The True Definition of Truth.

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

ACB
 
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 02:44 pm
@richrf,
richrf;78131 wrote:
I do not claim anything I say is true. Just a belief. So I do not have to offer any evidence. It is just what I believe. However, anyone who wishes to offer evidence of truth has to demonstrate the evidence is not a belief. Something that I believe would be incredibly difficult.


But if your beliefs are not totally random, they must be based on some evidence - e.g. something you have observed or read, or something you have reasoned or speculated on as a result of such observation or reading. Indeed, you have mentioned the theories of Einstein and others as evidence for your beliefs. Evidence is not the same thing as proof; one can have evidence for something without claiming absolute truth.

However, you quote the following:
Quote:
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.


You will note that definitions 2 and 3 both refer to truth.
 
richrf
 
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 02:59 pm
@ACB,
ACB;78193 wrote:
But if your beliefs are not totally random, they must be based on some evidence - e.g. something you have observed or read, or something you have reasoned or speculated on as a result of such observation or reading. Indeed, you have mentioned the theories of Einstein and others as evidence for your beliefs. Evidence is not the same thing as proof; one can have evidence for something without claiming absolute truth.

However, you quote the following:


You will note that definitions 2 and 3 both refer to truth.


Yes. I have observed throughout history, different groups/professions offering truths in exchange for money. It is a very big business nowadays, and comes in all forms. People like the idea of finding truths and they are willing to pay for it. Sometimes it goes under different nomenclatures such as "guaranteed to make you rich", "guaranteed to cure", enlightenment, cure, happiness, etc. In other words certainty in an unpredictable world. I guess people might long for this.

Yes, 2 and 3 both refer to truth. One believes something is true, or may be true, or is not true, etc. In my case, I may believe something may be true, but I realize I can be wrong, since everything is always changing, including myself - that which is observing and assessing.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 04:23 pm
@richrf,
richrf;78197 wrote:
Yes. I have observed throughout history, different groups/professions offering truths in exchange for money. It is a very big business nowadays, and comes in all forms. People like the idea of finding truths and they are willing to pay for it. Sometimes it goes under different nomenclatures such as "guaranteed to make you rich", "guaranteed to cure", enlightenment, cure, happiness, etc. In other words certainty in an unpredictable world. I guess people might long for this.

Yes, 2 and 3 both refer to truth. One believes something is true, or may be true, or is not true, etc. In my case, I may believe something may be true, but I realize I can be wrong, since everything is always changing, including myself - that which is observing and assessing.

Rich

Of course you could be wrong. But how does that show you are not right? It doesn't.
 
ACB
 
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 04:24 pm
@richrf,
richrf;78197 wrote:
Yes, 2 and 3 both refer to truth. One believes something is true, or may be true, or is not true, etc. In my case, I may believe something may be true, but I realize I can be wrong, since everything is always changing, including myself - that which is observing and assessing.


This may be something that you, I and kennethamy can all agree on. :stoned:
It seems reasonable to me.
 
richrf
 
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 04:45 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;78211 wrote:
Of course you could be wrong. But how does that show you are not right? It doesn't.


Yes, I agree. It is just an observation and others may or may not observe the same thing. I am not very much into finding or giving truths. I am much more into observation and learning something new. I realize that everything is changing all the time.

I apply this approach to most things in my life, e.g. stock market. I do not try to find a solution. I observe and react to changing conditions. It has worked very well for me this year, with a 40% return so far. My friends, who apply formulas, have not done nearly as well.

I think stock market or even poker are reasonable analogs for life and the way the universe operates.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 05:52 pm
@richrf,
richrf;78213 wrote:
Yes, I agree. It is just an observation and others may or may not observe the same thing. I am not very much into finding or giving truths. I am much more into observation and learning something new. I realize that everything is changing all the time.

I apply this approach to most things in my life, e.g. stock market. I do not try to find a solution. I observe and react to changing conditions. It has worked very well for me this year, with a 40% return so far. My friends, who apply formulas, have not done nearly as well.

I think stock market or even poker are reasonable analogs for life and the way the universe operates.

Rich


If you learn something new, don't you think that what you learn should be true? Would you like to learn something false? If you think you have learned something new, then don't you think that what you have learned is true? I am glad you have done so well. But why do you think it is true that you have done so well? After all, you might be mistaken, and if you are mistaken, you only think you have done well, but you have not.
 
richrf
 
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 06:03 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;78217 wrote:
If you learn something new, don't you think that what you learn should be true? Would you like to learn something false? If you think you have learned something new, then don't you think that what you have learned is true? I am glad you have done so well. But why do you think it is true that you have done so well? After all, you might be mistaken, and if you are mistaken, you only think you have done well, but you have not.


