On The Relativity Of Truth

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Ragnell
 
Reply Sat 11 Nov, 2006 09:11 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean wrote:

What about God? If the existence of God is a moral assertion does that change whether or not God exists?


I would say 'nope'. Why do you believe it would? If there are two choises 'X (in this case it would be GOD) exists' and 'X does not exist', how would a moral assertion change the fact of one or the other?

Quote:

...most of a person's cherished truths are not considered as morally objectionable to the person, are they?


I should hope not. That would be the most hypocratical thing that can be.

Quote:

Could it be that the so called 'relativity of truth' is a mere convenience (to many who accept it without reasons) for doing whatever feels good? Why not rather tell lies and have fun?


I suppose you've just answered your own question. It would make much sense to say that it (relativity of truth) is much more than mere convenience.
 
Justin
 
Reply Sat 11 Nov, 2006 09:21 pm
@Pythagorean,
I don't mean to jump in the middle of the conversation but I've read through the posts and this is an interesting topic.

Wouldn't we all just love to know truth? The problem is that even those who argue and debate it and even those who are introduced to truth are more inclined to crucify 'truth' than to accept it. So what is truth?

Truth in my opinion is something that one will know when one is ready to accept it. The truths of humanity wont be found in complex calculations of mathematics and wont be measured by scientific evidence. Additionally, we tend to search for truth externally when truth is within those who chooses to recognize it.

How can we know truth if we cannot understand the mind and spirit? How can we know truth if we cannot even know ourselves? I just don't believe that one can find truth before they find themselves.

This is just my opinion, therefore my search for truth shall be close to home.
 
Ragnell
 
Reply Sat 11 Nov, 2006 09:38 pm
@Pythagorean,
Interesting, Justin, but I would raise a point or two.
First, if you say that 'truth... is something that one will know when one is ready to accept it', than that would again raise the point of 'convenience' that Pythagorean brought up. People who believed that the earth was flat did so because they were ready to believe this ill-concieved 'fact'.

And as for when you '...just don't believe that one can find truth before they find themselves', I would agree with you on many points, but I can find the truth of the world being round because I believe it to be true, even if I didn't know the first thing about myself, and can prove it to be true by going around the world myself, should I have enough cash and resources to do so (then again, since I don't know the first thing about myself, I wouldn't know if I did indeed have the cash for it Smile ).
 
Justin
 
Reply Sat 11 Nov, 2006 09:45 pm
@Ragnell,
Ragnell wrote:
Interesting, Justin, but I would raise a point or two.
First, if you say that 'truth... is something that one will know when one is ready to accept it', than that would again raise the point of 'convenience' that Pythagorean brought up. People who believed that the earth was flat did so because they were ready to believe this ill-concieved 'fact'.

And as for when you '...just don't believe that one can find truth before they find themselves', I would agree with you on many points, but I can find the truth of the world being round because I believe it to be true, even if I didn't know the first thing about myself, and can prove it to be true by going around the world myself, should I have enough cash and resources to do so (then again, since I don't know the first thing about myself, I wouldn't know if I did indeed have the cash for it Smile ).


Whoa... truth and fact are two totally different things as I'm referring to them. The world being round or flat has nothing to do with truth as far as I'm concerned. The world being round can be considered a fact to our knowing but truth is eternal. The world being round hasn't set anyone free... where truth will. There's definately a difference as I perceive it. Now we're on to perception... Smile.
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Sat 11 Nov, 2006 09:46 pm
@Pythagorean,
Ragnell, what if space itself is actually multi-dimensional and the world turns out to be situated in multi-dimensional space (which future science may tell us) and is not exactly as you so conveniently believe it to be???? Ha!:eek:

Then it would be you who took the convenience just as those who formerly believed the world was 'flat'. (Although I never read anywhere in history that the world was thought to be 'flat'. Even Aristotle knew it was round, but he's not around to defend himself against relativistic charges.)

-- Pythagorean
 
Ragnell
 
Reply Sat 11 Nov, 2006 10:03 pm
@Pythagorean,
Ah, I see, Justin... now that you put it that way. Oh yes, we most certainly are on to perception; keep it up.

Even if space was multi-dimensional (and I always have believed it to be), it wouldn't change the shape of the earth, unless you percieve it to be like the four-dementional glass (which blast it, I can't think of it's proper name. The only book I have that contains it was loaned to a friend... but I'll post it once I can see the book again). And that all depends on (would all depend, to put it differently) on what we percieve to be 'round; spherical'. Back to perceptions again!
And I suggest you rehash on Christopher Columbus's countless reassurances to his shipmates that they would not fall off the end of the world, as they believed it was flat (or perhaps something like a square).
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Sat 11 Nov, 2006 10:21 pm
@Ragnell,
Ragnell wrote:
And I suggest you rehash on Christopher Columbus's countless reassurances to his shipmates that they would not fall off the end of the world, as they believed it was flat (or perhaps something like a square).


