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Anonymous

Truth?
    #869953 - 09/08/02 11:19 AM (19 years, 23 days ago)

Lately I have been thinking about the various ways that we, as humans, figure out what is truth.

There are a variety of answers to this question, some are valid and some are not. What I am interested in here is not some philosophical treatise on the nature of truth but rather what it means to each one of us.

For those interested in this exploration this might be a very useful thread. I invite all who are interested in this topic to participate as much as they are able.

I'll start by saying that not all truths can be shoehorned into a 'scientific' paradigm or schema. In other words, you may know something is true without analyzing it using scientific instruments. Various experiences that we all have fit into this category. For example, I know that I love various people. The fact of that evidences itself in reality by the actions I take toward them. I don't use beakers and test tubes to know this. I simply observe the actions I make and conclude it is true.

Other ideas?

If we really are sincere about knowing the truth this thread should prove to be interesting in the comments made to it.

Cheers,


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OfflineAdamist
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #869983 - 09/08/02 11:41 AM (19 years, 23 days ago)

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that no one can know what absolute truth is, because it's all subjective to individual perception. The only way you can know an absolute truth is to step beyond the boundaries of your self and encompass all things, then you will know. But who can do this? Some think God can. (God = absolute truth).
But if your talking about "individual truth", then I think everyone knows that... (or thinks they do)  :grin:


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Offlinechemkid
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Re: Truth? [Re: Adamist]
    #870007 - 09/08/02 11:52 AM (19 years, 23 days ago)

I think that is the point the MR Mushrooms is trying to make. Truth isn't something that can be measured ....."EVER". It is a very subjective thing and what is true to me may not be true to others. Now for the sake of efficiency and progress we try to hold some things as true i.e. laws of thermodynamics. But that again is made with imperfect instruments by imperfect people with imperfect observations. Since we have to start somewhere to be able to logically communicate with one another then I choose to believe that the laws of thermodynamics are valid and so on.

I differ slightly on the love issue with MR Mushrooms. He says that due to his actions toward people, that validates his love. I say that the nature of my heart validates my love and is proof (to me. My truth). Someone who hates someone can mimic these same actions (maybe in hopes of gaining something) and they certainly don't love those people.


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An open mind is the greatest journey of all.


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OfflineViBrAnT
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Re: Truth? [Re: Adamist]
    #870020 - 09/08/02 12:01 PM (19 years, 23 days ago)

The kind of truths i accept i see as interchangable. i believe gravity is a truth however i do not count out the possibility of consciousness evolution as a truth. who is to say that one day our consciousness will not open up the possibility of levitation and all sorts of other energy work, which would be percieved as illusion by many here on earth presently.

As we all have discussed before here in this forum, truth is a touchy subject but here is my go at it. Perceptions create truths, seeing is not necassarily believing anymore because of the lack of full physical sensory input through all 5 senses as in a percieved alien encounter.

Example: lets take a spoon for instance, you can feel it, you can see it, you can taste it, you can smell it, and you can hear it if you bang it against the table therefore it is real, but what about that percieved alien encounter? what truths can be derived from it with lack of physical sensory input? Just because the experience is communicating through input of the less used metaphysical senses doesnt disprove the reality or truth of the experience for me.



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" liken this life illusory, for your sand castle will one day be adrift amongst the wind "




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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Adamist]
    #870072 - 09/08/02 12:32 PM (19 years, 23 days ago)

So you are saying that the fact that you know you exist is not an absolute truth?


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: chemkid]
    #870077 - 09/08/02 12:36 PM (19 years, 23 days ago)

I say that the nature of my heart validates my love and is proof (to me. My truth). Someone who hates someone can mimic these same actions (maybe in hopes of gaining something) and they certainly don't love those people.

So emotion is enough to validate your love? Does that mean that if you treat a person badly you can still say you love them because you ]feel a feeling of love towards them? Love without action is a poor kind of love.

I wasn't talking about observing the actions of someone else I was only referring to myself. There is a difference. However, that said, if you say you love someone and I see you mistreat them I will say you do not love them.


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OfflineAdamist
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #870079 - 09/08/02 12:39 PM (19 years, 23 days ago)

My existence is an individual perception that I suspect to be truth, but it could very well not be.

For example, I could exist not as this self (body), but as a larger self, and my individual existence would just be an illusion.


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Edited by Adamist (09/08/02 12:40 PM)


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: ViBrAnT]
    #870080 - 09/08/02 12:39 PM (19 years, 23 days ago)

Good thoughts.

Truth needn't be a "touchy" subject unless one has an ego attachment to a certain "perceived" truth. People with ego attachments are "touchy" about anything they perceive as a threat.


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Adamist]
    #870086 - 09/08/02 12:42 PM (19 years, 23 days ago)

So you may not exist, eh?  This is good news for the rest of us. :smile:

How would you determine if you were just a part of a larger construct?  And why would that negate the fact you that you exist as an individual?

Gawd, I love talking to people that are not sure they exist!

Please continue.


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Offlinechemkid
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #870089 - 09/08/02 12:44 PM (19 years, 23 days ago)

I agree that love for a person is an action not necessarily an emotion. You say if "If I say I love someone but hit them then you would disagree". This is not necessarily true either. This is why truth is subjective like you stated. When I was younger I used to beat my sister up all the time. I assure you that I love her. I am sure that her truth was that I don't love her. For an outsider looking in, their truth was that I didn't love her. My truth was that I was an immature boy who couldn't intelligently act out his emotions (rage mixed with love) but in my heart I still love and cared for my sister greatly. So again, my truth isn't necessarily someone elses truth.

To play devils advocate: How do you know that what you saw was true? Maybe your vision was blurred ( for any reason) and what you saw as a hit to her face was really my hand brushing hair out of her face. Cheesey example I know, but it further illustrates why your thread is valid.


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An open mind is the greatest journey of all.


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OfflineAdamist
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Re: Truth? [Re: ViBrAnT]
    #870090 - 09/08/02 12:45 PM (19 years, 23 days ago)

but what about that percieved alien encounter? what truths can be derived from it with lack of physical sensory input?

I have had encounters with what I perceived to be seperate entities and sometimes I did feel them on a physical input level. (For example I would feel them doing things to the insides of my body, head, etc.) But is this truth? I don't know. Just because something is sensed with all of the senses doesn't absolutely mean that it's true, but rather it strongly supports that it is.


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OfflineAdamist
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #870095 - 09/08/02 12:49 PM (19 years, 23 days ago)

How would you determine if you were just a part of a larger construct? And why would that negate the fact you that you exist as an individual?

I don't know, I guess you would have to change your perception to the perception of this larger construct. This wouldn't negate your existence as an individual, but it would demonstrate that individual existence is not all there is to the picture.


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #870132 - 09/08/02 01:07 PM (19 years, 23 days ago)

Existence is the only Abolute Truth that I know.


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OfflineAdamist
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #870165 - 09/08/02 01:33 PM (19 years, 23 days ago)

Okay the way I look at it is that existence is an absolute truth, but restricting that truth to this individual self-existence would not be an absolute truth, because it does not cover all possible existences. I could exist in many other places at the same time, but if I just said "this self is my only existence" that is a truth only to this perception.


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Edited by Adamist (09/08/02 01:37 PM)


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Offlinepattern
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #870373 - 09/08/02 08:49 PM (19 years, 23 days ago)

truth is what i experience in reality.

each one of us experiences a subset of reality, and therefore each one of us knows part of the whole truth.

if someone lies to you, it is true that they lied to you.

when truth is an experience, you will never convince another of the truths that you know, because there is no way to fully communicate an experience.


--------------------
man = monkey + mushroom


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: chemkid]
    #870445 - 09/08/02 09:41 PM (19 years, 23 days ago)

Seems like you're caught between a rock and a hard place. :smile:

I think the distinction here resides in the definition of love.  There is familial love for one's family which is a type of affection and there is love that wants the best or highest good for someone.  In the instance of your sister and yourself I would say that you had familial affections for her but that you didn't, at times, act towards her in love.  This happens in the normal course of human interaction.  However, that being said it must be noted that a continual observation of abuse between two people indicates that the abuser does not love the person in a real way but only feels affection towarrds them.  We see this a lot in couples where one spouse physically abuses the other.  While it may be true that the abuser feels affection for the abused it is also true that that do not love them, at least not in any meaningful way.

This is not a case of 'my truth' versus 'your truth'.  Do you see what I mean?

Cheers, 


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #870464 - 09/08/02 09:48 PM (19 years, 23 days ago)

I once stated in a thread that I could not think of even one 'Absolute Truth', and I maintain my stance.

However, I think this is a good thing. I would hate to think of Love or Beauty as a static notion.

As for Scientificky stuff, there is no way to 'know' they are accurate, since we are using our own limited perspective to set the guage. -OoD


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Adamist]
    #870482 - 09/08/02 09:57 PM (19 years, 23 days ago)

I have had encounters with what I perceived to be seperate entities and sometimes I did feel them on a physical input level. (For example I would feel them doing things to the insides of my body, head, etc.) But is this truth? I don't know. Just because something is sensed with all of the senses doesn't absolutely mean that it's true, but rather it strongly supports that it is.

I hear you. This is why I think it is necessary to include other tests for the existence of other beings such as the ones you have described. Those are very good points. For example, if I see something it may be an illusion or I may have perceived it incorrectly. Unexplained lights in the sky supports the theory of otherworldly beings but it is not enough evidence for us to conclude that they exist or that it is 'true' that they exist. We need something more. Do you agree or disagree?

In the instance of our own existence we have no only the affirming testimony of those that think we exist but we also have our own consciousness that affirms it as well. If we are conscious then we exist and in a meaningful way. To doubt that is to make no sense at all. We do need things to make some sense if we are to think that they are true. Do we not? Now that is not to say that we might not be in some way a part of some larger whole but that in itself does not negate the fact that we are aware of our own existence, i.e. conscious. Ipso facto, axiomatic. Bingo, please pass the cheese.

Cheers,


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Adamist]
    #870486 - 09/08/02 09:58 PM (19 years, 23 days ago)

Okay the way I look at it is that existence is an absolute truth, but restricting that truth to this individual self-existence would not be an absolute truth, because it does not cover all possible existences. I could exist in many other places at the same time, but if I just said "this self is my only existence" that is a truth only to this perception.

Quite. See above.


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OfflineAdamist
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #870509 - 09/08/02 10:09 PM (19 years, 23 days ago)

We need something more. Do you agree or disagree?

I agree... but what?
Consider for example that these beings exist in "another dimension" somehow... how could we scientifically validate that?


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Adamist]
    #870535 - 09/08/02 10:21 PM (19 years, 23 days ago)

This is one of the reasons that I started this thread. I think we should look at it closely. I have no answer for the nonce but I will think about this and come up with something, or nothing.

I really appreciate your input on this matter. Fact is, truth is what we want, or say we want. Let's dig in and see what we can come up with. Ok?

Cheers,


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: infidelGOD]
    #870541 - 09/08/02 10:24 PM (19 years, 23 days ago)

Existence is the only Abolute Truth that I know.

Yes, that is one for sure. Are there others? Maybe we should entertain that idea as well.

I'll bring the wine if you bring the cheese.

Cheers,


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: pattern]
    #870552 - 09/08/02 10:28 PM (19 years, 23 days ago)

truth is what i experience in reality.

each one of us experiences a subset of reality, and therefore each one of us knows part of the whole truth.

if someone lies to you, it is true that they lied to you.

when truth is an experience, you will never convince another of the truths that you know, because there is no way to fully communicate an experience.


And if our experience deceives us? If our perceptions deceive us? What then? Where do we stand? What rock or firmament is there to stand on? Is everything relative? I think some of us have concluded that there is at least one absolute truth and that is our existence. Would you maintain that as well?

Cheers,


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Anonymous]
    #870590 - 09/08/02 10:51 PM (19 years, 23 days ago)

I once stated in a thread that I could not think of even one 'Absolute Truth', and I maintain my stance.

I remember.  You hair was silky and flowing.  You wore the most beautiful outfit and I was drinking Chabis.  Wait, I think I am remember something that didn't happen.  Sorry. :wink:  So you would admit that you do not exist or that you cannot be absolutely sure of your existence?  Please do not say such things.  The world, nay the universe, would be a poorer place without you!  Or are you just a fragment of my imagination? :wink:

However, I think this is a good thing. I would hate to think of Love or Beauty as a static notion.

I do not think that either are static but are dynamic at least the last time I checked they were.  Those sorts of things are more properly understood within axiology.  Not my forte to be sure.  Sorry, didn't mean to shout.

As for Scientificky stuff, there is no way to 'know' they are accurate, since we are using our own limited perspective to set the guage. -OoD

Come come come, must you be so pedantic?  Yes, I think that is so but I don't like to brag about it.  Scientificky, indeed!  Sniff sniff  ahem  harrumph and other assorted supercilious noises.

Cheers, 


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #870611 - 09/08/02 11:09 PM (19 years, 23 days ago)

Plato Sez:- So you would admit that you do not exist or that you cannot be absolutely sure of your existence?
I reply: - I don't find that 'fact'  to be an absolute truth - I cannot say, with absolute certianlty that I am not the Figment of some god's imagination - or a multifacted character in a complex program - I cannot know if what I  sense , 'pain', 'pleasure', 'cold', 'hot' is real or what I am programmed to feel.  Not that I'm complining, "They" gave me a nice rack.  :grin:
-OoD

   


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Anonymous]
    #870639 - 09/08/02 11:26 PM (19 years, 23 days ago)

My Dear Lady!  :blush:  Indeed!

Thou makest the poor Plato envision all sorts of fancies!  Please, control yourself.

You are breaking my poor old heart.  You do not knowest if thouest existththth?

Then how will this feeling, this existential conundrum, ever be assuaged?  Am I destined to walk the Urt with only a threadbare set of pajamas?  That's a cold compromise for such a rogue as I.

Do you experience existence? 


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #870661 - 09/08/02 11:41 PM (19 years, 23 days ago)

(Sits Plato down, gives him a lolly)
Yes Friend, I have 'experienced; - Altered myself such, as to make my mouth go slack, with eyes that roll back - I have seen sights terrible and cruel, imprinting themselves on my retinas for ever in my mind -  I have tasted pleasures honey sweet,  as to pierce my soul with tempoary happiness - And wallowed in cold bitterness, because it seemed so familiar.
Not to fear, I have 'experienced.' -OoD





Don't worry, you only live twice :grin:   


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OfflineGrav
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #870674 - 09/08/02 11:50 PM (19 years, 23 days ago)

I can sense a sort of universal truth spiraling out as life goes on. It's in the stars, in the sun, in the subtle intracacies of musical rhythms correlating with your personal time and space.  I can feel the spirit and energies in everything. Vibes.

I guess I believe in the truth of the spirit of the world, or whatever.  :tongue:


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Anonymous]
    #870688 - 09/09/02 12:00 AM (19 years, 23 days ago)

Goody! :smile:

Plato all happy now.  But the thing is, will it last? :wink:

So then you cannot say that you have experienced these things?  Or can you?  Seems to me like a pretty definitive picture you are painting.  Or are you just the God's paint brush? :wink:

Heavens, the last she she needs is allusion right now, me thinks.

Get yer own metaphor, dammit! :wink:

Cheers and tears, 


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Grav]
    #870694 - 09/09/02 12:02 AM (19 years, 23 days ago)

Is sensing in the sense that you used it enough? Or does one need more types of sense in order to make any sense. Does any of that make sense?


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #870717 - 09/09/02 12:18 AM (19 years, 23 days ago)

In reply to:

Or are you just the God's paint brush?



-More like 'A god's hammer'. -OoD


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Anonymous]
    #870726 - 09/09/02 12:24 AM (19 years, 23 days ago)

No need to get Thor about it. :tongue: 


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Offlinechemkid
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #870808 - 09/09/02 01:00 AM (19 years, 23 days ago)

Point taken.......there are many definitions of love. I suspect we all have our own "TRUE" variations of it... LOL


--------------------
An open mind is the greatest journey of all.


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #870878 - 09/09/02 01:36 AM (19 years, 23 days ago)

You'll have to define "absolute truth"..

Do you mean "truth that exists independent of human experience"?
or "truth that is constant throughout space and time"?
or both?

Is love an absolute truth? will it be here regardless of our existence?
Would pi still be pi if we weren't around?
Is change an absolute truth? would there be change without someone to perceive it?

When I say that existence is an absolute truth, I don't mean "I exist" or "we exist" or "the universe exists". I'm only saying that something exists. As soon as that something is defined, it is no longer an absolute truth. When we define that ineffable something as "I" or "we" or "the universe", we are introducing prejudiced distinctions that are made by the human mind.

All I know is that this thing exists.
Existence itself can't be denied. If you come across any other "absolute truths", let me know  :grin:

 

btw, "love", "pi" and "change" are not absolute truths, neither is human existence, neither is the existence of a physical universe. By the strictest definition of "absolute truth" - only "existence" is certain. Everything else is contingent on our personal experieces.

It may be a waste of time to seek absolute, unchanging, universal truths.
Perhaps we should seek truths that are shared by every human being?




Edited by infidelGOD (09/09/02 02:01 AM)


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OfflineCleverName
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #871140 - 09/09/02 04:31 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

truth is the present, the now. and by using the "tool of god", obsevation, perhaps we all may find it someday. but the present doesnt really exist, its always going to past, maybe there is no truth...every silver lining has a touch of gray, you know. actually, truth is what is left when everything is done. when a blackhole finally eats our universe and itself what will there be...emptyness? void?
and what about relativity, that changes everything, perhaps this and perhaps that...where was i?