The way I look at it, since everything is constantly changing, like the waves in an ocean, there is no constants that one might call a truth. But this is the way I look at it.

In terms of the stock market, I find that nothing I say yesterday is worthwhile tomorrow. The market is in constant flux. All when can do is to observe and react in a way that might increase the probabilities of success. Very similar to poker. But there is no truths. Just guessing. In fact, with the stock market one is pretty much trying to guess what the economy might look like one year from now.

Believing there are truths in the stock market is the kiss of death. All of my friends who thought the the stock market always goes up in the long run or housing prices always go up got murdered over the last 10 years. They are now all adopting a different formula and have missed a beautiful bull run over the last few months. I prefer a much more nimble albeit conservative approach. But I have to willing to give up all that I have learned when the market says something different. Observation and the willingness to change helps a lot.

Rich

---------- Post added 07-18-2009 at 07:04 PM ----------

ACB;78212 wrote:
This may be something that you, I and kennethamy can all agree on. :stoned:
It seems reasonable to me.


Alright!! :a-ok:

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 06:10 pm
@ACB,
ACB;78212 wrote:
This may be something that you, I and kennethamy can all agree on. :stoned:
It seems reasonable to me.


I certainly might always be wrong, but not because everything is always changing. For example, if I say that it is true that it rained in Central Park on July 18, 2009, at 1 pm, and if it did rain at that time and day, then I am not wrong. So, although I might always be wrong, sometimes I am not wrong.
 
ACB
 
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 07:29 pm
@kennethamy,
OK - do you both agree with the following?

1. We believe some things; that is to say, we think they are likely to be true.

2. Some of these things we believe strongly; that is to say, we think they are true. But we could be wrong about any or all of them. (Or, of course, we could be right.)

3. We should base our beliefs on the best available evidence.

4. If our beliefs about the future are to be rational, we must use induction. However, we must do so in a flexible way, taking account of any changes of circumstances and not blindly applying fixed principles.

5. Since the word "truth" is often misused by unscrupulous people to imply certainty, it is best to avoid it if possible.
 
richrf
 
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 09:20 pm
@ACB,
Hi again,

ACB;78225 wrote:
OK - do you both agree with the following?

1. We believe some things; that is to say, we think they are likely to be true.


Yes, I think there are a whole range of probabilities and possibilities.

Quote:
2. Some of these things we believe strongly; that is to say, we think they are true. But we could be wrong about any or all of them. (Or, of course, we could be right.)
Strongly is probably not the word I would use. It got me in trouble to often in life. Let's say nowadays, I would project certain events as being highly probable to occur. E.g. going asleep tonight (though there are times when I couldn't fall asleep). But projecting forward what time I will go asleep is at the other end of the spectrum of probabilities, etc.

Quote:
3. We should base our beliefs on the best available evidence.
Sometimes. Sometimes I just use gut feel and forget about everything in the past. This might happen in a game of poker or the game of stock market investing. I use lots of approaches in life and it is always unpredictable until the moment I make the decision. Those of my friends who depend entirely upon evidence, let' say for example in stock market investing, were pulverized during the last year or two. Life is much more complicated than past events. Another example would be health care. I entirely ignore all scientific evidence because I believe they are on entirely different trajectory than I am in the way I would like to care for my health.

Quote:
4. If our beliefs about the future are to be rational, we must use induction. However, we must do so in a flexible way, taking account of any changes of circumstances and not blindly applying fixed principles.
I would wholeheartedly agree that fixed principles can be lots of trouble in an every changing world. But I endorse gut feels as a way of making decisions since sometimes that inner feeling may have more knowledge than the more conscious one. When I make stock market decisions, it is almost entirely gut feel of what I think most of the other game players are about to do in the market. It has almost zero reliance on any current evidence. The market is not random, but it is played by millions of independent consciousness who are trying to out play each other.

Quote:
5. Since the word "truth" is often misused by unscrupulous people to imply certainty, it is best to avoid it if possible.
Yes, I agree. But also, some might be scrupulous. People who have their entire livelihood dependent upon convincing people that they really know what they are doing are entirely convinced of this (e.g. financial advisors), and are therefore able to convince others because they are very sincere. I don't question their sincerity, I just question how they are marketing themselves.

So, I think overall we agree on many elements but also have some disagreements - which are not necessarily great, but reflect our individual experiences with the world thus far in our lives.

Thanks.

