Do we have "THE TRUTH?"

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Reply Sun 29 Mar, 2009 08:54 am
Does it seem reasonable to believe that what we think and believe should not be considered to be "The Truth" in the religious, abstract sense of being the final knowledge? For all practical purposes, we all have what we can call, in total, a "world-view" and way of thinking. Let that stand for all of it, for everything we believe and think. It is different from the world view of some others, especially in the past. It can even be significantly different, consider, for example, the belief of people 4,000 years ago in Egypt. On that basis, perhaps we should perhaps conclude it will continue to develop and improve in the next 4,000 years. Should that be the case, we should be satisfied that our world-view and way of thinking is, at most, just more accurate than that of the past and that people in the future will develop it further . . .


Our world view may not be "the final Truth," so what is it, instead? It is belief, theory, understanding, as with the theory of evolution, of relativity, etc. It is belief, belief that is more accurate than what people used to believe in the past.


Characteristic of belief is that when a belief system is commonly held, it is considered to be an ideology. It is taught ideology, coming often from the parents and from school. Like all ideology, it consists of a number of doctrines and what in later times and civilizations are called "myths."


So, it would seem that we all adhere to an ideology and that there must be some way to explain how that ideology arose and was passed on to us.


How about it? Can anyone explain the origins of our beliefs? People tend to think they believe very differently from their neighbor. I would dispute that! We all adhere to much the same Secular ideals and follow much the same moral system which others have called "the Christian ethic." And if we have differences, why and how did that happen? Are we better off because of it?

charles
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 29 Mar, 2009 10:57 am
@charles brough,
charles brough wrote:

How about it? Can anyone explain the origins of our beliefs? People tend to think they believe very differently from their neighbor. I would dispute that! We all adhere to much the same Secular ideals and follow much the same moral system which others have called "the Christian ethic." And if we have differences, why and how did that happen? Are we better off because of it?

charles


[SIZE=+1]What wide difference, therefore, in the sentiments of morals, must be found between civilized nations and Barbarians, or between nations whose characters have little in common? How shall we pretend to fix a standard for judgments of this nature?[/SIZE] [SIZE=+1](26) By tracing matters, replied I, a little higher, and examining the first principles, which each nation establishes, of blame or censure. The RHINE flows north, the RHONE south; yet both spring from the same mountain, and are also actuated, in their opposite directions, by the same principle of gravity. The different inclinations of the ground on which they run, cause all the difference of their courses.[/SIZE]


[SIZE=+1]From: "A Dialogue" by David Hume
[/SIZE]
 
Thunkd
 
Reply Sat 4 Apr, 2009 09:47 pm
@kennethamy,
You mention the "final truth". The mathematician Godel proved his "incompleteness theorem" which <paraphrasing> showed that no formal system which included arithmetic could be consistent and complete, i.e. there would be true statements that could not be proved. The implications are that there is no final truth, or that if there is we will never be able to know it.
 
JeffD2
 
Reply Sun 7 Jun, 2009 08:18 pm
@Thunkd,
The most reliable method of proof obtainable by mankind is deductive reasoning. Also, using deductive reasoning to prove/disprove any given logical rule would simply be a circular argument. Therefore, there can never exist a reason to believe that the rules of logic are true, or that the rules of logic are the tools used in discovering truth. It follows that their can never exist a reason to believe that any given theorem is true, even when accompanied by a proof that has been constructed by deductive reasoning. Absolute truth is unobtainable.

Of course I can say that all human observations and experiences have never involved an illogical event. There are numerous observations and experiences. Therefore, the rules of logic are true. The problem with this argument is that it is constructed by inductive reasoning. Furthermore, the problem with inductive reasoning is that even though it approaches the truth concerning the rules of logic, we can never know when we actually reach the truth concerning the rules of logic. In other words, inductive reasoning is unreliable. Absolute truth is unobtainable.

For example, consider a bag of 999 black marbles and one white marble. A marble is taken out (without replacement) one by one. Eventually, one uses inductive reasoning to reach the false assumption that every marble in the bag is black. Ultimately, the white marble is chosen and it is discovered that the assumption of every marble being black is wrong. My point is that even though inductive reasoning approaches the truth concerning the rules of logic, we can never know when we actually reach the truth concerning the rules of logic. Absolute truth is unobtainable.