--------------------
if you can't find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?

this is the purpose


Edited by CleverName (09/09/02 04:38 AM)


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: infidelGOD]
    #871230 - 09/09/02 07:38 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

"I'm only saying that something exists."

Yes, however abstruse you thought your comment was or how impermeable it was to my mind I knew exactly what you meant by it.  Pretty weird, eh?  Especially when we say that I might not exist.  I hope you don't mind if I go out on a limb and say I exist.

"As soon as that something is defined, it is no longer an absolute truth. When we define that ineffable something as "I" or "we" or "the universe", we are introducing prejudiced distinctions that are made by the human mind."

Or so you say, but then again if you don't exist it really doesn't matter what you say, does it? :wink:  I'd like to do a little exploring on this matter.  It might prove to be helpful!  (deliberate pun)

Here's what I think is up.  Most people are terrified to even admit that any truth is absolute in any degree exists in any way whatsoever.  The reason for this is because that might in some small way end up with the admitting that God exists or, heaven forbid, there might be some kind of moral code to which we all should adhere.  Good Golly Molly wouldn't that be a drag!

No, it's better to just play dumb and that way no one can tell us what is truth (because it doesn't exist) and that way we can cling to whatever vile notions we like or we can do whatever we please and no one can tell us that it is wrong.  It seems to me, and here I am being quite serious, that moral relativism has really done its job.  The very idea that we question our existence is, behind the scenes, an extreme attachment to the ego.  The very same ego that protects, defends, and worships itself at every turn to the pain suffering and misery that this world contains.

I say this not to you specifically even though I think it applies but to the whole group.

If, and that's a big if, we are truly open-minded let us do a little exploration on this matter of truth.  What are we afraid of?  (Rhetorical question as I have already given what I think is the answer)

"It may be a waste of time to seek absolute, unchanging, universal truths.
Perhaps we should seek truths that are shared by every human being?"


It might be, and here I am just spitballing, more of a waste of time to explore the nature of shared truths if none of us exist in the first place. :smile:  Get me?

At the end of the day, the sun sets.  It always does. :wink:

Want another absolute truth?  Here's one:  I can tell, at times, whether someone has lied to me.  Can you?  Notice here I am not saying that lying is bad, just in case you love it, so you can revel in it to your hearts content and feel no guilt whatsoever.  I always try to accomodate my guests. :wink:

Cheers for absolute truths,   


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: CleverName]
    #871235 - 09/09/02 07:45 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Interesting observation. It is true that all things that we experience existentially are in flux. But does that mean that they do not exist? From a phenomenological point of view we can say we know many things are true. But here we are introducing an element; time, that skews the question. Existence is not merely a temporal matter. If an object does not exist but it did at one singular point in time, at least enough so we could observe it in any way, we can say that it did exist. That would be true, no?

Cheers for existence,


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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #871243 - 09/09/02 07:52 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Hrmm, no Mr. Mushrooms that didnt make too much sense to me  :confused:

But i believe there is a truth in some sort of 'natural state' of things.. of human life. This truth comes only in fleeting moments (because the state of our current world breathes misunderstanding and confusion), but it is there, and you can feel it when all distractions are put out of mind.
Will it have any relevance in my daily life? probably not.

Maybe its just a randomly repeating function of the brain? heheh..  who knows..  :tongue:



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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Anonymous]
    #871245 - 09/09/02 07:53 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

And lastly:

"Not to fear, I have 'experienced.' -OoD"

Shades of Jimi!  Does this mean that something exists in some way?  Not to say that some material thing exists but merely to admit that something, you have called it 'experience', exists.  Allow me to say that I have 'experienced' the Oracle, but not all of her. :wink: :wink:

I vow to you, dear Lady, that I will not attempt to lead you down a primrose path.  Most of them have thorns. :wink:

Three Cheers for experience, 


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Grav]
    #871250 - 09/09/02 07:56 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Who knows?  With a little exploring we might. :tongue:

I hear you in the rest of it.  I was teasing you with my answer.  Do not disdain what you intuit, Aristotle thought the same.

And look what happened to him!  :blush:

Cheers, 


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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #871252 - 09/09/02 08:00 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Read my signature for the answer...


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Fliquid]
    #871253 - 09/09/02 08:03 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Good heavens, not another absolute truth!  :shocked:

Yes, I think you have something there.  Truth, by definition, needs definition. :wink:

Cheers for defining, 


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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #871259 - 09/09/02 08:09 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

It is logical, and sounds to me like the most likely answer.

Do you disagree?  :confused: 


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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #871264 - 09/09/02 08:13 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Quote:

not another absolute truth!


indeed.
As stated, it depends on the persons self created definition of its own truth.
Truth is a generate ripple in our water, generate by speculation of one or more indeviduals.

KKK members fully believe that black people are the cause of a lot of terrible things.

Isn't that a good example?  :smirk: 


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Fliquid]
    #871279 - 09/09/02 08:48 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Not only do I agree, I wholeheartedly concur or something like that that.

"Such a relation which relates itself to its own self (that is to say, a self) must either have constituted itself or have been constituted by another."

Kierkegaard


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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #871282 - 09/09/02 08:59 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Its both, and its compiled through observation and conclusion based on examples.
General conclusion is always generate from a minor or more examples given by a constitute from another.


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Fliquid]
    #871290 - 09/09/02 09:07 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Oh well done!  I thought you might enjoy a quote from my favorite Danish Theistic Existential philosopher. :wink:

Cheers for Soren, 


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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #871294 - 09/09/02 09:12 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Please give me some feed back on my previous post. Make it still concerning the truth issue you threw on the forum...  :crazy: 


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OfflineLOBO
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #871318 - 09/09/02 09:33 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

"All truths, are semi truths"
The Kybalion


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Re: Truth? [Re: LOBO]
    #871328 - 09/09/02 09:42 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Be a tree, be a bee, be a bee on a tree...  :smirk: 


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OfflineAdamist
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Re: Truth? [Re: infidelGOD]
    #871329 - 09/09/02 09:42 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

By the strictest definition of "absolute truth" - only "existence" is certain.

I agree.


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Offlinevaporbrains
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #871444 - 09/09/02 11:19 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

he who knows, speaks not. he who speaks, knows not. -Lao Tzu

also, see Nietzsche for the most revolutionary thought on truth in the past 100 years.



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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Fliquid]
    #871472 - 09/09/02 11:40 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Alrighty then:

"General conclusions are always generated from minor premises that arise from other premises?"

Is that what you are saying? That is my comment tucked inside the statement you made. I don't know where you are going with this but as long as you don't ask me for gas money it's cool.

Cheers for constitution,


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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #871489 - 09/09/02 11:47 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

To me, truth is just those things that I have come to believe (for whatever reason) beyond a reasonable doubt. In this sense, truth is ultimately subjective. To a Christian, God exists. That is the truth; there is no argument. To me, God does not exist; that is the truth. Since every individual mind has its own unique perspecitive of the universe, there can be no real standardization of truth. We can share the same beliefs, but that's about as close as two separate minds can get to mutually 'knowing' something is true.

Science is a method of testing based on these shared beliefs, until it can be shown that something is true beyond a reasonable doubt. Again, 'reasonable' is subjective, but I still feel confident enough saying that if I throw some balsa wood in some distilled water, that I am CERTAIN it will not sink.

I'll start by saying that not all truths can be shoehorned into a 'scientific' paradigm or schema. In other words, you may know something is true without analyzing it using scientific instruments. Various experiences that we all have fit into this category. For example, I know that I love various people. The fact of that evidences itself in reality by the actions I take toward them. I don't use beakers and test tubes to know this. I simply observe the actions I make and conclude it is true.

Contrary to belief, science is NOT a method of determining 'the truth' with quantitative instruments such as beakers and test tubes. Our culture has associated white labcoats and bubbling Erlenmeyer flasks with 'science,' but it's more of an ideology than anything else. Science is two things: a) a body of 'knowledge' that has been tested to the extent that one can feel safe assuming it, and b) a method of testing this knowledge such that one can believe it beyond a reasonable doubt (the scientific method). The reason quantitative measurements are most often used for science they allow us to share certain beliefs with little subjectivity; a milliliter to me is almost certainly the same as a milliliter to you, or to Nelson Mandella or Michael Jordan. Standardization like this makes communication much easier. We can't really accurately relate emotions to someone else, as we can with figures and quantities. There are established processes for determining what is valid scientific data and what is not, and so far this system has worked quite well. Not many people would disagree that the oceans have salt in them, but it can never be truly 'proved.' To use our observations for any good, we must each individually decide what we are willing to assume and what we are not. If we assumed nothing, we would know nothing, and wouldn't be able to do anything science has allowed us to do (build complex structures, travel to space, etc.) In theory, we could be wrong about every single thing we 'know,' but I doubt it.

But who is to say that the psychological processes involving the emotion of love cannot be distilled down to specific neurons firing in specific, measurable ways? Just because humans cannot pinpoint the physical cause of 'love' does not mean we never will. You technically don't 'know' that you love a particular person; you are just aware of a particular emotion that your upbringing and education has taught you is to be labelled 'love.' It may be the same emotion others experience that they describe as love, or it may not be. So technically, you don't 'know' that you love a particular person any more than I 'know' that the coffee makes me hyper. You have just identified a particular emotion with your particluar schema for the word 'love', which may or may not be similar to another person's schema for it. But I'm sure that you KNOW that you do 'love' certain people. Certainly you believe it enough to assume it.

The term 'truth' is definately anything but concrete, because we cannot possibly all share the exact same schema for it. Or anything else for that matter. The best we can do is believe, but people have varying standards for what is believable or not.

Heheh that was long. Must be the coffee.


--------------------
Welcome evermore to gods and men is the self-helping man.  For him all doors are flung wide: him all tongues greet, all honors crown, all eyes follow with desire.  Our love goes out to him and embraces him, because he did not need it.

~ R.W. Emerson, "Self-Reliance"

:heartpump:


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: LOBO]
    #871490 - 09/09/02 11:47 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Yes and all trucks are semis as well. Don't forget 4's, all 4's are semiphores.

Whatever are you talking about?

The statement itself is a truth is it not, or so you are maintaining? Well then, ipso facto it negates itself.

But thanks for playing. Here's a home version to amaze your friends with. Johhny, tell him what he's won......

Cheers,


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: vaporbrains]
    #871495 - 09/09/02 11:50 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

"he who knows, speaks not. he who speaks, knows not. -Lao Tzu"

Yet another statement whose existence negates itself. The idea that knowledge, which is a subset of truth, is incommunicable is in itself preposterous.

Next,


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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #871505 - 09/09/02 11:52 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Yes, thats right. And it starts from a very young age. So the child (even with a lack of much examples) shall generate its own conclusions, and store them as the basics for live. All based on first time experiences.

So truth is based on first time experiences that are reexperienced time after time, after time. Reanalysed and restructured in levels of truth.

Example:

1. Truth Horse. 10
2. Truth Fly 6

- Truth horse is encountered but seems to be a bit wrong. It is altered or removed if concluded from external input that it is totaly wrong.
- Truth Fly is encountered and reaction to Truth Fly is positive (rewarded by chemical pleasure reactions in the brain, happiness) so Truth Fly goes up a few points and grows to level 8

This means every tiny little thing is catagorised and recatagorised every milisecond of a second. Like a gameshow where people are running around reordering books in high and low shelves.


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: WhiskeyClone]
    #871514 - 09/09/02 11:55 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Good entry. I give it a 7 cuz I like the beat.

A cursory glance tells me you've been sniffing the wine corks again.

Seriously, there is a lot of substance in what you have said with a few things that I disagree. I want to give it a full treatment and not just rattle something of the top of my acidhead so I'll postpone a substantial review and commentary for later.

Thanks Cyber chump, that was pretty good by my lights.

Cheers for the Scientific Method,


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Fliquid]
    #871527 - 09/09/02 11:59 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Whew, well at least I got it right. I was really sweating it there for a while. I see you picked up another mushroom to your rating. Here, let me add another.

We need to talk more about this. If English is your second language I am most impressed.

Sincerely,


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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #871535 - 09/09/02 12:01 PM (19 years, 22 days ago)

I eagerly await the full treatment  :grin: 


--------------------
Welcome evermore to gods and men is the self-helping man.  For him all doors are flung wide: him all tongues greet, all honors crown, all eyes follow with desire.  Our love goes out to him and embraces him, because he did not need it.

~ R.W. Emerson, "Self-Reliance"

:heartpump:


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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #871536 - 09/09/02 12:02 PM (19 years, 22 days ago)

It is my second language, and i would love to continue the conversation. But its time to go home now. My shift is up. We shall continue this later on. PM me please so i remember...  :grin: 


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Fliquid]
    #871550 - 09/09/02 12:08 PM (19 years, 22 days ago)

I will certainly PM. Looks like I have another playmate. Oh Goody. [claps hands for joy]

At least you have a shift. I am shiftless.

Till then mon ami,


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Offlinepattern
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #871579 - 09/09/02 12:20 PM (19 years, 22 days ago)

>And if our experience deceives us? our perceptions deceive us?

It's still an experience: if we are decieved, lied to, etc, we still have the opportunity to discover the "truth behind the truth".  I think all of reality is like this: we experience truth but there is always more truth behind it.  In other words, every truth is made up of a pattern of truths.

>What then? Where do we stand? What rock or firmament is there to stand on?

I exist.

>Is everything relative?

As far as I can tell, yes.  Every truth may be relative to the fact "I exist"

> I think some of us have concluded that there is at least one absolute truth and that is our existence. Would you maintain that as well?

Absolutely!  :smile:


--------------------
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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: pattern]
    #871638 - 09/09/02 12:41 PM (19 years, 22 days ago)

You've summed it up quite nicely.

The next class is in the laboratory though. We will be ablating rat brains. I hope you join us.

Cheers,


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #871731 - 09/09/02 01:08 PM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Well now that this trip is really underway I have a confession to make. I don't know how to drive this bus.

Here, somebody hold the wheel straight while I take a quick toke on this PCP laced cracksoaked DMT I just scored.

BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!

Here WE GOOOO!!!!


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InvisibleWhiskeyClone
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #871740 - 09/09/02 08:13 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Well now that this trip is really underway I have a confession to make. I don?t know how to drive this bus.



I thought you were qualified when I hopped on.


--------------------
Welcome evermore to gods and men is the self-helping man.  For him all doors are flung wide: him all tongues greet, all honors crown, all eyes follow with desire.  Our love goes out to him and embraces him, because he did not need it.

~ R.W. Emerson, "Self-Reliance"

:heartpump:


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OfflineLOBO
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #871773 - 09/09/02 08:26 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

My dear friend that simple phrase is more than just a game of words.
At one point the truth was that the earth was flat, today we know that is a sphere.
Is that the ultimate truth, perhaps not, one day we may discover something else who knows?
I believe they are no absolutes in the universe, thus they are no absolute truth.
But what do I know?
I know, that I know nothing.


--------------------


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: WhiskeyClone]
    #871781 - 09/09/02 08:29 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

:grin: :grin: :grin: :grin:


No Dude, I just saw the training video for the first time this morning and we were late so I had to fire this baby up before it finished.

How'my doin'?

[hey, you guys in the back!  you wanna stop lighin' shit on fire?]



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InvisibleCH4
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Re: Truth? [Re: Adamist]
    #871793 - 09/09/02 08:33 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Analysis
Mulla Nasrudin was walking into town one evening when he suddenly came across a pile of cow shit on the path. He bent over slightly and looked at it carefully.
Looks like it, he said to himself.

He leaned closer and sniffed, Smells like it.

He cautiously put his finger in it, then tasted it, Tastes like it. I'm sure glad I didnt step in it!

Beware of analysis!



--------------------
follow the yellow brick road!


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: LOBO]
    #871812 - 09/09/02 08:40 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

I understand.  What you are referring to is the fact that our knowledge can be refined with addititional information.  When we say something is true most of the time we leave the possibility open that new data might change our opinion.  This is not the case with certain truths.  Existence is surely one of those truths.

Your statement that you know that you know nothing is untrue because the only way you can know nothing is to not exist.  If you exist you know it.

Which brings me to the point, by knowable, incidentally, I do not mean that which can be known by perception of the sense, or that which can be grasped with the mindbut more that which can be said to be Known or to possess a Knownness or Knowability, or at least something you can mention to a friend. :wink:

Cheers for um, yeah,   


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OfflineLOBO
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #871892 - 09/09/02 09:14 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

We all seek to make sense of our existence and to find truth, what ever that is, perhaps the truth is the source of every thing "God" or perhaps not I don't know and don't think I will ever know, is like every thing is in layers.
Just when you unravel something and you think you got it, you find out is much bigger than you thought and you are at 0 again.
So I decided to fallow another approach before I go insane.
"That in life there is nothing to do, only something to see"
Saying that I am still inquisitive to find out things to learn and discover, knowing that I will never finish, and I hope I never do.
Because that will mean the end.


--------------------


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Offlinemirrorsaww
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #871900 - 09/09/02 09:19 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Whether or not it's known, whether or not it can be known, whether or not it's believed, whether it can or can't be proven true:

Truth = Truth.

A symbol that links to something real.

That's my take on it.