Rich
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Sun 19 Jul, 2009 04:20 am
@DasTrnegras,
you see, the thing is, Rich, you have a definition of truth that is entirely convenient. It allows you to deal with the idea of truth as you so desire, the way that suits you. The unfortunate thing that I predict you will find, one day, and I am not making dire predictions nor personal threats, is that one day you will be mugged by reality. This is a colloquial or vernacular expression that connotes having an experience which is usually most unpleasant or unfortunate, but that wakes you up to the fact that things are not as you would like, expect or even deserve them to be. Now it hasn't happened yet, or anyway I am guessing it hasn't happened because of the kinds of things you say. But if or when it does, it might change your attitude to truth entirely, because it will not longer be something you play with, but it will be a truth of a very inconvenient kind. It will be inconvenient truth, and maybe the first kind of truth you will actually experience. You will not get to set the terms or say it is something we make up or project, because it will be like the proverbial hundred pound gorilla in the lounge room or the proverbial train wreck or some other such thing. This is just a hunch on my part. Feel free of course to dismiss it. Who am I to know?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 19 Jul, 2009 04:26 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;78259 wrote:
you see, the thing is, Rich, you have a definition of truth that is entirely convenient. It allows you to deal with the idea of truth as you so desire, the way that suits you. The unfortunate thing that I predict you will find, one day, and I am not making dire predictions nor personal threats, is that one day you will be mugged by reality. This is a colloquial or vernacular expression that connotes having an experience which is usually most unpleasant or unfortunate, but that wakes you up to the fact that things are not as you would like, expect or even deserve them to be. Now it hasn't happened yet, or anyway I am guessing it hasn't happened because of the kinds of things you say. But if or when it does, it might change your attitude to truth entirely, because it will not longer be something you play with, but it will be a truth of a very inconvenient kind. It will be inconvenient truth, and maybe the first kind of truth you will actually experience. You will not get to set the terms or say it is something we make up or project, because it will be like the proverbial hundred pound gorilla in the lounge room or the proverbial train wreck or some other such thing. This is just a hunch on my part. Feel free of course to dismiss it. Who am I to know?


I feel sure he has already "been mugged by reality", and that is part of why he has swallowed Foucault uncritically. Also, some people have had no training in critical thinking, and have no natural talent in that direction. They are called, "gullible". (A hundred pound gorilla would be a very puny gorilla indeed! They usually weigh upwards of 500 pounds. The gorilla you must have in mind is either a very sick gorilla, or a very little baby gorilla; in either case, it will not be able to do much damage. Better rethink your gorilla!)
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Sun 19 Jul, 2009 05:10 am
@DasTrnegras,
well I am already beginning to regret that post. I am really not trying to be personal or nasty here. (and hey you're right about the gorilla. But then - thinking on my feet here - maybe the problem is you have been given this gorilla to care for and it is severely malnourished. Truth can be inconvenient in many different ways.) It is just that the topic of 'what is truth' is something that I feel you really have to care about. It is something that matters. It is really perhaps the very first and most basic question in philosophy, science, justice and many other fields. Many great people have sacrificed a great deal for its sake. That is kind of why I started to study philosophy - the idea that truth is hard to understand, the getting of wisdom an accomplishment. So this idea that truth is something manufactured by peer groups that changes all the time according to how you feel and the flavour of the day...well anyway I should resist getting drawn further into this, have to go and feed the gorilla....
 
richrf
 
Reply Sun 19 Jul, 2009 07:38 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;78259 wrote:
you see, the thing is, Rich, you have a definition of truth that is entirely convenient. It allows you to deal with the idea of truth as you so desire, the way that suits you.


What I try to do in life is to observe and take what is as IS. If people like fighting wars (and many do), then I try to understand why. I don't try to change it. If people are happy and sad, I embrace it has part of my life, I don't try to make it all happy.

And if each person creates truths for their own reasons or advantages, I just observe the phenomenon and try to fit it into my own view of the world. The concept of truth, I have observed, is used to make money. In some cases lots of it. I some cases lots of it with very little effort.

If someone suggests on an infomercial that they know how to make big bucks on the stock market. Presto! The money comes rolling in. If someone knows how to lead a life of happiness. Bingo. The book becomes a bestseller. If someone can provide a life of great, then BOING (forget about that the long term effects are never inquired into), it is a runaway sales hit. If someone proclaims that they can cure muscular dystrophy in 10 years and they know how to do it. Voila! Big research bucks. And, of course, there are the paths to enlightenment or heaven!

So, if you have the marketing talent and apparatus, combined with a good truth, it can be a pretty lucrative life. I observe it and accept it as part of life.

Quote:
This is a colloquial or vernacular expression that connotes having an experience which is usually most unpleasant or unfortunate, but that wakes you up to the fact that things are not as you would like, expect or even deserve them to be.


