The True Definition of Truth.

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pagan
 
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 08:14 am
@kennethamy,
ok kennethamy, from my introduction to the forum post
Quote:
I would rather avoid your writing style because of the effect it has upon me and my creativity in particular. Sensitive piscean dude that i am Smile tada
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 08:23 am
@pagan,
pagan;77912 wrote:
ok kennethamy, from my introduction to the forum post
I would rather avoid your writing style because of the effect it has upon me and my creativity in particular. Sensitive piscean dude that i am Smile tada


I didn't ridicule you. I criticized you. Those are, by no means the same. Although you may very well think they are. Philosophy, from the time of Socrates has always been a matter of thrust and parry. That is how people learn, and how they test their ideas. If that offends you, take up another hobby. Everyone is nice on the basket-weaving forum.
 
richrf
 
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 08:30 am
@pagan,
pagan;77905 wrote:
What many scientists are trying to do is create a finite text, that can be read universally and contains a complete and unambiguous description of the fundamental laws of the universe, from which all other truths will follow. BUT science can just as easily be continued and practiced effectively without believing in that particular goal ...... or so claim some philosophers, post modern and otherwise Smile


Hi there pagan,

Enjoyed your description of the different ways to view truth. Thanks.

Rich

---------- Post added 07-17-2009 at 09:31 AM ----------

kennethamy;77916 wrote:
I didn't ridicule you. I criticized you. Those are, by no means the same. Although you may very well think they are. Philosophy, from the time of Socrates has always been a matter of thrust a parry. That is how people learn, and how they test their ideas. If that offends you, take up another hobby. Everyone is nice on the basket-weaving forum.


An alternative, which I use with many of my friends is listen, reflect, respond, and change.

Rich
 
pagan
 
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 08:32 am
@kennethamy,
well said kennethamy, and in true kennethamy style.

.... and i am sure you agree it illustrates my point perfectly. Thrust and parry etc. In that spirit i read your suggestion of taking up another hobby, but i like this one thanks, as well as my others.

good luck to you ....... from an over sensitive basket case.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 08:45 am
@richrf,
richrf;77917 wrote:
Hi there pagan,

Enjoyed your description of the different ways to view truth. Thanks.

Rich

---------- Post added 07-17-2009 at 09:31 AM ----------



An alternative, which I use with many of my friends is listen, reflect, respond, and change.

Rich


It is not an alternative. It is just a milder version of what has happened in the history of Western philosophy. It has more to do with style than substance. One should be able to defend his aasertions from criticism, and argue for them. How else are ideas and theories to be tested? Even in the mild Buddhism, there is the Koan, and the master slapping the student into enlightenment. We have at least as many bad (untrue) ideas as we have true ideas. It is a good idea to try to rid of them.

Many people who philosophize are wedded to their theories. They are, as Wittgenstein called it, "in the grip of a theory". And they find it impossible to change even under the pressure of criticism. (Sometimes they think they are just being "creative" instead of mistaken). How much the less so will they be inclined to change when they are not even subject to strong criticism. Philosophers sometimes believe all kinds of absurd things. As Cicero said, "There is nothing so absurd that some philosopher has not said it".

---------- Post added 07-17-2009 at 10:47 AM ----------

pagan;77919 wrote:
well said kennethamy, and in true kennethamy style.

.... t i read your suggestion of taking up another hobby, but i like this one thanks, as well as my others.

.


You cannot collect stamps without collecting stamps. And you cannot philosophize without philosophizing.
 
richrf
 
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 08:48 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;77922 wrote:


Many people who philosophize are wedded to their theories. They are, as Wittgenstein called it, "in the grip of a theory". And they find it impossible to change even under the pressure of criticism.


I have found this often to be the case. I wonder if it was the case with Wittgenstein?

There are all kinds of ways to relate. I don't think there is one way for all relationships. However, I do try them all. And with some people, it is better to relate in a quiet way.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 08:56 am
@richrf,
richrf;77924 wrote:
I have found this often to be the case. I wonder if it was the case with Wittgenstein?

There are all kinds of ways to relate. I don't think there is one way for all relationships. However, I do try them all. And with some people, it is better to relate in a quiet way.