Like I said, inductive reasoning approaches the truth. As time goes on, we as human beings acquire more observations and experiences. If new observations and experiences conform to the current laws of logic, then it is more probable that the current laws of logic are true. On the other hand, if new observations and experiences contradict the current laws of logic, then we must create a new complete and consistent set of logical rules that makes sense of both the new observations and experiences and the old observations and experiences. A newer set of logical laws will obviously be truer than an older set of logical laws. Of course, we don't know what the probability is that the laws of logic are true, because we don't know how many events will take place in time overall. Absolute truth is unobtainable.

One might ask, "What happens if new observations and experiences contradict the current laws of logic, and it is impossible to create a new complete and consistent set of logical rules that makes sense of both the new observations and experiences and the old observations and experiences?" Maybe random events exist. Maybe absolute truth doesn't exist. The only proposition I can say for certain though is that absolute truth is unobtainable.


This is just my opinion. Tell me if I'm way off topic.
 
Yogi DMT
 
Reply Sun 7 Jun, 2009 09:04 pm
@charles brough,
I would tend to think of a truth as perspective. There cannot be any definite facts because everything and anything commonly agreed upon is generated in our mind and has no real proof of being. If we were to understand our world as a constant and real concept then we could prove facts and fiction. Truth completely depends on opinion but most importantly a basis in which we can agree upon. By that i mean, one can say 1+1=2, that is not true unless everyone agrees upon a common set of rules established before this rule was made. One could easily say that i believe 1s are 2s and therefore 1+1=4. I know this is an extreme example but there is no truth unless we can all agree in union but in that instance there would be no fallacies made whatsoever. Truth is merely perspective in my opinion and that is considering that we all can say that everything that we interact with and understand is real to begin with. In fact we could all be under a mass illusion, a dream, ect. all those conspiracies. Of course we all are reasonable enough to say our world is real, therefore being able to function and live off these principles. So to conclude, in answer to this post, i think truth is perspective.
 
richrf
 
Reply Sun 7 Jun, 2009 10:27 pm
@Yogi DMT,
Truth is satisfying for those who like the idea of "knowing the truth" and therefore can create a hierarchy of those in the know and those who are just plain shlumps that need to be led. Plato was really good at this.

As opposed to saying I believe something, I would say that this is what I observe. I observe. No one else can observe from my vantage point, in my space and in my time. Certainly no one can observe what I observe while I am asleep. If someone says they know the Truth, let them tell me what I dreamed about last night. However, I don't mind people setting themselves up as being better than someone else. I think the name of that game is called King of the Hill.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 08:18 am
@richrf,
richrf;67264 wrote:
Truth is satisfying for those who like the idea of "knowing the truth" and therefore can create a hierarchy of those in the know and those who are just plain shlumps that need to be led. Plato was really good at this.

As opposed to saying I believe something, I would say that this is what I observe. I observe. No one else can observe from my vantage point, in my space and in my time. Certainly no one can observe what I observe while I am asleep. If someone says they know the Truth, let them tell me what I dreamed about last night. However, I don't mind people setting themselves up as being better than someone else. I think the name of that game is called King of the Hill.

Rich


People who know some truths need not know all truths. So I can know that Quito is the capital of Ecuador, but I need not also know what you dreamed last night.

Sure, people can observe from my vantage point. They can take your vantage point when you leave it, and then make their observation from that vantage point. Of course, no two things can be in the same place at the same time. But why must I be in your vantage point at the same time you are there to be able to observe from your vantage point.

Since more than one person can know the same thing (e.g. that Quito is the capital of Ecuador) knowledge of the truth does not (as you seem to think) a "hierarchy", since anyone, who takes the trouble, can know a lot of things that others know. Lots of people (in fact most people) know that @ + 2 =4.
 
jgweed
 
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 11:45 am
@charles brough,
Things can be true in many different ways, and we often have various sets of different rules and procedures for determining truth. To force truth by definition to always mean "absolute and indubitable truth" is extremely tenuous. First, there is no example of such a truth to be found, and second there is no "truth" that cannot be subject to serious challenge about its absoluteness.

