The True Definition of Truth.

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richrf
 
Reply Tue 14 Jul, 2009 08:21 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;77185 wrote:
Why would that matter since it is true for me? Don't you agree?


Whatever you believe is fine with me.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 14 Jul, 2009 08:33 am
@richrf,
richrf;77188 wrote:
Whatever you believe is fine with me.

Rich


Yes, that was what I was saying. I believe you are completely mistaken, and say very silly things, which you do not really believe, and could not and be sane.

Thank you for your confidence in me.
 
richrf
 
Reply Tue 14 Jul, 2009 08:51 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;77190 wrote:
Yes, that was what I was saying. I believe you are completely mistaken, and say very silly things, which you do not really believe, and could not and be sane.

Thank you for your confidence in me.


As I said, I have zero confidence in you. However, you can believe what you want to believe. No matter to me.

From The Picture of Dorian Gray
Oscar Wilde

The highest, as the lowest, form of criticism is a mode of autobiography.

Something I always think about. Consciousness has an interesting way of revealing itself.

Rich
 
haribol acharya
 
Reply Tue 14 Jul, 2009 08:58 am
@DasTrnegras,
There are many truths. It is specific to person to person.

What you call the truth may not necessarily be the truth. That will be a truth. Truth is likened to layers of an onion. If you come upon one layer you will be curious to know another layer of truth.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 14 Jul, 2009 09:52 am
@richrf,
richrf;77196 wrote:
As I said, I have zero confidence in you. However, you can believe what you want to believe. No matter to me.



Rich


How can that be? It is true for me that you have complete confidence in me. So what does it matter about what you think? It is only true for you. And what is true for me is not true for you. Isn't that true (I mean for you, of course). In fact, I am following your instructions and believing what I want to believe. Believe me. Just don't impose your truth on me. You know what that kind of thing can lead to.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Tue 14 Jul, 2009 06:07 pm
@DasTrnegras,
I seem to recall this argument being played out in Ancient Greek Philosophy 101: Protagorus: Man is the Measure of All Things.

I have to agree with Kennethamy in saying that 'truth is not a matter of a consensus view'. In other words, just because society believes the earth rests on a giant turtle, does not mean it is actually true. And of course this implies that I believe that there are things that are actually true and that such things can be discovered by us.

However, from the viewpoint of my exceedingly comfortable and commodious Armchair, I will also dispute that all truth can be discerned as a matter of objective criteria. I maintain there is a kind of truth which is neither subjective - i.e. a matter of opinion or social consensus - nor objective - i.e. subject to empirical verification by independent observers. This was traditionally the species of Truth spelt with a capital T, a kind which is no longer fashionable in secular society. In other words, I believe there is a 'higher Truth' without which, no speculation regarding truth is really meaningful.

I further maintain that we in the Modern World have largely lost sight of this kind of truth, as we no longer have a common Mythos within which it can be meaningfully interpreted. Hence a condition variously referred to as 'Cartesian anxiety' or 'metaphysical embarrasment' whereby the only truths we can agree to agree to are those depicted by scientific hypotheses or mathematical calculations. The rest is relegated to the 'subjective realm' as a matter of one's private view, even if the matters concerned are far beyond the scope of the merely personal.

---------- Post added 07-15-2009 at 10:11 AM ----------

Of course it is undeniably convenient to believe that 'truth is what you make it'. Right up until the time you get mugged by reality. (It always happens, sooner or later.)
 
richrf
 
Reply Tue 14 Jul, 2009 08:27 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;77288 wrote:
In other words, just because society believes the earth rests on a giant turtle, does not mean it is actually true.


Well then, if society is determining it who is? I still haven't figured out who is going to perceive and communicate truth other than one or more human beings. I am talking other than those who are communicating directly with God.

One thousand years ago, everyone believed the earth was flat. It was obvious. Everyone agreed. If it was round, people would fall off. So ... that was the truth. Now, you and others decided there is a new truth. What's the difference?


Quote:
However, from the viewpoint of my exceedingly comfortable and commodious Armchair, I will also dispute that all truth can be discerned as a matter of objective criteria.


I would like to know how anything can be discerned without using the subjective mind. You can believe that there is something outside your mind, but then it is just a belief. No different than believing in God. And, as I said, anyone can believe anything they want.