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Offlinevaporbrains
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #871912 - 09/09/02 09:28 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

"Yet another statement whose existence negates itself. The idea that knowledge, which is a subset of truth, is incommunicable is in itself preposterous."

i think you misunderstood. the statement doesn't say that ALL knowledge is incommunicable, only that the truth is incommunicable. although i would argue that it isn't "preposterous" that all knowledge is incommunicable. perhaps only approximations of knowledge are communicable. truth being a certain kind of knowledge. why should all kinds of knowledge be communicable, mr. mushrooms? obviously all kinds of knowledge are not communicable as i cannot tell another person exactly what i am feeling when i take LSD, especially if they've never taken LSD, but also even if they have taken LSD before.

all this aside, i think it should be fairly obvious that Absolute Truth is a worthless goal. if you define absolute truth as a true knowledge of everything then you posit a deterministic universe that is capable of observing itself in it's entirety. a concept i don't think any of us can understand. the search for truth is probably a more valuable goal. it should also be noted that as biological beings we are inherently unable to admit truth into our minds except in small doses. absolute truth would mean death to a human being. these are all the ideas of nietzsche and others. celine hits on this repeatedly in "Journey to the End of the Night."


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: LOBO]
    #871948 - 09/09/02 09:52 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Well said Lobo. Not only do I agree but I think you have a sterling attitude.

Cheers,


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: mirrorsaww]
    #871968 - 09/09/02 10:03 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Bravo, mirrorsaww.

What you are referring to here is another absolute truth as far as I can tell. Any thing is that thing and no other. I know it sounds like a bit of semantic juggling but I assure you it is not. Not only is truth, truth, but my car is my car, and the sky is the sky, etc. This is a bedrock Truth of logic called The Law of Identity. I assume as philosophers came to the conclusion that not much could be known with certitude they stumbled across this little gem.

Pretty earth-shattering, isn't it?


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: vaporbrains]
    #872029 - 09/09/02 10:32 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Well well the first definitive post from you with substance sans attitude.  I like it.  You should wear it more often.  The color goes great with your eyes.

I have a slightly different interpretation of that quote by Lao Tzu.  I take it to mean that if you know something you will not tell it and if you are communcating you do not know anything.  I always call that quote a thread stopper because usually the poster who posts it is implying that no one knows what they are talking about and the only way to appear wise is to shut up.  Rarely have I seen it work though.

Let's examine these propositions of yours and hold them up to the light.

although i would argue that it isn't "preposterous" that all knowledge is incommunicable. perhaps only approximations of knowledge are communicable.

I never said all knowledge was directly communicable.  My tooth hurts.  Can you feel it?  But that does not mean that we cannot communicate some truths.  I exist.  I am the person typing this post to you.  That is true and I have just conveyed it.  Other interpretations of the preceding three sentences other than the obvious meaning are flights of fancy around castles in the sky.

i think it should be fairly obvious that Absolute Truth is a worthless goal. if you define absolute truth as a true knowledge of everything then you posit a deterministic universe that is capable of observing itself in it's entirety. a concept i don't think any of us can understand. the search for truth is probably a more valuable goal. it should also be noted that as biological beings we are inherently unable to admit truth into our minds except in small doses. absolute truth would mean death to a human being.

Well, that's a mouthful.  I like your use of the lower case i, it's classy, even egoless. :smile:  Absolute truth as you have defined it might be worthless but even more so it would be impossible.  A search for truth is what we're doing, or so I hope.

Here's a free pass.  If you ever need a transfer don't be afraid to speak up.  Next stop: Gangsta Land

[looks at watch, dam we're late again] 


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Offlinevaporbrains
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #872280 - 09/09/02 12:30 PM (19 years, 22 days ago)

I never said all knowledge was directly communicable. My tooth hurts. Can you feel it? But that does not mean that we cannot communicate some truths. I exist. I am the person typing this post to you. That is true and I have just conveyed it. Other interpretations of the preceding three sentences other than the obvious meaning are flights of fancy around castles in the sky.

i think it would be more accurate to say "i think i exist" and "i think i am the person typing this post to you." For example, if you take into account that you may have taken Datura (Jimson Weed) only hours ago and fogotten about it, then you have to admit that you really don't "know" anything about what "you" are really doing. (Jimson weed is known for causing those who take it to forget that they took a drug at all and subsequently enter a true hallucinatory state.)

Specifically regarding "i am the person typing this post to you." one could argue that this statement could be being written by several agents of your brain all working in concert to give the mere illusion that "you" are "the person" who is "writing." perhaps you aren't writing anything. perhaps parts of your brain are actually doing the writing and your only job is to "think that i am" + "writing." essentially, i am saying that identity may be an illusion and if it is then you could not communicate the statement "i am the person typing this post to you" or "i think i am the person typing this post to you" truthfully, because there is no I. this could apply to all sorts of statements, identity related or otherwise, that you think are true but are not. so even if you can communicate some things with a minimum of ambiguity you still don't know that they are true...even if they seem really really true.

whew, that was long winded..buti was typing as i was thinking..so it will naturally ramble.



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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #872335 - 09/09/02 12:57 PM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Truth is inherent to the way we prove reality, the validation of truth is our failling point, so if we are beings that conceptualized and theorize about our own reality is because we can't understand reality as a whole but we try, considering evolution as a determining factor. The conception of reality is created by several defenitions of truths, they create key points so we can build reality with understanding and interact with it.

MAIA


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #872354 - 09/09/02 01:10 PM (19 years, 22 days ago)

I hope you don't mind if I go out on a limb and say I exist

I don't mind  :wink:

But do you know for certain that I exist?
Do all these people here exist, or are they just characters in your dream?
Some things we believe on faith...

Here's what I think is up. Most people are terrified to even admit that any truth is absolute in any degree exists in any way whatsoever. The reason for this is because that might in some small way end up with the admitting that God exists or, heaven forbid, there might be some kind of moral code to which we all should adhere

Are you saying that there IS a moral code? If so, is that an absolute truth or a human truth? It's been mentioned before, you can't seperate truth from human experience. I'm perfectly willing to accept that there is a moral code to follow, but I can't call it an absolute truth (not by its strict definition).

It seems to me, and here I am being quite serious, that moral relativism has really done its job. The very idea that we question our existence is, behind the scenes, an extreme attachment to the ego

A bit counter-intuitive but I get your point. Relativism makes everything relative to the self, so denial of self-existence casts the self as a supreme being.

I don't deny that I exist, I know that this is real, I know that people around me are real. I BELIEVE that this is real, but I can't be 100% sure of it. I'm only 99.9999999999999999999111% sure. Maybe that's good enough to qualify as an "abolute truth" but I have to leave some room for the possibility that 'self' is an illusion - that my human experience is a simulation just complex and nuanced enough to maintain the illusion of my existence. Can you say for certain that this is not an illusion?

I assure you that I'm not suffering an existential crisis. (not yet  :wink: )
I know I (the human being) exist. I also know that however unlikely, there are other possibilities to explain my existence.

I know that I'm using a definition of 'absolute truth' that is narrowed to the point of uselessness, but it's important to make the distinction between things we know for certain, and things we think are 99.999999% true.

 


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: vaporbrains]
    #872366 - 09/09/02 01:14 PM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Well here I am going to just address one aspect of your post even though I find the bulk of it to be incorrect.

"i think it would be more accurate to say "i think i exist" and "i think i am the person typing this post to you."

No, it is not more accurate. I don't think I exist. I know beyond any doubt that I exist. Period, Finito, The End.

Cognito ergo sum. I think, therefore I am. If you can think you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you exist because that which can think exists. The act of thinking alone causes us to know we exist. Have you not heard of Descartes?

I wish I had the time to go over every one of your points but I don't they would take more time than I have for it.

Thanks though. Your thoughts are interesting.

(wonders if this is the same vaporbrains)


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OfflineFliquid
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #872494 - 09/09/02 02:46 PM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Something that adds to the realisation of truth:

The feel.

It, the itch.. The 'i know it can't be, or its not like that'.

The unbound sensor that gives as a little push into the right direction. That is one thing even i can not clarify its origin from.  :frown:

If anyone can, please do.. 


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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #872505 - 09/09/02 02:52 PM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Ahaaahhh!!! But the I in you is not what you are!!!
You are the compilation of your entire beeing. But not in a way that you are an I.
Because i is the natural response to consiousness, i is the failsafe for total insanity. If not for i, you could not even see difference. Because you would not see yourself as a ego centred beeing.

I know it has nothing to do with the topic.  BUT IT IS THE TRUTH!!  :grin: 


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OfflineZahid
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Re: Truth? [Re: Fliquid]
    #872525 - 09/09/02 02:58 PM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Fliquid.. what is your avatar supposed to be? :laugh:


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OfflineGrav
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Re: Truth? [Re: Fliquid]
    #872535 - 09/09/02 03:02 PM (19 years, 22 days ago)

I think that may be sort of what i was thinking about..
the obscured feeling which just has some sort of essence.
i guess it doesnt help much to talk about something so 'mystic'

but im willing to bet if i closed my eyes and started living like a sheep then those feelings would begin to feel more and more like a far-off oasis instead of an underground river running beneath my feet.

hey, i like that analogy.



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Offlinevaporbrains
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #872547 - 09/09/02 03:07 PM (19 years, 22 days ago)

most postmodern philosophers and some moderns don't subscribe to descartes ergo cogito sum. i am pretty unfamiliar with thier philosophies though so we'll skip em.

a simple thought experiment will serve to disprove such hasty suppositions.

If a computer were programmed to simulate a conscious entity and insert itself into a virtual world, would the virtual entity be able to say "i think therefore i am." ? i say he would not because he doesn't really exist and he isn't really thinking. the computer exists and it is thinking.  the virtual entity is just a part of the computer that has forgotten that is part of the computer.  :grin:



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Re: Truth? [Re: Zahid]
    #872560 - 09/09/02 03:14 PM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Its a picture of my baby girl in here mama's tummy...  :grin:
She shall be born around 2 november...  :crazy: 


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: WhiskeyClone]
    #872650 - 09/09/02 04:15 PM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Well as you can see by this time there are many posts to answer.  But I try to answer the posts in the order that they were posted.  Not always possible but it is a goal that I strive for.  That said, here is my answer to yours.

To me, truth is just those things that I have come to believe (for whatever reason) beyond a reasonable doubt. In this sense, truth is ultimately subjective. To a Christian, God exists. That is the truth; there is no argument. To me, God does not exist; that is the truth. Since every individual mind has its own unique perspecitive of the universe, there can be no real standardization of truth. We can share the same beliefs, but that's about as close as two separate minds can get to mutually 'knowing' something is true.

We standardize truth according to several kinds of ways.  We use the scientific method to verify as much as we can things not apprehendable by normal means.  If we can apprehend them by normal means we use logic, which is a subset of philosophy, and philosophy proper to determine what is true or what exists.

For the nonce we have no empirical evidence that God exists.  However, if we did you would have to admit it or be incorrect.  Some sections of science are so well documented, and it pains me to say this, that they are beyond reasonable doubt.  I say reasonable because science is one of the ways by which we know the world.  Regardless of what certain people claim we know that man landed on the moon.  It is a scientific fact.  There are many scientific facts that came from that journey.  We use logic as a test to see if something is true.  A set of premises may be valid logically but the conclusion may not be true.  I'm doing really bad at this but I am tired.  I hope I am being clear enough that you can understand.

Science is a method of testing based on these shared beliefs, until it can be shown that something is true beyond a reasonable doubt. Again, 'reasonable' is subjective, but I still feel confident enough saying that if I throw some balsa wood in some distilled water, that I am CERTAIN it will not sink.

I would substitute the word 'knowledge' for the word 'belief'.  This is not semantical hairsplitting.  The word 'belief' is better suited for things we cannot prove.  What in your opinion constitutes 'objective'?

Contrary to belief, science is NOT a method of determining 'the truth' with quantitative instruments such as beakers and test tubes. Our culture has associated white labcoats and bubbling Erlenmeyer flasks with 'science,' but it's more of an ideology than anything else. Science is two things: a) a body of 'knowledge' that has been tested to the extent that one can feel safe assuming it, and b) a method of testing this knowledge such that one can believe it beyond a reasonable doubt (the scientific method). The reason quantitative measurements are most often used for science they allow us to share certain beliefs with little subjectivity; a milliliter to me is almost certainly the same as a milliliter to you, or to Nelson Mandella or Michael Jordan. Standardization like this makes communication much easier. We can't really accurately relate emotions to someone else, as we can with figures and quantities. There are established processes for determining what is valid scientific data and what is not, and so far this system has worked quite well. Not many people would disagree that the oceans have salt in them, but it can never be truly 'proved.' To use our observations for any good, we must each individually decide what we are willing to assume and what we are not. If we assumed nothing, we would know nothing, and wouldn't be able to do anything science has allowed us to do (build complex structures, travel to space, etc.) In theory, we could be wrong about every single thing we 'know,' but I doubt it.

Parts of this are entirely incorrect.  It is an incontrovertible truth that you can prove, and not just with a reasonable doubt, that the ocean has salt in it.  The water from the ocean can be analyzed to see if it contains salt.  This is pure science and results in a conclusion that is undeniably true.  The ideas contained in this paragraph are novel to me.  Where did you get them?

But who is to say that the psychological processes involving the emotion of love cannot be distilled down to specific neurons firing in specific, measurable ways? Just because humans cannot pinpoint the physical cause of 'love' does not mean we never will. You technically don't 'know' that you love a particular person; you are just aware of a particular emotion that your upbringing and education has taught you is to be labelled 'love.' It may be the same emotion others experience that they describe as love, or it may not be. So technically, you don't 'know' that you love a particular person any more than I 'know' that the coffee makes me hyper. You have just identified a particular emotion with your particluar schema for the word 'love', which may or may not be similar to another person's schema for it. But I'm sure that you KNOW that you do 'love' certain people. Certainly you believe it enough to assume it.

This is the error of reductionism which assumes that quantifiable parts of a thing have more reality than the thing itself.  It is a common error.

The term 'truth' is definately anything but concrete, because we cannot possibly all share the exact same schema for it. Or anything else for that matter. The best we can do is believe, but people have varying standards for what is believable or not.

Most of this could have been clarified by using different terms.  I do not 'believe' the sun is outside the earth.  I know it.

I am sorry this didn't come out as clear as I would have liked it.  Most have been the lack of coffee. :wink:

 


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: MAIA]
    #872655 - 09/09/02 04:17 PM (19 years, 22 days ago)

I think I might understand what you are getting at but I am not completely sure.  Looks good on paper anyway.

:smile:


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: infidelGOD]
    #872677 - 09/09/02 04:31 PM (19 years, 22 days ago)

But do you know for certain that I exist?
Do all these people here exist, or are they just characters in your dream?
Some things we believe on faith...


As far as knowing whether or not you exist I would say the chances are likely. Since this is the Internet I cannot be certain because I cannot see you. If you are a Turing machine please tell me now. If I saw you and performed a few tests I would conclude that you exist AND are human and I would know it beyond any doubt. For now all I know for sure is that there is a consciousness communicating with me through machines.

Are you saying that there IS a moral code? If so, is that an absolute truth or a human truth? It's been mentioned before, you can't seperate truth from human experience. I'm perfectly willing to accept that there is a moral code to follow, but I can't call it an absolute truth (not by its strict definition).

I am not referring to a moral code per se. I do know a few moral absolutes. I declare them to be true beyond a doubt. Aristotle, have you read him?

A bit counter-intuitive but I get your point. Relativism makes everything relative to the self, so denial of self-existence casts the self as a supreme being.

Actually I was referring to moral relativism ala Fletcher but pure moral relativism is just as flawed. I might explain it later for now I do not think there is enough time.

I know that I'm using a definition of 'absolute truth' that is narrowed to the point of uselessness, but it's important to make the distinction between things we know for certain, and things we think are 99.999999% true. + the preceding paragraphs

Yes, all you have done is substitute an unworkable definition in the place of a workable one. So, what you have said is silly.

Cheers,


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: vaporbrains]
    #872719 - 09/09/02 04:41 PM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Yes, it's best we skip the postmoderns because it would be very difficult if not impossible to show why they are wrong about nearly everything they think. Philosophy took a wrong turn ih the Middle Ages and hasn't recovered since.

If a computer were programmed to simulate a conscious entity and insert itself into a virtual world, would the virtual entity be able to say "i think therefore i am." ? i say he would not because he doesn't really exist and he isn't really thinking. the computer exists and it is thinking. the virtual entity is just a part of the computer that has forgotten that is part of the computer.

Fallacy of a weak analogy. We are not computers and neither are computers human. They are incapable of conceptual abstraction. When I referred to the Turing machine I was hinting at that. The day that we can program a machine that can function mentally as well as we do is the day that you can come forth with such a thought experiment. That day will never come and recedes further and further into the distance everyday.

Cheers,


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Offlinepattern
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Re: Truth? [Re: LOBO]
    #873185 - 09/09/02 08:42 PM (19 years, 22 days ago)

> At one point the truth was that the earth was flat, today we know that is a sphere.

The theory that the Earth is flat was abstractly true, but we found that there is more to it.  Back then, it was true enough to describe a big flat piece of land as flat.  In reality, it was just a "almost flat" surface on a giant sphere. 

I suspect many of the truths we believe today are abstractly true.  We are missing out on the bigger picture because we don't have all the data. 