If this be so, then there can be a hierarchy of different kinds of truth. We can be reasonably certain about, for example, 2+2 always equally 4, or that Quito is the capitol of Ecuador, and we have appropriate procedures for determining whether these are true or not. Other truths are judged by their rank as being more or less probable; one could argue that the more perspectives that determined Z was true, the more likely it would (in fact) be true.
 
richrf
 
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 12:12 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;67331 wrote:
People who know some truths need not know all truths. So I can know that Quito is the capital of Ecuador, but I need not also know what you dreamed last night.

Sure, people can observe from my vantage point. They can take your vantage point when you leave it, and then make their observation from that vantage point. Of course, no two things can be in the same place at the same time. But why must I be in your vantage point at the same time you are there to be able to observe from your vantage point.

Since more than one person can know the same thing (e.g. that Quito is the capital of Ecuador) knowledge of the truth does not (as you seem to think) a "hierarchy", since anyone, who takes the trouble, can know a lot of things that others know. Lots of people (in fact most people) know that @ + 2 =4.


In some mathematical systems 2+2=4. In others, not.

There are certain facts that there is a general consensus. Others not. E.g. Sometimes wars are fought over what is or isn't a capital of what.

So, yes, there are such things as general consensus, which may or may not change over time. However, immutable Truths (which is generally what philosophers like to debate about) - I think not.

Rich

---------- Post added at 01:18 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:12 PM ----------

jgweed;67391 wrote:
Things can be true in many different ways, and we often have various sets of different rules and procedures for determining truth. To force truth by definition to always mean "absolute and indubitable truth" is extremely tenuous. First, there is no example of such a truth to be found, and second there is no "truth" that cannot be subject to serious challenge about its absoluteness.

If this be so, then there can be a hierarchy of different kinds of truth. We can be reasonably certain about, for example, 2+2 always equally 4, or that Quito is the capitol of Ecuador, and we have appropriate procedures for determining whether these are true or not. Other truths are judged by their rank as being more or less probable; one could argue that the more perspectives that determined Z was true, the more likely it would (in fact) be true.


I think that on some things, a group can form a consensus on how they view things, and agree upon it, however these consensus of views, cannot be considered Truth. For example, some people believe that Tibet is independent and will refer to it as such. But billions of people in China think not. So which is it? Is Jerusalem part of Israel or not? It is all matter of consensus.

Yes, at one time, most everyone in the world agreed that Time was absolute. And then someone else had a creative idea that overturned this notion.

I distinguish consensus of perspectives between different people from the notion of Truth in order to allow for evolution of what we think we may or may not know.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 05:44 pm
@richrf,
richrf;67404 wrote:
In some mathematical systems 2+2=4. In others, not.

There are certain facts that there is a general consensus. Others not. E.g. Sometimes wars are fought over what is or isn't a capital of what.

So, yes, there are such things as general consensus, which may or may not change over time. However, immutable Truths (which is generally what philosophers like to debate about) - I think not.

Rich

---------- Post added at 01:18 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:12 PM ----------



I think that on some things, a group can form a consensus on how they view things, and agree upon it, however these consensus of views, cannot be considered Truth. For example, some people believe that Tibet is independent and will refer to it as such. But billions of people in China think not. So which is it? Is Jerusalem part of Israel or not? It is all matter of consensus.

Yes, at one time, most everyone in the world agreed that Time was absolute. And then someone else had a creative idea that overturned this notion.

I distinguish consensus of perspectives between different people from the notion of Truth in order to allow for evolution of what we think we may or may not know.

Rich



It is an "immutable" truth that on 8 June, 2009, Quito is the capital of Ecuador. That it may no longer be the capital of Ecuador on 9 June, 2009, is irrelevant.

That in some mathematical systems, 2+2 does not = 4, has nothing whatever to do with the fact that in the mathematical system I was referring to, it does =4.

That people once believed Time was absolute (or the Earth was flat) shows only the people make mistakes about what the truth is. It does not show that there is no truth. For instance, because people made mistakes about the shape of Earth, that does not mean that Earth has no shape. And, whatever shape it has, is the truth about the shape of Earth. The fact that we often do not know the truth, but only believe we know the truth, does not show that there is no truth.

You confuse knowing the truth with the truth. Those are not the same things.
 
richrf
 
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 07:16 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;67506 wrote:
It is an "immutable" truth that on 8 June, 2009, Quito is the capital of Ecuador. That it may no longer be the capital of Ecuador on 9 June, 2009, is irrelevant.