Quote:
In other words, I believe there is a 'higher Truth' without which, no speculation regarding truth is really meaningful.


Yes, I agree. You can believe anything you want. I believe this, you believe that. We all believe something - I guess.
-
Quote:
Of course it is undeniably convenient to believe that 'truth is what you make it'.


Yes, that is what you just said. You believe there is something that is neither subjective or objective. Fine. You can believe that. And, I believe that it is all what the mind makes it. And when many minds agree, you have a consensus - which some call truth.


Quote:
Right up until the time you get mugged by reality. (It always happens, sooner or later.)


Of course, we all experience our own perspective of reality from our own unique position in time/space when awake - and no time/no space when asleep.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 14 Jul, 2009 08:37 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;77288 wrote:
I seem to recall this argument being played out in Ancient Greek Philosophy 101: Protagorus: Man is the Measure of All Things.

I have to agree with Kennethamy in saying that 'truth is not a matter of a consensus view'. In other words, just because society believes the earth rests on a giant turtle, does not mean it is actually true. And of course this implies that I believe that there are things that are actually true and that such things can be discovered by us.

However, from the viewpoint of my exceedingly comfortable and commodious Armchair, I will also dispute that all truth can be discerned as a matter of objective criteria. I maintain there is a kind of truth which is neither subjective - i.e. a matter of opinion or social consensus - nor objective - i.e. subject to empirical verification by independent observers. This was traditionally the species of Truth spelt with a capital T, a kind which is no longer fashionable in secular society. In other words, I believe there is a 'higher Truth' without which, no speculation regarding truth is really meaningful.

I further maintain that we in the Modern World have largely lost sight of this kind of truth, as we no longer have a common Mythos within which it can be meaningfully interpreted. Hence a condition variously referred to as 'Cartesian anxiety' or 'metaphysical embarrasment' whereby the only truths we can agree to agree to are those depicted by scientific hypotheses or mathematical calculations. The rest is relegated to the 'subjective realm' as a matter of one's private view, even if the matters concerned are far beyond the scope of the merely personal.

---------- Post added 07-15-2009 at 10:11 AM ----------

Of course it is undeniably convenient to believe that 'truth is what you make it'. Right up until the time you get mugged by reality. (It always happens, sooner or later.)


Why, I wonder, would how we "discern" truth make any difference to what kind of truth it is. Even if there were a higher truth (the kind you spell with a capital) and if it were not "discerned" by what you call "objective criteria" (and I am not sure what you mean, but I suppose you mean in the ordinary way we do "discern" truth, by evidence and logic) even, I say, if that were so, why would it mean that it is a different kind of truth? It may be just plain old truth "discerned" in a different way. But, I still don't know what this different way of "discerning" truth is, that you have in mind. What would it be?

---------- Post added 07-14-2009 at 10:46 PM ----------

richrf;77323 wrote:

One thousand years ago, everyone believed the earth was flat. It was obvious. Everyone agreed. If it was round, people would fall off. So ... that was the truth. Now, you and others decided there is a new truth. What's the difference?




I would like to know how anything can be discerned without using the subjective mind. You can believe that there is something outside your mind, but then it is just a belief. No different than believing in God. And, as I said, anyone can believe anything they want.




Rich


1. Your argument that because we are sometimes wrong, we are never right, is a bad argument the thirty-third time as it was the first time. It is simply a non-sequitur. What follows from the premise that we are sometimes wrong, is that we cannot be absolutely certain that we are right.

2. Of course we cannot "discern" anything without using our mental faculties. But how can it follow from that, that what we discern is mental? That is like arguing that we cannot kick anything without using our feet, so what we kick is our feet. Again, this argument is just as bad the 33rd time around, as it was the first time.

Lousy arguments never improve with age or repetition. They remain lousy.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Tue 14 Jul, 2009 11:10 pm
@DasTrnegras,
Well, because as I have said in earlier posts, I believe that there is a difference between scientific, 'objective' truth - which incidentally I would never disparage or trivialise - and the kinds of truth we set our sights and live by. This is the space that used to be filled by religion. But it is not there any more. There is, as Jean Paul Sartre once put it so poignantly, a 'God-shaped hole' in the middle of our consciousness.

