Objective Truth

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Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2008 01:30 pm
I'm taking my own advice from the following post:

Resha Caner wrote:
It would be better to use a separate thread ...


I'm sure this has been covered before somewhere else. In fact, I can see some relevance to "The knowledge of ignorance" by FatalMuse. But, rather than hijack someone else's discussion, we'll just do it here.

Fido wrote:
Well great, If you think there is some objective truth, just try to prove it ... So what are you prepared to prove?


I didn't say I was going to prove anything. You were the one who made the statement, so you are the one who needs to provide proof. Hopefully you realize the absurdity of even trying. I may believe there are no unicorns, but I'll never prove it.

I know I won't stop you from proceeding as if objective truth doesn't exist, but neither have you convinced me of a single thing. When I see someone who doesn't believe in objective truth making absolute statements, I just roll my eyes and ignore it. We're talking past each other, just as Kuhn describes it.

You use "form" (I assume you mean a Platonic form) as if I already accept forms. You use "prove" as if we have agreed on what constitutes proof. I could go on ...
 
Zetetic11235
 
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2008 04:56 pm
@Resha Caner,
I do not believe in objective truth, I do believe in subjective truths that I hope will lead us closer to a mode of living which I subjectively agree with.

It is all about instinctual preference. Think about this; I cannot prove logic with logic, the result would be a result of logical argumentation, thus it would be circular. Conversely; I cannot disprove logic, for the outcome would be within the relm of logical argumentation and thus I would be relying on a logical argument and thus the outcome would be logical, counter to what I had intended to do.

Hence my conclusion:
Logic is a tool.
Man uses this tool by instinct as it has most often assured his survival.
As a tool it has no ends in itself, only through its application.
A development of a logical system is not a development of logic but an application of it.
When Man questions logic, he has no basis for his questioning, as logic is instinctual. He is in a sense turning logic upon itself in a nonsensical fashion. Logic cannot validate itself logically; such a method would be circular.
To question logic is to question instinct. It can be quickly shown that this questioning of logic is a simple confusion: To question logic is to use logic upon logic and thus it is nonsense for any answer would still be within the bounds of logic, though it would have no meaning in any context.
So the reason to act logically is not within the bounds of logic, but instinct, and why follow instinct? Why indeen! Because, all roads lead to the will to survive. This is objective, this is the urge we are all born with, this is the naturalistic basis for humans to follow.

I would say that the acknowledgement of this lasting tie to the animalistic tendencies of man might elicit more truth than any loft construct of logic.

Objective truth(in the sense of some kind of universal indicator of correct action) lies in our urge to survive and ability to ensure our own survival through the tool which is logic.
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2008 06:44 pm
@Resha Caner,
I don't plan to be the first lover boy on the planet to prove a negative. I denied the positive, because it was so easy to deny, for having so much evidence against it, and little objective evidence in favor of it. The obvious fact is that truth needs us for its existence. It means something to us, so we seek it out.
 
de Silentio
 
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2008 07:06 pm
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
The obvious fact is that truth needs us for its existence. It means something to us, so we seek it out.


Without the human mind to interrupt reality with doubt, everything is 'true'. Truth, meaning, and value are human dependent words that we restrict reality with. Without our restrictions, reality goes on without qualification.
 
Resha Caner
 
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2008 07:38 pm
@de Silentio,
Fido wrote:
I don't plan to be the first lover boy on the planet to prove a negative. I denied the positive, because it was so easy to deny, for having so much evidence against it, and little objective evidence in favor of it. The obvious fact is that truth needs us for its existence. It means something to us, so we seek it out.


Well, good. There's a chance this won't spin totally out of control, then. But as for "evidence" ... hmm. I've seen you reasoning from within a certain world view, but I haven't seen any evidence yet.

de Silentio wrote:
Without the human mind to interrupt reality with doubt, everything is 'true'. Truth, meaning, and value are human dependent words that we restrict reality with. Without our restrictions, reality goes on without qualification.


