§18. Idea of Truth and Concept of Being [315-316]

there existing any truth about it. So far as there is a truth about it, this truth understands precisely that nothing in what it means depends on it for being what it is. But that there may be eternal truths will remain an arbitrary assumption and affirmation just so long as it is not demonstrated with absolute evidence that from all eternity and for all eternity something like a human Dasein exists, which can by its own ontological constitution unveil beings and appropriate them to itself as unveiled. The proposition "2 times 2 = 4" as a true assertion is true only as long as Dasein exists. If in principle no Dasein any longer exists, then the proposition is no longer valid, not because the proposition is invalid as such, not because it would have become false and 2 times 2 = 4 would have changed into 2 times 2 = 5, but because the uncoveredness of something as truth can only co-exist with the existing Dasein that does the uncovering. There is not a single valid reason for presupposing eternal truths. It is even more superfluous if we were to presuppose that there were such a thing as truth. A favorite theory of knowledge today believes that, in response to skepticism about all science and knowledge, we have to make the presupposition that there is truth. This presupposition is superfluous, for so far as we exist we are in truth, we are unveiled for ourselves and the intraworldly beings which we are not are at the same time unveiled for us in some way or other. The extent and limit of unveiledness is a matter of indifference in this case. It is not we who need to presuppose that somewhere there is "in itself' a truth in the form of a transcendent value or valid meaning floating somewhere. Instead, truth itself, the basic constitution of the Dasein, presupposes us, is the presupposition for our own existence. Being-true, unveiledness, is the fundamental condition for our being able to be in the way in which we exist as Dasein. Truth is the presupposition for our being able to presuppose anything at all. For presupposing is in every case an unveiling establishment of something as being. Presupposition everywhere presupposes truth. We do not first have to presuppose truth in order to arrive at knowledge. But that an entity of the character of the Dasein, hence a being which by its essential nature exists in truth, is necessary, not to say eternal, can never be proved. It may be believed on the basis of certain religious or other reasons—but we are not talking about a knowledge which in its demonstrative sense would only be quite far from suitable as a foundation for scientific knowledge. Has any factually existing Dasein, has any one of us as such, decided freely of himself and will any existing Dasein ever be able to decide of itself whether it will or will not enter into existence? Never. The establishment of eternal truths remains a fanciful assertion, just as it remains a naive misunderstanding to believe that truth, if it exists only and as long as Dasein exists, is delivered over to relativism and skepticism. On the contrary, the theories of relativism and skepticism spring from a partially justified opposition to an