In a secular, liberal society, I think the assumption is that an intelligent, educated adult such as the type of ideal citizen that was envisaged by John Stuart Mill, John Locke, and so on, will naturally have a sort of moral bearing or compass which would take over when we freed ourselves from the 'tutelage' of religion. I suppose that is true for some, but it is certainly far from the case for everyone. I mean, as a teenager I was acutely aware of my own many habitual defects and shortcomings, hence my engagement with Eastern philosophy (which is ongoing). Hence also this debate: every time this topic ('What is truth'?) comes up in this forum, there is a large vote for "what I say it is" and a somewhat smaller one for "what is advocated by positivism and/or analytical philosophy and/or science etc etc".

Actually I don't think we know any more. It is very confused. Culture had developed, through the ages, myths and metaphors and various ways of communicating these deeper truths about life, now a lot of it has been thrown out. Hence what I term 'metaphysical embarrasment'. Nobody wants to admit how impoverished modern "culture" (if we can call it that) has actually become in this regard, so there are a lot of taboos about it. This is one of the main things driving the popularity of Dawkins, in my view. (Futile hope, though. It just results in even deeper denial, isolation, confusion and hostility. I know, I have hung out on the Dawkins forum and there is a lot of angst there.)

Actually since that last post, I googled 'Cartesian anxiety' (a very beautiful phrase to my ears) and found the book it came from. Here is one of the reader reviews which is extremely germane to this topic:

"Are we the measure of the all things or is truth independent of our beliefs and wishes? Bernstein begins tackling this question by observing that the real debate is not between absolutism and relativism but between...(well, read the title!) He claims that while few (philosophers anyway) believe that truth is eternal, many at least believe that it is not merely about our own subjectivity. But the real question for Bernstein is Why all the fuss? Is there a certain tone of anxiety present in the discussion? Bernstein says that indeed there is and it's due to conflicts in concern between the need to believe in a stable reality and the fear that rheified cultural schemes can become the basis of intellectual and social tyrany- Bernstein calls this a "pracical-moral concern" and manages to discuss it without presuming that there are no serious theoretical issues involved. I'm an absolutist myself (what a philosophical dinosaur I am!) and I found this book so enthralling that I engaged in frquent, feverish marginal annotating (and in my schools, you didn't buy the texts so you DID NOT mark them up). Whatever your philosophical persuasion, this book should bring some illumination along with many happy moments of reading."

Text isBeyond Objectivism and Relativism: Science, Hermeneutics, and Praxis(Paperback) by Richard J. Bernstein. Looks like a pretty good read too, I am going to look for it in the library.

---------- Post added 07-15-2009 at 03:48 PM ----------

Quote:
One thousand years ago, everyone believed the earth was flat. It was obvious. Everyone agreed. If it was round, people would fall off. So ... that was the truth. Now, you and others decided there is a new truth. What's the difference?


The difference is, one belief was a TRUE BELIEF, which can be verified by a wealth of observation, measurement, and so on. The other is FOLKLORE, which was never verified by anyone, but simply the best guess that anyone could make given the state of knowledge at the time.

And honestly, without wishing to sound patronising, there is a helluva difference and one that shouldn't really need to be explained or argued about.

---------- Post added 07-15-2009 at 03:56 PM ----------

Quote:
There are many truths. It is specific to person to person.


Does this go for math?
 
richrf
 
Reply Wed 15 Jul, 2009 09:23 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;77326 wrote:

1. Your argument that because we are sometimes wrong, we are never right, is a bad argument the thirty-third time as it was the first time.


I never said you are wrong. That is a term that you use, not me. If there was a wrong, there would be a right.

What I am suggesting, is that who ever proposes that they are right, prove it to me without using their subjective mind and senses. The way people claim to be right is by consensus, and even then things can go haywire as I have explained in other posts on a jury, when a single document from a court recorder will overrule what 11 other jury members feel was right. Right is a very funny concept.

Quote:
2. Of course we cannot "discern" anything without using our mental faculties. But how can it follow from that, that what we discern is mental?
Well, that is an interesting statement. So how do you decide what is right without using mental faculties?


