt. I argue that this is

probabilistic truth requiring a relatively high probability of 95% or greater.

In order for something to be true, beyond a reasonable doubt, it must be

critically judged as being at least 95% true. I a prosecutor cannot prove his

case beyond a reasonable doubt, then the defendant must be found innocent.

The intermediary standard for truth is truth by clear and convincing

evidence. This standard is often used in settings such as an ethics complaint

against an attorney. A finding of a fact by reason of clear and convincing

evidence requires that the fact be found to be true on the basis of 85% real

probability in the real world or higher. If a complainant cannot prove his

case by 85% real probability or higher, then the defendant must be found


Finally, in ordinary life, the standard for truth is truth by a

preponderance of the evidence, or truth by a real probability of at least 55%.

This is truth which is more probable than not. A standard for truth which is

lower than 55% would be irrational. The lowest level of truth for

Moderate Truth is 55%. If a plaintiff cannot prove her case by 55% real

probability in the real world or greater, then the defendant is found to be not


Based on the foregoing, I would argue that Papal Infallibility is out

of date. Given that the Pope simply does not have access to the Eternal

Truths of mathematics which exist outside of space time, I would argue that

all Church teachings dealing with Faith and Morals, should simply be found

true based upon the beyond a reasonable doubt standard of 95% real

probability in the real world. Such Moderate Truth would allow for a high

degree of certainty needed for an authoritative moral teaching, but at the

same time would be subject to later revision and reinterpretation if

necessary. Hans Kung calls this Papal indefectibilility. Papal Infallibility,

if it exists, only operates at a level of 95% real probability in the real world,

that is, truth beyond a reasonable doubt.