Have had many in my life. It is part of life. It is how people learn lessons and are moved in a different direction than the one they are traveling. As far as I have observed, it happens in everyone's life no matter whether they believe it great Truths or not.

Quote:
You will not get to set the terms or say it is something we make up or project, because it will be like the proverbial hundred pound gorilla in the lounge room or the proverbial train wreck or some other such thing.


Happens all of the time, and I have to deal with it. Scaring someone into believing into a truth is the purview of many religions. Nothing new. You have heard about Hell haven't you? MDs use a different scare, and financial analysts another kind (my ex was bitten badly), but all are about the same as the one you just tried. Fear is a great way to motivate people into believing in truths. But you know, that too is all part of life. :detective:

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 19 Jul, 2009 07:40 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;78265 wrote:
well I am already beginning to regret that post. I am really not trying to be personal or nasty here. (and hey you're right about the gorilla. But then - thinking on my feet here - maybe the problem is you have been given this gorilla to care for and it is severely malnourished. Truth can be inconvenient in many different ways.) It is just that the topic of 'what is truth' is something that I feel you really have to care about. It is something that matters. It is really perhaps the very first and most basic question in philosophy, science, justice and many other fields. Many great people have sacrificed a great deal for its sake. That is kind of why I started to study philosophy - the idea that truth is hard to understand, the getting of wisdom an accomplishment. So this idea that truth is something manufactured by peer groups that changes all the time according to how you feel and the flavour of the day...well anyway I should resist getting drawn further into this, have to go and feed the gorilla....


The weird thing is that every time a truth-denier makes a statement, he is implicitly saying that the statement is true. When he says there is no such thing as truth, he is saying that it is true that there is no such thing as truth. So, he is implicitly contradicting himself whenever he states there is no truth. The truth denier is falling victim to, "the Ishmael effect", so named by the late philosopher, David Stove.

The enemies of truth, for example, often fall afoul of what the Australian wit and contrarian philosopher David Stove (who died in 1994) called ''the Ishmael effect.'' Melville's Ishmael in ''Moby-Dick'' quotes Job's ''I only am escaped alone to tell thee'' and then spins a tale of adventure nobody could have survived to tell. Just so, relativists must beware of claiming, among other things, that all beliefs are subjective, except the belief that all beliefs are subjective.

In the same way, truth deniers are trying to exempt themselves from their own view that there is no truth simply by stating that there is no truth. If there is no truth, then how could a truth denier tell us that it is true that there is no truth. He must think that he "escaped alone" to tell us of it. How did Foucault or any of his followers, escape?
 
richrf
 
Reply Sun 19 Jul, 2009 07:41 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;78261 wrote:
I feel sure he has already "been mugged by reality", and that is part of why he has swallowed Foucault uncritically. Also, some people have had no training in critical thinking, and have no natural talent in that direction. They are called, "gullible". (A hundred pound gorilla would be a very puny gorilla indeed! They usually weigh upwards of 500 pounds. The gorilla you must have in mind is either a very sick gorilla, or a very little baby gorilla; in either case, it will not be able to do much damage. Better rethink your gorilla!)


I have never read Foucault, so you are wrong yet again. However, you may want to read this as a way of better understanding yourself:

The highest, as the lowest, form of criticism is a mode of autobiography.
Picture of Dorian Gray
Oscar Wilde

I have found this quote very helpful in my life. That is why when I criticize someone else (whether out loud or to myself), I think to myself. What am I trying to say about myself?

Rich

---------- Post added 07-19-2009 at 08:46 AM ----------

kennethamy;78276 wrote:
Just so, relativists must beware of claiming, among other things, that all beliefs are subjective, except the belief that all beliefs are subjective.


Maybe. Maybe not. I don't know. These are all beliefs. Beliefs, about beliefs, about beliefs. That is all my mind can do, as far as I can tell. :bigsmile:

The really nice thing about beliefs, and the reason I think the mind has them, is that they are very easy to change when one would like to.

Rich

---------- Post added 07-19-2009 at 08:51 AM ----------

jeeprs;78265 wrote:
It is something that matters. It is really perhaps the very first and most basic question in philosophy, science, justice and many other fields. Many great people have sacrificed a great deal for its sake. That is kind of why I started to study philosophy - the idea that truth is hard to understand, the getting of wisdom an accomplishment.


Yes, I realize this. We all spend lots of time doing things and become very attached to them. I've been there. Done that. I kind of find being able to let go (de-clutter) refreshing for me.

I am not suggesting that you change your journey. I am only relating to you my journey. Everyone has their own journey and probably their own attachments. I like living for example. Smile Maybe a Buddhist loves his/her quest for Enlightenment.