Quote:
Lousy arguments never improve with age or repetition. They remain lousy.
Poor replies are even worse. Just let me know how you go about determining what is right. This should be interesting.

Rich

---------- Post added 07-15-2009 at 10:33 AM ----------

jeeprs;77348 wrote:
The difference is, one belief was a TRUE BELIEF, which can be verified by a wealth of observation, measurement, and so on.


So who decides a belief from a true Belief? Is the above statement a belief or is it a TRUE Belief? What the heck is a TRUE BELIEF anyway? This is one interesting turn of phrase.

In the past, and in the present, people measure. They look around. They try to figure things out. At one time they figured out that if the earth wasn't flat people would fall off. It was all a matter of perception. Heck, every day, there are new discoveries that overturn prior discoveries. Some are embraced by consensus, some are rejected, some are ridiculed only to be reborn in the future. Einstein's Theory of Relativity was at first ridiculed. In fact, he was never granted a Nobel Prize for this discovery, as the Nobel Prize committee took great pains to point out.

It is easy to feel one is right when someone is merely mimicking consensus opinion.

Quote:
The other is FOLKLORE, which was never verified by anyone, but simply the best guess that anyone could make given the state of knowledge at the time.
People are all the time making best guesses, in every discipline. I suggest you take a look at all of the contradictory scientific studies (and there are thousands upon thousands of them), if you think otherwise. You believe you have found a way to the truth, but maybe not?

Quote:
And honestly, without wishing to sound patronising, there is a helluva difference and one that shouldn't really need to be explained or argued about.
Really now? So please explain to be the difference between a belief and a TRUE BELIEF. I love watching the contortions that people go through to hold onto their own beliefs (or TRUE BELIEFS), or whatever.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 15 Jul, 2009 09:56 am
@richrf,
richrf;77411 wrote:
I never said you are wrong. That is a term that you use, not me. If there was a wrong, there would be a right.

What I am suggesting, is that who ever proposes that they are right, prove it to me without using their subjective mind and senses. The way people claim to be right is by consensus, and even then things can go haywire as I have explained in other posts on a jury, when a single document from a court recorder will overrule what 11 other jury members feel was right. Right is a very funny concept.

Well, that is an interesting statement. So how do you decide what is right without using mental faculties?


Poor replies are even worse. Just let me know how you go about determining what is right. This should be interesting.

Rich

---------- Post added 07-15-2009 at 10:33 AM ----------




Rich


No one can decide anything without using his mental faculties. What makes you believe I think anyone can? If I decide that Napoleon lost the battle of Waterloo, I decide it by using my mental faculties. But I don't decide whether Napoleon lost the battle of Waterloo. It is not up to me who won or lost the battle of Waterloo, or even whether there was a battle of Waterloo.

As I already have written, I determine what is true or false on the basis of evidence and logic. And, before you ask again, I use my mind to determine what is true or false on the basis of evidence and logic, but what I determine is true or false is not mental. I use my mind to determine what, itself, is not mental. Just as I use my feet to kick something which is not my feet. Just because I use my feet to kick something, that does not mean I am kicking my feet. And just because I use my mind to decide something, that does not mean that what I am deciding is, itself, mental.

Do try to mull over what I just wrote rather than writing back just as if I had nor written at all, and repeating all of your mistakes.
 
richrf
 
Reply Wed 15 Jul, 2009 10:36 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;77415 wrote:
No one can decide anything without using his mental faculties.


Fine. That is what I do also. I believe that is what most humans do. Maybe non-humans also.

Quote:
As I already have written, I determine what is true or false on the basis of evidence and logic.


Fine. You use your senses (hearing, sight, touch, mind). So do I.

Quote:
And, before you ask again, I use my mind to determine what is true or false on the basis of evidence and logic, but what I determine is true or false is not mental.
http://img.tfd.com/hm/GIF/ebreve.gifnhttp://img.tfd.com/hm/GIF/prime.giftl)adj.1. Of or relating to the mind; intellectual: mental powers.
2. Executed or performed by the mind; existing in the mind: mental images of happy times.
3. Of, relating to, or affected by a disorder of the mind.
4. Intended for treatment of people affected with disorders of the mind.
5. Of or relating to telepathy or mind reading.
6. Slang a. Emotionally upset; crazed: got mental when he saw the dent in his new car.
b. Offensive Slang Mentally or psychologically disturbed.




