_ + _ = truth

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Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2008 01:23 pm
Just read a book (Life's ultimate questions) concerning truth, it was interesting to read. Concerning truth, it defined truth as: The property of preposition that corresponds to how things are. It listed three tests that one can use concerning testing truth; which were, Correspondance, Coherence, and Pragmatism. Did get his (author's) point, but have this question though: How do we evaluate an array of facts given to us to get the truth, beacause truth is objective, and cannot be altered by human preference, desire, and or feelings; HOW DO WE EVALUATE ARRAYS OF FACTS TO GET THE TRUTH?

Am saying this out of an observation, that is, in Christianity there are many denominations, all base their array of facts to "truth" from the bible, and do attack the other denominations for not following that "truth" [as the bible says] . Got fed up to listen to those arrays of facts that they use to support their arguements. If you ask one group (for spiritual help), they are biased to their conviction of "truth" which they all grab from the same book. Now, how does one fully evaluate the array of facts to get absolute truth. I guess some are bullied to following a particular denomination, by manipulation, that is, told scriptural consequences for not subscribing to their prescription or in this premise proposition. http://www.philosophyforum.com/forum/images/icons/icon8.gif
 
ogden
 
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2008 04:14 pm
@trulyhis,
Trulyhis, hello.

Yes, I also get frustrated at the never ending task of diciphering truth from illusion. Keep in mind that truth is not something you have to take someones word for. You can decide what is true and ultimately it is your discision.

I would say that there should be a distinction between facts and truth. Some would disagree but I think that facts are something supported by empericle observation and cannot be refuted, they are always true. Truth though can be arived at by less physical means. The statement "love hurts" is true to me because it has been my experience, however it is not true for everyone and love and hurt cannot be quantified or demonstrated. So truth can be completely subjective. If I say that God spoke to me and I heard it then it must be true to me but it is not true for anyone else. The statement "the Earth is flat", on the other hand is something that can be measured and prooven to be unfactual or falsifyable. So any truth that requires faith and is unfalsifyable holds a different place than fact.

I know that differing religious views can be especially frustrating. My advice is that you can read the bible just as well as anyone. Read it, study it, and be honest when you doubt. I think God will appreciate your sincerity and doesn't the bible say that God is a rewarder of those that dilagently seek Him. I also recomend reading other stuff like history and philosophy.

There is no rush though, take your time and listen with an open mind. Truth can never be reduced by your challenging it's validity; ability to withstand your challenge can only strengthen your understanding of it.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2008 04:28 pm
@trulyhis,
trulyhis wrote:
Just read a book (Life's ultimate questions) concerning truth, it was interesting to read. Concerning truth, it defined truth as: The property of preposition that corresponds to how things are. It listed three tests that one can use concerning testing truth; which were, Correspondance, Coherence, and Pragmatism. Did get his (author's) point, but have this question though: How do we evaluate an array of facts given to us to get the truth, beacause truth is objective, and cannot be altered by human preference, desire, and or feelings; HOW DO WE EVALUATE ARRAYS OF FACTS TO GET THE TRUTH?

Am saying this out of an observation, that is, in Christianity there are many denominations, all base their array of facts to "truth" from the bible, and do attack the other denominations for not following that "truth" [as the bible says] . Got fed up to listen to those arrays of facts that they use to support their arguements. If you ask one group (for spiritual help), they are biased to their conviction of "truth" which they all grab from the same book. Now, how does one fully evaluate the array of facts to get absolute truth. I guess some are bullied to following a particular denomination, by manipulation, that is, told scriptural consequences for not subscribing to their prescription or in this premise proposition. http://www.philosophyforum.com/forum/images/icons/icon8.gif


Wouldn't it depend on the proposition? The proposition, the cat is on the mat, is true if, and only if, there is a particular cat, and a particular mat, and the cat is in a certain relation to the mat. And we find this out by using our senses since the cat is on the mat is an empirical proposition. You do not give an example of the kind of proposition you have in mind. But I do not suppose that it is an empirical proposition. And, I am not clear how to determine whether a non-empirical proposition is true; or whether it can be determined to be true.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 10 Mar, 2008 03:05 am
@trulyhis,
Empirical evidence usually establishes something as being probably true, or probably not true. Absolute truth is, I think, impossible to establish based on experience. As Hume conjectured, that the sun has risen yesterday and every day before is not enough to be absolutely sure that the sun will rise again tomorrow.

'Truth' as suggested by reason alone is probably the nearest we can come to saying something is absolutely true. 1+1=2 - this is often considered absolutely true. However, we only know this is true because of experience.

When people talk about truth as being 'objective', it seems truth is objective in that whatever is true, is true regardless of our own knowledge of that truth. If God exists, he exists even if we do not know it.