Not to be prickly, but I find this statement a bit arrogant. It smacks of: if I can't do it, nobody can. Who's to say the human mind is the only interpreter of truth?

I know what comes next, but I'll let you say it.

Zetetic11235 wrote:
I do not believe in objective truth, I do believe in subjective truths that I hope will lead us closer to a mode of living which I subjectively agree with.

It is all about instinctual preference. Think about this; I cannot prove logic with logic, the result would be a result of logical argumentation, thus it would be circular. Conversely; I cannot disprove logic, for the outcome would be within the relm of logical argumentation and thus I would be relying on a logical argument and thus the outcome would be logical, counter to what I had intended to do.


I don't agree with everything you said, but this was a thoughtful post. What I liked best about it is the acknowledgement that we would need something outside of logic (or reason) to prove it. Those who insist on sticking solely with reason only get themselves tied up in knots - just as much of modern philosophy.
 
de Silentio
 
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2008 08:24 pm
@Resha Caner,
Resha Caner wrote:

Not to be prickly, but I find this statement a bit arrogant. It smacks of: if I can't do it, nobody can.


Interesting take, arrogance was not even a thought of mine.

Quote:
Who's to say the human mind is the only interpreter of truth?

I know what comes next, but I'll let you say it.


I don't know if I will be able to live up to your expectations, but my response would be that the human mind is the only mind that we can possibly investigate... and like I said, truth, meaning and value are words that we impose on reality.

Let me try another explanation: Reality in immediacy is true by the very fact that it is immediate. Once we mediate reality by relating it with our ideals and other experiences, we negate the immediacy of reality. (WHAT!)

Think of a newborn child: pure experience. There perceptions is not skewed by presumptions, preconceptions, psychological barriers, etc. that manipulate our experience of the world. They 'passively' receive the world as it is, they don't have any formed ideals to compare their experience with. Their consciousness isn't engaged in interpretation, it is mere acceptance of perception. There is no truth and untruth for a newborn, there is only truth. Once untruth becomes a possibility, it becomes an actuality because truth is no longer certain, it becomes doubtful.
 
Resha Caner
 
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2008 08:42 pm
@de Silentio,
de Silentio wrote:
Interesting take, arrogance was not even a thought of mine.


I didn't take it as something obnoxious. You were polite enough, but it was the best way I could think of to explain my reaction.

de Silentio wrote:
Think of a newborn child: pure experience. There perceptions is not skewed by presumptions, preconceptions, psychological barriers, etc. that manipulate our experience of the world.


I understand what you're saying, and you may be right about newborns, but I don't accept the extrapolations you make from it. Move that baby just two years into the future when he starts telling his parents how the world works. He thinks he knows what is and what isn't, but he doesn't know. We call it immaturity that he won't listen to his parents about a hot stove. He touches it, burns himself, and learns on his own. Before that learning experience, he can deny a hot stove all he wants, but it's still there.

So, what do we call those who insist that because they haven't experienced an absolute truth that it doesn't exist? I see an analogy here.

That's my short answer. Got to run, so maybe we can do more with this later.
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2008 09:32 pm
@de Silentio,
de Silentio wrote:
Without the human mind to interrupt reality with doubt, everything is 'true'. Truth, meaning, and value are human dependent words that we restrict reality with. Without our restrictions, reality goes on without qualification.

Well ya. I think it has a lot to do with how well our conceptions of reality agree with reality. Like the guy who invented the wheel barrow to teach the Irish how to walk. Does it really work in just that fashion even though it is hard to find an Irishman who does not know how to walk or work a wheel barrow?

We concieve of reality. Do we all concieve of it the same? I would say no, even though, if we did, that would be one measure of objective truth whether it was true or not. A physics equasion like E= MC squared, might be considered as objectively true, if it is always true; but since we live in time, and time changes all; how can we say what the situation may become, or was. I am in no position to tell anyone what to believe. I only know that when I reach belief I have reached the end of my knowledge. And that is a short trip. I saw an Amos and Andy televison show once where these two flim flamers were trying to sell each other the same house that was only a fascade. One got there early and decided to look inside, opened the door, and walked right through it. He said: What a short house. I'm already in the back yard.
I have read a lot of books, but I am hard up against my own ignorance just as when I started. So, why bother to say What I know, or What is objective truth. Rather, say; we think we know this, and how do we make good with it. I guess that makes me a moralist, because I know, asking what is truth is a moral question. When humans cease to be, what is real will still be real, but nothing will ever be true.