Everyone believes we evolved from apes.  Abstractly true?  :wink:


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Offlinewrestler_az
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #873281 - 09/09/02 09:43 PM (19 years, 22 days ago)

i wish i had joined this thread earlier.....to much stuff to have to read to catch up on all that has been said.....a couple of interesting things have been said, as i skimmed over the posts.... i like the idea that even our existance may not be a truth....what if i am just a figment of someones elses imagination, just a manifestation playing out a role in their subconsious as they sleep at night?
truth is beyond or reach.....we dont have the capability of understanding the truth at this state of our existance, theres just too much out there that may be involved, it was once thought as truth that the earth was the center of the universe and that the stars were fixed points of light on the inside of a chrystaline sphere......boy, we were way off! who knows what other truths will be disproven in my lifetime.....


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  Edited by yageman (04/20/06 4:20 PM) 


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #873367 - 09/09/02 10:56 PM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Actually, my narrow definition of "absolute truth" isn't completely useless - it marks a boundry. In the other extreme are people who claim that "truth is whatever you want it to be". This is a definition of truth diluted to the point of meaninglessness. There is a spectrum of Truth. Most of the things we consider truth (scientific truths, moral truths etc.) are somewhere in between and these are not to be confused with Absolute Truth.




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InvisibleinfidelGOD
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #873382 - 09/09/02 11:17 PM (19 years, 22 days ago)

When I referred to the Turing machine I was hinting at that. The day that we can program a machine that can function mentally as well as we do is the day that you can come forth with such a thought experiment. That day will never come and recedes further and further into the distance everyday.

I wouldn't be so quick to say that the "day will never come" when a machine "can function mentally as well as we do". The coming years might prove you wrong. It's true that all the computing power in the world today doesn't even come close to the processing power of a single human brain, but computer technology is still advancing at an exponential rate.

The human brain does not have unlimited processing or storage capacity - a Turing machine isn't needed. If our brains are just electro-chemical machines, a computer with enough processing power and storage capacity should be able to achieve consciousness and thought. This assumes that there is nothing *special* about the human mind - that consciousness is a natural emergent property of organized matter, not something that is "granted" by a supreme being.

Of course there is the remote possibility that the day has already come and we are the result (If that's the case, I think "they" need to refine our programming  :tongue: ).

 


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OfflineAmoeba665
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Re: Truth? [Re: infidelGOD]
    #873450 - 09/10/02 12:51 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

boy i don't even know where to start. i've been away from the board for a while, i'm glad i stopped by in time to catch this thread. i suppose first off, i'll give an analogy.. i'm kinda surprised no one else has already brought this one up..

let's suppose we have an elephant sitting in a big jungle somewhere. and with the elephant we also have a few blind men who are groping the elephant, trying to understand just what it is. one of the men feels the tail and says "it is like a rope", another feels the elephants side and decides it is like a wall. a third blind man feels the truck and says it is a snake, a fourth feels the leg and decides it is a tree, and so on. anyway, the point of this analogy is that they all base their understanding of reality on whichever part of the elephant they have been exposed to, but then they jump to conclusions without having all the information, without having experienced the entire elephant. so although all their experiences are valid and yes, the elephant *is* like a tree and like a snake and like a rope and like a wall, it is all of those things and more. and yes, the elpehant *does* exist, and it is what is is no matter what *you* think it is.

and as for science. the point others in this thread were trying to make is, although the scientific method is quite reliable (it is based on reason,after all), its *explanations* are based upon our current understanding of the elephant. in other words, all truths which science uncovers are only objective in that they can be verified by our collective human experiences as opposed to only our individual human experiences. so they are actually subjective. scientific theories are *based* on absolute truth (everything that happens and exists is because of absolute truth), but the theories themselves are never absolutely true. they are only possibilities, and their only use is as a tool to aid mankind in whatever its goals may be. [insert plato's allergory of the cave here]

in reality, although absolute truth most certainly does exist, just as the elephant exists independently of its observers, it can not be understood outside of itself. only the absolute can truly know the absolute, only the elephant can truly know itself, only i can truly know me, and so on...

so assuming the above is true, that absolute truth exists but we can only understand it subjectively, and our subjective interpretation is just a symbol pointing to the thing itself, as someone else said . . .  i would like to give an interpretation of absolute truth in two simple words :  nothing exists. the discordians say "nothing is true, everyting is permitted", but this can be confusing, because it can be interpeted literally as meaning that *nothing is true* (although it is true that we can never know truth while outside of it), when in reality what i believe it means is that *nothing exists*, with nothing being the "absence of existence". it is true that the absence of existence exists, that something came out of nothing, that everything has a beginning and an end except for whatever is before the beginning and after the end, whatever lies outside time, which is incomprehensible and inexplicable by anything within time, and which is why according to us, as beings stuck in time, existence is a paradox. so for me, paradox is as close as i can get to absolute truth, i see paradox as the fundamental characteristic of existence. and using this symbol of absolute truth as a foundation for my sense of reason (much like science uses objective reality as it is known as the foundation for its sense of reason), i can come to other possible interpretations of additional aspects of absolute truth. such as.. the fundamental characteristic of existence is paradox, the fundamental characteristic of life (which is not the same as existence) is growth. i also believe in moral absolutes that exist in every conscious being as conscience (which has become buried within us long ago, beneath many layers of false ego & its proponents - mechanical, chemical "i"s), free will, the necessary balance and co-existence (how paradoxical!) of chaos (as the source of life) and order (as the source of existence) and other stuff i won't get into right now (maybe later) because this letter is long enough, those truths are getting gradually more and more subjective, i'm getting more and more nonsensical, and it's 4:45 in the morning and i have to work in a few hours so um well i'm gonna go now.

oh yeah - and as for A.I.... the difference between us and AI is that we can imagine, and we have a desire to understand. basically, we have desire. you could also mention things like the subconscious, and art and music and creativity and all that. but its quite possible that all that is programmed into us, and also that desire is programmed into us (do we know *why* we desire? *why* we want to know, to strive, to evolve?), and thus we are simply machines programmed to desire consciousness and truth and understanding and sex and drugs and dead baby jokes.  maybe nothing, whcih knew itself only as absolutely nothing, made some complicated thinking desiring machines so that it could subjectively and not absolutely know itself as something, only to eventually find out that its simply nothing?  :crazy:


hi mom!  :grin:   


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
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Re: Truth? [Re: Amoeba665]
    #873495 - 09/10/02 01:47 AM (19 years, 22 days ago)

Alright, now we're talking absolute truths. thank you.  :laugh:

I'm glad you brought up the elephant analogy. The elephant exists - that is an absolute truth. The elephant is a rope, a tree, a snake and a wall. These are truths based on perception.
"I think therefore I am" is an absolute truth. "I am a human being" is a truth based only on perception. It is true beyond doubt that "I" exist, it is perceived that "I" am a human being. Two different kinds of "truth".

Also, "absence of existence" is an absolute truth. If existence can be defined by its boundries, 'nothing' exists. "something exists" is another absolute truth.

Science deals in the world that we can percieve. With our senses and instruments, we can only see a part of that proverbial elephant and science is forever cut off from absolute truth.

the fundamental characteristic of existence is paradox
I don't know about that. Paradox may be a fundamental characteristic of human existence. Would a conscious universe experience paradox?

 


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: infidelGOD]
    #873592 - 09/10/02 04:40 AM (19 years, 21 days ago)

Actually, my narrow definition of "absolute truth" isn't completely useless - it marks a boundry. In the other extreme are people who claim that "truth is whatever you want it to be". This is a definition of truth diluted to the point of meaninglessness. There is a spectrum of Truth. Most of the things we consider truth (scientific truths, moral truths etc.) are somewhere in between and these are not to be confused with Absolute Truth.

Not a lot of time and none tomorrow but I will say this.  You speak with a rare precision that is sadly lacking on this forum.  I like it. :smile:

Cheers,


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: infidelGOD]
    #873633 - 09/10/02 05:13 AM (19 years, 21 days ago)

I wouldn't be so quick to say that the "day will never come" when a machine "can function mentally as well as we do". The coming years might prove you wrong. It's true that all the computing power in the world today doesn't even come close to the processing power of a single human brain, but computer technology is still advancing at an exponential rate.

Here's why I say less likely. You are correct. Computer technology is advancing at an expotential rate. What that means is that the more advanced it gets without creating a Turing machine the less likely it will be that it will ever create one. It is the law of diminishing returns. An example would be if an object were fastened to the floor by supranatural means and we were trying to lift it, if the amount of ergs we were generating through the lifting device were increasing expotentially the less likely it will be that we will ever lift it. Of course that means two things. One, we may be able to lift it and we just haven't increased the ergs enough yet. The more ergs applied and sooner or later somebody, except those with a predisposition to think otherwise, will look for other reasons, i.e. perhaps supranatural ones, to account for the attachment. Two, the object is supranaturally attached.

I wish I had a bit more time today to devote to this but I think you catch my drift.

Cheers,


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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #873684 - 09/10/02 05:37 AM (19 years, 21 days ago)

Can't you people make short postings?  :grin:
I need my eyes for other things also...  :smirk: 


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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #873689 - 09/10/02 05:42 AM (19 years, 21 days ago)

I'm sorry but i don't have the time to read all this, and therefore i'm sorry to say. That i have to withdraw from the discussion.
I hope my adding helped a bit...  :wink: 


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Amoeba665]
    #873764 - 09/10/02 06:30 AM (19 years, 21 days ago)

boy i don't even know where to start. i've been away from the board for a while, i'm glad i stopped by in time to catch this thread. i suppose first off, i'll give an analogy.. i'm kinda surprised no one else has already brought this one up..

I'm very glad to meet you.  I always thought you were a scream.  Have you ever thought of having Helen Keller in your dreams?

let's suppose we have an elephant sitting in a big jungle somewhere.

[snip]



Yes, well that only obliquely applies to existence.  Your analogy is taken from a poem by Rudyard Kipling and one I learn from my mother's knee when I was but a lad of three.  Here it is in its entirety for your entertainment and amusement:

"The Blind Men and The Elephant

by Rudyard Kipling


It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind)
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
"God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!"

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, "Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me 'tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!"

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldy up and spake:
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a snake!"

The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
"What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain," quoth he;
"'Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!"

The Fifth who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: "E'en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!"

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a rope!"

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!

The Moral:

So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!"

and as for science. the point others in this thread were trying to make is, although the scientific method is quite reliable (it is based on reason,after all), its *explanations* are based upon our current understanding of the elephant. in other words, all truths which science uncovers are only objective in that they can be verified by our collective human experiences as opposed to only our individual human experiences. so they are actually subjective. scientific theories are *based* on absolute truth (everything that happens and exists is because of absolute truth), but the theories themselves are never absolutely true. they are only possibilities, and their only use is as a tool to aid mankind in whatever its goals may be. [insert plato's allergory of the cave here]

True to an extent I think.  Are you saying that our collective human experience is subjective as well?  If you are you are introducing a novel idea into the mix and I invite you to elaborate.

The difference we are talking about resides in the difference between two different Greek words, episteme and doxa.  The first word, episteme, refers to absolute knowledge and you are correct we have very few items that fit in that box.  Existence is one.  There are others.  Doxa means opinion, not in the sense of mere opinion, but in the sense that it is a kind of knowledge that can be refined with the additon of new data.  Newton's law of gravity comes to mind.  Thanks for mentioning my cave.  It's nice to know someone remembers me.

in reality, although absolute truth most certainly does exist, just as the elephant exists independently of its observers, it can not be understood outside of itself. only the absolute can truly know the absolute, only the elephant can truly know itself, only i can truly know me, and so on...

Incorrect.  We know we exist absolutely.  That alone negates your premise.

I only have time for a few quick comments adn then I might not get back to them today.  Tomorrow is out of the question entirely.  I will shut down all my phones, unhook the Internet and reflect on things that are dear to me.  A rare occasion but I am entitled to it.

so assuming the above is true....

A huge assumption and an even larger if.

that absolute truth exists but we can only understand it subjectively, and our subjective interpretation is just a symbol pointing to the thing itself....

You are conflating the difference between subjective and objective.  If I understand you correctly you are saying that it is impossible to have objectivity.  This can be cleared up by introducing the terms 'private' and 'public' in the place of 'subjective' and 'objective'.  I will elaborate on this later but I will comment a little on it now.  There is a pejorative meaning to the word 'subjective' and that is that whatever is subjective has less weight in terms of understanding than the word 'objective' does.  Some of that can be cleared up by using the term 'public'.  When you and I see a glass on a table we both acknowledge its existence.  And should acknowledge that it exists absolutely.

All I have time for at the moment.  I hope to engage you in a few days or maybe later this evening.  I have to say I have never met an amoeba quite like you! :smile:

Cheers,



     


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InvisibleWhiskeyClone
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #873916 - 09/10/02 07:48 AM (19 years, 21 days ago)

We standardize truth according to several kinds of ways. We use the scientific method to verify as much as we can things not apprehendable by normal means. If we can apprehend them by normal means we use logic, which is a subset of philosophy, and philosophy proper to determine what is true or what exists.

I don't know what you mean by "normal means." Do you mean through our sensory perceptions? If so, I would have to say that human senses are notoriously unreliable. You may see the Sun everyday, but it could be just you being crazy the whole time and not knowing it.  :smirk:    Silly but true.  Welcome to The Matrix mwaahahaha

For the nonce we have no empirical evidence that God exists. However, if we did you would have to admit it or be incorrect. Some sections of science are so well documented, and it pains me to say this, that they are beyond reasonable doubt. I say reasonable because science is one of the ways by which we know the world. Regardless of what certain people claim we know that man landed on the moon. It is a scientific fact. There are many scientific facts that came from that journey.

I guess what I tried to say in my post was that there is no knowledge or fact without some degree of assumption. You have to ASSUME that a massive conspiracy didn't trick you into believing that we landed on the moon. A safe assumption if their ever was such a thing, but with all the trillions of assumptions that must be made to 'know' every little fact you know, certainly some of them must be untrue.

I'm still trying not to stray over the boundry into nihilism, but it seems hard not to sometimes. Anyway I think we are arguing non-perpendicular arguments, but I'll continue because it's fun.

What in your opinion constitutes 'objective'?

My opinion is subjective, so umm... my opinion is available at www.dictionary.com  :grin:

Parts of this are entirely incorrect. It is an incontrovertible truth that you can prove, and not just with a reasonable doubt, that the ocean has salt in it. The water from the ocean can be analyzed to see if it contains salt.  

I think the whole thesis of my post was that there are no genuine incontrovertable truths. It's just way easier to discuss this stuff if we assume there are. In other words, a fact is only a belief.

Parts of this are entirely incorrect. It is an incontrovertible truth that you can prove, and not just with a reasonable doubt, that the ocean has salt in it. The water from the ocean can be analyzed to see if it contains salt. This is pure science and results in a conclusion that is undeniably true. The ideas contained in this paragraph are novel to me. Where did you get them? 

-aA-a Aaargh...  I had another attack of nihilism. Sorry.  If we throw out nihilism, and assume science to be the be-all and end-all (not a bad policy if you ask me), then yes there is undoubtedly salt in the ocean, I am five hundred percent certain of that. Maybe six hundred percent. And you know where I got those ideas: my nihilistic confused head of course.

I'm doing really bad at this but I am tired. I hope I am being clear enough that you can understand.

Hehe I'm doing worse. Ok nihilism is gone from this point on, I swear. From here on in there ARE incontrovertable truths.

This is the error of reductionism which assumes that quantifiable parts of a thing have more reality than the thing itself. It is a common error.

I used that example because emotions are unquantifiable and thus, nothing about them can be scientifically proven. IMO science is the ONLY way to 'prove' something to anyone else. You can know in your heart that you love someone, just like my nephew knows in his heart that Santa Claus exists. It is undeniable to him; he has seen evidence all over the place. You are assuming you know what love is. A common error. Especially among 14 year old girls. Heheh just kidding.  All I meant was is that since emotions are at present unquantifiable, they are undefinable, which means two minds cannot share an identical schema for any of them. That's all I meant.

Most of this could have been clarified by using different terms.

Probably. I never claimed to be a master linguist.... and I do DRUGS too!!! Who knows what I was really trying to say :wink:

I do not 'believe' the sun is outside the earth. I know it.

I disagree; I think belief and knowledge are ultimately indistinguishable. For convenience's sake we pretend they are separable. To 'know', you have to have faith (spell that assume) that your sources of knowledge (your senses, textbooks, other people) are reliable.

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my post. 


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~ R.W. Emerson, "Self-Reliance"

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Offlinemirrorsaww
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Re: Truth? [Re: Adamist]
    #874062 - 09/10/02 08:46 AM (19 years, 21 days ago)

no one can know what absolute truth is, because it's all subjective

Is your statement the truth? or just your subjective truth?

Maybe the statement negates itself? e.g. "This sentence is false"

If we can't know anything for certain that would seem (paradoxically) to be a certainty...



Edited by mirrorsaww (09/10/02 08:53 AM)


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Re: Truth? [Re: WhiskeyClone]
    #874246 - 09/10/02 10:21 AM (19 years, 21 days ago)

In reply to:

I'm doing really bad at this but I am tired. I hope I am being clear enough that you can understand.

Hehe I'm doing worse. Ok nihilism is gone from this point on, I swear. From here on in there ARE incontrovertable truths.




This is normal for us, we use our minds in a good productive way. And therefore we spend more energy...


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OfflineAdamist
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Re: Truth? [Re: Amoeba665]
    #874394 - 09/10/02 11:33 AM (19 years, 21 days ago)

Wow, Amoeba... thanks for putting that into words.