I am not sure that we can ever firmly establish the objectivity of any particular truth. Instead, I think the best we can do is evaluate claims according to our own good reason and experience. If we remain open to considering the good reason and experience of others, while absolute truth might be beyond our reach, I think our pursuit of truth will be sufficient with respect to our search for the good life.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 10 Mar, 2008 05:00 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Empirical evidence usually establishes something as being probably true, or probably not true. Absolute truth is, I think, impossible to establish based on experience. As Hume conjectured, that the sun has risen yesterday and every day before is not enough to be absolutely sure that the sun will rise again tomorrow.

'Truth' as suggested by reason alone is probably the nearest we can come to saying something is absolutely true. 1+1=2 - this is often considered absolutely true. However, we only know this is true because of experience.

When people talk about truth as being 'objective', it seems truth is objective in that whatever is true, is true regardless of our own knowledge of that truth. If God exists, he exists even if we do not know it.

I am not sure that we can ever firmly establish the objectivity of any particular truth. Instead, I think the best we can do is evaluate claims according to our own good reason and experience. If we remain open to considering the good reason and experience of others, while absolute truth might be beyond our reach, I think our pursuit of truth will be sufficient with respect to our search for the good life.


I established that the cat is on the mat is true by empirical evidence. I am not sure just what you have in mind by "absolute truth" since I never use that term, do not know what people mean by "absolute truth" and how it differs from truth. However, I suspect, that what you mean by establishing that the cat is on the mat is absolutely true is that it is established with certainty: that it is established a certainly true. In the phrase, "certainly true" "true is used as it customarily is. What is meant by "certainly true" is true beyond the possibility of error. And, I agree that no empirical proposition can be established as true beyond the possibility of error.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 10 Mar, 2008 05:09 am
@kennethamy,
Yes, you made it clear that we can support the statement "The cat is on the mat" with empirical evidence.

My post was not a direct response to yours kennethamy, it was a general response to the thread.

Your estimation of "absolutely true" is accurate. Absolutely true is something which is certainly true. Certain... absolute... you got it.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 10 Mar, 2008 06:03 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Yes, you made it clear that we can support the statement "The cat is on the mat" with empirical evidence.

My post was not a direct response to yours kennethamy, it was a general response to the thread.

Your estimation of "absolutely true" is accurate. Absolutely true is something which is certainly true. Certain... absolute... you got it.


But, if that is what you mean by "absolutely true" it has nothing to do with the meaning of the word, "true", but with your knowledge of the truth. It isn't a different kind of truth at all.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 10 Mar, 2008 06:10 am
@kennethamy,
Quote:
But, if that is what you mean by "absolutely true" it has nothing to do with the meaning of the word, "true", but with your knowledge of the truth. It isn't a different kind of truth at all.


What, then, do you suppose is the meaning of the word "true"?

If you mean "true" - regardless of what we know, or can know - "absolutely true" has a great deal to do with this. Something "absolutely true" or "certainly true" is something we know with absolute certainty to be "true" in the first sense. Obviously, nothing we "know" can be known to be absolutely true.

What different kinds of truth do you suppose there are?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 10 Mar, 2008 06:24 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
What, then, do you suppose is the meaning of the word "true"?

If you mean "true" - regardless of what we know, or can know - "absolutely true" has a great deal to do with this. Something "absolutely true" or "certainly true" is something we know with absolute certainty to be "true" in the first sense. Obviously, nothing we "know" can be known to be absolutely true.

What different kinds of truth do you suppose there are?


Aristotle wrote that (Metaphysics 1011b25): "To say of what is that it is not, or of what is not that it is, is false, while to say of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not, is true"

I don't think that specification of what it is to say of a sentence that it is true can be bettered (although it has been expanded an formalized). And, yes, there are truths that no one knows. For example, it was true that the Moon existed before there were people, so there was no one who knew that the Moon existed, but the Moon existed, nevertheless. And, in the 14th century there were germs, but no one then had ever conceived of germs, much less knew that germs existed.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 10 Mar, 2008 06:42 am
@kennethamy,
Quote:
I don't think that specification of what it is to say of a sentence that it is true can be bettered (although it has been expanded an formalized).


Bettered? Sure we can. What do you think the expanding and formalization was all about?

If I say "It is true that my dog is sitting next to me" we can say there is something absolutely true - whether or not my dog is sitting next to me. There is also what is true to the best of my knowledge - that my dog seems to be sitting next to me. There is also what is true to the best of your knowledge - that I'm not making any sense, or whatever it is that you can best support from your own experience and good sense.

Quote:
And, yes, there are truths that no one knows. For example, it was true that the Moon existed before there were people, so there was no one who knew that the Moon existed, but the Moon existed, nevertheless. And, in the 14th century there were germs, but no one then had ever conceived of germs, much less knew that germs existed.


Yes, I agree. Was this in response to something?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 10 Mar, 2008 07:06 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Bettered? Sure we can. What do you think the expanding and formalization was all about?