That in some mathematical systems, 2+2 does not = 4, has nothing whatever to do with the fact that in the mathematical system I was referring to, it does =4.

That people once believed Time was absolute (or the Earth was flat) shows only the people make mistakes about what the truth is. It does not show that there is no truth. For instance, because people made mistakes about the shape of Earth, that does not mean that Earth has no shape. And, whatever shape it has, is the truth about the shape of Earth. The fact that we often do not know the truth, but only believe we know the truth, does not show that there is no truth.

You confuse knowing the truth with the truth. Those are not the same things.


What you call Truth, I call consensus building.

2=2=4, only so long as we agree on the number system we are using. If I disagree, then 2=2=?.

Quito is the capital of Equador as proclaimed by the government. And we agree to accept the government's representation. However, if someone in Equador, or elsewhere, does not accept the government as legitimate (e.g., an Inca of deep roots), who am I to say no. You want to force that person into accepting your Truth, go right ahead and try. That is how wars begin.

What is the shape of the Earth? What is the Truth?

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 07:37 pm
@richrf,
richrf;67538 wrote:
What you call Truth, I call consensus building.

2=2=4, only so long as we agree on the number system we are using. If I disagree, then 2=2=?.

Quito is the capital of Equador as proclaimed by the government. And we agree to accept the government's representation. However, if someone in Equador, or elsewhere, does not accept the government as legitimate (e.g., an Inca of deep roots), who am I to say no. You want to force that person into accepting your Truth, go right ahead and try. That is how wars begin.

What is the shape of the Earth? What is the Truth?

Rich



That it is true that there is a piece of lint on the carpet has nothing to do with consensus building. It is true whether or not there is a consensus built for it, and I doubt that anyone would try to build a consensus for the truth that there is a piece of lint on the carpet. Don't you? It is simply not true that truth is consensus building, and I certainly doubt that you will build any kind of consensus for the belief that truth is consensus building. You certainly will never get my agreement for that view.

It is also the case that we can agree that dogs are mammals only if we agree about the meanings of the terms, "dog" and "mammals". But so what? Aren't dogs mammals?

Of course, Quito becomes the capital, when the proper procedures for naming a capital in that country are followed. What is novel about that? It is, however, false that if a particular individual does not accept Quito as the capital, that there is any doubt that Quito is the capital. Whether it is the capital depends on whether the proper procedures have established it as the capital, and also whether other countries accept it as the capital, and send their representatives there. Why would you think that because some individual did not accept Quito as the capital, that would throw it into doubt whether Quito was the capital. You know that is not true. If you suddenly disputed whether Berlin or Bonn should be the capital of Germany, would that have any affect on whether Berlin was the capital of Germany? Of course it would not. No more than if you disputed whether dogs were mammals would it matter to whether dogs are mammals.

The shape of Earth is spherical. And truth, is as Aristotle described it: "when we say of what is that it is, that is truth; and when we say of what is that it is not, that is falsity".
 
richrf
 
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 08:49 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;67545 wrote:
That it is true that there is a piece of lint on the carpet has nothing to do with consensus building. It is true whether or not there is a consensus built for it, and I doubt that anyone would try to build a consensus for the truth that there is a piece of lint on the carpet. Don't you? It is simply not true that truth is consensus building, and I certainly doubt that you will build any kind of consensus for the belief that truth is consensus building. You certainly will never get my agreement for that view.

It is also the case that we can agree that dogs are mammals only if we agree about the meanings of the terms, "dog" and "mammals". But so what? Aren't dogs mammals?

Of course, Quito becomes the capital, when the proper procedures for naming a capital in that country are followed. That is novel about that? It is, however, false that if a particular individual does not accept Quito as the capital, that there is any doubt that Quito is the capital. Whether it is the capital depends on whether the proper procedures have established it as the capital, and also whether other countries accept it as the capital, and send their representatives there. Why would you think that because some individual did not accept Quito as the capital, that would throw it into doubt whether Quito was the capital. You know that is not true. If you suddenly disputed whether Berlin or Bonn should be the capital of Germany, would that have any affect on whether Berlin was the capital of Germany? Of course it would not. No more than if you disputed whether dogs were mammals would it matter to whether dogs are mammals.

The shape of Earth is spherical. And truth, is as Aristotle described it: "when we say of what is that it is, that is truth; and when we say of what is that it is not, that is falsity".