Resha Caner wrote:
Well, good. There's a chance this won't spin totally out of control, then. But as for "evidence" ... hmm. I've seen you reasoning from within a certain world view, but I haven't seen any evidence yet.



Well that is obvious. I am reasoning from a world view. Does that make it true? Certainly, in a limited sense, true. If you ask what is truth you get the same answer as with -what is- before any form. What is Good. What is money. What is time. The true answer cannot be true at all because it sees the object in question from two viewpoints and tries to reconcile them. Every form is a form. And every form is a form of relationship. What is truth. It is a form. And as a form it contains a certain description, or definition of a certain reality. What is a form, and what is every form? Each form is a form of relationship. Now, I state the obvious truth here in regard to truth, but also to all forms: If there is no relationship there is no form. No people, no truth. Also no money, and also no good. There is a relationship between truth as a form, and good as a form, and money as a form, and false as a form too. That has to do with the primary purpose of all forms as a measure of knowledge, as fact, and as classification. If we sort all our forms by name, then each has a certain mental relationship to the others, for example, in the dictionary. That is how we generally think of our ideas, our forms, as distinct from ourselves; and yet they are not at all distinct. We hold our forms because they support us. We do not think with, or relate through the many forms that have fallen by the wayside of human progress. In fact, we progress by way of forms, losing false forms and picking up true forms. When all people progress it is by changing forms. And that is what truth is, and what all forms are. They are forms of relationship. When the forms are true, they feed the relationship, and when they are false they steal life from the relationship.

So, yes; I have a world view. I also have a very utilitarian, and moral view of the truth. In that view, no idea, and no form can be considered objectively, or absolutly true. The only test I have for truth is how well it serves humanity. People judge truth. Truth is a form of relationship. Truth must be good to people in their relationships. And that is the only test of truth I have, and it must be tested every day. The truth is as the truth does. So, you see, it is much more subjective than objective. If you must know the truth, ask those who are subjected to reality. Never ask: What it THE truth; but ask, what is your truth. It is because people come first, and their ideas follow, and their ideas do not exist in any sense, apart from them. Thanks
 
Zetetic11235
 
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2008 11:19 pm
@Resha Caner,
Resha Caner wrote:
Not to be prickly, but I find this statement a bit arrogant. It smacks of: if I can't do it, nobody can. Who's to say the human mind is the only interpreter of truth?
.

The human mind is the only interpreter of human truth, for if truth were determined by somthing not a part of human cognition, it does not exist for humans, thus human cognition is the only possible interpreter of truth considerable. You cannot reason outside of your cognative limits by definition.

If objective truth does not exist for men, then it does not exist and never will. I can only speak of what exists insofar as my mind has access to it. To speak of what is beyond human cognition, just as to speak of that which is beyond physical reality, is to speak of nothing for it does not exist for us.

There are, insofar as I can conjure, two manners of knowledge and truth:that which is existential, i.e. the sensual, and that which is relational. With the sensual, we can only project onto each other with a limited degree of accuracy what we wish to communicate, as communication is a relational structure; however, with the relational, communication is easy, I can tell you how the existential objects relate and interact with little trouble assuming your mind has the proper famework for the organization of the relational form I present. Hence why there is one method by which the relational is communicated and thousands by which the experiential aspect of reality can be. One is precise because it is a direct translation, one is imprecise because you are translating from sense to language, and there is always a bit lost in translation.

As far as an objective basis, this does not insofar as I can consider, exist. I cannot find at least, a logical basis, which is typically the domain of objectivity. As there is not a logical basis, is it reasonable to assume that there is an objective basis? Does that even matter, since we have admitted that reason is not all encompassing and has structural limits?