If I say "It is true that my dog is sitting next to me" we can say there is something absolutely true - whether or not my dog is sitting next to me. There is also what is true to the best of my knowledge - that my dog seems to be sitting next to me. There is also what is true to the best of your knowledge - that I'm not making any sense, or whatever it is that you can best support from your own experience and good sense.



Yes, I agree. Was this in response to something?


But these are not different kinds of truths. These are different kinds (or degrees) of knowing what is true. One is knowledge with certainty. The other is knowledge without certainty. But that has nothing to do with truth, which is basically what Aristotle said it was. Whenever I know some proposition, I know that it is true. Knowledge implies truth. That is one way knowledge differs from belief.

My second point was that you asked whether I thought there are truths that no one knows, and I gave examples of truths no one knows.But I may very well have misunderstood you.

Some philosophers have, indeed, held that we can know with certainty in some cases. One candidate for certainty (what you continue to call "absolute truth") is that I exist. Can I be mistaken about whether I exist?
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 10 Mar, 2008 07:19 am
@kennethamy,
Quote:
But these are not different kinds of truths. These are different kinds (or degrees) of knowing what is true. One is knowledge with certainty. The other is knowledge without certainty. But that has nothing to do with truth, which is basically what Aristotle said it was. Whenever I know some proposition, I know that it is true. Knowledge implies truth. That is one way knowledge differs from belief.


Which is why I asked you what kinds of truth you think there are, as I have not attempted to establish different kinds of truth.

I do not think we can ever say a claim is absolutely true; I do not think empiricism extends that far, and as far as I can tell reason is founded empirically.

You say "Whenever I know some proposition, I know that it is true", but how certain is that truth? Again, I'm unconvinced that we can know any proposition as absolutely true - we might be wrong. My dog sitting next to me I know to be true as well as I can know anything to be true, but I lack the ability to establish that truth with absolute certainty.

Quote:
My second point was that you asked whether I thought there are truths that no one knows, and I gave examples of truths no one knows.But I may very well have misunderstood you.


I asked that?

Quote:
Some philosophers have, indeed, held that we can know with certainty in some cases. One candidate for certainty (what you continue to call "absolute truth") is that I exist. Can I be mistaken about whether I exist?


If you ask me, Descartes was wrong. Brilliant, but misguided.

Yes, I imagine you could very well be mistaken. Especially if "I" has not been defined.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 10 Mar, 2008 08:53 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Which is why I asked you what kinds of truth you think there are, as I have not attempted to establish different kinds of truth.

I do not think we can ever say a claim is absolutely true; I do not think empiricism extends that far, and as far as I can tell reason is founded empirically.

You say "Whenever I know some proposition, I know that it is true", but how certain is that truth? Again, I'm unconvinced that we can know any proposition as absolutely true - we might be wrong. My dog sitting next to me I know to be true as well as I can know anything to be true, but I lack the ability to establish that truth with absolute certainty.



I asked that?



If you ask me, Descartes was wrong. Brilliant, but misguided.

Yes, I imagine you could very well be mistaken. Especially if "I" has not been defined.


I do not think we can ever say a claim is absolutely true; I do not think empiricism extends that far, and as far as I can tell reason is founded empirically

That is exactly what Descartes argues in the First Meditation (I suppose you mean by "absolutely true" just "certain". It would be clearer if you did not mix up knowledge with truth) Descartes argues that empiricism must imply skepticism (that there is no knowledge) since Descartes (like Plato before him) holds that knowledge implies certainty, and not only truth. So since certainty cannot be achieved on empirical grounds, Descartes argues that it can imply only skepticism. (Hume held much the same thing more than a century later, which is why Hume is held to be a skeptic). But Descartes, who is a Rationalist, holds that there are ways of knowing that are not empirical; what he calls the intuitus (and Plato, the founder of Rationalism, the Nous) and that Reason alone can give us (certain) knowledge. What Kant later on called, synthetic a priori knowledge. Of course, empiricists deny that there is such synthetic a priori knowledge.

All I claim is that knowledge implies truth. You cannot know what is false. And, I think it is true, as Descartes and Hume held, that empirical knowledge cannot be certain (be known without the possibility of error).

If I were mistaken about whether I exist, then who would it be who was mistaken?
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 10 Mar, 2008 11:30 am
@kennethamy,
Quote:
All I claim is that knowledge implies truth. You cannot know what is false. And, I think it is true, as Descartes and Hume held, that empirical knowledge cannot be certain (be known without the possibility of error).


So, why am I unable to know what is false? Why am I unable to know that 1+1=3 is false?
 
trulyhis
 
Reply Mon 10 Mar, 2008 01:40 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
"And, yes, there are truths that no one knows"

Hold it right there! What do you mean "... no one knows", If no one knows it then how could it be justified that it is the truth, is it due to being subjective, passive, or receptive to believing that it is "true" yet no one knows it?? Or rather it could be a point that has not or cannot be justified in the scale of truth??