Rich


Philosophizing is not, "a way of relating". It is a way of inquiring. Whether or not Wittgenstein was wedded to his views really has nothing to do with the correctness of his views. Einstein, no doubt, firmly believed relativity theory was true. And it is.
 
richrf
 
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 09:45 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;77927 wrote:
Philosophizing is not, "a way of relating". It is a way of inquiring. Whether or not Wittgenstein was wedded to his views really has nothing to do with the correctness of his views. Einstein, no doubt, firmly believed relativity theory was true. And it is.


Einstein had some interesting views of life:

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."

"I think that a particle must have a separate reality independent of the measurements. That is an electron has spin, location and so forth even when it is not being measured. I like to think that the moon is there even if I am not looking at it."

I find Einstein very humble in his thinking and certainly leaves open the possibility of being incorrect. He expresses what he thinks and likes to think - not certainty.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 11:24 am
@richrf,
richrf;77941 wrote:
Einstein had some interesting views of life:

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."

"I think that a particle must have a separate reality independent of the measurements. That is an electron has spin, location and so forth even when it is not being measured. I like to think that the moon is there even if I am not looking at it."

I find Einstein very humble in his thinking and certainly leaves open the possibility of being incorrect. He expresses what he thinks and likes to think - not certainty.

Rich


Now that is so nice. But it doesn't have anything to do what we were talking about. But you certainly have those sound bites at your finger tips.
Actually, if you read a few of the latest biographies of Einstein, you will find that he was, in fact, rather arrogant, and really, a rat with women.

Fallibilism is a human condition. "To err is human". So, of course, no one can be immune to the possibility of error. Not that that means, however that people are in error, and that they don't know a lot of things.
 
DasTrnegras
 
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 12:47 pm
@jgweed,
jgweed;77171 wrote:
"For example, the Definition of truth. It is observed what can be called truth in almost all situations. Any philosopher needs to just observe the method we use to determine the truth of a statement."

I am not sure how far one can push the analogy between the observation of physical objects and the observation of ethical "objects" without turning ethics into an anthropology.
In ethics, what we observe is at least two elements: the action of individuals, their reported ethical reason for taking a particular action rather than another (or no action at all). But doesn't ethics need a further step by attempting to determine whether the action was taken in good faith and whether the reason(s) for it were "sound"?

Now if a philosopher observes the method used to determine the truth of a statement (or ethical) action, doesn't he find that we normally employ different methods in different ethical situations? But, at the same time, does not the philosopher attempt to determine, from outside as it were, whether the rules and methods supposedly used are "correct" or the action "right"?

Historically we have seen the most atrocious acts committed for the strongest moral reasons. Now would not we rather call these moral reasons deceptions, and not our condemnation of them?




Good question jgweed. I don't claim to know the answer, but I can try to reason it out. :bigsmile:

My instincts tell me that a redefinition of what we mean when we say something is "sound" or "right" is necessary for a fuller appreciation of the problem. It is my observation that our perception of an action that is "sound" is related to our will, namely, what we hope to achieve by said action. The "soundness" of an action could be an observation of an observation's suitability towards a person experiencing a certain observation.

I think it natural to say that in ethics we do not always believe that the ends justify the means. But I think it may be more accurate to say that there are many ends and sub-ends that act as criteria for a certain end that we would like to see accomplished. For example: we often would like to possess the end of having money, yes? But there are many, many ends in which money is acquired, and they all have different qualities to those observing those ends. To acheive more control over the particular end one wishes to observe, it is less likely that we should see ethics as "the end justifies the means" and more likely that we should observe ethics as particular means lead to particular ends. It is just as well that we observe the soundness of a means if we can observe that it leads to the particular end that we desire[/i].

As a belated example, people often want money. But they don't want just[/b] money. They also want their freedom, a good job, to pro-create, to have fun, etc, etc... To say that an individual end justifies any means ignores the observation of all other ends desired. Indeed, this is readily observed!

---------- Post added 07-17-2009 at 02:01 PM ----------

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.)