I beg to differ.

Quote:

We all know that Christopher Columbus encountered stiff resistance about his idea of sailing off West to try and reach the East Indies. Many of us have laboured under the impression that people were concerned that he would sail off the edge of the Earth which was widely believed to be flat. History is thought to have vindicated Columbus against those filled with the Christian superstition of a flat Earth who held on to old fashioned beliefs. A minority of people are even under the impression that Galileo's trial centred on the subject rather than whether the Earth orbited the sun.

It comes as some surprise, therefore, to find that Columbus was wrong and his critics were right - not because the world is actually flat after all, but because at the time everyone knew it was a globe and were arguing about how big it was. The idea that the uncouth people of the Middle Ages thought the Earth was flat is an example of the myth that has been propagated since the nineteenth century to give us a quite unfair view of this vibrant and exciting period.


Full text here:

-- Pythagorean
 
Ragnell
 
Reply Sat 11 Nov, 2006 10:32 pm
@Pythagorean,
Intriguing (and that's something you never hear me say about history). That's the first I've heard of this, to be honest. I'll look into it further in a few days, but I'm sure that more primative people have believed (and I've heard of some who still do [there's a word in a burried vocab. book that pertains to people who do]) that it is (was) flat.
Anyhow, back on topic...
 
pilgrimshost
 
Reply Sat 11 Nov, 2006 11:05 pm
@Ragnell,
Yes it is actuall a myth that the world was believed to be flat, as far back as the Samerians (one of the original civilizations on Earth) had references to the world being a sphere. Just to add, while we're on the subject, the ancient libery of Nineveh not only accounts this knowledge but also lists the planets in our solar system from outside in and the pyrimids thousands of years before they were supposed to had been built. Now put that in your perspective pipe and smoke it!
 
perplexity
 
Reply Sun 12 Nov, 2006 05:43 am
@Pythagorean,
I don't care what they say.

The Earth is relatively flat, obviously and if it is flat enough to stand on, that is good enough for me, and I am still going to be careful not to fall off the edge of it, anyway, just for good measure.


-- RH.
 
Ragnell
 
Reply Sun 12 Nov, 2006 02:11 pm
@Pythagorean,
Well, there you go.
 
boagie
 
Reply Mon 8 Jan, 2007 07:34 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean wrote:
If someone advances the proposition that 'truth is relative' then how can the proposition itself be true?

If all truth is relative then the proposition "the truth is relative" must also be relative and therefore not true. Those who believe that truth is relative don't seem to have a leg left to stand upon. Any thoughts or ideas?

-- Pythagorean



Pythagorean,would it be accurate to state that pure perception is truth, but that judgement and/or evaluation is necessarily relative?
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Tue 9 Jan, 2007 05:28 pm
@boagie,
Boagie,

Yes, but there is a problem with defining and referring to pure perception. And I think the problems with detailing or showing exactly what one means by 'pure perception' are the same problems that arise when we are talking about judgements and the like.

If you're talking about empiricism I think you are on a solid foundation at least. I myself have always taken the empirical route when it comes to searching for truths.

Maybe you could say a little more about what you mean by pure perception?

--Pythagorean
 
boagie
 
Reply Tue 9 Jan, 2007 06:33 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean wrote:
Boagie,

Yes, but there is a problem with defining and referring to pure perception. And I think the problems with detailing or showing exactly what one means by 'pure perception' are the same problems that arise when we are talking about judgements and the like.

If you're talking about empiricism I think you are on a solid foundation at least. I myself have always taken the empirical route when it comes to searching for truths.

Maybe you could say a little more about what you mean by pure perception?

Hi Pythagorean.I don't think there is a problem with understanding pure perception,it is experience,only in the tense of a secondary description does there arise a problem,for then it is relative to something and thus,must mean something.It sounds like semantics I know,but without judgement/evaluation,experience is truth,or at least the thought that it is not truth,that indeed it is false,never would arise in this state.It is empiricism but without the knowledge you might say.You can have an experience and an accompanying emotion,in the complete absence of meaning.It seems to me though,that this is a very special state,where truth is not relative,and that which is relative is not truth.That which is relative can have different meanings/values for as many subjects as an object[event] might have----medication, two very four hours or four every two hours,what's the dif!