We cannot consider the universe from an objective stance, for we are of it, we are a part of it and thus so is logic. To attempt to penetrate that which is deeper than logic with logic alone is absurd, like trying to dig a hole into titanium with a plastic shovel. We are a part of what we are trying to describe in order to manipulate it to our own benefit. We are not capable of mentally encompassing objective space, as we are a part of it. This is not arrogance, this is logic. Take it or leave it, either one would be irrational.
 
Resha Caner
 
Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2008 11:14 am
@Zetetic11235,
You guys need to work on being a little more concise. No matter the number of words you use, there will always be a hole somewhere. :poke-eye:

I feel as if you keep talking around what I say rather than addressing it. Maybe you feel the same way about my replies. So, I'll say again that I think I understand your perspective. As such, let me phrase it in my own words: I can only know what I know. Therefore, as soon as I concede that I am finite, I concede there are things I will never know. Not only that, I will never touch them or experience them as "the thing in itself". Even if an absolute exists, if I never experience it, then from my perspective it doesn't exist. Suppose I do touch an absolute. I wouldn't know it. I can never find an objective frame of reference, which is the same as saying an objective frame of reference doesn't exist.

Am I close? Aside from arguing all the semantic issues, did I come near the essence of what you're saying?

I'll allow some time for replies. Maybe you should even try the flipside, and present the best argument you can for objective truth (even if you don't agree with it).

Then, I'll try again to communicate a very specific point.
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2008 11:52 am
@Resha Caner,
Resha Caner wrote:
You guys need to work on being a little more concise. No matter the number of words you use, there will always be a hole somewhere. :poke-eye:

I feel as if you keep talking around what I say rather than addressing it. Maybe you feel the same way about my replies. So, I'll say again that I think I understand your perspective. As such, let me phrase it in my own words: I can only know what I know. Therefore, as soon as I concede that I am finite, I concede there are things I will never know. Not only that, I will never touch them or experience them as "the thing in itself". Even if an absolute exists, if I never experience it, then from my perspective it doesn't exist. Suppose I do touch an absolute. I wouldn't know it. I can never find an objective frame of reference, which is the same as saying an objective frame of reference doesn't exist.



Am I close? Aside from arguing all the semantic issues, did I come near the essence of what you're saying?

I'll allow some time for replies. Maybe you should even try the flipside, and present the best argument you can for objective truth (even if you don't agree with it).

Then, I'll try again to communicate a very specific point.

You can only be slightly more certain of what you know. How many times in your life time were you proved wrong in what you thought you knew.

That is the wonderful thing about all knowledge, such as it is, that, if we know what we know, then we sense what we may not know, and between the two, ignorance is always the greater quantity, so we know we can never know enough to justify wrong, immorality, or injustice. When people justify wrong they justify ignorance, and ignorance justifies all.

Let me suggest that while you are correct in terms of absolutes, and infinites; that there is one quality close to an absolute, and an infinite that is also the one measure of objective truth; but we cannot see it because to us it appears as the most subjective of qualities, and that quality is life, which is a thingly thing if ever there was one. And considering that it is all we have, and so, it is the universal universal, equivalant in some senses to everything we might know, or experience as phenomenon, and as a whole, phenomenon itself, then what we can know all can know by the same book, by a common objective seeming thread with a infinite number of fibers. Life is our sole approach to objective truth. And, understanding that as fact puts me no closer than the next guy to proving it. So I don't, prove it. I just live it.
 
boagie
 
Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2008 12:08 pm
@Zetetic11235,
Hi Y'all!Smile

:)Truth is the relation between subject and object, it is first experienced then understood, and what is understood is the experience of the relation between object and ones own biology. It is the same as Fido's description I believe, accept expressed differently. The main differnce would be, it is not the form/object which is truth in and of itself, it is the interpretation of the object/form through its relation to our biology, thus making it entirely subjective. Objective truth is the confirmation of our biological experience of the relaton between subject and object. The point to be made is this, truth is not a property of the object/form, but our experience of the relation between them. Hot is only hot but in relation to our biology.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2008 12:19 pm
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
You can only be slightly more certain of what you know. How many times in your life time were you proved wrong in what you thought you knew.