I believe the reason why scientists loathe this kind of "abolute truth" is the very fact that nothing about it can not be observed. How do you find the definition of "higher" in "higher truth"? It seems to me that "higher" is an observable relational and mathematical concept that deals with "regular" truth. To attach it to a definition of truth that includes no observation is not only an Oxymoron[/i], but exceedingly stupid.(not that I'm calling you stupid. I'm not.)

But let's say we could work out a definition of "higher truth". Would you agree that observation of the natural world is a "higher truth" than a statement about the natural world? If so, then what form of reality would you possibly ascribe to be higher than observation?

Your error, you see, is that ancient man started out with just observation. Mankind has a conception of truth that evolved out of it's interaction with observation of physical reality. This conception did not go away the abandonment of observation. But if you abandon observation as the object of truth, then what could possibly be the object of truth? Oh! I know! It "must" be some transcendental truth that has nothing to do with perception!

But that is circular logic. The armchair philosopher would then turn his back on observation in favor of transcendental truth, even though the "proof" of transcendental truth rests on the foundation of the philosopher turning his back on observation in favor of transcendental truth.

Which I must say, strikes me as exceedingly stupid.(once again, not calling you stupid.)
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 01:24 pm
@DasTrnegras,
DasTränegras;77985 wrote:
Good question jgweed. I don't claim to know the answer, but I can try to reason it out. :bigsmile:

My instincts tell me that a redefinition of what we mean when we say something is "sound" or "right" is necessary for a fuller appreciation of the problem. It is my observation that our perception of an action that is "sound" is related to our will, namely, what we hope to achieve by said action. The "soundness" of an action could be an observation of an observation's suitability towards a person experiencing a certain observation.

I think it natural to say that in ethics we do not always believe that the ends justify the means. But I think it may be more accurate to say that there are many ends and sub-ends that act as criteria for a certain end that we would like to see accomplished. For example: we often would like to possess the end of having money, yes? But there are many, many ends in which money is acquired, and they all have different qualities to those observing those ends. To acheive more control over the particular end one wishes to observe, it is less likely that we should see ethics as "the end justifies the means" and more likely that we should observe ethics as particular means lead to particular ends. It is just as well that we observe the soundness of a means if we can observe that it leads to the particular end that we desire.

As a belated example, people often want money. But they don't want just money. They also want their freedom, a good job, to pro-create, to have fun, etc, etc... To say that an individual end justifies any means ignores the observation of all other ends desired. Indeed, this is readily observed!

---------- Post added 07-17-2009 at 02:01 PM ----------




I believe the reason why scientists loathe this kind of "abolute truth" is the very fact that nothing about it can not be observed. How do you find the definition of "higher" in "higher truth"? It seems to me that "higher" is an observable relational and mathematical concept that deals with "regular" truth. To attach it to a definition of truth that includes no observation is not only an Oxymoron, but exceedingly stupid.(not that I'm calling you stupid. I'm not.)

But let's say we could work out a definition of "higher truth". Would you agree that observation of the natural world is a "higher truth" than a statement about the natural world? If so, then what form of reality would you possibly ascribe to be higher than observation?

Your error, you see, is that ancient man started out with just observation. Mankind has a conception of truth that evolved out of it's interaction with observation of physical reality. This conception did not go away the abandonment of observation. But if you abandon observation as the object of truth, then what could possibly be the object of truth? Oh! I know! It "must" be some transcendental truth that has nothing to do with perception!

But that is circular logic. The armchair philosopher would then turn his back on observation in favor of transcendental truth, even though the "proof" of transcendental truth rests on the foundation of the philosopher turning his back on observation in favor of transcendental truth.

Which I must say, strikes me as exceedingly stupid.(once again, not calling you stupid.)


How is observation the object of truth? I thought observation was how we were able to discover truth.
 
DasTrnegras
 
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 01:37 pm
@pagan,
pagan;77484 wrote:
I think this is a good direct way to challenge the complex and subtle ways of defining truth. But i have to say that more recently that i have become much more relativistic with regards to truth. I am not sure if this is contrary to what i see as your clear and pragmatic approach.

