Do we have "THE TRUTH?"

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

jgweed
 
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2009 07:32 am
@ACB,
Since Quito is in fact the capital of Ecuador, you know that Quito is the capital of Ecuador. You also know that everyone else in the room is wrong.

Only in the philosophical mode does one "believe" that it is true that Quito, etc..
 
richrf
 
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2009 08:00 am
@ACB,
ACB;67976 wrote:
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)?


Hi,

All of the above are possible. Sometimes you believe something. Sometimes you believe something is absolutely True. And sometimes, you just fake believing it, just to get along. It happens in religious circles all the time.

I think life is like this.

You come into this world with some skills and propensity. You begin to gather new information and try to organize it. Your parents, teachers, friends are there to help you. You observe, and adopt ideas. As you grow, you develop independent thinking. Some ideas you adopt readily by consensus. Why fight everyone about every idea? It is exhausting. Other ideas you rebel against - the archetype teenager.

You navigate through Life and develop skills that will best allow you to continue to navigate. As any good sailor, you conserve energy, always looking around, and continue to learn new skills to help you navigate through normal, still, and turbulent waters.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2009 09:11 am
@jgweed,
jgweed;67979 wrote:
Since Quito is in fact the capital of Ecuador, you know that Quito is the capital of Ecuador. You also know that everyone else in the room is wrong.

Only in the philosophical mode does one "believe" that it is true that Quito, etc..


Why would I know everyone else in the room is wrong? They are educated people, so they probably also know that Quito is the capital. So, I imagine do you. And, if you do not, you can easily look it up, if you don't believe me. Try Google.

---------- Post added at 11:15 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:11 AM ----------

ACB;67976 wrote:
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)?


Indeed. To believe that p is equivalent to believing that p is true. If you did not believe that p was true, you would not believe that p in the first place. Of course, that is different from believing that p, and also believing that you may be mistaken. If I did not think I might be mistaken when I believed that p, I would not have used the term "believe", I would have used the term, "know".
 
richrf
 
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2009 10:27 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;68005 wrote:

Indeed. To believe that p is equivalent to believing that p is true. If you did not believe that p was true, you would not believe that p in the first place. Of course, that is different from believing that p, and also believing that you may be mistaken. If I did not think I might be mistaken when I believed that p, I would not have used the term "believe", I would have used the term, "know".


And then some people move from "know" to "believe". The first time it happened to me was when I was bloodied by the stock market, 35 years ago. As I grew older, I became less sure about things, and this has been very helpful to me throughout my life. Actually, I made much more money being a skeptic than being sure. Interesting, isn't it?

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2009 10:54 am
@richrf,
richrf;68028 wrote:
And then some people move from "know" to "believe". The first time it happened to me was when I was bloodied by the stock market, 35 years ago. As I grew older, I became less sure about things, and this has been very helpful to me throughout my life. Actually, I made much more money being a skeptic than being sure. Interesting, isn't it?

Rich


I think it is a good policy to claim to know, only when you know, and to believe, only when you believe.
After all, if you think you only believe, when in fact you know, you may miss out on a number of good investments. William James talks about this in his, "The Will to Believe", whether it is more important to avoid error, or to find the truth. Both involve risk. Research shows that you feel worse when lose money than when you fail to make money, even if the amount of money is exactly the same in both cases. But, of course, that's you, and subjective. It is nothing objective.
 
richrf
 
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2009 02:23 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;68033 wrote:
I think it is a good policy to claim to know, only when you know, and to believe, only when you believe.


My policy is to believe, and when I am sure about something, to remember all the times I was wrong when I was **** sure I was right (mostly when I was younger, and wasn't bloodied enough to learn this lesson) - and then be satisfied with believing. Hey, we have different approaches to life!

Rich
 
Theages
 
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2009 05:23 pm
@richrf,
richrf;67404 wrote:

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.

You say that there are no "Truths", but only context-bound, historically determined consensuses.

This is an ahistorical, immutable claim.

In other words, your stance in internally incoherent.
 
richrf
 
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2009 09:41 pm
@Theages,
Theages;68129 wrote:
You say that there are no "Truths", but only context-bound, historically determined consensuses.

This is an ahistorical, immutable claim.

In other words, your stance in internally incoherent.


Yep. That is what I believe from my perspective, but of course, I may be wrong. I am not suggesting this is a truth, but rather a way I look at life. Others may disagree, which is not only OK, but it is expected. However, it you think that there is a Truth, then you will have to live with me not believing in your Truth. I am in the big middle ground in life. It could be this or it could be that, and I will just explore it.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 07:39 am
@richrf,
richrf;68088 wrote:
My policy is to believe, and when I am sure about something, to remember all the times I was wrong when I was **** sure I was right (mostly when I was younger, and wasn't bloodied enough to learn this lesson) - and then be satisfied with believing. Hey, we have different approaches to life!

Rich



I suppose so. But that doesn't have much to do with epistemology, does it? We know things, and we believe things, and we can very often tell which is which.
 
richrf
 
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 08:08 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;68244 wrote:
I suppose so. But that doesn't have much to do with epistemology, does it? We know things, and we believe things, and we can very often tell which is which.