But when you only thought you knew, but were proved wrong, you never knew it in the first place. Isn't that so? So that doesn't show you cannot feel certain when you know.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2008 12:21 pm
@boagie,
boagie wrote:
Truth is the relation between subject and object, it is first experienced then understood, and what is understood is the experience of the relation between object and ones own biology. It is the same as Fido's description I believe, accept expressed differently. The main differnce would be, it is not the form/object which is truth in and of itself, it is the interpretation of the object/form through its relation to our biology, thus making it entirely subjective.


What is subjective is thinking something is true. What is objective is something being true.
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2008 12:25 pm
@kennethamy,
But reality isn't independent of perception, is it?
 
boagie
 
Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2008 12:35 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday20310401 wrote:
But reality isn't independent of perception, is it?


Holiday,Smile

Good point, the truth is, we do not know reality, ultimate reality that is. We only know what apparent reality is, and that is relative to our own biology. It is both an interpretation, and a creation if you know what I mean. We intake of the stimulus which is through our biology and then processe it through our undestanding, the said truth of the understaning may or may not be a quality belonging to the object/form in and of itself, it is after all an interpretation. That which is independent, the physical world, it is certainly out there, but we can only know it as apparent reality. The easiest way one can remember this process of the formation of apparent reality is to realize, that apparent reality is a biological readout. If the world at large was independent there would be no way of cognitively knowing it. Subject and object stand or fall together----inseparable.
 
de Silentio
 
Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2008 02:16 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday20310401 wrote:
But reality isn't independent of perception, is it?


Depends on what side of the fence you sit on.
 
Zetetic11235
 
Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2008 04:06 pm
@de Silentio,
You are missing the point. You can't consider a relaity that is divorced from your perception of it, you can't make claims about it because it doesn't exist for you. All of these claims about reality are nonsense, how can you honestly consider that which is beyond your consideration by definition? To consider outside of your perception is to consider outside of considerable space! You can't consider beyond what you can percieve, and you cannot percieve what is beyond perception, thus you cannot consider what is beyond perception.
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2008 04:29 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
But when you only thought you knew, but were proved wrong, you never knew it in the first place. Isn't that so? So that doesn't show you cannot feel certain when you know.
If you didn't know it and you thought you knew it what would be the difference between that thinking you knew, and any unwarranted certainty? To know infinite truth we would have to be infinite. We are not.. What we are is certain because we feel the need to be certain. We don't usually have the courage to say we don't know, and seek a false certainty to justify action when inaction is justified. What did oedipus say: I did what I did not knowing what I did. But as a tyrant he was a man of action, and when it was revealed that he was no tyrant, but a king; then he understood the restraint of those who must hold ground that others have seized. What we do not knowing what we do is every tragedy on the planet. Can we be certain? We buy certainty with calamity. Why do we play with fire? Why do we play with chemicals? Why do we build nuclear bombs? Those people captured by the idea, who hide behind their certain conceptions of reality are God's own madmen. They strive to know more and do more, but the essential knowledge is missing from their lives. It is the consequences of the train of events they put into motion that they do not know. What will become of the messes and miseries we start in motion and cannot stop? To say we know, we must be able to chart all we don't know; the places in the oceans of our minds where sea serpents wreck their havok. Will we go there if we are certain? I think not. Certainty is the enemy of truth and of humanity. No one does any evil except out the certainty that it can be justified.The sooner reason fails us in the search for truth the sooner we will begin to rely on feeling, and there, in emotion is our common bond.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 13 Aug, 2008 07:28 am
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday20310401 wrote:
But reality isn't independent of perception, is it?


If a drunk thinks he perceives pink elephants, that isn't reality. Whether there are really pink elephants is independent of perception.
 
 

 
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