Wikipedia: The shape of the Earth is very close to that of an oblate spheroid, a sphere squished along the orientation from pole to pole such that there is a bulge around the equator.

Let us be careful with our truths, because Wikipedia disagrees with you.

What's more it is constantly changing:

NASA: The researchers found over the past 28 years, two large variations in the Earth's oblateness were connected to strong ENSO events. Variations in mass distribution, which caused the change in the gravity field, were predominantly over the continents, with a smaller contribution due to changes over the ocean. The cause of a variation in the Earth's mass over the 21-year period between 1978 and 2001, however, still remains a mystery.

Now, we can agree by consensus to call it a sphere for convenience shape, but it is hardly a sphere or anything else you can name.

Lint on a carpet has everything to do with consensus. You may see lint. I may see nothing. Should I trust you? Well that depends on whether we can come to consensus on whether your are trustworthy and whether we can agree on what is lint. Whether or nothing there is something there has everything to do with agreement and consensus by everyone involved.

Whether or not Quido is the capital, depends upon "proper procedures". Who says what are the proper procedures. You? Me? The U.S. government. Without consensus there is no agreement, and yet there may be those who disagree. What about them? For them, they have a very legitimate reason to disagree. They simply don't recognize the procedures as being proper. No consensus.

You may think that just because you say it is so, it is so, but then others may disagree. What are you going to do? Create conflict? Heraclitus says yes. Smile But, even if you allow for your own error and have some humility on what is the Truth, I am sure that something else will arise. It always does.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 09:11 pm
@richrf,
richrf;67568 wrote:
Wikipedia: The shape of the Earth is very close to that of an oblate spheroid, a sphere squished along the orientation from pole to pole such that there is a bulge around the equator.

Let us be careful with our truths, because Wikipedia disagrees with you.

What's more it is constantly changing:

NASA: The researchers found over the past 28 years, two large variations in the Earth's oblateness were connected to strong ENSO events. Variations in mass distribution, which caused the change in the gravity field, were predominantly over the continents, with a smaller contribution due to changes over the ocean. The cause of a variation in the Earth's mass over the 21-year period between 1978 and 2001, however, still remains a mystery.

Now, we can agree by consensus to call it a sphere for convenience shape, but it is hardly a sphere or anything else you can name.

Lint on a carpet has everything to do with consensus. You may see lint. I may see nothing. Should I trust you? Well that depends on whether we can come to consensus on whether your are trustworthy and whether we can agree on what is lint. Whether or nothing there is something there has everything to do with agreement and consensus by everyone involved.

Whether or not Quido is the capital, depends upon "proper procedures". Who says what are the proper procedures. You? Me? The U.S. government. Without consensus there is no agreement, and yet there may be those who disagree. What about them? For them, they have a very legitimate reason to disagree. They simply don't recognize the procedures as being proper. No consensus.

You may think that just because you say it is so, it is so, but then others may disagree. What are you going to do? Create conflict? Heraclitus says yes. Smile But, even if you allow for your own error and have some humility on what is the Truth, I am sure that something else will arise. It always does.

Rich


Wiki no more disagrees with me, than it would if I said the shape of Italy is a boot, and Wiki said, it is like a boot. You must know about context. You think that when I say that I am about five feet 10 inches tall, and then I am measured, and I turn out to be a centimeter under that, the measurement and I disagree too?

You are talking about how we know that there is lint on the carpet, not about whether it is true that there is lint on the carpet. Whether we know there is depends on consensus. Whether it is true that there is, does not depend on consensus. The lint is either there, or it is not, whether everybody, or anybody agrees it is. Where did you ever get the idea that whether there is a piece of lint on the carpet depends on whether anybody or everybody agrees there is? You have it backward. If it is there, then (maybe) it will be agreed it is there; but certainly not if everyone agrees it is there, it is there.

The proper procedures are obviously the procedures established for deciding what the capital is by the proper authorities. What did you think? Do you think there are no capitals of countries? Look at an atlas, for heaven's sake! If you want to find out how each country decides on its capital, I suppose you can look that up too. What is the problem?