For example with regards to the highly pragmatic situation of a court of law. I am sure you recognise that many people were convicted simply because the 'evidence' presented/available to the jury genuinely convinced the jury that they were guilty. ie 'It is true that you are guilty as charged of this crime because guilt is a true statement when compared to what is observed."


Pagan, I'm very grateful for your posts over the incessant bickering of Kennethamy and richrf,(no offense, but you don't seem to be contributing anything new to the conversation).

I also am glad that you complimented me on my highly pragmatic approach to truth. To this end, I would like to point out that through the whole of mankind's ever more precise measurements of the universe around him, it is observed that never has any previous statement of truth turned out to be wrong in such a way as to indicate the unreliability of more precise measurements.[/i]

For example: It was once believe that the earth was flat(actually this belief was only held during the medieval dark ages, and even then only by the uneducated peasants). A more precise observation, however, did not show that we are living in some sort of giant candy bar, completely divorced from any notions we had before. In actuality, it was found that the earth was round.

The same thing can be found with regards to relativity and newton: Newton's laws are modified by relativity, they are not completely ignored. In fact, Newtons laws still work for most everyday applications. It seems that it can be observed that more refined observations don't so much as prove truth's wrong as they do refine current truths.

Given that this is the case, I don't think it is absolutely necessary that we NEED to find the end to the infinite regress of ever-finer observations to go on living our lives. Accuracy in truth is directly proportional to the amount of power we wield over phenomena. But given this, it is observed that we don't necessarily need to have an infinitely refined conception of the universe to live in it. In fact, we can get close enough for all practical purposes.

But even then, there's something important that you have missed. In scientific circles it has all ready been observed that there is a finest measurement possible, beyond which the notion of "measurement" loses all meaning. If I remember correctly, it is observed that the finest measurement possible is 10 to the power of -35. We know without a doubt then, that to observe phenomena at this scale will lead to the utmost refinement of current physical theories.

Quote:


..... well i have to strongly disagree with your crucial statement here


Media often distorts and loses information. That has been observed!


*Ahem* media "distortions" of information does not mean that information is lost. If you rely solely on the media, you won't get the whole picture yes, but that's like relying on really low-quality observations to get your picture of the world. Currently, it's not pragmatically possible to assess every newsworthy event with mathematical and scientific rigor. But it is observed that information, like energy, can neither be created nor destroyed[/i].

---------- Post added 07-17-2009 at 02:39 PM ----------



Oh, I'm sorry. Kennethamy, when I say, "abandon observation as the object of truth" I mean, "abandon observation as the means to truth." However, as in my "Further Explorations" thread, I've come to the conclusion that observation can be the object of truth as well. You might want to look into it. Smile
 
richrf
 
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 08:38 pm
@DasTrnegras,
DasTränegras;77998 wrote:
Pagan, I'm very grateful for your posts over the incessant bickering of Kennethamy and richrf,(no offense, but you don't seem to be contributing anything new to the conversation).


Sorry. Allow me to give you my brief thoughts on the nature of truth.

I believe truth is a concept conjured up by humans in order to establish a hierarchy of authority by virtue of claimed knowledge that is not yet accessible to those who unfortunately not yet able to grasp this conceived truth.

Those who can establish within a large enough group that they have the truth will reap the rewards of this achievement. We can see this phenomenon occurring all the time in life. Just observe: holder of truth = higher hierarchical authority.

How is that for the definition of truth? A wonderful creation of the mind in order to help ensure a position in life.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 11:03 pm
@richrf,
richrf;78048 wrote:
Sorry. Allow me to give you my brief thoughts on the nature of truth.

I believe truth is a concept conjured up by humans in order to establish a hierarchy of authority by virtue of claimed knowledge that is not yet accessible to those who unfortunately not yet able to grasp this conceived truth.

Those who can establish within a large enough group that they have the truth will reap the rewards of this achievement. We can see this phenomenon occurring all the time in life. Just observe: holder of truth = higher hierarchical authority.

How is that for the definition of truth? A wonderful creation of the mind in order to help ensure a position in life.