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Re: Truth? [Re: mirrorsaww]
    #874407 - 09/10/02 11:37 AM (19 years, 21 days ago)

Is your statement the truth? or just your subjective truth?

Everything I say is subjective truth. :smile: 


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Re: Truth? [Re: Adamist]
    #874502 - 09/10/02 12:10 PM (19 years, 21 days ago)

Every subjective thing I say is the truth.


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Welcome evermore to gods and men is the self-helping man.  For him all doors are flung wide: him all tongues greet, all honors crown, all eyes follow with desire.  Our love goes out to him and embraces him, because he did not need it.

~ R.W. Emerson, "Self-Reliance"

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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #874550 - 09/10/02 12:37 PM (19 years, 21 days ago)

mr. mushrooms:

it should be noted that no one can prove that we are not in fact computers and that reality is not actually a virtual reality spawned in the circuitry of a computer .
thusly, the analogy is apt. but if you prefer a more human analogy you can watch The Matrix.

it should also be noted that we could concievably create human beings made out of synthetic parts which would in essence replicate their biological counterparts if we had advanced enough science. There is also no reason to believe that science will not one day create a computer system capable of the kind of thought that human beings exhibit. Nature did it and we are just specialized components of nature. the day that we can program a computer to think like we do may be far in the future, but i don't see how you have proven that it will NEVER happen. such a claim seems to be based more on your pride in your own unique humanity than on any logical/rational process.


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Invisiblebuttonion
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #875056 - 09/10/02 04:22 PM (19 years, 21 days ago)

Wow, I was so high just a minute ago that I actually ?invented? idealism, I completely forgot that I learned of it somewhere else. I was pissed at first then I just had a loud laugh! Here is what I wrote anyway (BTW, this kind of is a runaway bus) Just a wee bit off topic:


When you and I see a glass on a table we both acknowledge its existence. And should acknowledge that it exists absolutely.

Cool? ontology. I grant that you said you would elaborate later, but??Public? knowledge may simply point to commonalities between several (human) observers, evidence for the fact that their perceptual faculties are similar, that they both break down reality in a similar way. This is probably at the heart of a conversation that we were having a while ago. I guess these are two competing ways of conceiving of the ?existence? of objects: either that they exist perceptually (we chop reality into things) or ontologically (reality is already chopped into things). I guess there may be the possibility of a combination of the two. I side with the first view. Neuroscience is continually understanding human perception and consciousness more and more, discovering how certain neurological conditions, lesions, and malformations can lead to a twist on the way humans typically report experiencing reality. Research is showing that almost every aspect of our experience of reality can be affected. When someone has a brain that is different in someway, his reality is totally different from ours. Since all of our brains are the same, what we agree becomes consensus reality. Uggh.. I guess this is why this topic has been a perpetual debate amongst philosophers- there doesn?t seem to be a way to reject either one!



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Concepts which have been proved to be useful in ordering things easily acquire such an authority over us that we forget their human origins and accept them as invariable.- Albert Einstein


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Invisibledeep_umbra
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #875134 - 09/10/02 05:23 PM (19 years, 21 days ago)

if something physically showed you the answer to (insert your question about the universe) would you believe it to be the absolute truth? some would, some wouldn't.. who would be right? making up your own truth is as good as it gets..


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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #875350 - 09/10/02 06:34 PM (19 years, 21 days ago)

Computer technology is advancing at an expotential rate. What that means is that the more advanced it gets without creating a Turing machine the less likely it will be that it will ever create one.

fallacy of a uh..bad analogy.    :laugh:  computer technology is not ergs. you don't apply computer technology to a problem in a 1 to 1 way. it's dynamic. meaning...new advances...new discoveries...can change the amount of "ergs" you can apply to the problem.


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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #875532 - 09/10/02 08:27 PM (19 years, 21 days ago)

OK, I guess I'm gonna chime in with a very different direction than the thread has been following so far...

Truth, in a practical sense, is a combination of my perceptions, beliefs, and aesthetics. Also, an approximation of the truth is adequate for real purposes.

Deep philosophical discussions on the meaning and nature of truth can certainly be interesting (look at the size of this thread and what's been written so far), but there is also a very interesting application side to the whole thing. Isn't the whole idea of indirect knowledge and how do I know one of the foundations of the art of science. It is interesting that, as humans, we also have an aesthetic sense of the truth - if given a choice between two possible approximations of the truth, we will choose the one we percieve as being more elegant.

One of the reasons Einstein's general relativity is so well regarded among physicists is because of its extreme mathematical elegance and beauty. Of course, if it were not also phenomenally accurate in making predictions it would be dropped in an instant, but the mathematical beauty it possesses puts it on a level above most physical theories.

Similarly, as humans, we regard scientific experiments which produce results entirely counter to our normal way of thought as having a beauty above the average. The diffraction of a single electron through two slits is an experiment which demostrates elegantly the idea of particle/wave dualism, and uses easily available materials to do it.

While some logical philosophies will reject a close relationship between truth and beauty, I much prefer a philosophy closer to "truth is beauty". I accept that I cannot absolutely know the complete truth about anything and so I seek my approximations of the truth through my senses, my experiences and beliefs, and my sense of aesthetics.


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OfflineFliquid
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #875900 - 09/11/02 01:38 AM (19 years, 21 days ago)

More truth...

Oppression in  shroomery land ...  :frown:

Your right for freedome of expression is also taken in here...  :frown: 


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Offlinevaporbrains
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Re: Truth? [Re: Fliquid]
    #876277 - 09/11/02 03:42 AM (19 years, 20 days ago)

hey Fliquid: no one is oppressing your right to free expression. you're post has nothing to do with Spirituality or Philosophy. it's off topic. it's a flame. it's more apporopriate for a PM. if you have a flame, post it in the proper forum and if they censor it, then complain.


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OfflineCalen
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #877035 - 09/11/02 08:40 AM (19 years, 20 days ago)

Mr. Mushroom said:
I have a slightly different interpretation of that quote by Lao Tzu. I take it to mean that if you know something you will not tell it and if you are communcating you do not know anything. I always call that quote a thread stopper because usually the poster who posts it is implying that no one knows what they are talking about and the only way to appear wise is to shut up. Rarely have I seen it work though.

I take you're audio processor when you said you were "audiodidactic"? If so, you analyze language as it is written, explicitly. People like me, a visual processor, perceives the quality besides just the logical analysis. Tzu's quote is about experiential truths. The order in which the person does is in the quote. **Experience** comes first, articulation comes after. Not the other way around.


I'll take perceptual quality further in relations to the Tzu's quote when you said here:

Lately I have been thinking about the various ways that we, as humans, figure out what is truth.


Thinking is like *speaking*, internally ~ creates noise. When a person experienced spiritual awakenings (no noise), that person won't speak anything at all (He who knows, speaks not). The intellect (noise) that conceptualizes truth (or truths) and constantly in pursuit for the reasons and validation behind it is "He who speaks, knows not."

Thinking is the absence of the awareness of insight. Can ya dig the truth between you and Tzu's? ~.^

No, it is not more accurate. I don't think I exist. I know beyond any doubt that I exist. Period, Finito, The End.

Explain the levels of existence you don't doubt?

Cognito ergo sum. I think, therefore I am. If you can think you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you exist because that which can think exists. The act of thinking alone causes us to know we exist. Have you not heard of Descartes?


Buddha would agree, but he's anti-Cartesian, would also say there's an 'illusive quality of "I think, therefore I am."


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Re: Truth? [Re: ToxicMan]
    #877216 - 09/11/02 09:50 AM (19 years, 20 days ago)

ah, reminds me of Schrodinger's Cat.


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Re: Truth? [Re: vaporbrains]
    #878642 - 09/11/02 06:20 PM (19 years, 20 days ago)

I don't know if you believe me... But i had a dream that you would type this... This is really freaky.  :grin:

But what i'm replying now is not the thing i replyed in my dream. It was much worse. And it sturred up a lot of people against me.

Thank chemicals for dreams..  :laugh: 


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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #879443 - 09/12/02 03:09 AM (19 years, 19 days ago)

I believe all truths (and falsehoods) are contained within.
We already have all the answers, the challenge is to sift
through all the programmed psychobabble, discard all the
baggage, and face ourselves.

Once an individual is able to face themselves in an "honest"
manner, that individual can begin to embark on the journey
of seeking the truths (or answers) to the questions they may
have in life.

I believe humanity is a mirror of ourselves. EVERY person we
encounter is a small reflection of a part of ourselves. Before
we judge others, we must first look within and seek the very
same quality we are quick to judge.

By understanding and implementing this concept (as difficult as
it is), an individual will have a deeper understanding of their own
existence, and from that understanding, answers will then reveal
themselves.

The truth is within each and every one of us. We just have to be
brave enough to face it, in order to experience it!

Peace to Everyone,

Peaceful Nomad



--------------------


Edited by Peaceful_Nomad (09/12/02 03:12 AM)


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Offlinemirrorsaww
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Re: Truth? [Re: vaporbrains]
    #879592 - 09/12/02 04:22 AM (19 years, 19 days ago)

most postmodern philosophers and some moderns don't subscribe to descartes ergo cogito sum. i am pretty unfamiliar with thier philosophies though so we'll skip em.

As far as I can see, you are claiming that certain philosophers deny Cogito ergo sum proves existence. That they admit the possibility that *nothing* may have somehow convinced itself into believing that something exists when really it doesn't. That there could be *absolutely nothing* which "we" falsely believe to be something. The quotes are used because "we" would of course not exist. Nothing would exist. A strange belief in my opinion. Do you have any better evidence for this than your 'thought experiment'?

On the other hand Descartes method of doubt has often been rejected as a starting place for a basis of knowledge. In brief: It starts by trying to find one point of certainty, a foundation upon which knowledge can rest. The point of certainty is found by rejection of any proposition whose truth we can even slightly doubt. The result of this process is to discover the certain truth that "I think therefore I am".

The difficulty comes when you try and reconstruct knowledge upon this basis. In the method of doubt have you not destroyed the tools needed for the job? One notorious problem with Descartes own solution is the Cartesian circle. To prove the reliability of the senses he relies upon a benevolent deity as a guarantor of reason ("God does not decieve"), while at the same time he is using reason ("clear and distinct ideas") to try and prove the existence of the deity in question. It is unsatisfactory to many, but I quite like the idea that reason destroys itself in the method of doubt only to be resurrected (so to speak).



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Offlinemirrorsaww
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Re: Truth? [Re: mirrorsaww]
    #879600 - 09/12/02 04:26 AM (19 years, 19 days ago)

truth just being so truth is redundant...


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: mirrorsaww]
    #879877 - 09/12/02 07:05 AM (19 years, 19 days ago)

Wisdom is not communicable. Knowledge can be communicated, but not Wisdom
I have come to this truth through experience. -OoD



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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: infidelGOD]
    #880479 - 09/12/02 01:38 PM (19 years, 19 days ago)

I'm going to use a slightly different approach to answer a few misconceptions that have arisen in the dialogues between various members and me. Instead of going through each post line by line answering them as if we were in a conversation I am going to just lay out what I think the various problems are and then give answers by explaining what I think the common misconceptions that exist in terms of philosophical thinking.

It is exceedingly important that we try to use language that is precise as possible in order to accurately convey exactly what we mean when we are discussing the finer aspects of philosophical thinking. If we are imprecise in the definitions or meanings of the terms we use our thinking will reflect that. I do not think anyone here wants to be imprecise. We also need to agree on the definitions and/or meanings if wish to discuss something. All of us are aware, or should be aware, of the danger of using different meanings or definitions for the same words in a conversation.

If I say, "Artichoke running diapers flying moonbeams to shine can zipper my cabbage," very few of you, I would venture to say none, would have the slightest idea of what I am talking about. I could then explain what each of the terms means to me but where would that get us? All that would result would be semantic quibbling over the meanings of the words and little or nothing would be accomplished.

In order to prepare myself for this little explanation I decided at the behest of vaporbrains to watch The Matrix again and see if it would jog something loose in my head in order that I might remember it better or at the very least eat some popcorn and a few candy bars.

With all that said, let us begin. The root of the problem; whether sensory perception can lead us to acknowledge existence, began many years ago with the writings of John Locke in a book he wrote entitled, Essay Concerning Human Understanding. In it he explains that ideas are that which we apprehend and not that by which we apprehend. I know that seems a little abstruse so let me explain it in detail taking us through the various steps so that it might become clear.

The ideas in my mind are my ideas and the ideas in your mind are your ideas. That is to say, that each of us has ideas that are not directly experienced by the other person. Even if a person could read your mind, they would be listening to your thoughts but not having them. The various states of telepathy do not negate this. Now the words yours and mine indicate possessiveness, or ownership. That is why they are possessive pronouns. They indicate that those ideas arise within a consciousness and so are what we call subjective. Locke thought that one's own ideas were what each of us are aware of and that no one else can be directly aware of them as each person is of their own ideas. In other words, those ideas are never an object of someone else's consciousness but they are an object of our own.

When we apply the word "object" to an idea that exists in our own mind an apparent contradiction confronts us. We seem to be saying that my ideas while subjective in the sense that they occur in my mind and not yours yet they also retain the attribute of objectivity because they are truly are objects. Let us consider more closely the terms subjective and objective so that we can better understand them. We say that something is objective if it is the same for you, for me, and for anyone else. We say that something is subjective if it differs from one person to another and when it is the possession of one person. Feelings are entirely subjective because we alone own them. I may have feelings like yours but I do not directly have your feelings.

To clear up this confusion I think it is better to use the words public and private in the place of objective and subjective. Any experience is public if two or more people can share it. It may not be common to all people but it must at least be potentially common to all people. An experience is private if it can be had by only one person and cannot possibly be shared directly by anyone else.

Let me provide us with some examples that I think are indisputable and hopefully you will agree with me.

Our bodily feelings which include tactile sensations and the emotions or passions each of us feel are entirely our own. Others may feel the same way but they do not share the feelings directly. I can tell you about how I feel and you may have feelings like mine but each of us is directly experiencing the same type or kind of feeling and not each other's. It is the same way with a toothache. If my wisdom tooth is impacted with a raw nerve exposed and it is giving me such pain that I would sell my mother to the Nazi's for relief, you may have had a similar experience but you are not directly experiencing my pain. You may even empathize to the point where your own tooth aches and yet the pain you feel is your own as mine is my own. There is a type of individual psychology that denies this sort of thing with immeshment dysfunction but we need not go into that here.

In sharp contrast to our bodily feelings, our perceptual experiences are public, not private. If you and I are seated at a table with a candle, two glasses and a bottle of wine we are perceptually apprehending the same objects-not our own ideas. If I pour some wine in your glass and toast you we are sharing the same experience. That is a public experience but the taste of the wine on each of our tongues is not, just like the heartburn the Mad Dog gives me and does not give you. My perceptions, or percepts, are not identical with yours. Each of us has his own, as each of us has our own bodily feelings. Even though my perceptions and yours in this instance are in this sense subjective (belonging exclusively to each of us alone), our having them results in our having a common or public experience.

To go back to Locke, both perceptions and bodily feelings are ideas and each of us has his own. But certain subjective ideas, such as bodily feelings, are exclusively subjective. They are objects of consciousness only for the one person that experiences them. They can be called objects for that reason, but they do not have any objectivity. On the other hand, other subjective ideas, like percepts or perceptions, result in public, not private, experience, for their objects can be directly and simultaneously experienced by two or more people.

I know this is overly long. I hate long posts but I know of no other way to convey this. I'll end this section here. I am composing this in word and then copying and pasting it into the thread. There is more to come but I don't want to burden the readers more than I have already. I know if I were reading this I probably would have given up by now. The ones that have the necessary patience and persistence will come away with ideas they have never encountered before and will have a new explanation for the world and this reality which we all experience.

For those who wish to interject something at the point, feel free to do so. However bear in mind that whatever objection you might raise will be covered in short order as I finish this. I will also, at the end of this explanation talk about the Matrix and why I think, in some limited sense, it might be true. I watched the movie at least 4 times and caught a fatal flaw in it which has great bearing on our discussion.

Cheers,


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: WhiskeyClone]
    #880520 - 09/12/02 01:53 PM (19 years, 19 days ago)

^^^^^^^


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Amoeba665]
    #880828 - 09/12/02 05:07 PM (19 years, 19 days ago)

^^^^^^^^

Cheers,


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Adamist]
    #881130 - 09/13/02 12:15 AM (19 years, 19 days ago)

^^^^^^

I just wanted to make sure you saw I added something. I'll add more later.

Cheers,


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InvisibleWhiskeyClone
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #881326 - 09/13/02 02:45 AM (19 years, 18 days ago)

In reply to:

^^^^^^^




I hate your lies.


--------------------
Welcome evermore to gods and men is the self-helping man.  For him all doors are flung wide: him all tongues greet, all honors crown, all eyes follow with desire.  Our love goes out to him and embraces him, because he did not need it.

~ R.W. Emerson, "Self-Reliance"

:heartpump:


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Invisiblebuttonion
Calmly Watching

Registered: 04/04/02
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Loc: Kansas
Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #881335 - 09/13/02 02:50 AM (19 years, 18 days ago)

To clear up this confusion I think it is better to use the words public and private in the place of objective and subjective. Any experience is public if two or more people can share it. It may not be common to all people but it must at least be potentially common to all people. An experience is private if it can be had by only one person and cannot possibly be shared directly by anyone else.

our perceptual experiences are public, not private. If you and I are seated at a table with a candle, two glasses and a bottle of wine we are perceptually apprehending the same objects-not our own ideas.

percepts or perceptions, result in public, not private, experience, for their objects can be directly and simultaneously experienced by two or more people.