Yes, I understand your perspective. Do you understand mine?

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 08:55 am
@richrf,
richrf;68252 wrote:
Yes, I understand your perspective. Do you understand mine?

Rich


Understanding is one thing. But agreeing is another thing. And the first does not imply the second. I understand the tribe in Africa who (it was reported) did not believe that children resulted from sexual intercourse. They believed that if their women sat on a certain large stone for a certain number of days, that would cause her to conceive. I understand that. But I think it is, to say the least, false. Very false.
 
richrf
 
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 09:03 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;68268 wrote:
Understanding is one thing. But agreeing is another thing. And the first does not imply the second.


Great. As long as you understand my point of view, I am happy. And I understand yours. I am not looking for agreement. I am fine with disagreement.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 09:07 am
@richrf,
richrf;68272 wrote:
Great. As long as you understand my point of view, I am happy. And I understand yours. I am not looking for agreement. I am fine with disagreement.

Rich


But I understand lots of points of view that I think are absurd or ridiculous. Does that matter? And, even if I understand your point of view, that doesn't mean I understand how it is possible for any rational person to believe such a thing. Would that be all right, too? I suppose there are different ways of "understanding others's point of view". Some of which you might not find so satisfactory.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 09:12 am
@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


Don't attempt to redefine the word "truth" in order to save yourself from your imagined persecution.

We call 2+2=4, true.
We call Quito is the capital of Equador, true.

Yes, it requires intersubjective consensus, and agreement upon things is imperative to have a functioning society. I don't know why you've come to attach this stigma to the word "truth", but you must be confused - it's the actions in the name of the truth you're referring to.

In other words, I can think it true this church was built by "God" and this alone will create no problems. However, if I were to castrate you because of this truth, we'd have another story on our hands.
 
richrf
 
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 09:21 am
@Zetherin,
Hi there,

Zetherin;68276 wrote:
In other words, I can think it true this church was built by "God" and this alone will create no problems. However, if I were to castrate you because of this truth, we'd have another story on our hands.


I agree. You can think and believe anything you want. You can believe it is True or Not True. You can know it is True or Not True. These, I believe, are examples of Free Will in action. However, if you try to impose your Truths upon me, by force or otherwise (maybe threaten some poor student with a D grade), then you are imposing upon my Free Will, and we have conflict. Are you trying to create conflict or are you simply stating your point of view? I am OK with either, since I believe consensus is what we seek, but conflict is inevitable in evolution. Note, this is what I believe, and is subject to change as I grow older and gain more awareness.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 11:47 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;68276 wrote:
Don't attempt to redefine the word "truth" in order to save yourself from your imagined persecution.

We call 2+2=4, true.
We call Quito is the capital of Equador, true.

Yes, it requires intersubjective consensus, and agreement upon things is imperative to have a functioning society. I don't know why you've come to attach this stigma to the word "truth", but you must be confused - it's the actions in the name of the truth you're referring to.

In other words, I can think it true this church was built by "God" and this alone will create no problems. However, if I were to castrate you because of this truth, we'd have another story on our hands.


Well, we say that Quito is the capital of Ecuador is true (I don't think we call it true, not in English), but we say it is true because we believe it is true. If we said it was true without believing it is true, then we would be lying. Isn't that right? And it is true that Quito is the capital because Quito is the capital. If it were not the capital, it would not be true that it was the capital. Consensus comes in when the question is whether our belief that it is true is correct. If there were not consensus, then that would be reason to think I was wrong in thinking that Quito is the capital.

---------- Post added at 01:52 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:47 PM ----------

richrf;68279 wrote:
Hi there,



I agree. You can think and believe anything you want. You can believe it is True or Not True. You can know it is True or Not True. These, I believe, are examples of Free Will in action. However, if you try to impose your Truths upon me, by force or otherwise (maybe threaten some poor student with a D grade), then you are imposing upon my Free Will, and we have conflict. Are you trying to create conflict or are you simply stating your point of view? I am OK with either, since I believe consensus is what we seek, but conflict is inevitable in evolution. Note, this is what I believe, and is subject to change as I grow older and gain more awareness.

Rich


If I am a teacher, and I give a test on South American capitals, and if I ask a question like "What is the capital of Ecuador" and I get the wrong answer, then, of course, I am going to take points off for the wrong answer. And, if the student answers a lot of the questions wrongly, then guess what? I will give him a D, or even an F. What would you expect? How is that imposing on his free will? It was his free will to take the exam, and take the course.

What, on Earth, are you talking about? I hope you are not serious. No wonder people disrespect philosophy.
 
richrf
 
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 12:46 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;68309 wrote:
If I am a teacher, and I give a test on South American capitals, and if I ask a question like "What is the capital of Ecuador" and I get the wrong answer, then, of course, I am going to take points off for the wrong answer. And, if the student answers a lot of the questions wrongly, then guess what? I will give him a D, or even an F. What would you expect? How is that imposing on his free will? It was his free will to take the exam, and take the course.