Rich


The concept of truth is, doubtless, like all other concepts, made up by people. But that is no reason to believe that the concept does not refer to anything real. After all, even you seem to believe it does refer to something real, since you write, that some people have "unfortunately not yet able to grasp this conceived truth" namely some kind of Foucaultian nonsense about truth and power. I suppose you believe that this theory of yours is true.Or don't you? Naturally the concept of truth(like all other concepts) are wonderful creations of the mind. But what has that to do with whether or not there is truth. Concepts are one thing, but what they are concepts of, are another thing. You really should not confuse the two. And, by the way, have you any reason to think that what you claim is the motive for the invention of the concept of truth (power) is true? Or is it just something you conjured up after reading Foucault? But, then, the next question must be whether Foucault gives any reason for thinking that his theory of the motivation for truth is, itself, true. Critical thinkers want to know.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 02:33 am
@DasTrnegras,
Quote:
It seems to me that "higher" is an observable relational and mathematical concept that deals with "regular" truth


I wonder, DasTranegras, if you would acknowledge that there is a sense in which science implicitly acknowledges a 'higher truth', which science itself depends on, but which cannot be directly observed. This is represented by the fact that the universe is generally lawful, and furthermore that mathematical logic is uncannily powerful in predicting and explaining features of the universe which are not immediately apparent to empiricial observation, while itself being subject to Godel's incompleteness theorem.

It seems to me your notion of truth is basically instrumental: truth is an attribute of propositions, hypotheses, or measurements, which can be tested against nature and either verified or falsified.

However, number theory, and the philosophy of science, are neither mathematical nor scientific theories, per se. If you substitute science for philosophy, as you seem to do, then many philosophical questions regarding absolute truth or 'actual being', which seem to attract your scorn, are not addressed or contemplated, merely ignored. You may succeed in indefinitely enlarging the precision and scope of measurements, but how do you know that by so doing you don't end up knowing more and more, about less and less, as the saying has it.

Bernard d'Espagnat, a French physicist and philosopher of science, acknowledges 'the possibility that the things we observe may be tentatively interpreted as signs providing us with some perhaps not entirely misleading glimpses of a higher reality and, therefore, that higher forms of spirituality are fully compatible with what seems to emerge from contemporary physics'. There are many other scientific theorists who concur, not least Einstein, who in a non-religious sense was a firm believer in a cosmic or divine intelligence. Are all such interpretations to be dismissed as 'armchair theorising' even if the theorist concerned has spent lifetime in pursuit of scientific understanding?

Any comment?
 
pagan
 
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 08:34 am
@jeeprs,
hi DasTranegras Smile

Quote:
Newton's laws are modified by relativity, they are not completely ignored. In fact, Newtons laws still work for most everyday applications. It seems that it can be observed that more refined observations don't so much as prove truth's wrong as they do refine current truths.

Given that this is the case, I don't think it is absolutely necessary that we NEED to find the end to the infinite regress of ever-finer observations to go on living our lives. Accuracy in truth is directly proportional to the amount of power we wield over phenomena. But given this, it is observed that we don't necessarily need to have an infinitely refined conception of the universe to live in it. In fact, we can get close enough for all practical purposes.
From the point of view of a pragmatist philosophy i can respect this view very much, since you do not imply there is necessarily absolute truth.

However,
Quote:
it can be observed that more refined observations don't so much as prove truth's wrong as they do refine current truths.
is shakey ground for me. Newton's theories are amazing but i would not agree that the theories of for example general relativity and quantum mechanics are mere refinements of the same. Granted they are all scientific theories, but the general overview (narrative) that they each present is very different. Within science narrative, in pragmatic terms leads to very different predictions of what is possible and not possible in nature, as well as connecting different observations in very different ways.

If the most accurate scientific theory makes a statement of observation such that two phenomena are intrinsically connected where previously they were not (or were connected differently) then that is a truth statement. But the observation is an observation from the theory itself. eg relativity states that time and space are necessarily interdependent, whereas newtons theory does not. One cannot 'see' this interdependence as human beings (in the relativity theory sense) but we can observe phenomena such as extended half life of accelerated particles through scientific instruments and believe that relativity is thus true by inference of those observations.