My question- Do what we acknowledge as entities (i.e., events, objects, properties, etc) exist outside of our perception?

I do not see how this idea has been rejected. The fact that a perception is common to all people may just as easily point to similarities in the way humans perceive reality (or the Tao). I am not saying that I can totally reject your realism, but I do not see how you can reject this idealism. Please grant me solace and refute this idea. Ending this debate is crucial for any agreement on absolute truth.


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Concepts which have been proved to be useful in ordering things easily acquire such an authority over us that we forget their human origins and accept them as invariable.- Albert Einstein


Edited by buttonion (09/13/02 02:51 AM)


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Offlinevaporbrains
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Re: Truth? [Re: buttonion]
    #881426 - 09/13/02 03:33 AM (19 years, 18 days ago)

In reply to:

In sharp contrast to our bodily feelings, our perceptual experiences are public, not private. If you and I are seated at a table with a candle, two glasses and a bottle of wine we are perceptually apprehending the same objects-not our own ideas.




this is absolutely ridiculous. you need to brush up on your perceptual psychology. if we are both sitting at a table apprehending the same glass of wine we are NOT "seeing" the same thing. of course we both can see the objects on the table and agree on some of thier attributes, but this doesn't mean we can say we see the SAME thing. even in the visual sense we are not neccessarily seeing the same image. it should be recognized that we filter our perceptions THROUGH our ideas, that is, through our subjective consciousness. since everyone's filters/frames/ideas/concepts are different we would be neccessarily percieving different wine glasses and even different experiences of toasting. you might be thinking "oh, he's so cute. this is great." and i might be thinking "oh what a fag." which would color (along with other conceptual/perceptual filters) the entire experience.

a schizophrenic obviously doesn't percieve the same reality as a normal person. and this is analogous to the difference in perception between normal individuals, only it's a smaller difference....this seems obvious?

In reply to:

whether sensory perception can lead us to acknowledge existence




maybe i'm just saying what you've already said. if so, i don't see how this proves the existence of an objective existence. Neo, from the Matrix thought he was experiencing objective reality, as did his companions. He wasn't.


--------------------
All refrences to and statements concerning mushrooms, mushroom cultivation, and mushroom related paraphrenalia refer specifically to the cultivation of legal species.


Edited by vaporbrains (09/13/02 03:50 AM)


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Offlinevaporbrains
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Re: Truth? [Re: Anonymous]
    #883808 - 09/15/02 07:19 PM (19 years, 16 days ago)

what the fuck happened to this thread?


--------------------
All refrences to and statements concerning mushrooms, mushroom cultivation, and mushroom related paraphrenalia refer specifically to the cultivation of legal species.


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: vaporbrains]
    #883837 - 09/15/02 07:29 PM (19 years, 16 days ago)

As in?

I will be adding more shortly answering a few issues you brought forth.

Cheers,


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: vaporbrains]
    #883849 - 09/15/02 07:33 PM (19 years, 16 days ago)

In reply to:

what the fuck happened to this thread?



-You want the truth? - OoD


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Adamist]
    #883851 - 09/15/02 07:33 PM (19 years, 16 days ago)

So. Where were we? Ah yes, we were trying to figure out whether we exist or not. I think it is important and so do my loan officers. If we find out that I do not exist, I am going to send a letter to them straight away and tell them to forget about next month's payment or any other payment for that matter. This discussion could really revolutionize my finances. The only problem I can see is that the people that owe me money will not know who to make the check out. Hmmm, Perhaps we should continue.

As I was saying, all ideas are subjective. That means that they all exist in our minds. My ideas exist in my mind and your ideas exist in your mind. They are never identical anymore than the cells of my body are identical to the cells of your body. Some of the ideas result in public experiences and some of them result in private experiences.

Here we need to make a distinction between ideas and bodily feelings, emotions, and sensations. Locke did not observe this distinction and that is why we have a hard time today understanding this. An idea has an object. This means that perceptions, memories, imaginations, and concepts or thoughts are ideas in this sense of the word but bodily feelings, emotions, and sensations are not. We apprehend them directly. They are never the means by which we apprehend anything else. When we are perceiving we are directly conscious of something other than our percepts.

What is the something other? It is the candle, table, wine bottle, and the glasses that we perceive when we are sharing a public experience and result from our perceptual activity. In addition, let us be clear about the meaning of perception. Perception has two distinct meanings. The first and primary meaning is to recognize something. The second means the interpretation of the thing recognized. This is the order in which we perceive something. It is impossible to interpret something until it enters the mind through the senses.

Our experience of the table with its accouterments is a public experience, not a private experience like a toothache.

The table and the things on it, the really existing things, are the objects of our perceptual awareness. They are not the percepts or perceptions that enable us to apprehend them. That is why we can talk about them to one another as things we are experiencing in common. The wine bottle is the perceptual object that we are both apprehending when I pour the wine into your glass.

Here is where Locke made the philosophical mistake that has confused us for years. For him, the awareness we have of our own ideas is entirely a private experience, never public. This holds true for all those who adopt his view of ideas as the objects of our minds when we are conscious. What they think is that all the ideas that an individual has in his mind when he is conscious result in private experiences for him alone. They are experiences no one can share. We all labor under this philosophical mistake.


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: infidelGOD]
    #883858 - 09/15/02 07:36 PM (19 years, 16 days ago)

Let us return to Locke's concept that ideas are that which we apprehend and not that by which we apprehend objects in the sensate world and see how our concept leads us inevitably to a conclusion that is counterintuitive. The reason the conclusion is counterintuitive or runs contrary to reason is twofold. One, most of us are unaware of how loose our habits of speech are. If we do not rid ourselves of the bad habit of using imprecise, equivocal terms, we will never be able to accomplish much in the way of philosophical discourse. Moreover, we are used to the concept of idealism because its usage has become pervasive in our culture. It appears as a backdrop in movies, books, and other places where ideological ideas are found. If we take the time to look at these concepts through new eyes we will find that not only do they make sense but they clear up a few mysteries like the ones that prompted this explanation in the first place.


What this means specifically is that while we experience perceived objects in the sensate world, we are never aware of the percepts by which we are made aware of them. While we remember past events we are never aware of the memories whereby we remember them. While we are aware of imagined things or imaginary objects we are never aware of the images by which we imagine them. While we apprehend objects of thought we never apprehend the concepts by which we think of them. What I am saying here is that we cannot directly examine or be consciously aware of the images or memories by which we remember things or have imaginings.

Here is why. If we go back to the table with the wine and glasses we noted that we shared a public but not a private experience. It could not have been a public experience if all we were aware of was our own perceptual ideas, our own sense perceptions. A cognitive idea, including percepts, memories, images, and concepts, cannot, at one and the same time be that which we directly apprehend and that by which we apprehend something else-some object that is not an idea in our minds, but unlike subjective ideas is rather something that can be an object of consideration or of conversation for two or more individuals. Its being a communal experience for both of us, one that we shared, depended on our both apprehending the same perceptual objects, not our own quite private perceptions of them.

That is important, let me repeat it.

Its being a communal experience for both of us, one that we shared, depended on our both apprehending the same perceptual objects, not our own quite private perceptions of them.

I do not know how to make that any clearer.



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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: WhiskeyClone]
    #883860 - 09/15/02 07:38 PM (19 years, 16 days ago)

Now this is not to say that we do not have perceptual differences when we perceive objects of the sensate world. However, these differences are not difficult to account for. For example, I might mention that the wine appears to be burgundy and you say it looks like claret. After realizing that I am sitting with the light source to my back and you are sitting where the light travels through it we quickly clear the matter up. Most perceptual differences can be accounted for in this manner. On the other hand if I say that the bottle is corked and you say it is not we might come to the conclusion that I am corked and the bottle is not.

The conclusion of the foregoing is that a misunderstanding of ideas leads us inexorably to either total skepticism; the philosophical stance that we can never know the external world even though it might exist, and solipsism; the assertion that everything that I am conscious of is a figment of my imagination. Common sense compels us to reject each of those conclusions as absurd.

Yet, we do wonder about these things and I think I know why.

The Matrix.

For most of us, there is an intuitive sense that there is something more to our existence that our interaction with the sensate world. In fact, I think that there are clues found in various branches of knowledge that lend themselves to the possibility that the Matrix does indeed exist. Those clues are in themselves abstruse concepts that are not easily explained in the context of the medium that we enjoy on the Shroomery. At some time I might type them up and try to explain them in the simplest terms. For now let me make a few comments on the movie, The Matrix, and then we can continue with the discussion of whether we exist or if there are any overarching universal truths.

There is a fatal flaw of reasoning in the movie and it is this:

In the movie, Neo is led down a rabbit hole to discover that this reality is just a construct, a computer program fed into our minds by machines. How do we know that is not the case? The answer is found in the movie itself. When Morpheus was explaining how he knew about the matrix, he told Neo, "There are fields, endless fields Neo, where humans are no longer born, we are grown. For the longest time, I wouldn't believe it and then I saw the fields with my own eyes, watch them liquefy the dead so they could be fed intravenously to the living and standing there facing the pure horrifying precision I came to realize the obviousness of the truth."

So what did Morpheus use to reach this startling conclusion? He saw the fields with his own eyes. He used his senses. Just like we do when we look at the world. That's how he knew and that's how we know. We know that the world is real because we have seen it.


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OfflineAdamist
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #883872 - 09/15/02 07:43 PM (19 years, 16 days ago)

I agree that all ideas are subjective. Would all individual existence and therfore perception not be subjective also? And if every perception was different, how can a person say they know an absolute truth?

I still think that "existence" is the only absolute truth, because that is the one common thing that every individual suspects. But how can you absolutely KNOW this to be true, unless you are looking at it from the perspective of all existence?


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:heartpump: { { { ṧ◎ηḯ¢ αʟ¢ℌ℮мƴ } } } :heartpump:


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Anonymous]
    #883873 - 09/15/02 07:44 PM (19 years, 16 days ago)

Oh, and I havent forgotten your "The Matrix"  Secrets Revealed Part 4 . Post either"
Can I refresh anyones drink?
:grin:-OoD 


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OfflineAdamist
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #883881 - 09/15/02 07:46 PM (19 years, 16 days ago)

We know that the world is real because we have seen it.

Does that mean my dreams are real as well?


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Anonymous]
    #883895 - 09/15/02 07:56 PM (19 years, 16 days ago)

I'll have the same thing I drank while I was composing this, a chilled glass of pouilly-fuiss? and a glass of Mad Dog to chase it with. :wink:

Cheers! 


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Adamist]
    #883904 - 09/15/02 07:59 PM (19 years, 16 days ago)

The answers to your questions are contained in the posts I created. Read them carefully and use precise terms. That should clear it up.

Nice to see you.

Cheers,


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OfflineAdamist
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #883907 - 09/15/02 08:03 PM (19 years, 16 days ago)

*Takes out his pick-axe*


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:heartpump: { { { ṧ◎ηḯ¢ αʟ¢ℌ℮мƴ } } } :heartpump:


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #883908 - 09/15/02 08:03 PM (19 years, 16 days ago)

:shocked:


*Snaps fingers*  a Servant appears from behind a voluminious curtian to take drink orders.
-"One turpin-..I mean  one Turpenteeno for the gentleman with the laurels. "


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Anonymous]
    #883913 - 09/15/02 08:07 PM (19 years, 16 days ago)

:grin:

Thank Heavens!  I think I'll need those drinks.  I have the feeling I'm about to get whacked!  :shocked:

:wink: 


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
illusion

Registered: 04/18/02
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #883937 - 09/15/02 08:21 PM (19 years, 16 days ago)

OK, I give up...


I...I...I...  exist...

hey that wasn't so bad  :smile:

 


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OfflineAdamist
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Re: Truth? [Re: infidelGOD]
    #883946 - 09/15/02 08:26 PM (19 years, 16 days ago)

Now that's just ego talk!

*plugs his ears*


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: infidelGOD]
    #883971 - 09/15/02 08:34 PM (19 years, 16 days ago)

:grin:

btw, I am offering a free spore print to anyone who can understand and restate back to me exactly what I was talking about.  I am serious.

Glad you see it my way.  Pretty soon I'll have you signed up for Amway and the Jehovah's Witness protection program.

:wink: 


Edited by Mr_Mushrooms (09/15/02 08:37 PM)


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: buttonion]
    #884100 - 09/15/02 09:13 PM (19 years, 16 days ago)

^^^^^^

Consider it refuted.

Cheers,


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InvisibleShroomismM
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #884258 - 09/15/02 10:22 PM (19 years, 16 days ago)

My version of truth is to see a thing uncolored by one's own personal preferences, to see things as they are, in its own pristine simplicity.



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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Shroomism]
    #884269 - 09/15/02 10:28 PM (19 years, 16 days ago)

Yes, Shroomism, exactly. A person who allows their personal preferences to interfer with their thinking cannot know the truth. My term for it is "vested interest".

Well said.

And see my reply to your Hopi thread for a further explanation.

Cheers,


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InvisibleShroomismM
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #884278 - 09/15/02 10:32 PM (19 years, 16 days ago)

So do I get a spore print?  :grin:

No need really..you can send it to Swami. 


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #884315 - 09/15/02 10:49 PM (19 years, 16 days ago)

I think you were saying that a perception can't exist without something real that is being perceived.


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Offlinevaporbrains
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Re: Truth? [Re: Adamist]
    #884832 - 09/16/02 05:45 AM (19 years, 15 days ago)

The more we try to know and learn, the less we understand. Heisenberg's uncertainty principle can illustrate this to some extend: The action of perception modifies the object to perceive. In physics this means that when one tries to determine location and impulse of a particle, one has to use other particles, e.g. photons, to get the information. But when the messanger particle, the photon or whatever, collides with the target in order to reflect back and tell us what we want to know, it changes the target by exchanging energy.

the act of percieving alters the objects percieved. we never "see" the object itself, only the altered version of the object as it is filtered through us. Thus the proposition "Reality exists" can be reduced to "My perceptions exist." But, as i've said before: perhaps even your perceptions don't exist. perhaps you are merely a computer program that has been programmed to "think it is percieving" while no actual perception is going on.

your statements about the Matrix amount to: Morpheus can't know when he's in the real world because he can't distinguish the desert of the real from a computer simulation. so, he actually can't know that he exists. i think the movie Existenz by David Cronenberg addresses the topic of reality much more effectively, but it doesn't have all the flashier special effects and action sequences of The Matrix.

linguistic convention: that which i process is real.


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: vaporbrains]
    #885126 - 09/16/02 08:28 AM (19 years, 15 days ago)

I appreciate your ideas on this subject but I think they need refinement. I have created two other threads that you might not have read that have bearing on this issue. They are:

Quantum Mechanics, tool of Satan?

And,

A dissertation on the aspects of subjectivity.

Read them and think about them. They might give you a different perspective on this issue.

Cheers,


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Invisiblebuttonion
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #885767 - 09/16/02 03:07 PM (19 years, 15 days ago)

The conclusion of the foregoing is that a misunderstanding of ideas leads us inexorably to either total skepticism; the philosophical stance that we can never know the external world even though it might exist, and solipsism; the assertion that everything that I am conscious of is a figment of my imagination. Common sense compels us to reject each of those conclusions as absurd.

Common sense compels us to reject? Just because our experience is based completely on the assumption that there are things that exist objectively, and that working under this assumption has some how ?worked? does not compel me to reject either of those conclusions. Please demonstrate with logic that idealism is invalid.


And I just wanted to address this comment made in a previous post in case it is biasing your current stance:

Here's what I think is up. Most people are terrified to even admit that any truth is absolute in any degree exists in any way whatsoever. The reason for this is because that might in some small way end up with the admitting that God exists or, heaven forbid, there might be some kind of moral code to which we all should adhere. Good Golly Molly wouldn't that be a drag!

No, it's better to just play dumb and that way no one can tell us what is truth (because it doesn't exist) and that way we can cling to whatever vile notions we like or we can do whatever we please and no one can tell us that it is wrong. It seems to me, and here I am being quite serious, that moral relativism has really done its job. The very idea that we question our existence is, behind the scenes, an extreme attachment to the ego. The very same ego that protects, defends, and worships itself at every turn to the pain suffering and misery that this world contains.


Demonstrating defensiveness and ego-attachment is a tricky enterprise- you can pretty much spin most situations any way you want. I could just as easily say that the existence of an absolute moral code, the existence of God, and assuming the existence of things is ego-striving:

That is (a demonstration)?we as humans, are so important, so unique, so special that there exists an absolute code of conduct decreeing how we should behave, how we should control ourselves. Nay are we products of random events. We are humans! And there even exists a being that oversees our behavior and awaits us in a utopian afterlife!

And most importantly by far, the ways in which our organism perceives reality, is reality! That is, as long as several humans experience the same perception, then that perception is indicative of reality. Even though countless other organisms on our planet likely perceive reality in a completely different way (e.g., bats, sharks, ants), even though they sense things that we do not and fail to sense things that we do, it is our way of chopping up and categorizing what is a continuous whole, based on what we are attuned to perceive, that is consitent with reality!


Again, I am not saying that I can reject your realism, but how do you reject idealism?... Common sense?


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Concepts which have been proved to be useful in ordering things easily acquire such an authority over us that we forget their human origins and accept them as invariable.- Albert Einstein


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: buttonion]
    #886056 - 09/16/02 05:18 PM (19 years, 15 days ago)

Please demonstrate with logic that idealism is invalid.