What, on Earth, are you talking about? I hope you are not serious. No wonder people disrespect philosophy.


Shaping consensus, is one of the things people do. For me, it has nothing to do whether it is true or not.

I've had this happen to many, many times in school. Sometimes I decide to go along with the teacher and sometimes I stand by what I think and get a reduced grade. Once, I even showed a teacher, from his own textbook, that his answer was contradicted, and he still reduced my grade. Life is like that. BTW, I remember such an incident in philosophy. I do have things that I believe in, and sometimes it is worthwhile for me to state them and sometimes not. However, unlike others, I don't necessarily believe they are true (many times in my life I have been surprised by new knowledge), nor do I insist that others believe that what I say is True. Just my own way of living, which is what philosophy is all about for me.

I think philosophy gets a bad rep from philosophers and teachers who say that they are encouraging thoughts about Life, while insisting that others accept their truths. Seems strange, but again that is life.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 02:38 pm
@richrf,
richrf;68324 wrote:
Shaping consensus, is one of the things people do. For me, it has nothing to do whether it is true or not.

I've had this happen to many, many times in school. Sometimes I decide to go along with the teacher and sometimes I stand by what I think and get a reduced grade. Once, I even showed a teacher, from his own textbook, that his answer was contradicted, and he still reduced my grade. Life is like that. BTW, I remember such an incident in philosophy. I do have things that I believe in, and sometimes it is worthwhile for me to state them and sometimes not. However, unlike others, I don't necessarily believe they are true (many times in my life I have been surprised by new knowledge), nor do I insist that others believe that what I say is True. Just my own way of living, which is what philosophy is all about for me.

I think philosophy gets a bad rep from philosophers and teachers who say that they are encouraging thoughts about Life, while insisting that others accept their truths. Seems strange, but again that is life.

Rich


Once, I even showed a teacher, from his own textbook, that his answer was contradicted, and he still reduced my grade.

So, apparently you do think there are truths, and you know them. For you thought your answer (and the book's) was true, and your teacher's not true. (You weren't trying to impose "your" truth on that poor teacher, were you?)

You think that when I marked the student's answer "false", because he said that La Paz was the capital of Ecuador, that I was imposing my truth on the student? And I should not have reduced his grade for that wrong answer? Really, what are you saying?
 
richrf
 
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 03:28 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;68353 wrote:
Once, I even showed a teacher, from his own textbook, that his answer was contradicted, and he still reduced my grade.

So, apparently you do think there are truths, and you know them. For you thought your answer (and the book's) was true, and your teacher's not true. (You weren't trying to impose "your" truth on that poor teacher, were you?)


Yep, I wanted my A. But at other times, I didn't care about my A, I just wanted to write what I thought. Both of these things happen to me all the time in Life. For me, Life is not just one way. I experiment with different ways.

Rich

---------- Post added at 04:31 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:28 PM ----------

Zetherin;68276 wrote:
Don't attempt to redefine the word "truth" in order to save yourself from your imagined persecution.

We call 2+2=4, true.
We call Quito is the capital of Equador, true.

Yes, it requires intersubjective consensus, and agreement upon things is imperative to have a functioning society. I don't know why you've come to attach this stigma to the word "truth", but you must be confused - it's the actions in the name of the truth you're referring to.

In other words, I can think it true this church was built by "God" and this alone will create no problems. However, if I were to castrate you because of this truth, we'd have another story on our hands.


Hi Zetherin,

Yes, it is the castration part that really worries me. :surrender:

What people do with their spare time is up to them, and if they want to share their thoughts with me, I am all ears as long as I can walk away when I feel like it - in a polite manner of course.

If they want to feel superior to me (many people I have observed love the concept of being better than someone else), that is also OK with me, as long as they are not offended if I don't care if they are better than me.

So life goes on, and I continue to look for new ideas to make life interesting. And what I say is neither True nor False, just observations coming from my Individual Consciousness that is exercising its creative faculty and its ability to observe and speak.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 03:53 pm
@richrf,
richrf;68372 wrote:
Yep, I wanted my A. But at other times, I didn't care about my A, I just wanted to write what I thought. Both of these things happen to me all the time in Life. For me, Life is not just one way. I experiment with different ways.

Rich

---------- Post added at 04:31 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:28 PM ----------





But what has that to do with your knowing the truth and your teacher being wrong? Isn't that what you were telling me happened? And isn't that what you have been denying? Were you imposing your truth on your teacher when you pointed out that the text said he was wrong (if it did, of course)? And, were you, when you did, trying to feel superior? Or was it your motive to get the A? I might also ask you why you wanted to get the A. To feel superior, or because you believed you deserved an A?

In my opinion, all of this about truth and its supposed connection with feeling superior does not ring true to me. I think that people believe truth is important. In fact, I suggest to you that you look at a little book by Ophelia Benson and Jeremy Stangroom called, Why Truth Matters. You might find it enlightening, and even cause you to doubt your views about truth. And, according to you, wouldn't that be a good thing?
 
 

 
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.02 seconds on 06/13/2021 at 11:42:07