Quote:
it is observed that never has any previous statement of truth turned out to be wrong in such a way as to indicate the unreliability of more precise measurements.
I am not totally sure what you mean by this, but the statement "Time and space are independent of each other as observed since newton" is now considered scientifically as not true, and in part not least due to more precise measurements.

Quote:
it is observed that we don't necessarily need to have an infinitely refined conception of the universe to live in it.
Oh i agree. I was merely pointing out that an infinitely refined conception of the universe is quite possibly out of reach from such a definition of truth.
Quote:

In scientific circles it has all ready been observed that there is a finest measurement possible, beyond which the notion of "measurement" loses all meaning.
Well yes with regards to present day science, but that doesn't make any definitive statement of truth since science may change its theories such that more refined measurements are indeed possible. This is another example of precisely the point i made above. You are stating as truth an implication from a present scientific theory. Meaning may indeed return.
Quote:

But it is observed that information, like energy, can neither be created nor destroyed.
..... and there you go again! Smile There was an intense debate between Hawking and Susskind over this very point re black holes. Hawking as far as i know has conceded the point and agrees that information is not lost when matter falls into a black hole. But again, new theories and observations may change all that.

So with regard to perception/observation via a medium generally i disagree, information is often lost. Further if i understand jeeprs post, the scientific method itself could be seen as a medium for finding truth. It may be excellent for some kinds of truth ...... and completely miss others by the very intrinsic nature of itself as a medium. Philosophically from a wider spiritual perspective for example, that is a loss of information. And one that i personally believe.


.....and so to change the philosophical tack a bit, away from science. This relates to richrf observations about truth. As a pagan and someone who follows astrology, i come across people who claim to 'observe' the future, the spirit world, deep intuitions into the state of mind of others and so on. These observations are not always consistent, but a faulty tv set is not necessarily useless because it has an intermittent fault and sometimes projects pictures that are difficult to describe Smile One of the criterion of science based observation truth, is that the observations must be in a sense reliably repeatable. Without that condition of observation then it is not considered as scientific evidence. So if there exists say spiritual observations of the universe where there is no sense in which they can be defined as reliably repeatably in the scientific sense...... then the medium of science will necessarily lose such information Smile

In other words just as the scientific community can have exclusive access to knowledge over others who are not able (in both senses of the word) to get it ....... so it is possible that the spiritual community can have exclusivity over others unable to get their knowledge.


This is all good stuff that for the moment confirms my belief that there is no one simple definition of truth........ because truth is too complex a thing to be reduced to a grand narrative. Truth for me is revealed through multi narratives.
 
richrf
 
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 08:59 am
@pagan,
Hi pagan,

Always enjoy reading your posts. Thanks.

pagan;78111 wrote:

From the point of view of a pragmatist philosophy i can respect this view very much, since you do not imply there is necessarily absolute truth.


Yes, I agree. But an evolving truth is tricky business. Once we agree that truths evolve (change) over time, then the notion of truth changes. An evolving truth doesn't sound like a truth any more, but rather a changing perception.

Sheldrake has an interesting take on this. The forms and laws that we see as truths are just snapshots in time, as the underlying energy fields that defines the materilaized forms morphs over time.


Quote:
However, is shakey ground for me. Newton's theories are amazing but i would not agree that the theories of for example general relativity and quantum mechanics are mere refinements of the same.
I would agree. Einsteins theories turned everything upside down by make time relative to the observer and the speed of light constant in all frame of references. It totally changed the way people perceive the underlying nature of the universe. It also made gravity a function of space/time.

Quote:
Oh i agree. I was merely pointing out that an infinitely refined conception of the universe is quite possibly out of reach from such a definition of truth.
If the universe is evolving and the behavior of the universe is constantly changing (Sheldrake refers to laws of the universe as habits) then we may be talking about a whole different way of understanding what is going on. Since everything in the universe seems to be constantly changing, I would side with Sheldrake and suggest that what we see as laws are really just behaviors, and things are changing as we (our minds) change.

Quote:
Hawking as far as i know has conceded the point and agrees that information is not lost when matter falls into a black hole. But again, new theories and observations may change all that.
Yes, I agree. The way I picture it, the human mind is constantly creating new perceptions are we are fitting those perceptions on top of an mutually changing universe. One works with the other.