I did.

Even though countless other organisms on our planet likely perceive reality in a completely different way (e.g., bats, sharks, ants), even though they sense things that we do not and fail to sense things that we do, it is our way of chopping up and categorizing what is a continuous whole, based on what we are attuned to perceive, that is consitent with reality!

I mentioned other arguments. One establishes the primacy of man through conceptual abstraction of which we alone are capable. Animals are only capable of perceptual abstraction and therein lies the difference between us.

I suggest you re-read the relevant posts, peruse them. They are helpful.

Are you suggesting that common sense is useless? If so what other court will you try your case in?

There are at least two classes of seekers; one wishes to know and the other does not. I speculate that you are of the first type.

Cheers my favorite onion,


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Invisiblebuttonion
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #886398 - 09/16/02 07:28 PM (19 years, 15 days ago)

I found the following arguments:

- The distinction between ?public? and ?private? knowledge- I addressed this previously

- an argument concerning the motivation to believe that things don?t exist- addressed?

- appeal to common sense- if you could elaborate on what this is and how this helps I would appreciate?

- cognito ergo sum- I agree with one interpretation of this- that is, ?I think I am, therefore I am.? I think your interpretation is ?I can think, therefore I am.? I address this below.

- It seems that more in line with your Lockean perspective you might argue that you exist based on observations of your behavior (as you said of your love for someone). But as you noted, perceptions can be deceiving. And who is to say that the healthy, average human?s, 3-D visual perspective is so representative of objective reality?


From a website on Godel:
?? the following statement is a part of any system: a statement P which states "there is no proof of P" [A Godel statement]. If P is true, there is no proof of it. If P is false, there is a proof that P is true, which is a contradiction. Therefore it cannot be determined within the system whether P is true.?

??there is no way to get around Godel-format statements: all symbolic systems will contain them.?



I think this may lead to a fruitful line of discussion- It seems that a Godel statement for Realism is ?there is no proof that things exist? (that I can currently see). It cannot be proven true because it is axiomatic of our way of apprehending reality- it cannot be proven within our symbolic system.

This also applies to the cognito ergo sum argument. The existence of things is axiomatic in the way that we think. How can we think (in how I construe you to use the term) without assuming the existence of things.


Yes baby! So where is the beef with (proof of) things existing?  :smile: 


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Concepts which have been proved to be useful in ordering things easily acquire such an authority over us that we forget their human origins and accept them as invariable.- Albert Einstein


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: buttonion]
    #887399 - 09/17/02 07:10 AM (19 years, 14 days ago)

Wow, I'll have to respond more later.

Gurdel?  Really!

How can you be so cruel! :grin: 


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Invisiblebuttonion
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #889090 - 09/17/02 06:27 PM (19 years, 14 days ago)

btw, I am offering a free spore print to anyone who can understand and restate back to me exactly what I was talking about. I am serious.

A spore print for me?... he, he  :smile:
 


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Concepts which have been proved to be useful in ordering things easily acquire such an authority over us that we forget their human origins and accept them as invariable.- Albert Einstein


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: buttonion]
    #889208 - 09/17/02 07:14 PM (19 years, 14 days ago)

That would be affirmative. I have a pretty vast library that is growing by the day. Rather than list all the species that I have why don't you pm me with your top three choices. I will send the closest one to the top out ASAP.

By the way, your post preceding this one was kind of choppy. It is hard to go back through the entire thread and find all the relevant things you are referring to. At the moment I am adjusting my girdle but I do intend to answer your charge.

While I am doing that would you answer a simple question?

When I say common sense I am referring to what we all know as common sense. There are no special convoluted meanings attached to it.

The question is, if you reject common sense then in what court would you try your case? There are none that I know of that I would consider sane. Locke, though he started this miss, firmly thought that an external world existed and that we could know it. The correct solution to his premise would have been to work backwards reductio ad absurdum. But, that wasn't done. More's the pity.

Cheers,


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Offlinemirrorsaww
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #890682 - 09/18/02 10:21 AM (19 years, 13 days ago)

There are at least two classes of seekers; one wishes to know and the other does not.

or maybe there is only one kind... but some people are afraid to admit that they do want to know truth.

just another way of looking at the same thing I suspect...


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Offlinemirrorsaww
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Re: Truth? [Re: Anonymous]
    #890703 - 09/18/02 10:34 AM (19 years, 13 days ago)

I have come to this truth through...

a bold equivalent!


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Invisiblebuttonion
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #890872 - 09/18/02 11:56 AM (19 years, 13 days ago)

When I say common sense I am referring to what we all know as common sense. There are no special convoluted meanings attached to it.

I am not kidding when I say I do not know what you mean by ?common sense.? When I try to understand how common sense would be used to prove the existence of entities, I come up with something like: ?Well, for my whole life things apparently have existed, and to acknowledge that things exist has been very useful in accomplishing my goals? Most everybody else thinks that things exist- they must exist.? I?m sure I am not getting it.



The question is, if you reject common sense then in what court would you try your case?

From my current understanding of common sense, it appears to be an epistemological method which could rely on authority, past personal experience, and maybe even some intuition. I don?t think that these are inherently faulty ways of knowing, although each is definitely susceptible to certain validity threats.

So let?s say that the majority of people agree that things exist, that working under the assumption that things exist has been a useful and helpful theory in my life thus far, and that I somehow feel in my gut that ?things exist? is right- People could also use this line of reasoning to ?prove? the existence of God.


My (current) assertion is this:

There is no way to prove that entities (e.g., objects, events, properties, etc) exist outside of our perception- i.e., there is no way to prove Realism.

I think this case can be tried in the court of logic. I do think I need further clarification on common sense, though, unless my interpretation above is correct.


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Concepts which have been proved to be useful in ordering things easily acquire such an authority over us that we forget their human origins and accept them as invariable.- Albert Einstein


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Truth? [Re: buttonion]
    #890915 - 09/18/02 12:20 PM (19 years, 13 days ago)

Solipsism is counterproductive.

Life shouldn't be a compilation of stalemates. Something must give... something must work...


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Sclorch]
    #892140 - 09/18/02 10:31 PM (19 years, 13 days ago)

I am reading but not posting much in case you wondered.

Yes, pragmatism is another answer.  If you have read this whole thread I applaud you.  I wouldn't have.

Good stuff lately Sclorch.  Just play nice. :wink:

Cheers, 


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OfflineNomad
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Re: Truth? [Re: Sclorch]
    #892386 - 09/19/02 01:57 AM (19 years, 13 days ago)

Solipsism is counterproductive.

But what if it is the truth? Um... I didn't follow this thread, so I don't know what you guys have established as the definition of truth, so before I read the last few pages I'll drop my two cents: Truth is subjective experience. Everything else is an interpretation that shouldn't be judged by it's "truth", but by it's usefulness.

I am strongly arguing that solipsism is the only thing you've ever experienced. Everything else except solipsism is an interpretation you've come up with.

I don't think that solipsism is necessarily counterproductive, though it can certainly be so. But also, solipsism can be empowering. It can scare the hell out of you, or it can give you utter fearlessness. And most of all, it can be a difference that makes no difference.


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Nomad]
    #892557 - 09/19/02 06:16 AM (19 years, 12 days ago)

Yes, that's the bane of philosophical thinking today in some circles and movies like the Matrix help spread it. I suggest you read the thread if you have the patience for it. Most of it is easy to understand and will give you a different perspective on it.

Cheers,


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OfflineNomad
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #892782 - 09/19/02 08:32 AM (19 years, 12 days ago)

Yes, that's the bane of philosophical thinking today in some circles and movies like the Matrix help spread it. I suggest you read the thread if you have the patience for it. Most of it is easy to understand and will give you a different perspective on it.

Okay, I just finshed the first four pages, which, I like to think, gives me the license to go for another round of ignorant rambling (again without a clue as to what the discussion was all about).

It seems that the whole thing got a bit too theoretical for my taste, so let me employ some serious Ockhams's Razor here. First of all, the idea of "absolute truth" doesn't make sense. It belongs to the category of "wet rain". Something is either true, or it ain't. Prefixing it with "absolute" can't make the concept of truth any more absolute than it already is. Second, the idea of a "truth" (as opposed to a "theory") implies certainty. The only thing you can be certain of is your subjective experience. Thus, subjective experience is the only truth. The truth is inside you. Know it, and it shall set you free.

I can see your point, though. What you might be relating me to is the concept of "moral relativity", which boils down to the idea that, in order for something good to exist, there has to be something evil. Few people notice that this is a profoundly egoistic idea. It basically says that I have to accept the existence of evil, so that I can enjoy being the good guy.

Seriously... I'd be willing to sacrifice everything in the universe that is good, just to end the plain evil I have to see every day with my own eyes.

I like what you said about denying your experience and the relationship of that to the ego (also known as the New-Age-Trap):

The very idea that we question our existence is, behind the scenes, an extreme attachment to the ego.

Well said. On a sidenote, I damn fucking well know that I exist. Because, oh boy, have I suffered because of that knowledge... have I cried out in pain and agony and sent prayers to whatever God there may be, begging for an end to it. But the Gods remained quiet on that one.


Edited by Nomad (09/19/02 08:34 AM)


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Nomad]
    #892998 - 09/19/02 10:40 AM (19 years, 12 days ago)

Oh well done!  Not only can you read and have the necessary patience to read my drivel but you can think as well.  Gee, do you suppose there is a necessary correlation between the two? :wink:

Your section on "absolute truth" was addressed in the episteme/doxa portion of this thread.  The term 'absolute' is used by idealists to connote the one independent reality of which all things are an expression.  Kant, otoh, used the term to characterize entities that are unconditionally valid.

Some say that suffering wakes us up.  You seem like you are awake.  Do you think one thing influences the other?

Cheers,


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OfflineNomad
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #893167 - 09/19/02 11:34 AM (19 years, 12 days ago)

Oh well done! Not only can you read and have the necessary patience to read my drivel but you can think as well.

Thanks. I need that, lately my ego is getting weak.  :wink:

Some say that suffering wakes us up. You seem like you are awake. Do you think one thing influences the other?

I don't have the faintest idea. But if suffering is a way to awakening, I sure hope there are easier roads to travel. 


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Nomad]
    #894696 - 09/19/02 11:49 PM (19 years, 12 days ago)

"But if suffering is a way to awakening, I sure hope there are easier roads to travel."

There are, but no one takes them.  There is a lot of travel on this one though.  What with the tolls, road construction, and bad weather it's a wonder any of us get where we're going.

Unless you're Zeno, he never got anywhere. :wink:

Cheers,


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #895360 - 09/20/02 09:54 AM (19 years, 11 days ago)

Some say that suffering wakes us up. You seem like you are awake. Do you think one thing influences the other?

The German Zen Master Friedrich Nietzsche would say yes. As would I.
However, too much suffering will break a mind.


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Sclorch]
    #895424 - 09/20/02 10:17 AM (19 years, 11 days ago)

You're right, I gotta re-read him.

Cheers,


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #969945 - 10/17/02 06:42 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

Haven't read this whole thread yet, but here's my go at it:

I think Truth is entirely in the eye of the beholder. How can we know anything is true unless we accept it is true? If I don't believe something at all then to me it is not true. For me to believe it is true is to make a leap of faith, and no "supporting evidence" can remove the leap. I've learned this mostly through drugs, I have to admit. They have shown me that what I experience through my senses is The Truth to me, even if others saw differently. Salvia presented me with a full alteration of reality, and I still can remember no differently than what happened despite my friends all telling a different story.

At some point in my conciousness I have to believe that what I experienced was a hallucination and reality was as my friends saw it. But what if I truely belived that what I experienced was true, and that what my friends experienced was the collective hallucination of everything but me? Is there any way you could prove one reality (mine) was The Truth over the other (everyone else)?

So I believe Truth is entirely what we believe it to be, and that at a very deep level there are laws in which conciousness must "believe in" in order to exist. This is why we all experience the same reality, because we all share the laws of conciousness.

I read a novel once called Sphere, by Michael Crichton, in which certain characters could change reality simply by thinking about how they wanted it to change.

Maybe he was on to something?

I am very high.

later


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Once, men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free.
But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: Truth? [Re: trendal]
    #970029 - 10/17/02 07:01 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

I got it.

We do not experience The Truth; The Truth is whatever we experience.


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Once, men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free.
But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: trendal]
    #970072 - 10/17/02 07:15 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

I couldn't have written a better summation.

Just make sure your interpretation is correct.

Cheers,


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Truth? [Re: trendal]
    #970273 - 10/17/02 08:24 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

We do not experience The Truth; The Truth is whatever we experience.

Hmm... I agree with what you think you're saying with this line.

Schizophrenics experience little truth.


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #970868 - 10/18/02 12:16 AM (18 years, 11 months ago)

In reply to:

I couldn't have written a better summation.

Just make sure your interpretation is correct.




How might you interpret it?


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Once, men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free.
But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: trendal]
    #971779 - 10/18/02 09:09 AM (18 years, 11 months ago)

That the world appears as most of us think it does.


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InvisibleCosmic_Monkey
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #971855 - 10/18/02 10:32 AM (18 years, 11 months ago)

But isn't that just our perception your talking about. That's understood, but, aren't there some things that are fact, that can be agreed upon? These things being actual truth. Unless of course you question the very existence of that which the fact is about I suppose.


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #971873 - 10/18/02 10:45 AM (18 years, 11 months ago)

That's the sentence I was looking for, thank you.


--------------------
Once, men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free.
But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: Truth? [Re: trendal]
    #972101 - 10/18/02 01:14 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

Ok here's another go at explaining what's in my head:

If we base Truth on what we experience then we must, at some point, base our Truth on our Faith. In this case it would be faith that what we experience is "real" (perhaps a definition of "real" would be needed).

As an example I give you dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), an anti-cholinergic deleriant drug with the ability to completely destroy one's faith in experience. For those of you who have tried it at sufficient dose to produce full-blown hallucinations (which are very hard to distinguish from "reality") you should know what I mean here. For those who have not tried it: you see, hear, smell, feel, even taste things that at some point or another cease to exist right in front of you. One moment you are speaking to an old friend, the next moment they are gone. What makes this drug unique, in my opinion, is that it leaves much of the brain's higher-reasoning completely in-tact. You are able to understand that some of what you are experiencing may not be "real". This leads (again, in my experience) to a very profound and serious feeling of confusion and fear.

Being confronted with a reality which is in part or whole known (by the self) to be "not real" leads to fear. Why? I think it must be because we base our reality and what is "real" or The Truth on our senses. The moment our senses begin to fail us we lose much of what we believe as True.

I'm off on a limb.


--------------------
Once, men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free.
But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Cosmic_Monkey]
    #972135 - 10/18/02 01:40 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

Yes.

And read the section of the different meanings of the word 'perception' those meanings can be translated to the word 'appear'.

Cheers,


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: trendal]
    #972143 - 10/18/02 01:45 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

Good post.

perhaps a definition of "real" would be needed

Yes, real is what we experience through our senses when they are not altered by psychotropic substances, for the most part. The definition needs a little more refining than that but not much.

There is no faith element in thinking that we are experiencing reality. It is called knowing for a reason.

Cheers,


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #972213 - 10/18/02 02:31 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

I'm sorry, I don't always do the best job in explaining my thoughts  :smirk:

What I meant was not that we have to have faith that we are experiencing reality, but that we must have faith that our senses are not deceiving us. If, under the influence of a drug, our senses can become so confused as I pointed out in my previous post then I think it safe to say that there is always the possibility that what we think we are experiencing is actually something added from within our conciousness as opposed to true sensory input. Some people even have this type of problem(?) without drugs. This being the case: how do we determine what is "real" and what is "hallucination"?

There may very well be a way of knowing for certain, but I do not know what it is. So I must have faith, at some point, that what I am "experiencing" is True, and not a figment of my imagination.


--------------------
Once, men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free.
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Invisiblebuttonion
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Re: Truth? [Re: trendal]
    #974940 - 10/19/02 04:25 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

how do we determine what is "real" and what is "hallucination"?

Excellent question. Well, the pragmatist response is something like it works i.e., working under the assumption that what we normally perceive as ?real? is real allows us meet our goals, so it must be real. But just because a theory has proven useful does not mean that it is reality- (don?t mistake the map for the territory). Or, the social consensus response: Everybody else thinks these things exist in some objective reality, so they must! The fallacy of basing a theory solely on social consensus aside, I think the most powerful counter to this one is the possibility that because we are all very similar in design, i.e., humans perceive ?reality? in similar ways, we all can easily come to this conclusion; Our organisms are preprogrammed to attend to certain highlights in ?reality? and set them apart; We break down whatever the hell reality is into bits and pieces so we may churn it through our linear way of understanding- and boink, out comes a theory.

I do not have an answer to your question. But, I am beginning to think that the premise of the question itself is simply wrong. The distinction between objective and subjective reality- err.. discuss  :tongue:
 


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Truth? [Re: buttonion]
    #974951 - 10/19/02 04:29 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

what we normally perceive as ?real? is real allows us meet our goals, so it must be real.

the social consensus response: Everybody else thinks these things exist in some objective reality, so they must!


You do realize that this is all we have, right?
You cannot become any LESS fallacious.

But, I am beginning to think that the premise of the question itself is simply wrong. The distinction between objective and subjective reality- err.. discuss

Objective reality is what the above two "fallacies" promote. Subjective reality is a blanket term for objective reality (see above) and everything else that we perceive.