It is all there to enjoy as one wishes. If you find truths, then great for you. If you don't, then you may be disappointed as I was in my life. It is all about learning about life. Who knows what is ahead in the journey? I sure don't.

Take care,

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 19 Jul, 2009 07:55 am
@richrf,
richrf;78278 wrote:
I have never read Foucault, so you are wrong yet again. However, you may want to read this as a way of better understanding yourself:

The highest, as the lowest, form of criticism is a mode of autobiography.
Picture of Dorian Gray
Oscar Wilde

I have found this quote very helpful in my life. That is why when I criticize someone else (whether out loud or to myself), I think to myself. What am I trying to say about myself?

Rich

If you
---------- Post added 07-19-2009 at 08:46 AM ----------



Maybe. Maybe not. I don't know. These are all beliefs. Beliefs, about beliefs, about beliefs. That is all my mind can do, as far as I can tell. :bigsmile:

The really nice thing about beliefs, and the reason I think the mind has them, is that they are very easy to change when one would like to.

Rich


If you have never read Foucault, his ideas must have seeped into you in some way. Probably one of his followers.

Why shouldn't a belief apply to itself? And, if you believe there is no truth (which you do) you believe it is true that there is no truth, and you think you have "escaped alone" to tell us there is no truth. How come when you say there is no truth, you think that what you said is true? Why are you immune?

In fact, beliefs are very hard to change when you are really wedded to them. Proof: look at your own belief about beliefs and truth. It has been shown many times that you are confused and mistaken, yet you are unable to change what you believe about beliefs and truth. What more evidence is required,
 
richrf
 
Reply Sun 19 Jul, 2009 08:07 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;78282 wrote:
If you have never read Foucault, his ideas must have seeped into you in some way. Probably one of his followers.


Probably so. Jung suggested that there was a collective unconscious and that seems to be so. All the time I create new ideas, seemingly out of no where, only to read about them somewhere else.

Quote:
Why shouldn't a belief apply to itself? And, if you believe there is no truth (which you do) you believe it is true that there is no truth, and you think you have "escaped alone" to tell us there is no truth. How come when you say there is no truth, you think that what you said is true? Why are you immune?


I would say my approach allows me to change in a more agile manner. That is one of the reasons I am successful in the stock market and maintaining my health so well. I don't become entirely wedded to an idea (the truth), I just realize that whatever I am doing, I can change when I desire (the Free Will part of me). It's agility and flexibility. The difference between a willow bending in the wind and a hard inflexible tree that is knocked down.

Quote:
In fact, beliefs are very hard to change when you are really wedded to them. Proof: look at your own belief about beliefs and truth. It has been shown many times that you are confused and mistaken, yet you are unable to change what you believe about beliefs and truth. What more evidence is required,


I change my process all the time. Recently, someone on this forum introduced me to Sheldrake. I really like the way he describes things. So, I adopt his perspective. It is fun, whimsical, agile, and flexible. That is the way I maintain good health. Of course, I may change in this life or not. If not, then maybe next life? :bigsmile: No rush.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 19 Jul, 2009 10:16 am
@richrf,
richrf;78284 wrote:
Probably so. Jung suggested that there was a collective unconscious and that seems to be so. All the time I create new ideas, seemingly out of no where, only to read about them somewhere else.



I would say my approach allows me to change in a more agile manner. That is one of the reasons I am successful in the stock market and maintaining my health so well. I don't become entirely wedded to an idea (the truth), I just realize that whatever I am doing, I can change when I desire (the Free Will part of me). It's agility and flexibility. The difference between a willow bending in the wind and a hard inflexible tree that is knocked down.



I change my process all the time. Recently, someone on this forum introduced me to Sheldrake. I really like the way he describes things. So, I adopt his perspective. It is fun, whimsical, agile, and flexible. That is the way I maintain good health. Of course, I may change in this life or not. If not, then maybe next life? :bigsmile: No rush.

Rich


Hmm. I hope that no one introduces you to Mein Kampf. Remember how Lucy used to all Charlie "wishy-washy"? You seem to out-do him. Liking the way someone describes things is really no guide to liking what is true. Critical thinking is not like preferring butterscotch over almond ice-cream. Have you any good reasons for thinking that Sheldrakes categories are correct? Have they been subjected to testing. Or, do you simply find what Sheldrake says tasty?
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Sun 19 Jul, 2009 02:50 pm
@DasTrnegras,
I studied under David Stove. He was a great guy.
 
 

 
Copyright © 2020 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.02 seconds on 09/26/2020 at 04:31:07