I am headed for the light on God's back porch!!
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Tue 9 Jan, 2007 07:38 pm
@boagie,
Quote:

Boagie wrote:

Hi Pythagorean.I don't think there is a problem with understanding pure perception,it is experience,only in the tense of a secondary description does there arise a problem,for then it is relative to something and thus,must mean something.It sounds like semantics I know,but without judgement/evaluation,experience is truth,or at least the thought that it is not truth,that indeed it is false,never would arise in this state.It is empiricism but without the knowledge you might say.You can have an experience,and an accompanying emotion in the complete absence of meaning---------I have to take my medication now,two every four hours or four every two hours? Does this make any sense to you?


No need for medication Boagie, I think you are doing fine here, philosophical discussion can and should be like that, in my opinion.

You say that in pure perception there is no meaning and also that it is experience and I thnk that's some good description of what you mean by pure perception. But I would ask that you elaborate a little further and make a firmer connection between what you mean by the relationship of pure perception to truth by giving an example or adding fuller description.

One reason I say this is that human 'experience' can be complex and I think that it is very difficult for people to seperate the subjective elements of experience from anything that might be considered objective.

When I think of pure perception the emotion that I sense is what I would call the total unification of subjective "being" with objective "being". I think that the category of "being" is important here, because it may serve to specify a kind of emotion in the absence of any judgment or meaning.

Anyway, that's my thinking so far.

--Pythagorean
 
boagie
 
Reply Tue 9 Jan, 2007 09:10 pm
@Pythagorean,
''You say that in pure perception there is no meaning and also that it is experience and I thnk that's some good description of what you mean by pure perception. But I would ask that you elaborate a little further and make a firmer connection between what you mean by the relationship of pure perception to truth by giving an example or adding fuller description."

Pythagorean,

Pure perception is truth,if we are going to be at all insistent that there is such a quality.It may sound strange but to my way of thinking,where there is evaluation there is no truth.The qualities of an object are necessarily provided by its subject,pure perception is pure experience,and in this state or condition,the question true or false does not arise.Again it might sound strange,but truth depends upon it never being questioned.An example perhaps would be the dream,no matter how horrific and/or how sublime,it is not a concept which is evoked, but emotion,a rapture!The critic is not present,and you have no doubt in your mind about the rapture.I must admit it is not very pragmatic theory--you had better believe that bus coming towards you on the street.

"When I think of pure perception the emotion that I sense is what I would call the total unification of subjective "being" with objective "being". I think that the category of "being" is important here, because it may serve to specify a kind of emotion in the absence of any judgment or meaning."

Pythagorean,yes,it is a sense of no division between subject and object even if it is a brief experience it is one,one would never forget.I appreciate you asking for greater clarity but let me know where its weak.

I am headed for the light on God's back porch!!!!!!
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Tue 9 Jan, 2007 11:53 pm
@boagie,
Quote:

Boagie wrote:

"Pure perception is truth,if we are going to be at all insistent that there is such a quality.It may sound strange but to my way of thinking,where there is evaluation there is no truth.The qualities of an object are necessarily provided by its subject,pure perception is pure experience,and in this state or condition,the question true or false does not arise.Again it might sound strange,but truth depends upon it never being questioned.An example perhaps would be the dream,no matter how horrific and/or how sublime,it is not a concept which is evoked, but emotion,a rapture!The critic is not present,and you have no doubt in your mind about the rapture.I must admit it is not very pragmatic theory--you had better believe that bus coming towards you on the street."




You also stated of pure perception that:

Quote:

"this is a very special state,where truth is not relative,and that which is relative is not truth."


I am going to take a risk here because I think that I now understand what you are trying to say. But you are going to have to tell me if I am off base here. O.K?

So here goes:

I don't think that what you're saying has very much to do with the philosophy of empiricism. Because it doesn't fit.

What you are talking about I think, is what I would call "the unity of thinking and being".

It is perhaps best described as a special kind of thinking. It is a thinking within which the act or process of coming to direct knowledge or certainty is done without the use of reasoning or inference: or it is done within an immediate cognizance or conviction without rational thought: experienced as a kind of revelation by insight or like 'innate' knowledge: or as a kind of perception gained by intutition.

I would describe it as a kind of thinking which knows what it's true content is and which simultaneously posesses the unity of thinking and being clearly before it. So that the so-called "external" part of the pure perception is acting as if it were a subjective mental element -but more than that, this 'external-come-mental element' seems to somehow know itself as part of the subject, so that it is all together a kind of sheer unified subjectivity even though it is real perception.

This would be what I would call "a gripping of ontological grounds." In this state there will be no difference between external and internal. Here we might say: "The ground is my body, my mind moves in what moves the world."

Plato might have called it participation in the "Idea".


Or as Plotinus might say:

"It is only possible to make things by thinking them, and to think things as a maker by being them."
----



I don't want to overdo it here. Anyway, I hope I have been clear enough. I can get muddled up sometimes.