Thank you for the contributions all of you. Have a this to say concerning truth being subjective, that is, "You can decide what is true and ultimately it is your discision.". Well I seem not to agree with it, truth is objective, I cannot decide whether something is true or not. Maybe what Ogden wanted to say (from the first reply), is that on a particular situation something can be proven true, but to the other situation it cannot be so, meaning that it does not give a priori concept and absolute truth, for insance, as Ogden said "love hurts". I cannot decide what is true, truth is objective, it can neither be changed by my preference, desire, or feelings.

I agree with Ogden, concerning facts, that is, "Some would disagree but I think that facts are something supported by empericle observation and cannot be refuted".
Some facts are aqueted to falsity, in order to support a prescription, and they would corespond to the proposition correctly, and we fall for it.

Look at the "truth" behind the 911 incident, which is said to be the plot that involves Freemersons, Jesuits, etc, to enable the New World Order (by its moderators). So now how do we test these facts towards the truth (am neutral based on that incident, am not sure to be precise). Maybe it would take a timely research to follow it up and how again??
Visit for interest sake: The New World Order in Bible prophecy
 
Quatl
 
Reply Mon 10 Mar, 2008 02:41 pm
@trulyhis,
"there are truths that no one knows" there is nothing inconsistent with this statement.

"Objects fall with an acceleration of 9.8m/s^2 on earth."

This is considered a fact by many, however this was not always known.
So before this was calculated it was an unknown truth. Reality does not need to be "justified" it is as it is. Justification is a human desire.

Truth beyond trivial facts (my cat has herpes,) or personal observations (I am hungry) is often elusive. Reality is a complicated and secretive beastie. Especialy for humans as we not only as all things must obey reality, we also demand to understand it, and more often than not demand that it be as we wish it to be. This last bit is ignored most of the time Very Happy

Good luck on your quest for Ultimate Truth, if you find it please be sure to send us a postcard.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 10 Mar, 2008 03:56 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
So, why am I unable to know what is false? Why am I unable to know that 1+1=3 is false?


I said that it is not possible to know a false proposition. Naturally we can know that (it is true) that a particular proposition is false. But, that's different.

So, I cannot know that 1+1=3 is true, since it is false.
But, of course, I can know that 1+1 is 3 is false (and I do).
 
ogden
 
Reply Mon 10 Mar, 2008 05:01 pm
@kennethamy,
"Nothing can be absolute truth" is a self defeating statement.

Perhaps reason should be the criteria used to scrutinize everything? Yes, reason can lead us to a practical knowledge where I can know my cat is really beside me when I look over and see him sitting there. He could be an illusion though. Propositions that contain unsuported premises should not hold the same value as those that do.

So which is true, the cat I see next to me or the dark side of the moon? I could support both arguments but the connection for my cat would take less steps and be stronger than something i've never seen, regardess of them both being true.

Likewise a priori knowledge is supported by reason but the existance of God is something dificult to rationalize. Truth that comes from revilation is not going to be easy to reason. The unsuportability of claims made about a revilation makes them a beliefe. It does'nt mean they are not true it only means that thier validity is weak.

Absolute truth makes no differance because we all have to make a judgment as to the strength or probability of being true. So from my perspective there are value levels and it is up to me to constantly determin.
 
Aristoddler
 
Reply Mon 10 Mar, 2008 05:40 pm
@trulyhis,
Truth can be defined as the proof of facts, simply put.

But many people would say that this is only when it comes to objective topics.

Subjective truth is much harder to come by, since it is wracked with opinions and biased information.
 
Quatl
 
Reply Mon 10 Mar, 2008 06:26 pm
@Aristoddler,
The only "pure truths" are those that are ultimately founded on decisions. Math includes many of these 1+1=2 because 2-1=1 because 1+1=2.

We have decided that 1 is one, and defined certain operations such that the whole arangement is hung on such decisions.

All Pure Truths are thus. God = whatever the entourage of God says God is.

This does not mean necessarily that Pure Truths are true. To the extent that your truths coraspond to reality, you will deal with reality well. The only exceptions are where the truth doesn't intersect reality, in that case you can believe whatever you want with limited consequences.

If God wanted us to !KNOW! just what God was up to God would have told us. Not told a couple a guys long long ago. This is "true" whether or not God exists.

Maybe we're supposed to figure things out on our own, that would certainly explain why we are self obsessed critters with massively over sized brains.

Maybe being wrong on occasion is good for us Smile

(Did you notice how i cheated by defining my own terminology, just making sure Smile This is how we approach truth, by fumbling around with our own minds, and occasionally glancing out into the world. It's fun but be cautious of taking yourself too seriously)
 
 

 
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