Quote:
In other words just as the scientific community can have exclusive access to knowledge over others who are not able (in both senses of the word) to get it ....... so it is possible that the spiritual community can have exclusivity over others unable to get their knowledge.


I would go further in saying that science creates theories that somewhat describe the current habits of the universe, and these theories change as the habits of the universe evolve (e.g. human being evolution).


Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Rich

---------- Post added 07-18-2009 at 10:02 AM ----------

kennethamy;78070 wrote:
The concept of truth is, doubtless, like all other concepts, made up by people. But that is no reason to believe that the concept does not refer to anything real.


More than this, I believe the concept of truth is evoked in order to achieve certain rewards among followers who are seeking the comforts of a non-changing world. Change and non-change can, conceivably, exist in a single mind.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 09:14 am
@richrf,
richrf;78115 wrote:


Yes, I agree. But an evolving truth is tricky business. Once we agree that truths evolve (change) over time, then the notion of truth changes. An evolving truth doesn't sound like a truth any more, but rather a changing perception.


Rich



Which truths have changed over time? An example, please. And how does the notion of truth change? An example please. Else, you are just talking through your hat. Talking in the abstract does not make you put your money where your mouth is. Something you no doubt appreciate.

---------- Post added 07-18-2009 at 11:25 AM ----------

richrf;78115 wrote:

More than this, I believe the concept of truth is evoked in order to achieve certain rewards among followers who are seeking the comforts of a non-changing world. Change and non-change can, conceivably, exist in a single mind.

Rich


I know you believe it. You have said you do often enough. But you have to understand that the fact that you believe it does not make it true. It may be true that you believe it, but that does not mean that what you believe is true. You seem to keep mixing that up. Believing something is true does not make it true. Say it 10 times. And now, richrf, you need an argument, some evidence to show that "the concept of truth is evoked in order to achieve certain rewards among followers who are seeking the comforts of a non-changing world" An argument, you know, some reason to believe that what you believe is true. Unless you think you are infallible, and that your belief is enough. (Which it appears you seem to think is true).
 
richrf
 
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 10:33 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;78119 wrote:
Believing something is true does not make it true. Say it 10 times.
http://img.tfd.com/hm/GIF/ibreve.gif-lhttp://img.tfd.com/hm/GIF/emacr.giffhttp://img.tfd.com/hm/GIF/prime.gif)n.

1. The mental act, condition, or habit of placing trust or confidence in another: My belief in you is as strong as ever.
2. Mental acceptance of and conviction in the truth, actuality, or validity of something: His explanation of what happened defies belief.
3. Something believed or accepted as true, especially a particular tenet or a body of tenets accepted by a group of persons.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 02:35 pm
@richrf,
richrf;78131 wrote:
http://img.tfd.com/hm/GIF/ibreve.gif-lhttp://img.tfd.com/hm/GIF/emacr.giffhttp://img.tfd.com/hm/GIF/prime.gif)n.

1. The mental act, condition, or habit of placing trust or confidence in another: My belief in you is as strong as ever.
2. Mental acceptance of and conviction in the truth, actuality, or validity of something: His explanation of what happened defies belief.
3. Something believed or accepted as true, especially a particular tenet or a body of tenets accepted by a group of persons.

Rich


But, beliefs may be either true or false. If you believe something, then you believe it is true, else you would not believe it. But it does not follow from the fact that you hold a particular belief that the belief is true. It may be false. Can't you see that?

The belief that one knows the truth is a belief like any other belief, and, like any other belief, it may be true or false. And, as I have already pointed out, it does not follow from the fact that someone holds a belief that the belief is true. And just because people believe they know something, and it turns out that believe (that they know) is wrong, does not mean that whenever someone believes he knows something he is wrong. Someone may believe he knows and be right. He may, indeed, know. Whether he has a right to think he knows will depend on his evidence for what he believes. The stronger his evidence, the more likely he knows what he believes he knows; and the weaker his evidence, the less likely he knows what he believes he knows. Have you any objection to what I have written above?
 
 

 
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