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Invisiblebuttonion
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Re: Truth? [Re: Sclorch]
    #974968 - 10/19/02 04:42 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

You do realize that this is all we have, right?

I realize that it is all realists have to support the idea of a reality and things existing somewhere ?outside? of us.


You cannot become any LESS fallacious. :confused:


Objective reality is what the above two "fallacies" promote.

Yes
 


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Invisiblebuttonion
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Re: Truth? [Re: buttonion]
    #975011 - 10/19/02 05:18 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

Oh, LESS falacious. I read that as "more." That was weird.  Excuse my little bout with dyslexia. :grin: 


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Invisiblebuttonion
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Re: Truth? [Re: buttonion]
    #975030 - 10/19/02 05:36 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

But, I am beginning to think that the premise of the question itself is simply wrong. The distinction between objective and subjective reality- err.. discuss


Or maybe the faulty premise is the assumption of real things existing outside of us, in which case we are back to where we left off- that this is a premise axiomatic in the realist perspective that is unfalsifiable. However, consciousness research in the future might eventually clear this up.




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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Truth? [Re: buttonion]
    #975041 - 10/19/02 05:42 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

However, consciousness research in the future might eventually clear this up.

Cross your fingers.
*crosses fingers*


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Re: Truth? [Re: buttonion]
    #975044 - 10/19/02 05:43 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

Or maybe the faulty premise is the assumption of real things existing outside of us...

Without that assumption, all that is left is solipsism, in which case nothing matters anyway and there is no point in you typing a response to this post.

pinky


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Invisiblebuttonion
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Re: Truth? [Re: Phred]
    #975088 - 10/19/02 06:11 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

Well, I think this is where a very important idea expressed in a Buddhist analogy comes up: Don?t mistake the map for the territory. I have no problem with using the ?things? model and reaping all of the benefits of science that uses models which themselves look at the relationships between things. Such models are conducive to how humans comprehend. But I view it is a model, not any indication of what really is. Or I should actually say that I try to. Just like a theory of human motivation which says that self-esteem buffers death anxiety, I don?t think these constructs (self-esteem and death anxiety) are in and of themselves real things, they just serve a purpose and when measured in concert with other constructs happen to predict human behavior very well. The same goes for our general way of perceiving reality as things, another model- it is undeniably useful, but I think it is a bold statement to assume that this is how some unbiased, objective reality is.

Without that assumption, all that is left is solipsism,

Solipsism is what is left if, after seeing all external objects as not existing outside of you, you continue to acknowledge that you exist. This, I think, is a product of faulty reasoning. Why are you exempt from the rule that things don?t objectively exist?

in which case nothing matters anyway and there is no point in you typing a response to this post.

If you mean that there is then no ultimate morality in the world, I agree. I?m not going to try to brush this one off because it is something I have thought about for a while and have not yet come to a satisfactory conclusion. Buddhist monks, who I think strive to make this ontology their default way of apprehending reality, seem to think that compassion arises automatically, but I can?t think of why this would happen necessarily. On the other hand, however, I am not going to embrace realism just because of a need for meaning in the world.


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Concepts which have been proved to be useful in ordering things easily acquire such an authority over us that we forget their human origins and accept them as invariable.- Albert Einstein


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OfflineNomad
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Re: Truth? [Re: Phred]
    #976550 - 10/20/02 10:35 AM (18 years, 11 months ago)

Without that assumption, all that is left is solipsism, in which case nothing matters anyway and there is no point in you typing a response to this post.

And if you are not into solipsism, objective reality is either predetermined or random, in which case nothing matters anyway and there is no point in you typing a response to this post. No matter how you approach it, in the end you're fucked.

Unless...



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Re: Truth? [Re: Nomad]
    #976662 - 10/20/02 11:42 AM (18 years, 11 months ago)

And if you are not into solipsism, objective reality is either predetermined or random,

Objective reality in the context of non-living entities is largely pre-determined, with some elements of randomness at certain levels. This is not the case with living entities of a certain level of complexity. Volition is an attribute of many living entities, and volitional action is neither predetermined nor random. It is purposeful.

pinky



--------------------


Edited by pinksharkmark (10/20/02 12:04 PM)


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Re: Truth? [Re: buttonion]
    #976697 - 10/20/02 12:03 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

buttonion writes:

The same goes for our general way of perceiving reality as things, another model- it is undeniably useful, but I think it is a bold statement to assume that this is how some unbiased, objective reality is.

But that IS how reality is, to humans. How an alien from alpha centauri might perceive a chunk of iron ore is irrelevant in the context of human experience. He might "see" things only in the spectrum of radio frequencies, for example. But both his sensory apparatus and our sensory apparatus deliver input consistent enough for each of us to discover the properties of that chunk of iron.

This nitpicking approach to the validity of the input from human organs of perception is useless gibberish. Of COURSE we would immediately be presented with more information about the nature of a given entity of we had the ability to directly perceive.... oh, I don't know... gravity waves or something, but that doesn't mean that the information provided through the instantaneous perceptions of our senses is faulty; it is just not complete.

Solipsism is what is left if, after seeing all external objects as not existing outside of you, you continue to acknowledge that you exist.

You cannot deny that you exist. Not even a solipsist can do that. That is precisely why solipsism is the irreducible minimum. If you do not trust the input of your senses, if you are convinced there is "nothing out there", then you are a solipsist.

If you mean that there is then no ultimate morality in the world, I agree.

No, that is not what I mean at all. What I mean is that if you are the only consciousness in existence, then none of your actions have any meaning. It is all just a dream to amuse yourself, so any action you choose to take is as meaningful (or meaningless) as any other action. Morality is therefore a null concept to a solipsist.

I am not going to embrace realism just because of a need for meaning in the world.

If you don't have an accurate enough grasp of reality, your continued survival as a living entity is in jeopardy. You don't NEED to know anything at all about objective reality unless your goal is to continue to live.

pinky


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OfflineNomad
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Re: Truth? [Re: Phred]
    #976821 - 10/20/02 01:04 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

This is not the case with living entities of a certain level of complexity. Volition is an attribute of many living entities, and volitional action is neither predetermined nor random. It is purposeful.

If there is an objective universe, we can do the thought experiment of taking a snapshot of all the universes' parameters just before you wrote that post above. Now, let's get back into the snapshot and let the universe run its way again. Would you write again the exact post as above? If so, the universe is predetermined. If, on the other hand, your post would be different, then the universe is random. How would your post look like in a universe with "volition"?

I have nothing against your point of view if you admit that it is a useful belief. But you cannot claim that it is logical.


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Invisiblebuttonion
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Re: Truth? [Re: Phred]
    #976904 - 10/20/02 01:48 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)


But both his sensory apparatus and our sensory apparatus deliver input consistent enough for each of us to discover the properties of that chunk of iron.

This nitpicking approach to the validity of the input from human organs of perception is useless gibberish.

Of COURSE we would immediately be presented with more information about the nature of a given entity of we had the ability to directly perceive.... oh, I don't know... gravity waves or something, but that doesn't mean that the information provided through the instantaneous perceptions of our senses is faulty; it is just not complete.


Realists generally subscribe to the idea that there is perception (subjective reality) and then there is that which underlies our perception, some sort of unbiased, objective reality- what reality really is. It is upon this assumption that your comments are based- the very assumption in question- that regardless of what parts of objective reality a perceiving entity is attuned to, we are all experiencing the same objective reality.

To go back to where Mr. Mushrooms and I left off, I am not saying that I can prove (this flavor of Zen Buddhist) idealism, I am saying that there is no way you can prove realism, and thus reject idealism. If you have a way to prove that there are ?things? that actually exist outside of ?us?, through logic, I would be very interesting in reading it.


You cannot deny that you exist.

A claim that you cannot reject:
I don?t exist. The conception that I have of myself as a thing separate from all else is faulty. Further, the idea that there is an ?all else? is also faulty. However, to break down my phenomenological field into things is useful and I am going to continue to do that as long as I have to interact with others, plan for the future, and critically think- but I know that pragmatism and social consensus does not mean that this is how reality really is. The further I try to explain this idea, that less able I will be to use words and other ?things? to describe it- non-duality. Not the idea that everything is ?one,? because to conceive of ?one? you must see it against some background like some ethereal space- just non-duality. The whole idea of ?existence? is a man-made convention- something we tag our perceptions with because they appear to be static, apparently not changing relative to our perception of time.


You don't NEED to know anything at all about objective reality unless your goal is to continue to live.

I will stick with my perception of ?things? as a useful model and will still achieve the goal of continuing to live.


--------------------
Concepts which have been proved to be useful in ordering things easily acquire such an authority over us that we forget their human origins and accept them as invariable.- Albert Einstein


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Re: Truth? [Re: Nomad]
    #977534 - 10/20/02 07:05 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

Nomad writes:

Now, let's get back into the snapshot and let the universe run its way again. Would you write again the exact post as above? If so, the universe is predetermined.

I would probably choose very slightly different wording, or I might choose to emphasize a word with bold type rather than capital letters. This is what happens if I goof up the first post and delete it by accident, for example. and have to retype it -- the replacement post conveys the same meaning, but the wording is not exactly identical. Therefore the universe is not predetermined.

If, on the other hand, your post would be different, then the universe is random.

Wrong. If the universe were random, my post might look like this: "Gack prot fine fribble, ujt komy plenter fiffdes ort?" But my posts don't look like that. Ever. They are NEVER random collections of symbols. They are ordered, comprehensible, and convey the meaning that I WANT them to convey.

How would your post look like in a universe with "volition"?

As it does.

I have nothing against your point of view if you admit that it is a useful belief. But you cannot claim that it is logical.

It is not merely useful, it is accurate. The actions you must take in order to respond to a post of mine are neither predetermined nor random. They are purposeful. They are under your control. You can choose to respond to me in Spanish, in gibberish, or in ebonics, or a combination of all three. You can even choose not to respond. There is no set of universal laws that FORCES you to respond in english for the first phrase, despues en espanol, y finalmente gack friddle gethy pervid -- yo, tru dat, nigga!

pinky



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Re: Truth? [Re: buttonion]
    #977571 - 10/20/02 07:24 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

buttonion writes:

If you have a way to prove that there are ?things? that actually exist outside of ?us?, through logic, I would be very interesting in reading it.

It is not necessary to use logic to prove the existence of entities outside of your mind. It can be done ostensively. As a matter of fact, that is the only way it CAN be done. I toss a pebble into your lap. You register its impact. What more do you need?

I don?t exist.

But you do. A non-existent entity doesn't have the capacity to make proclamations, even proclamations of a negative nature.

The conception that I have of myself as a thing separate from all else is faulty. Further, the idea that there is an ?all else? is also faulty.

If there is nothing "else", if all there is is you, then solipsism as a worldview is accurate. This still means that you exist. I may not exist, but you do.

However, to break down my phenomenological field into things is useful and I am going to continue to do that as long as I have to interact with others, plan for the future, and critically think...

But none of that is necessary if you are all there is. What "others" are there to interact with?

The whole idea of ?existence? is a man-made convention-

Not so. Existence exists, whether there are entities conscious of its existence or not.

... something we tag our perceptions with because they appear to be static, apparently not changing relative to our perception of time.

You've lost me. My perceptions are certainly not static. I observe the changes over time of the entities within range of my senses. Are you saying that to you the world is a still snapshot?

I will stick with my perception of ?things? as a useful model and will still achieve the goal of continuing to live.

If you are all there is, then no particular model is any more "useful" than any other model. If you are all there is, "useful" is a null concept.

pinky


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Invisiblebuttonion
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Re: Truth? [Re: Phred]
    #977917 - 10/20/02 09:58 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

It is not necessary to use logic to prove the existence of entities outside of your mind. It can be done ostensively. As a matter of fact, that is the only way it CAN be done. I toss a pebble into your lap. You register its impact. What more do you need?

You have not ruled out solipsism as a plausible explanation here. No matter how useless you think this position is, it is still plausible. But even so, I do not subscribe to solipsism because I don?t think there is some ?I? that exists- I don?t think I am the only thing in the world and all perceptions are in my head. I do think it is useful to use ?I? as a concept, however, and will continue to use it without hypocrisy.


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Concepts which have been proved to be useful in ordering things easily acquire such an authority over us that we forget their human origins and accept them as invariable.- Albert Einstein


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Re: Truth? [Re: buttonion]
    #978211 - 10/20/02 11:28 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

I do not subscribe to solipsism because I don?t think there is some ?I? that exists-

Let me get this straight -- you don't think that you exist?

I do think it is useful to use ?I? as a concept, however, and will continue to use it without hypocrisy.

If you don't exist, who is it who thinks it is useful to use "I" as a concept? Are you being deliberately obtuse or am I just somehow missing the boat entirely here?

pinky


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OfflineNomad
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Re: Truth? [Re: Phred]
    #978716 - 10/21/02 04:45 AM (18 years, 11 months ago)

I would probably choose very slightly different wording, or I might choose to emphasize a word with bold type rather than capital letters.

Then that means that the content of your post is predetermined and the wording is slightly random. Sorry, I still don't get where volition comes in. By what you said, the wording of a post is not under your control, because something that is under your control would depend solely on the state of your mind. If your state of mind is exactly the same and still the wording of your post is different, how could you possibly argue that it was under your control? I just don't get it. Maybe I'm too stupid for metaphysics.

This is what happens if I goof up the first post and delete it by accident, for example. and have to retype it

Which is something totally different. If you retype a post, the circumstances have changed. For example, you have taken at least one breath, which means that your brain contains a different amount of oxygen, which could trigger a slightly different behaviour.


Edited by Nomad (10/21/02 06:19 AM)


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Re: Truth? [Re: Nomad]
    #979084 - 10/21/02 07:49 AM (18 years, 11 months ago)

Then that means that the content of your post is predetermined and the wording is slightly random.

Not at all. For predeterminism to hold true, EVERYTHING must occur PRECISELY as it did the first time (using your "snapshot" example). It is not enough for the meaning alone to be the same, but also for the exact sequence of letters to be the same, the exact amount of time taken to compose the message to be the same, etc.

By what you said, the wording of a post is not under your control, because something that is under your control would depend solely on the state of your mind.

But the wording of my post DOES depend solely on my state of mind. What I type is neither predetermined nor random. I type what I CHOOSE to type.

If your state of mind is exactly the same and still the wording of your post is different, how could you possibly argue that it was under your control?

The wording of my post may be slightly different because the english language allows many ways of getting a concept across. I CHOOSE which of several variations *I* find appropriate, but I don't always choose the same variation. Sometimes I repeat a particular grammatical structure for effect, sometimes I deliberately avoid such partial repetition and deliberately use synonyms, sometimes I use proper grammatical constructs, sometimes I use the vernacular.

But regardless of HOW I choose to phrase something, it is *I* who decides how it will be phrased -- not the laws of thermodynamics or chaos theory.

For example, you have taken at least one breath, which means that your brain contains a different amount of oxygen, which could trigger a slightly different behaviour.

If you believe every aspect of your behavior is forced on you by the amount of oxygen in your blood, or the ambient temperature or whatever, then philosophy for you is a null concept.

pinky



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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Truth? [Re: Phred]
    #979475 - 10/21/02 11:33 AM (18 years, 11 months ago)

But regardless of HOW I choose to phrase something, it is *I* who decides how it will be phrased -- not the laws of thermodynamics or chaos theory.

Determinist: "You can't prove it isn't due to some super-complex pattern..."
Sclorch: "Shut up!" *bitchslaps determinist*
Determinist: "Ow! Why'd you do that?"
Sclorch: "What... do you expect me to be sorry? I didn't have a choice."


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OfflineNomad
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Re: Truth? [Re: Phred]
    #979515 - 10/21/02 11:56 AM (18 years, 11 months ago)

But the wording of my post DOES depend solely on my state of mind. What I type is neither predetermined nor random. I type what I CHOOSE to type.

I see.

If you believe every aspect of your behavior is forced on you by the amount of oxygen in your blood, or the ambient temperature or whatever, then philosophy for you is a null concept.

I don't. I'm a solipsist in the same sense a child is a solipsist before it starts to build up a theory about how things ought to be.


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Invisiblebuttonion
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Re: Truth? [Re: Phred]
    #979584 - 10/21/02 12:39 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

... am I just somehow missing the boat entirely here?

Well, yeah kind of. But it may also be that I am not doing the best job of bridging the gap between zen idealism and realism with my words here. Anyway, if you have enough interest in this topic, I say we hold out for Mr. Mushroom's response- he may shed some light on this discrepancy- likely a stalemate anyway.


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Concepts which have been proved to be useful in ordering things easily acquire such an authority over us that we forget their human origins and accept them as invariable.- Albert Einstein


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: buttonion]
    #980012 - 10/21/02 04:08 PM (18 years, 11 months ago)

Let us say for now that I am 'calmly watching'. I have been reading all the threads and posts, thinking about this issue, watching you and pinky misinterpret each others posts, and reading several books. At one point I actually was going to post about Godel's theorem and how is relates to our discussion. I have given the issue some very heavy thought and may have an answer to the riddle. Of course over the duration I have had to reexamine my own bias to see how strongly it might be unduly influencing my thought. If you have something worth splicing into my worldview I certainly do not want to miss it. I cannot promise that my reply will be anytime soon as I am plagued with political committments at this time.

Cheers,


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Zahid 6,372 60 08/24/02 05:17 PM
by Danimal

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