Boagie, tell me if I am way off-base or what, if my description is close to what you mean, then maybe we could develop it some more--.

Take care until then.

--Pythagorean
 
boagie
 
Reply Wed 10 Jan, 2007 09:58 am
@Pythagorean,
"I don't think that what you're saying has very much to do with the philosophy of empiricism. Because it doesn't fit."

Pythagorean, I think your right it does not quite fit does it.Empircism though is subjectivity, and if you approach the object with a nihilistic understanding it should be apparent the qualities of the object belong to the subject. Although there are some commonalities between subjects[example sense perceptions] empricism could never be a hundred percent.

"What you are talking about I think, is what I would call "the unity of thinking and being".

Yes,I have never heard it expressed like that, but yes your on the right track.It is a time when you lose entirely any sense of being separate from the world [object].

"It is perhaps best described as a special kind of thinking. It is a thinking within which the act or process of coming to direct knowledge or certainty is done without the use of reasoning or inference: or it is done within an immediate cognizance or conviction without rational thought: experienced as a kind of revelation by insight or like 'innate' knowledge: or as a kind of perception gained by intutition."

You are right here again,it is not a rational process,often it is entered into without intent and the experience is only later evaluated as to its meaning for the subject.

"I would describe it as a kind of thinking which knows what it's true content is and which simultaneously posesses the unity of thinking and being clearly before it. So that the so-called "external" part of the pure perception is acting as if it were a subjective mental element -but more than that, this 'external-come-mental element' seems to somehow know itself as part of the subject, so that it is all together a kind of sheer unified subjectivity even though it is real perception."

Well,I do not know about the later part here,"The external seeming to somehow know itself as part of the subject."I am reminded here of Nietzsche's,"He who believes the stars are above him,lacks the eye of the deserning one."I have taken things off track though I fear,you are correct it is not empircism,but it is not a leap of faith either,it is not even a concept at the time of its event{actuality}.

This would be what I would call "a gripping of ontological grounds." In this state there will be no difference between external and internal. Here we might say: "The ground is my body, my mind moves in what moves the world."

Yes,you pretty much have it,but if you were there, there would be no discription, perphaps the proverbal awe!


"Plato might have called it participation in the "Idea"."

The Upanishads call it participation in divinity.When one sees from the mountains top the wide expanse of oceans,when one looks into the starry heavens and says,awe,this is partispation in divinity.

Just an added thought,perhaps the experience of the sublime is often the gateway to this experience.


--Pythagorean,

I want to thank you,yes you were on the mark! Much thanks for the feedback,it is most helpful! Happy Trails Pythagorean!
 
redzeppelin
 
Reply Fri 20 Apr, 2007 08:23 pm
@perplexity,
If there is no such thing as objective truth, then we all ought to quit posting here because our words can have no meaning - because the assumption we're all making is that we can offer up arguments about our ideas about the truth; aren't we appealing to some sort of idea about the truth even in the fact that our words are attempting to point to some central idea of truth?

If there is no such thing as truth, then why should be believe anything anybody says? All things (especially contradictory statements) cannot be true; either one is wrong or both are wrong - but both can't be right. It canno be right and wrong at the same time to torture babies to death.
 
boagie
 
Reply Fri 20 Apr, 2007 09:14 pm
@redzeppelin,
redzeppelin wrote:
If there is no such thing as objective truth, then we all ought to quit posting here because our words can have no meaning - because the assumption we're all making is that we can offer up arguments about our ideas about the truth; aren't we appealing to some sort of idea about the truth even in the fact that our words are attempting to point to some central idea of truth?

If there is no such thing as truth, then why should be believe anything anybody says? All things (especially contradictory statements) cannot be true; either one is wrong or both are wrong - but both can't be right. It canno be right and wrong at the same time to torture babies to death.


Redzeppelin,Welcome to the forums!!

There is truth,but like all meaning it is relational.No object has meaning in and of itself,this is the wisdom of nihilism.Indeed when it gets right down to subject and object they are mutually dependent, subtract one from the equation and the other ceases to be,or as Schopenhaur has put it, subject and object stand or fall together.We can state particulars about objects because basically we have the same sensory aparatus, and experience the world the same or very nearly the same.

Think about any object in the room with you right now,without you to asign it its meaning there is none.The aboad we live in is woven out of such abstracts.An objects being is hard only in relation to the relative softness of our own being, our own inability to penatrate said object.Truth is relational,it states a condition or state between objects.This business of there being no objective truth is true,the subject has been left out or better stated,all meaning including truth is subjective,but we share in some degree our subjectivity.It is problematic I know, and it is called postmodernism if you want to google it.
 
 

 
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