So what if others disagree? What is that supposed to mean. People may disagree about anything, I suppose. What matters is whether they have good reasons for their disagreement, and whether they can back up their disagreement. Disagreement by itself means nothing at all. A four year old child may disagree about what is the capital of a country. So what? What has agreement or disagreement to do with what is true or false? Nothing that I can see.
 
richrf
 
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 09:29 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;67577 wrote:
Disagreement by itself means nothing at all. A four year old child may disagree about what is the capital of a country. So what? What has agreement or disagreement to do with what is true or false? Nothing that I can see.


The the upshot is that the Truth is what ever you determine is the Truth. Nothing new here. Lots of people want to think they have the Truth. And when they get together and disagree, they argue (conflict). I tell you, Heraclitus nailed it.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 09:48 pm
@richrf,
richrf;67580 wrote:
The the upshot is that the Truth is what ever you determine is the Truth. Nothing new here. Lots of people want to think they have the Truth. And when they get together and disagree, they argue (conflict). I tell you, Heraclitus nailed it.

Rich


Of course not. I never said anything like that. What is the truth is independent of what anyone believes is the truth. Why would you believe that I thought anything as absurd as what is the truth is what I determine is the truth? I know I make mistakes all the time, So why would I think such a thing? Of course, sometimes I, like everyone, believe I know what is true. And, maybe I do. But I certainly realize that I am not infallible, and that I may be mistaken. And, most people realize that. That I believe that sometimes I know what is true does not mean that I don't believe that I may not know the truth and that I cannot be wrong. Of course I believe I know that Quito is the capital of Ecuador. And, furthermore, I have a lot of evidence to support that belief. But, of course, I may still be wrong. Very unlikely, of course, but possible. So what. The fact that I may be wrong doesn't mean I am wrong, and that I don't know that Quito is the capital of Ecuador, does it? What has Heraclitus to do with that, anyway?
 
richrf
 
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 10:31 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;67584 wrote:
I know I make mistakes all the time.


You only make mistakes if you tell someone that something is the Truth and then it turns out not be the Truth. The earth is not a sphere according to the authors of Wikipedia and NASA, though lots of people will say that the earth is a sphere. However, if you insist that the earth is a sphere, there will be conflict. I for one, don't think that the earth is a sphere.

I person who claims to know the Truth is bound to make many more mistakes than those who don't. As to what is the Truth, well I guess it all depends upon who or what you want to use as your source, I guess.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2009 05:58 pm
@richrf,
richrf;67590 wrote:
You only make mistakes if you tell someone that something is the Truth and then it turns out not be the Truth. The earth is not a sphere according to the authors of Wikipedia and NASA, though lots of people will say that the earth is a sphere. However, if you insist that the earth is a sphere, there will be conflict. I for one, don't think that the earth is a sphere.

I person who claims to know the Truth is bound to make many more mistakes than those who don't. As to what is the Truth, well I guess it all depends upon who or what you want to use as your source, I guess.

Rich


Of course the Earth is a sphere. It is not a perfect sphere. But then, I did not say it was.
There is no reason to think that a person who claims to know the truth will make more mistakes than (say) a person who just says he believes the truth. A person who claims to know the truth, and who does know the truth is not mistaken. And a person who only believed the true, but what he believe is not true, will be mistaken. So the probability of making a mistake for people who claim to know the truth is no greater than the probability of making a mistake for people who only claim to believe the truth.
In any case, it is dishonest for someone to claim only that he believes the truth when, in fact, he believes he knows the truth. I don't see what is wrong with a person who believes he knows the truth to claim he knows the truth. If I believe I know that Quito is the capital of Ecuador, why should I not say so?
 
richrf
 
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2009 08:51 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;67826 wrote:
Of course the Earth is a sphere. It is not a perfect sphere. But then, I did not say it was.


I think you said it was a sphere, and a sphere has very specific attributes. I am sorry, you were wrong as was your truth. I think approximate truths are about as wiggly as things can get. My guess is that everything everyone says can be an approximate truth. In court, it can lead to perjury and jail time. The moral is: be careful when you claim approximate truths as truths.

Rich
 
ACB
 
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2009 07:03 am
@richrf,
Suppose you believe Quito is the capital of Ecuador, but everyone else in the room disagrees with you. You try to persuade them of your view, but they still disagree, although they provide no contrary evidence. You see no reason to change your view. So you cannot build a consensus. At the end, do you:

(a) believe Quito is the capital of Ecuador?

(b) believe it is true that Quito is the capital of Ecuador?

Is it possible to believe (a) without believing (b)?
 
 

 
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