Quote:
I use my mind to determine what, itself, is not mental.


Fantastic. Slowly but surely sinking into the deep.

Quote:
Just as I use my feet to kick something which is not my feet.


You use your feet to kick without your feet?


Quote:
Just because I use my feet to kick something, that does not mean I am kicking my feet.


Do you kick with something other than your foot?

Quote:
And just because I use my mind to decide something, that does not mean that what I am deciding is, itself, mental.


I have no idea what your mind is doing anymore.

Quote:
Do try to mull over what I just wrote rather than writing back just as if I had nor written at all, and repeating all of your mistakes.


I did what you asked and I got a giant mental headache that wasn't in my mind.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 15 Jul, 2009 10:50 am
@richrf,
richrf;77420 wrote:


You use your feet to kick without your feet?




Do you kick with something other than your foot?





Rich


No, I did not say that. You will have to read more carefully. What I said is that I use my feet to kick something which is not my feet. I did not say what you write I wrote. When I kick a rock, the rock is not my feet. It is something other than my feet, although I use my feet to kick it. And, similarly, when I use my mind to decide what is true or false, what I decide is true or false is something other than my mind. Consider another analogy: when I chew something, I use my teeth to chew. But what I chew are not my teeth. I use my teeth to chew, but I don't chew my teeth. Is that clear?
 
richrf
 
Reply Wed 15 Jul, 2009 11:02 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;77422 wrote:
Is that clear?


Very clear. Now tell me how you do something mental without your mind.

kennethamy wrote:
And, before you ask again, I use my mind to determine what is true or false on the basis of evidence and logic, but what I determine is true or false is not mental.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 15 Jul, 2009 11:04 am
@richrf,
richrf;77425 wrote:
Very clear. Now tell me how you do something mental without your mind.


I can't. But why do you ask? Now you tell me how you kick a tree without using your feet. You can't. But is the tree (what you kick) your feet? Answer, the tree is not your feet. The tree is different from your feet. And you decide that Napoleon lost the battle of Waterloo with your mind, but whether Napoleon lost the battle of Waterloo was not decided by your mind. You, and your mind, were not even there.
 
richrf
 
Reply Wed 15 Jul, 2009 11:07 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;77426 wrote:
I can't. But why do you ask?


Great. So you decide what is true or false with your mind. That is what I use. That is all.

[QUOTE=kennethamy]And, before you ask again, I use my mind to determine what is true or false on the basis of evidence and logic, but what I determine is true or false is not mental.[/QUOTE]

BTW, I believe you are using your mind for everything. Even kicking a ball and knowing that you are kicking a ball. The buck stops there - i think.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 15 Jul, 2009 11:23 am
@richrf,
richrf;77427 wrote:
Great. So you decide what is true or false with your mind. That is what I use. That is all.



BTW, I believe you are using your mind for everything. Even kicking a ball and knowing that you are kicking a ball. The buck stops there - i think.

Rich

Fine. if you want to confuse yourself, I cannot help it. But it is still true that although I use my mind to decide whether Napoleon lost the battle of Waterloo, whether Napoleon lost the battle of Waterloo has nothing to do with either me, or with my mind. As long as you understand that, fine. The trouble is that you don't understand it. Or, at least you say you don't. Although it is hard to believe that any person with normal intelligence would not understand it. Try to distinguish between what you do, and what it is you do it do. For example, try to distinguish between chewing, and the food you chew. It really is not all that difficult.
 
richrf
 
Reply Wed 15 Jul, 2009 11:29 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;77430 wrote:
I use my mind to decide whether Napoleon lost the battle of Waterloo,


That you do ...

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 15 Jul, 2009 11:37 am
@richrf,
richrf;77431 wrote:
That you do ...

Rich


Try the other part of what I said. Whether Napoleon lost the battle, or whether there was a battle does not depend on anyone's mind.
 
richrf
 
Reply Wed 15 Jul, 2009 11:40 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;77433 wrote:
Try the other part of what I said. Whether Napoleon lost the battle, or whether there was a battle does not depend on anyone's mind.


I want to let you know that my mind appreciates your mind telling me what it believes.

Rich
 
 

 
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